Category Archives: Search Engine Marketing

Hidden Dangers of a High Conversion Rate

Hi Again ūüôā

Today I’d like to talk about a subtle distinction in marketing strategy which often gets obscured by the ruthless focus on increasing click through and conversion. Surprisingly, we might not always want these metrics to be as high as humanly possible.

It all comes back to what we’re trying to accomplish in our businesses in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to cultivate repeat customers, ravenous for what I’ve got to offer, eager to ascend to higher and higher value products and services, respectful of my customer service team, and interested in referring me to prospects of similar quality.

Moreover, I’m interested in developing a core FOCUS in my business. ¬†Since I can’t be everything to everyone, I want my customers to share certain core values with one another and bond to me because of them…

That way my back end development is  crystal clear and I can keep my resources focussed.  I can also  move relatively quickly to introduce higher end products and services which will please the majority of my customers, rather than becoming fragmented into segments which drain my resources and prevent the development of anything spectacular.

Getting a high CTR and Conversion rate is only useful to me to the extent it serves these ends, and actually a distraction if it does not. ¬† ¬†And because increasing these metrics beyond a certain point necessarily entails convincing more and more ambivalent people to purchase (remember–the most ravenous people in your market will buy from even poor advertising if they trust you… good advertising is about convincing less interested and more skeptical people), it’s something worth thinking about very seriously.

The point is, single-minded  focus on CTR and Conversion in the absence of STRATEGY (e.g., WHO are you trying to attract, who are you trying to repel, and why) may waste your advertising dollars on prospects who engage in TRIAL BUT NOT REPEAT.

You can also wind up attracting customers who burden your support team with complaints, threaten your merchant account with chargebacks and refunds (not something to dismiss lightly given the Visa/MC shakeup this year), and most importantly, diversify your customer base too broadly to allow you to effectively develop back ends and maximize customer value!

Now, from most of the advertising I see online, I’d say the vast majority of vendors in AdWords don’t really get this. ¬†Or perhaps they don’t care because the math works for them, at least for the moment.

But, especially in a PPC environment where auction prices continue to rise, transactional thinking just isn’t going to cut it in the long run for your business. ¬†You need to build on stone, not sand.

Let’s work through a real life example.

I have a friend who’s daughter has a debilitating condition called “Myasthenia Gravis”. ¬† ¬†When I type this into Google, the FIRST link on the left hand side is for Wikipedia, and in the very first paragraph it says “there is no known cure”. ¬† Subsequent organic links confirm this, though many offer hope of relief and cautiously optimistic treatment.

Here are two of the first page ads I see:

Now, I’m sure we could all jump in and talk about how to improve these ads, but that’s besides the point.

The point is the “Myasthenia Gravis Cure” ad is almost certainly getting a higher click through rate.

And if they’re carrying through their promise of a cure to the landing page (I didn’t review), they’re probably getting a higher conversion rate as well.

And I’ll bet you they’re making more money (a lot more) ON THE FRONT END TRIALS.

But are they building a business? Are they cultivating loyal customers? Are they producing evangelists for their products and services who will bring more high quality, loyal customers at zero cost? Do they have true back end capabilities? What about customer service problems? Merchant account issues?

If they’re promising a cure when there really is none (and then just dealing with the refunds because the math works out for them), I’d venture to say not!

In fairness, there MAY be a cure we don’t know about. The sites on the left may be wrong. ¬†Maybe this “Cure” site really DOES have something special and in that case, more power to them for getting out there with full force.

But if not, what they’ve got is a temporary income stream, not a business. They’ve got a good ad, not good customers.

If they were my client I’d actually advise them to cut their click through rate and conversion, and go with ¬†something more like the second ad instead. ¬†It might not be as strong in creating trial, and the cost per initial sale would certainly be higher… but it would fill their business with grateful, loyal customers, higher long term values… and all the other good things above.

Now, the only way YOU can do this is if you REALLY know who you’re going after in the first place. And that’s where MARKET INTELLIGENCE trumps keyword intelligence, every time.

Because if you know the unique conversation in the prospect’s mind behind each keyword search (every keyword really is a unique conversation)…

If you know with confidence which keyword conversations define your center of gravity…

Then and only then can you begin to write your ads to attract hyper-responsive customers, repel the riff raff, and keep Google happy in the process. (Remember, PPC IS A THREE WAY JOINT VENTURE… you’ve got to provide value for Google, your prospects, and yourself… if any of the three loses, the system doesn’t work)

Which is the essence of Dr. Glenn’s Golden Rule #2:

“Sell Distinct Advantages to Hyper-Responsive Customers
Using Their Emotional Buying Language… And Actively
Repel Everyone Else”

And if you’d like to have confidence that you’re doing that ¬†better than anyone else in your market, it’s definitely time for you to¬†join the club!

