Google Relinquishes Advertisers’ Control Over Keyword Matching

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ppc word cloudGoogle recently announced a small update that will limit the amount of control advertisers have over their AdWords campaigns as far as keyword matching goes.

Beginning in September 2014, advertisers will no longer be able to show ads when a query exactly matches the keywords in an AdWords campaign. Previously, advertisers had two options when it came to how their ads were matched to search queries:

  1. Only show an ad when it exactly matches the query, or
  2. Allow Google to include variations, such as plurals or misspellings

For many advertisers, this small change will go relatively unnoticed, since Google already implemented close matching as the default feature for most AdWords campaigns. However, for advertisers who had previously opted out of this feature, it will have a significant impact as they will soon lose control over when exactly their ads will appear.

Is this a good or a bad thing for advertisers?

This depends on who you ask. For less experienced advertisers, the general consensus seems to be, “no harm; no foul.” However, for more experienced PPC experts, this move by Google is a bad one, and there already seems to be a backlash in effect as some advertisers are petitioning Google to give them back the little control they once had over their AdWords campaigns.

One such advertiser, Bryant Garvin, recently published a petition to Google (and has since acquired 100+ signatures) in an effort to regain advertiser control. Garvin stated,

This is just the latest in a string of changes Google AdWords has made to eliminate advertiser control, all in the name of “simplification” or marketed as an “upgrade”. This change is double impacted for those long sales cycles like B2B where advertisers first “conversion” is never the $$ conversion so they need to track how keywords/queries perform over time, in a system outside of AdWords (like a CRM). [source]

Other complaints from advertisers come in the form of concerns that removing advertiser control will only lead to a decrease in CTR and quality score in many instances. Still, others question how a move like this will impact on how advertisers provide value via the services their company offers to customers.

Forcing Variation Matching on Advertisers

While variation matching isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the overarching concern by advertisers seems to revolve around the fact that you once had a choice in the matter. By removing an advertisers right to choose whichever option works best for them, many feel that they are slowly losing control over their campaigns.

Brad Geddes, of Certified Knowledge, recently stated:

Loss of control is never good. Mobile control was lost with Enhanced Campaigns, and now you’re losing control over your match types. This will further erode your ability to control costs and conversions within AdWords. [source]

As an advertiser, should I be concerned?

Whether you should be concerned or not really depends on your monthly spend. Advertisers who manage smaller budgets with lower monthly impressions will not be as affected as those who manage larger budgets with larger impressions and more clicks.

As Brad Geddes previously mentioned, the biggest issue for advertisers is that these pending changes will result in less transparency and less control while potentially leading to an increase in wasteful spending.

If you have concerns about this or other changes that Google is making, please give your account rep at C0MPLÉX1 a call, and we’ll be happy to explain how your specific account may or may not be impacted.

PPC vs. SEO Which Should I Start with First?

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This is a question I am often asked in sales meetings. The answer really depends on two things:

  1. Your budget
  2. The time frame in which you desire to see results

Pay Per Click = Instant Gratification Solution for Online Marketing

Pay Per Click (PPC) is your ‘instant gratification’ solution when it comes to Internet marketing. Most agencies and consultants can get your PPC ads running in a very short time – as in days.

Search Engine Optimization As A Long-Term Solution

On the other hand, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is usually a 60-90+ day range before seeing rank changing. With SEO/organic rankings, you typically receive more traffic over the short and long term. However, it takes a while for your SEO provider to get up and running, implement changes, add/edit online content, etc. Afterwards, it then takes even more time until Google indexes the completed work. Only after all of this is complete will you then see rank fluctuation.

Simplified Explanation of PPC vs. SEO

Still unsure of which to start with initially – PPC or SEO? Check out the following “cheat sheet” of bulleted items to figure out which one is right for you at this stage in the game.

  • Great Budget and Long Term Outlook: Start with SEO & PPC immediately
  • Okay Budget and Long Term Outlook: Start with PPC & Smaller SEO budget
  • *Small Budget and Need Short Term Sales: Start with PPC only. Track Results. As sales increase add budget to PPC and allocate some for SEO soon after.

*Disclaimer About Budget

Small Budget, as stated above, is relative to your competition, NOT your internal % of revenue. In our opinion most successful companies are spending 5-15% +/- of revenue on marketing/advertising. Your digital marketing budget is a percentage of this. See What Should My SEO Budget Be? for more help on budgets.

Save Time and Money with a Professional PPC Service

Online advertising is taking the world by storm. The internet has made it easier, cheaper, and more effective to reach large numbers of people across the world, pulling in high numbers of primary targets with the minimum of expenditure. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, and if you want to establish a successful PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign you’ll need to consider hiring a professional service.

PPC is the number-one online advertising technique. When someone uses a search engine to look for a keyword related to your business, a successful PPC campaign will get your adverts to appear on that first page and attract prospects to make the click. Many people start a PPC campaign because they think it will be cost effective. And if done correctly, it is. But carried out wrongly it can become a costly error.

There are numerous factors to consider when creating a successful PPC campaign that leads to higher conversions. It’s not just a question of setting up an account and seeing the visitors flock to your Web site. Instead, for a campaign to be successful, you need to focus on compiling lists of powerful keywords, effectively managing your bids, keeping careful track of clicks and conversions, as well as many other things.

You may have a little knowledge of keywords and how important they are, especially for SEO purposes. But when it comes to PPC, careful keyword research is essential. You need to know what searches will bring in the best results, meaning you’ll have to undertake dedicated research to find out the best keywords and the widest range possible to cover all areas.

After that comes the bidding process, which is not something to be taken lightly. Bidding is crucial to increasing the overall success of your PPC campaign, and keeping costs down and conversions high is always the priority. And after that you need to make sure your adverts attract enough people to click on them. If not, it will all be a waste of time.

Even if you manage to get more visitors to your Web site through your PPC campaign, do you know how they are behaving when arrive? In order to work out exactly how effective your campaign is proving, you will need a comprehensive Web traffic analysis scheme in place. This will tell you where the traffic is coming from as well as which keywords are proving the most effective. All this will allow you to measure your progress and plan more effectively for a better PPC campaign.

You can easily go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. PPC is a competitive marketplace, and without the right skills you’re simply throwing your money away.  Implementing a PPC campaign can be hugely productive, and for many companies it is now their major form of advertising. But it will only bring in results if you know what you’re doing. For this reason, it’s always better to go with a professional company who can get you the results you need.

If you’re considering starting a PPC campaign, it’s best to do it properly. Don’t just hope that by starting a campaign you will automatically see results. The truth is that you could end up making things worse through inexperience. Instead, use a PPC management company who know what they’re doing and start seeing the results come in immediately.