Google Adwords and PPC Campaign Optimization



There are two types results that shows up in a Google Search Results Page (SERP): Pay-per-Click (PPC) and Organic Results

Organic search results are not paid. The search results are from Google’s algorithm which is based a set of variables. These variables includes the webpage’s relevant use of the keywords in their meta-tags and description, title,  headings and first paragraph. It also depends on the webpage’s history and its Google ranking.

In contrast, PPC are search results that are paid for and  top are quite different.

How does PPC work?

To get an ad slot into Google, the advertiser must bid for keywords. The price of the keywords or costs-per-click (CPC) depends on the amount of competition competing for the keyword, the click through rates (CTR), and the “Quality Score” of the ad.

“The Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad. Having a high Quality Score means that our systems think your ad, keyword, and landing page are all relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad” (Google, 2012).

How to get to the top for PPC?

Getting on top of ad slots require the advertisers to obtain the highest “Adrank”.

The Adrank is calculated as such:

Max CPC (the bid) x The Quality Score = Adrank

The higher the Adrank the higher the ad slots for the advertiser.

Why are the Quailty Scores so important?

Quality scores not only influence the Adrank it also affect the CPC.

CPC is calculated as such: Competitor’s Adrank / Your Quality Score

How to Optimize Campaigns for Google Adwords?

Organize each campaign to find out which is working and which is not. The first thing to do is to set a benchmark or average of your total PPC campaigns. By finding the average we can find out which campaign is under performing and ineffective. This way we will know which campaigns to keep, to scratch, or to adjust.

Take Rate and CPC

The first thing to look at is “take rate” and CPC.

Take rate is calculated as such: CTR x Conversion Rate (CVR)

Organize each of the campaigns into the follow quadrants in the following matrix:

If a campaign has a high CPC and a low take rate, it means that the ad is not effective and would need to be scratched.

If a campaign has a low CPC and a high take rate, it means that the ad is effective and should be kept.

If a campaign has a high CPC and a high take rate, it means that the ad is expensive but effective. Other factor such as return on ad (ROA) would need to be looked at before making a decision.

If a campaign has a low CPC and a low take rate, it means that the ad is low costing but not effective. Other factor such as return on ad (ROA) would need to be looked at before making a decision.

Conversion Rate and Click-Through Rate

Campaigns should also be compared in CVR and CTR. By looking at CVR and CTR, we will not only know which campaigns are effectives but why each campaign is not working.

The campaigns should be organized into the follow quadrants in the following matrix:

If a campaign has a high CVR and a low CTR, it means that people are buying once they click on the ad but not enough people are clicking. This means the ad is not attractive and improvement will need to be made.

If a campaign has a low CVR and a high CTR, it means that the ad is attracting alot of people to click on it but they are not buying anything once they arrive on the page. This means that the product is not selling and the webpage or copy may need work.

If a campaign has a high CVR and a CTR, it means that the ad is working. People are clicking on it and they are buying. It also means nothing needs to be changed in this campaign.

If a campaign has a low CVR and a CTR, it means that the ad is ineffective. The ad is unattractive and people are not buying when they arrived on the page. This could means that the keyword selected is wrong or that the ad is unattractive.

It is suggested that when optimizing the Adwords to always look at the ROA and profitability of each campaign. For example, a campaign can have a low CPC and high take rate but end up costing you money because of a negative ROA.


Below is an infographic from Pulp Media that shows three tips on adword optimization. This includes: creating highly targeted ad groups, doing an A/B split test, and keywords bidding.


Work Cited

Farris, P. W., Bendle, N. T., Pfeifer, P. E., & Reibstein J. (2010). Marketing Metrics. Retrieved April 18, 2012

Google (2012). Adwords Help. Retrieved April 18, 2012, from

A Debate for Cause Marketing – Yay or Nay?


Infographic from

Our class in MRKT 3311 had an interesting debate on cause marketing. The debate questions if cause marketing actually helps the social cause the company intents on supporting or it is just a scam.

First of all, what is cause marketing?

Cause marketing is a collaborative marketing effort by a for-profit company with a non-profit company for a social cause campaign. The goal of the cause marketing effort for the for-profit is usually to improve the brand image and reputation of the company while gaining more exposure to the public. At the same time, the non-profit company is also able to gain from by gaining more exposure through the marketing efforts.

