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Google AdWords

Using Google AdWords Cost Per Acquisition Campaigns

Save Money

There are a few requirements to be eligible to use the Google AdWords Cost Per Acquisition model. First, you need to have the AdWords conversion tracking pixel installed on your site and you’ll need 15 conversions tracked through the conversion tracking over the previous 30 days. If you are serious about marketing your site and products, this should be very easy for you to accomplish.

Once you fulfil all the requirements, you can edit your campaign by changing the settings under Bidding and budget > Bidding option from Manual bidding for clicks to Automatic bidding to try to maximize clicks for your target budget.

You will be asked to set a value to the conversions, in other words, how much you’re will to pay per sale. When you enable the Conversion Optimizer for a campaign, you set a maximum CPA bid for each ad group.

Ready, set, go. You’re pretty much done, make sure to check back on it.

Should I Spend Time On Yahoo! Search Marketing & Microsoft adCenter?

Judgement Day

It is a well known fact that Google AdWords commands more than 80% of the Paid Search market share. With that being the case, is worth the time managing campaigns on Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter? This question is even more important considering the somewhat recent news that Microsoft Bing will be merging with Yahoo! Search.

Cost vs Results

One thing is for sure, keywords on Yahoo and Bing will cost a fraction of what they cost on Google. The main reason for this is that there are much less advertisers on Yahoo and Bing. This can be a benefit to you though because of the keyword bidding competition, or lack thereof.

The Big Test

The easiest thing to do is download an export from your Google account using Google AdWords Editor and upload this into the Yahoo and Microsoft consoles. They both offer the ability to convert Google campaigns.

Once your campaigns are live in the second tier engines, lower your bids and daily budgets and let the ads roll. Keep your eye on keywords that are getting way too many clicks. I’ve seen keywords which didn’t perform too well on Google, get overclicked on Yahoo and Microsoft.

Day Of Judgement

After accumulating 3-4 weeks of data, check your return on investment (ROI), if it looks like your’re making a profit, then go for it. Make sure to calculate the cost of the extra time it takes to manage a triplicate set of campaigns.

What If Yahoo! & Bing Merge?

They have already finalized the deal on paper. However, they still need to get regulatory approval, which can take a while. Even when they do get approval, they will need to integrate their two systems, which can take even longer.

Can’t Handle It?

If you can’t handle managing three sets of campaigns for Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter and Yahoo! Search Marketing, try a third party tool that gives you the ability to manage all three from within one interface. Some of the better ones are Kenshoo, Acquisio and Clickable.

Use Google AdWords Opportunities To Broaden Your Campaign Reach

Google Rubber Duckies

In the (relatively) new Google AdWords interface, there is a new tab called Opportunities, in here Google will periodically offer you campaign optimization tips.

The best idea is to go and review these suggestions on a monthly basis as these tips are constantly changing based on consumer search behavior and patterns.

Keyword Opportunities

On the left side, you can select a campaign the same as you would in the Campaigns tab. When you select a campaign it will show you a list of ad groups with suggestions. Click on each ad group and you will see a list of search terms that Google suggests you add to the ad group. You should always review before accepting because they will suggest many keywords that may be to generalized for your campaigns success.

By doing this monthly, you will keep growing your campaign target audience based on Google’s historical data and metrics.

Image Credit: Yodel Anecdotal

Go For Break-Even In Google AdWords & Raise Your Budget

Google Daily Budget

When you are first starting out with your Google AdWords campaigns you will tend to be concerned about your ROI. A good trick to help progress your campaigns performance in terms of ROI, is to aim for your break even point.

Break Even

First you will need to figure out what that point is, once you have the magic number — whether it is $25 per sale or 20% of the total sale amount — you will need to set up your campaigns budget to get a decent amount of traffic. As your campaign starts collecting data, keep optimizing and tweaking it until you reach the break even point.

Shot In The Arm

Once you come close, you should raise the daily budget as much as you can. This will do two things simultaneously: first, it will bring you more traffic which you can optimize better and second, it will help bring up your click through rate and conversion rate. This works by simple logic. If your conversion rate is 1.5% and you only have 100 visitors, you may miss out on the 1.5 sales you would have got. If you have 1,000 visitors, you have a better chance of finding the 1.5% of visitors that will convert into customers.

Image Courtesy: Danard Vincente

How To Boost Traffic & ROI With Your Daily Budget

Google AdWords Daily Budget

The daily budget in Google AdWords is kind of confusing for some advertisers. If you set your budget to $50, you will notice some days it will spend $48 some days it will spend $59.32.

