By Helen Brown
This week I have attended the “Advanced Optimisation Techniques for the Google Display network” webinar. I think this is an important topic for so many of us who are running Display Network campaigns………..it’s not just about setting up your campaign and sitting back and waiting for the sales to come flooding in! We all know, to make it work, we have to work at it. Once again, I would like to share my findings with you.
There are so many ways to Optimise your account. Of course, you will need to run your account for a few weeks before you begin to assess how to optimise it, any data that the account has gathered will be very important in helping you better understand your best strategy. But first, lets talk about bidding strategies.
A very basic but important part of optimising your campaigns for the Display Network is by Placement performance. First, navigate to the networks tab. Here you can analyse information for domain and sub domain and manage your bids accordingly. Are your placements working for you? You can increase or decrease bids based on performance. If you find that your placements are not working well, you can exclude at the ad group level and the campaign level. You can also choose to exclude topics to prevent your ads showing on any irrelevant placements.
Another very useful strategy for optimisation is Enhanced CPC Bidding; an automated bidding feature of your account that will increase your maximum CPC bid for you by up to 30%. This automated bidding feature bases the bid increase on the likely hood that you will get a conversion from your ad or ad group. However, it does not limit how much it will decrease the bid if the system believes that the ad is not likely to result in a conversion. This very useful feature is compatible with Demographic bidding.
Demographic bidding is a great way to target your campaigns to a specific age range or gender. You can also exclude a specific age range or gender if you find that a demographic segment is not converting well for you, should you wish. It is also possible to increase your bids by up to 500% for a specific segment if you believe that it will perform well.
And finally, there is Advanced ad scheduling with bid adjustments. From your settings tab within your campaigns page, you can select certain hours of the day or days of the week when your ads will run. You can also make bid adjustments for specific times/days of the week to maximise on ad exposure.
How can you tell which types of ad format are performing well for you? Within the ads tab, click columns. Select ‘ad type’ under attributes, this will allow you to see information on whether the ads showing for your campaign are text ads or display ads, an Ad Performance report. You can download the report and further analyse which type of ads better suit your campaign goals.
If your goal is to improve on your Return on Investment, conversion optimiser is a good strategy to choose. It allows you to specify a maximum target cost per acquisition for the AdWords system to work with. However it does not guarantee that it will get your conversion for the specified amount. It is designed to help to automate your bidding. Note! you will need conversion tracking enabled and your campaign must have received at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days first!
There is a new way to experiment with new strategies that you may want to apply to your account, it is called ACE (AdWords Campaign Experiments) This new system can be found in the settings tab under Advanced Settings, Experiment. It allows you to take a certain percentage of your budget and experiment with your bids, keywords, placements, re marketing bids and ads, Display ads, Display URL’s, different calls to action, text ad versus display ad performance. The experiments typically last for 2 weeks unless you specify differently. Performing one of these experiments is a good and low risk way of testing new strategies, it’s just a small portion of your budget that you are testing with and you maintain control over your campaign settings and budget.
Re marketing is a fantastic way of optimisation with your Display Network campaign, it allows you to re capture the attention of those who previously viewed your site but did not purchase (as discussed in the previous blog post “Re marketing on the Display Network”.) Use re marketing and ‘close the deal’ with your customers, it is a great strategy! It is important to carefully analyse your re marketing campaign, analyse your placements performance thoroughly. This will help you to create a campaign that targets your high performing audiences and thus drive more qualified traffic to your site.
Another extremely useful way of optimising your Display Network campaigns is Google Analytics. There is so much important information to be found and analysed on a map overlay report. This report allows you to break down your statistics by region, so you can see exactly where your ads are performing well, and also areas where you can focus on improving. After analysing your statistics by region, you could create regional campaigns to either concentrate on driving more traffic to areas that are not performing as well as you would wish, and also regional campaigns to increase your exposure for areas that are performing well.
Google recommend that bounce rate is an important factor to analyse also. It will give you a good idea of which placements are performing well and also which ones are performing poorly and could have bids lowered or even be excluded. This report will give you information for each placement domain, it was discussed in this webinar that if you have a site with a bounce rate of over 75%, exclude it!
Navigate to the traffic sources section of your Analytics report, and look at your referring sites report. You can study this information and see if there are any review or comparison sites that are driving traffic to your site. It is good to advertise on these sites are there can be a high level of potentially qualified traffic, you can capture their attention with your advertising message!
Finally! So, you have looked at all of the above and you are feeling pretty confident about your newly optimised campaigns…………but what about your website?
Have you tried using the Website optimiser? Why not take a look at your site with this free tool, optimise your site so the purchase process is easy for your potential customers. Website optimiser works with all online traffic, not just AdWords traffic and it allows you to maximise your ROI. You can increase your conversion rates and time visitors spend on your site, and decrease bounce rates. There are two different experiment types; an A/B experiment and a Multi variate experiment. An A/B experiment will compare performance of different versions of your web page, so you can test a new different layout of your web page against and existing one. A multi variate experiment tests multiple variations on your page at the same time, but please note, to do this you will need more than 1000 page views in a week, which will allow you to make informed decisions on the data received as a result of your experiment.
I know that once again this is a lot to take in, but it is all relevant to campaign optimisation and we all want our advertising campaigns to be a roaring success! I hope that this post is useful, good luck with your Display Network campaigns!