Tag Archives: Google Ads Manager

Conversion Tips for Getting the Most from Google Ads

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

  1. Always track website contact forms.
  2. Try to track website phone calls.
  3. Do not change key conversion actions.
  4. Use Position-Based attribution.
  5. Set your cookie for 30 to 60 days.
  6. Add additional conversion actions for promotions.
Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC
Nancy C. McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC

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.

 

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Google Ads is Killing Remarketing and Display with Mobile Apps Delivery

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.

  1. 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).

Display Graph

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).

Remarketing Graph

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).

Remarketing Graph

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.

Remarketing Graph

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.

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Tips for Analyzing if Google Ads is Working for You Part Two

Be on target with deciding what conversions to let the Google AI base bidding on.
Make sure that Google Ads is bringing you the clients you want.

Continued from Monday…

The next step is to dig into your Google Ads report center and start to run reports on location, calls, clicks, and conversion actions. Make sure to review Google Analytics to check your paid traffic versus organic traffic.

One of the most important metrics that I use is conversion rate and cost per conversion for analysis of success of a program. If your service nets many thousands of dollars, it is important to assign the “right” conversion value to each prospect you receive.

Here’s where knowing how many leads you need to get a closed sale and how much the typical client will spend with you and how long they will stay is key for your final evaluation.

For example if it take you 100 leads to close one sale and the sale is a $60,000 sale, you can afford to spend thousands in Google Ads monthly to generate the leads you need to get to your known closure and sales rate.

Another example may be where you project fabric sales to be over $1 million this year, an investment of $2,000 a month for clicks where you are generating 500 sales a month is a great start to meeting your goal.

As you can see, deciding if Google Ads is valuable to your business, really requires you to know some important things about your own business first. How long does it typically take to close a sale once you start working with a client, what is the typical sale, is there a chance for repeat business, what is the size of the sale, what is the cost to you to deliver the service or product, are there multiple purchases with each sale are just a few important questions to ask yourself.

Google Ads offer a myriad number of reports and ways that you can slice and dice your data to evaluate success from your program. It all starts with a knowledge of your own customer, your expenses, and the long term value of each client to your business.

There is no better platform on the Internet than Google to drive qualified leads to your business. Make sure you are getting the most from Google by using an experienced and credentialed Google Ads account manager to assist you in meeting your sales goals.

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Tips for Analyzing if Google Ads is Working for You Part One

Be on target with deciding what conversions to let the Google AI base bidding on.
Make sure that Google Ads is bringing you the clients you want.

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.

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