Oct 23, 2008

Google Relevancy

Google & Landing Page Relevancy

With the recent changes that Google & Yahoo have made to their ad ranking and ad relevancy algorithm, many marketers worldwide have been (and still are ) seen a huge hit to their campaigns. If you have felt this "slap" or want to avoid it, then you should pay full attention to this tutorial. The most common problems are the minimum cost-per-click on keywords and the ad positioning. If you have seen your minimum bid prices skyrocket to prices that seem too high, you are getting slapped....AND WE CAN HELP!

This tutorial is going to focus on some techniques that should be used to run PPC optimized campaigns and will allow you to get your bid prices back down to "normal" levels.

Why the Change?

Before we dive into the specifics on how to solve the problem, we need to understand why this was put into place and how this is actually a good thing for marketers.

Google prides themselves on "relevancy" and delivering the highest quality search results to their users. By doing this they "keep" people who use Google from using other search engines. In December 2005, Google implemented a change to their Quality Score algorithm. When a new ad group is created Google sends out a bot to "crawl" our page looking for relevancy. If Google determines that your page is relevant, you will get a higher Quality Score than if your page is not relevant. In July 2006 we have seen yet another "Tweak" to this algorithm as Google tries to increase the relevancy and quality of their search results even further.

We've come up with some VERY Simple guidelines that you can use when writing your Google Ads that will help..

Relevancy Checklist

Relevancy is what has affected most marketers as their ads, keywords, and landing pages are not relevant enough. Below is a checklist of things to consider when creating your landing pages and when writing your ads.

NOTE: You are going to hear the term "Focus Keyword(s)". This term refers to the exact keywords that you are promoting.

Ad Writing - When writing your ad, make sure that you use the EXACT keywords within your ad group in both your ad title and description. This will result in very high ad relevancy
Word Count - Your landing page needs to have a significant amount of relative content listed on it. You should have at least 500 words on your landing page.
Keyword Density - Our tests have shown that pages with a keyword density of between 2% and 5% is required to get the lowest minimum bid on your keywords. Having the keywords spread out within the headline, content and page title are typically adequate.
Keyword Targeting - The more targeted your keywords are to your ad and landing page, the lower your CPC and minimum bid price will be. For instance, if your ad group is targeted towards words "Beating Adwords" all keywords should have "Beating Adwords" in them. Having "Beating Adwords" on your landing page may keep your "beating adwords" keyword prices down, but what about a keyword like "Beating Adwords Comparison"?. You should try to use all the keywords within your ad group on the landing page, at bare minimum, the common keyword.
Landing Page Filename - If you name your file according to the main keywords that you are advertising, it seems that Google will increase your Quality Score rating. Using the "Beating Adwords" example above, instead of pointing your ads to: www.yoursite.com, point the destination URL to: www.yoursite.com/beatingadwords.html
Display URL - Appending a folder to your display url can also help with getting a few Quality Score points. Instead of using: YourSite.com, set the display url as YourSite.com/BeatingAdwords.
Landing Page Title - Every webpage should have a title tag that looks like this: The title of your page should reflect the keywords that you are promoting. This is VERY important as Google puts quite a bit of weight on the title of the landing page.
Landing Page Heading - First paragraph and

tags. The content of your webpage plays a very important part in the relevancy "game" so make sure to have your focus keywords in the first paragraph of your page. Also, a good technique is to have your keywords in heading tags like:


Text Links - Adding a link around a few of your focus keywords is a good idea. Our studies have shown that many of the TOP natural listings on Google use this technique and it is VERY clear that if you use this technique on your landing pages, you will improve your Quality Score.
When creating an ad group you need to adhere to these guidelines. If you do so, you will see your minimum bid prices go back to "normal" levels, your cost-per-click go down, and your ad positioning improve. On the following pages we are going to provide you with some data that we have collected, and will give you some techniques on how to get your "inactive for search" keyword status back to "Active", and for a much lower cost

Keyword Density

Keyword density plays a big role in the relevancy of your landing page (according to google). In order to have a "relevant page" your focus keywords should account for 2% and 5% of all words on your page.