The defending team made arguments for cause marketing. Their main points are summed up in the following:

  • Cause marketing is favorable to the cause of the non-profit company
  • Cause marketing helps the non-profit companies gain awareness
  • The collaborative effort allows the non-profit company have a higher budget  for marketing
  •  It is able to engage customers in cause efforts through the consumption
  • Cause marketing allows customers to be more accessible to the cause
  • 76% of consumers are more likely to buy if the brand is associated to a cause
  • 83% of customers believes business should be socially responsible

The challenge team made arguments against cause marketing. Their main points are summed up in the following:

  •  The cause marketing bandwagon has created a “cause clutter” – people don’t know which charity to support
  • Many companies are a contradiction of their own cause
  • The cause campaigns are going to people who are causing the problem
  • Many companies use cause market just to get attention but don’t attribute to the cause
  • PR tool
  • Marketing ploy for company exposure
  • For example, companies show pink to get attention but don’t donate
  • Use pink for the cause just to obtain woman consumer (breast cancer)
  • Companies only pay attention to the profitable causes
  • Profit comes first
  • Companies supports breast cancer awareness because it sells but not causes that are not as popular
  • Some companies do it for tax write off

My Two Cents on Cause Marketing:

CSR has now become an important factor of any companies operation and cause marketing is a great win/win campaign for the profit and non-profit sectors. Profit companies need to built their brand and image since “83% of customers believes business should be socially responsible” and non-profit companies need exposure for their cause. As for companies only jumping on the bandwagon only for profit reason? So be it. I believe the only way a company can be helpful to their cause is by paying attention to their own triple bottom line:  people, planet, profit.  If the company is profitable, they are going to more likely to help the cause again in the future and they are more likely to contribute more to the cause. If they are profitable, they less likely to cut work for their employees and have more funding on improving benefits and working conditions for them- people.

Charities need publicity and marketing. So even if the companies themselves do not give to money to the cause themselves,  saving the non-profit companies money on advertising is contributing to the cause. I also believe many consumers are smart enough to see the companies who are authentic to their cause from those who are not.

That being said, I do argue with the challenge team that too many companies are only supporting non-profit causes that are known to be sellers – such as the pink bandwagon of the breast cancer campaign. Many other needing non-profit companies are being over shadowed yet their causes are just as important. I would like to see for more support from companies towards other causes such as human poverty which often gets over looked even in our own city.

(Video below) A Good Example of Causes Marketing: Pepsi partners with MyShelter Foundation to help expose us to a social cause that most of us would have never heard of or knew about. The advert is subtle to the Pepsi brand from a non-marketer’s point of view and does not feel like they are trying to sell the audience their soda in anyways. The message is much focused on the inspirational story, thus making the cause marketing effort feel more authentic to the audience.

Is Traditional Media Dead?


With advancement in online, social media and mobile marketing, is traditional media becoming obsolete? By traditional we mean such marketing medium such as: magazines, TV, and radio, etc. First of all, let’s look at some stats:

Studies by IAB Canada have shown that the internet advertising revenue has been trending the most with an increase of 23% in revenue growth from just 2009-10. However, overall revenue shows that television is still the number one advertising media with newspaper not that far behind. Radio and magazine medium are still modestly at the top 5. Most importantly, television, newspaper, radio and magazine are still showing growth despite being around for ages.

So is traditional media is dead? Nope – not yet. In fact, it never went away. Really, the only thing dead about traditional media is the Yellow Pages. Honestly, who looks at those big ugly books anymore?

Are Legislations Needed To Protect Consumer Privacy against Companies?


Image from Joy of Tech

Our class made a debate on consumer privacy. The debate argues if legislations are needed for protect consumer privacy against companies and spam.

Here is a little background on why companies collect data:

  • Use for consumer insight
  • Market segment
  • Research
  • Obtain potential consumer lists

For example, companies like Facebook collects user data such as:

  • Detailed information
  • Status changes
  • Brand preferences
  • Hobbies

All these details are use for their clients who advertise on the site.

The team debating for the privacy legislation made the following arguments:

  • The legislations keep companies accountable for privacy for consumers
  • Consumer would be overwhelmed with spam such as spyware
  • Any messages send out should be under discretion of the users
  • Company sell these data to 3rd party and all over and further exposing user privacy
  • Some websites do not properly inform people of privacy settings
  • Law protects against fraud activities such as scams

The team debating against the privacy legislation made the following arguments:

  • Data mining provide important information to the companies for better advertising
  • If the advertisement is relevant to the consumers than it will not be spam
  • Relevant information thus enhances your day and is not disruptive to your life.  .
  • If the legislation blocks privacy than they would be sending out spam (irrelevant information to you)
  • Citizen should be more responsible – smarter learn about spam
  • There are already built in security from companies against spam
  • For example, Craigslist allows you flag against spam

My Two Cents:

Although citizen should be more responsible for themselves, there are many users who don’t know about the dangers online. It was brought up in class of an example of a scam which could fool even the most experience internet users (a webpage that looks identical to Paypal yet the link is not the official page). If a user was to log in from this imitation webpage, they would be giving away their password and bank information to the creator of the fake site.  Such legislation might not be able to protect consumers from such underground scams but it has certainly protected consumers from companies who have access to such consumer information and are able to spam them with unwanted mail or distribute their private information.

