Google Adwords is Not Just Cost Per Click Bidding

Most of us think of Google advertising as merely a cost per click (CPC) advertising platform. At least that is how it initially began. There are other options as it is also not only text based either. Below I will walk you through setting up the Enhanced CPC or the full blown Conversion Optimizer. You can either focus on clicks or on conversions. Therefore you can pay for clicks or pay on a cost per acquisition (CPA) basis. Here is how.

Bidding Options – Focus on Clicks

See the image below. You will see that you can set a traditional CPC budget that focuses on clicks. That is the very first option “Focus on clicks”, here is a screen shot of all the images:

adwords bidding options

Adwords Bidding Options

Here are the two major options:

  • Focus on Clicks
  • Focus on Conversions

Under the option to Focus on Clicks are two additional options:

  • The traditional “I’ll manually set my bids for clicks
  • and allowing AdWords to set your bids within your budget

There is another option you can turn on or off. This is their Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC). They will use your conversion data to optimize your bids. That assumes two things. First you have to be using the conversion code for conversion tracking. That is code that you obtain from google adwords and place on the page of your website after a conversion takes place, such as a thank you page after someone buys a product. The second assumption is that you have been using adwords for a while and the tracking code for a while so there is data for them to analyze in order to optimize your bids. Here is the definition of the ECPC.

Adwords Enhanced Cost per Click (ECPC).

Adwords Enhanced Cost per Click (ECPC).

Bidding Options – Focus on Conversions

If you choose the radio button to focus on conversions you will see these options in the image below.

Adwords Conversion Optimizer Options

Adwords Conversion Optimizer Options

The option to choose is the “Focus on conversions (Conversion Optimizer)“. There are then two options:

  • Max CPA
  • Target CPA

So you choose either the Max CPA or the Target CPA as the bid type. In the screen shot above it states a recommended bid and let’s you know about what that works out to on a CPC basis. However that is completely dependent on your adwords account, it depends on the words you are bidding on and your specific cost per conversion. Notice they recommend a bid or they let you customize a bid. There is no magic number to bid for a CPA. I would first use the conversion tracking for a while so Google has some data with which to recommend a bid for you.

Notice there are also advanced options, the blue text is a hyperlink to provide more options. I suggest you test it first by just setting your own custom bid.

Hopefully this is helpful to you, let me know if you have any questions.

AdWords and Trademarks – It May Not Be What You Think

Are you familiar with Google AdWords policy on Trademarks in advertisements placed on Google or throughout the Google network? You may think you know their policy on Trademarks, and you might, but just to be sure read on and consult Google’s policy.

Background on AdWords & Trademarks

Google AdWords
Google AdWords allows you to place an advertisement on their site or across their network. You pay when people click your advertisement, what is known as Pay Per Click (PPC). They also provide display advertising and video advertisements. Most of the advertising is text.

Instead of getting into the details of trademarks and service marks here is some reference material. In the United States there are three levels of rights to be aware of. First of all there is common law that may afford you rights in a mark through use of the mark, then there is State by state registration (more here at FindLaw), and finally federal registration of Trademarks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

AdWords and Your Trademark

adwords trademarksLet us assume your Trademark is Kleenex. You may not want anyone to be using your trademark in their advertisements for a variety of reasons. This is a common issue with advertisers that have affiliates and they tell their affiliates they cannot bid on keywords or phrases that have their trademark such as Kleenex. Many people believe you can simply tell Google not to allow others to put your trademark in their advertisement or bid on your trademark as a keyword. Then Google will not allow it. If that is what you assumed, that is not entirely correct.

From Google’s policy note the following:

Please note the regions where we will investigate ad text only. We will not disable keywords in response to a trademark complaint in these regions.

So they will investigate use of your trademark within the advertisement text however they will NOT disable the bidding of your trademark as a keyword. This means that if your trademark was Kleenex competitors of yours could bid on the keyword Kleenex. When someone searches on the word Kleenex your competitors can place an advertisement such as “Buy the best tissues around, get them here”. Here on the Google AdWords policy on Trademarks there are two links that expand. One that shows the regions that they investigate ad text only and those that they investigate ad text and keywords. Note that in the United States they only investigate ad text and not the keywords, also note that in most regions they only investigate ad text. There are probably many reasons why, one of course being the fact that the more keywords people can bid on the more money they can make and trademarks just may be a significant chunk of revenue.

Most importantly you need to understand how Google does and does not assist you with Trademark monitoring.

New Google Sitelinks

The Google sitelinks you see in search results have changed. They are much more detailed and one could argue more useful. You can read about all the benefits in a google webmaster post about the sitelinks. But before you search note you will not always see them. One way to see them for a site is to do a search on their brand or company name.

Example Search
For example I searched for a companies name, in this case it was C3 Cyber Club which is the name of the company.

google sitelinks

Notice that there are two columns of links, as before. However each link has much more information than it used to. They also provide the address. In this case I was able to map directions to them without even clicking into their site. They also provide related images. As a site owner you need to take note of how your information is being displayed as this is an opportunity to provide users with the information they seek.

PPC Bidding and Violations

If you have ever wondered why advertisers ask that you do not bid on their brand name there are multiple reasons. If you bid using Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising on search engines you may have seen a message like this:

We have seen a lot of publishers bidding on our brand name. If you are bidding on our brand name or any variation of it please pause your campaign immediately! From now on we will strictly enforce our terms. To prevent any discomfort please make sure you are not violating our program terms.

trademark violationThere may be many reasons why they prefer you do not bid on their brand name and one is due to it being a Trademark. As an owner of a trademark you do not want others using that trademark. You need to control the usage of the mark and assure that no one is trying to profit from your good will and the value you have created around that mark. The owner of the mark prefers that they, and they alone, control the advertisements that appear when their mark is searched for. This allows them to control the advertisements and the pages that are shown after an advertisement is clicked. The owner of the mark does not want their mark to be diluted or seen in a negative light for any reason. Allowing many affiliates to bid on their name and present websites as if it is the owner of the marks site, takes away the control of the content from the mark owner.

When it comes to certain services such as search engine marketing or search engine optimization you may want to consider leaving these tasks to those that specialize in the particular field. For the optimization read here about how others not only specialize but also do not charge you unless they are successful.

I have received questions about the bidding of brand names and why advertisers care, hopefully this explains it.

SES New York 2011

March 21 – 25th, 2011 at the Hilton NY
The years first SES event will be at the Hilton in New York from March 21st to the 25th. From their email about the event:

… SES is taking the lead in dissecting the new online marketing landscape and figuring out what it means for you. SES continues to be the industry’s leading forum, delivering marketers the broadest scope from which to view the industry and learn to fully integrate all the dimensions of search, taking advantage of all the possibilities.

The best prices are found here if you register prior to Jan 21st.