Category Archives: Google AdWords

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Is this the ‘right’ move from Google?

The PPC community has been out in full force in recent days after Google stopped serving paid text ads on the right hand side of its results page.

Product listing ads (PLAs) still appear and a fourth ad has been included at the top of the page for premium phrases, pushing the organic rankings further down the page and giving the SEO community plenty to think about in the process.

Why has Google made this change?

The most likely reason Google has made this decision is for economic gains – with CPCs forecasted to rise given that the top positions will become more desirable – and a push to make the desktop and mobile/tablet experience more seamless, which potentially coincides with the other big announcement that accelerated mobile pages (AMP) for HTML is now available.

What does this mean for webmasters and agencies?

The PPC landscape will likely become more competitive with a reduced amount of paid ads now showing in the prime real estate at the top of the page, and campaigns that have relied on the regular and cheaper traffic driven from positions 4-10 may start to see a drop off in click-through-rates, forcing a push into the more expensive premium positions.

For websites that rely more on organic traffic there is the concern that the fourth paid ad position may eat into their share, while only the top three local positions now show by default, down from five previously, which could have an impact on smaller businesses.

What to do

It may take a little time to notice any big changes, but In the short term you’ll need to keep a close eye on Google AdWords and analytics to assess the impacts and adjust bids of your top performing PPC keywords if conversion rates start to drop off. If increasing your bids to maintain the same conversion rate increases your cost-per-sale or cost-per-lead it might be time to weigh up putting more time, effort and money into obtaining a higher organic ranking.

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Keyword Changes on Google Adwords

Exact match and phrase match keywords are disappearing from Google AdWords.

Google announced that these will be replaced with ‘variation’ or ‘near match’ varients starting in September. What does this mean and how will it affect your Google AdWords campaigns?

What is Google changing?

In a blog post on 14th August Google announced that it will no longer be possible to bid on exact match and phrase match keywords without including ‘close varients’ – keywords that are similar to the entered keyword.

According to Google nearly 10% of Google searches contain a misspelling, and there are other varients that need to be included.

They give the example that if you advertise for the exact match keyword [kid scooters], Google will now show your advert for the search terms “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter” and “kids scooters”. Until now, ‘exact match’ meant that the ad was only shown for “kid scooters” and not for the variations.

A similar approach will effect phrase match keywords.

Good or Bad?

The official Google statement is that this change is great and that you will get a lot more clicks. But as an advertiser you will have less control over your target keywords as it’s unclear whether the variation keywords will have the same conversion rate as the target keyword.

The cynic in me says this change will be beneficial to Google but might not be beneficial to Google AdWords users. Unfortunately, there’s nothing users can do to prevent this change.

What to do

You could change your phrase match keywords to exact match keywords so that Google can’t add too many unwanted additional keywords to your account. You can also use negative keywords to remove unwanted phrases, but this canbe a very long-winded process.

As is often the case with Google updates we will have to wait and see what happens, assess the impact and make any necessary changes to keep our Adwords campaigns working efficiently.

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Add a Review to your Adwords Advert

Customers like to see other people’s reviews for a product or service when searching online and Google have been adding reviews from third party sources for some time.

Google Adwords

However, now on Google Adwords it’s now possible to add a review extension to your advert and share positive write-ups, awards or third-party rankings with potential customers. This is in an additional line of text beneath your ads on Google Search and you can choose and enter your own quoted review.

You can use a paraphrased or exact quote, as long as it’s attributed and linked to the published source.

According to Google:

“Reviews should focus on your business as a whole, as opposed to a review about a specific product or service. This makes the reviews relevant to just about all of your ads.”

So your extra line might look something like this:

“Really impressed with the excellent service” –

However Google also point out that it is your responsibility to make sure you’re allowed to use a third-party review for your ads, so you would need the publisher’s permission.

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PPC – Don’t Check Your Adverts!

Category : Google AdWords

If you advertise on Google and regularly check your advert’s status you could be doing yourself a disservice.

Why . . . ?
Because Google monitors page impressions against the number of clicks on your advert. Over a period of time this provides a score – the Click Through Rate, commonly known as CTR.

Both keywords and adverts have a CTR score so whenever you use Google to search one of your own business keywords and don’t click on the advert you are reducing your Click Through Rate and diminishing the credibility of your keyword and advert.

Google also has a keyword Quality Score which is directly effected by your CTR (amongst other things). So regularly checking of your advert position on Google can move your advert down the rankings and potentially cost you more in keyword bids.

But there is an answer . . .
To counteract this Google provides a handy tool which allows you to make a non-registered search which will still show you how your advert looks and it’s position for any keyword you type in, but won’t affect your CTR or Quality Score.

Bookmark it and use for all your keyword checks – Google Ad Test Tool – without damaging your advert ranking.

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Google AdWords – money well spent?

The cost of adverting on Google has steadily increased over the past few years. So is it still worthwhile?
The answer all depends on how you set up and manage your campaigns.

An AdWords campaign has to be well organised and regularly maintained to be cost-effective. Your set-up checklist should include:

  • well researched keywords
  • carefully targeted AdGroups
  • keyword focused adverts
  • sensible keyword bids
  • compelling landing pages
  • a realistic budget

Many campaigns make the mistake of casting the net too wide – grabbing every available keyword and bidding for it – thinking that more is better. It’s a shortcut to a poorly focused campaign that uses up budget but delivers few results.

Campaigns need to use each AdGroup to focus on a service, product or group of keywords with compelling adverts designed to produce a high Click Through Rate and a good quality score.

Get this right and your keyword bids need not cost the earth and your budget should be manageable.

Once set up you need to know, ‘Is the campaign working?’ Click Through Rates may be good, keywords regularly in the top three positions and all within budget . . . but this is only part of the story.

To keep a strong campaign working effectively you also need feedback from the website. But I’ll look at this vital element in the next posting.

Also to come . . .
Maitaining your AdWords Campaign
When the target keywords are beyond your budget
Running AdWords on the Display Network