This interview with Andrew Lolk of White Shark Media is part of our Webinar Series.To view the transcript of Mike’s entire presentation visit our webinar library. A transcript of the Q&A portion is available below.
Mckay: Awesome that was great Andrew, we appreciate it. Thank you for your time and your preparation that was a fantastic presentation. So we have a number of questions here and I’m excited to get started with these questions. Are you ready to take some questions Andrew for a few minutes?
Andrew: Of course.
Mckay: Awesome, all right first question, Christian asks, he says what tool other than AdWords do you recommend for doing keyword and search term research. Are there tools out there that you say you know what we always default to that tool when we want to do research on keywords and what are our competitors are doing e.t.c.
Andrew: Well some of the biggest tools that I personally use for key word research is there are three main ones I use. I use the keyword planner, the best way to use that is try to type in keywords and simply just see what other–like there’re broad keywords–ideas come up. You shouldn’t be focused too much about the search volume that each keyword there, each keyword is listed with. Just look for ideas to bring some based of it and just get ideas based on some keywords that come up.
The second thing is looking simply just start Googling around and Google the keywords that you have so far and look at the Ads, go to your competitor website go, go to Wikipedia and just read a lot and often you will see that your competitor is using the specific word about a product or about a service that you haven’t thought about.
You will also see the same thing in Ads and on the same level also Ubersuggest, which is just a tool that automatically takes out all suggested they are automatic searches, auto-completion searches sorry, in Goggle and simply just give you a bunch of ideas for the keywords that you can use.
And the third one is if you’re already running an AdWords campaign and you are not already doing a dynamic search campaign, start one of those. What dynamic search Ad campaigns do is that they automate you to scan your website and look for categories and then they will automatically find new keywords for you that they feel that your Ad or that you should be showing up for. Some of them will be completely irrelevant and others will be right on the money and you will be able to discover these keywords that you never thought were possible before. So invest a little bit of money on them and then you can find all the keywords you need. There was more less than three go-to places to find more keywords.
Mckay: Great that’s great, great response. Okay Mark asked should I research keywords my competitors are using and bid on them? Will my company information come up as people tighten their keywords? So I think he’s specifically asking about if you should go after I suppose branded keywords from your competitor as well as the keywords that they’re focused at. What are your rules surrounding that if you have any Andrew?
Andrew: So I hear two things in the question. And one is, should I go after the branded terms of my competitors? So for instance should White Shark Media go out and start bidding for some the competitors that we have? For me it depends on what kind of company you’re running. In White Shark Media we don’t do it. We don’t bid for our competitors brandings just because I don’t want to be one of the ones to piggyback off other people’s brand and their success. But as a general rule it can be very successful I won’t lie. I have done it for clients in the past but I typically let it up bid up to the client and say what kind of a company do you want to be?
It can be very successful and you can get really higher success with it. And then I hear the other part of the question was could be should I research the keywords that my competitors are using in their AdWords campaigns and start bidding for those? And for that I will say yes. Especially if you do something a search tool like SEMrush or SPIwho[SP] where you can see how long a competitor has been using the same keyword. Then if they’ve been running the same keyword for a year, you typically can get very, very, very good results by including those keywords as well. I use that technique all the time.
Mckay: Great. Okay David says now you’re getting some push-backs a little bit Andrew when I think you mentioned the how you said that all keywords have been found, long tails and things, you’re getting a little push back from a couple of people there so what are your response to that push back some people say, hey there’s new long tails all the time. What’s your response to that push-back?
Andrew: My response is that I’ve been running campaigns for a long time and I’ve run very big campaigns and yes, there are long tails that come up all the time. The latest number I saw is about a year ago is about 18% of all search terms everyday on Google are unique, are new. And it’s absolute truth. It’s the long tail keywords that come up all the time.
