Google Relinquishes Advertisers’ Control Over Keyword Matching

Estimated Reading Time for This Post: 2 minutes, 48 seconds; approximately 561 words.

ppc word cloud Google 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 LTTR a call, and we’ll be happy to explain how your specific account may or may not be impacted.

Increase Your Brand’s Visibility With These 5 Tips

Estimated Reading Time for This Post: 2 minutes, 10 seconds; approximately 436 words.

Online marketing is one of the most important things that you can do to benefit your business. However, while most business owners know that they need to engage in online marketing, many are still unsure of what the best practices are.

The following are some quick tips to help you improve your brand’s visibility. All of these are relatively easy to implement on your own. However, if you don’t have the time or are simply struggling, it may be time to hire a professional Internet marketing agency to help you get on the right track!

5 Quick Tips for Better Branding Online

  1. Web Design – Your web design says a lot about you. Using color, placement of text, and high quality images, you can really draw in your audience to read more about what it is you do.
  2. Linking – Linking still rules the web. Aim to get more links pointed at you than the other way around. Search engines look favorably on websites that have high quality links from credible sources pointing at them. Think CNN, Forbes, .edu and .org websites. You should aim to build meaningful relationships with reputable sources on the web so that you can have higher quality URLs pointed back at your site. This also helps to build your credibility as a reputable source of information and expertise in your industry.
  3. Social Media – Social media is a key factor in the brand visibility equation. At the very least, you should establish accounts with some of the top social media sites, such as: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and even Pinterest and Instagram.
  4. Call to Action (CTA) – Does your website have a clear call-to-action (CTA)? Some businesses make the mistake of hitting people over the head with their CTA every chance they get. However, this is a mistake. If you have a rocking website design and have carefully crafted quality content on your site, you won’t need to pepper CTA’s all over a single webpage. One to two mentions is more than enough on a given page of content.
  5. Unique Selling Proposition (USP) – Following in line with your CTA is your unique selling proposition (USP). What makes your business/website so much better and/or different than your competitors? Why should folks stick around on your website or visit your physical location? Before you can even think about how to execute your brand’s increased visibility, you must first sit down and think about what makes your brand/business “special”. Figure this out, and the rest will be gravy.

For more information about improving your branding or building a comprehensive online marketing campaign, contact Look to the Right today by calling: 919-926-8733.

Rise of Ad Tech, Social Media Gives Businesses More Control

"Social Media apps" by Jason Howie on flickr ccEstimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 9 seconds. Contains approximately 430 words.

According to the latest forecasts out from ZenithOptimedia, Global ad spend is on track to grow 5.5% this year to $537 billion, while Internet advertising will account for nearly one-quarter of that, at $121 billion.

If there was ever any doubt as to where people are spending most of their time these days, this latest information will certainly put out that fire. In fact, Zenith goes on to predict that Internet display will almost certainly take over paid search at $74.4 billion versus $71.1 billion by 2015. This could spell trouble for companies like Google, who have traditionally dominated the Internet ad space in the past.

Keeping an Eye on Mobile Ad Spend

As Ingrid Lunden over at TechCrunch recaps, all eyes are now turning to mobile as mobile continues to experience rapid growth. This makes sense as more people are using mobile devices to access information on the Internet, from tablets to smartphones to other types of portable devices. Compare the following as case and point:

In 2013, $13.4 billion was spent on mobile ads, but by 2016 that will rise to $45 billion, or 28% of Internet ad spend and 7.6% of total ad investments.

Researchers at Zenith stated,

“Mobile will leapfrog radio, magazines and outdoor to become the world’s fourth-largest medium by the end of our forecast period..”

The Rise of Social Media Advertising

Even more impressive is the rise of social media advertising, which is currently growing at 29% each year.

Why is this?

1- Audience

As mentioned earlier, social media is HUGE. If you don’t have at least a Twitter account and a Facebook account, then you simply don’t get it. Consider the social media giant, Facebook, which currently has more than 1 billion users and is on pace to soon cross the 1 billion mark on just mobile alone! The advertising potential is limitless.

2- Rise of Ad Tech

Perhaps even more poignant is the rise of Ad Tech. Why? Ad Tech allows businesses to gain more control over what they buy and where it’s being seen. “It also provides a greater amount of data to be able to measure the impact that their marketing investments are having.”

Finally, when it comes to world comparisons of Ad Spend and advertising in general, the U.S. remains the biggest market for advertising, at more than three times the value compared to the next-biggest market.

Bottom line? It’s time to start thinking through some new online social strategies and thinking of new ways to engage the countless users who log in each day to social sites. How can you capitalize on that potential?

[HT TechCrunch]