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From Last Click To Position-Based: An Attribution Test

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An Attribution Test

Whodunit” is more than just a popular detective narrative, it is an important question in PPC as well. Attribution seeks to answer that question. So, choosing the right model for your account is important. In this blog, we’ll cover a quick overview of Google’s attribution, what led us to consider testing a different attribution, what changes you can expect, our results, and advice for future tests.

Attribution – Quick Overview

As defined by Google, “an attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.” When deciding which model to employ, there a several to choose from:

  • Last Click
  • First Click
  • Linear
  • Time Decay
  • Data-Driven
  • Position-Based

The two different attribution models that we will cover here are Last Click and Position-Based. For more information about attribution models, for both your search and social platforms, check out the article about solving attribution woes written by our very own Mary Hartman.

Before diving in, here are two working definitions for Last Click and Position-Based.

Last Click –  This model will give all of the credit for a conversion to the ad that was last clicked and the corresponding keyword. This is the most common model.

Position-Based – This model will give 40% of the credit to both the first and last clicked ads and corresponding keyword, with the remaining 20% spread out across other clicks on the path.

Why make a switch?

I work with an Ecomm client that specializes in selling high-end products. The Last-Click model we had been using was not giving us the best picture to guide our decision making. Knowing that this product does not prompt impulse buys, we knew that we were overvaluing the last touchpoint on the customer journey. In fact, when we compare this client to a lead gen client we see that it takes the average customer about nine days before committing to a purchase compared to lead gen’s one day.

See also  April 2020 Updates to Paid Media Platforms

Here is an example of a lead gen client. 96.69% of conversions are completed in a day or less.

Google Ads Lead Gen Time Lag

In this example, our Ecomm client selling higher-end products has 25% of their conversions and 19% of revenue come in after 12+ days.

Google Ads E-Comm Time Lag

Using the Top Conversion Path report from Analytics as a guide, we can see that a Last Click attribution model could lead to the undervaluing of Display.

Google Analytics Channel Grouping Path

While customers may not end their journey with Display, it does play a significant role in the journey to conversion. Especially as this is often a customer’s introduction to the business. In the example above, if you receive a lead that is generated by display and closed by paid search and you are using the Last Click model, you risk undervaluing display while overvaluing paid search.

We landed on the Position-Based attribution model because this specific account was not eligible for Data-Driven. Here is more information about the data-driven attribution requirements. If Data-Driven is not an option, Position-Based attribution modeling is the next best option.

What Will Change?

After making the switch, you will begin to see partial conversions in your account.

Position-Based Conversion Breakdown

This means that there were interactions with these campaigns that did not result in a full conversion. They were, instead, a stepping stone on the customer journey.

Another change you can expect is for Brand conversions to marginally decrease. Before making any lasting changes, you can use Google’s nifty Attribution Tool.

Google ads Conversion Breakdown

For this account, moving from Last Click to Position-Based would result in 2.56 fewer conversions and a $1.42 increase in Cost / Conv in the Branded campaign.

See also  8 Common Reasons Your Google Ads Are Being Disapproved

 Non-Brand campaigns would result in about 3 more conversions. Again, don’t expect major shifts in data. This switch serves as a guidepost in determining which ads, keywords, ad groups, and/or campaigns are a part of the customer journey.

 Results

As expected, there weren’t major data changes. In this specific example, there were two extraneous factors at play:

  1. Seasonality
  2. Budget shifts

With this client, their business operates under heavy seasonality. Because of the extreme variations in MoM performance, we have found YoY data comparisons to be more helpful. Large and unforeseen budget shifts were also a factor. YoY we spent 28% more on paid search. MoM we shifted the budget down by $5,000. With spend varying so drastically, it is difficult to decipher the true impact of attribution changes.

YoY Google Ads Cost

Even with seasonality and budget changes in mind, we did see some changes in conversion rates. Non-brand conversion rates increased by 21%. This aligns with Position-Based attribution as we would expect Non-Brand to fall in the first to mid click path range.

