Few things are more frustrating than spending a small fortune on a PPC campaign only to have it sputter and die. If this is happening to you, don’t panic or overreact. Often, there are steps you can take to turn the campaign around and start seeing a better return on your investment. Read on to learn about real-life campaigns that came back from the brink—and the specific steps that revived them.
Tonya Davis is a marketing professional at ThoughtLab, a full-service Salt Lake City, Utah based web design and digital experience agency.
I did have a failing PPC campaign. It rarely had any ad impressions even though the keywords had good search volume. There were about 5 or so different ad groups set up, and they all housed around 10 search terms. They maybe averaged around 3 or 4 impressions a day. With some troubleshooting, we were able to find a few reasons as to why our ads were not showing.
The first issue was that we had conflicting search terms in different ad groups. The search terms were not exactly the same, but due to the broad match modifier keyword type, both keywords could be triggered on the same types of searches. Google won’t know which ad to show when this happens, so they just won’t show any. By adding some negative keywords to each ad group, we were able to eliminate any issues with both ads being eligible to run for the same types of searches.
The second issue was the bid strategy that was set up. It was on a “optimize for conversions” strategy. Normally this would be fine, but Google does need to have some previous conversion data before they can start running the campaign for you. If you don’t have the data, Google won’t know when the best times are to run your ads. So changing the bidding strategy to manual bidding allows us to gather some conversion data before we switch it over to an automated bidding strategy.
With both of these fixes in place, we were able to see our ad impressions really start to pick up, which finally started leading us to some conversions. Once we had a fair amount of conversion data, we switched over to an automated bidding strategy, which helped to improve our conversion rate.
Brett Downes is a new business owner with a decade of experience in agency and in-house SEO and PPC at harohelpers.com.
Neglected the real problem
We were so focused on increasing the impressions and click-through rate of our Facebook ads, we neglected to look at the real problem until we had spent 10k of our budget.
The problem was our landing page; it was very hit and miss, like marmite if you will. It only gave information on one of our packages, whereas if someone wanted something different, there was no information on that, so they just bounced off. Our sales conversion rate was 0.2%.
Once we changed the landing page and added more packages and further reading options, we saw a much lower bounce rate, with the sales conversion average at 1.3%, a whole 1% higher more than the previous version.
We were so concerned that the FB ads weren’t working we failed to realize they were but we were funneling the majority of prospects down a blind alley.
Abel Pruim loves everything search engine related, from advertising to optimization. He makes sure Chordify can be found in Google and the app store. With his 3+ years experience in search engine advertising, he knows all the ins and outs of Google advertising.
Created multiple advertising sets
A year ago we had a lot of trouble getting enough conversions for a product group we wanted to push. We sank a lot of money into the search engine advertising ads to make it successful, but it didn’t work. We did not achieve our return on investment and growth goals. I used every technique and search engine advertising strategy I could think of.
After everything had failed, I took a step back and asked myself the question: What does the user really want to find in an ad when they search for the query at a certain time of day on a mobile/ desktop or tablet?
I looked at how users used our product and what our competitors used as calls to actions and unique selling points. After analyzing everything, it became clear that we could do way more, so I created multiple advertising sets for each part of the day that would automatically turn on and off when a certain hour was reached. For example “Get product x for 12:00 today and receive it tomorrow.” When it was past 12:00, it would be “Get product x for 17:00 today and receive it within two days.”
The click-through rate and conversions skyrocketed, and we achieved our return on investment and growth goals easily.
Angela Ash is an expert content writer, editor, and marketer, and she works with Flow SEO, founded by a well-known SEO specialist and female entrepreneur, Viola Eva.
Take action when needed
Sometimes, a new ad campaign can be a bit of an experiment, and a strategy that has always worked in the past may not perform as well in certain environments. That’s why it’s extremely important to be fully prepared to pivot when necessary with a new backup strategy already devised.
Social media ad campaigns can be tricky at times, and what may work for one niche may not always be successful with another. Interaction on social media may seem to be the best way to draw attention to a news article, but what about actual clicks back to your site?
I noticed in a Facebook campaign that my post was drawing a lot of attention, but was it the right kind of attention? I immediately changed the demographics for the viewers who would see the campaign, paying more attention to employment and interests, rather than on the probability of engagement. I immediately saw that more viewers were clicking through to the actual article on my site, which heavily increased our traffic for the month.
