EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2906 - October 04, 2012     3 of 3

Three Simple Rules for Enhancing Your Google AdWords Campaigns

By David A. Utter

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Ah, procrastination. There's seemingly no more rewarding activity than putting off until tomorrow what you really ought to be doing right now.

Unfortunately the calendar keeps marching into the valuable holiday retail season, and for ecommerce professionals that means making the most of every possible resource in order to convert online visitors into buyers.

Savvy professionals and online sales newcomers alike probably use or at least know the king of contextual advertising - Google AdWords. It's a multi-billion dollar cash generator for the ubiquitous search engine, one that online sellers consider at minimum when venturing into paid search advertising.

There's another tool from the company, Google Analytics, that offers a suite of functionality for measuring one's site statistics. On the Inside AdWords blog, Google's Dan Friedman disclosed some new integration between Google's AdWords and Analytics.

Online sellers can setup AdWords and have it import data from Google Analytics. This gives access to valuable data like Bounce Rate, Pages Per Visit, and Average Visit Duration, all within AdWords.

Friedman suggested a few ways in which this data benefits the AdWords buyer. First, identify ad groups with high Average Visit Duration or Pages Per Visit. These signal a higher level of engagement. This indicator may mean those ad groups should receive more of one's ad budget.

Pages with high engagement but low conversion present an online selling opportunity. Here, a promotional offer or even a stronger call to action may boost those conversions.

But if Average Visit Durations are low and Bounce Rates are high for a destination page, this should set off warning signs. Friedman offered suggestions to filter and monitor for low conversions and engagement. He also identified this type of page a good candidate for A/B testing, something that can be set up through (surprise!) Google Analytics via a Content Experiment.

Let's face it, everyone in ecommerce feels crunched for time this season. Working with data and analytics may not feel as urgent as other online selling needs.

But the rewards could be better this year than in prior years of what has been a diminished economy. The 14th quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggested Americans are feeling some optimism about "getting ahead." Nearly half (48%) of Americans say they have more opportunity to get ahead than their parents did, and 73% say they expect to reach financial security and comfort in their lifetimes, according to a statement about the poll.

Maybe they'll be ready to make a few online purchases along the way. Be sure they can find you when they are prepared to do so.

About the Author
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. Find him on LinkedIn.


About the author:

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. Send your tips to media@davidautter.com and find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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