Google Ads YoY Conv. Rate

Brand, however, had a decrease in conversion rate. Again, this is to be expected as Brand will typically be the last click before conversion and as we have shifted away from the Last Click model, we expect Brand conversions and rates to reflect this change.

Google Ads Brand YoY Conv. Rate

Conclusion & Advice

Seeing as how hindsight is 20/20, I have some advice for those of you hoping to test out a new attribution model. Firstly, begin the attribution test at the start of a month. This will give you fresh data and will allow you to compare new data to a whole, completed month. Next, if it is in your control, hold off testing this switch when going into any kind of seasonal downturn. It makes judging the overall effectiveness of the test complicated. Mitigating other major account shifts, such as large restructures or budget shifts will also help when concluding testing.

See also  Google Ads Target CPA Bidding: Benefits & Drawbacks

Overall, making the move to Position-Based caused us to value our Non-Branded campaigns more and to keep keywords we might have turned off with the Last Click model. With all things in PPC, happy testing friends!

—-

Article updated by Tanner Schroeder (prior post date: 1/18/18)

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PPC

Top Practices to Promote Your Business Using PPC

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Top Practices to Promote Your Business Using PPC


Are you getting low-quality traffic through your PPC campaigns? 

Are fraud clicks draining your revenue from the PPC?

Is your return on investment on PPC not as expected? 

Even though PPC advertising is an integral part of an effective marketing strategy, poor tactics can burn your ad budget and, thus, negatively affect your PPC results. 

PPC has been around for more than 20 years, and marketers spend almost 80% of their ad spend on PPC campaigns. Knowing the importance and cost-effectiveness of PPC campaigns, it is essential to strategize your PPC campaigns to elevate your business’ growth instead of hindering it. 

If you want to grow your business and predict the best ROI on your ad spend, then improving your PPC strategy is the first step, and you are in the right place! 

This article will discuss 15 strategies to improve your PPC campaign for the best ROI on every dollar you spend. 

Let’s dive in!

1. Choose the Right Platforms to Advertise

When we talk about PPC Ads, the first thing that comes into our minds is Google Ads. With Google Ads, you can reach millions of people, which can be your potential customers. 

But, with this perk, it doesn’t mean that you should limit your advertising strategy to Google ads only. You can run ads on various social media platforms that will help you build your brand awareness, customer loyalty and boost sales. 

However, the decision of choosing the platform will depend on your target audience and goals. Therefore you must do your research on the ad networks available before including them in your strategy. 

There are dozens of online spaces where you can use your advertising spend, but the best way to assess the effectiveness of any platform for your business is to look at the ROI on each platform. 

Some of the popular platforms for PPC advertising are as follows: 

  • Google Ads: Google Adwords enables you to reach 90% of the internet users with Google display and responsive ads. You can target your audiences on the basis of what they are searching or can target them with your products when they are searching about the options on another website through display ads.  
  • Meta Ads: With Meta (Facebook) Ads Manager, you can create ads in different formats such as video, images, and carousel. Meta’s (Facebook) targeting is done on the basis of the demographics and interests of your buyer persona. 
  • Instagram Ads: Businesses use Instagram ads to drive awareness and to increase their customer base. The ads between stories and on platforms create hooks for the audience through appealing visuals. 
  • Twitter Ads: People will not spend a lot of time looking at your ad on Twitter, therefore, the shorter you make it, the better it is. Experiment with the copy and visuals to see which ad performs best.  
  • Bing Ads: The unique feature about Bing ads is that it allows you to schedule the campaigns according to different time zones. This gives you more granular control over the campaign and ads. 

Some of the other platforms you can advertise on are AdRoll, RevContent, and Yahoo. 

2. Include Social Media in Your PPC Ad Campaign 

The effectiveness of social media ads is relatively higher than Google ads since these ads appear directly in your feed, thus decreasing the effectiveness of Ad-blockers. 