How Effective are Advertising Standards? A Class Debate


Our class had a debate over the effectiveness of advertising standards and censorships in its protection to the public.

The team debating the effectiveness of the advertising/censorship standards made the following arguments:

-          Certain demographics needs protection such as children, terminally ill and the elderly whom are easily influenced

-          Dangerous products and deals that is too good to be true.

-          line between the consumers and  sellers

-          Regulations make sure there is law for the marketers (accountability)

-          The standards protect the public against email marketing or SPAM

-          Needed especially for pharmaceutical products

-          Trust from people know from the process from the standards

-          No false advertising

The team debating over the effectiveness of the advertising/censorship standards made the following arguments:

-          The advertising council has only which address only 7% of complaints

-          The council does not have the authority to remove the ad (what uses can they do for protection)

-          Only protected in channels they watch

-          Hard to monitor due to the increase in technology internet on the rise (too many medium)

-          Still have drugs and alcohol advertisement on the shows themselves

-          Consumers have PVR – skipped commercials (half the ad taken out)

-          Eventually the product is the danger

My Two Cents on Advertising Standards:

The advertising council may have no authority to remove advertisement themselves but their leverage with the media gives them a tremendous amount of power. The media is capable of damaging the reputation and image of the company which many companies cannot afford or risk. A smart company would know that is it better to lose money by pulling an advertising campaign instead of having the media damage their reputation to their eventual consumers. Thus, the advertising standards do protect the public by holding companies accountable.

Improve Your Online Experience with Chrome Extensions Apps!


I have in recent times become an avid user of Google’s Chrome browser, switching away from my previous go-to brower, the Mozilla Firefox.  I grown to like Chrome’s simplisic design, its use of the Google search engine in the address box, and its intergration of apps in the browser – ex. Google’s auto-tranlate tool is already bulit in to the brower. Chrome’s extensions have now become just as abundent as Firefox’s add-ons and there are plenty of good ones.

Here are my top 5 must have extensions for Google’s Chrome:

1. LastPass

This extension protects you from spyware/malware and any sort of secruity breaches.  It is also a personal data manager and secruity stores and keep track of your passwords. A must have!

2. Adblock

The most popular extension. It simpliy prevents pop ups from unwanted sites. It has a constanatly updated list of advertiser websites in which it blocks as spam.

3. TooManyTabs

If you are a messy multi-tasker like me and have 10+ tabs opened at once, this extension will be quite useful. TooManyTabs manages your tabs so you can view them in one windows as oppose a cluster of mess near the address box.

4. Docs PDF/PowerPoint Viewer

This extension directs you to Google Docs Viewer when you click on a doc. or pdf. file. This will save you time so you won’t be have to download the files and having to open MS Word or Acrobat to view the file.  A must have for a student!

5. Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is great for taking a screenshot of the any part of the brower you want. It allows for taking a picture of the entire page without scrolling and allows you to crop any section you want.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or suggustions for extension give me a shout @HowardTseng on Twitter!

Want a Job as a Social Media Marketer? (Guest Speaker, Keith Quon)


Our class was fortunate enough to have Keith Quon as our guest speaker a couple weeks ago. Keith Quon is a social media guru who started on MySpace and now manages the social media marketing side of companies

Here are some key tips on obtaining a career as a social media specialist from Keith’s lecture:

Convert your employer

The importance of social media is not fully understood by most companies. Explain to them what you can do for them and how it “fits” with their company’s business operations. This is best done by showing them the importance of social media marketing in “measurable terms” (ROI, followers, views).

Build It and They Will Come

Start by building a profolio of your work and show what you can do. Keith recommand finding something underrepresented and build it into something. This can be brands, resturants or musicians. Be active online and develop these client’s social media account and use it as your case studies for your profolio and once you succeeded don’t forget to ask them for referrals.

Build Fan Base and Sell Yourself

Most employers will look you up online. This can be your Twitter, Linkedin, or WordPress blogs. If you are trying to obtain a job to become a social media specialist, the employer is going to want to see some evidence in terms of numbers in your social media profile. You essentially will need to brand yourself online to impress them. Keith sugguests “beefing up numbers”. This means getting as much followers and connection as possible. This involves getting a good combination of quilty followers and quantity followers.

Develop Your Writing Skills

Wiritng is the most important things in becoming a social media specialist. It good skill to develop is your “marketing copy” skills. This involves the skill to develop a “pulling” heading that will draw readers to your material.

Here are 7 tips Keith gave:

1. Get clients and build your brand and develop prospects

2. Gear towards measureables

3. Be online

4. Think different markets – international

5. Know what’s happening in social media

  • listen to tweets
  • audience drive brands

6. Pay attention to kids

  • they are a good indicators of upcoming trends

7. Sum everything up in an elevator pitch

  • create a video resume