Ad Optimization for Paid Search: An interview with Joe Kerschbaum
In last month’s entry in my video interview series, I shared Janet Driscoll Miller’s thoughts on “Google+ and Search Engine Optimization.”
Today, I’d like to share a conversation I also had at SMX with Joe Kerschbaum, Vice President of Clix Marketing. Joe has been working in SEM since 2006 and is a paid search optimization expert. Joe shared some insights about what’s new in Pay-per-click.
This is one from my first batch of interviews using the little Flip Mino camera and the audio still isn’t great. It’ll get better for future interviews.
Here are highlights from the discussion about hot PPC topics:
There’s always the typical best practices people talk about:
- Get your keyword in the headline
- Make sure your display URL has add-ons related to your service
- Get your keyword in the display URL
But, everyone’s been reading the same playbook and all ads are starting to look the same.
What you should ask now is how do you take it a step further than everyone else. Paid search is a cluttered space. How can you break out?
Rather than just stating your product or service in the ads, try to reach for the emotional level. What are your prospects’ hopes and fears?
Don’t assume that the typical “best practices” of ads are what works best for this particular company. You don’t know what’s really going to work. It’s different for everyone, which is why you need to test ads (just like we advise for optimizing landing pages and websites.)
When running paid search ads, here are tips to keep in mind:
- You should run your ads to rotate evenly for a true controlled test. Don’t allow the tool to automatically send more traffic to the leading ad.
- Copy your control ad a few times during test so you don’t dilute your quality score during a test. It takes more time to run the test, but you’ll lower your risk.
- Watch your test closely while it’s running
- Make sure you know what you’re testing. What is the purpose behind the test? Know what the outcome should be and what insights will come out.
- For ad optimization goals, you should track: Conversion Rate (CR), Return on Investment (ROI), Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and sometimes average order value (AOV).
- Ideally, run until you achieve statistical significance, but with low traffic sites, you may have to make the best decision you can with the data you have.