As a Google Partner and Bing Partner, I feel like I can speak with authority on this topic. In AdWords alone, I manage an actual monthly ad spend for clients of over $120,000 per 30 days or $1,441,776 yearly. As an experienced account manager I have to say that I simply hate broad match.
Don’t get me wrong, I like using broad match modifiers for keywords, but I feel that for most clients broad match is simply a way to bleed cash out of a pay per click account.
Google AdWords and Bing Ads (especially Bing Ads) Love, Love, Love broad match keywords. Heavy use of broad match without a reality check on the terms your ads are showing for is lining their pockets with your cash.
McCord Web Services is a Bing Partner and Accredited Bing Ads Professional.
If you don’t believe me, click just one of your high click volume broad match keywords and then click the drop down to view search queries. You will be shocked to see what is there.
Even with a huge and extensive negative keyword list, the way both Google and Bing Ads show your ads on synonyms for your broad match keyword would simply not be a good fit for most businesses that are focused on direct action or lead conversions and sales.
I hate to say never, but as click costs rise in an account the first thing I do is move out of broad match, use only broad match modifiers, phrase match and exact match. I end up with a much better cost per conversion and better overall results.
Each year I have to recertify with Google to keep my Partner status. I take the AdWords Fundamental Exam every year and every other year I also take the AdWords Advanced Search Exam. These are not “gimme” tests. I study over 30 hours for each professional certification examination and am tested on over 1,000 pages of features in AdWords as well as account management techniques.
These exams are hard. They are comprehensive, and studying the materials is a key to staying up-to-date on AdWords features and their use. I personally feel that I benefit tremendously from these intensive refreshers and so do my clients.
Google Evaluates Our Account Management Practices
As a Google Partner, Google monitors activity in my MCC (My Client Center) account. The MCC is where all my firm’s client accounts are linked, to allow me one login to manage all accounts. Google reviews how frequently I am in client accounts, the benefit of the changes I make to account performance and the features I am are using for each account.
Google Evaluates What I Do for Clients and How I Market Our Services
As part of initially establishing my firm as a Google Partner, Google had a third party review all my reports to clients, my marketing materials, and how I marketed Google Products to clients. Google means business when they share their name with firm and allow Google Partner Status. As a Google Partner I am held to a higher standard than others who sell similar services.
If you want peace of mind that your AdWords account manager is skilled to provide quality services, Google has done the vetting for you before awarding Google Partner status.
The Benefits of Using McCord Web Services as Your Account Manager
I have been an AdWords account manager for over 10 years. From a depth of experience, I understand how to leverage activity on AdWords to drive traffic, increase exposure but most importantly to generate leads for your AdWords program.
Routine management of your account includes a review two or three times a week based on what I am testing or evaluating. During each review I look to boost click activity, conversions, and the click through rate by refining keywords, adding negative keywords, reviewing actual search queries and reviewing and refining ad text. Additionally I review and add new features as they are available, troubleshoot performance problems, and give advice on landing page and website improvements. I am always keeping an eye on performance and the cost per conversion for your program.
With advanced knowledge of the AdWords system, years of account management experience, I have been able to guide many AdWords programs to success and boost inquiries through AdWords.
I have personally love the challenge of working in AdWords and live and breathe AdWords.
I work hard to be accessible to you and to offer honest advice and recommendations for Google AdWords as well as for content back on your website to lead visitors into contacting you with a program or service inquiry through our monthly strategy phone calls.
If you are ready for us to manage your AdWords program, know that our fees are affordable, our communication is proactive, and we are seriously focused on exceeding your expectations in all we do.
My firm manages over $3 million in ad spend for clients in Google Ads yearly. As a result, we see opportunities for improvement in regards to conversion tracking across multiple accounts in diverse industries.
My Tips on Conversion Tracking
Always track website contact forms.
Try to track website phone calls.
Do not change key conversion actions.
Use Position-Based attribution.
Set your cookie for 30 to 60 days.
Add additional conversion actions for promotions.
One of the most important aspects to conversion tracking is to select key conversion actions and to NOT change them in the Google Ads conversion control panel or Google Analytics.
We have recently had several situations where well-meaning marketing staff deleted conversion actions thinking that there would be no harm in doing so, but as a result the smart bidding algorithms in Google Ads were negatively impacted and performance dropped quickly in the account.
I have found that when a customer is changing the conversion actions for promotions and they do not have key conversion actions that are always in the account, bidding algorithms are easily confused and cost per click and cost per conversions will increase, sometimes dramatically.
Assure that if you track website phone calls and email form completions that you always keep these running as conversion actions. Do not move in and out of conversion actions unless you use manual bidding.
