02 Aug

How to Use AdWords Ad Preview Tool

Without Wrecking Your CTR…..


Every time you look at your ads in a Google search you risk damaging your own Google AdWords click through rate (CTR) performance.  CTR is an important ad ranking criteria and a high CTR can your ad a rankings edge.  The previous post, Stop Damaging your AdWords CTR describes why CTR is important and how searching your own ads damages yours.

Here’s how you can see your ad without harming your CTR.

Navigate to the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool

To preview your ad you have to get to the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool.  There are two ways to get to there:

  1. Tools menu (in the top navigation) Or,
  2. Bubble in the keyword status

Here are the instructions for using both methods:

Tools Menu in the Top Navigation

From any AdWords screens go to the top navigation and click “Tools”.  From the drop down menu select “Ad Preview and Diagnosis”

Google AdWords Tools Menu to Reach Ad Preview

Bubble In the Keyword Status

This is convenient when you are already in the Keyword or Ads tab.

Choose the campaign you want. This takes you to the Ad Group screen where you will select the Ad Group you are investigating. Make sure you are on the Keywords tab.

Google AdWords Keyword Status Bubble

Find the “Status” column and hover your mouse over the “speech” bubble for any of the keywords.  The bubble opens up and shows your ad status.  At the very bottom of the bubble, click “Ad Preview & Diagnosis”.

AdWords Keyword Bubble to get you to Ad Preview

Using the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool

Once inside the Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool you will need to do three things to preview your ad:

  1. Insert your target location – Enter the specific location you want to check; a country, state / province, city, etc.
  2. Insert your target keyword you want to be found for. Alternatively, if you came from the keyword tab, your term may already be entered.
  3. Click the blue preview button

Google AdWords Ad Preview Screen - Insert location, and keyword

If your ad is showing it will appear exactly how it looks in a search results page.  If your ad has the top ranking it will be first, if it’s ranked second, it will be second and so on.

Google AdWords Ad Preview when your ad is showing on Google Search Results

If your ad is not showing the screen will have a message that it is currently not showing.  Your ad not showing could be a function of the keyword, the location, etc.  There are links provided how to investigate.

Sample screen of Google AdWords Ad Preview and Diagnosis Tool when ad is not showing in search.

Ad Preview Tool Does Not Wreck Your CTR

By using the Ad Preview tool you see exactly how your advertisement looks without having impacting your ad ranking and click through rate.  Let your competitor do keyword searches to see their own ads and drive down their CTR it helps you rank better.

26 Jul

Stop Damaging Your Own AdWords CTR?

We pay big bucks to advertise so naturally we want verification the ads are running as expected. For offline ads we pick up the newspaper to see our ad, or listen closely for our ad to play on the radio.

Boy (3-5) looking at cookie jar on kitchen counterThe Online Temptation

With online advertising it is tempting to verify our ads by doing Google searches.  If our ad appears we have the needed verification. Peaking at our own ads with a Google search can skew data and damage AdWords performance.  Here’s why:

Searching Your Ad On Google Is a Big NO NO!

Unlike offline advertising, online advertising there are statistics for everything, including how many times your ad is viewed.  When your ad is viewed it’s called an impression and an impression gets recorded every time your ad is seen, including seen by you.

Click through rate (CTR) is an important metric uses impressions and the number of times an ad is clicked.  The mathematical CTR formula is: Clicks / Impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Here’s an example; 100 people saw your ad and 20 clicked on it you would have a CTR of 20%.  If 30 people clicked on the ad, the CTR would be 30%.

How Click Through Rate (CTR) Impacts Your Ad Rank

Remember, Google only gets paid when ads are clicked, that’s why CTR is an important ad ranking criteria for them.  Google compares your CTR history against competitive advertisers to determine which ads appear at the top or bottom of their pages.  Ads with higher CTRs have a better chance of getting higher ranks and better positons.

Impressions Without Clicks Reduce CTR

When we go looking for our own ads, we have no intention of clicking on them that would cost money.  Our intent is to verify the ad is showing and perhaps how it is ranked.  Every time we seek out our own ad we trigger an impression without a click and that reduces our CTR.  Every time your ad gets an impression without a click, it negatively impacts your CTR.  Here’s an example; let’s suppose during a month your ad had 100 impressions and 20 clicks.  Your CTR is 20%.  However, during the month you peaked at your Google ten times so your CTR could have been 22% (20 clicks divided by 90 impressions) instead of 20%.

I know that 20% versus 22% doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but if your competitors are not searching their own ads, their CTR’s will be lower than yours… so you go down a couple of notches in Google’s ad rank.

Use the Simulator to Check Your Ad

Instead of searching out your ad on a live Google search and negatively impacting your CTR you can see your ad in the AdWords Preview Tool without triggering an impression.  Just follow the instructions on the next post “How to See Your Ads in Google”.

03 May

3 Amazing Things Your Site Search Data Can Do For You

This is an excerpt from the blog post Using Google Analytics’ Site Search Tracking To Your Advantage

How Site Search Data Helps You

 

Your website’s site search data captures some powerful information that you can use to:

 

  • Discover new keywords
  • Identify where your users are having navigation challenges
  • Provide new ideas for blog posts or content

Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

Discover new keywords to use for content, SEO and Adwords

Remember, when people use your site’s search function, they use the search terms that are meaningful to them. And those terms will be very similar if not identical to the ones they use in their Google searches. So make sure you’re targeting those keywords and keyword strings in your content, ads and search engine optimization tactics.

Identify where your website users are having navigation problems

If people are often searching for the same information on your site, then that information is probably hard to find. If you have content on your site that ties to the commonly searched keywords, you may need to reorganize your site to make that content easier to browse.

Get good ideas for new blog posts or content

Google Analytics’ Site Search Data tells you what people are looking for on your website. Why not give them what they want? If their search terms are relevant to the products and/or services your provide — and they likely are — why not write a blog post, develop some content or create resources that target that topic area. You’ll be demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, catering to your potential customers’ needs, and boosting your search engine ranking.