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Google Adwords – Trend Reviews from 2008

Pay Per Click December 31st, 2008

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As the end of 2008 approaches I thought it would be interesting to show some compelling data that we have discovered when looking at many of our pay per click accounts.  By doing a ‘side by side’ analysis in the ‘Account Snapshot’ area within Google Adword’s we were able to uncover some very common trends when comparing data from 2007 with 2008.

Although we are showing only one account here, the information is typical of many of the accounts that we currently manage.  With this data we can also outline to our readers how to continue to improve your own paid search campaigns.

Below is the 4 PPC lessons we learned in 2008.

PPC Snapshot 

1. Clicks to  Impressions – as you can see in our test we got far less clicks in 2008 when comparing the data to 2007.  At the same time, however, we got far less impressions. 

Here are the improvements we made to achieve this result:

  • Refining the Content Network – our PPC team narrowed down the sites that our ads appear on.  We did this by making use of the new Content Match features that were added to the content network in 2008. 
  • We also were able to review conversion reports to understand which geographic targets we were wasting budget on.  We then were able to ensure our ads were being served to effective geographic targets.

2. Click Through Rate Improved – we improved our CTR by over 166%. 

  • We did this by properly using multiple ad variations.  One of them we would use ‘dynamic keyword insertion’ to copy exactly what the person did their search for into the ad title.  This helps with click through in most cases tremendously.
  • We also pruned the entire keyword list regularly to ensure that we were using the most relevant keywords with ads.

3. Average Cost Per Click jumped by almost 100%!

  • One thing that many internet marketers had a difficult time improving in 2008 was the cost per click to gain traffic.  Why?  Well think of it as a small pond.  Although the size of the pond has not changed, the volume of fish getting poured into it has dramatically increased.  This means that more fish are fighting for smaller volumes of food.  In other words, more advertisers are bidding for the same advertising spaces.  Hence the cost per click continues to go up.  The solution is found in item 4 below!

4. Conversion Rate, Cost Per Conversion and Total Conversions all improved drastically!

  • 2008 showed us just how important the page you send your traffic to is.  Send your traffic to a broad page discussing many things and you will lose them.  Send them to a targeted page with relevant content to what was searched and you will greatly improve the likelihood of receiving a positive response!

In summary, we received 25% less clicks, paid 47% more money but managed to improve both our conversion rate by more than 135% and as a result improved both our cost per conversion and our total conversions dramatically!

Trends moving into 2009?

I predict the volume of advertisers will continue to rapidly increase.  The result will be a rise in the importance of proper measurement of this medium, goal visualization, improved landing pages and general attention given to PPC campaigns. 

We have all seen that pay per click works.  As competition increases the need to measure an end goal will become even more important.  Want to measure emails and phone calls that come from pay per click?  It is all very possible now! 

Post By DJ (195 Posts)

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DJ has been a high profile Internet Marketer since 2001. He is the CEO of TechWyse and as a passionate member of the internet marketing industry is a key contributor on the 'Rise To The Top' Blog.

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