If you are not budget restrained, meaning that you have additional marketing dollars to spend, here is a quick primer on how to know if it makes sense to increase your Google Ads spending budget.
First, look at your campaign level results and sort the data for yesterday. If you did not spend your full budget yesterday, raising your daily budget will have no impact. Make sure to check a few days on top of just yesterday to assure that you are seeing enough results to be sure.
Second, if your program is profitable for you meaning are getting leads which leave room for profit, then the rule of thumb is to increase your ad spend as long as you have a positive ROI or return on investment. Make sure to look at the average cost per conversion when you evaluate what your leads cost versus what you make per lead.
It is important to have an awareness of important facts that are unique for your business such as one out of every ten leads makes a purchase or becomes a regular customer and regular customers typically will stay five years with us and have a lifetime value of X.
I do not recommend raising your ad spend budget without thought to assure that Google Ads is an investment in your growth and not an expense.
That being said for accounts that have taken the approach of increasing the ad spend without a limit while there is still positive ROI, the results can be absolutely, positively, mind boggling and wonderful.
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.
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.
With over 10 years of experience in professional management of AdWords account, I wanted to share tips on an often overlooked yet important item in conversion tracking – attribution.
First to see what I am talking,(in the old interface) about go to Tools > Conversions. Click one of the names of the conversions you have set up. Look to the bottom to Attribution Model. If you’ve done nothing it has defaulted to Last Click. Click Edit and change your conversion model to Position Based.
Position Based is my preferred attribution model. Over time you will be able to see keywords in your account that you might have pause that are actually a part of the conversion path.
The first click and last click will be weighted to 40% each and the middle clicks will split the remaining 20%. What happens is important for your keyword monitoring. You will start to see keywords that previously in the last click model may not be driving as many conversions as you had thought.
Your data drives your decisions in AdWords, put your data to work for you by changing your Attribution Model to the right one for you.