Just by singling out a competitive domain, you can tell the difference between campaign filler and the keyword/copy combinations that will bring you conversions.
SpyFu Domain Ad History is a way of looking at keyword choices as informative layers of proof and testimonials.
Put an end to the confusion of determining the most actionable keywords... Instead of seeing the keywords a domain advertises on today, you get the keywords they have had in their lineup during the last 12 months. This year's worth of activity opens the door to understanding the keywords and copy combinations that the domain relies upon most in its campaign.
You also spot keywords that lasted just a short while so that you can learn what fell flat and avoid wasting your money on those terms. When you do this, you categorize winners and losers from the start. And true to Ad History patterns, you have the exact ads that each keyword triggered so that the keyword-to-copy connections are instantaneous. This is important because the right ad copy for a keyword delivers conversions that make all of this worth your while. And if you're not going to do it right, you might as well not do it at all.
Unlock Ad History with a SpyFu Subscription here, or read on to learn how to use it.
See it in action Let's look at RedEnvelope.com. When we return their results, we place the most trusted, effective ads at the top of the chart.
Its most frequently run Adwords and highest costs per click comprise the lead keywords of this group. The ranking also takes into account activity in the most recent month as well as their rank-to-competitor ratio. (Achieving the top spot over 16 competitors usually takes more than ranking 1st out of 3.)
Take a look at "baby gift" and its pattern in the chart. Red Envelope advertised on this for every month for the last 12 months, and the keyword appears toward the top section of the chart. Red Envelope's ad position stayed near spots 2 and 3 for most of the year. We can label this one an effective and trusted keyword.
If Red Envelope is going to commit ad dollars to "baby gift" each month at a high cost per click (relative to the rest of its keywords), then we can connect the dots that "baby gift" converts well for them. At this point, let's review revelations about how Red Envelope uses "baby gift" so far.
- "Baby gift" at approximately $60 per day isn't one to keep around "just to see how it works.
- "Red Envelope commits to "baby gift" more often than most other of its keywords.
- We can put #1 and #2 together to determine that "baby gift" delivers conversions.
So we have a strong-converting keyword. What now?
Having the right keyword is just step one. When you add it to your Adwords lineup, you will need effective ad copy to do justice to your incredible find, otherwise you can just hand your cash over to your dog and ask him to gnaw on it until it's an unrecognizable mass of pulp.
Fortunately for you, Red Envelope has laid out the answers. The very high-converting keyword you just nabbed from them also points to the successful ad copy trends for you to emulate. We'll show you why. Go back to the chart and look at "baby gift's" row of boxes. Clicking on any of them opens the ad from that month.
This ad copy is a good start. What you need, though, is a great start.
The key is in the color change. When you see the color change shades from one month to another, this signals an update that Red Envelope did to its "baby gift" ad copy.
Here's why ad copy changes will point you to the best-performing ad copy.
When a domain updates its ad copy, it is an attempt to improve conversions from what they had in place. This is either because:
1. Their previous ad copy was not producing the desired outcome. Translation: "weak." OR
2. Their previous ad copy worked well but they want to test a change and see if it converts even better. Without patterns or trends, you have little to help you know if the copy was worth, well, copying. Domain History makes it clear if this ad was marked a winner.
Case in Point
Look at how Red Envelope uses the keyword phrase "gifts for mom."
In November 2008, they brought in the phrase "thoughtful gifts" to identify with what we want to deliver to Mom. Once they locked onto this ad copy phrase, it stayed around even through other iterations with discount tests and other ad copy variations. Any similar advertiser would be wise to describe gifts to Mom, Grandma and aunts as "thoughtful."
Putting Spreadsheet View to Work
Domain History defaults to the colored box chart, but the Spreadsheet View offers some shortcuts and insights itself. Look for the "Spreadsheet View" tab toward the center of the page. You have the same ease-of-migration to Adwords here that we've built into other areas of SpyFu.
When you find the keywords that complement your campaign, this export ability helps you manage your terms without the uncertainty of leaving key information behind.
Once I've downloaded the CSV file, it's easy to spot ad copy trends across a large spread of keywords at one time. Sorting by the "ad body" column, I can group similar copy versions together and quickly fly through popular phrases. One piece of copy dominated more ads than any other. This online education site learned that using "Official Site" pays off for their brand, and it appeared in more ad body entries than any other phrase.
Or, catch ad copy getting dumped in 3...2....1
These two examples are snapshots of a few bluenile.com keywords spanning August 2008 to October 2008. See how the yellow boxes (August to September) show a frequent update of ad copy in many different keywords? Compare that to the following months. The September to October examples in the red boxes have many of the same keywords holding on to the same ad copy from September to October. In fact, this stability keeps up for months to come.
What's the culprit? "Google Checkout."
Habits and Practices If not winning ad copy, then at least you see their habits and trends. Etsy This popular site, for example, rotates in a series of ads for "handcrafted jewelry."
Etsy adjusted headlines from the general keyword match of "handmade jewelry" to specific artists like with "Galina Kirman Jewelry." Of course, Etsy-watchers know, this is not a sign of advertising wishy-washiness, but a reflection of their practice to move the spotlight around on their featured items. Musician's Friend This reseller of music gear and equipment has advertised on nearly 27,000 keywords in the past year. About 400 of those terms have been a consistent part of its lineup for most months. If I want to build a specific ad group on "guitars," I can still manage this immense list in a snap.
By typing "guitar" into the filter, I can single out keywords specific to this ad group and focus on those trends in ad copy changes and seasonal runs. Start with the basics, but build with Domain Ad History. You'll be wiser from the start.
Ad History is available only to SpyFu Subscribers. You already know how to get started in Ad History, and it's easy to start your subscription. Just follow the steps here.