This is the latest in a series of interviews we’re conducting with AdWords advertisers who got unusually high scores using our AdWords Performance Grader. We’re reaching out to high scorers to find out what strategies contribute to their strong AdWords performance.

This week’s interview is with Yorgo Petsas, a marketing and sales executive at Alensa LTD.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been using AdWords? Are you an Agency or an Advertiser? What is your primary goal for AdWords marketing?

I have been using AdWords for more than 6 years now. I have also specialized in SEO and SMM. At Alensa, where I have worked for the last 2 years, we are not using an agency as our products are very specific and writing good ads for them requires additional knowledge of the products. Our company is focused on B2C but we also have a small department that deals with our B2B clients. We specialize in selling contact lenses online, including coloured lenses and lenses with dioptre. We sell products in 6 EU countries, but I am responsible for the Bulgarian market, so the campaigns I ran through the WordStream AdWords Grader are for our site www.лещи.bg

We have divided our goals into two types and this is how we have created our campaigns. On one side we have “call to action” campaigns where our goal is to sell a product, and then we have classic “branding” campaigns where we try to increase the awareness for our company and to build trust for the quality of our products and services.

There are tons of metrics in AdWords. What are your top 3 Key Performance Metrics in AdWords and why?

The way AdWords functions determines some metrics as more important than others. I am sure many people would probably mention the same metrics:

  • One of the most important and also most difficult to track is the cost of conversion. This means how much did you pay to get a conversion (in our case a conversion is when someone orders a product). There are ways to set and track this in your AdWords and Google Analytics accounts but normally you would have to do a manual cross reference with the cancelled orders which are not tracked in any way by AdWords or Analytics.
  • The CTR of a given ad. This metric is very important as it determines the rate with which the ad will be served (how often will Google show this ad in ratio with the other ads on the same campaign).
  • Quality Score. This metric is very important as it not only determines the price you are going to pay but also shows you if you have created the proper message and if you have targeted the right group of people.

Can you describe your AdWords management strategy? How do you set your campaign objectives, and how do you know what’s realistic or not?

Our priorities depend on our general marketing priorities. We are constantly doing promotions and campaigns that depend on our stock availability, purchasing price, the season, etc. As we sell over 200 products, the campaigns are designed in many forms. We take advantage of almost all possibilities – the content network, organic search, banners, remarketing, following trends.

We set our campaign objectives based on our previous experience with similar campaigns. The best way we have found so far to know if something is realistic is by looking at the history of our account and comparing it to the demand of a particular product or type of products. For example, we know that we can’t sell too many toric lenses as they are more expensive and are used by a very small percentage of the wearers (toric lenses are for people with astigmatism), and it is more likely to sell a good amount of crazy colored lenses just before Halloween.

Describe your AdWords management workflow. When you’re doing your account optimization work, how do you decide what to do next in your account? How do you prioritize your work?

The general rule is to constantly monitor your campaigns. AdWords gives you the possibility to schedule and automate some of the activities, but I strongly suggest you spend a good amount of time on:

  • Analyzing your keywords – This includes segmentation of keywords, constant bid observations, adding new keywords – especially long-tail keywords, adding negative keywords based on the results and costs of a particular keyword, etc.
  • Redefining your ads and optimizing your landing pages (A/B testing).
  • Searching for good placements (in case you use the display content network).
  • Monitoring your audience (in case you use remarketing) and refining your message to the people that have already showed interest in your product/services.

I can say that I try to devote equal time for those activities but such perfection is hard to achieve.

Any advice or tips for AdWords marketers that didn’t score as well as you?

My advice is to constantly get more knowledge on AdWords. Then use it in combination with your creativity to delivery your message to the right people at the lowest possible cost.

Another very important thing is to make sure you are aware of the technical details in getting all the statistical data out of AdWords. This means setting your goals and conversions, linking with your analytics profile, etc.

Segment your campaigns depending on the number and type of products you offer. For example we have segmented our campaigns in a couple of ways – first by type of product (dioptre lenses, colored lenses), then by brand, by model, by color, by period of use (daily, weekly, monthly), etc. This way you can communicate the proper message to a potential customer, and you also lower your costs as you bid for example on “daily contact lenses” rather than just “contact lenses.”

If you want to manage an effective campaign you have to constantly monitor your keywords – add more long-tail keywords in specific product campaigns. They bring targeted traffic at low cost (in 90% of the cases a long-tail keyword has less competition and therefore a lower bid is necessary).

What did you think about the categories we included in the AdWords Grader? Anything missing?

I have to say that you have done a great job with your tool. I was able to draw my own conclusions and I can imagine that it can be VERY helpful for a beginner. AdWords is very sophisticated system so it takes time to understand the logic. The next challenge is to organize your work. I would probably include a metric on the use of remarketing which is essential because it can help you significantly reduce the cost of conversion (especially if your products allow recurring sales).