Google AdWords and Analytics – Put a Bounce (Rate) in Your Step – Part III

How Linking These Two Applications Can Improve Your AdWords ROI

By Dave Ingalls
Digital Marketing Consultant
January 23, 2010

You’ve got your AdWords ads click through rate (CTR) up in the 5-15% range, and sometimes higher, but those clicks are not translating into either online sales and/or product inquiries.  Sound familiar?

In Parts I and II of this article, we put the pieces in place to try to better understand this situation.  If you haven’t read Parts I and II, please do so by clicking on the following links before continuing:

Google AdWords and Analytics – Put a Bounce (Rate) in Your Step (Part I)

Google AdWords and Analytics – Put a Bounce (Rate) in Your Step (Part II)

And now to pick up where we left off in Part II:

In Part III we examine the possible causes of high AdWords ad bounce rates – leading candidates include ad wording, keyword phrases used, and landing page content and wording.

AdWords Ad Wording – let’s start by looking at the AdWords ad itself, although it’s going to be important to look at how all of these elements work together to produce clicks on a specific ad.

As all of you who run AdWords ads already know, there is not a lot of text to work with in a typical ad!  25 characters, including blank spaces, in the ad title line that is also the link to the landing page, then 35 characters in each of the next 2 lines, then the Web site Home Page URL in the fourth and final line in the ad.

I think the most important point to make about AdWords ad wording is to include the most important keyword phrase in the title line if possible, and then include the words in the phrase at least one time in the second and third text lines.  If you have more than one important keyword phrase (and who doesn’t?!), then I advise you to create more tan one “Ad Group” in AdWords.  In this way, you can dedicate each ad to a specific keyword phrase.

Keyword Phrases Used – The key here is to be very specific – remember, you are not trying to maximize the number of clicks on your ad – you are trying to maximize the ROI of each of those clicks!  Two things to keep in mind – one as you select keyword phrases for a specific ad, and one to watch just after the ad starts running to better target the ad.

As you select keyword phrases, FIRST try them in Google searches to see what search results are returned for each phrase.  If the keyword phrase returns too many of the wrong search results for your product or service, try enclosing the phrase in quotes (go from a “Broad” search match to a “Phrase” search match).  If it’s still not returning the results you want, try enclosing the phrase in brackets (an “Exact” search match).  Of course, if this process does not return the desired search results, then you need to rethink the use of that keyword phrase.

After you start running your ads, check the Quality Score for each keyword phrase (I use AdWords Editor to do this – this is a great tool for editing/evaluating a number of AdWords components – check it out/download it at AdWords Editor).  The Quality Score for each keyword phrase should be 5 or higher – if not, work toward achieving that score or eliminate that version of the keyword phrase.

Landing Page Content, Wording – Now that you’ve got the RIGHT folks clicking on the AdWords ad, you better be sending them to a page on your Web site that is INSTANTLY recognized by those same folks as RELEVANT to what they were searching for in the first place. And this is probably where most Web entrepreneurs drop the ball!  Admit it – if you’ve been using AdWords for a while, you probably do a decent job with the first 2 items (AdWords ad wording and keyword search phrase selection), but it’s creating and testing killer landing pages that ALL of us drop the ball!  Too many AdWords ads point to Web site home pages or all-the-products-for-sale pages.

So roll up your sleeves and create at least one unique landing page for an AdWords ad that currently only directs AdWords ad “clickers” points to your Home page or to a multi-product purchase page.  Split the traffic between the 2 for a week and then measure the respective “conversion rates” and bounce rates of those pages.

How do you do this quickly and relatively easily.  Use the Google Website Optimizer to put together your first A/B page test – here’s a link to the Website Optimizer Quick Start Guide.