My main takeaway is to take action when needed, rather than “wait it out.” A simple tweak can make all the difference.
Ryan Scollon is an SEO & PPC freelancer helping small businesses succeed online. Ryan has worked in the industry for over 7 years now and has been featured on the likes of Search Engine Land, Moz & The Independent. Find him here: ryanscollon.co.uk.
Saved a failing paid ad campaign
I recently saved a failing paid ad campaign for a business that offers website support and maintenance. Things had been going really well for a few weeks so they decided to make some drastic changes to the landing pages which caused two major issues. The changes caused the conversion tracking to stop working and also tripled the loading time for the page, causing the bounce rate to shoot through the roof.
Strangely enough, they did not notice the impact initially so they presumed it was an issue with the campaign itself. After a quick audit, the issue was identified and was fixed with 24 hours. The conversion tracking was put back in place and the elements that were causing the slow load time were removed.
We were running Google Ads campaign, and the results were terrible. We noticed that the landing page was not good so we decided to do some CRO (conversion rate optimization) strategy by improving user experience on the landing page.
We had the challenge to turn bad pages into fully-optimized pages for user experience so we could increase the conversion rate. Google has the perfect free tool for optimization. It is called Google Optimize. So we installed Google Optimize, ran some A/B testing, and after some weeks the conversion rate increased by 45%, giving a great turnaround on our ad campaign.
Shayan Fatani is a Digital Marketing Strategist at PureVPN who specializes in consumer behavior and loves to experiment with behavioral economics to drive decision making.
My very first campaign was turning out to be a disaster. The objective of the campaign was to convert 5,000 users. The problem was that though we generated leads, the prospects would not end up buying the product. The mistake I made was with segmentation. The content of the campaign was focused on those users who had already developed an interest in the brand; however, as I marketed to a mass audience, a high percentage included users on top of the funnel.
We decided to counter this by A/B testing and further niching down the target audience and breaking them into two segments. Both the segments were shown two varied content pieces as a part of the same campaign. The campaign was one month long, with the first 15 days having a completion rate of 27% and a completion rate of 83% after the changes by the end of 30 days.
I worked at a company that had spent tens of thousands on a Google ad campaign that was not getting results. Looking at the campaign, I took it off of the automatic Google ad display network opt-in, re-did the campaign, ad group, and keyword structure, analyzed keyword data and added negative keywords, as well as took the best performing ads and started A/B testing them against new ads. These changes resulted in a 94% decrease in cost per conversion and turned the unsuccessful ad campaign around.
Jessica Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Copper H2O.
Lengthy investigation and analysis
We have invested in paid Google search ads since we started our business. At the start, we found that the ad campaigns did not seem to be very successful. After lengthy investigation and analysis, we determined that the problem lay in the lack of targeting. In particular, we were paying for ads to be shown and clicked on by searchers who, given their search query, were unlikely to want to purchase our products.
To resolve this, we developed a series of interlocking ad campaigns with different targets and bid maximums. As a result, our campaign automatically bids higher for keywords where the searcher is likely to be a buyer, but lower for those that are unlikely to be buyers.
It took a lot of time, trial and error, as well as investment in obtaining the data needed to make the right decisions (which can only be done by running ads and seeing what works and what does not work), but it has paid dividends in the long run.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.
COVID-19 has ushered in a time of monumental challenges as well as silver linings. Where do legal firms fall on the spectrum? That depends. Read on to learn about the good and bad of the pandemic’s effects on different law firms.
As an immigration attorney, I saw our clients take this time to prioritize the pursuit of their lawful immigration status, and that was beneficial not only for our business but also to the way clients are finding our work more important than ever. There’s a sense of community building among us, and for that we’re grateful.
Ms. Tina Willis is a Florida car accident lawyer who handles serious injury, accident & death cases in Orlando. She is a former law professor and big firm defense lawyer who fights hard to recover every penny clients deserve.
Calls have slowed to a trickle
I’ve been an attorney since 1997, and I normally receive a steady stream of calls. However, since I’m a Florida car accident lawyer, and people are driving much less, my calls have slowed to a trickle. (I have many other lawyer friends who are experiencing the same drop in calls across most practice areas.)
