Google Adwords

Goodbye Keyword Research…

For those SEOs in the audience, you are likely aware of the sad news, but for those just getting started or unaware, Google has killed the keyword planner used by so many in their keyword estimations, research, and planning. Okay, “killed” is a bit strong but damn it, we need some inside data, GOOGLE!   What Actually Changed Well, data is still being provided in Google Keyword Planner, but the keyword data isn’t isolated to exact-match of the keyword(s) entered anymore. In a RankBrain world, relevance matters, so the keyword planner now offers a consolidated search volume for similar, variations, and close synonyms of keywords. This update went into practice at the end of June, beginning of July. Over the course of the month, some users also experienced error messages stating: To use Keyword Planner, you need to have at least one active campaign. If you have an active campaign and are still seeing this message, try reloading Keyword Planner in a few minutes. Although, Google contradicted this messaging when users responded and questioned Google on social media. @recalibrate@jenstar@rustybrick@pedrodias To clarify, you do not need an active campaign to use the Keyword Planner. (2) — Google AdWords (@adwords) June 27, 2016 But I digress. The keyword planner, when using it to gather keyword data and find new keywords, the system gives the same volume for search variants. RankBrain does the same thing from an organic search perspective; hence the expected correlation between the two. Here is the example all us SEOs are using (usually just SEO vs Search Engine Optimization): What should be noted in the example above is that the competition, bid, and other segments appear to still align with specific keywords.   The Good, The Bad, and The Workaround Is this a sign that [not provided] is coming to Adwords too?! Will Google limit the number of keywords users can evaluate? Will we feeble marketers need to sacrifice young animals to obtain data from the Google gods? No, no, and hopefully not. That isn’t to say that we know everything Google has planned or up their sleeves but indications are that this change aligns well with organic search; where ads are meant to appear. Remember, Google isn’t a charity and the planner is meant to be used for paid media efforts–with Google. Although we love the tool and use it in a number of areas, not just for Adwords campaigns, that is its purpose. We can’t fault Google for aligning their tools together. So, how do you get some sweet, specific keyword average search volumes? Currently, the workaround is to use the budget planner (within the keyword tool) to get that data. In the “Plan your budget and get forecasts” block, you can specify the match type, targeting, and parameters. From there, the tool will provide daily forecast for the keywords entered. Depending on the match type, CPC bid, and budget you will see details for the clicks, impressions, cost, CTR, average CPC, and average position. In previous posts, we talked about pricing SEO, well, here is how you do some of that work. Make sure the move the selector to the plateau on the chart and open up the keyword group to see the specifics. Again, this update to the keyword planner and this workaround align well with Google’s strategy for organic search quality and personalization along with connecting paid media deeper to the overall strategy and search experience.   The Wrapper The purpose of Google’s Keyword Planner is to help marketers market things. They (Google) wouldn’t want to hurt their bottomline by taking away the ability...

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Google Pay-Per-Click: Enhanced Campaigns

