OK, But How Do I Make A Word Bold?

Day Two, and I'm sort of hooked on learning this AdWords thing. Thanks to you all, I've changed my mix of keywords, separated my content bids from my search bids, been on the alert for Chinese based clickfraud (thanks, China Boi….no, really….) and a lot more. But here's a…

Day Two, and I’m sort of hooked on learning this AdWords thing. Thanks to you all, I’ve changed my mix of keywords, separated my content bids from my search bids, been on the alert for Chinese based clickfraud (thanks, China Boi….no, really….) and a lot more. But here’s a puzzle I ran into (the answer is below). I am testing the keyword “blog advertising” (stay away, fraudsters, I’m not spending that much…). This is a very hotly contested keyphrase, and Google wins the auction, as its ads are at the top. Here’s a shot of the ads at the top:

Adwords 2

There are also a ton of ads on the right, and you can see that by lifting my bid a bit, I’m at the top of the heap.

Adwords 3

Cool! But that seems to tell me one thing – that not many folks are clicking on these ads – if they were, I couldn’t have jumped over all the other contenders simply by adding a few pennies to my bid (as Google calculates position based on bid price AND click through rate…). Or, maybe I could – hummm.

Anyway, here’s the real question. I noted that Google’s ads had the word “blog” bolded. AHA!, I thought. Here’s and example of the house dealing to itself! I couldn’t find any way to bold MY ads using Google’s platform. I’ve caught Google with its hand in the AdWords cookie jar!

Of course, a bit more research on the AdWords help page, and I found out this:

How do I make my ad text bold?

Your ad text will appear bold whenever it exactly matches a user’s search terms. This includes your ad title, body, or Display URL.

Ahhhh….indeed. Shoulda figured it was something like that. Time to go change my creative to match the keywords….

And keep those tips coming, folks. I’m learning a lot!

13 thoughts on “OK, But How Do I Make A Word Bold?”

  1. If the search keyword is in the ad, it will automatically be bolded. That’s why it’s good to group similar keywords together and write targeted ads that have the keyword in the headline and possibly in the description. And another great place to have the keyword is in the URL.

  2. Here is the long answer. I wrote an article about how people choose organic listings over PPC 5 to 1. Why? They know that the organic is relevant to what they are looking for. The way to create the illusion your ad is relevant is to have the keyphrase your bidding on to be in body of the ad. This will required a lot of individual ads, but it does increase clicks.

  3. John,
    Another time saving tip that may help. Use the following format for the title of your ad copy.

    {KeyWord:Blog Advertising}

    This will dynamically place whatever keyword was queried as the ad title (assuming the keyword is in your Ad Group). This in turn means your title will always be bolded. If your keyword phrase exceed 25 characters, it will default to “Blog Advertising”.

  4. John, be careful though. In some keywords, bolding has the opposite effect. If every title is bolded, people will go for the unbolded ones. Think Monster.com and the bolded listings there. It’s more money, but for some people the bolding deters them.

  5. John,

    There are a couple of other things I’d suggest.

    First, give all of your ads tracking paramters in the URLs! Now!

    From a very quick look, it seems that each of the URLs you have out there simply points to a page, but this means you can’t easily differentiate between the traffic from one word vs another. That, in turn, makes it hard to calculate ROI, etc.

    This doesn’t have to be complex – make up a parameter, then iterate it and append it to the end of the URL. For example, put ?src= at the end of each URL and just have the part be an incrementing number, i.e. ?src=0001. Associate these tracking parameters with the words in a spreadsheet.

    Second, you can have multiple pieces of creative associated with one keyword. Google will rotate these evenly until it determines that one is doing better (has higher CTR) at ehcih point it will start to favor that one. This is great for testing messaging, etc. For these, give each keyword/creative combo unique tracking parameters.

    Finally, think about campaign and adgroup structure. You can move words between campaigns, but if you have enough words, you may want to track spend and ROI for one set vs another.

  6. John, When you play with adwords and the different keyword bids you can see how unrealistic your CPM bids ($30) in FM really is…Remember search traffic is way qualified than blog traffic.

    At this moment you may sell the spots to some clueless fortune 100 company, but i doubt you can sustain this price in the long term.

  7. George – A couple of things. First, $30 is the high end of what FM ads sell for, and for that you’re getting a much larger an unit, on a specific site with specific guaranteed placement, in a specifc timeframe, with total control. And, you are part of an ongoing conversation with that site, which is not exactly how AdSense works. It’s the equivalent of a sponsorship, of sorts. In any case, $30 is far lower than the CPMs on most other professional sites like the NYT, even Yahoo (in areas like autos and travel).

  8. So you really think a little more control on ad placement (which you already have to some extent in adsense/msn adcenter) deserves a $30 CPM for semi-targetted, non-intent traffic?…

    Auto Sites are a whole different story because the US big 3’s are slowly shifting a large amount of their marketing money online but there is not enough auto releated inventory available thats the reason the CPM is skyhigh and sites like edmunds are sold out for a year. Also remember most of the users visiting those sites are in the buying mode (almost 70% of new car buyers research online before deciding).

  9. Yes, most high-end news/analysis sites out there are looking in the $80 region for a rectangle/mpu and slightly less for a Leaderboard sized creative.

  10. I always like to ‘test’ out potential keywords by thinking of every combo or related search term I can, then do like 24-48 hours worth of a test. I’ll put a totally unrelated ad (something that would be unclickable) and then put a decent dollar amount so it’ll run high. I’m sure the Adwords gods don’t this, but it works for a short test and what it would take to be #1.

    I also use Google suggest to find potential keywords and possible misspellings. Misspellings can be like $.03 or $.05 per click.

    That’s my $.02.

  11. It might be that the competition for the kinds of keywords your’re using is so keen and search traffic also so high on those terms that Google Ad Words has the minimum bids pretty well dialed in for what it takes to get your ads served AT ALL, forget about ranking. If so, then you’ll not experience what I did, which was a campaign that launched with $.05 minimum bids on some of the search terms (and zero competition for them on Ad Words) and saw them ratcheted upwards to $1.50 over the course of the following four weeks, despite a CTR of 1 – 1.5% on the terms, which according to the Ad Words folks was reasonable (low CTR is analyzed as ‘not-relevant’ and so you pay a premium for having a ‘non-relevant’ ad continue to get served).

    The combination of inexplicably upward ratcheting minimum bids, coupled with fraudulent clicks, led me to bail from the Ad Words program.

    Here’s hoping you have a more pleasant experience, and I suspect you might, given that you’re not doing something completely off the wall.

  12. You should test your ad copy. Sign up for something like BetterPPC.com, it is software that guides you through building a multivariate test for your ads.

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