I still had many cases pending, so we are still busy. But we will feel the impact in 12-18 months, from cases that we aren’t generating now. We expect that our business will return to normal once the shutdown is over.
We are also evolving to consider new claims related to business interruption insurance. We believe insurance companies have been wrongly denying these claims. We have received a few calls of this nature and expect to receive more in the coming months.
David Reischer, Esq.
David Reischer, Esq. – Attorney & CEO of LegalAdvice.com. David graduated from law school in 2000 with a joint MBA/JD degree from Brooklyn Law School and Zicklin School of Business.
The bad, the good
The bad is that our law firm and pro bono practice has completely shut down. The coronavirus has prevented our law clinic from admitting new clients to consult with an attorney at our physical office located in mid-town NYC.
The good, however, is that many new clients are still able to be serviced on our online web portal. The coronavirus has expedited an already well-established trend. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, clients were becoming more comfortable with asking legal questions online to get legal advice from an attorney over the Internet.
Brian Pendergraft, Esq.
Brian Pendergraft, Esq. is a real estate attorney who is licensed to practice law in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is a rare hybrid attorney that is both comfortable doing litigation and transactions. He’s been practicing law since he was 24 and is now in his 30s. Find him here: tpf.legal
Not all doom and gloom
The Coronavirus particularly had an impact on my business due to my area of practice. My bread and butter are real estate and tax lien foreclosure actions. Both Federal and State laws and administrative actions have essentially put a stop to my litigation work for the foreseeable future.
For me, getting back to work is not just a matter of when the courts return to normal operations, but also when eviction moratoriums are lifted. At least 70% of my income comes from both initiating and defending against eviction and foreclosure actions. Needless to say, my profits are down.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. The amount of phone calls from people interested in my services and views on my YouTube are actually going up. The amount of housing and real estate-related legal issues caused by the Coronavirus is crazy, and people are interested in watching legal content on how the Coronavirus has impacted real estate law. So much so that I believe my profits will be greater than before once I’m back to normal operations.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a mixed effect on my business. I practice estate planning. For obvious reasons, the pandemic has people thinking about their mortality. Every new client since March has cited the pandemic as their motivation for wanting to get their affairs in order. That’s the good.
Prior to the crisis, I did the majority of my client meetings via Zoom, so the pandemic really hasn’t affected my operations significantly in that regard. What has been challenging is running a law practice from home with two small children—one and three—who need to be looked after all day. My wife is an attorney as well, and she’s been busy too. So, we juggle work and child care all day.
I’m grateful that we both have work to do, but it’s certainly been a challenge keeping up with everything. Another challenge is that I’ve had to completely revamp my marketing plan. Prior to COVID, my marketing efforts were focused on networking and presentations. I’ve scrapped those and pivoted to content marketing as my primary marketing focus.
Like many other law firms, we were hit hard by the current Coronavirus situation, both in terms of revenue as well as operations.
Luckily, because we are in an area prone to hurricanes (Houston, TX), we had a robust continuity plan to allow us to continue servicing our clients in the event of a disaster. We were able to quickly deploy approximately 95% of our workforce to work remotely from home, and it has been working quite smoothly for almost two months!
Two important lessons I learned as a result of the Coronavirus: First – although I’d always been against telecommuting, I’ve learned that the right staff members, with the appropriate motivation, can be just as productive working at home as they are working at the office.
Second – I think I may have too much office space. With almost 40,000 square feet of office spaces at seven offices nationwide, we need to look at just exactly how many staff members we actually need working on-site. I believe this outbreak will fundamentally change the way law firms (and most other businesses) conduct business into the future, and some of these changes may be very beneficial.
Ryan Reiffert is an attorney in San Antonio, Texas. He has been practicing law since 2011 and is the founder of the newly-opened Law Offices of Ryan Reiffert, PLLC, a boutique business, and corporate law practice.
For me, it has been somewhat uneven. I would say that 1/4 of clients are doing more business, and 3/4 of clients are doing less business. Entrepreneurs are launching startups unabated—that may come as a surprise to those who’ve never felt the contagious, near-tangible, often-irrational energy of a startup founder.
