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Is Google Putting A Hurting On Your Expectation Management With Clients?

When trying to convince new PPC prospects to sign up or persuade existing clients to transition over to your organization for paid search services is probably getting more and more difficult as Google continues to "inflate" the CPC prices, especially with ROI% sensitive clients and markets and also with a recession knocking on the door. In the Political World, Google’s rather extreme relevancy standards is putting a too much unnecessary "brain damage" on the search agencies and other search folks who are managing these campaigns. If you working on Political based campaigns, it’s a friggin nightmare.

Since traditional paid search within the Search Network accompanied by
conversion based analytics is becoming an endangered territory lately
these days, I am seeing, especially within the Political Arena, that
promising specific ROAS targets is like throwing darts at a moving
target during a category 4 hurricane. It’s not an easy life to perform under those
expectations. So, to help protect yourself against the Google Game of
inflated CPCs, it’s time to pass the "reality" onto the clients.

Here’s a real life example of a Political Candidate where Google’s Interpretation of Poor Relevancy has forced all keywords to either $5 or $10 min CPC to activate.

Cutting Taxes


  • cut taxes
  • cut tax spending
  • Child Tax Credits (poor, pay $5)
  • Tax Relief (poor, pay $5)
  • help tax relief (poor, pay $5)
  • dividend tax (poor, pay $5)
  • death tax (poor, pay $5)

[Candidate Name] on Cutting Taxes
Repeal Death Tax. Make Child Tax
Credit Permanent. Support!

Landing page: Relevant Content based on "Cutting Taxes, dividend tax, etc…"

Summary of this Google Hell:
This one adgroup was considered not relevant enough by Google and we were told to break down even further and have separate landing pages created for each of those rejected keywords. You’ve gotta be kidding me, especially when you have a too many hands in the pot, not to mention the sensitivity of the political messaging which is carefully approved.

Ok, so in the political World, the process for setting things up and putting approved content and strategies in motion is not as easy as you would think. For example, just to get a PPC campaign started, here are just a few elements of "reality" that need to be taken care of.  In most cases, there is no past history to help with Quality Score, so you have that problem. To play the Google Relevancy game, the creation of 20+ landing pages just for PPC is a monumental task, especially with the small, State and Local level races:

Political Campaigns at the "Non-National" Level typically have the following:

  1. Separate firm who designs the site
  2. Separate PPC Marketing Firm who is responsible for messaging, getting analytics tracking code on the site, keywords selection, reporting, yada, yada, yada.
  3. Separate 3rd Party Donation Payment Processor
  4. Lengthy review process
    1. Campaign Managers
    2. Candidates review
    3. Consultant review
    4. Oh yeah, Google Editorial Review

In Conclusion:
As Google increases the costs, forces agencies and search marketers to spend more time breaking down more and more campaigns and adgroups even further, it is only good business sense to not only protect yourself from the madness, but to save $$ on MIDOL (hee hee). If the ROAS% was 500%, perhaps communicate to the client that based on Google’s inflation of CPC, that they lower their ROAS projections to say 300% and also start monetizing other actionable elements such as newsletter sign ups, contact us forms, phone calls, etc…

Don’t let Google ruin your client’s relationship. Embrace the reality and it’s your obligation to communicate it to the client. If you don’t, you will lose that client.

Filed under: Google Adwords

One Response to "Is Google Putting A Hurting On Your Expectation Management With Clients?"

  1. SearchCap: The Day In Search, April 29, 2008

    Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web…

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