AdWords: Relative CTR for the GDN

Google have released a new metric to your Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns that’ll help you evaluate the effectiveness of your display ads.

They call it Relative CTR and here’s the summary straight from AdWords.

"Relative CTR is a measure of how your ads are performing on the Display Network compared to other advertisers' ads that are appearing on the same websites. The value in this column is obtained by dividing your CTR by the average CTR of all advertisers on the placements where your ads are shown.

Relative CTR can help you understand campaign and ad group performance if you have little or no conversion information."

Setting it to show:
You’ll find it in the columns section under ‘competitive metrics’.
Google AdWords Relative CTR

And it’ll look something like this:
Relative CTR in the interface

What do I do now?
Go take a look at the official Google documentation on relative CTR, making sure you expand the tabs near the bottom of the article. Then have a look at your campaigns and see what needs attention. If its got a relative CTR of less than 1, then it may be time to experiment with AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE).

Thank you for reading

A/B Tests: Not sure which is performing better?

Often on low traffic sites, you’ll be waiting quite a long time for a split test to show good results. And by the time you get a decent level of numbers, will the trend have changed?

So it’s time to stop looking at just visitors and conversions and have a look at the other metrics available to you.

So, if one of your experiments is looking a little like this:
Website Optimiser Variations View

Its time to start looking at this:
Google Analytics Content Performance

So, have both open, set Analytics to the date range that matches the start/end of the experiment and start comparing performance.

Average time on page
Which page are users staying on the longest? If a variation’s time on page is significantly higher, is the content better structured, better wrote or cleaner? A higher time on page is a positive degree of engagement.

Bounce Rate
How many people came to your site, didn’t like the first thing they saw and then run out crying. This is a clear cut way of seeing which variation people marmited. A lower bounce rate meant people like what they saw, and stuck around because of that. Lower bounce rate is a positive degree of engagement.

Exit Rate
Depending on the purpose of your site, this is either a good or a bad thing.

If the experiment page is meant to be the last page people see on your site, like a page that encourages the user to click on external links, then a high exit rate might be exactly what you want.

If the experiment page needs to keep the visitor on your site, then a lower exit rate might be what you want to see.

Segment Cross Contamination
Sometimes you will need to dig deeper and further segment the visitors who partook in the experiment. Have a look and see how the following segments compare:

  • New vs Returning visitors
  • Paid vs non paid visitors
  • Direct, Referral and Search Traffic

Statistical Significance
Avinash Kaushik has a great article on applying statistical significance in A/B testing. I’d advise you to read it!

Any questions or comments, put it below!
Thank you for reading.

Adwords: Forget Position Preference, Automated Rules are the way to go!

Google announced earlier this month that they’re retiring the position preference feature in AdWords.

That leaves users who rely on position preference to seek other means of lingering around a position. But Google have made a solution ready to use called Automated Rules which can be found alongside the actionbar in the AdWords web interface.

AdWords Action Bar

Just click on automate then navigate to the action you require. Each tab has something slightly different, the campaign tab mentions changing daily budget where as the keyword tab mentions changing bids.

How to maintain ad position using rules
To maintain your ad position you’ll need to create two rules. One rule to raise the bids if a position lowers below your liking and another rule to lower bids if a position increases above your liking. You can either place the rules on an adgroup level, if all your keywords are using the default bid, or on a keyword level.

So, go into the adgroup or keyword tab, click the automate dropdown and go to ‘Change max CPC bids when…’. You’ll be then presented with:

Your given parameters to set for a rule to run at a regular interval that you set.

  • Automatic Action – This what you want to happen if parameters are met. You can have it decrease/increase the bid by a percentage or a specific value of currency. You can set an optional minimum/maximum bid, dictating that the rule should not to set a bid outside this.
  • Requirements – This is what needs to happen for your automatic action to kick in. You can add multiple requirements to tailor your rule.
  • Frequency – This is how often your rule will run and what date range to pick the data from.

Rule 1: To increase the bid to try get ads at position 3 or higher

Rule 2: To decrease the bid to try get ads at position 1.5 or lower

Questions? Leave ’em in the comments box below!

Google purchase for ยฃ37m

Today announced on their website that Google has bought them for ยฃ37.7m. Announcement below. today was sold to Google for GBP37.7 million. We think this deal is a tremendous opportunity for our company to develop new and innovative options for personal finance in the UK.

Our team is excited about becoming a part of Google. We look forward to working with their engineers to create new tools making it easier for consumers to choose the right financial products. We think we can offer more transparency and better pricing information than existing online offerings.
We are confident that by combining’s expertise in UK financial products with Google’s technology, we’ll accelerate innovation in this field, benefiting consumers and the companies offering these products. We plan to keep working with our current partners and look forward to working with new ones, too.