But the fact is that a guy like who’s running campaigns I will have free space I will have brought my small modifier so if I’m running a campaign for our delivery company then I will have most likely flower delivery in broad mass modifier and phrase match and they will automatically catch almost all long tail keywords. And if I’m not catching those long tail keywords in existing keywords, then I will definitely have a dynamic search ad campaign that will catch the rest that are coming up. So this whole things was sitting and creating hundreds of campaigns with millions of keywords in an attempt to try to bid it on the long tail.
Mckay: I think we just lost Andrew’s audio. Type in the question area if you can, if you lost it as well. Make sure it it’s not just me. Oh there you are Andrew. We lost you for just a second but you have returned. So we’re thrilled that you are back.
Andrew: I needed more time to answer the question.
Mckay: Yeah you do, exactly [inaudible 00:35:22] that trick is good just was like oh my God it didn’t work[inaudible 00:35:30]Keep going, sorry about that.
Andrew: So where did you guys lose me? What’s the last thing you heard?
Mckay: It was probably five or eight seconds it wasn’t a big deal. But I think that jest of your answer will still be the same. So yeah basically the idea being you were responding at the time I believe just to people who were saying you know what there still are a lot of keywords out there left to be found.
Andrew: Yeah so I think that the latest part I talked about was I’m not the only one having this opinion. I know David Rodnitzky from 3Q Digital wrote an E-Book actually four years ago about this whole idea about the long tail being dead. And I will put a link out to you after this webinar so that you can share it with all the attendees. It’s a very, very good E-Book and it’s just eight to 10 pages and it answers the question exceedingly well.
Mckay: Well to backup what you’re saying as well David did a webinar with us several months ago and he mentioned the same thing as you say just that there’s certainly so many people on AdWords now and it’s so competitive that it is difficult to find the competitive edge and I think that’s the point which he was trying to tease out. Would you agree with that?
Andrew: Yeah definitely and that’s not to say that if you’re a new advertiser and you sit and you look at your hundred keywords that you shouldn’t start researching more keywords. Definitely, you should definitely, definitely do that. But if there’s just like if you’ve been running AdWords for a long there’s no need to start doing more long tail keywords or trying to go more into detail in order to try to find these keywords that have a low cost per click. Because most of the keywords out there have been found. Most the possible keywords have a high demand and the higher demand a keyword has the higher the CPCs are. So if you’re only trying to look for this low CPC keywords then you’ll lose out on everything that your campaign could be bringing you in by simply just spending more for click and then having a higher conversion rate on these high CPC keywords.
Mckay: Great answer, great answer. Okay let’s move to some additional questions here. What are the biggest mistakes you see when you start working with a client you’re saying man they’re messing this up dramatically in terms of specific bidding strategy. Is it they’re biding on the wrong keywords all together, is it not enough exact matching, not enough negative keyword elimination. What’s the biggest bidding strategy mistakes that you see consistently?
Andrew: Consistently the biggest mistake being that people bid too high, and that goes again with especially the new advertisers who try to come out with a small budget than their competitors and they say I want to be number one and then they bid high in order to try to be number one, but they don’t have to budget to be number one. Like Google has massive amounts of searches every single day and when you try to be number one on a given search depending on how competitive it is, then being number one will cost you a lot of money.
So if you don’t have a budget that’s several thousand dollars per day but you try to be on the keyword like Nike running shoes, then you simply can’t be on that search in the top. You’ll have to say okay I have to do more complex bidding strategy here and go for maybe position number four or five or six even. Be further down,pay less per a click and then get more clicks. I often see this mistake or this misconception that advertisers think that they have to be number one or they have to get a lot of impressions or they have to be a top in order to get success but that’s not the truth with AdWords. With AdWords you have to get clicks in order to get conversions.
So it’s about getting as many clicks as possible in the beginning because once you get a click, you then get a conversion but if you can only get 10 clicks as number one but you can get 20 clicks as number four, then I’ll go for number four every single day. Because that will be the one that will drive more conversions.
