No, it is not illegal to target competitor names in your Google Ads keyword list as long as ads are shown in the United States – even trademarked names.
Some businesses will go a step farther and even put the competitor name in the ad text with text in front that may read lower priced than…, more options than… using Google Ads dynamic keyword insertion to autofill in the competitor’s name into the ad text.
Do this at your own risk, it can work to bleed off a competitor’s traffic or to showcase your own product or services positive attributes. But if you receive a cease and desist notice take immediate action to remove that competitor’s name to prevent problems.
Yes, this is done frequently, and yes it can generate good conversions. But typically over time Google will start to mark the competitor names as low quality score as the advertiser typically will not have content on their website using the competitor name. So it can work effectively for a while in some business sectors.
As noted in the announcement, Google rolled out new column sets you can turn on to get a better idea of your new “Average Position” based on their new definition of what Average Position now means to them.
These new items are:
Impr. (Absolute Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
Impr. (Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Search (Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Are you confused yet? The bottom-line is that we have seen many client accounts suddenly have a drop in Average Position in the regular column set now that the definition of what Average Position is according to Google.
The resulting action is that we have had to push up click costs or move to automated bidding algorithms in Google Ads in order to get back to ad positions that allowed for our best number of clicks and conversions.
Obviously clients are not happy about this. It is obvious that Google has adjusted the definition and algorithm for ad placement in order to drive greater profits.
As I manage many top performing accounts across a wide and diverse sector of verticals it is most unusual to see many accounts have the same performance dip in one month and on one specific date when other factors do not come into play.
The bottom-line is that you have to be very sophisticated in approach and management operating in Google Ads at this point in time. This platform is not a place for the inexperienced or do it yourselfer.
There are two scenarios I see often in Google Ads – trademark infringement and site suspension. Today I am going to chat about trademark infringement.
For Medical Spa owners one of the biggest issues is getting ads to show using the term Botox. Even if you are a medical doctor who is able to provide Botox injections, you will not be able to advertise with the word Botox without getting an approval.
You will need your rep to pass the form for trademark use approval to the makers/suppliers of Botox at the corporate level. Your rep’s signature will not be enough to get ads to run. Authorization Form
Once a company principle has signed the form – make sure you have supplied your AdWords account number as part of the request process. They will send this online back to Google. Google will then mark your AdWords account as having the ability to show ads with Botox in the ads.
Now Google is pretty picky about the word Botox. They may flag your website and ads as disapproved for use of a Medical term and they may even suspend your website and all advertising for it.
The best thing is to not use the word Botox in your ad text. If you are advertising in the US you may still be able to use Botox in your keyword list, but if you have Botox on your website, you may get a site suspension forcing you to get an approval or remove all content.
If you do use Botox in your keyword list, make sure you do not use dynamic keyword insertion or you will surely run into a shut down issue.
Other words that have similar problems are all facial fillers and injectables like Restylane and Dysport.
If you need savvy help check out our services for Google Ads. We’ll use what we know to try to assist you in getting running again.
Just because you want to target website visitors in the search results using Google Ads remarketing for search (RLSA) – you may not be able to.
Google sets a threshold of needing over 1,000 remarketing cookie sets in a 30 day period to show remarketing for search ads. For many advertisers this bar is just too high. You will only need 100 cookie sets in a 30 day period to show remarketing ads in the Google Ads display network, but the bar is much, much higher for search ads.
I recommend that you try to lengthen the period of your cookie set from 30 days to 90 days to see if this will make a difference in your ability to use RLSA.
RLSA ads can be a great way to target in search results advertising shopping cart abandoners and other site visitors. Consider bidding a minimum of +30% to get action if you do have enough cookies.
Consider setting up a separate program for RLSA and use general keywords so your ads will appear on more queries, set the bid low, but boost up with a bid adjustment, and consider a -100% bid adjustment for mobile to start to keep your costs low until you know the program will generate a return for your needs.
Showing ads to people who have visited your website already using a target and bid strategy can be very good to add conversions to your monthly plan.
For more information on our services for Google Ads advertisers please visit our website at www.mccordweb.com.
With over 10 years of experience in professional management of AdWords account, I wanted to share tips on an often overlooked yet important item in conversion tracking – attribution.
First to see what I am talking,(in the old interface) about go to Tools > Conversions. Click one of the names of the conversions you have set up. Look to the bottom to Attribution Model. If you’ve done nothing it has defaulted to Last Click. Click Edit and change your conversion model to Position Based.
Position Based is my preferred attribution model. Over time you will be able to see keywords in your account that you might have pause that are actually a part of the conversion path.
The first click and last click will be weighted to 40% each and the middle clicks will split the remaining 20%. What happens is important for your keyword monitoring. You will start to see keywords that previously in the last click model may not be driving as many conversions as you had thought.
Your data drives your decisions in AdWords, put your data to work for you by changing your Attribution Model to the right one for you.
To get to the prior interface if AdWords defaults to the new interface, click the three vertical dots next to the gear in the top right and click go to prior version.
There are just some things that are easier to see and faster to do in the old interface.
In our new world where over 65% of all Google.com searches are done on smartphones, what happens to a website that is not mobile-friendly in regards to lead conversions, store sales, and organic placement?
“Avoid losing customers on mobile devices by improving your mobile site. Recommended because 98.57% of your mobile clicks go to non-mobile-friendly pages on your site. 68.97% of clicks from all devices come from mobile. 98.57% 138 of 140 clicks go to pages that are not mobile-friendly.“
As Google Ads is incredibly focused on relevance and offering the best user experience, I expect in the future ads that are not showing mobile-friendly pages to start to receive very poor quality scores driving up the click cost and reducing exposure due to a low ad rank.
Google has been pretty forthcoming in regards to page speed as well. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For a store generating $60,000 in sales a month, that is a loss of $4,200 in monthly sales. In a year, that translates into $50,400. A non-mobile friendly site is not optimized for speedy download and may be virtually impossible to use on a smartphone driving away potential customers. Many will never come back to visit. This is a very serious impact for Google Ad activity.
For sites that do not have a mobile-friendly website, conversion numbers are dropping in Google Ads. Mobile activity is a very big part of the conversion path now for sales and leads.
WordStream has done a very nice visual on sales, conversions, and cost per conversion in mobile and it is clear that mobile is big business. Without a mobile website you are missing out on a huge sector of growing and converting traffic.
For some websites that are not mobile-friendly using Duda Mobile to do a scripted redirect to a Duda Mobile mini site worked – but no longer. Google Ads is aggressively disapproving ads for our clients that are using this approach and we are now having to remove the code from those websites effectively making them now not mobile-friendly for organic or for pay per click activity.
The Organic Picture
For organic traffic, know that Google now spiders the mobile version of a website and this is the content that now determines your site’s organic ranking on Google.com for all devices, not just mobile.
By not updating your website to be mobile-friendly Marketing and Growth Hacking says you can kiss your Google rankings good bye.
Additionally, Marketing and Growth Hacking states “Based on the blogs Google is putting out, we can confidently assume companies who don’t optimize for mobile will see their rankings disappear. At the same time, companies who adopt and take advantage of mobile-friendly sites early-on have and will continue to see higher rankings.”
I agree that if you mean to be in business, grow sales, and compete effectively, your website and store must be mobile-friendly.
For more information about our services please visit us at www.McCordWeb.com.