Fred: Do we have any questions lined up?
Shemmah: Yeah, it looks like we have a couple of questions coming in. We have someone asking how we use the script that you showed us a few slides earlier.
Fred: Yeah. So the AdWords scripts are very. very cool. These are pieces of Java Script code that you copy and paste directly into the AdWords accounts. It’s under the Bulk Operation section. Then there’s a section for AdWords scripts. All you have to do is copy and paste it. You preview the script. And then some scripts will make changes to your account; other scripts are about generating reports. So the one that I showed you is just going to generate a report. It’s not going to make changes, so it’s very safe to run. But that is how these work.
So if people haven’t played with AdWords scripts in the past, SearchEngineLand has a great four-part series that I recommend you check out, to kind of get the basic principle behind it. But one of the key benefits of these scripts is that first you can automate things. So if you find yourself running the same report reports consistently, say on a weekly basis, you can actually put it on a schedule through the scripts. You can say, “Run this script once a week on Mondays,” and it automatically generates a Google spreadsheet with the report.
The other thing that makes it really powerful is you can do a report of manipulations. Instead of just pulling a keyword report, what I’ve done is I’ve pulled a keyword report and an ad text report, and I’ve joined the two up through the Google spreadsheet system. So again, this is something you could have done through Excel, but you would have to download two separate reports. You would have to do the lookups. So even if you’re good at it, it still takes you 10 to 15 minutes to do this every single time. Where with the script, you program it once, or you take a methodology that someone like myself has created, you copy and paste it, and it just works.
Shemmah: Okay. We have another question. They’re asking if you suggest using single keyword ad groups.
Fred: Yes, so SKAGs, Single Keyword Ad Groups. I’m not opposed to them. I also don’t think they’re always necessary. With that script that we have, it actually tells you when it’s necessary to go down to the single keyword ad group level. Generally I recommend somewhere between 5 to 25 to 30 keywords per ad group. That forces you to remain topically relevant, so between all the different keywords.
But the script can now tell you, “Well here’s five keywords that just don’t seem to be doing very well with the corresponding ad text.” So you can move these five into a new ad group. You run that same script a couple of weeks later, and now you see in the ad group of five there is still one keyword that’s still not doing great. So that one moves out by itself and becomes a single keyword ad group.
Now if you want to do single keyword ad groups from the beginning, that’s fine. It just means that your account structure becomes more — I don’t want to say “complicated” because they’re not necessarily complicated — but it just becomes bigger. So now instead of doing ad optimization in one ad group, maybe you have to do it in ten ad groups. So the scale of everything just becomes a little bit harder.
Now with tools like ours, that scale issue kind of goes away. But if you’re manually managing things, or doing a lot of spread-sheeting work, then it’s sometimes kind of a negative. So it’s kind of the balance of, “How much benefit do you get from it?” versus “How much extra work do you have to go and do?”
Shemmah: Okay we have another one from Laura. She is asking what an advertiser with multiple locations should do in order to appear in relevant order in the ads.
Fred: Yeah, I don’t know if the question there is about the local box. So if you have multiple locations, just making sure that the correct location shows up in the search and in the maps box. That’s really the whole algorithm that Google does. There’s various tricks that I’ve heard people do. It helps to be closer to the city center. So if people do a generic search, where there’s not a specific location inherent in it, Google tends to show businesses located in the more commercial parts of town first. So if you don’t necessarily have that great location downtown or in a commercial core, I’ve heard of people using PO boxes and doing some other tricks. I don’t know how well those work, but that is one thing I’ve heard.
In terms of AdWords, you can associate your locations as location extensions and that is also automated. So what you would do is you would basically say, “Hey Google, here’s my list of 10 or 20 locations,” and then they will automatically pick the one that they think is the most relevant. But again, that is based on the algorithm that they serve.
If you wanted to take some more control, you could do it I suppose by having different campaigns with different geographic targets and associate different location extensions with them. But that may be more effort than it’s worth in my opinion. If you feel it’s a significant issue, that we would the work around. Set up different campaigns for very tight geographic targets and associate different location extensions to each of the campaigns.
Shemmah: All right. We have another question. It says, “Have you seen any industries that have been impacted the most by this change?”
