Campaign Configuration

Conversion Value Model

Conversion Value Setup For Display Campaigns

For every PPC account and display ad campaign, we create a conversion value model for each type of conversion event and (related), select a method for click attribution modeling. When a conversion occurs, the value for that conversion is distributed (“attributed”) up through the sales funnel, with weighting as defined by the click attribution model.

In our conversion value model, what we are after is the gross margin (value) that each conversion action is producing. In the case of a display campaign that advertises products, the conversion value would likely be (sales price-sales tax)*(average gross margin).

Conversion value modeling is important because it allows for calculating the two most important metrics in paid search: return on ad spend, and advertising margin. But more importantly, it provides valuable information back to the automated bidding algorithms, which use machine learning to maximize the performance of the campaign.

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search ad conversion tracking

Conversion Tracking Setup For Shopping Campaigns

For eCommerce Shopping ad campaigns, conversion tracking setup is important because it allows for calculating the two most important metrics in paid search: return on ad spend, and advertising margin.

More importantly, it provides valuable information back to the automated bidding algorithms, which uses machine learning logic to maximize the performance of the campaign.

When a Shopping campaign sends accurate conversion tracking conversion values back to the automated bidding logic, automated bidding with machine learning can deliver significant performance improvements, and greatly reduce campaign management time.

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search ad conversion tracking

Conversion Tracking Setup For Display Campaigns

Display campaigns are more likely to generate “conversion assist” clicks than final-click conversions. For this reason, click attribution is important for assessing the display campaign’s role in conversion performance.  But accurate conversion tracking is also important with display.

For this reason, we implement 100% conversion tracking coverage, whether the events being tracked are transactions, form submissions, phone calls, or other meaningful events.

We’ve found that less than half of existing campaigns have full conversion tracking implemented, and even when conversion tracking is implemented, it is more often than not lacking full coverage.

There is a reason for this – conversion tracking can be difficult to implement and test.

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search ad conversion tracking

Conversion Tracking Setup For Video Campaigns

In a video ad campaign, viewers are presented with a call-to-action that takes them to a web property where any conversions happen.

Conversion tracking setup assigns a value to each conversion event that results from a view of the associated video.

In our conversion value model, ideally, the conversion value is equal to the gross margin (value) that particular conversion action is creating.

In the case of a video campaign that advertises products, the conversion value would likely be (sales price-sales tax) * (average gross margin).

When a marketing attribution modeling is used, the value for each conversion is distributed (“attributed”) up through the sales funnel, with weighting as defined by the best click attribution model for that event.

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Negative Keyword Base

Shopping Campaign Negative Keyword Discovery

Negative keyword discovery is feature that shouldn’t be neglected when targeting a shopping ad campaign.

Negative keywords applied in a shopping campaign act as an inhibitor, or overlay on the positive targeting methods. They allow us to “shape” with a bit more more precision, who the ads serve to. For example, we might exclude certain age groups and/or income levels.

In addition to using negative keywords, it may be beneficial to exclude certain targeting audiences. “Negative” audiences frequently can improve campaign performance by making them more selective. Examples might include negative in-market audiences, interests, demographics such age, gender, income level, parental, homeownership status and other demographic information.

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Negative Keyword Base

Video Campaign Negative Keyword Discovery

Negative keyword discovery is a very useful feature that shouldn’t be neglected when setting up video discovery ad campaigns.

Negative keywords applied in a video campaign overlay and inhibit the positive audience targeting. They allow us to shape who video discovery ads, and audience-targeted inline video ads serve to with more precision.

In a video campaign, ads won’t show on videos that are related to the topic specified in each negative keyword.

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Shopping Campaign Parameters

Shopping Campaign Serving Parameters

When setting up shopping campaign serving parameters, bidding is the central issue. Manual bidding at launch is the best way to force shopping campaigns to develop serving momentum quickly.

The manual bidding period provides a baseline to optimize against going forward. It also provides confirmation that we’re bidding up to the “Benchmark” shopping bid level.

When setting up serving schedules, our scheduling preference is usually to allow the campaigns to initially run 24x7x365 Many campaigns perform well at surprising times, during days of the week and hours of the day you might not expect.

In some b2b eCommerce markets, we will run campaigns on weekdays only and perhaps not overnight. There are time zone spans to consider, for example in the US, making sure East coast campaigns stay on late enough to shop up for West coast end-of-day business traffic.