Hope it helps,

Dr. G ūüôā

PS – In keeping with this post, let me please say that unless you’re already operating a very profitable online business, you won’t get rich in the next few months using the hyper responsive marketing club. ¬†It’s not even within the realm of possibilities. ¬†But you WILL learn a way of strategic thinking which is different than what anyone else teaches online, and which is linked to a step by step approach which will last you a lifetime! ¬†join the club


Unusual Things Never to Do in Adwords (#1)

I know it’s been a rough year for a lot of you financially.

One of the easiest places to find money is still, believe it or not, in your AdWords account.

So I thought I’d end the year with a list of 8 unusual things never to do in AdWords, one per day.

Watch the blog, work the system, and let me know how much money you’ve saved in the comments OK?

The first unusual thing NEVER to do in adwords (if you’re following the Glenn Livingston method) is:

  • NEVER let a keyword run in the RED ZONE for Quality Score for more than 2,500 impressions (Red Zone = Quality Score of 4 or less)

Some experts will certainly argue with this, suggesting there’s no other way to pick up the impressions and profits on certain keywords, or that their sites are so wildly profitable they don’t care how inefficient their advertising is.

But here’s the thing…

When your Quality Score runs in the red zone, you not only start paying more per click, you lose impression share… fast. ¬† On top of this, you develop an account history as an advertiser who runs poor quality keywords. ¬†Although this is admittedly not the most important factor in determining your overall performance, it definitely does play a role, particularly on new campaigns and keywords as you roll them out.

What Google’s Red Zone is telling you is you’re pushing beyond the boundaries of what their algorithms think is relevant for your ad-site combination.

GLENN SAYS: ¬†Your entire Google account, other than those few adgroups and keywords you’re testing and aggressively monitoring to improve, should always run at a Quality Score of 5 or above. I’m NOT talking about an AVERAGE Quality Score, I’m saying ¬†the MINIMUM Quality Score across your entire account should be no less than 5.

What to do with those poor performing keywords?

Well, you can gripe about it, bang your head against the wall, get on the forums and talk about how unfair and tyrannical Google’s being, how ridiculous it all is, how they’re being stupid and why won’t they just take your money, etc. ¬† You could also call my Mom and ask for her sympathy (she’s really a very sweet woman).

But the bottom line is… you can’t fight City Hall. ¬†Their algorithms are the ONLY ones that count, period. ¬†And if you’ll rise to the challenge, you’ll come to think of Quality Score as your best friend (really).

Here’s how I personally handle it if the keyword is important to me. ¬†(If it’s not that important, I’ll just delete it)

  • First, I check the quality score indicator for that keyword by hovering my mouse over the little icon in the user interface next to the keyword itself in the keywords tab. ¬† If I’ve got landing page, load time, or keyword relevance problems, I’ll build another landing page system (including a few linked pages with an article or two specifically about the keyword). ¬†Note: If your quality score is below 3, you’ll probably need to call Google and have a human editor review the changes before anything will change… it won’t get picked up algorithmically
  • Usually the above is not the case however, in which case I can conclude my primary problem is CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR is 65% of Quality Score)
  • So the first prong of attack (assuming I’ve been running broad and/or phrase match) is to look in the Search Query Report for longer tail QUERY phrases which have been getting high click through… and then construct an ad using those phrases and split test it against the existing one. ¬† (Note: This almost always increases CTR… and I generally will NOT let the split test run to full statistical significance because I want to eliminate the poorer performing ad as quickly as possible to get my Quality Score up. ¬†I do NOT want to accrue any more poor quality score impressions in that adgroup than I absolutely must. ¬†Thus, the risk of¬†inadvertently¬†choosing the losing ad due to ending the test too early is much less, in my estimation, than the risk of a further downgrade in Quality Score. ¬†It certainly IS a risk however, so decide for yourself!)
  • Of course, anything and everything else you can do to split test yourself into a higher CTR for that adgroup is of paramount importance. ¬†(See Perry’s and Howie’s standard books). ¬† As a very rough rule of thumb, I find that if I can DOUBLE my click through rate, I can move a QS of 4 fairly quickly to a 6… and then once it’s run stably at that CTR level for a few thousand impressions, it starts to inch up to the 7 and 8 range. ¬†But I’m pretty sure this isn’t a linear formula… I think it’s normative, which means it depends very much on the other advertisers in that particular keyword auction, and it may have certain key threshold values.
  • If you can NOT get your click through rate high enough to get out of the red zone, but you still want the associated traffic, what you want to do next is delete the keyword itself, but install it’s “component parts” as individual adgroups. ¬† ¬†You can find the component parts in two places (1) the search query report; (2) the keyword expansion tool within the adgroup itself. ¬† Essentially, look for the high volume, longer tail related phrases (especially those getting high CTR in the search query report) , and the most related longer tail “buckets” google wants you to consider expanding to from that group (those ¬†on the top of the list in the keyword expansion tool)
  • Remember, whenever you delete a keyword from an adgroup, install it in the same adgroup as a negative

Now, here’s the REAL secret sauce no one’s talking about because it’s not at all sexy.