Fred: I haven’t looked industry-wide, but one sense that we’re getting is kind of that the impact is more on the small business. So I think the industry doesn’t necessarily matter, but maybe plumbers come to mind. Plumbers, where you have a variety, you may have ten plumbers all competing in the same area and now that you only have seven ad positions on the first page, as opposed to eleven, that means that four plumbers are basically losing out.
A lot of these businesses also couldn’t afford to pay the top position, so it tends to be maybe the national chains that could afford those higher positions. The smaller, local ones haven’t quite figured out how to compete at that same level, so they were the ones on the right-hand side, and they may be the ones falling off of the page now.
At the end of the day — I’m sorry if it’s a bit crass — but I think small businesses oftentimes don’t have good representation from agencies or they try to do things themselves, so they don’t take the system to the extent of its full capabilities. That is why you end up with positions where you sort of fall off of that first page and you have a very hard time getting back on to it. But I think it’s kind of eye-opening for a lot of these companies that may now have fallen off of those pages and they really need to figure out which agency can still support us at a reasonable level.
But there is also an expectation in many cases that they can get great service for very low cost, which in reality is often not true. You can get — what is it — fast, good, or cheap. You can choose any two of these but not all three. I think people in some industries have been looking for all three and they’re now going to realize it’s just not possible to get everything. And they’re going to have to either start spending more money on it, or reset their expectations about how much volume this can drive for them, until they make a bigger investment into it.
Shemmah: All right, here’s another one: “Do you think the removal of the right sidebar has increased cost per clicks due to more advertisers competing for visible space?”
Fred: So the initial numbers that we’re seeing is no, that is not the case. Now again, these are aggregate numbers and average numbers. Obviously if you happen to be in position four on the right-hand side and now you’re showing in the top position, you may in fact have the higher CPC. And that is just because you have not had the opportunity to jump over a threshold, so your price is not just determined by the next advertiser on the page. But it’s also determined by the minimum threshold that Google has to show you above the search results. That from one day to the next could have actually bumped your CPC.
But overall we haven’t really seen the competitive landscape changing very much and CPCs changing dramatically because of this. And again, i think it sort of comes from the fact that there are just more clicks available from these different positions because the CTRs are better. So the CTR improvement kind of counteracts the increases in CPC that would have been necessary, so everything has remained relatively flat.
Shemmah: Ok. The next question is: “Since Google Shopping does not rely on keywords, I’m having difficulty getting my ads to appear. Do you have any ideas? My competitors’ ads do appear.”
Fred: Yeah. So that’s a huge topic of its own. So PLAs, broadcasting ads, shipping ads don’t trigger off of keywords. They trigger off of the merchant fee that you have and whatever is in there. So that is more akin to STO in some ways, so you have to write really good descriptions and really good titles. Nowadays Google also enforces correct categorization, so basically Google will map certain queries to certain products. If your product is not correctly classified in the feed, then Google may not think your product is actually a good candidate to show on that specific query. So feed optimization tends to be the main thing to work on.
And the Google does have these nice benchmark CTR and benchmark CTC metrics for shopping ads. So that will give you a flavor of whether you’re just significantly underbidding your competitors and then that could be the issue. Or if you’re significantly below the CTR of your competitors, and obviously that assumes that you’re showing up in the first place. But it could speak to, “Hey, maybe you have a really lousy CTR because your price is significantly higher than everybody else’s.” Or maybe your product images are not optimized. But again, it then points back to, “Do we need to go to the feed? Do we need to change our prices? Do we need to have better images?” So that feed is really where it all starts.
And if that person wants to follow up with me directly, I’m sure I can dig up a few good resources on that because it’s a pretty big topic.
Shemmah: All right. Well thanks for sharing that with us, Fred. That was a good hour. And thanks, everyone, for your participation. Everyone watch for the recording from us and we’ll send that out in an email today or tomorrow. And then you can go to our website, Convirza.com, and go to Resources at the top to see this webinar. And then also, if you go to Convirza.com, you’ll see a big button that says, “Start Free Trial.” You can actually do a free trial of our product before you start to pay for it, which is pretty awesome.
And thanks again, Fred, we really appreciate. And I would recommend that you take Fred up on his offer. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Fred: No. I just want to also say “thank you” to everyone for joining us, spending an hour with us this morning. And if anyone has any questions, I’m more than happy to take it further on email.
Shemmah: All right. Well thanks again, Fred. Thanks, everyone, and we hope you have a wonderful rest of the day.