We have been in the Paid Search industry long enough to have witnessed it blossoming into a sophisticated, complex area of digital marketing. Having a website and optimising it isn’t enough to compete. With search engines changing their algorithms constantly and social media platforms allowing companies to interact with consumers like never before, staying on top can feel more like fire-fighting than implementing a planned strategy.
Among all the different paths you can follow to develop Adwords campaigns, knowing which ones really matter and which ones are detours is crucial, especially for businesses with limited budgets. So leave your map and compass, and read on to find out what is really worth your time.
Keyword Quality Score
Quality Score (QS) for Google and Bing is a variable used by search engines within the ad auction to determine the rank and the cost-per-click (CPC) of ads. The higher the quality score for a given keyword, the greater the chance to be listed prominently.. and for less cost.
It sounds important, doesn’t it? Well, it sure is. But I tell you what, it can be a real fight to improve and one that needs quite a bit of insight, determination and patience, especially for large campaigns.
If you google “quality score”, you will invariably come across nebulous definitions as to how it is calculated. Its three main components include:
- Historic ad performance via click through rate (CTR)
- The relevance of the ad to the keywords it fires for
- The quality and relevance of the web page that you send users to after clicking the ad
Great gains can be had from improvements in QS but be warned, you could spend weeks tweaking your ad, your ad grouping and your landing pages and see no difference. Quality score improvements are a subtle science and an expert touch is recommended.
Impression Share Metrics
To see how well your ads are performing for the keywords targeted, Google provides insights into what is known as impression share. This let’s you know how often your ads are showing for keywords that the ad is eligible to appear on. It is reported as a percentage.
It might not surprise you but the ideal impression share to aim for is 100%. This means that whenever someone types in a keyword you are targeting, provided other filters such as location and language are met, you will show up for it.
In reality 100% is rarely achieved and any lost % can be attributed to budget constraints, or limitations in visibility due to rank. The latter factor ties is closely with Quality Score above.
Keep impression share in mind when looking to boost your AdWords reach, you may well be missing out on a tonne of business without knowing it!
Mobile-Preferred Ad Copy
According to a recent study by Business Insider focusing on the US, mobile advertising has been increasing beyond all expectations. Historically, mobile ad budget has been modest compared to desktop ad budgets, but this trend is changing as advertisers are waking up to the potential of media-rich, interactive mobile advertising and shifting their ad budget to mobile ads.
This change is no surprise as search engines have been favouring mobile-friendly websites and advertisements for a while, but rather a converging of advertisers catching up and investing in a format that is more likely to grab consumers’ attention.
This report predicts that display and video will be the fastest-growing mobile ad spends, increasing respectively by 96% and 73% over a 5-year period so if you are wondering what to invest your advertising budget in, those are definitely ones to watch.
However, not all websites are mobile friendly, and if yours was built for desktop, you may not have the budget to have a new one designed. If this is you, fear not, you can still hop onto the mobile ad train: just tick the box designating your ad as mobile in your Adwords account.
If your ad wasn’t designed specifically for mobile phones, you may also be worried about its poor performance and slowness. There is a solution around this: place a bid modifier on your ad to limit inefficient spend.
These techniques may not always work, but they won’t hurt your account so why wouldn’t you try and apply them?
Custom Reporting Columns
A few months ago, we wrote about the latest change rolled out by Google, the disappearance of right-hand side ads in Google NZ, and how it was going to transform the paid-for ad landscape.
PPC professionals like us have come to accept those changes with a sigh of resignation. Finely-tuned and successful ad campaigns have to be completely re-thought overnight after Google releases yet another update. However, this time, they have sweetened the bitter pill with the release of a new feature which makes us want to hug our computers tenderly: custom columns.
Custom columns in AdWords can be added at campaign or ad group level and they enable you to refine existing metrics to segment your ads further and get very targeted results and insights into your performance. The resulting data can be sorted, filtered and downloaded.
It is a particularly useful feature as it enables you to track elements that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. For example, say that this article is inspiring you to work on mobile advertising. Before custom columns, it would be difficult for you to see how they perform compared to your desktop ads. Now, all you have to do is select the metric you want to measure, such as “conversion” or “click” and add the segments “desktops” and “mobile”. And voilà! You can now see clearly how each channel behaves.
We hope that this article has clarified where you should focus your efforts if you are running your own Adwords campaign. And if you would like to know all the good reasons why you shouldn’t run your own Adwords campaign and should get experts involved, read this article, and then give us a call on 09 360 2299!