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.
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.
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.
“Near Me” searches have decreased by 150% over the last 2 years.
Use of a zip code in a search query has declined 30%.
Google data shows that consumers want more useful information, more personalization, and more immediacy.
The reason for the decrease in activity on “near me” and zip code specific searches are that consumers expect the results to be location and self-specific. This change has been driven by the mobile micro-moment, as Google calls it, – the I want to know, I want to buy, I want to go mentality.
One important trend that you can leverage on your website and in Google AdWords due to dynamic keyword insertion is the use of “best” in a search query. Consumers want the “best” toothbrush, “best” web designer, “best” lawyer and so on.
In fact in the research Google states that “best” related keyword search activity has grown by 80% in the past two years.
In addition, consumers are demanding personalized localization – meaning the delivery of results that are uniquely personal and based on their own location. Mobile apps leverage results by GPS location and websites can enhance results by providing location cues and data sortable by location.
In addition to more localization, Google has identified that 50% of all mobile users will typically make an immediate purchase after a successful mobile search.
Google is identifying other important trends and sharing them with Google Partners as we work to leverage this information to help our client’s better market their products and services on Google AdWords.
As a Google Partner and long time professionally certified AdWords account manager I would like to demystify what is happening when AdWords marks some of your keywords as “Low Search Volume”.
First, we routinely delete these keywords in an AdWords account, but only for mature accounts and only after we have done a reality check to assure that the keyword has not generated lead conversions in the past.
AdWords says this about Low Search Volume keywords:
Keywords marked as “Low search volume” are associated with very little search traffic on Google, an indication that they’re not very relevant to most customers’ searches. For this reason, Google temporarily makes these keywords inactive so that they don’t trigger your ads.
When we manage an AdWords account, we will typically remove these terms and then look to add other terms to your program using the AdWords keyword planner to find alternatives that cover the same meaning but may return higher search volume.
We remove the keywords from your account to allow for easier management and to focus on terms in your account that will drive traffic and conversions.
If most of your keywords are showing as Low Search Volume keywords, I would recommend doing additional keyword discovery, reviewing to see if your phrases are too restrictive, and if a change to match type may make a difference in getting Google to serve ads.
If you need an experienced account AdWords manager to whip your AdWords account into shape, please contact us to see if we might be a good match for your needs.