Fortunately, I run a lean ship and have very little overhead. But, I am proceeding cautiously as my firm is new, and therefore fragile.
This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.
We have been running retargeting campaigns for our clients for nine years. A fairly recent development is the ability to show pre-roll video ads on YouTube to visitors who have been to your website. This is a powerful new development for many reasons. Below you can see our YouTube retargeting video. Now that you visited our website hopefully you will see our video show up when you are watching YouTube.
This is a very low cost way to rope in some of the website visitors who don’t call or fill out your contact form right away.
If you aren’t the right person to create the video then you can at least create the script and hire an actor or actress to do it for you. You should be able to get it done professionally with an actor and camera person for under $1000 by my guess.
Our lead volume has increased after setting this up. Conversion rates for most sites are 10% at best and sometimes much less. This is a great way to reconnect with people for up to 540 days after they have visited your site. You control how long you re-target visitors for. It’s just a totally different medium and gives you another shot to convert website visitors into clients.
This is also a great way to address the question of “why hire us”, “what sets us apart”, and “why hire us now with coronavirus/how we keep you safe”. You can also add your retargeting video to your website.
When you pay for clicks it is essential to have a website that converts well. Otherwise your competitors will be able to afford to bid more per click. Here are the critical elements of a website that converts well with Google Ads. Of course these tricks will also help convert visitors from any other traffic source. But given the competitive nature of Google Ads it is even more important to get this right. This is geared mostly towards lead generation but some of these can apply also to e-commerce websites.
Have your phone number at the top of the screen. It should be click to call and underlined on mobile. The phone number should remain at the top as you scroll down
Have a prominent contact form. The shorter the better. If you can ask for just name, email and phone number that is ideal.
The items mentioned above are essential. Here are some more suggestions to improve your site/results further:
Display your BBB rating and other trust icons/awards.
Remind people to call by displaying your phone number again as potential clients scroll down
Setup a DRIP email system – for an example sign up for the free website analysis at wptangerine.com. You’ll start to receive their emails. This is one of the best examples of great DRIP emails. You’ll receive several marketing emails over the next few weeks. They are all very well written
Test an exit intent popup with hellobar.com. To see this in action checkout kennedyblue.com . Let the site load, then move your mouse to the navigation bar.
Setup onesignal.com to push browser alerts. They have a free plan if you have under 30,000 subscribers
Have a site that loads in under 3 seconds. Setup the paid wordfence plugin if you have WordPress, and cloudflare.com paid (at a minimum setup the free versions of each). Follow the tips at tools.pingdom.com to speed up your site. They have a free site analysis.
Use callrail.com to track calls, and be sure to call back dropped/short calls.
I just threw together a quick 3 minute video to go over a few really simple tricks in callrail. In a nutshell just look for short calls/hangups because sometimes those are worth calling back. And remember to use the notes section to document details about each call.
The hangups can result from click to call only, or an ad extension. Sometimes people click on those by accident and then immediately hang up. If you call those people back quickly you can sometimes land a sale.
If you are a bankruptcy attorney already using AdWords or thinking of using it in the future, text ads similar to the following ones will work very well for you and bring you a lot of traffic on your website.
First we want to share a special report on how our bankruptcy attorney clients have seen a lower cost per lead because of the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic.
How do we know? First, because we are experts in PPC advertising. Second, those ads are the top performing ads for some of our bankruptcy attorney clients. We achieved a cost per lead of $56 with those ads, so if after running those ads you are still not able to achieve those results, please contact us and we will help you.
Why are those ads top performing?
The ads above contain the following highly important elements that boost their performance:
Calls to action
Calls to actions are very important. You have to invite the reader to do something about his/her situation, somehow creating a situation of emergency. Bankruptcy is a terrible situation to be in, that’s why calls to action work really well in that industry. You can see in the ads above readers are invited to call the firm. We could even have added the adverbs “Today” or “Now” to create a higher sense of emergency.
