Google is the big guy in the world of online marketing – particularly when it comes to PPC. Sure, there are alternatives out there, but for reaching a depth and breadth of websites, Google is king. However, it seems to have a love-hate relationship with its advertisers, and some people are finding that PPC management is a nightmare at the moment.
Match Type Changes
The foundation of Google AdWords is keyword bidding – and choosing the right match type can mean the difference between success and failure.
While broad match can help advertisers reach more people, exact match was the go-to match type for maximum control over cost per acquisition. Now however, Google has changed the way the phrase and exact match types work.
As they state: “Users are happier when they get search results that reflect their intent and help them achieve their desired action, even if it’s not a precise match for what they’ve typed. So we’re extending this behavior to ads.”
So now phrase and exact keywords can also match misspellings and pluralisation of their keywords – if you let it. Advertisers who don’t want to risk their ROI can opt out to continue using these match types as they always have. Simply go to the Advanced Settings in your campaigns and edit the Keyword matching options to “Do not include close variants”:
If you can afford to pay a little more per conversion and want the chance to get more, this may be worth testing. Keep an eye on your ROI and if you find that it gets too low for your needs, remember you can edit this setting at any time.
Ad Rotation Changes
Google’s change to ad rotation has really upset their customers. The best way to run any PPC campaign is to test different ad texts to see which drives the most conversions.
To run effective tests, most advertisers switch their ad rotation from the standard Google setting “Optimize for Clicks” to “Rotate Evenly.” Now however, Google has changed the “Rotate Evenly” setting to switch to “Optimize for Clicks” after 30 days.
While you would hope to have enough data after 30 days to choose a winning advert, this isn’t always the case. If your ad groups don’t receive enough impressions in 30 days you will find that Google has picked a winner for you, effectively ending your test.
If you find that you simply do not get statistically significant results in 30 days, you have a couple of options:
- Run a Campaign Experiment – they can run for up to 90 days, which should give you enough time to make an informed decision.
- You may choose to switch to the Optimize for Conversions setting. You’re still giving Google control over your ad tests, but this way it will pick a winner in line with your needs (conversions) instead of theirs (clicks).
- A sneaky workaround suggested by Brad Geddes is to set up automatic rules to pause one ad per ad group, then re-activated it an hour later, before the 30 day period ends. This resets the clock on your testing, allowing you to rotate your ads evenly for longer than 30 days.
Google is always innovating, so it’s inevitable that not every change will be loved and accepted by advertisers. Ultimately though they make the rules, so if you want to continue to make money via Google AdWords, you need to adapt your strategies or get left behind.