John Maher: Hi. I’m John Maher, and this is “Digital Marketing Madness.” This podcast is brought to you by McDougall Interactive. We’re an Internet marketing agency in Massachusetts. Today my guest is Bob Rustici, Director of Paid Search. Our topic is, “PPC Strategies – Integrating Relevancy into PPC.” Welcome, Bob.
Bob Rustici: Hi, John. How are you doing?
John: Good. Bob in a previous podcast we discussed landing pages for Paid Search, and a little bit about the conversion trinity. Maybe you could give us a quick reminder on what the conversion trinity is.
The Conversion Trinity
Bob: Sure. There are three parts to the conversion trinity, because it’s a trinity.
John: There you go.
Bob: Relevance, Value, and Call to action. Today I want to just talk a little bit more about Relevance, and how you actually apply relevance to your landing pages in your ads, and PPC.
Creating Highly Relevant Ads – Follow The Scent
John: How do you make a highly relevant ad, based on the conversion trinity concept?
Bob: The first thing is…one of the things is, you have to pick the right keywords to be relevant. As you do your keyword research, you look at the keywords that you’re selecting, and then you think about it and say, “OK. Am I going to follow the scent with those keywords?”
John: What do you mean by that?
Bob: It’s like a dog that’s hunting. They have a sniff, they sniff it out, and they say, “OK. Let’s go after the pheasant.” If you’ve selected words that are pheasant, don’t show a duck because you’re really trying just to keep through the scent there.
People — not that we’re all like dogs, but we seem to go down that path very diligently in that thing. Actually a very good example is the Dynamic Keyword Insertion tool that Google provides.
John: That’s where you can automatically put in the text of your ad, the keyword that somebody searched for.
Bob: I’m not a personal fan of it, but it does increase the click through rate. That’s because people would search a certain term, and they would see the same term and say, “That ad must be relevant to me.”
John: Sometimes like you said with the Dynamic Keyword Insertion, sometimes you’ll click that ad because you think it’s relevant, but then you’ll end up on a landing page that’s not really relevant at all…
Bob: Which is negative…
John: …and then you’ve lost the scent. That’s what you’re getting at.
Bob: That’s why I’m not a really big fan of Dynamic Keyword Insertion. I actually prefer to just handcraft it.
John: To do that manually.
Bob: The concept is very solid. That’s the first thing. You want to make sure you get the right terms that are relevant to what you’re talking about in the ad. That reinforcement that you’re on the right track, is what you start going for. How do you know what are the right terms, and the right relevancy? That does come with some experience.
I always call that the secret search decoder ring you pull out and say, “What are people searching for in these terms?” One of the best ways to try to figure that is, just go back and do a search. I usually open up a Chrome browser “incognito”, just to start from scratch, and put out the search term and I say, “If I was searching by this term, what are the other search results?”
Google is always trying to refine their search results, to be highly relevant. They’re going to give you a tip of the hat of like, “These are their terms.” If you see shopping listings from those terms, or if you see Wikipedia listings coming up, you’ll have an indication of what mindset that person is in, in terms of that term they’re searching with.
John: Just to go back a step too, you mentioned the incognito browser in Google Chrome. What does that do for you?
Bob: That basically says, “Search without any of my prior history.”
John: It takes away all the cookie information that’s stored on your browser.
Bob: All the cookie information. It starts you back on a clean search, so to speak.
John: Otherwise you might be being shown very personalized search results. If you want to be searching as if you’re somebody outside of your company looking, then using the incognito browser is a good way to do that.
Bob: It gets you back to the basics, so to speak. That’s like one of the first things you start doing, to get there.
Tips and Tricks for Writing A Highly Relevant Ad
John: What are the tricks and tips on writing a highly relevant ad, or a landing page copy?
Bob: If you go back to that conversion trinity, one of the things that it says, “How relevant are my wants, needs, and desires associated to the search keyword, and have I maintained the scent?” First thing you start looking for is needs vs. wants.
This is one of those things — it’s back to the basics of marketing. Am I really expressing a need, or am I expressing a want? I’ll give you an example. Free shipping is a great benefit in e‑Commerce. Everybody wants it, but is it really a need? Do you need free shipping?
Yes, you save money, and that kind of thing. But when you’re looking for something, you’re actually saying I may want. Instead my need is, I’m looking for a higher selection of choices of items, I’m looking for better customer service. Those become more of a need based desire.
So when you compose your ad — and this is where it gets really tricky, because the ad doesn’t have a lot of space in there — you can just put free shipping at times. That’ll actually do very well, because that’s something that everybody wants.
John: It’s a buzz word. It’s what people are looking for.
Bob: Everybody wants it. They want to save money, and that’s something. Does that really separate you from your competitors at times? Maybe it’s that they found that there’s been a lot of high frustration. Like I’ve got a pest client right now, and some people are tapping into the whole organic concept of pest control.
It’s a very competitive area. You may pay more for organic, but it’s a need. Where’s that need coming from? They’re worried about their dog running around the yard, picking up pesticides. That’s where it becomes more of a need. They maybe will even pay more for it. They’re OK with that.
You really have to dig into it a little bit and say, “What’s the separation from needs and wants?” That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write an ad that doesn’t have any wants in there, because that sometimes it can be, like free shipping, very valuable to doing that.
There’s a little bit of psychology in this, and test and measure and see if it actually works, and try out different things.
