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Advanced Paid Search Techniques

Advanced Paid Search Techniques
How can you best tap into long tail terms? Are there targeting techniques you’re overlooking? This session examines these and other techniques to help you get more out of paid search.



  • Danny Sullivan, Conference Co-Chair, Search Engine Strategies San Jose



Eduardo Llach:


Talking about multivariate targeting w/ Online Dating: CTR in NYC can be different than Denver. What they do is if the conversion rate is higher in one market, go deeper.


Geotargetting -uses IP address – all AOL users come from Virginia – problematic. Country mapping is 100% accurate. State mapping is 50% accuracy, City mapping is 30% accuracy. Still need nationwide if running on a state level, not to miss 50% of searchers. Large variation for basic products – different cities have different conversion rates. Income level of city is a factor.

Run a campaign nationwide, then replicate on city level – can get major difference in conversion rates from different cities.


Day of week, time – if conversion rate is higher, bid higher. If conversion rate goes up on Tuesdays, bid higher on Tuesdays. For different industries, time is a factor. Finance is busiest on Mondays.

Creative and Landing Pages. It’s all about mixing up all the variables.

Jon Kelly:

Topic: Long Tail Keywords & Geo Targetting

Shows the standard head / tails keyword search curve.  Shows example of long term word “Topeka home loan rates”. These small phrases add up. There is clearer intention, better conversion, and less competition  – which means lower bids.

Three Action Steps: Calculate click value 2) reward users choices 3) whats champaign data.

For a low volume phrase – how do you calculate probality of conversion? What’s the value if they do turn into a consumer? You need to model your market.  Geography, Product (auto insurance), and Request – rates? company? comparison? In retail maybe brand, color, and size. You need to model marketing.

Keyword bucketing: Put similar keywords in same bucket. Bad strategy because you lose some information. The right way to do it is to think of your keywords as tags – like tagged photos. Tag phrases. City phrases have poorer conversion than state conversions in his business. Figure out what a lead is worth – one way is by geography. Use tags to calculate lead value.

Reward the user’s choices: You don’t have to read minds when working with tail keywords. Give a targeted landing page for the individual query. You can still get a leg up in competitive markets if you tag keywords and create compelling landing pages.

City Phrases or Brand Phrases? City phrases are problematic because they are also brand phrases. “Tampa Bay Mortgage” is a company/brand and city modifier. Dual intent. Watch out for this.

Homynyms: “Mobile Home Loans” – also dual intent. Mobile Alabama, and mobile homes.

State phrases: In Texas the click volume was higher than Florida, and Texas is more populated? Was strange case. Turned off state targeting – then did individual markets. Problem was Houston. Traffic spikes in Houston, and conversion dips. Found it by looking at outliers and things that don’t make sense date. Geotargetting works well if you look at your data and see where conversions are low and what to do about it.

Matt VanWagner:

Talks about DKI – Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Claims: Pros – improves CTR, QS, Improves ad relevance

Cons: Loss control of add

DKI Ads Gone Wild. Searched “used fish” – you can compare used fish prices on dealtime and pricegrabber. We’ve all seen these. Sometimes the ad just said “used”.

What is DKI – at it’s core – it’s essential away to customize ads and save time.  It’s an “insert keyword here” feature. Helps the information scent in many cases. Transforms generic ads into custom ads.

How does it work? Google – “Starbucks” – if you can get it in the ad and bypass the TM – get the keyword bolded. The DKI word needs to get data from the keyword list, not just from the query. If it’s too long, defaults to another ad.

Can use all types of capilization schemes. Can violate Google’s own ad policy by making ads all caps. Like PPC is a good example – looks better than Ppc. Good example to use DKI is with caps. Good for state abbreviations. In broad match, need to make sure order of words is proper – “Red Sneakers”.

Yahoo – didn’t need DKI until Panama – called – Dynamic text. On Yahoo can’t buy plural and singular of a word. Might cause problems. Yahoo gives more leaway with casing. In Advanced match – word order is important.

DKI works best around Adgroups tightly organized – Red Sneakers, Blue Sneakers, etc. Or you have one dominant word like “camera”. Less successful in a conception campaign – like getting an emotional message. Also less successful for branding.

Final Thought: Does improve CTR – YES. QS – NO, Relevance – Yes and No.

Michael Sack:

Three strategies: Day Parting,  Hi – Lo Optimization, Portfolio.

Dayparting: Best when you have competive market conditions, limited sales windows, identifiable dempgraphic targets by time, and business capabilities – like a call center. Also patterns in conversion that suggest to daypart.

You need good analytics and ability to track keywords on hourly basis. Need the ability to plot performance against time using analytics, and ability to adjust bids based on data.

Can automate dayparting with rule based portfolios based on performance.

Hi Lo Optimization is a theory based on analysis that suggest most phases have a high performance window. Works by setting a high bid for a defined period of time, and all other times bid is set to minimum. Requires higher level of analytical capability. Looking for small windows of time to bid super agressively, and then bid normally other times.  Heatmaps can shows high impact ROI times.

Portfolio PPC management as an advanced strategy. It’s a strategy to minimize keyword management. De-risks market fluctuation, requires large groups of keywords. Treat keywords like stocks or investments. Look at cost, return, risk, performance tracking, market behavior. Keywords are an investment. You know the performance, and try to achieve goals based on results. Bidding is like playing blackjack. Question is do you take a hit on 17 or stand. And there is always someone that doesn;’t know how to play – and they play stupid. Uneducated PPC marketers change the table. Ego bidding – like being #1. Drives the CPC up. They ruin the landscape.  So we need to put keywords into portfolios – like mutual funds. You have many eggs in different baskets. Not tied to a single investment. Diversification – lets you chose tail terms – and don’t want to manage hundreds of thousands of bids. Use porfolios to bid more effectively.

[tags]SES, Search Engine Strategies, SES San Jose, Paid Search, PPC, Advanced Paid Search, portfolio theory, dayparting,   [/Tags]

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