Let Smart Bidding Algorithms Do the Heavy Lifting for You
Once you have your conversion action strategy in place, wait to accrue 15 conversions in a 30 day period and then test the use of smart bidding options like maximize conversion or Target CPA bidding for your account.
Make sure to do routine checks at 2 weeks, 30 days, and 60 days to assure that these algorithms are actually delivering results with a cost per conversion that works for your business. Most accounts will benefit from the use of smart bidding based on Google’s machine learning and AI, but not all.
In early 2019 Google did away with the ability for a Google Ads account manager to not serve ads on AdSense for Mobile Apps. In May and June this year, across diverse business sectors we have seen a striking trend of strong ad serving to mobile apps in the Display and Remarketing space that is killing account performance.
Here’s what we see in a nutshell.
Clicks to mobile apps are up strongly.
2. Cost per click is $.01 to $.08 to mobile apps.
3. Impressions are up very strongly.
4. Conversions are non-existent.
5. Ad serving budgets are mostly served in mobile apps.
6. The quality of the automatic app placement are game and kid-related.
See the Proof
To put this in perspective, we have attached a few screen shots that illustrate this huge change in ad serving that is killing the value of Display and Remarketing for client use.
Client One – Display 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Display program note in May the strong increase in clicks (blue line) and strong drop in conversions (red line).
Client One – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note in May the strong increase in clicks (blue line) and strong drop in conversions (red line).
A Trend Across Diverse Business Sectors
Both performance graphs above are for one client. But, that is just an illustration of this important trend. For further illustration are results from other clients. Multiple this by all clients we manage and we know that this is not an isolated incidence or one of a setting update.
Client Two – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note as early as February the performance drop and strong clicks (blue line) in April, May, and June with no conversions (red line).
Client Three – Remarketing 1/1/19 to 7/19/19 – shows a Remarketing program. Note the click spike in April and May. The earlier drop is due to our moving out of the space due to quality due to no conversions and inability to stop the proliferation of poor quality Mobile App placements.
The key takeaway on all this, is that Google has clearly made a first quarter change in automatic placements, of which you have no control, in all bidding algorithms for Remarketing and Display programs.
How to You Fix This Problem to Return Display and Remarketing to Performance?
Right now, we am testing some options. One includes weekly rules that run on Sunday to pause Mobile App placements that have high clicks and no conversions. We are not sure that this will work to stem the drop in activity as Google may simply replace the pause placements with other poor placements. Google may not even pause the placement as it is an automatic placement not a account selected placement.
For other clients, we have either dropped budget significantly in Display and Remarketing, moved totally out of mobile using a -100% device bid, culled out high dollar mobile sites as exclusions, or even stopped programs entirely.
We are hopeful over time that Google will see the drop in client investment in these spaces as a red flag and adjust their ad serving algorithm to allow account managers greater control over where their ads appear in the Display network.
Often I am asked by clients “how can I analyze if Google Ads is working for me?” It is important that when using Google Ads that it is an investment in growing your business and not an expense.
For low tech clients who do not have the time or will to do analysis, the easiest way is to turn off your Google Ads program and see what happens. For many who try this route, we will typically get phone calls after about 30-60 days and the client says “my phone just stopped ringing, please turn on Google Ads again.”
For those with a more technical and analytical background, here are my tips to analyze if Google Ads is working for you.
First, assure that you are using email conversion tracking, website phone call tracking, and click to call ad tracking. If you are not, then implement those items before doing any further analysis. Then allow data to accrue for a minimum of 30 days.
Second, if you have already been tracking conversions, review your conversion statistics in Google Ads. I consider click to call actions less valuable for the majority of my clients, but consider calls from the website and completed email forms of high value. Look at the number of calls and time on the call from the Google Ads report center.
If you are still not sure about calls – and I have to say these are the most plentiful conversion numbers for all clients we work with as customers/prospects have moved from email to calling. Consider subscribing to Call Rail, so that you can actually hear the calls that come in. It may be that your staff is dropping the ball on closing calls and that the problem is personnel related and not Google Ads related.
Please visit my blog again on Wednesday for the completion of this important blog post.
Have you visited the Google Ads control panel lately? Even if you feel you are accomplished in your job, you may find the Google Ads interface complex and intimidating.
Add to this that many of the recommendations in the Opportunities tab really need a skilled professional to review in regards to account impact before enacting. You can easily kill your Google Ads activity through ignorance of the system.
You have options for managing your Google Ads effectively before you throw in the towel and try to go it alone.
For our small business owners we offer paid by the hour review, account optimizations and three month oversight to assure all is well and then quarterly tune-ups.
As complex as Google Ads now is, it pays to have a professional and experience account manager directing your Google Ads marketing efforts.
We’d be glad to chat with you about your individual needs. Just contact us today.