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AdWords Changes Are All Right

Google AdWords was recently altered at a grand scale and your business could be too if you’re not on top of the PPC game

Judging by the immediate panic resonating from Google’s biggest change to its SERPs in a decade, one would think a major crime against humanity had been committed. Phones rang feverishly, email boxes overflowed and bloggers churned out all sorts of rants. All the while advertisers were left to wade through a sea of instant evaluation and too often misleading information.

Let us state clearly that now is NOT a time to panic, but rather an opportunity to make more money.

Yes, Google went all in. Adhering to the ever swelling mobile tide, it created a more universal search experience across all devices. With one flail swoop they axed all the ads from the right-hand rail on desktop results. The shift includes a fourth ad position to appear just above the organic listings. Paid results ranking five through seven fall below SEO to the bottom of the page, while all other PPC results are shoved into the abyss of Page 2 and beyond.

But what did all this really mean to you the advertiser? Well, based on the plethora of research out there here are some top nuggets to consider:

  • Since Google’s change, clicks on top 3 ad placements are up 10-15% overall. (Wordstream)

There are actually MORE clicks on paid ads coming in for the best advertisers. This is leading to more revenue across multiple industries. Fact of the matter is, roughly only 10% of all clicks came from right side ads. Now those clicks are shifting to top positions.

You MUST attain top 3 ranking for profitable keywords. While 4 ads are showing more often, it’s still quite common to see just 2 or 3 in spots. However, the cost for being ineffective is steeper too as competition increases. You could use lose money just as fast as making it by pursuing the wrong terms or possessing a poor conversion strategy.

  • PLAs from Shopping Campaigns are actually appearing at the top of the page more frequently than ever before. As a result, PLA click share has increased, in comparison to text ads (Merkle/RKG)

google-adwords-changes-blog

If you’re an e-commerce company, Shopping Campaigns should not be new news to you. You knew getting more out of them is critical to sustaining PPC success, but in most cases have been unable to attain solid ROI. While these campaigns look simple to launch and manage, it’s really a place where the strong thrive while others struggle to survive or worse.

The difference between good strategy and execution can mean a consistent revenue stream or a loss of countless daily sales opportunities.

  • After scouring dozens of “early returns” from PPC pundits, it’s pretty clear since late February, CPCs have been rising slightly faster than they were prior to Google’s change, but nothing significant.

There is no need to expand budgets until you realize that you can increase revenue and/or ROI in return. Don’t fight a bidding war because of media hype or executive panic. Let the numbers speak for themselves . Success will come from managing more actively and wisely than ever before.

The change from Google (it’s biggest in more than a decade) is by some estimations rewarding the top 1% of advertisers with 10% more revenue. I can personally validate that claim as our clients have already seen revenue and ROI shoot up considerably.

That’s the good news!
The bad news?!?!

  • It’s going to take more time, effort and expertise to stay atop the mix. There are many nuisances in AdWords to exploit and being on top the changing game will be critical to success.
  • Competition will rise quickly with some big budgets coming after your ROI. Winning battles will come through flexible budgeting, diverse strategy, creative copy and nimble PPC skills.
  • PPC strategies will need more breadth of coverage across channels. You need to go beyond SERPs to develop a multi-pronged plan that keeps your brand, product and services atop prospects minds (and screens).

Experts across Google Analytics and Adwords portals are seeing exponential value in moving users between channels. Having your brand is seen and engaged across Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, and sites they frequent (via retargeting) is no longer a luxury. Longer conversion path lengths and multi-channel touch points have been trending, but are quickly accelerating.

To boil it all down, what you need now more than ever is PPC expertise, experience and manpower. Don’t go this alone and don’t continue to spend on managers who are not showing you the money. Amazing results are out there to be had for those prepared to do PPC the right way today and tomorrow. You just need to hire the right guides to manage your efforts and lead the way.

Stop Throwing Money Down the Toilet on Paid Search

Money Going Down The ToiletUntil the day Google is no longer synonymous with how people find out information on just about everything, your business will need to be found for keyword phrases pivotal to your profits. The lack of a sound Paid Search game plan and skills to execute it is detrimental to maximizing revenue from the this channel. However, many are ecommerce sites are too timid or scared to tackle Paid Search properly.

