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Cant seem to increase my traffic!!?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi all,


This is my 1st post and ive found many helpful threads on here but hopefully someone can assist me a bit more specifically.


Im trying to increase my daily clicks yet no matter what method i use it just doesnt appear to work.  Im currently averaging position 4.2 daily and getting c 1200 clicks a day which is fine and the return is healthy however im trying to get double the numbers.  My budget is £1500 a day and im struggling to spend past £650.  My quality score averages 9/10.  


All my keywords are on broad as this works for me; casting a wide net in my industry (finance) generally captures 80% of still relevant traffic, so i increased my max cpc upto 50%.  All this achieved was roughly the same amount of clicks at position 4 again but at a higher cost, so i paid more money for the same traffic.


Next i increased my keyword list to include variations of the big hitters (received conflicting info here as i was advised that as i'm in broad match already this wouldn't be required, i.e BM KW could be Red Shoes but i would add Shiny Red Shoes, Sparkly Red Shoes etc to my list) and despite being told it would conflict i actually got more clicks, taking my spend up from £500 to £650 a day.  Great! So I carried this on and added loads more keywords in the same way and not only did that NOT work, when i removed them, the keywords that were working fine started under performing!!


So in a nutshell, increasing cpc only cost me more for the same vol clicks and therefore reduced my profit, and modifying the keyword list up and down seems to have hindered me too.  Ive tried SKAG's, Exact match and Broad match in an ad group and updated my negative keyword list.  I switched to Accelerated delivery and Maximize clicks and all of it just doesnt seem to make a difference.


What im trying to do is get upto 2000/3000 clicks a day all the while retaining a similar margin like a i do in position 4 but i just cannot find a way to adequately do this, 


I hope ive explained myself clearly enough and maybe someone can shed some light on my situation.  


Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Cant seem to increase my traffic!!?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Kevin A great question.


Firstly, increasing CPC will get you more clicks; at position #4 you're down the bottom of the page quite a lot of the time and increasing your CPC until you're consistently showing at the top of the page will increase your clicks, partly through visibility and partly through CTR increases.  Why didn't you see an increase when you upped your CPCs before?  Hard to say, but it's possible the increase wasn't enough, depending upon your competition.  As you probably know, the bidding process works such that you only have to pay 1p more than the next Ad below you, but strange things can happen if you have a very wide range of Max CPCs in the auction.  For example, if the bidder who's at #1 is using a Max CPC of £20, the #2 guy £19, the #3 guy, £18, you £8 and #5 £7, you could double your CPC and still be in the #4 position.  Financial clicks tend to be very expensive and I'd suggest they're more likely to suffer from this sort of CPC spread than CPCs way down in the single figures.  Have you analysed your Auction Insights to see how you compare to competition?


So what can you do if a huge increase in CPC is either not working, or not desirable?  I'd be looking closely at the individual targets where you get more clicks.  I'm assuming you're in the UK given the £ figures, so I'd be looking at things like location targeting, device modifiers and scheduling.  How have you organised your location target(s)?  Are you just using the whole of the UK?  If so, I'd strongly recommend splitting this up into individual counties so you can bid more aggressively where CTR is higher.  The same applies to devices, if you're not adjusting your bids for desktop, mobile and tablet, you should be.  Scheduling is more difficult because it's hard to know which clicks lead to second/third clicks that then convert, but if you can identify key hours of the day, days of the week with low CTRs, you can reduce bidding at those times "saving" the bid amounts to increase at other times.


Being a big script monkey, I'd look to put together a script to analyse this situation and adjust bidding dynamically.  A script would allow you more direct control than the bidding strategies such as Maximise Clicks as you can actually see what's going on and tweak to your requirements.


Note that "Accelerated Delivery" has no impact on impressions or clicks where the budget is not being exhausted; it only changes things if the budget is limited and runs out during the day, so it's expected behaviour that using this setting made no difference in your case.


I'd also look to use more Phrase and Exact match Keywords.  Yes, Broad keywords technically have the widest possible match against search terms, but they can suffer from poor relevancy, which might be reducing your Quality Score substantially and wasting clicks.  The QS shown in your Account is no more than an indicator of your QS and doesn't mean all your auctions have a 9/10 QS.  Using tighter match Keywords should allow for greater relevancy, which should increase CTR and possibly retain decent CPCs if the QS is consistently high for each auction.  What sort of CTRs are you seeing at the moment?


So, simply put, I'd be looking to tighten the focus on particular targets that return a high CTR and conversion rate/ROAS.  To ensure you spend as much as you can (profitably!) this may even mean ending up with separate Campaigns for each county (probably lumping smaller ones together).

Hope this helps!



AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Cant seem to increase my traffic!!?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hey @Jon_Gritton!


Firstly thanks for taking the time to write that beast of a reply with all the info, very informative!


To answer some of your questions, i found that increasing the cpc did provide more clicks but not anymore than i have achieved at the normal cpc offer.  For example, i have achieved on previous days the same amount of clicks at 50p than i did at £1, therefore increasing was pointless, but as you say if the guy above me is 3 or 4x my bid im just going to pay more for the same traffic.  Is there a way to find out what their bids are?  Is it possible to climb to position 3 at the current bid but via increased keyword and CTR improvements?


I have looked at location targeting, but not really implemented it as ive not fully wrapped my head round how it can benefit, i just saw it as another way of paying more for the same traffic again.  So if i increase my bids in the higher performing areas and lower where necessary, this could improve my ad position for searches in those territories, i.e Nationwide im position 4 but to people searching out of London im position 2 or 3?  Same for mobile i guess?


