Google Adwords Select

We test a detailed (46 point) blueprint that achieved an average ROI of 1200%



Topic: Google Adwords Select — We test a detailed (46 point) blueprint that achieved an average ROI of 1200%.

Test Number: #080502-SE

Word Count: 4040+

Focus: 10 Questions

  1. How can you use the Google Adword Select Program to test your marketing strategy?
  2. Just how effective is Google’s new Adword Select Program?
  3. How has Google’s advertising program changed?
  4. How is the Google Adword Select program different than Overture (and which is best)?
  5. How can you save time and money with the Adword Select Program?
  6. How do you setup an effective Google Adwords Select Program?
  7. How do you choose the best key words for the Adword Select Program?
  8. How can you lower your cost per click with the Adword Select Program?
  9. How can you achieve a high clickthrough ratio and a strong ROI with the Adwords Select program?
  10. What are the 10 most important points of this report?


  1. Writer – Flint McGlaughlin
  2. HTML Designer – Cliff Rainer
  3. Contributors – Austin Taylor
    Mike Townsend

*** Note: This is the SECOND report in our new MEC MARKETING TRACK. The Marketing Track is a series of experiments designed to help you grow your website over the next six months.


We test traditional search engines. Is Yahoo worth the express submission fees? How can you get high rankings? What about Alta Vista, MSN, and others? On what engines do you really need to be listed?


We are finally wrapping up our 10-month study of award sites. Can you submit your site for awards, create effective press releases, and then parlay the attention into major traffic?

OK Marketing Pro, test your expertise. Which of the following five domains do you think will pull the strongest clickthrough response?


Which domain best “connects” with a buyer’s expectations? We recently had a chance to determine the answer to that question. And we did so using a simple feature from Google’s New Adword Select Program. Here is the story.

How can you use the Google Adword Select Program to test your marketing strategy?

Jimmy Ellis is the Director of Sales and Marketing for a major online retailer. Recently, Jimmy and his marketing team were seeking to answer a critical question:

  • What would be the best domain name for a new website that features computer related products?

From a list that originally included thirty-four potential domains, Jimmy and his team settled on five that they felt had strong potential.

Each member of Jimmy’s team had a “favorite” domain. But which one of these addresses would attract the strongest clickthrough response? How could this growing company identify the very best choice?

After long hours spent wrestling with the issue, Jimmy and his group contacted the Research Team at MarketingExperiments.Com. Our suggestion was simple. Rather than depend on guesswork, or intuitive feel, why not test the clickthrough potential of each name. Jimmy’s team agreed.

We created five identical campaigns using Google Adwords Select. Each Campaign would include the same maximum CPC (cost-per-click) limit, the same headline, the same copy, and the same fifteen key words. There was only one difference: the domain name.

Campaign 1
Campaign 2
Campaign 3
Campaign 4
Campaign 5
Campaign 1 0.3% $0.31 $0.25 2.7
Campaign 2 0.2% $0.31 $0.25 2.8
Campaign 3 0.5% $0.31 $0.17 2.7
Campaign 4 0.6% $0.31 $0.23 2.7
Campaign 5 0.3% $0.31 $0.16 3.3
TOTAL 0.4% $0.31 $0.22 2.8

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND: Campaigns 3 & 4 resulted in 50% more clickthroughs than the next best campaign.

The implications of this test are powerful. Using Google Adwords Select, a savvy marketing team can almost “see into the mind of the consumer”.

Have you ever struggled with questions such as these?

  1. Have we chosen the right domain names for our business?
  2. Are we missing potential market opportunities?
  3. How appealing is our value proposition?
  4. Have we developed the most effective sales copy?

If you are weary of playing “hit or miss” with your business and marketing ideas, Google Adwords Select could help you discover accurate answers.

But what about Google’s advertising potential? Does Adwords Select offer more than a useful testing tool?

How effective is Google’s new Adword Select Program?

Have you underestimated Google?

We have… ours is the tragic saga of an erstwhile team of pay per click experts who, much to their dismay, discover that they did not know nearly as much about Google as they thought (it’s hard to keep up).

We should have known better. After all, we have studied Google, once before, in a six month research project – and we DID achieve somewhat remarkable results.

Still…times change, and so has Google. At the conclusion of this, our most recent study, we applied our new found knowledge to a Research Partner whom we recently profiled.


If the Film Industry is a bit harsh on sequels, we hope the marketing industry is a bit more lenient. In our last report, we profiled the story of a small Internet Marketer who achieved an ROI of 4067% on his Overture Campaign.

After working with Roy’s Overture Campaign, we turned to his Google Campaign. Here is what happened:

  • In just three days, from August 5 through August 8, we were fortunate enough to surpass Roy’s total clickthroughs for the entire month of July.
  • By applying the criterion from PART 2 of this report, we were able to increase Roy’s qualified Google traffic by more than 1200%.

How has Google’s advertising program changed?

Eighteen months ago, we studied the Google Adwords program. You can read that report, here.