People love free things. Of course you can’t offer your full services for free as an attorney (you need to make a living, but also people wouldn’t trust you if you were working for free… in most people’s minds quality work is supposed to cost a lot) but offering a free initial consultation is a great way of attracting clients. People know that attorneys usually cost a lot of money, and sometimes they don’t take that step forward and contact one if they are not sure if their case is worth it and afraid of losing money. Offering a free initial consultation is a great way of reassuring them as they have nothing to lose and they don’t take any risk with that initial consultation. So if you do offer initial consultations for free, make sure to mention it in your ads. And if you don’t, you should probably start thinking of the benefits it might bring you…
Tap into emotion
Bankruptcy is an extremely difficult situation. People facing it have already lost a lot of hope and they certainly don’t want to lose everything. The sentence “Avoid Garnishments & Repossession” in the ads above serves that purpose and invite readers to take action and call an attorney as soon as possible.
Mention of price
Mentioning the price in your ads is very important too. It gives an idea to potential customers of the budget they need in order to use your services. It filters out people who can’t afford that budget: it is pointless that those people click on your ads if they are not potential clients as it will just be unnecessary spend for you. It is better to be absolutely transparent about cost in your ads so that the wrong people do not click on them. You can also use price extensions if you offer different type of services.
Highlight your experience
People only want the best to defend their interests, especially if there are personal belongings and money involved. For that purpose you can mention how many years of experience you have, the number of cases you have worked on, or just say that you are “certified” as one of the ads above states.
Mention of location
People are usually looking for attorneys in their area or not too far from them as they will more than likely have to visit their office. Mentioning the state or the city you are based in, as in the ads above, is helpful for that reason.
Another important element for top performing ads: relevancy
Your ads need to be relevant in order to work. That’s why ad relevancy is a key component to quality score, along with your landing page and keywords.
Make sure to use the most relevant landing page for your ad group, and use keywords in your ad. Another good and easy way to boost your ads performance is to use keyword insertion in your ads.
Writing great ads is not all
Ads are the best way of standing out from your competitors in AdWords. And law firms are an extremely competitive industry. However ads are not everything in AdWords, and if your account contains great ads but the rest of it is poor, it just won’t work.
You also need:
a good ad group structure for increased relevance
high quality keywords
a good set of negatives to filter out irrelevant searches
a great set of landing pages with useful and accurate information
And setting up a performing AdWords account is only the tip of the iceberg. In order to keep your account healthy and running, you will need ongoing optimization:
regular analysis of search query reports, adding new performing keywords and negatives
regular analysis of performance and bid adjustment
landing pages optimization
We were seeing a $50-ish cost per lead in 2017. They cost per lead went up in 2018/2019, but has come back down again in 2020. Check out our 2020 results video – we have recently seen the cost per lead come down 44%-50% for our bankruptcy clients from the higher CPL’s in 2018/early 2019. Take a look at this video which highlights the results for one of them – the pertinent part for the bankruptcy attorney starts at two minutes into the video
With Google regularly updating Adwords features and changing their search algorithms, you can’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to managing campaigns. Is your agency working hard enough for you? Or if you’re currently managing your PPC accounts in-house, are you able to dedicate the time it takes to maintain and optimize a successful account along with all your other responsibilities?
If your PPC campaigns are not hitting goals, or you’re questioning if they’re fully optimized, the experts at Webrageous can perform a free audit of your Google Adwords account. Just call us at 866-720-5172 or fill out our contact form at the top or bottom of this page to get started.
Here are some of the ways and pros and cons of each that we can do an account review:
We can do a screen share. This is one of the best ways because you will have control over which areas of your account are viewed. When you are interviewing Google Ads management companies you don’t know if they work for your competitor. This way a management company can review your account with you and will have no opportunity to download your account.
You can send read only access to the email address in the footer. This is an okay way and gives some protection to the client because the management company you are interviewing can’t make changes to your account. But an unscrupulous management company could download your account and see all of your best keywords that they might not have thought of if they are working for a competitor.
We can add your account to our MCC. Just send us your AdWords account ID. This is likely the worst way to give access because it means we could make changes to your account and see all your best keywords if we are working for one of your competitors . It is best before a contract is signed to not give someone access this way. However this is an easy way to give access and allows us to view your account and reply via email without an online meeting.
You might want to fill out our contact form or call us to get this setup.
