In the realm of internet marketing, one can not with impunity ignore Google and it’s pay-per-click search listings known only as “AdWords”. Optimization of your Google AdWords campaign is critical to surviving and can save you untold thousands. There are many tips and tricks you can find about AdWords optimization, most of them are worth looking into. In my experience though, the best boost our AdWords campaign ever got was the placement of the Google Checkout badge beneath our ads.
You can find the complete rules and guide lines for getting Google Checkout badges displayed under your ads here. They are a few in number, but the reward is well worth it.
Most of the requirements are straightforward, and have some common sense. There were a few, however, that confused us when we decided to get the badges on our ads. There were these:
- Place Google Checkout buttons before your login pages
Buyers should only have to provide their login, purchasing, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, and any other information once. If you require users to register or sign in to your site, you must ensure Google Checkout and Buy Now buttons are available before the login process so buyers are able to check out with Google Checkout without having to log in. You may still track visits and personalize pages using cookies.
- Direct buyers quickly to Google
Buyers who click the Google Checkout button on your site should see the Google Checkout confirmation page within one second and without seeing any intermediate pages.
What it seemed to us, and what it appears to mean, is that all customer information is maintained and billing is done exclusively by and through Google. That works great in retail sales of individual items. It doesn’t work at all for repeating, continual services like the web hosting we do. So it seemed like Google’s Badges were not to be ours.
However, to our pleasant surprise, Google placed the badges on our ads as soon as we got several transactions using Google Checkout completed. So don’t fret too much about those two requirements, it seems they are more guidelines than rules. Follow them if you can, we don’t want to abuse the system, but don’t throw the badges idea out just because you need to gather user information and logins.
Just to give an idea, our Google AdWords campaign was getting about a 2-3% click through rate before, which isn’t bad. After we put the badges up, we started getting 5-6%, double our previous click through rate. We didn’t see too much of an increase in Google Checkout money coming in, although (since Google cuts you a BIG break in processing fees if you spend money in AdWords) we wish they would! So they aren’t clicking just so they can use Google Checkout, their eyes are drawn naturally to a graphic on the otherwise text-only Google Search Results Page. For example:
And it even works well for the side ads, as with here:
Notice how you can’t help but look at the ad with the Google Checkout Badge? It’s extremely powerful! Use it!