If you are using Google Adwords or planning to, there are some changes that are being rolled out over the course of the next few months. The change impacts how ads are segmented in the system. In times past, it was important to separate your ad campaigns not only in terms of categories or products, but also by medium. Enhanced Campaigns is meant to streamline and improve this. For some “in the weeds” views of this change and what it means for your clients, cj’s Abby Woodcock wrote a great post on the change. From the Horse’s Mouth: Introducing enhanced campaigns Hello, We recently announced improvements to AdWords called enhanced campaigns. Today’s consumers are constantly connected and using many different devices, so we’ve developed enhanced campaigns to help you reach them more easily and effectively. We’re writing to let you know that enhanced campaigns are now available in your account. All new campaigns that you create will be enhanced campaigns by default, but you can choose the older campaign style for a few more months. Starting in June 2013, we plan to upgrade all AdWords campaigns to enhanced campaigns. You can log in and begin upgrading your existing campaigns now to take advantage of the useful improvements. About enhanced campaigns Today, people are constantly connected and searching from all kinds of devices. Enhanced campaigns let you more easily adjust your ads and bids depending on your customers’ location, device and time of day—all within a single campaign. This means better ads for your customers and better results for you. Important changes Along with the useful new features, there are some important changes to be aware of with enhanced campaigns. Mobile bidding control. Currently, with your campaigns that run ads across both desktop and mobile devices, your mobile bids are adjusted automatically. With an enhanced campaign, you can choose a mobile bid adjustment yourself. This gives you more control over your ad position, clicks and cost on mobile devices. Depending on your business, it might make sense to bid lower, the same or higher for mobile clicks than desktop clicks. Targeting options. Enhanced campaigns with search ads will no longer support targeting by devices or wireless carriers. Campaigns running only display ads will continue to support targeting specific device models and wireless carriers. Call extensions. Call extensions have made it easy for customers to tap your ad and call your business from a smartphone. With an enhanced campaign, now you’ll also be able to show your business phone number with ads on computers and tablets. And there’s no per-call fee for manually dialed calls from these devices. Shorter sitelinks. For improved appearance and performance across devices, new sitelinks in an enhanced campaign have a 25-character limit. But existing sitelinks of any length will continue to work even after you upgrade to an enhanced campaign. Sincerely, The Google AdWords Team The Wrapper Google, Google, GOOGLE!! ‘Nuff...

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The ‘New’ Exact Match – Broad Match Modified

During a discussion with some of my SEM colleagues, we got onto the topic of keyword match types and how there seems to be some change in the way that Google’s Adwords system evaluates the quality score of some keywords in correlation to the match type. One SEM specialist pointed out that there seemed to be some ‘oddness’ happening with exact matches and bids. In his opinion, his exact matches should have had higher quality scores than his broad match modified keywords and by relevancy standards, have a lower CPC (cost per click); however this was not the case. The match type of a keyword plays a part in determining when ads are displayed for users searching related terms and how much it will cost an advertiser when users click the ad (and of course, how much money Google makes). We search marketers want to get the most bang-for-the-buck so we watch conversion rates, impressions and CPC closely when evaluating keywords – new and old. Adwords Keyword Match Types For those unfamiliar with match types the traditional definition of the match types are: Broad Match – With this match type, any term(s) or phrase that matches the keyword target may generate the ad. Phrase Match – Denoted by (” “) surrounding the keyword when viewed in spreadsheets or in the interface, this match type may generated ads for any combination of the words used in the keyword phrase. Exact Match – The most specific method of keyword targeting in Adwords, exact match is used to generate ads for term(s) and phrases that are used exactly as they appear in your campaign. Note*: We know that negative keywords are a type of match but for this post we are referring to types that generate ads. So don’t get your panties in a wad. Towards the middle of 2011, around April, Google released the fourth match type: Broad Match Modifer. With this match type (which many say replaces [or should for that matter] broad match) users are able to gain the benefit of broad match’s wide berth while also incorporating some measure of control of the terms that need to be present for the keyword to be relevant. As Jeremy Decker puts it in the post 6 Ways to Ensure Your Adwords Campaign Fails, using broad match is great way to waste your or your clients’ time and money. That isn’t to say that broad match isn’t useful in some situations, but generally there are usually better ways to make use of the spend – unless you’re looking to meet spending expectations or you’re Nike. I digress. In the conversation about Adwords, my colleague cited that for many of his terms that used exact match his CPC was often 20-45% higher than those comparable ad groups using broad match modifiers. In some cases, the quality score were either the same. In a few however, he stated that the quality score for the exact match was lower than the broad match modified keyword. In reviewing my own Adwords campaigns I was able to confirm his findings much to my own dismay. Adwords Broad Match Modifiers So, what is a broad match modifier, really? Broad match modifiers are denoted by using a “+” in front of a given set of keywords. Say you have a phrase match that is okay but can be interpreted in more than a few ways. Furthermore, the phrase match type may limit the number of variations for which the ads will be triggered; but going with broad matches will either 1) cause the inner campaign drama (the wonderful error...

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