We will review your account top to bottom to highlight missed opportunities and areas for improvement. This free review will include assessment of the account structure, keyword lists and quality score, ad copy and extensions, bids and budget settings, ad schedule, and geo-targeting. To be eligible for this free review you do need to be spending at least $2000 per month on paid search.
Here are some of the things we might examine: How granular is the geo-targeting? When was the ad copy last refreshed? What device bid modifiers are being used? How often are bids being adjusted? Is traffic driving to a relevant landing page? Has performance improved week-over-week, month-over-month, year-over-year? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed throughout the free audit.
Contact Webrageous today for your free PPC account audit and start taking advantage of more effective campaigns!
Being able to quickly spot problems across many AdWords accounts is important especially if you work at an agency. When you login to your MCC you can do a date comparison to compare spend and conversions and conversion rate to quickly spot day to day or week to week or month to month how your accounts are doing. Take a look at this screenshot – I think it will make a lot of sense. This was done at the account level – you can also do the same thing at the campaign level to see campaign by campaign what is going on. I think most account managers probably know how to do these comparisons. But it’s a great way to do a daily or weekly or monthly update to make sure you don’t have a campaign or account which is slowly getting worse.
and here is how you would set up the date comparison which I don’t think most readers will need help with but here is the screenshot anyway:
Here is an overview of the PPC account performance for the past 6 months for the Memphis Laser Clinic. They do laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and much more. We took over February 3 2017. Monthly lead volume has been 5 times higher the past two months compared to the previous four months, and CPL has been down 85%. To be honest this is the exception rather than the norm for new clients to see results this good (30%-50% improvement is usually more realistic). But it shows that it is still possible in 2017 to generate these kinds of impressive improvements when you take an account that hasn’t been professionally managed. This is why you don’t want to try managing paid search yourself especially if you are spending over $2000 per month.
And here are the specific practice areas where we were able to deliver the best results. A conversion is either a contact form submission or a phone call.
Laser Tattoo Removal – $643 spent for 43 conversions at $15 cost-per-conversion.
Laser Hair Removal – $4,557 spent for 49 conversions at $93 cost-per-conversion.
SculpSure – $2,222 spent for 38 conversions at $58 cost-per-conversion.
And here are results for another client, LienItNow – they do mechanics/construction liens for contractors. Below is a summary of their AdWords performance over the past 6 months. Since we started working on their account we’ve increased conversion volume by 291% and lowered the cost-per-conversion by 79%! We started working with this client in early February 2017 so the last 2 months show our performance.
In addition for Lien It Now, live calls have greatly increased. Between October 1, 2016 and Jan 31, 2017 (a 4 month period before we started) there were 64 live calls tracked in AdWords. For March 22 to April 20 (just 30 days) there were 67 live calls. So in addition to delivering more calls in 1 month than were generated in the 4 months before we started, the clients ad spend has decreased by about 20%. In September 2016 they had a particularly bad month (before we started): only 9 calls. Now they have over 700% more calls with 20% less spending. Here’s the proof:
Before: Total calls during a 4 month period
After: More calls in 1 month than in all of 4 months before we started.
Last Friday, Google announced some changes to the way exact match keywords function in Adwords. For a few years now, Phrase and Exact match have already included close variants, which are plurals, abbreviations, typos, etc. Now close variants will expand to cover variations in word order and function words. This means that Google may ignore or alter the word order and function words of a keyword phrase when determining if an ad should show for an exact match keyword.
Google’s reasoning behind this change is that most similar searches have the same intent, and so broadening the coverage of this match type will allow marketers to reach those additional users without building out and maintaining such exhaustive keyword lists.
Function words encompass prepositions, conjunctions, and articles. In most cases, these words can be added, removed, or replaced without changing the intent of the query. For example, a search query for “hotels in las vegas,” could match to the exact match term [hotels las vegas]. Dropping the function word does not alter the meaning or intent of that search.
Examples from Google:
When it comes to word order, two keywords can often have the same meaning even if the word order is different. Searches for “Hotels las vegas” and “las vegas hotels” have the same meaning. Google states that they will not add any words to a keyword nor will they alter word order if it would change the meaning of the search.
