How to Use Google Analytics to Maximize Effectiveness in AdWords

Often times clients fall for the expectation that use AdWords can be set up and forgotten and the dollars will roll in with very minimal engagement on their part. If you’ve spent any time running an AdWords campaign, you probably understand that this is typically not the case.

In many cases bidding for the 1st position ad could bankrupt a company.  Here are some questions to ask yourself. Does the number 1 position produce the most cost effective option? Can I bid for a lower position and get more bang for my buck?

So, after you ask these questions you might start pouring over data in AdWords; Exporting, pivoting, creating tables etc. This could consume hours of your time.

But not to worry there is help in the form of Google Analytics!

google analytics

Keep reading to find a quick way to measure the best position for you keywords by analyzing the visits, bounce rate, conversions and more.

  • First log into your Google analytics account
  • Next, in the sidebar menu click on “Advertising”
  • Then “AdWords”
  • And then at the bottom of the “AdWords” menu, click “Keyword Positions”
analytics keyword positions

Here you can see the number of visits the keywords in AdWords are receiving and the corresponding site metrics. You can see how long visitors are staying on the site, the bounce rate and if you are tracking revenue in analytics, even if you aren’t using Analytics to track revenue this can be extremely useful.

google analytics keyword positions smudged

Average time on site: You can see here that the best position is actually #2.

google analytics keyword positions TOS

In terms of “Bounce Rate” the #2 and #3 positions have better rates then the #1 position.

google analytics keyword positions bounce rate

After looking at the various metrics, you can determine the target position where you get the best results. In this case it’s position 2 or 3. If you are tracking the value of your conversions you can show the average value for each position.  In this case the only position that converted was the third.

google analytics keyword positions ecommerce avg revenue

This makes it quite simple to decide where to target.

Now we’re going to automate this, so jump over to your AdWord account. Click on the “Campaign” you want to look at in the left navigation menu. Then click on the “Keywords” tab and search for the keywords you would like to automate. Select the keywords by ticking the box on the left and then select “Change max. CPC bids when…” under the “Automate” dropdown menu.

Here set the bid amount that you would like to use for raising the bid and the position you want to hit. Under requirements choose “Avg. position” and “worse than.”  Then enter the position. You can also adjust the frequency. I typically start with every day and I like first thing in the morning so you can start each new day with the appropriate bid. Don’t forget to “Preview results.”

google adwords change bid

You’ll need to also set an upper limit as well, so that you bids don’t blow up because of the automation. In this case choose; “Decrease bid”, “Avg. position” and “better than” and enter the position you want to hold.

Once you’ve set up both rules don’t forget to monitor your data and the rules carefully to make sure you are still on track. It may take some tweaking to hone in on the best settings.

With this you should be able to automate your AdWords account by using your Google Analytics, but still nothing beats a set of eyes. So, make sure you are checking up on how things are going. 


Need help with your AdWords accounts or or deciphering the Analytics behind. We can help: Contact us for a free quote.

Microsoft Advertising Takes Aim at AdWords – Adds adCenter Training Hub

Microsoft AdCenter Accredited Professional

Microsoft has taken another step to try to compete with Google Adwords. They’ve added a free training hub where paid search professionals can hone their skills and learn about the latest updates to the Microsoft Search Alliance adCenter. One cool thing about it is if you register and sign in with your Windows Live ID it tracks you progress. So, you can start training videos right where you left off. Then once you are comfortable with the material you can take the Accredited Professional exam. Unlike Google Adwords Certification there is no minimum to how much budget level you need to maintain to take the exam. You just have to be an active adCenter user and pass the exam. Plus, the exam costs just $15.

Once you pass the exam you become an Accredited Professional which lasts for a year. You must then retake the exam each year. There is no longer a company accreditation so individuals can use theirs certification to promote their company as well. Plus, you have the option to be added to Microsoft’s member directory as well as their “Find a Pro” directory.

So what are you waiting for? Get cracking on your accreditation!

adCenter Training Hub

Google Adwords and Trademarks – 5 Things You Didn’t Know

Google adwords trademarkI recently had the experience of dealing with Google Adword’s trademark team for a Pharmacy Industry client. It turns out that after a long time of running the same ads using the client’s trademarked name, something set off the alarms for Google and the ads were disapproved. This was the strangest part for me. Why, even though the ads were not new, did they suddenly get disapproved? It turns out it was a bit of a painstaking process to find out why and get them re-approved.