Based on the 500 word minimum, your focus keywords should appear at a minimum of 10 times (2%). Here's a little test that you can do. Do a search for a keyword that you are interested in advertising. Copy down the URL of the first 2 natural listings (not sponsored search). Then enter the url's into the boxes on the following page:

Keyword Density Analyzer

Compare the Keyword Density of the top natural listings to your landing page. You will most likely see that the amount of words on the pages are over 500, and the keyword density is between 2% and 5%.

Keyword Targeting

Having the entire keyword on your landing page is very important as you will see in our test results below. We created a new campaign meant to advertise "Beating Adwords". The ad is as follows:

Beating Adwords Home
Beating Adwords Techniques Work Top Internet Marketing Guide

Destination: http://www.beatingadwords.com

Focus Keyword "Beating Adwords"

Keywords / Minimum Bids:

Beating Adwords - $0.03
Beating Adwords Comparison - $12.35
Beating Adwords Review - $1.24

The difference in bid prices is the result of lack of relevance in the ad for the keywords "Beating Adwords Comparison" and "Beating Adwords Review". Also, the destination URL does not focus on the keywords "review", or "comparison". Thus Google sees the page as not being relevant, and increases the minimum bid prices.

In this situation, you would want to include at least one of the keywords "review" or "comparison" within your ad title (or description), and create your own landing page that includes these search terms. Although the Beating Adwords page will be relevant to many "beating adwords" product keywords, some of them will results in a low Quality Score. If you have your own page you will have the freedom to write whatever you like...and include all the keywords necessary to maximize your Quality Score.

Rebuilding Your Campaigns

The fastest way to get your keywords back down to "normal" is to build new campaigns based on your old keywords. As long as your new ads and your landing pages are "relevant" your bid prices will drop. The reason that we have rebuilt some of our campaigns is so that we can get the "relevance" bot to crawl and update the destination URL's. If you simply change your landing page for an existing ad group the bot will not necessary crawl your landing pages. The bots visit new ad groups very quickly, so this can often times give you instant results.

Can you simply create a new ad group? Here's another test that we've done. We had an ad group running where some of our keywords were "inactive for search", we then paused that ad group and re-created it within the same campaign. To our dismay, the bid prices remained high. We then created an entirely new campaign, using the same adcopy and keywords and were able to achieve lower minimum bids.

This test confirms that the Quality Score history does play a role in minimum bid prices of your keywords. If your keyword bid prices were raised within the same campaign for a particular URL, chances are, creating a new ad group using the same ads will not lower the prices. Creating a new campaign has lowered the bids on numerous occasions.

Another Relevancy Test

If you want to determine what adcopy will be relevant enough you can use this technique. Do a search for your focus keywords in Google. Grab the url of the first or second natural listing - you'll need the exact url, not just the domain name. Use this url in your ad while you create the ad group. Enter your keywords, and then use the "Traffic Estimator" to determine what the minimum bid prices are. In nearly all of our tests, the bid prices have been very low for the top natural site listings. However, if you see that the bid prices are HIGH for the natural site listings, it may be due to your ad not being relevant enough. This is were a little "trial and error" can be used. Your adcopy must be VERY relevant to the landing page.

Our Thoughts

If you're fed up with Google and Yahoo, you have a right to be but first you should consider this. Most advertisers out there will NEVER rebound from these changes and never figure out how to achieve a high Quality Score. Don't let yourself be one of them. More strict regulations and a high importance on relevancy means that marketers with the right knowledge are going to be able to use this to their advantage.

Take what you've learned here in this tutorial and use it to YOUR advantage. Start building relevant sites for your high traffic and top converting keywords. As soon as the Google changes went into affect we found that a TON of competition has dropped off. Consequently, it is now easier to achieve higher traffic and conversions with properly assembled campaigns.

If your keywords are inactive for search, start by tweaking your adcopy, if that doesn't lower the cost, use our guidelines to create relevant landing pages. Everyone here at WA has been armed with the techniques that we've used so far to handle this change, and we'll keep everyone updated as we find new strategies. There are multiple topics in the Google Adwords forum that focus on the relevancy algorithm, so if you want to ask questions, just make a post there

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