Google announced a slew of updates and user guides these recent days that are of interest:
- Improvements to bulk account management
- A guide on automated bidding (PDF)
- A guide on Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (PDF)
Bulk Up On Account Management Tools
Two major improvements to the way that Google will allow you to deal with large accounts are the ability to now make bulk changes in AdWords as well as improved spreadsheet upload features. Google also alluded to changes and improvements to the AdWords Editor occurring in the nearish future.
While the improved importing of changes through spreadsheets is nice, I think the main point of interest will be the ability to bulk modify extensions. Being able to edit something like sitelinks and callouts in particular is going to be incredibly helpful, especially since many advertisers are likely to want to change their message to one that conforms with holiday advertising.
Google Thinks You Should Leave Bidding Up To Them
With the release of the A Bid For Every Auction best practices guide, Google makes another push to be put in charge of your bids. Automated bidding works on the basis that you’ll put in parameters that determine if you add or subtract from ad bids depending on a variety of circumstances, including user location, device and time of day. An example based on a bid rate of $1.00 is shown below.
I’m torn on this idea because on the one hand, automated bidding can be very beneficial if you have a strong idea of how consumers behave. If you know that people in California spend more than those in Missouri, you’ll want to spend a bit more to get a good ad position. However, Google seems to be way more okay with your accounts and bids running amok than I’m comfortable with.
Don’t change things too frequently. Try to keep Target CPA goals, ads and campaign daily budgets fairly steady.
Why: Steady targets lead to steadier performance. Algorithms take time to adjust to significant changes and conversion delays.
However, Google does make a variety of good points about proper automated bid management, including the need to:
- Arrange your account in similar portfolios so that rules work to provide the best results.
- Select a strategy based on your goals: Visibility, Clicks, Conversion or Revenue.
- Test and keep an eye on your bidding strategies to ensure they’re working properly.
- Make sure that you’re using a large source of data to make bidding determinations. Two large orders from a particular geographic area is more likely to be a coincidence than a trend.
A Second Chance To Make A Better Impression With Search Remarketing
As is pointed out in the Winning the Second Chance Remarketing Lists For Search Ads guide, most people visit between 2 to 4 sites before making a purchase. If you’re not getting purchases out of people’s first visit to your site, you may not be doing something wrong, you may just be facing the same issue just about every other online retailer is.
Remarketing is designed to remind consumers of what they saw on your site and to get them back through the doors (erm… or whatever the Internet equivalent is) and to purchase items they browsed previously. RLSA are great in the sense that you can re-target people when they are searching for other things on Google.
According to Google, the keys to RLSA success include prolific use of container tags, creating remarketing lists for people who have visited your site, people who abandoned a shopping cart and people who have made purchases, and determining your advertising strategy. Use of tags will tell you which visitors are which (general, abandoners or previous customers), and you can create plans of action for each type of target.
You’ll either want to use existing campaigns for these individuals and modify your bids accordingly or create separate ad campaigns for each. Below are the pros and cons associated with each.
Image Credit: S. Carter