A while ago I wrote a post on the Hard Truths of Google Ads. Since then a number of people have asked where are the first places I look when I inherit a Google Ads account. There are a lot of bases to cover, but there are some checks that are always the same and although they might sound obvious, it is hard to believe how often they are hindering an accounts success. Here are my "favourites" - bad choice of word, but you know what I mean. Account time zone If you don't pay attention to the time zone of your account you will run into issues further down the line. Most new advertisers are just keen to get ads up and running - but somewhere (hopefully sooner rather than later) they realise that they get better results on certain days - and time of day. Some find that weekends are better than weekdays, others - the other way around. Some find that mornings work better than evenings. Sometimes these things make sense,..
Over the past few years Google Ads has become more and more automated. We have automated bidding, automated ad generation - copy and images that Google take directly from your website - automated videos from still images for use on YouTube, responsive ads, automated conversions, automated extensions.... and the list goes on. This is Google making things easier for the advertiser. It truly is. And it is a noble cause. If you don't have time to manage your Google Ads campaigns then you can add your basic details, give Google your credit card and let them build your business for you. What could be better than that? It frees up your time to do what you really need to do - which if you are a small (or even medium) sized business owner is, well, everything else. Many people have simply abdicated this responsibility to Google's algorithm. And, let's be clear, it is an algorithm. If you think that there is a Google employee..
Time was, language targeting in Google Ads was relatively simple. If you wanted to reach English speakers you chose English as your target language. If you wanted to reach Spanish speakers, you selected Spanish, and so on. Simple, right? Well, yes... it was. And it worked. Because Google determined a users language by seeing which language was selected in their browser preference. Seems logical. After all, if I speak English the chances are I will have my browser language preference set to English. Of course, there was always a little "leakage" and you would get the odd German speaker, or Chinese in the mix, but it was at a volume that didn't really impact on your results or budgets in any significant way. Fast forward a few years. Google have changed the way in which they identify a users ... let's call it, use of language. Now, rather than use the browser language preference as a guide, they use a combination..
As part of my work on the Google Ads Community Forum I get to see a lot of people who have been sucked into advertising on the Google Ads platform, and who have given up because it was either too hard to get a response, or because the response they did get simply didn't generate a return on investment that made sense economically and they reached the point where they were throwing good money after bad. Here are 6 home truths about Google Ads which are going to be very hard reading for some: 1. Google doesn't care if it works for you or not. Google is a huge machine. It runs 24/7 and churns out search results and display ads at a rate that would blow your mind if you could get your mind around it. If you have a credit card and a website you can join in the fun. And you have to play by the rules - which is fine, because everyone has to play by the rules, right? Just like a casino, Google doesn't care if this is your first..
As one of the Product Experts on the Google Ads Community Forum is that you get invited to their annual meet ups - because of Covid 19 these have been virtual for the past couple of years but this lovely goodie box arrived today - courtesy of Google Ads - so thank you Google - we're looking forward to the sessions on the..
GA4 is now the default set up for new Google Analytics accounts. You add the new account and set up the first property. The default and, apparently, only option is to create the new GA4 property with its new tracking. So you go ahead with the "advancement" - after all, you assume that Google knows what they are doing. It all works, although the interface is significantly different and you struggle to find the reports you are used to accessing without really thinking. But you figure that it's just a learning curve - which, like so many learning curves that have come before, you'll eventually get used to and it will become second nature in a week or two. Then you go to link the Search Console account for this site, and you can't find anything in the admin area. So you run a quick search online to see where it's been moved to find that it's not possible to link Google Analytics GA4 and Search Console! Thanks, Google?? Why..
One of the most common questions we are asked by new clients is "How much should I spend on Google Ads?" - it is important to carefully set your Google Ads budget to avoid both over, and underspending. To help with this there are some considerations that should be born in mind: 1. Don't spend more than you can afford to lose I know that sounds really pessimistic - bit it is realistic. Google Ads is tricky to get right. The first money you spend will struggle to wash its face, let alone make money. That's just a plain truth. But it is invaluable in the learning process. What is working? What attracts the right kind of client? How much is it going to cost to land a paying customer? All of this is core to the optimisation process. Working with a professional will help reduce the wastage, but there will still be some - it's a question of how quickly you can learn and adjust your campaigns to improve the results which takes us nicely..
Remember how, when you buy something on Amazon they are always quick to tell you that people that bought that particular gadget, book, DVD or special gift, also bought these other vaguely (sometimes curiously remotely) similar items? It's called the upsell. Whilst I've got you buying one thing, I'll sell you another. I was reminded of this when looking at Custom Affinity Audiences which we are actively encouraging our clients to consider in their accounts. We're seeing some strong results, and the reason seems to be quite simple...
A couple of weeks ago I sent out a simple tweet about how I had stopped using phrase match in my PPC campaigns. Which is strange, because my campaigns were almost exclusively built on ranks of phrase match keywords covering a multitude of search queries relevant to my clients' products or services. A few people asked me why... the reason is the launch of broad match modified keywords. I hated broad match - it just seemed like leaving your car parked with the door open, the engine running and the keys in the ignition. Hey, Google - over here! Come spend whatever you like! And, oftentimes, advertisers were surprised by just how quickly a budget could be depleted. Ta-Daaaaa! No you see me now you don't! But with broad match modified, you can often get all the coverage you were hoping to get with hundreds of phrase match keywords - without the wastage that came with pure broad match - and without the bloating...
This week we have taken over the management of a Google AdWords account that was floundering. This is not something new... often, we are contacted after a small or medium business has taken the plunge into the inviting waters of ppc only to find that the water is deeper, colder and a lot murkier than it looked to be from the shore. But this particular account led us to consider some fo the default settings in a new account set up. Some of them we have complained about before: why, for example, is the keyword quality score column not activated by default in the reports? Or why is auto-tagging "yes, please" not the default setting? but neither of these directly affect the costs of the advertising. The default setting double whammy we discuss today does.....