It’s Not About You
John: What else?
Bob: When you do write your ads to be relevant, often the mistake of a lot of people is they write the ads from the perspective of their business. Their business is not relevant to the person searching you. They have their own needs. Try to look at your ad and say, “Am I saying me, me, me, me?” It’s not about you, it’s about them.
John: Right, so you want your ads to be a little bit more geared toward, how are you going to solve their problem? When somebody does a search, ultimately they’re searching because they have some problem that they need the answer to, whether it’s a question they want answered, or whether it’s a product or a service that they need as an answer to their problem that they have.
They’ve got some problem, and you want to be the answer to that problem. If you’re just saying, “I’m this. I’m this,” or, “Our company does this, our company does that,” you’re really not presenting it in that way of, “We’re here to solve your problem.”
Bob: Yeah, and naturally you say, “I’ve got 50 years of experience in this. That should matter to those people.” That might not matter to them. If you say, “Actually I’ve got a lot of expertise in all types of pests, in New England,” they might say, “That does matter, because I’m looking for someone that can identify the problems here, and do a higher level.”
So you can talk about yourself as a need or a want that they would be interested in, but it really should be from their perspective.
John: Solving some problem.
Bob: Solving a problem for them. Try to avoid that, “It’s just me, me, me,” and turn it around and say, “You may need these things, to make life better for you.”
John: Why spend the time and effort, in writing highly relevant ads? It seems like it might take a long time?
Bob: It does. It’s a very challenging exercise. When you look at your ads, you have a very limited space. It’s really hard to express a lot of that, through the ads.
If you go back and you get the right terms, and you find terms that are relevant to what you’re saying in the ad copy, and you start qualifying them through the landing experience, what you’ve done is you’ve started to already work in on the sales process.
That’s something that a lot of times marketers don’t think about, is they don’t necessarily think about how to sell. They often leave it for the sales organization inside their company and say, “Well that’s their problem.” You start warming up to the close. And the other thing is you start thinking of the journey too, as part of that process.
You may not get a sale, from that first search. It may have to be what we call, “Top of funnel” activity, where it could be an e‑book or something where you’re just trying to build confidence, that you’re the right person to be dealing with. So you really have to look at the limited space there.
I think ad rotation is also one of those things that really helps this because in some ways, this is not necessarily — you’re not going to hit a home run, when you get up to the plate. You’re going to have to figure out, “Does this message resonate or not?” Ad rotation is the way to start figuring out, “If I make this ad, is it more relevant than the other ad?”
Does free shipping work, or does it not work?
John: When we say ad rotation, we’re talking about writing several different versions of the ad that’s going to run for a particular keyword, and then allowing those ads to rotate.
Bob: Rotate around.
John: So if you have three ads, and a third of the time this ad displays, a third of the time this other one displays, et cetera, and then you’re going to know from the statistics that you can see in Google Adwords, which one is getting a better click through rate, and you might even be able to see that’s not always the same as the one that’s getting the conversions as well.
You want to be looking at both of those things.
Bob: You always view it as, every time they click on your ad it’s a vote of interest, a vote of confidence. That’s exactly what’s resonating with them. If you’re in very very high volume areas, you can really use a lot more science in this part of the process to figure out, “I’m I getting much more relevant ads, that are resonating with people?”
Ad rotation can be a wonderful way to test that out. The good thing when you start figuring that out is, then when you come out with winners from your ads, you can start saying, “Maybe now it’s time for me to start crafting better ad copy, that lines up to that.”
John: Right, and then going back to the time consuming part of that is, really you want to be writing all of these different versions of your ad and testing them, for all of the different ad groups that you’ve done for your campaign, sometimes even individual keywords, or small groups of keywords within those as well.
That’s what can be really time consuming. When you’ve really, truly gone down this relevancy path, you’re breaking out your campaign into many many different ad groups by topic, and then crafting all of these different ads to go with those different ad groups. There’s a lot there.
Bob: There’s a lot there. I even like to think about writing relevant ads, to test on your brand ads, just because that’s an interesting way — very often you may say that, “We provide great customer service,” or is it “great selection”? Something as simple as just running two ads, and test it against that and see, what is it people are associating you with, and feeling compelled to?
Again, every time they click, it’s a vote of confidence. We use that as an opportunity to test out if my theory is actually going to work, or not work here.
Landing Page Copy and A/B Testing
John: Right. And then what about that next step of the landing page copy?
Bob: Once you’ve got a lot of that history developed through ad rotation, you can start looking at that and applying some of those principles in your ad copy for the landing pages, and then you can start developing your landing pages.
Of course when you get the landing pages, if you use some various tools that we use like Unbounce, you can start to do AB testing to see, “Does this ad copy work this way, or that way?” Writing an ad copy for relevancy, again you follow the scent. It can be a whole new science into just making sure the personalization is there, and that stuff and how you do that.
The opportunity to start doing AB testing is a great way to validate if you’re going to make the landing pages there.
John: We’ll be talking a little bit more about landing pages, and landing page copy in our next podcast, when we talk about highlighting the value in PPC ads, and landing page copy. We’ll talk more then.
Thanks again for speaking with me Bob.
John: For more information about digital marketing, visit mcdougallinteractive.com, and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes. Thanks for listening. I’m John Maher. See you next time, on Digital Marketing Madness.