We were able to achieve fairly significant results with this first version of Adwords. And we noted its three key advantages:

  1. Google is a unique search engine that relies heavily on link popularity to rank the pages it has indexed. It is highly favored because of its relevancy.
  2. The placement of your ad is dependant upon how many clickthroughs it receives – the more clicks, the higher the ad.
  3. You pay for the ad with a credit card and there is NO minimum charge. This allows you to carefully test the program before committing your resources.

Recently, Google launched the Adwords SELECT program. It is proving to be far more effective than its predecessor. Here are ten reasons.

  1. Google’s traffic has grown to more than 150 million searches per day. (*1)
  2. Pricing is set on a cost-per-click basis.
  3. «KEY POINT»: Google Adwords Select utilizes a new tool aptly named the Adwords Discounter. With this tool, a busy marketer can simply select a maximum CPC rate for an entire group of keywords and the Discounter will automatically charge you the lowest CPC rate needed to maintain your current position.
  4. There is a new Daily Budget feature which enables you to establish a limit that you spend each day. You can also set different budgets for different campaigns.
  5. Ads on Google’s image-free pages have yielded clickthrough ratios (CTR) five times higher than industry standard. (*2)
  6. With AdWords, you have the option of syndicating to AOL.
  7. Smaller advertisers can fashion campaigns with a low average cost per click.
  8. Google allows you to automatically pay the lowest minimum price for any keyword.
  9. «KEY POINT»: The better the ad’s CTR, the higher the position. If you have a high performing ad, you can pay less than a competitor for the SAME position.
  10. Google’s interface allows for rapid feedback for your testing.

How is the Google Adword Select program different than Overture (and which is best)?

  1. «KEY POINT»: With Google, a high CTR will allow you to hold your position at a lower CPC (cost-per-click). With Overture, your position is always based upon how much you bid.
  2. With Google, you must have at least a .05% CTR to keep an AdWords displaying impressions of your ad. There is no such requirement with Overture.
  3. «KEY POINT»: With Overture, what you bid for a phrase is exactly what you pay. In AdWords, you can bid on the maximum you will pay.
  4. With Google, you have more options for choosing syntax. It allows: wild cards, phrase matches, exact matches, and negative keywords (see the Syntax Table in SECTION 2).
  5. Overture ads appear on Yahoo!, MSN, InfoSpace, Ask Jeeves, AltaVista, and Netscape. Google ads appear on Google, Google Directory, Google groups, Earthlink, AOL, and Sympatico-Lycos.

How can you save time and money with the Adword Select Program?

In point 5 of the above list, we stated: “With Google, your position is dependant on a combination of two factors: Your bid and your relevancy. You can actually achieve a top position while paying less than a competitor for the same term.”

Here is an example:

Scanner $0.31 $0.16 1.8
wireless $0.31 $0.00 3.9
printer $0.31 $0.29 2.9
display $0.31 $0.00 2.6
hardware $0.31 $0.29 2.3
computer hardware $0.31 $0.27 2.0
wireless network $0.31 $0.00 4.4
computer parts $0.31 $0.31 3.9
wireless Internet $0.31 $0.00 5.9
LCD monitor $0.31 $0.00 5.5
epson printer $0.31 $0.00 3.4
computer monitor $0.31 $0.00 2.8
wireless LAN $0.31 $0.00 6.4
wireless network $0.31 $0.00 3.7
KDS monitor $0.31 $0.00 1.2
OVERALL $0.31 $0.26 2.7

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND: Notice the difference between our maximum bid (MAX.CPC) and our average bid (AVE.CPC). We saved 19%.

19% can be a significant saving over a 12-month budget. How did we maintain a position in the top three and still manage to reduce our cost per click by nearly 20%? How did Google Adwords Select save us both time and money?

  1. We saved money because of the new Google Adwords Discounter, or what is also referred to as the “bid gap manager.”
    1. The Discounter monitors the bids of all other competitors for each keyword; it sets your bid FOR EACH KEYWORD at least $0.01 higher than your competition.
  2. We saved money because of the Ad Groups Feature. Google Adwords Select allows you to differentiate your keywords into Ad Groups and Campaigns.
    1. Ad Groups can be paused or deleted with the new Adwords Select Interface. This saves time when you are ready to remove ineffective keywords.
  3. We saved money because of the program’s relevancy emphasis. Google Adwords Select correlates relevance into search results by multiplying your maximum CPC limit by the click through rate for a given keyword. This is referred to as the “rankings equation.”

«KEY POINT» A savvy marketer who discovers more relevant Keywords can be rewarded with a higher ranking EVEN if their bid is lower.

In Section 2, we report on what we learned from this research.

Section 2 (Continue…)

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1 Comment
  1. kathrine kennley says

    To make sure that your campaign budget isn’t suffering due to invalid clicks, you can always run a report to see the percentage of clicks that are automatically filtered from your account. If the report seems fine, go back over these reasons to get a clear understanding of how your budget is being used.

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