As keyword auctions become more and more competitive, we think what Google REALLY wants to see is entire sites devoted to those keywords. ¬† So, for example, it’s going to get harder and harder to compete for “migraine” traffic on a site about “headaches”. ¬†Eventually, you’re gonna need a site all about migraines. ¬†On the other hand, if your site IS all about migraines, the odds are pretty good Google will push you into the headache traffic on a “migraine” broad match (I hope that makes sense).

Of course, for most advertisers, developing entire sites just to hit one keyword doesn’t make ANY sense until they’ve exhausted the other means available (like the ones above, which really DO work very well and probably will continue to for a few years). ¬†But for high volume, ultra lucrative keywords which don’t respond to the above, that’s the strategy to consider.

Anyway, I’ll bet¬†¬†you’ve all got good money sitting in your account which you can pick up by the end of the year if you spend some time examining what you see above.

For the purpose of simplicity, here’s the short-short story:

  • The minimum QS across your entire account should always be 5 or greater. ¬†Don’t let keywords run in the red zone for more than 2500 impressions
  • When you’ve got an important keyword in the red zone, first check to see if you’ve got landing page, load time, or keyword relevance problems and fix them before trying other things
  • Then work on your CTR using longer tail phrases ultra-related to your problem keyword (from the search query report and/or the google keyword expansion tool in the adgroup itself), ¬†as well as all the normal means
  • Get the low performing ad out of the mix as soon as you’re reasonably certain you’ve got a better one
  • If the above doesn’t work, delete the original keyword and install new adgroups consisting of it’s “component parts” (longer tail ultra-related phrases, for example “how to stop a migraine” and “natural migraine supplements” instead of “migraine”)
  • Remember to install the deleted keyword as a negative in the original group

OK, that’s it, I hope I just bought your family a few Holiday presents ūüôā

Dr. G ūüôā

PS – As the¬†hyper-responsive club has developed, it’s evolved to include more and more about my adwords methods since these are most frequently requested by my best customers. ¬† ¬†Why not come watch me build a business step by step, and apply the cheat sheets and over my shoulder videos to your own dream? ¬†(The price is going up again on January 1st or when I reach 1,000 active members, which ever comes first) ¬†hyper-responsive club

PPS – I’ll be SPEAKING in Hawaii at Perry Marshall’s Advanced Adwords Seminar. ¬†Grab your early bird spot and come meet me there, won’t you? (Rob Sieracki, the Director of PPC at Rocket Clicks will be attending and also speaking in his own slot … truth be told, he knows way more than I do at this juncture!)

Adwords Broad Match Changes

I think most people don’t realize that the AdWords algorithms aren’t static formulas frozen in code, but more like evolving organisms in their own Darwinian environment, evolving over time as the algorithms themselves observe their own success or failure.

Please permit me a quick “Geekgasm” diversion to help you understand the mechanics behind all this (or more accurately, ¬†our perception of the mechanics) and how it affects your Adwords management efforts:

  • There are really two major branches of predictive mathematics
  • The first is more statistical and normative, and seeks to model data on specific and identifiable variables and factors. ¬†When it’s successful, it not only is able to predict what happens, but it’s able to EXPLAIN the prediction in plain English. ¬†We know not only what is likely to happen, but why it’s likely to occur.
  • The other model is called neural networking, and seeks to emulate how the human brain learns via ¬†a network of associations, strengthened or weakened according to trial and error learning. ¬†When this model succeeds, it’s often not able to explain WHY it can predict the data (just like we can’t always explain our favorite recipes beyond “a pinch of this and a pinch of that”), but it’s usually a lot more powerful in it’s predictive accuracy. ¬†(Just like your grandmother’s apple pie tastes so much better than anyone else trying to follow a strict recipe)
  • We’re pretty sure Google’s relying at least partially on neural networks and trial and error learning to model their broad match technology. ¬†(I know I would if I had literally trillions of searches and click results to use as trial and error data points)

OK, “Geekgasm” over.