While paid search is more keyword-focused, paid social ads to focus more on demographics and persona, thus leading to new ways to target your audience.

Paid social media ads allow you to use a wider variety of ad types and formats, like images, videos, text, and more.

Social media ads give you two critical functions for your ads’ success — Retargeting & Lookalike Audiences.

3. Launch a Remarketing Ad Campaign

Retargeting is remarketing to people based on the site visits or who are willing to know more about your product and services and have manually shared their information for the contact.

Why are retargeting campaigns called a marketer’s best friend?

92% of your website’s online traffic won’t buy anything on their first visit to the website.  

See also  How to Avoid Keyword Cannibalisation Between PPC & SEO Campaigns | Hitsearch

But, when you use remarketing to retarget the same visitor, they are 70% more likely to purchase from your ad rather than your competitors. 

Therefore, with these odds, you can’t afford to miss on retargeting. 

4. Try a Lookalike and Similar Audiences 

A lookalike audience is a parallel list created by the platform, e.g. Facebook and Google using your existing followers, customers, or website visitors. This created list includes people who have similar interests, clicking habits, online social behavior, etc. 

With the hyper-targeting capabilities of PPC platforms, a lookalike or similar audience allows your business to target with unmatched depth and accuracy. All you have to do is provide initial data about your website visitors. 

In Google ads, you need to have at least 100 users’ data to get a similar audience. However, on Meta, you can upload a customer file, refer to site traffic, app activity, and more to build a lookalike audience. Meta recommends a source audience of at least 1000 people.

Combining your lookalike and similar audience with the retargeting campaign can increase your conversions by more than 40%, thus boosting your sales.

5. Design Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages

More than 50% of the world’s internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and more than 40% of online transactions happen through mobile devices.

With this penetration of mobile devices among digital consumers, optimizing your website’s landing pages according to mobile is necessary. But, unfortunately, some businesses forget the importance of mobile friendliness when it comes to PPC Campaigns. 

Despite ads optimized for mobile and tablets, a stellar copy of your landing page can make you win or lose your PPC campaign. 

For best results, ensure some critical points for your mobile-friendly landing pages: 

  1. Page loading speed is high. It should take an average of three  seconds to load your page/website on mobile
  2. Link the relevant landing page with the ad 
  3. Ensure the landing page is functional and intuitive, so the user knows how to take the next step (e.g. adding to cart, payment, signing up, etc.)

6. Advertising Budget 

The problem with a lot of failed PPC campaigns is the unrealistic and low budgets. One of the important factors to get the results from your PPC campaigns is setting the budget to target the right audience and help you achieve your goals. 

But, this doesn’t mean you need to go over-the-top in budgeting to get the most out of PPC. Instead, you need to have a realistic budget to help you with different stages of your PPC marketing. If you are starting out with PPC campaigns, some of the common examples of where your budget will be used are as follows (but not limited to): 

  1. Researching the averages in the industry (e.g. cost per click)
  2. A/B Testing (Selecting the right keywords, audiences, demographics, etc.)

Researching your averages and knowing how your competitors spend on PPC campaigns to grow business can help you set a realistic budget for your ad spend.

7. Make Your Ad Copy Click-Worthy

Ad copies should be all about adding value to your customer’s browsing. Irrespective of the industry, all PPC strategies need to focus on click-worthy, top-notch ad copies. 

No matter the market, all PPC strategies need to focus on top-notch ad copy.

The starting point of your conversions is people clicking on your ads which are only possible if your copy is relevant or intriguing. 

Therefore, your headline, description, visuals must have a hooking ad copy to grab online customers’ attention. The ad copy should also comply with the stage your buyer is in. Are you targeting them with an awareness campaign? or are you remarketing with the google ads retargeting campaign? The ad copy will vary accordingly. 