Even though it is called the daily budget, the way Google actually calculates it is slightly different. They will take your daily budget and multiply it by the number of days in the month to get a monthly budget. This is the magic number that your campaign will not spend more than. I believe anything over this number Google will actually refund you. (Can anyone confirm this?)


It is important to look at the daily budget and see if you are hitting your daily budget on most days. If you are, chances are you can get more traffic for your campaign if you raise you budget. As long as your ROI is ok, you will want to raise your daily budget where you will not be losing out on traffic.

In addition to bringing more traffic, you will probably see an increase in overall ROI. When you have more traffic you have a better chance of turning conversions.

Image Courtesy: Darren Hester

Use Search Query Performance Report To Reduce Extra Spend

Although broad match keywords should be only be used sparingly, there are many instances where you will find the need to use them. In such cases it is a good idea to look at what terms Google matches your ads to and what terms are getting clicked on.

Search Query Performance Report

In the new Google AdWords interface this is relatively simple. When you are in the keyword tab select a few broad match keywords or select all, and click the ‘See Search Terms…” button and select show all. This will pop open a new window with a list of the terms that trigger your ad. From this list you can check of specific keywords and select exclude. You have the ability to exclude terms on the campaign level or ad group level. These keywords will be added as negatives to you campaign or ad group depending on what you selected.


Bottom Line

Best practice is to run this every two weeks or so, especially if you are constantly making changes to your campaigns. You will find that you are shaving off significant chunks of your spend which you can reallocate to better performing keywords.

Use Google Checkout To Boost Click Through Rates In AdWords & Base

If you use Google Checkout in conjunction with Google AdWords and Google Product Base (Product Search), you have the ability to connect the accounts in the settings section. When you connect the account Google places a Google Checkout logo on your ad in AdWords. In Google Product Search they show the Google Checkout logo next to your listing and they give the consumer the ability to filter search results by merchants that accept Google Checkout.



Google Checkout Badge: AdWords


Google Checkout Badge: Product Search (Base)

Google Checkout Badge: Product Search (Base)

Bottom Line

Even if only 1% of your customers use Google Checkout, the boost it gives to your click through rate on these marketing channels makes it worth spending time on the integration.

Measure Your Campaign Performance With Impression Share Report

Impression Share Report

Impression Share Report

Are you getting the most out of your keywords? Of the 100 people a day who search for Blueberry Pie, how many see your ad? There is an easy way to find out.

Under the reports section in Google AdWords, when you run a Campaign Performance report, it gives you the ability to select additional columns to add to the report. One of those columns is Impression Share (IS) Percentage Report. Just check of the option and run the report, you will now see a column showing what percent market share you are reaching. Additional columns are Lost IS (Rank), Lost IS (Budget) and Exact Match IS. More info on these columns can be found here.

Using Google AdWords Accelerated Ad Delivery Will Boost Clicks


When you set a campaign’s daily budget to $100 with the default settings, Google will automatically calculate how many times your ad can be displayed for that budget. It will then proceed to display your ad throughout the day based on that number of clicks. In order to ensure that your ad will be displayed at all hours they will not show your ad every time someone does a search but will pick and choose when to show your ad throughout the day.

Get More Clicks

If you’re willing to raise your budget to get more clicks, the best thing to do is change the Ad Delivery option under settings to Accelerated Ad Delivery. Your ad will now show every time someone does a search for your desired terms. One thing to keep in mind is that with this option you can go through your budget before breakfast, so make sure to set your budget appropriately. I found that my campaigns were getting 30-40% more clicks with Accelerated Ad Delivery.

Is The Google AdWords Content Network Right For You?

Content Network

Google’s Content Network is huge. In minutes you can get thousands of impressions and clicks. Does it work? Here is an easy way to measure your ROI.

If you already have a campaign running for Brand A or Category A, change the targeting option under Settings to be Search only. This will only show your ad to Google’s search network which includes searches done on google.com as well as Google’s search partners (i.e. CableVision or other ISPs). Now create an exact copy of your previous campaign and check off the opposite settings, choose only the Content Network. When the campaign is only tageting the Content Network you will be able to effectively monitor the performance from just this channel.

Keep in mind that as a general rule the Content Network does not perform too well for eCommerce websites. I’ve had better results from display ads in the content network, but your best bet is to test text ads as well.

Image Courtesy: PROFITAPOLIS