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Video Campaign Object Model Serving Parameters

Video Campaign Serving Parameters

When a new video campaign is launched, we will set and adjust bids manually for the first week or two. This is the fastest way to ramp up a campaign, andit establishes a baseline to compare with results from other types of bidding.

Manual bidding is the best way to force a new campaign to serve on YouTube, so enough data can be accumulated to nurse the campaigns onto automated bidding.

Video campaigns allow Sitelink ad extensions which tend to perform very well so we configure those. We also like the new Lead Form extensions. In a video campaign Google can auto-fill most of the fields.

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Display Campaign Serving Parameters

Display Campaign Serving Parameters

When setting up display campaign serving parameters, our preference is usually to allow the campaigns to initially run 24x7x365. We can then use that data to optimize the campaign schedule, as we have measured what times and days of the week are most effective.

In some b2b markets, we will run campaigns on weekdays only and perhaps not overnight. There are some common mistakes to avoid, for example in the US making sure East coast campaigns stay on late enough to shop up for West coast end-of-day business traffic.

The reason for running campaigns (at least initially) 24×7 is that many campaigns perform well at surprising times – days of the week, and hours of the day you would not expect.

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search ad conversion tracking

Set Up Search Ad Conversion Tracking

We at times go to great lengths to set up search ad conversion tracking with 100% coverage of all conversion events. Full coverage of all types of conversions is crucial to each search campaign’s success. The majority of search campaigns that we rebuild, initially do not have accurate search ad conversion tracking in place. It can be difficult to configure

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Audience Targeting Method

Configure Display Campaign Audiences

Display campaign audiences are the primary means for targeting display campaigns.

There are scores strategies for selecting display campaign audiences to fit the market targeted. The general idea is to understand the demographics, persona, and behavior of the customer; then to find or create audiences that match those characteristics.

In addition to positive targeting, it may also be beneficial to exclude certain audiences. These “negative audiences” can be used to shape the targeting to improve campaign performance.

Types of targeting available include direct website placements by specifying URLs, so-called  “in-market” audiences (behaviors indicating shorter-term buying interest), persistent interests known as “affinity” audiences, customer list audiences, and demographics audiences which might include age, gender, income level, homeownership, and parental status.

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Audience Targeting Method

Search Campaign Audience Configuration

Audience targeting applied in a search campaign acts as an overlay on keyword matching. It allows “shaping” who the ads serve to. For example, we might exclude certain age groups or income levels.

In search ad campaigns we can also use remarketing lists as search audiences. This is known as ‘RLSA’, short for “Remarketing Lists for Search Ads”. RLSA facilitates serving different search ads to those visitors who showed engagement in previous searches. RLSA allows the advertiser to follow a user as they navigate their sales funnel journey to a conversion. Not just through display remarketing, but on search engine result pages as well.

Search campaign audience configuration is an important capability that shouldn’t be neglected.

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Audience Targeting Method

Video Campaign Audience Configuration

Video campaign targeting is best done as an experimental process. Ads can be targeted to show on specific channels, or in front of & within specific videos.  Video campaign audience configuration is also a useful form of targeting. Depending upon the market targeted by the products in the shopping campaigns, we may both include, and exclude certain audiences. We utilize both “Targeting” and “Observational” audiences and bid adjustments.

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Search Campaign Parameters

Configure Search Campaign Serving Parameters

Ad Spend: Search campaigns may fall victim to the “digital cliff” phenomena as seen in telecommunications and economics. As a rule of thumb, a search campaign should be purchasing at least 15 to 20 clicks daily.

Geo Targeting: Controls the relationship(s) between search query and ad serving locations.

Bidding: Influences when a campaign participates in an ad auction, rank at ad auction, and which search engine result pages the ads appear on.

Campaign Serving Schedule: We set most b2c search campaigns to serve 24x7x365. We later use this baseline data to optimize the serving schedule.

Ad Rotation: For faster optimization, we launch most new search campaigns with 2 extended text ads (ETAs) rotating evenly. Later we phase in responsive search ads (RSAs).

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search ad conversion tracking

Search Campaign Conversion Tracking Setup

Search campaign conversion tracking is crucial to success. PPC conversions are meaningful events including sales transactions, form fill submissions, phone calls, and other meaningful actions.

PPC campaign conversion tracking provides visibility into campaign performance. But the more important benefit to advertisers results from the conversion metadata being fed back into the campaign’s machine learning algorithm. The conversion metadata becomes the fuel for automated bidding.

When properly configured and optimized, machine learning will lift most campaigns to higher levels of performance.

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