As of today ive been using my search term report more aggressively, changing any keywords that are currently BM to EM and adding EM negatives in the BM version ad group.  Of the new keywords learned from the Search Term report, how best should i determine which get added as EM and which should just stay as BM?  In theory everything in my search term report could be exact as that's what they've typed, so what would you suggest as a boundary to say, 'that can be added as Exact match but this one can be added as just Broad for now?'  


CTR's at the moment average 6.7%.  I have lots of keywords that say my cpc is below 1st page bid yet the position is 4, page 1, so how does that work?


Many Thanks 






Re: Cant seem to increase my traffic!!?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi @Kevin A I'll try to answer all your questions!


#1 - CPCs and clicks.  One of the toughest things about AdWords is that nothing is static, especially in high competition verticals.  It's extremely difficult to make informed decisions about many aspects because the competition shifts around; Campaigns start and finish, bids and budgets change, Keywords and Ads change constantly.  To use a simple example, the day you got more clicks at 50p than at £1 could have been simply because a major competitor wasn't advertising that day, or changed their targeting.  Unfortunately, there's no way to know what the Max CPCs are of your competitors, however, there are a couple of useful columns you can add to your display (if you're not already using them) - Search Imp. Share and Search Lost IS (Rank), these can give you a good idea of what your potential impression share is and the reasons you're not meeting it.  Obviously, as long as your CTR remains roughly the same, more impressions (share) means more clicks...


#2 - Location targeting is hugely important, and one of the most overlooked aspects of AdWords.  You'd be amazed at how much CPCs, CTRs and conversion rates vary across even a comparatively small country like the UK.  Splitting your location targeting down into smaller areas allows you to focus your efforts and make changes that are appropriate only to those smaller regions.  This can even include Keywords themselves; one of my clients has Keywords that work in one State (in the US) and not at all in another, for example.  Ads may also need to be regional.  As a simple example, if you could make changes that doubled your CTR in, say, Wales, you could double the clicks from Wales, but unless you're using Wales (or even the individual counties) as separate targets, you can't make those changes and it's hard to even see the data clearly.  All my client Campaigns split their location targets down way below the country level, sometimes right down to radius targets within other targets.


#3 - Match types.  Tough question.  In theory in a perfect world, you could make all your Keywords exact match so long as you've covered every possible variation (that's not covered by variations, which have recently expanded for exact match).  But, not only is it highly unlikely you'd ever catch them all, it's very likely you'll end up with a huge number of Keywords, each only getting insignificant data, making them hard to manage and difficult to analyse.  It's really a balance, you should make some "obvious" Keywords exact match, those with hundreds or thousands of clicks a month for that exact term, and you should ensure they have Ads that match those terms exactly.  Equally, there's no point making an exact match for a search term that's clicked once a month.  Everything else is somewhere in between Smiley Happy


#4 - CTR.  There are no rules for CTR about what is good and bad, there are so many variables.  That said, 6.7% sounds quite low to me for Search.  I'm typically not happy with anything below 10% for search, and for some clients I'm seeing 25%+.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you that CTR is key to clicks.  With a 1000 impressions each for 100 Keywords, just a 1% increase in CTR will bring you 1000 more clicks a day.  Get it up to 10% and you're looking at 3300 more clicks per day...


#5 - First page bid.  Let's just say that some of Google's messaging within AdWords can be a little... misleading.  In my experience it's common to see messages like "Below First Page Bid", when your average position is #1 or #2, which makes no sense.  I suspect the problem is that a certain percentage of your auction entries are below the first page bid, rather than it being an absolute.



AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Cant seem to increase my traffic!!?

Badged Google Partner
# 5
Badged Google Partner

Excellent responses @Jon_Gritton!


I think the key here @Kevin A is to begin thinking about the account from a different perspective. The perspective that the average position of the entire account has a direct effect on ROI doesn't accurately reflect the situation. Jon laid out several ways you can start to optimize the account by using multiple campaigns. Consider creating a tiered system of campaigns, each with it's own goal, bids, budget, and ROAS. If you can generate as much revenue, and increase your traffic, then you are accomplishing your overall goal. The best and likely only way to do that is through optimization.


There are always only a handful of exact match search terms that generate the most revenue for your business. If you have already identified those terms - Then put them in their own "premium" search campaign, and dedicate as much budget/bids as necessary to achieve 100% impression share. There may not be enough volume to spend your budget, so move on to the next tier.


Use broad(er) version(s) of those premium terms, and exclude those terms as exact negatives (embedded negative match), for your secondary search campaign. You can spin out the long tail with very little structure, and still focus primarily on the terms you know generate revenue. If you still can't spend the budget, then...


Try creating some remarketing lists (especially Google smart lists in analytics), and try a "premium" display remarketing campaign. What happens if you use the top performing search terms as display KW's, in combination with your remarketing lists? (Or, use the referral placements in the analytics source/medium report as managed placements in conjunction with remarketing lists, if those placements allow AdWords ads.) Targeting only users who have shown interest in your product/service and are currently viewing pages about your product/service is a very highly targeted market.


If you still have budget left over, then you can keep adding secondary or experimental campaigns to spend up to the budget. If you do see results from remarketing, then see how many new users can get into the funnel, at the lowest cost per new user as possible with a broader "experimental" display network campaign. If you have better known competitors with more market share, then consider an experimental competitor brand search campaign. DSA, shopping, video, etc., etc. 


Test, analyze, isolate, optimize. Smiley Happy