Example from Google:
There are certainly some examples where function words and word order do indeed change the meaning of a search query, such as for airline flight searches. “Flight from Miami” and “Flight to Miami” are completely different searches. And “JFK to MIA” and “MIA to JFK” are also not the same search, so Google should still recognize that and keep word order and function words intact in those cases. However, Google is relying on their artificial intelligence to differentiate when it’s ok to change the word order or function words of a query, and there may likely be a learning curve.
Impact for Advertisers:
Based on initial testing, Google claims that advertisers may see up to 3% more exact match clicks, while maintaining comparable clickthrough and conversion rates. The impact of this change will likely vary by client, and only time will tell how big this impact will be as it rolls out over the next few months. All advertisers should monitor their accounts closely over the coming weeks and months, paying particular attention to the performance of exact match keywords. It will also be important to stay on top of search query reports to catch irrelevant matches and update your negative keyword lists accordingly. Even a handful of irrelevant matches could add up to significant wasted spend if not caught early.
Google announced that starting on February 6, 2017 AdWords call extensions will be automated.
What are call extensions?
Call extensions allow advertisers to add a phone number on their ads, giving the possibility to potential customers to call the business directly by just clicking on the ad. Of course the settings allow advertisers to show those extensions only when the business is open or when somebody is actually available to answer the call. It is also possible to set conversion tracking on call extensions and by doing so gathering useful metrics. All this makes call extensions a great feature to add in your AdWords account and we could only recommend advertisers to use them.
What is changing?
Starting on February 6, call extensions will be automated, which mean they will start generating automatically.
How is that possible you wonder? Well, Google will simply use the phone numbers featured on your business landing page.
If you are among the advertisers who feature phone numbers on their landing pages, you have more than likely received a notification email from Google already.
What are the benefits of this automation?
In theory this change is quite positive regarding the more and more mobile connected world we are living in. Google confirmed with the announcement that “This year, mobile search engines are predicted to drive nearly 33 billion clicks-to-call to businesses globally, almost 19% more calls than from mobile pages alone. Using Google call extensions, you can get more calls by making it easy for people to call you right from your mobile search ads.”
This change was therefore decided in order to give advertisers more visibility and make it easier for potential customers to contact them.
How will this affect advertisers already using call extensions?
This change won’t impact advertisers already using call extensions as in this case nothing will change for them. Google has confirmed that if you already have call extensions set up in a campaign, Google will not add other call extensions.
And what about advertisers using dynamically generated Google forwarding numbers instead of their business phone numbers? Google has confirmed too that automated call extensions won’t be generated for now when dynamic phone numbers are detected on the website… I wonder what that “for now” means, it seems that further updates on call extensions are more than likely to follow…
How to opt out of automated call extensions?
If you are however skeptical and not sure that Google is not going to mess up with your dynamic number insertion, or if you just don’t want to pay for calls from your ads, you still have the opportunity to opt out of those automated call extensions.
You can do so before February 6 by following those easy steps:
Navigate in the ad extensions tab in your AdWords account
Select “Automated extensions report”
Expand the “Automated extensions options (advanced)” and click on “Edit”
Select “Do not use specific automated extensions for this account”
Select the option to prevent the creation of “Automatic call extensions” and click “Save”
If you want to opt out of automated call extensions after February 6, you will need to go in your call extensions tab and remove the ones that might have been created.
Other related changes announced recently.
It seems that Google is concerned by call extensions a lot lately, as a few days before they also announced that starting on January 19, local phone numbers associated with a business location will be showed when location extensions are displayed, even if a different phone number is set up in call extensions.
Advertisers shouldn’t be panicking though as this will only happen when the location extensions are displayed (most advertisers won’t probably notice any significant changes), and it does make sense in order to make sure the information is consistent between paid ads and organic results.
However the problem with this change is that advertisers will lose the ability to track those calls as conversions.
Advertisers should now first review their Google My Business listings and make sure that each location displays the accurate phone number.
And if you are still not happy with this change and you realize it will affect you too much, you can submit a form before January 19 in order to opt out of local numbers being showed in location extensions.
After January 19 you will still have the option to unlink your Google My Business account from your AdWords account in order to avoid local phone numbers to display.
Not many advertising agencies that manage paid search like to write about this. But there are times when paid search doesn’t work.