Mckay: Fantastic. Okay moving now through the questions, give me a quick maybe an anecdote regarding a client that came over to you guys and you opened up their AdWords account and you were dismayed by what you saw other than the bidding too high. What are the biggest things that you logged in for the first time to their AdWords and say they’re doing this wrong and how can we apply that lesson maybe that you see in that way?
Andrew: Typically there are a couple of things that you see over and over again. And the one that I think I see the most the idea of not using enough Ad groups where professional like to use as many Ad groups as needed in order to make sure that the Ad that is showing up for a specific word is as relevant as possible then typically when we get advertisers in White Shark Media we see that they put as many keywords as they think fit together into the same archive and then they run the ad.
One of my oldest example is if you’re running an Ad for if you are an Ad group and there are the keywords Pest control and there’s a keyword Beehive Removal for instance. It’s basically the same thing. The person who is looking for a pest control company and the person who is looking a beehive removal they’re looking for the same thing. There are looking for an exterminator who can to help them out. That’s absolutely true.
But if you are searching for something on Google and you are searching for Beehive Removal and in the Ad you see that it says Pest Control or exterminator and it’s not specifically addressing that you as a company can offer beehive removal you can do it fast you can do it permanent, you have insurance that you’ve done it for 18 years. If you don’t hit on those specific things that are specifically meant to convert and attract a person that’s looking for somebody to remove their beehive from their garden, then you’re going to be losing out to people who are being specific, who are very relevant to the searcher. And this is not about being relevant it’s about being as relevant as you can be. Otherwise it’s just you’re doing the best you can do and in AdWords we have the ability to target very, very precisely. So that’s the idea behind it.
Mckay: Can you talk a little bit about mobile and some of the rules that may be different and may be the same in regards to mobile page search specifically on AdWords.
Andrew: One of the things I see a lot on mobile is that people misunderstand the volume of mobile searches and they often see that for instance we see advertisers all the time that tell us that mobile isn’t working for them. There’s nobody searching their industry. But then we have Google on the other hand feeding us a data but 50% of all searches today is coming from mobile devices. So we’ve looked into why this discrepancy between what Google says and what advertisers are feeling, especially among small businesses which is our key audience and we found out that it’s typically when advertisers don’t bid enough for mobile. Because in mobile there’s only the two top spots that really generate traffic. It’s very, very few advertisers that are not in the top two spots that get a lot of traffic.
So when advertisers don’t bid enough then it looks like there is no traffic on mobile and then the mobile opportunity Ad is just good marketing talk. It’s something Google puts out there because it sounds good. But often, often, often I see that advertisers simply just they’re not taking a big enough advantage of it. They’re not writing mobile Ads, they’re not doing specific keywords for mobile, they’re not setting the bid adjustments higher enough and all that is causing to lose a lot of their mobile momentum that is out there today.
And I’d like to compare to what happened when AdWords first came out. And the people who came in and made a solid foundation they are still benefiting from it today. So the same thing will happen with mobile. The first people come in, get a responsive website, they put in the effort to create mobile preferred Ads, they see the success for mobile they will also be the ones who will actually continue to get success for mobile because everybody else will be scared to get into the game.
Mckay: Yeah I agree with you. I also think with mobile and you know this well, you mentioned call tracking earlier in your presentation but mobile has really changed the game in terms of what analytics we track as a conversion right? There’s a significant percentage of mobile searchers that make phone calls as their first choice in a call to action.
They want to fill out a very long form right, they want to simply tap that little button, tap the number and then tap the number and then tap the button that says Call on the phone. And so we’re seeing with our clients just incredible data in terms of their ROI on mobile AdWords when they’re focusing on calls. And from a copy perspective I mean it changes the copy game as well when you’re writing call now for this, call now for that as opposed to your standard AdWords copy so it’s changed game entirely in terms of what people are even trying to measure and trying to get this search of it to do on the active as result of the search. Andrew, will you agree with that?
