Marketing Advice & Reflections
There has been some discussion online recently about how to use keyword match types within RLSA campaigns.
For those who are unfamiliar with RLSA campaigns, these are Google AdWords campaigns which target previous visitors to your site (the RL part - Remarketing Lists) when these people run new search queries (the SA - Search Ads).
For many PPC Managers there is an ingrained aversion to using Broad match keywords. and even for these RLSA campaigns many are reluctant to use anything looser than Broad Match Modified.
This, in my opinion, is an unfounded fear, and you will be doing yourself a disservice if you do not use very generic keywords in Broad Match type for your RLSA campaigns.... and here's why...
It’s a serious question.
I’m not talking about everything Google does; they’re not the worlds richest company for nothing. I’m talking about the Google AdWords platform.
Here’s why I ask the question.
Last week I launched a small new campaign for a client.
Following best practices I added two ads to the campaign and set them to "Rotate Indefinitely: Show lower performing ads more evenly with higher performing ads and do not optimise".
There is a caveat below this option which states : "Not recommended for most advertisers" - but I like living on the edge.
I can't do calculus or anything really complicated, but I consider myself to be one of those people that are "good with numbers". At the very least I know that $163.27 divided by 1 should be $163.27.
So I was understandably confused when Google reported that it was actually only $61.53....
On a client's new campaign the ads were set to "Optimize for clicks: Show ads expected to provide more clicks".... the campaign is a day old... How do you presume to know, Google??
So I changed the setting to Rotate Indefinitely and make a mental note to actually prepare that basic checklist of default settings I need to remember to change.... on every campaign I set up. EVER!
And this got me thinking - there are some default - out of the box - settings that simply go against Google's own best practices.
Many of the writers question whether it should be used at all.
And, as if this is not bad enough, Google are testing a paid version of the web experience where the ads are pixelated, so your senses needn't be assaulted and offended by their gaudy messages.
But, just perhaps, the GDN is an Ugly Duckling - just waiting to be recognised as the swan it really is.
Let's wander back in time... before the internet. You wanted to find a plumber, you went to the yellow pages, or the classified ads section of your local newspaper. Today we call that Google search.
But there were lot's of other things you bought that you didn't want. Or need. You saw them in magazines, or on TV or heard about them on the radio. Maybe someone left a flyer in your mailbox, or sent you a letter (remember those?). Today we call that Google Display Network.
We have a client with whom we have been discussing RLSA - remarketing lists for search ads. For those who have not yet tried RLSA, we have found it very effective for some clients - being able to catch previous site visitors (people on our remarketing lists) if they initiate a new search on Google. Let's face it - we know they are, on the one hand, still in the market and on the other, presumably, given the fact that time has passed since their first visit, they are also more motivated to complete their conversion (purchase, sign up, contact request) than they were the first time around.
So we like RLSA.
I've been quite happy over the past few months. I discovered that I could get most of the traffic I wanted with a minimal amount of fuss using Google's new Broad Match Modified (BMM) match type. I felt like Baby Bear from Goldilocks - BMM isn't too loose, nor is it too restrictive. It's just right!
And like a happy bear, I was gradually replacing most of my phrase match keywords with their BMM counterparts.
I had never really used broad match - that was like putting all my money on the desk and telling Google to just take what it wanted. So I ended up with basically two types of campaign. Those using BMM and those using exact match. I like exact match... not quite as much as I like BMM - but for different reasons - It's badass.
A couple of months ago Google AdWords introduced a drag and drop function for adding image ads to campaigns. I love it. It saves a lot of time on one of those functions that cannot be automated and must be done on a "one by one" basis.
They recently made a further improvement to this feature but I'm not quite as pleased with this one....
Google have just started sending out emails about the new dynamic sitelinks that are being rolled out globally.
Essentially, Google is going to add sitelinks to your ads unless you opt out. and these will replace your current sitelinks if the system deems that "their" sitleink is more appropriate than "yours".
As yet these have not shown up on any of our accounts (as far as we can tell") - but there are a couple of things that concern us.
I can stay in bed until the very last minute and still get to work on time.
And yet my office is 625 kilometres from my house.
OK - not completely true.... it's true that my house is a 5 minute drive from my office. And it is true that I stay in bed until the last possible moment most mornings.
It's what stops us from achieving our goals. Clutter on our desk. Clutter in our heads. And clutter in our PPC accounts.
When we take a step back from the day to day micro-management of ppc campaigns we can sometimes catch a glimpse of the bigger picture. The one where the fundamental principles shine through.
PPC management is simple and the secret is.....
Below the fold... it's a term borrowed from newspaper advertising. When a broad sheet newspaper was folded in half and then stacked on a newsstand, you could only see the top half of the front page. Everything else was, well... below the fold.
The internet has borrowed this term to describe ads which are on the web page being browsed, but not visible unless the user scrolls down, and there has been a lot of talk over the past few months about whether Google should count an ad which is never seen as an impression. It's along the lines of trees falling in forests and no one hearing them....
More than once I have found myself delving deep into account structure and global settings to "fix" a problem only to have a Homer "D'Oh" moment... here are a few of mine, and in this show and tell post, I'd like to hear some of yours!
So you start an AdWords campaign and you start to get traffic. You're doing all the things they tell you to do - you've got Google Analytics installed and you've got conversion reporting configured. You know exactly which keywords and ads are working and which are not - so now you can start really optimizing your account. How long will it take you to paint yourself into a corner?
If you're not careful - it could be quicker than you might think.
Many of my smaller clients do not have a Google Places account. We stress the importance of this and most are happy to set it up - but this implies the inevitable wait for a verification code from Google... and this can cause a month or more delay.
But then, almost by chance, we discovered a secret doorway back to the way things used to be.... follow me.....
But in light of recent site policy changes made by Google don't get caught in the same trap we fell into!
We have a client with a cancer clinic. It's a specific type of cancer that they treat, so our campaigns are highly targeted.
But, following Google's very sensible advice, our RLSA campaigns are not so restrictive - in fact, our RLSA campaigns uses the BMM keyword +cancer - after all, if someone has previously visited our page then we know the type of cancer they are interested in.
There are a number of ways to do this - its good to include sitelinks and location, call and social extensions, these are all part of the normal campaign set up and if you are not adding these as a matter of course, you should be. but these extensions aside, the ad copy you present is the most important feature of how you bait your hook.
Most blogs will tell you about using triggers - calls to action that induce the click include words such as Now, Today, Rush, Don't Miss, Claim, etc. all designed to encourage the reader to click on your ad.