How to Create A Great Display Ad with Adwords

Ever wanted to create those display ads that are seen across Google’s content network, but don’t have an in-house designer, or just don’t want to waste the time in Photoshop or flash creating them?

Well, wait no more – Google just realeased their own Display Ad builder, which is actually not too shabby.  Now it’s not going to do anything ultra-cool, like give you the option to add a dancing lady to promote your mortgage loan (*puke*), or add video – but it DOES offer a multitude of ad template options to choose from at the start, as well as different sizes – banner, box, sidebar style….

You can watch the video below to see if it’s something you’re interested in or not-

I actually think it’s not a bad choice, if you’re currently advertising on google’s typically low performing (in my experience) content network. Anything that can improve CTRs and improve conversions is a welcome improvement.

Best of all – it’s free.

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Adwords Quality Score Update – Yea or Nay?

Well, after much bemoaning from their internet advertisers, Google has finally improved upon their “Quality Score” rating for keywords inside of Adwords.

Previously, a keyword would be labelled “inactive for search” if it didn’t meet the quality guidelines set up by Google. e.g. your ad for new sneakers includes a bid for the keyword “milkshake” – google looks at your ad, your landing page, and the landing page load time – if it doesn’t cut the mustard with their algorithm, your ad won’t show when someone types in that keyword.

Admittedly, this is an over-the-top example. Most advertisers wouldn’t waste their time including keywords that are THAT irrelevant. Where it became an issue is when someone might be selling milkshakes in their ad, and their landing page is focused on dairy products – they bid on the keyword phrase “ice cream milkshake recipes” – only to find out its’ quality rating isn’t high enough, thus the ad never appears when someone types in that keyword phrase, or you’re forced to increase your bid amount to show for those terms.

Hopefully, this new “dynamic quality score” improvement will help ease the pain-

Here’s a quick snippet from Google’s adwords blogpost announcing the update:

* Quality Score will now be more accurate because it will be calculated at the time of each search query
* Keywords will no longer be marked ‘inactive for search’
* ‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’ in your account

here’s a snapshot of what you might see now when looking through your keyword performance in your adwords campaign.

your quality score sucks. thank you, google.nice way of saying- "you ain't gettin many clicks with this"

At first glance, and probably for MANY keyword searches, it’ll be helpful in determing which ads, and keywords perform best consistently or across different content sites, but looking deeper it means advertisers will have to spend a significant more amount of time optimizing landing pages and creating more targeted campaigns for keywords that may or may not have been relevant to the end-user in the first place.

Here’s a better example – you sell fasteners on your website. Your ad for “cheap galvanized nails” with a previously active bid of $1.00 for the search term “wood connection hardware” is no longer “relevant” enough to show up on the first page of the ads, unless you modify the content of your landing page, or more likely, pay the new bid cost – which will probably be double.  (I’m not saying this is actually happening for this keyword search, but it IS happening for many of our clients in similar scenarios)

At this time, it looks like Google’s just trying to make some more cash off of its’ advertisers. And advertisers, it looks like we need to analyze what we’re charging for when managing a clients’ ad campaign.

read what google says about their recent update – google’s quality score update.

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Google’s hot new marketing helper- Ad Planner!

Yes, I know this came out a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t had a lot of time to experiment with it – work takes precedence over play!

For a while now, if you wanted to obtain demographic data for your online marketing ventures, you’d probably be using a paid subscription service or flipping over to Live’s adCenter Labs for checking out user stats for a campaign you might be running.  Since I’m cheap and hate to pay for anything I don’t have to, I can’t speak too much for the paid subscriptions that might offer up this type of information, but I can tell you my thoughts on Microsoft’s demographic tool – kind of cool, but not nearly enough info to keep me coming back time after time….plus no way to download the info without making annoying screenshots.

Keep it up though, MS, we need you to keep it competitive!

Google’s Ad Planner, still in beta- if you sign up, you might get an invite- is a different story. While it is obviously aimed at the internet marketer using text or video ads (or audio, or banner, etc…) there is still a great deal of information to grab a hold of-especially if you are looking to build links with hot internet properties.

Ad Planner ScreenShot

Without going into too many details, you start by either creating a media plan or selecting research-
you’re better off starting with media plan since that’s where you’re going to wind up eventually anyway if you want to do anything useful with the data. From there, throw in your website (if you’re looking to sell your service or product offering on the web), some competition sites from the same arena, and let ad planner start working. (see screen shot above)

Note: if your service or product is in a very “niche” market, you may not get any results-if that’s the case, choose some sites related to some broader search terms.

Once you’ve got some data, the fun starts- filter the data by selecting the demographic info that you want to focus on – only looking to sell to people making more than 6 figures- easy enough, click the box- the data will recompile according to your selection.

Want to know what kind of data Ad Planner gives out? I bet you do.

a listing of the top sites related to the sites you entered.
# page views for those sites for the last 30 days
competitive index rating
Unique Visitors
what type of ads the site supports

basically, a compact analytics report on your competition. SWEEEEEEET.

I’m still playing with it, but have already pulled some of the data for a couple of campaigns we’re working on- I’ll keep you posted on whether or not the results pay off!