Some of the best ways to create better copy that generate more clicks are as follow: 

  • Add the unique offerings (e.g. Free Shipping, Money Back Guarantee)
  • Highlight Promotions (e.g. SALE, , 50% OFF etc.)
  • Include CTAs (e.g. Buy Now, Apply Now, etc.) 
  • Focus on benefits instead of features of the product
  • Link the relevant landing page with the ad.  
See also  Are High Shipping Prices Killing Your Ecommerce Sales?

Good copy development takes time, but once you master the art of understanding your audience and addressing their wants in your ad copy, it’ll impact your campaign’s performance in amazing ways.

8. Use Responsive Search & Display Ads (GSN/GDN) 

Responsive ads help you to automate your PPC strategy to grow your business. It uses the machine learning power of Google ads to automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces.

There are 2 types of responsive ads which you can use: 

  1. Responsive Display Ads:  Responsive display ads are ads automatically created by Google using the assets that you provide. Google automatically adjusts the size, appearance, and format of your assets to fit available ad spaces on the Google Display Network. 
  2. Responsive Search Ads: Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text—and more relevant messages—to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best. 

With the flexibility of experimenting with ad copy, images, headlines, and descriptions, Google Ads provides you assistance for the most effective ads.

9. Perform A/B Split Tests 

How can you tell which design or ad copy or demographics can bring in better results? Through A/B split testing. 

A/B testing is as critical to your paid ad campaign as is every other element. The goal of testing your ad is to increase both your clickthrough rate and your conversion rate. 

There are various factors of the ad which you can test. Minor tweaks in any of the parts can significantly alter your results. 

  • Headline 
  • Description 
  • Landing Page 
  • Target keywords 
  • Audience Targeting
  • Location Targeting 
  • Bids and much more 

With A/B split tests, you can compare the performance of different ads in your control group by their data. This data can help you improve your PPC strategy by optimizing your ads accordingly. A/B split tests take the guessing game out and help you guide in making decisions using data.

10. Revisit Your Keywords Selection 

Keyword research for your PPC strategy can be time-consuming but it is the best aspect of your strategy. The secret of most successful PPC advertisers is that they never stop researching, refining, and growing their keyword list through different tools. 

  • Use Long-Tail Keywords: Your keyword research should be the mix of short-tail keywords (most popular, frequently used one-word phrases) and long-tail keywords ( 3-5 words). Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common. But, they add up to the account for the majority of search-driven traffic. Moreover, these keywords are less competitive, thus lowering your cost-per-click cost. This approach for keywords search can give you a less expensive PPC strategy. 
  • Include Negative Keywords: Your PPC keyword strategy should also include negative keywords discovery. A negative keyword list prevents search engines from showing your ads to irrelevant audiences and thus saving you the cost-per-click. For example, if you are selling ‘treats’ for Halloween then ‘dog treats’ can be your negative keyword since you don’t want to bear the cost of clicking from someone who is not your audience. 

Consumers now have unlimited options for their every search. The keywords you are using in your content will determine if your content is being shown to them.  Therefore, it is important that you use a combination of well and regularly researched keywords.

11. Revisit Keyword Match Types

Search engines have several ways to connect the keywords with users’ search terms. Three core offerings based on which search engines show your ads to your users are as follows

  • Exact Match: In this match type, the keyword is matched word for word with no change in sequence. Ad with these keywords will be shown for queries that have additional words as well. This doesn’t alter the intent of the search. For example: “Restaurants in New York” or “Best Restaurants of New York.”  
  • Broad Match: It is Google’s default setting for all the keywords. This setting will include all the related terms to your keywords too such as synonyms, misspellings, and other related terms. Broad match works best if you are looking to increase your top-of-funnel traffic but for best results, it’ll need consistent monitoring. For example: “New York Restaurant” or “Places to eat at in New York.” 
  • Phrase Match: Phrase Match tells Google to show your ads for queries where your keyword appears exactly as is within a larger query. This opens your ads up to newer search intent, so be sure to optimize as you discover what’s working. For example: “Takeaway restaurants in New York”, “Fast food restaurants in New York”. 
See also  PPC Task Checklist For Account Success

Strategically using match types can help you convert your traffic into warm leads. 

