Before Christmas, Google made a major change to the way it manages your AdWords spending. In the past, it would cap spending at your daily limit on days where there was lots of demand. For example, if your limit was £10/day, and on Monday to Friday there was £15-worth of clicks available to you, but at weekends only £5, your spending would end up as £10 on weekdays and the full £5 at weekends. This would make your total for the week £60. With the change, Google said: “Aha! If you want to spend £10 a day, you’re telling us you want to spend £70 a week”, so it now allows your weekday spending to bust your own limit and hit £12.
This made things quite difficult for people who manage their spending carefully. But has it resulted in a lot more spending on AdWords, perhaps without people knowing? Hopefully not – especially if you’re paying someone to do it for you. Wordstream has done an analysis and has concluded that it’s not something we should be too concerned about. We’ve seen a few strange results, especially with new campaigns and accounts when they start, but we’ve quickly been able to calm them down.
As ever, try to match your campaign’s scope to your budget. If you’re managing your own AdWords campaigns, do you know what your impression share is? If you’re only showing half of the time, because your budget won’t stretch that far, maybe you should think about concentrating on advertising half as many products, or on half as many search terms?
Marketing managers tend to equate pay-per-click advertising with search engine advertising. However, some other websites are confident enough to offer this sort of ‘payment by results’ arrangement, such as Facebook and LinkedIn. All are worth a look.
A new kid on the block could be of relevance in the technical sector. Quora is a user-generated question and answer site which seems to do well in the search engines and is presumably getting a lot of traffic. It’s been around for a while but its advertising offering is relatively new. It may be worth investigating if you’ve maxed out on what you can get from AdWords. The format of the adverts is fairly similar. There’s a good write-up in What’s the Deal with Quora Ads? on the Wordstream Blog.
Writing this has inspired me to look further at simply asking or answering questions on Quora. I’ll report back tomorrow.
Hands up who’s got a company Facebook page? Quite a few of you. What about “who’s got a company Facebook page which gets updated often and which you’re proud of?” Right, now we’re down to a smaller number.
I’ve always found it hard to recommend that a B2B business should be spending a lot of time on a Facebook page. Certainly, if you can’t commit to updating it frequently, I’d suggest you might even pass on having one at all. But the visitor numbers and the Google rankings speak for themselves. A well-maintained Facebook page can work well for you. Our page (which we just tick over) gets a surprising number of views.
There are some good guides online which will help you set up a passable Facebook page. How to Create the Ultimate Facebook Business Page on the Wordstream blog, for example. In the end, however, whether or not it paints a good picture of your company depends on how often you’re prepared to add to it. Visiting a business page where the most recent post says: “Come and see us at WidgetEx 2014” is a dispiriting experience. A good page, however, is a valuable free asset.
Here are some more updates on changes with Google AdWords – it’s all happening at the moment. For those of you using us to manage your campaigns, rest assured we’re looking into the applicability of these opportunities. If you’re managing your own campaigns, these will be worth putting aside some time for. If you use someone else to manage them, it might be worth seeing if they’re on the ball. You know what to do if they’re not.
1. Expanded Text Ads
I’ve previously mentioned this new opportunity with search adverts, and all I need to add is that it should now be a priority task to get all of your adverts rewritten to take advantage of this. Our own clients will have had plenty of information from me about what’s going on.
2. Responsive Display Ads
Text ads on the Display Network are all but dead. Google has been taking our text and creating pseudo-image ads for some time now, but the results have been less than optimal in terms of branding. They’ve even had the nerve to lift images from our landing pages or logos from our Google+ accounts, which is an outrageous liberty, and I’ve told them so at the highest level. The new “Responsive Display Network Ads” allow us to at least specify the image and/or logo which is used, and ads will be created from these (and the text) to fit in the 50 or more sizes of advert now available to us, as well as responsive screen displays. Do not continue to use text adverts on the Display Network without having a thorough understanding of this. Here’s a good background article which Wordstream has written, so I don’t have to.
3. Remarketing for Dynamic Search Ads
Not something which Google is promoting as a major new class of advertising, but an interesting idea nevertheless. The link above is to a Wordstream article (again) which explains this interesting combination of two search advertising campaign types: Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). With the first, we let Google create ads dynamically, based on our landing pages and the searches being made. With the second, we modify the bids for previous visitors, perhaps to enable us to target a broader range of searches. Put the two together and you’re giving Google an adventurous level of control, but one which is worth investigating. Best of luck.
Yesterday I discussed some of the biggest ever changes to the way Google’s results are displayed. There were a few observations on the impact so far, but for a more comprehensive update, I’d thoroughly recommend reading 3 Weeks After Google Killed Side Ads, Here Are 5 More Takeaways on the Wordstream blog. One of the key findings is that natural (free) search results haven’t been hit hard, which some people – like me – feared they might. Why this may be is open to speculation, but it’s good news for all of us.