Tag Archives: AdWords

Blowback on AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

This article called “What One Million Dollars in Spend Has Taught Us About Enhanced Campaigns” has been getting some wide discussion in my sphere of business. Many are concerned with the inability in AdWords to separately target mobile and for some advertisers, mobile clicks that are not converting are eating up their ad spend.

“A quick note about this data is that while CPA is up across the board this is partly due to seasonality for a few major accounts. It’s obvious though, that CPA is up on computers for Search and Display but that mobile and tablet CPA is up at a much, much larger percentages and has started to make up larger percentages of budget allocation. This is also macro data so one account with high CPA goals that has increased budget over the past few months could drastically skew these numbers.” Make sure to read the rest of this interesting article.

Watching your mobile ad spend right now is very important.
Watching your mobile ad spend right now is very important.

Interestingly the data seems to provide that ad spend is up on mobile but eating into the total ad spend budget significantly enough that conversions are down according to this oneaccount manager that wrote the article. When this manager moved out of mobile using the -100% bid adjustment, tablet traffic moved in to fill this space. Due to the change in ad serving strategy, this account manager saw an increase in the cost per conversion.

For our clients, we are watching the mobile ad spend very carefully. For some we are pushing down the bid adjustment, a few we have moved out of the mobile ad space, but for many mobile just has not been a big cash drain. For many of our accounts in the month of May we did see a big drop in conversions, and increase in the cost per conversion, but for nearly all it was not tied to mobile traffic, rather appeared to be increased market competition possibly as a result from Penguin 2.0 and new advertisers moving in to AdWords.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Enhanced Campaigns in the very near future. I would expect that AdWords will eventually give advertisers the ability to bid adjust mobile, tablet, and desktops as this would keep advertisers happy and allow for greater control over ad spend. For now, advertisers and account managers can only bid adjust mobile activity.

Although we are not seeing the types of results for our clients that the author of this interesting article shared, watching carefully the percentage of your budget being eaten up by mobile in AdWords right now if a very good idea.

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New Bulk Upload and Change Comes to AdWords

Don’t know how to use AdWords Editor? You can now download editable reports in AdWords and then change the data as you desire and then upload the report back to AdWords for immediate changes. Read the instructions for more details on this new way to update your AdWords account.

I’m playing around with the feature and here are a few of my thoughts.

1. If you use AdWords Editor, you probably don’t need to use this feature, but for those that don’t want to learn how to use AdWords Editor, this gives immediate and instant updating in bulk access.

2. The key is to select a report where editable makes sense. That would be specifically be for a bid, a keyword, or ad text. Download the report but make sure to tick the check box next to editable. Change your report the way you want, and then using the left slide out menu go to the report center. Click the tab at the top that says upload and then upload your report. AdWords will instantaneously update your account and let you know what loaded and what failed.

Follow these specific instructions when changing keywords:

“General rules for editing your keyword reports

  1. Do not modify or delete the first three rows: Report info, Parameters, and Column names.
  2. For every change you make, whether it’s an addition, a deletion, or an edit, you must enter a value in the “Action” column. You have three options: Add, Remove, or Set. If you don’t enter one of these action words in the “Action” column of a row, our system will ignore the row completely, and your changes will not take effect.
  3. When editing an existing row, you can only modify these three columns: keyword state (“paused” or “enabled”), destination URL, and keyword max CPC. Changes to any other column will be ignored.

    For example, when editing an existing row, you cannot change the keyword or match type values. If you wish to change a keyword’s match type, you must delete the keyword and re-create it with the proper match type. (See the “Instructions for common edits” section below for a step-by-step guide.)

  4. Don’t worry about deleting extraneous columns or the total rows. Simply upload the whole report, and we’ll ignore what isn’t essential.
  5. Do not use square braces ([ ]) or quotes (“”) to indicate a keyword’s match type. Instead, specify the keyword’s match type by name (broad, exact or phrase) in the match type column.
  6. Be sure to save your upload file in one of our supported formats(.csv, .tsv, and Excel).”
  7. Find out more.

Looking over the criteria for how to get AdWords to accept the uploaded document, I still have to say that I think AdWords Editor is easier to use, but for those that simply don’t want to use it or have a greater knowledge of Excel this new option may be just right for you.

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Hard Decisions on Your AdWords Budget

When it comes to Google AdWords, decisions you make about how much you should spend should all revolve around statistical data. Never make a decision about your ad spend based on feel-good ideas or what you “think” you should do. The biggest thing I tell clients to remember is that:

AdWords will spend every penny if you allow it to do so.

McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.
McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.

For many clients whose business is struggling in today’s economy or have been affected by Penguin and Panda updates, it boils down to how much should I spend?

Here are several tips and talking point I review with my own AdWords clients about budget.

1. Never spend more than you really can afford and base your initial budget based on what you are comfortable spending without a return. Don’t go in debt to drive traffic!

2. Make budget decisions based on data. Use conversion tracking, business research, Google Analytics data review to base your budget changes.

3. Allot your ad spend where it is generating a return or where you have made a decision your focus is for traffic not for conversions.

4. Hold out some of your budget for a mature program for testing to see if you can uncover additional revenue areas. Test new markets but be realistic in your ad spend, limit your testing, and evaluate the return.

5. If money is tight, look to advertise only in the areas where you are getting sales. Don’t serve ads nationwide and in Canada if when you review where you have shipped goods in the last 90 days and only three states are involved, rather serve ads to those three states and then when money is not so tight expand your exposure.

My rule has always been – own your city, own your state, own your region, then own the nation!

