Google AdWords is specifically using advanced machine learning via artificial intelligence in its automated bidding algorithms. Target CPA (Cost per Acquisition) bidding, Maximize Conversions, and Maximum Clicks are just samples of new bidding algorithms that can be used in AdWords accounts.
Each algorithm has a place and function based on a client’s need and metrics of success. However, I have found that in some cases using these machine learning driven algorithms that cost per click increases as does cost per conversion.
The value of an account manager in this automated environment is to provide the needed checks and balances to assure that your profitability goals are being met in AdWords.
As Google integrates more machine learning applications in Google AdWords for suggestions, bidding, and account management, it now becomes even more important to have a business-minded AdWords experienced expert overseeing your account to achieve the best results at the lowest cost for your budget.
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.
As more businesses feel pressure to squeeze every cent from Google Ads advertisements, one area that you should not skimp on is the quality of your Google Ads account manager.
Most Google Ads account management services and account managers will charge about 10% of your scheduled ad spend to manage your account. If your ad budget is $7,000 for clicks this turns into $700 for your manager to make changes and monitor your account.
My firm takes a different approach, we bill by the hour for our time. To make it easy to understand our services, we have a grid showing estimated time to manage your program based on ad spend or number of running ad groups. You then buy a certain amount of hours from us monthly and we use this time to manage your account, perform analysis, to provide reporting and to strategize with you as needed on performance and improvements.
For the client with a $7,000 ad spend that would have paid $700 for account management, our fee would have been $450. That is 36% less than the typical account manager.
Can your budget be too low for Google Ads? Yes, it can be, based on the market and Google defined minimum bid to appear in the Google Ads auction.
So, what happens when your budget it too low in Google Ads?
You do not get ad impressions.
You get sporadic clicks and typically not during business hours.
You do not spend your daily budget.
You are not getting good click traffic.
Here’s the big catch, if your Google Ads budget is too low to support high click cost keywords (your first page bid), then Google tries so hard to meter out your program through the day that they literally do not deliver even your daily budget.
This continues through the month and accounts that really need a budget and cost per click boost to be competitive may deliver only a few hundred dollars of click activity with a budget of several thousand dollars.
To fix this problem, increase your budget, increase your cost per click and take a very careful look at your keywords (are they too narrow) and your ad serving schedule.
We get a chance to check our current Google Ads strategy against your needs.
We get feedback from you on what is trending in your business and in sales so as to rearrange our program if needed.
We get an opportunity to review your budget to keep on track with your marketing plan and revise budgets up or down.
I personally find that when we have regular feedback from the client in regards to how Google Ads is working for them, that performance is better and customer satisfaction with Google pay per click is higher.
“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.