The implication of all this is that the algorithm “learns” over time, and evolves in it’s maturity in much the same way a human being benefits from years of experience. ¬†We can’t say exactly how a 30 year old is different than a 20 year old, but we DO know they’re much more mature and are likely to trust them with much more unsupervised responsibility.

What this means for you as the algorithm matures is more opportunity to avail yourself of it’s power, with less risk, and less time and energy required to manage it.

Rob Sieracki ( Director of the PPC department at RocketClicks.com) wrote a blog post this week on the Ebb and Flow of Google’s Broad Match Algorithm. ¬†It’s definitely worth your attention!

All my best,

Glenn ūüôā

PS РI might be beating a dead horse, but the whole point of my (still free for the moment) Broad Match Magic technique  is to leverage the algorithm successfully and hit the soft underbelly of hyper-competitive markets like weight loss, credit repair, etc.  And to be most effective with it, you should walk through the step by step instruction in the hyper-responsive marketing club

Google Agency Land

Not many PPC marketers know about Google’s special support program for Search Marketing Agencies “Google Agency Land”. Well, guess who got featured in their video? (We’re so proud!)

(The grinning guy in green shirt is Jered Klima, from Rocket Clicks)

How to Do It Yourself | Coach with Glenn | Done For You

Negative Keyword Slides

A few months ago we delivered a killer Negative Keyword Webinar, but neglected to post the slides.  One of my coaching students made me aware of this, and some people are having trouble watching the video (just clear your cache if you are, this fixes it 90% of the time).

In any event, you can download the negative keyword slides here in PDF format.

The majority of AdWords accounts we’ve seen have been incredibly under-optimized for negative keywords.¬†¬† Most people know what they are, and have a few dozen, or perhaps a few hundred.¬† But an optimized account making good use of broad match will often have THOUSANDS of negatives which can DRAMATICALLY increase your click through rate and reduce your cost per acquisition.

And when you combine the power of¬† Rocket Clicks negative keyword strategy with the power of the hyper-responsive adwords bulls eye process, you wind up with an extraordinary Adwords campaign, both optimized and easy to manage.¬† (The bulls eye process relies heavily on identifying the 6 most important keywords in your market, then leveraging Google’s broad match algorithms to expand your traffic around this theme)

Seriously, if your Adwords spend is even $100/mo, the time you spend watching this FREE webinar and studying the slides is a total “no brainer”.¬†¬†¬† It’s one of the very few times I’m comfortable saying it’s entirely possible you’ll make money TONIGHT with this information.

All my best,

Dr. G ūüôā

How to Do It Yourself | Coach with Glenn | Done For You

Peel and Stick in the Real World

(SHORT MP3)

People tend to become very myopic about their Google accounts, and often fail to see the broader picture.

Google doesn’t work the way it does just to benefit Google.¬† They’ve developed a very granular “peel and stick” reward system because that’s the way marketing works in the real world.¬† In fact, it worked this way long before we all so easily exchanged electrons at almost-better-than-light speed.¬† (Listen to the SHORT MP3 at the bottom of this post)

Because most people don’t get this, they don’t fully leverage the REAL conversion power of peel and stick.¬†¬† Instead they thoroughly master the technical aspects of working within Adwords, but leave their Adwords copy, landing page copy, salesletters, and follow up sequences entirely too broad to take advantage of the targeted, cheaper traffic the Google machine makes possible.

Why?

Their reasoning has to do with market volume.¬† They want to ensure they can sell to high volume keywords in the market.¬† But as a result there’s no real specificity in their follow through, so the system as a whole remains dramatically less focused and effective than it really should be.

Here’s the one liner to write inside your eyelids:

“Great things happen when you CONTRACT your message, NOT when you expand it”

To make the concept more palatable, I recorded this short interview with Sharon about marketing success OFFLINE, in the real world.

I thought it might help you to see how big brands (not the big dumb ones Perry always talks about, but the SUCCESSFUL big brands who have launched effective and massively profitable campaigns via well researched and well thought out market positioning) utilize this principle when they’ve got literally BILLIONS of dollars at stake.

Because you’d think of all companies, they’d be the ones concerned about market volume, and would look to target a very broad spectrum of the market with their positioning.

But it turns out the opposite is true, at least for those really well run and successful brands.

This one really fascinated me personally…

And I have to say, after 22 years, my wife still entertains me!

I really hope you’ll listen.¬† And I don’t just mean I hope you’ll play the interview.¬†¬† I hope you’ll get the message and consider how it might apply to your market positioning, especially if you think you’ve already got this one covered.¬† (It’s only 17 minutes, so you can listen right now)

Enjoy,

Dr. Glenn ūüôā

PS РThe central goal of the first month in my Bulls Eye Marketing Club is to achieve this type of focused messaging by developing 100% confidence in a drastically reduced keyword archery target.    (We use a spreadsheet which combines considerations of search volume, bid price, relevancy, and your ideal client definition into ONE number so you can confidently compare candidates).