John Paleomylites
Managing Director

So, what would Google do with a price comparison site?
Google already compares product prices on its shopping pages, so this recent acquisition points to tighter integration with service comparison.

Will Google store your quotes in your account, helping you to manage your finances? Hopefuly we’ll see soon!

I for one have never heard of BeatThatQuote before writing this post, probably because I haven’t been annoyed by an advert that sings.

Multivariate segmentation in Google analytics

So, this is the first blog post in a long while and I’m writing it on my new HTC desire!

So, let’s get to the point. You are setting up a multivariant (or a/b) experiment using web optimization software, you also have Google analytics installed (though any analytics with event tracking will do).

To better understand how the elements you’re testing affect users you will need to place event tracking on each of variants. You will then be able to set up segments in your analytics package to see how they behave.

Because your not dummies, here’s a brief how to.
Step 1: set up your variants
Step 2: place event tracking inside script tags on each variant, it should execute on pageload of you do this
Step 3: set up an advanced segment for each of your variants
Step 4: analyse!

Example tracking parameters:
category = experiment
action = experiment name
opt_label = variation name

What to analyse?
Bounce/exit rates
Average time on page
What pages they visited next
Goal Conversion rates

Any questions? Not the nicest formatted post, but oh well!

Character limits for your title & meta description tags

Your page title & meta description are what the major search engines use on the SERPS to display each page, and optimising these tags can help clickthrough rates. People may say that the meta keywords tag is important too, but there really isn’t any point in wasting the bytes its written in.

So, try to keep your page title under 70 characters and having the meta description under 150 characters means that on the SERPS nothing will be cut short. Below is a tool that you can paste your titles & description in. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Page title (70)
Meta description (150)

Google Adwords text advert character limits

Here’s a quick javascript length validation for your Google AdWord’s adverts. The headline must be 25 characters in length, descriptions 1,2 & the display url are 35. Characters include spaces and punctuation!

But remember, even though your advert may be the right length, you still need to conform to advertising policies! Having excess punctuation, capitalisation, promotion of illegal or shady activities & repeated words can dissaprove your advert.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Google PPC Adverts
Headline (25)
Description 1 (35)
Description 2 (35)
Display URL (35)

Tracking events with Google Analytics

So, we had some hyperlinked images on one of our websites, each leading to the same page, but with a different $_GET which identifies which button this was. As far as my knowledge goes, that would have made the page duplicate (in google robot’s eyes), which then would have a minor impact on the organic page rankings.

And because organic page ranking is quite important, I thought I’d do some digging regarding to tracking hyperlinks with Google Analytics. I found lots of information regarding to tracking form buttons, flash files and allsorts but most were crowded with extra information.

The line of code that tracks this event is quite simple, and all you need to do is add it into your <a> or your <input type=’button’>

onClick=”pageTracker._trackEvent(category, action, optional_label, optional_value)”

Category in this case was the general name for the event which happened to be ‘Buttons’.
Action in this case was what they’d done, so I named it ‘Click’.
Optional_Label in this case wa a numerical indicator dependant on which button was clicked.
Optional Value I didn’t acually use, as I didn’t see any point in assigning the button a value, as each was equal as each other.

It should look something like this:
<a onclick="โ€pageTracker._trackEvent('buttons'," href="/page.htm">Link text here</a>

Sorted! Just log into your Google Analytics account, go to the website report -> Content -> Event Tracking and within a few days you’ll see some numbers ๐Ÿ™‚

Need a hand? Just post a comment!

The world of twitter!

So, I joined twitter around Christmas after hearing bits about it for the past year or so. Basicly its a blogging tool, but the letter limit is 140 charecters long, so its really a ‘microblogging’ tool. You can imagine it as the Facebook ‘status’ text, but alot cooler ๐Ÿ˜‰

Basicly, you sign up and then enter your mobile phone number (if you want sms updates), then your ready to tweet to your hearts content! Its a very simple concept, but the best thing about twitter is that you don’t have to make a huge blogpost, you get straight to the point and its very quickly ‘out there’ to those who are following you, this means that theres alot of potential for information thats flying about.

You can do the following things with twitter:

  • You can follow other people and receive their ‘tweets’
  • People can follow you and receive your ‘tweets’
  • Receive SMS updates – Though this service doesn’t seem to be available for UK phone numbers ๐Ÿ™
  • Reply to other ‘tweets’ and give your opinions
  • Search the tweets for a certain bit of text

Because of twitters simple API, there are alot of different ways to use twitter – whether thats tweeting or just reading other tweets. You can do the following to use twitter:

Twitter is becoming more popular day by day, so why not sign up and see what all the fuss is about!