You can’t add dynamic text to your ad until you’ve finished creating your campaign or ad group – adCenter Problem

I am in the process of setting up a new pay-per-click campaign on Microsoft adCenter to run my ads on Bing & Yahoo. However, when I was creating a new text ad, I was alarmed by this error message:

“You can’t add dynamic text to your ad until you’ve finished creating your campaign or ad group.”

So I had to delete the dynamic keyword insertion parameters in order to save and activate my campaign. As soon as I pressed Save, I went back and edited the Destination URL in my text ad to include dynamic text to capture the keyword data in my analytics software. It’s not a huge problem, just a little annoying and frankly I think it’s completely unnecessary. I mean, if you think about it, they had to actively program the software to block this functionality in order to serve this error message, which makes no sense to me whatsoever!

Ecommerce Pay Per Click Strategy with Google AdWords for Online Retail Websites

Ecommerce Pay Per Click Strategy with Google AdWords for Online Retail Websites

We recently picked up a large ecommerce client who needed help with search engine optimization, pay per click management in Google AdWords, and conversion rate optimization. We have worked on other ecommerce websites in the past and have had success, but this new client is a nationally known retail company so the pressure is on us to produce results quickly. We’ve already seen some results in the little time we’ve worked on their site thus far, but we obviously want to kick ass right out of the gate.

One of their biggest challenges was running a Google AdWords Pay Per Click campaign. They previously had been running it in house and were essentially flying blind. So I went in and immediately created new AdWords campaigns specifically targeting only the keywords that are most relevant to their products.

Here are some tips for managing a large Google AdWords pay per click account for an ecommerce client:

1. Create new campaigns for each specific product category – If your website sells musical instruments, create a campaign for electric guitars and then another campaign for harmonicas. Do not just create one campaign and then create a new Ad Group for each product category. This is critical because Google AdWords allows you to add Ad Extensions at the campaign level. This means if your ad for electric guitars has the ad extensions for harmonicas, then the relevancy is completely out of whack. If you set up a new campaign for each product category, then you’re good to go.

2. Use [exact match] keywords at the beginning of a new campaign – This allows you to have complete control over the keywords your ad shows up for. If you find the search volume is not there, then you can also add “phrase match” keywords BUT YOU MUST KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE ACTUAL QUERIES and then add the irrelevant keywords as negative keywords. Never, ever use broad match unless you want to waste your money.

3. Use negative match keywords if you are using “phrase match” keywords – This is absolutely critical. If I found that a client that sells yachts was getting a ton of clicks for the phrase match keyword “50 foot yacht”, then I would I would immediately make sure to add the negative keywords such as “renting” or “leasing” since those visits are obviously not looking to buy.

4. Use Ad Extensions – I mentioned this above, but Google AdWords now allows you to add product links under your AdWords ad. These are highly effective and increase the real estate of your ad. Here’s how we would set up an ad extension for electric guitars:

“$599 White Electric Guitar” – destination URL goes specifically to that product’s landing page
“$785 Diamond Electric Guitar” – destination URL goes specifically to that product’s landing page

5. Send visitors directly to landing page that is relevant to their search – oftentimes, ecommerce websites are broken out into product category pages and individual product pages. If somebody is searching for electric guitars, make sure the destination URL is the category page for electric guitars, not just all guitars, or all musical instruments, or god forbid, the homepage!

6. Use Google Analytics and Google AdWords conversion tracking – if you are running an ecommerce website and using Google AdWords or other pay per click network, then you are probably already aware of what conversion tracking is. Google Analytics can automatically track ecommerce transactions and capture the value of each completed sale, which is extremely helpful. If you are not using any kind of analytics or conversion tracking, then you are likely missing out on tons of valuable data.

Gotta run now but I’ll add onto this list later!

Tracking Yahoo & Bing AdCenter Pay-Per-Click Clicks in Google Analytics

Yahoo and Bing have finally finished the transition of moving all Yahoo! Search Marketing pay-per-click accounts over to Bing’s AdCenter platform. So now if you want to buy PPC ads on Yahoo or Bing, you have to sign up for a Bing AdCenter account and you have to advertise on BOTH Yahoo and Bing whether you want to or not, which kinda sucks. And not only does Bing power Yahoo’s PPC listings, they also power the organic listings. So essentially Yahoo & Bing are now the same search engine with different interfaces and functionality.

However, even though the two PPC networks combined forces, it appears there is no way to track visitors who clicked on an ad in Yahoo and visitors who clicked on the same ad in Bing in Google Analytics. This is going to be a problem that needs to be resolved quickly. Even though there is no way to advertise ONLY on Yahoo, I still want to know stuff like if the quality of the traffic from Yahoo is absolutely terrible while the quality of the traffic from Bing is decent so I can evaluate my options. Ideally, I would like to be able to use tracking URLs such as the following:

For all Bing ads:

http://d0x.com/landing-page.php?medium=ppc&source=bing&keyword=query

For all Yahoo ads:

http://d0x.com/landing-page.php?medium=ppc&source=yahoo&keyword=query

However, as it currently stands, there is absolutely no way to segment specific ads, keywords, destination URLs for Yahoo & Bing, and what I think is even more important, there is no way to segment the visitors to track them in Google Analytics. I was happy with the performance of my Bing PPC campaigns but it remains to be seen if the merger ends up drastically changing the performance. If it does, I’ll just pour more money into Google AdWords since their platform is 100x better anyway… not to mention, Google has twice as much traffic as Bing & Yahoo combined!