The trick is knowing why paid search is failing your business. In some cases it’s because of tremendous competition and low barriers to entry. Other times it’s because your PPC management agency isn’t very good. We won’t try to cover the reasons for a failure due to poor management. But rather go into some scenarios where PPC just doesn’t work.
The first scenario where we see a lot of failures are when you have low barriers to entry, and hundreds of competitors where location doesn’t matter. Take credit card processing. It’s not that hard to set up a firm doing credit card processing. There are hundreds of companies doing this nationwide. Your PPC account has to be perfect and your website perfect and your business reputation and your salespeople and you’re on boarding of new clients and your rates have to be the lowest…otherwise it’s going to be very hard to compete. And as of February 2016 there are no more than four ads at the top of a desktop search and none on the right-hand side. there are only so many keywords that drive substantial traffic in this industry: credit card processing, open a merchant account, debit card processing, process credit cards, plus a handful of others.
Low-margin or low price products are difficult. if you’re trying to sell something for $20 or less then paid search might not be the way to go. Let’s say in your industry clicks are only one dollar. And let’s say you have a good conversion rate of 5%. It will take 20 clicks at $1 each to sell that $20 Trinket. Not exactly a path to riches. Paid search is likely going to be a failure in your case.
Industries where you have substantial competition from nationwide lead aggregators. Plumbers and locksmiths would be one example where you will find nationwide companies that bid on PPC and then sell the leads. so not only do you have to compete against local competitors but you could also be competing against large corporations who are adding several zeros to the end of your marketing budget and analyzing every factor of their paid search accounts and websites. It’s hard to compete against that.
Affiliates. There are lots of rules that make it hard to advertise as an affiliate on the top paid search platforms. Thankfully the dozens of calls we used to get from affiliates have stopped along with the dozens of calls we were getting from tech support companies in India who were banned and were scrambling to find someone to get them online again.
Paid search only works (for search and search partners) when people can search for a keyword to find your product or service. For new products that people haven’t heard about if there aren’t keywords to define your product then you have to look for other ways to market your product or service. Or try the display network.
Paid search still works for lots of businesses. We’ve always seen tremendous success for law firms especially in personal injury, family law and pharmaceutical liability. Our specialty e-commerce clients are doing well – especially sectors with high barriers to entry where you need a large inventory and you don’t have too many competitors.
We are always happy to give your honest opinion of whether we can help you or not. We don’t want to waste your time and it makes our reputation look bad if we take on a client that doesn’t have a high probability of being successful.
There are many factors to consider when hiring an agency to manage your paid search campaigns. Here are a few things to consider:
Who will be managing my campaign? how much experience do they have? Can I speak with them before I sign up? You don’t want the most experienced person in the firm to sell you on how great their service is and then get stuck with someone with six months experience.
how many accounts does my account manager manage? If the answer is more than about 20 then you might want to explore other alternatives where you will get more personalized attention. If your account manager is managing 80 accounts than that is 30 minutes a week to optimize your account.
With Skype screen share or join.me or another screen sharing service can I see the change history for several accounts that you manage? See how many times a month someone is making changes to the account. If you only see changes made three or four times a month and it’s only five or 10 changes or fewer each time then there accounts are essentially on autopilot. And if you only see a half-dozen changes or fewer a-month then you definitely want to look elsewhere.
Definitely check out the reputation of the agency you are hiring. Find their Better Business Bureau profile and search for the name of their firm plus the word complaints.
Using a screen sharing program quiz the person who will actually manage your account. Have them show you the remarketing list for one of their clients in Google AdWords. If they can’t find it that’s a huge red flag as remarketing is one of the most profitable campaigns you can set up for your clients. Next, ask them to show you how to change the mobile bid adjustment in AdWords. it is not uncommon that mobile will perform vastly differently than desktop so a top agency should know how to direct more traffic towards either desktop or mobile. Ask the agency to show you where in Google AdWords you can set up click to call only. And last ask them to segment traffic by device over the past 30 days. All of these are very easy tasks for any agency. These are not curveball questions.
Do you offer a risk-free trial or a money back guarantee?
At Webrageous most account managers have more than five years experience and each account manager typically manages 10 or fewer accounts. We have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. And we encourage you to check out our 60 day risk-free trial. there is no setup fee and no long-term contract for most clients.