PPC Pros Tackle Common AdWords Questions and Mistakes
How often do you have Google AdWords questions?
Yeah, there are always a ton of questions surrounding the leading PPC platform. However, it’s not every day you’re surrounded by experienced pros that can give you useful answers.
I actually am in the company of PPC experts Monday through Friday. Three Deep Marketing has been delivering PPC services to its clients for decades. So for talent and experience, we have some of the best in the business on staff.
I recently chatted with three of our certified pay per click experts. This post features a good portion of what we talked about and will give you some valuable insights.
I asked, “What’s the most common question you get regarding AdWords?
Jarad Collier said his is: “What’s the best way to structure an account?”
His answer: “There isn’t one correct answer. Some people like to separate campaigns by match type so they’ll have broad, phrase and exact match campaigns. Others like to put broad, phrase and exact match keywords in the same group for the same keyword. For an ecommerce site, it’s probably best to mimic the structure of your website. The take-away: it’s best to structure your account in whatever way makes management easier and allows you to write more relevant ads.”
Josh Dill said he’s often asked: “What’s the most important metric to optimize for?”
His answer: “The metric varies depending on the objective. CTR is always important because quality score is largely based on it. Cost-per-conversion is always important because it can tell you if your PPC efforts are profitable or when you need to make changes.”
What are the most common mistakes PPC advertisers make when they don’t work with pros?
“The number one mistake I see is advertisers not tracking conversions—or tracking them incorrectly,” said Troy Van Leer. “When conversions are not tracked, there is no way to gauge whether or not your ad campaigns are effective.”
Jarad reeled off a list. “Goals are configured incorrectly. Accounts are not linked. Tracking issues arise. Poor campaign settings are chosen. Extensions are underutilized. The account structure isn’t optimal. Match types are underused. Negative keywords are neglected.”
“Advertisers fail to keep an eye on the search query reports on a weekly basis,” Josh told me. “The reports give you insights into the ACTUAL terms searchers are using. The terms can be extremely different from the actual keywords triggering the ads, so a lot of money is wasted on irrelevant searches.”
What’s new in AdWords?
As we talked about AdWords, the team often spoke of how often the platform is changed by Google. With that, I wanted to discuss what’s new.
This time it as Troy who offered a list:
- Uploading offline conversions and closing the loop between online ads and offline sales—The technology is now available to be able to tell which keywords and ads are generating real sales for clients. So we can focus on how much revenue is being generated. (This one could use come clarification.)
- Tracking phone calls generated from PPC ads—Call tracking platforms can be used to determine which people called a business from a PPC ad.
- Mobile click-to-call—Mobile searches are on the rise, so mobile optimized ads are extremely important. You need to optimize the mobile experience to stay ahead of the curve.
- Ad extensions—These are additional pieces of info you can show in your ad at no extra cost. For example, a Google ad can now include a phone number, address, links, and callouts. Extensions improve the relevance of ads and help generate additional click volume.
Jarad added, “Budget allocation keeps growing in importance. Paid search gets more expensive every year and advertisers are getting fewer clicks for their budget. As a result, tough choices need to be made as to where to allocate budget to get the most impact.” He continued…
“The problem is, the keywords with the most impact—the best converting keywords—are known by competitors and are bid on aggressively. In order to survive rising costs, you need to have good conversion rates, which start with the right keywords, bids, ads, and landing pages.”
Josh described two useful tricks he’s developed. First:
“I don’t typically use longer or broad keywords without a broad match modifier. If volume is the overall goal, sometimes instead of using broad match modifiers, I put all broad keywords into their own ad groups so I can keep a close eye on SQRs and performance. This allows me to pause broad groups if budget gets tight at the end of the month.”
Second, Josh said:
“Last time I put myself through the certification process I learned a trick inside AdWords editor that allows you to duplicate ads and replace text in the new ad with a couple clicks. It’s a huge time-saver for creating new ads to A/B test as well as making updates to offers.”
Timesaving tip: Use the feature in the AdWords editor that allows you to duplicate ads and to enter new copy.
Everyone on the team is Google AdWords certified.
I was recently asked what it means to be certified on AdWords. I thought I’d run that one by the team.
“As a paid search professional, the certification validates your skills. As an advertiser, going through the training teaches you what you can and cannot do,” said Jarad. “Unfortunately, many new advertisers start out with the $100 free credit Google offers, but don’t go through the training. Often, their accounts are shut down because they don’t know AdWords policies and they violate them.”
Jarad pointed out a Google resource that specifies common policy violations.
“There’s always something changing in the PPC/AdWords world. Getting and staying AdWords certified keeps us up to speed with all that has changed, or what will change,” said Josh.
“Being AdWords certified reassures clients our agency has a working knowledge of the Google AdWords platform. Everyone on our team is certified at the advanced level. We’re also certified on Bing ads, so we can serve more needs,” Troy added.
I asked if they could identify the most important thing they got from the training.
“You come out of the training with an understanding of what is and isn’t allowed.
Sometimes, to have the lessons sink in, you need to get into AdWords and click around to learn all the features,” said Jarad.
“No matter how many times you go through the training there is always something new to learn. That alone proves how important it is to keep certifications up to date,” said Josh.
What are some of the skills that make you a PPC professional?
“My skills include keyword research, ad copywriting, bidding strategies, testing and optimization, analytics, competitive analysis, and digital marketing strategy,” said Troy.
“I’m able to quickly pinpoint a problem area in an account and come up with solutions. Also, I know how to optimize accounts with a large number of ad groups and keyword lists,” Josh told me.
“I understand a lot of disciplines: Excel, python programming, natural language processing, statistics, CRO, and data mining. With my experience, I’ve been able to use advertising tools, understand analytics and think strategically,” said Jarad.
Do you have questions about PPC? Ask away and we’ll make sure an expert gives you an informed answer.