12. Launch a Micro-Conversion Campaign Followed by Super Targeted Campaign:

A Micro-conversion campaign is basically hooking users to complete a small step along their path towards the primary conversion goal. These smaller conversions will help you lead your user towards the final goal in a more effective way. 

This will also help you make a custom audience that you can retarget. 

Micro-conversion strategy is used as a sales funnel by targeting the demographic and navigating them down which will ultimately lead them to make the purchase. 

A good example of a micro-conversion campaign can be asking website visitors to sign up for the newsletter. Signing up for early bird discounts, contact details for premium access to content, etc. ultimately leads them to buy your product or service. 

PPC services provide super-targeting tools to run conversion campaigns. The only purpose of these campaigns is to get the maximum conversions from the users visiting your website. With the data acquired from all the test-run ads, research, and micro-conversion campaigns, you can hyper-focus the audience that is most likely to buy.   

13. Improve the Structure of PPC Ad Campaigns:  

Google Ads rarely performs as you hope when your account is lacking a clear, defined structure. From campaigns down to ads, every level of your account impacts both Quality Score and your own ability to segment effectively.

Here are some other easy tips to help you build out a new account or restructure an existing one:

  • Define the clear objectives of your campaign. Is it for increasing awareness? generating sales? Acquiring leads? Remarketing?
  • Make Ad groups based on your product or service offerings
  • Make Ad groups and audience segments based on search intent   
  • Use keywords according to the ad group’s purpose  
  • Ensure each ad group navigates the online traffic to the right landing page. 

When it comes to the naming and structure of PPC ad campaigns, it’s vital to have a system of organization that reminds you of what each item does. Not only does this give everyone working on the account a clearer understanding, but you also spend less time finding the offending elements when something goes wrong.

14. Use Retargeting Pixels on Your Website

To optimize your ad spending and to create a custom audience, it is important that you use the right tools. 

Your website’s unique pixel set will help you bring tremendous results with your retargeting campaigns. It will also show your ads to people who have interacted with your content on social channels thus amplifying your chances of winning the leads. 

Conclusion

PPC advertising is one of the most effective marketing strategies if done right. It’s a quick and smart way to reach your target audience. Platforms like Google, Meta, Instagram, Twitter, Bing, and many more allow you to set and run ads in seconds. Depending on your budget you can reach tens and thousands of people. While PPC campaigns have the immense potential to bring in the best results for your business to grow, it is also significantly important that you curate your campaigns, ad copies, keywords research, and all the other elements with great attention and strategy…  Once you’ll find the right.





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Three Key Metrics to Understand Ad Performance

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Three Key Metrics to Understand Ad Performance


My fellow digital marketers – before we talk about Facebook performance metrics, please complete this short survey.

Question: Why do you create new Facebook ads?

  1. Out of pure habit.
  2. Our creative team never has enough work to do.
  3. Because ABT – “Always Be Testing” – amiright?
  4. It’s in the contract! We promised our client X new ad creatives per month!
  5. We let our performance data be our guide.
  6. None of the Above
  7. All of the Above

If you selected “F” above, then congratulations! You’re a super-evolved digital marketer! Or…you’re just pretty good at kidding yourself. In reality, most of us are probably doing some combination of these different scenarios. 

And for good reason. Today’s digital agencies face the same age-old issue as the traditional Mad-Men agencies of yore: their media and creative teams are siloed. 

Too often, the media team will lob a request for “better” creative over to their design team without communicating why previous ads are (or are not) performing well. The creative team spends countless hours generating fresh new creative only to see that 99% of the time, the Facebook algorithm prefers the old, stale creative that was running before. But without an understanding of the performance, the feedback loop is never closed, and the creative team remains in the dark.

Bridging the Media-Creative Divide with Data

It’s time to bridge the divide between the media and creative teams, my friends. And – you guessed it – the material we’re building our bridge with is pure, raw, glorious data. It’s time for the media team to take the lead in the creative design process. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean brushing up on Photoshop. This means leveling up your Facebook analytics skills!