Andrew: Absolutely, we made a decision two years ago to include call tracking as a standard in every single plan that we have with new added cost to it so the advertisers that choose White Shark and it’s simply just because it’s that important to us that we get this data and it was right around the same time that mobile really started blowing up. So absolutely I agree.
Mckay: All right a couple more questions here. The biggest question, I mean we get a lot of questions, a tone of questions I appreciate all of them. People are asking about Bing. Is Bing worth spending time on? How much effort/money/time should you put into Bing?
Andrew: So as a digital agency this something that lean on my table all the time and we’ve been doing a lot of research into it, because on the surface Bing has 30% of the market share in the U.S. Google has about 68% so essentially Bing should have half the searches that Google has. But what a lot of advertisers see on Bing is that that’s not the reality. And after exchanging a lot of emails and attending a lot of meetings in Microsoft with the Bing team, what we found out is that these 30% of the market share is very, very segmented out on industries.
For instance automotive Bing has more than 30%. E-commerce and commercial product related search things also have a higher part of the 30%, than for instance local services searches and stuff like that. So to answer your question, Bing is definitely worth trying out. We just run a couple of case studies on Bing advertisers just a couple of months ago and the success we saw on some were very, very good. The one danger and the one thing that is always the discussion is the search volume, does it make sense?
And there are cases where we’ve seen very good search volumes spending several thousand dollars per month even for a niche industry while other are just you get one, two, three, four clicks per day. One thing I like to say about Bing is that you can tend to be a little bit more broad. Where AdWords has this huge amount of search volume and you have to more or less be very specific in your approach. Then on Bing you shouldn’t do exactly the same as you’re doing on AdWords, you can be more broad, you can be more general and it won’t hurt just much in terms of quality scope perspective and it will also give better results.
Mckay: Great advise, great feedback. Well Andrew we appreciate your time, sir, we want to make sure that everybody has a chance to get back to the rest of their day. So any final thoughts that you’d share with the audience about AdWords generally or a specific topic related to AdWords before we close Andrew?
Andrew: No, if I were to highlight one thing then it is to not get overwhelmed with AdWords as it is today. Everything I’ve talked about today, everything that you read even I have it tough sometimes following up on all the news from Google and of course I have a Feedly account where I see all the articles that everybody within the PPC space push out every day and it can be very hard to follow up on everything.
Take the time, know what works for your industry, what works for your type of business and then just become very, very good at that. Look at what your competitors are not doing and see if you can implement that and then try to do fewer things very well. If you try to implement everything, if you try to work with everything in the book, then you’re just going to get overwhelmed and you’re not going to get anything done. So instead just focus, look at what’s good for your industry and look for tips for your industry and then go for that. That will get you much far than trying to catch everything.
Mckay: Wonderful advice, that’s great advice probably for most things in life I suppose. No, great advise, man, we appreciate your time. And everybody thank you for attending today, we’ve had a lot of people asking will the recording be available, will the deck be available? The answer is yes we’ll send those out in a follow up where you will get tonight, this afternoon or tomorrow morning. So watch for that from us. In the meantime thanks for taking the time Andrew we really appreciate it. Next week we have a couple of webinars, one specifically about AdWords as well. Andrew probably know Fred Vallaeys, he used to work at Google and writes about AdWords a lot.
Mckay: Now he’s started a company called Optmyzr in the Silicon Valley. So he’s the speaker on our webinar next week so be sure to join us for that webinar as well. So Andrew any final thoughts?
Andrew: No, I just say thanks everybody for attending and if they have any question or anything I recommend we have a blog post about the Seven AdWords truth that also cover the ones I’ve talked about today, if you have any follow up question you can go in and answer the questions there and me and my team will ready to help with any questions.
Mckay: Great. Andrew we really, really appreciate it, thanks for taking the time and everybody thank you for attending today, hope you’re have a wonderful afternoon and have a great remainder of your Thursday and Friday and weekend. So thanks again. Bye, bye.
Andrew: Alright, thank you too.