Every few months I like to provide my clients with a generic update full of information that I feel they will get some use from. At the end of each update I then give personalised recommendations on how to improve their account / accounts, along with potential budget increases.
Here is the generalised information that I recently sent my clients:
I first saw these appear on an account at the beginning of the year and when I spoke to people at Google it wasn’t even officially in Beta then. I haven’t seen them again until the last few weeks when I’ve seen them appear on a few accounts. Adverts with additional descriptions are not even recognised in Adwords Editor so it will be a while until they are released on every account, if ever. But if the feature is released then I’ll be adding them to my accounts as soon as possible.
Basically if this feature is released then Google are giving each advert an additional 80 characters of text.
Competitor campaigns were once a staple of a good Adwords account but there has been a massive shift over the past 12 months.
A competitor campaign is where you use competitor brand names as keywords in your Adwords campaign. The theory behind this type of campaign is that if someone is searching for your competitor then they are likely to have an interest in your product or service too. This means highly targeted traffic is sent to a site and the cost per click in a lot of industries is much cheaper than product specific keywords. Most competitor campaigns usually see a good ROI due to this. There are of course some industries where this isn’t the case and occasionally competitor terms actually have a higher CPC than product specific keywords. But this isn’t the norm.
Traditionally I have found two problems with competitor campaigns. Firstly some clients don’t understand exactly what targeted traffic is. For example, someone may sell lawn mowers but then ask me to target B&Q as a competitor. B&Q offer a far too broad selection of products to target them. Click through rate would be terrible and any traffic is unlikely to be targeted. The other problem was that some companies will email an advertiser threatening legal action if they do not stop targeting their brand name. There is nothing illegal in targeting a competitors brand name and Google actively encourage companies to do this but you will find a lot of advertisers immediately get scared and ask to stop targeting that particular competitor.
But in 2017 a new problem has materialised and this could threaten the use of competitor campaigns altogether. Across several industries and several countries I have been told by clients that people have begun clicking on adverts from competitor keywords and call the advertiser thinking that the advertiser is in fact the competitor. In most instances when the person finds out that the advertiser are not the competitor, they put the phone down.
My theory behind this is that people are so used to finding the information that they want on Google straight away that they just click on the first number that they find and call it. Potential work arounds may be to take call extensions away from competitor campaigns but a phone number may still appear via automated extensions that Google now run. So that isn’t the safest solution. I’d like to trial not running on mobile for competitor campaigns and believe that may be the answer. This can be done via settings, devices, bid adjustment and then ‘decrease by 100’. Unfortunately none of my clients have given me permission to try this yet. When they start receiving calls for competitors they worry they are wasting money and want to stop the competitor campaigns immediately. Hopefully stopping competitor campaigns appearing on mobile devices will correct the issue and I am going to ask some of my clients if I can trial this. If my trials are not successful then competitor campaigns may well have to be left in 2017.
I’m sure you have seen and are aware of the new Dashboard inside Adwords. This is still in Beta and lots of changes may happen to it before it is forced on people. I’ve spoken to tons of people in the industry and also quite a few staff at Google and every person has told me that they will continue to use the old dashboard until the new Dashboard is forced upon people early in 2018. When this happens I’ll let you know.
I’ve recently been given quite a few Adwords scripts that a top London agency had developed / work with. If you want me to implement them on campaigns then please let me know. My favourites are the following:
1. Monthly budget pause – as you know Adwords used to spend up to 10% extra to make up for under spending days or if their algorithm believed you may underspend throughout the month. Frequently this would mean budgets would overspend. About a year or two ago this was made worse when this fluctuation was increased to 20%. This particular script will pause campaigns as soon as monthly budget has been reached
2. Weather bid multiplier – basically I can link an account to a weather forecast website. So say for example you were selling sunblock and its going to be a hot day, then the script would automatically increase bids on that day. If you sold umbrella’s and it began to rain then the script would increase bids on rainy days and so on
3. Sale countdown in adverts – when there is a sale on a clients website I can add a script so the adverts say how many days and hours are left until the sale ends. This constantly updates itself in real time.
You have been able to run video ads and remarketing ads in particular on Youtube for years now but until this year I hadn’t seen results from them. It’s estimated that 90% of all content in 2017 is in video form and for the first time I’ve started to see remarketing video youtube videos begin to get some good results.
Adwords is more competitive than ever with more companies advertising on the platform. All of my clients really need to stay on step ahead by ensuring their Quality Scores are as good as can be. I always do everything I can from my end to generate good Quality Scores but I can’t influence page loading time which is a big factor. Please use https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
to check page speeds and make any relevant changes suggested to speed up load times and therefore help increase Quality Scores. Not to mention conversion rates. As I’ve said in the past, for every second it takes a page to load, bounce rates increase by 20%.
Different Attribution Models
Google are now trying to roll out different attribution models. In the past Google would always recommend that you exclude keywords like review, compare etc but now they are trying to change attribution models to show that such keywords do play a part in an eventual conversion. So a review keyword may be attributed with 20% of a conversion. I have remained on last click attribution. It may be the cynic in me but because no one bids on compare etc keywords, Google are losing money so it’s just a way for Google to earn more money from clicks
I’ve been running experiments (A/B tests) for clients for years but with the amount of updates and innovations that Google keep bringing out I’m starting to see a lot of value in them lately. What may have been perfect ad text two years ago before call out extensions and structured snippets, may not be anymore. On bigger accounts it may therefore be worthwhile to test different ad text. I’ve also been trying different landing pages, different bids and so on.
This is something that I emailed about a few months ago. Me and a business partner developed a piece of software specifically for ecommerce companies that can change the time it takes to create a good quality account from weeks or days down to just hours. For a lot of ecommerce companies Adwords builds alone used to be too expensive. By using AdStart they no longer are. The technology also improves management on eCommerce accounts
I’m sure I would have mentioned to you before but Chat Bots have become huge in 2017. A lot of websites used to have chat boxes but wit chat bots you no longer need someone to man a chat box. Through artificial intelligence chat bots respond to websie users and this has helped see huge improvements in conversion rates for websites.
Most websites are still using text testimonials. No one really believes them as anyone could have written them. Video testimonials are different because by seeing a person actually talking the testimonial people believe it. If possible it would be great to get some video testimonials on your clients websites.