When you can do that, you leave the “keyword candy store” and zero in on the exact keyword conversation you need to understand better than everyone else in your market so you can begin to achieve dominance.¬†¬† Click here to join now.

PPS – Don’t really write my one liner on the inside of your eyelids please.¬† That would just be gross, and I was just saying it for effect.¬† But I won’t object if you pain it on your bedroom ceiling or your front door.

PPPS – I’d also like people who’ve already joined my Bulls Eye Marketing Club to listen to this interview, especially if you have any lingering doubts about whether you’ve chosen the right target, or if your automated-competitive-intelligence-machine from month #2 is feeding back market requests you’re not sure you can deliver on.

Your Marketing Center of Gravity

There’s one mistake I see people make more often than any other (in both Adwords and Organic SEO), which could be defined as not having a “marketing center of gravity”.

You may THINK you know what I mean, and on the surface, you probably do. ¬†But when you watch the video below, you’ll see the IMPLICATIONS are much further reaching, and in many ways the opposite of what you currently think they are.

I can’t recommend you watch this one more highly¬†(I know that’s kind of immodest, please don’t tell my Mom):

Center of Gravity Part ONE:

How to Do It Yourself | Coach with Glenn

Center of Gravity Part TWO:

How to Do It Yourself | Coach with Glenn

Google vs. Facebook – Advertising Wars

  1. There’s a LOT more advertising inventory available than what you see in Google. (Google owns search, but there are about a dozen other networks with MUCH more inventory for display advertising)
  2. You haven’t been able to get at it yet because of extremely high minimum spends (e.g. $10K to $20K/mo commitments) and because it’s much harder to target effectively …
  3. The coming war between Google (who organizes the world’s information – Web 1.0) and Facebook (who organizes and connects the world’s people – Web 2.0) really defines the differing values and changing search behavior we can expect to see in coming years…
  4. This war should open the vast traffic networks to the smaller entrepreneur (who has prepared the right tools)…
  5. To prepare for the opportunity, please listen to the free MP3 below

If you think your business might qualify for this type of advertising, please submit the paid ppc consultation request and mention this call in the comments section.¬†¬† If you’re not quite ready for our services but are interested in improving your results yourself, please click here

This interview was inspired by a recent article in Wired Magazine.

AdWords Quality Score Webinar Coming Up

I’ll make this brief. ¬†We’ve got 9 full time people in the trenches of our AdWords management department at RocketClicks.com¬†… these are people working 40 to 60 hours a week on real live accounts.

Who better to do a thorough analysis of AdWords Quality Score issues?

We’ll be recording an AdWords Quality Score Webinar shortly… but we’d like to know your toughest Quality Score issues.

Don’t hold back … and the more detailed you can be (especially with URLs for us to look at), the better job we can do. ¬†Just LEAVE COMMENTS below with your toughest AdWords Quality Score issues and we’ll do our best to answer.

Oh … and watch your inbox (or subscribe to this blog) for the announcement if you’d like to be on the Webinar LIVE (limited number accepted).

Go!

Maximum Adwords Results in Minimum Time

Here’s the first teleseminar I promised in answer to all your questions, and it addresses the general feeling of overwhelm many people have at all the details, keywords, adgroups, landing pages, and campaigns which grow out of a typical online marketing effort.¬† (More teleseminars in the making … we’ll keep going until we’ve answered all your questions!)

Overwhelmed with your adwords account? Not sure if you’re spending the right amount of time on the right campaigns, groups, keywords, and reports?¬† How do you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck?

Here’s a FREE MP3 with Jeff Hughes, my partner in RocketClicks.com … a man who spends as much as $20,000 PER DAY of his own money in an unbelievably huge Adwords account.¬† Over the course of the past 4 years, Jeff’s developed a very structured and deliberate system for managing an adwords account with leverages the 80/20 principle and ensures your best thinking is applied with priority to your most important account areas … with a precision and simplicity you’ve not heard elsewhere.

I REALLY want you to list to this one … because it can dramatically improve your results and free up your time.¬† (You’ll hear a welcome “sigh of relief” across most of my subscribers after they go through this, I’m sure)

We’ve laid out everything you need to do it yourself in this FREE MP3

Of course, if you’d like us to do it for you, just submit the Blueprint Form at Rocket Clicks today.¬† (Our waiting list is only a few weeks at present)