If you are looking for an AdWords Certified Partner to set up and manage your AdWords account, I invite you to check our our service offerings and fee schedule.

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Turning AdWords On and Off is a Recipe for Disaster

McCord Web Services is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional Company and Google AdWords Certified Partner.
McCord Web Services is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional Company and Google AdWords Certified Partner.

As a Google AdWords Certified Partner, I make my living managing Google AdWords accounts. I work in a wide and diverse sectors of business. I’ve been managing Google AdWords for over nine years and so can speak on this issue authoritatively.

When I have a client who turns AdWords on and off regularly sometimes just for days and other times for long periods, I have to say that it is very difficult to effectively manage a program and generate a return on investment for the client.

Turning your AdWords account off for the weekend or when you go on vacation is not necessarily a bad thing, but I prefer to instead move a client’s budget setting down versus pausing the program. When an account has been on and off and on and off, this is what I see.

  1. Google does not know how to serve the program as history is spotty. In many cases managing a program like this will require the same amount of time in the first month (typically 8 hours of more of management for about 5 ad groups) when it has been restarted as it is like creating an account history all over again.

  2. Conversions will not start back up again at the level they were at before the account was stopped. It can sometimes take two or three weeks once an account has been off for conversions to start rolling again.
  3. In many cases page placement and cost per click will be significantly different than when the account had previously been running. As AdWords is an auction when you move out of the auction and then move back in after a month or two break, the auction prices may all have changed – higher or lower.

I prefer instead to take a great performing program that needs to be paused to a low level budget to keep placement than to totally turn a program off. It can cost so much more for your account manager to bring around a stale account than to move to a maintenance mode.

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Great AdWords Landing Page Tips

Not getting the conversions you think you should with Google AdWords? If you are getting clicks, have a good click through rate, but no leads or sales, the first place to really look is at your ad group and even keyword landing pages.

What makes a landing page great for creating sales and leads? Here are my top tips to consider as you design your own.

  1. Skin the page with your regular website look and feel and include your full website navigation. You are reinforcing your brand when you do this. I am not an advocate of having a landing page that does not look like your website or is just a big graphic  with bullet points.l I like the legitimacy a fully skinned website page affords.
  2. Keep your page load speed snappy! You’ve got 5 to 6 seconds to make an impression, don’t have those precious seconds be in loading images or superfluous content.
  3. If you have a site search function, include it in the landing page or at the very minimum supply a link to your site map.
  4. Bulletize your content and condense your sales pitch. Most readers will scan your page – put that to work for you by creating bullets, visual graphics that are appealing, and white space that opens up the content.
  5. Include a path to the action you want the reader to take. I will typically encourage the introduction of a contact form at the bottom of the landing page content. I want to lead the reader into getting more information or a price fast with one click. I do  not require any information on the form and usually just ask for first name, last name, email, phone, and comments. Again I do not require any fields I want to make the information request form process friendly and fast.
  6. Make sure your phone number is prominently featured on the landing page top and bottom. Many people will sit on that page and pick up the phone right then to chat with you.
  7. Do not include and excessive amount of content. Identify what your buyer wants to know and link to content that provides more information.
  8. Add graphics to break of the content or to reinforce your message. One page of text looks dull and if the paragraphs are too long, the reader may simply loose interest and surf off.
  9. Make sure you have a link to your privacy policy on your AdWords landing page. AdWords is scanning for this so make sure to have a policy in place and have it linked from your landing page.
  10. Keep all your important information above the fold of the page, that means visible so that someone does not have to scroll to read it.

Creating a landing page is like creating a marketing piece. Give the prospect the information they want fast and entice them to contact you to find out more. Give a sense of urgency to act on the information by offering a promotion with an ending date that encourages interaction to receive the incentive typically within the next week or 30 days.

Even after you have a great landing page, continue to test and refine your message. Find out what resonates with your clients and closes the deal by asking them and then build those items into your new landing page test.

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Google AdWords Introduces Shared Budgets for Campaigns

Just this past week Google announced a very big change in how they do budgets for your AdWords account. Introducing Shared Budgets for Google AdWords campaigns. You can read the full release on the Google blog.

Although this sounds great, I have already had experience with Shared Budgets already last week and want to let you know to be careful and choose carefully what you share.

With a Shared Budget, this is how it is supposed to work. You select which Campaigns (not ad groups) you want to share budgets between. If you have one campaign that does not spend its daily budget on a regular basis and one which does, you can choose to share budgets. Google says this:

“Using shared budgets allows automatic adjustments across campaigns, so you don’t have to constantly monitor and change individual campaign budgets throughout the day.”

It sounds good, that money not spent on the one weaker campaign, would flow over to fund the stronger campaign when needed. BUT, this is the reality of what I have already seen this last week on set up.

I set up Shared Budgets, what happened by noon one day is that the entire account budget was spent by a “hog” of a campaign effectively shutting down exposure for the full account. No metering out there, or leftovers given to the strong program, the stronger program overrode all settings of the weaker programs and took every single cent all $166.66 dollars, all of them!

The lesson learned is to be very careful what you share with AdWords Shared Budgets. Watch carefully after you set up the share both several times during the day and for statistical data. Make sure you are not funding a hog at the expense of the rest of the campaigns in your account.

By using Shared Budgets, you are effectively putting all shared campaigns in one campaign and the strong campaign now acting as an ad group in a single campaign will take the most cash at the expense of the others.

I think the idea is great, the but actual execution can create havoc with an account’s funding structure. Use Shared Budgets carefully and watchfully.

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