Thursday, December 03, 2009
The thing about AdWords copywriting - like the exercise of performance-based marketing in general - is that it's humbling.
If you're in a job where you can go for a year at a time without the 16-ton anvil of consumer non-response slamming down on you, good for you. Your job is dying, but enjoy it while it lasts.
Eventually, our goal is to get to optimal ads: for argument's sake let's say the main metric we're after is CTR (though this is a very partial truth). Sometimes we get better when we test. Sometimes worse. But we test, test, test.
One of my tests this week had a response rate about 96% worse than the baseline ad. We're talking: the legacy ad got 25X more clicks than my test ad! No shit!
My ad was clearly better when I wrote it, humming a happy tune as I basked in my own intellectual superiority. I capitalized the first letters of the words. Mentioned that the product was trusted on an intergalactic basis, by both corporations, and governments! It was as if Captain Picard himself had endorsed this software.
I don't know if it was that my body copy smacked of a global conspiracy, whether the caps were ugly to readers in Portugal, whether my headline didn't match quite as well. But the old ad, for whatever reason, created a connection with the prospect. Like, a 25X better connection than the new one.
Did I give up? No way. Will the new ad win? I sure hope so.
By contrast, many forms of traditional advertising are to consumer response as Second Life is to dating. There's zero chance of tangible proof of real-world rejection, so -- just a tinge pathetic, wouldn't you say?
Labels: ctr, google adwords
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Google refers vaguely to the "need for a new look" in shifting their top sponsored ad background color from blue to yellow today. Were CTR's declining? We know that rotating ad design in banner campaigns sometimes props up CTR's. Personally, I haven't seen much evidence of declining CTR up there at the top, but you never know.
Another significant shift is not triggering a clickthrough unless the user actually clicks the link. It's been a bit cheesy that clicking anywhere in the box caused a click. So the result of this shift should be a noticeable improvement in ROI out of the top ad spots. Fewer clicks, but more clicks that meant to click.
Labels: ctr, google adwords
Monday, February 19, 2007
Excuse my giddiness, but it's definitely addictive to look at your keyword quality scores. You could have guessed them before by the assigned minimum bids, but these are fun to look at anyway:
Yet confounding, too - no doubt seeing this stuff will cause some advertisers to overthink and to try to divine the impossible. The one with 5.1% CTR today is called "great" but there is one with over 10% CTR that is being assessed as merely OK. Presumably, that's based on some predictive stuff around the generic nature of one of the keywords (the OK one is too general maybe). And presumably it would only be a few hundred more clicks over a week or so at a high CTR and it might kick into "great" territory. We'll see. I guess that would be my advice in the "avoid overthinking" department: realize that an established CTR history will give you a more stable quality score than the stuff you see on new keywords.
I also think it's cool (laugh if you like) that Google makes it slightly difficult to display this, so it doesn't confuse newbies. You have to drill down a fair bit to find the place to turn on QS info.
At the campaign summary level, if you click on "customize columns," the only non-default column you can add here is "CPM." (I find this cool too. You don't need to do the math - you can measure the eCPM on your campaign by enabling it in the interface. On this ad group - a brand new campaign - we're getting a rock-bottom $0.85 CPM. So far, so good!)
Anyway, once you drill down past the ad group level to the "keywords" tab you can "customize columns" and enable the extra quality score information in the interface.
Speaking of new stuff... at the bottom of your keyword list in the available options is a button for "pause" and "unpause". Shut up! I'm pretty sure Google slipped this in without telling us. Some time ago they added a feature that allowed you to pause an ad (handy for testing and sharing info internally), but this pause a keyword was something I'd been hoping for. Heck, who knows what you'll use it for, but power users always come up with something.
UPDATE: OK, so via the Inside AdWords blog I see the "pause keyword" feature was added on Thursday. I spent Friday on an airplane... So by now it's still only five days old. And my spidey sense tells me that my colleagues here in the office are already pausing keywords! LOL, gotta love 'em. The "pause ad" feature was added some time ago, as I recall.
Labels: ctr, google adwords, minimum bid, quality score
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