Google and Bing are fantastic resources to market your brand, but they are not altruistic. Without these search engines countless businesses would not have survived, let alone thrived. But without your ads, Google would never had become a household name, Yahoo! would just be another exclamation and Bing would be but a gleam in Microsoft’s eye.

You’ve got to be careful and extremely knowledgeable in this space or succumb to a minefield that can destroy budgets and kill potential for positive ROI.

If any of the following management clichés seem too familiar, then you’re likely helping add revenue to a pair of nation’s largest companies while risking your bottom line. Here are the most likely ways your company is losing money on Paid Search advertising.

Set it and forget it

Paid Search is the wrong time to invoke a timeless infomercial catch phrase. The principle here simply take time to prepare a meal then put in the oven and walk away. Not exactly a stretch to appeal to being too busy to focus and seeking quick solutions. Quite frankly that’s where Paid Search platforms make their easy money. Don’t fret, human nature demands when handling tasks we don’t enjoy or know that much about to find the path of least resistance.

In reality, even if you take your time to setup a well-targeted campaign, it still needs constant attention and consistent nurturing. It’s been proven time and time again having a well thought out yet flexible plan and sticking to it on a daily or weekly basis is critical.

Haste Makes Waste

Too often Google Adwords and Bing AdCenter accounts are setup in minutes because they can be. After all, the appeal of being on Page 1 of major search engines in less than 30 minutes is tempting. There are countless tools provided to make it easy to find and add keywords to account, write a quick ad or two, set a budget and press go. However, this will lead to tons of unwanted visitors and wasted spend.

Take the time to really think through your audiences and what they’d be searching. Conduct extensive keyword research to find good long-tail and negative keywords. And never assume a recommended ad group is filled with closely related terms. You’ve got to read through them all!

Writers Block

But what should I write about? What else can I say? How can say anything in a 25 character headline with 70 characters to drive home my message or offer while providing a CTA?

Developing new ad copy on a routine basis is a daunting challenge to many business owners, but this simple act can have a profound impact that goes beyond a new session. Like a question, the only bad ad is the one left in your mind and not given a chance to battle for supremacy. Ongoing A/B ad testing is vital to improving your account.

Window Shopping

Would you place every product in the window of your brick and mortar store? Nope. That prime real estate is saved for items that draw in customers and show your edge over the competition. Google Shopping campaigns have become so “easy” to use that store owners are lining to promote every widget in the inventory. Sure, it’s nice to go for the volume, but not at these costs (which is an issue for our next blog post). Instead you should be focusing budget on products you can make good margin on even after paying for non-converting clicks. Branch out to test additional products once you’re steadily making money in this fiercely competitive area.

Match Game broad-match-modifier

Can we be frank? If you’re using broad match without the modifier for any significant number of terms then you saying to the search engines feel free to show my add when you want. Exact and Phrase match are the cornerstones of long-term success. However, broad match can be a necessity for many reasons. You need to modify broad match in order to show the search algorithms the words are connect and cannot be isolated. Keep in mind, if there is an ‘of’, ‘how to’, ‘for’ or ‘what is’ in the keyword term you might as well start with phrase match.

Think Positive

It’s not nice to promote a negative attitude, but that’s exactly the mindset needed to save money and improve ROI. Adding keywords to the list of negative terms that do not relate to your intended audience keeps you from getting clicks from folks who never intended to convert. It also restricts unwanted impressions, which allows your ads to show in front of more-targeted searchers more often.

Your ecommerce story paved with the peaks and valleys of search engine success. Whether riding a high tide or you’re struggling to tread water, getting the most out of every dollar spent on Paid Search ad clicks is critical to ecommerce success. Make sure you’re on top of your account focusing on the bottom line and business objectives at all times or hire someone you can trust to do so.

Quality Over 

Quantity

Quality Over Quantity

Not all ecommerce traffic is created equally. We help drive targeted visitors to your ecommerce site through SEO, PPC, Shopping Engines, and other channels.

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They Want

Give 'Em What They Want

Semantic markup improves click through rates in the SERPs. Modifications to the user experience increase conversion rates on the site. Small changes improve the bottom line.

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Shout With Purpose

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Money, Money, Money

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Invest and build in an online store to supplement your current offline sales. If you already sell online, expand and grow your sales by selling on Amazon and ebay.

AdWords Changes Are All Right

Google AdWords was recently altered at a grand scale and your business could be too if you’re not on top of the PPC game Judging by the immediate panic res

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