See also  Getting Started with Programmatic Advertising

Across the board, digital channels like Facebook are taking more and more optimization controls away from us advertisers. This means the creative design is becoming more important than ever before. Indeed, it may soon be one of the only optimization levers we have left as digital marketers. 

Three Key Facebook Metrics for Understanding Ad Performance

Here’s the good news: Facebook’s reporting metrics are now more sophisticated and insightful than ever. To name a few, here are three key Facebook metrics that will help you understand your ad’s performance. Collectively, they are known as Ad Relevance Diagnostics.

  • Quality Ranking – Facebook wants its users to have a high-quality experience across their platform so they’ll return again and again and hang out for a while when they’re on Facebook. This goes for ads, too. Quality Ranking is Facebook’s measure of the perceived quality of your ad compared to other ads serving the same audience. In other words, if your ads aren’t giving Facebook users a high-quality experience, your ad impressions will fall (or may never gain volume in the first place).
  • Engagement Rate Ranking – Essentially, Engagement Rate Ranking is how much engagement Facebook expects your ad to get, including clicks, reactions, comments, and shares. If Facebook believes your ad will get lower engagement compared to ads competing for your same audience, then they’ll be less inclined to serve your ad, resulting in fewer impressions and results.
  • Conversion Rate Ranking – The Conversion Rate Ranking is a prediction of how likely someone is to complete your desired conversion goal after clicking on your ad compared to other ads competing for the same audience. If your landing page is slow, irrelevant or otherwise poor,  and your historical conversion rate is very low, then you will likely see a lower Conversion Rate Ranking. Facebook perceives a conversion as a sign that your customer has had a positive and useful experience after clicking on your ad. Therefore, Facebook will reward advertisers that achieve a high Conversion Rate Ranking by preferring and serving their ad more often.
See also  Google Ads Gains New Budget Reports

In Facebook Ads Manager, you can pull all three of these metrics right into your performance dashboard at the ad level.

Source: Facebook Ads Manager

So, What’s Next?

If you want to learn how to put insights from these and other metrics into action, join me on Day 2 of Hero Conf. 2022. I’ll be presenting my session: Why Your Shiny New Facebook Creative Isn’t Performing and How to Fix It

I’ll show you how we go beyond the surface-level Facebook reports here at Effective Spend. You’ll learn how to analyze key Facebook performance metrics and how to translate your analysis into effective creative optimization. Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover:

  • Perform platform and placement analysis to identify creative performance gaps
  • Pull the right creative levers to boost key metrics like CTR, CPM, and CVR 
  • Combat ad fatigue, increase ad relevance, and engagement
  • Translate your data analysis into a sound creative optimization strategy 

Final Thoughts

With better creative analysis, direction, and testing methodology you can increase the ROI of your designer’s time, with a more predictable creative design process that has a higher success rate. 

Hope to see you in Austin on February 1st!





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An Exclusive Discount for your pass to Hero Conf

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An Exclusive Discount for your pass to Hero Conf


What started as a simple desire to help our community, has now morphed into an industry-recognized training and networking event.

In 2008, our team started the PPC Hero Blog, now Hero Blog, with the sole intention of becoming a trusted source of valuable and actionable content.

Now, after over a decade, that intention grew exponentially to become Hero Conf, an annual two-day learning experience that has helped hundreds of marketers evolve their careers, build new business connections, and master old & new skills.

It is a dream come true, and it was possible thanks to you, our readers!

Therefore, as it is our tradition, all Hero Blog readers will receive 10% off their pass purchase with the code PPCHERO10.

Whether you prefer to attend Hero Conf Austin 2022 or Hero Conf London 2022 (or both!), you can use this discount code and save on any ticket tier.

Join us for a two-day deep-dive into the content you need to manage accounts better, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and have fun learning about the latest in paid search and digital marketing.

Save your Seat – HCAustin

Save Your Seat – HCLondon





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