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Controlling the Adwords Recommendations Madness (NSFW)


Warning, this post is NSFW (Not Suitable for Whiners). Advertisers who are new to PPC or feel that they have been burned in the past by listening to Google’s Recommendations, need to stop whining and understand that effective pay-per-click marketing does not start and end with Google. Furthermore, what Google recommends is ONLY in the best interest of Google. Google wants you to spend money, and grow their Cafeteria Menus. In my experience, I have witnessed so many horror stories from advertisers taking the recommendations of Google and forcing them to shut down which leaves PPC marketing with a bad taste in their mouth. So, what makes the recommendations so bad? Let’s discuss

 

Well, here’s a few examples that come to mind
  1. Irrelevant Broad Match-based Head Tail Terms
  2. Campaigns with both Search and Display Networks activated
  3. Recommendations to increase traffic without focus on CTR%, Quality Score and Conversions
  4. Text and Banner Ads showing up on Gaming and Sex sites within Google’s display network
  5. Increase CPC’s and daily budgets without reasons why

 

What advertisers need to do to recover from being burned from Adwords recommendations
  1. Just stop listening to Google’s Recommendations completely.
  2. Focus on conversions, NOT just traffic.
  3. Identify conversion(s) goals and develop an an accurate Cost/Conversion and ROAS%
  4. Diversify to other platforms. (ie. Yahoo/Bing, Facebook Ads, Trellian’s Direct Search, LinkedIn ads, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery)
  5. Focus on the “after the click” side of PPC Marketing (Landing Page Optimization, Phone, Forms and Social interactions)
  6. Hire a PPC Expert/consultant for an Audit or ongoing management and optimization.

 

Important Factors to consider in PPC Marketing

For PPC Gurus, these tactics above are pretty obvious, but can sometimes be a “blessing in disguise” to educate advertisers that there is more to PPC Marketing than just adwords. Here are is a simple graphic which lays out some of the important elements that are needed for a successful PPC experience.

 

Other Factors that Influence PPC Performance
  • Competitor Budget Depletion (monthly and daily) that can affect AVG positions throughout a 24 hour period
  • Utilizing Adwords Dimensions which can help identify Opportunities for effective Dayparting and GEO.
  • Quality Score Ratings are based on “before the click” data, NOT “after the click”. Look at conversions first before your pull the plug
  • Reviewing past history of PPC and SEO to gauge seasonality and expansion to other networks. (aka, QUICK WINS!)
  • Constantly test Landing Pages based on interaction levels and conversions.
  • Don’t forget to integrate social media into Landing Pages, to get the most “bang for your buck”
  • Utilize Ad Extensions (sitelinks, locations, call, product, social, mobile app)
  • If daily budgets are depleted, use Dimensions to see when this is happening
  • If advertising across multiple countries, utilize dimensions to measure conversions by country and create separate campaigns just for that winning country

 

In conclusion

Yes, it does feel like there are a million different bells and whistles, as well as tactics at our disposal. However, understand that Google’s #1 concern is getting advertisers to keep on spending money. There best practices that they preach are not always the ones they recommend. Furthermore, there is PPC life beyond Adwords and more advertisers need to leave the nest. PPC should be all about performance and nothing else.

 

 

 

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