Here is some of the what I learned in the process:

  1. If a trademark owner makes a complaint against anyone running their trademarks, Google shuts off everyone who is running these trademarks.
  2. This can even trigger issues in previously approved Adwords advertisers.
  3. To be authorized to run trademarked names in your Google Adwords you need to have the trademark owner fill out this form.
  4. Only the trademark owner can make the request to get you approved. The form clearly states: “We only accept authorization requests directly from the trademark owner or from the contact person listed on the trademark complaint.” Don’t let anyone tell you different. Even people at Google!
  5. If you are using a MCC (My Client Center) account use this to get approval. That way any account under this master account will also be approved. This makes life easier if you have multiple accounts for the client.

So if you do run across an issue where your ads have be disapproved for trademark issues, save yourself some trouble and grab the form mentioned above, go start to your client and get them to send it to Google. After I finally was able to track down the person in charge of trademarks for the client and had them fill out the form. It barely took any time at all to get the ads approved.


89% of Paid Search Traffic is Not Replaced by Organic Search

A Google Study Says: 89% of Traffic Generated by Search Ads is Not Replaced by Organic Search:

Um isn’t that obvious??

I just read a post by Avinash Kaushik over on Google+ (Yep I’m on Google+ as well: Bryan Coe), about the use of PPC versus Organic Search. He was specifically talking about a study by Google where they found Studies Show Search Ads Drive 89% Incremental Traffic. Basically what the study is saying is that if you are running PPC ads and you stop them, you will see an 89% drop in traffic. By “overall” they mean the combination of clicks due to organic search results and PPC ads.

ppc management one piece of the puzzleIn my opinion this is a trivial study? Because if you are already ranking very well for keywords organically (ie #1 or maybe #2), would you target them with PPC? My guess is no. Google and others have done studies to show how quickly the percentage of clicks drops as you go further down the list.

So, by using PPC with keywords for which you are unable to grab the top spots, you can augment your traffic. And let’s face it, for most sites the list of keywords where you rank #1 is much smaller than the list you would like to target.

Therefore, it seems to me quite obvious that your over all clicks would be greatly reduced when ads are paused.

Avinash pointed out that the study was structured to show the empirical data behind my assumption that advertisers are not targeting keywords for which they are ranking well organically.

But really the study does not address this. It only makes an assumption about the “Incremental Ad Clicks” or IAC being low when advertisers use keywords in their PPC list where they are also ranking highly organically.

“A low value for IAC may occur when the paid and organic results are both similar and in close proximity to each other on the search results page. This increases the likelihood of a user clicking on an organic result as opposed to a paid result.”

The study would be more accurate if it looked only at these keywords. Comparing PPC keywords that you pay to be in the top positions to all keywords regardless of where they rank organically skews the data towards a dramatic conclusion. I think the idea that removing your PPC ads is going to give an 89% drop in clicks is a shock factor.

To put it simply, if you are going to use the PPC you need to evaluate the cost of buying a click vs. the profit it gains. If you are pay too high a price for your clicks then it is not a profitable model. Plus, if you are ranking well for certain keywords, you probably don’t want to target them with PPC.

Now, what goes into that evaluation? You can use this study to evaluate keywords that you are ranking highly for organically compared to the same keywords that you are paying to get a high ranking via PPC. For keywords that are not doing as well organically or maybe that are not on the radar at all on the organic side, then you need to look more directly at the cost per click as apposed to the value of the click.

The main point is that using PPC Advertising can do a great job to augment your organic search, but you have to evaluate if it is the best value for your company.

SEO Tip: Always Use Unique Titles for Each Page on Your Website

So often I come across websites that use the same page title for all their pages. This is usually either the fault of a lazy designer or someone that just doesn’t understand the importance of unique page titles.

Without unique titles the search engine spiders that crawl your website will have less of a chance of understanding what the page is about as well as how to distinguish it from the rest of your site. Therefor your listing in search engine results pages (SERPS) will suffer.

In fact it’s more than just an SEO tip. When using sharing a link on many social media platforms the show the title of the page that the link goes to. If the title has nothing to do with what’s on the page, people will not know what the page is about and will be less likely to click on your link. Another example is for pay per click advertising. If you use Google Adwords Google may penalize you because it thinks your page doesn’t match the keywords you’ve selected and as a result your bids will be artificially increased.

So, Always use unique titles for each page on your website. It’s not just an SEO tip it’s a basic usability tip.