How have things gone for Clear Channel in the months since they turned their back on progressive radio in Portland? Not so good, apparently…And yet, there is as much interest in progressive radio content as ever before here in Portland. So why don’t we have any progressive radio in Portland?
Well, first of all I shouldn’t say there is NO progressive radio in Portland… Carl Wolfson has a new show. You can listen live online at 7AM Monday through Friday. Or, if you’re like me and not such an early riser, you can always stream ALL of Carl’s shows online for FREE! Free I say, Free – No podcast subscriptions or pay wall! Because the content is free (The way radio should be!) it’s important to remember to support the sponsors of Carl’s program, such as Tom Dwyer Automotive.
Speaking of Tom Dwyer Automotive… Brad Freidman of The Brad Blog (Everybody knows Brad, right?) wrote a great piece about the death of Portland’s progressive radio in which he quoted a comment from Charles Letherwood, Marketing Director for Tom Dwyer Automotive:
“Several people have mentioned boycotting the new KPOJ’s clients (Fox Sports Radio advertisers), but that’s going to be useless… they won’t care. However, there is something useful we can do instead. I work for Tom Dwyer Automotive Services, and if you listened to KPOJ you know who we are. To the local businesses that USED to advertise on KPOJ, the loss of the station means a loss in business.
If you ever considered using the services of the old advertisers, don’t wait… now is the time. And word-of-mouth is the best way to send your friends to local companies that will appreciate you. Buy an anniversary gift from Katy at Trade Roots, or get your Christmas cards printed at Morel Ink (Ahem, I think he meant ClubFlyers.com), or update your frames at Eyes on Broadway (Hmm… That’s a weird way of spelling World Eyeglasses). We’ll still be glad to get your car ready for winter, Better World Mortgage can still refi your house, and Stephen Hendricks can still handle your legal work (For personal injury legal issues. Of course, if you need help with bankruptcy legal issues Tom McAvity can solve those problems for you.). There’s so many more companies out there, but you get the idea.
It’s almost impossible to punish the big companies that don’t care what kind of content they support, but it won’t take much to matter to the companies that put their necks on the block to support rational information sources. Progressive Radio will return to Portland in some form, but we don’t have to wait… our support NOW for these companies means they’ll still be there to support Progressive Radio when it DOES come back.”
(Please forgive my shameless promotion of our clients, TCC is a marketing agency after all. )
I couldn’t agree with Charles more. At the end of the day, whether its radio, television, print media, or any other content medium – The way these industries built their empires was through providing engaging content for free, and building an audience. Then and only then is your content worth something… To advertisers! Charles has seen the profound positive impact that Tom Dwyer’s support of progressive radio in Portland has had on the bottom line of the business. People want to buy from who they know, and every listener knows their local progressive radio advertisers.
Willamette Week has reported that since the format change from progressive talk to sports radio, the ratings for AM 620 KPOJ have continued to decline since November. In the article – Chris Sargent, the programming director at Clear Channel had this to say: “It’s way too early to gauge whether this is a good move or a bad move,” Sargent says. “You can’t say, ‘It didn’t pop in the first month.’ That’s not the way radio works.”
Really? How did Carl do in his first week as an independent progressive media voice?
“We’re really happy with the first week. There were some start-up problems, but we handled those quickly. The call-in response has been wonderful. Over 7000 people were listening live, and we had over 13,000 unique visits to the website. Many more are listening on the podcast, and that will only increase as people adjust to the new format”.
So, Carl alone, without a terrestrial broadcast station, gets 1% of the city of Portland’s population to listen everyday… In the first week! Here’s the real kicker – Because this is a website, and the internet is the medium of content distribution, analytics can track the real world engagement numbers in a way that terrestrial radio never could. In this Willamette Week article “Who Killed KPOJ?“ by Carl Wolfson, he details the many problems with traditional media ratings reporting:
“For years, Arbitron used its “Radio Listening Diary.” The small journal was sent to randomly selected households that agreed to the week long survey. Everybody in the house over 12 years old kept track of what they listened to on radio.
Then Arbitron switched to a device it had developed called the Portable People Meter (PPM). You wear it like a pager and it picks up radio (or TV) signals … It promised more accurate data than the diaries.
Many months before PPM debuted in Portland there was apprehension as to its effects on everyone’s ratings. It was already being used in larger markets, causing significant drops among many AM sticks.”
The introduction of this device didn’t mean that listeners just quit listening to their favorite stations overnight. It meant that the user input of the listening diary was no longer being taken into account. Smart marketers know that no single data set tells the entire story of user intent. The listening diary was direct user engagement data, the PPM data lacked any user input. Both of these data sets together can help determine the reality of user intent, but “That’s not the way radio works”.
Well, there’s yer problem!
That’s why we don’t have progressive radio in Portland anymore. Traditional medium content marketers like radio stations/networks think that this whole internet thing is the end of their business model. What they don’t realize is that the internet is just another medium to distribute the content. If you’re a smart business person, you can generate even more revenue by combining the traditional means of distribution such as broadcast radio, and the “new” medium of content distribution known as “The Internets”, to further build your audience. The combined analytics data from online streaming, and listening diaries for terrestrial radio can create a more accurate target persona for your advertisers.
If for example Carl’s audience is predominately in the 35+ demographic, and as a potential advertiser your market research states that the 35+ age group is your target market, then advertising on Carl’s show is worth more per ad unit than other (sports) show. But again, “That’s not the way radio works”. Traditional marketers love to have one and only one extremely limited data set. Because, it’s a lot easier to (mis) interpret that data, and make a sales pitch for a bulk ad buy. The logic goes like this:
* We say that 18-35 year old men listen to this type of radio programming.
* We say that 18-35 year old men buy all the everything from everybody.
* Therefore, no matter what your business is, and what your market research shows – If you make a bulk adbuy with our radio network, then you will make more money because we have more of those stations broadcasting that type of programming.
That may be the way traditional marketers think radio works, but it is certainly not the reality of the way the world works! People don’t do what you want them to, they do what they want to. After all, these are your customers, and the customer is always right! Why, in this day and age, with all the resources available would any smart marketer ever think they understand user intent – When you can actually know? Why ignore what you know – what the users were telling you through their listening diaries, because you think this new PPM device is more accurate?
If we at TCC made or digital marketing decisions based on what we think, then I know we wouldn’t be in business any longer. What we know for sure, when it comes to a client like Tom Dwyer Automotive, is that no first awareness attribution is reported in greater volume – directly from the mouths of new customers – than advertising on progressive radio in Portland. As a smart business person, Tom Dwyer knows that speaking directly to his target market through local progressive radio, is the most effective means for a small business owner to become known to their audience. People buy from who they know! By the time a potential customer uses the internet machine to further research the brand, they are already demonstrating direct engagement with the local progressive radio advertisers. As smart marketers we know that all the steps in the multichannel conversion funnel rely on one another. No single step in the funnel, is in any way the entire story of the users intent.
On the one hand, I would love for a large media company like Clear Channel to finally “get it”, because then there may be some hope that they will see the value of the progressive radio audience throughout the country. On the other hand… I’m glad they don’t, and kind of hope they never will. In the long run, that just leaves more opportunities for smart marketers like Thomas Creek Concepts, and smart business owners like Tom Dwyer.
It’s a shame that we still don’t have broadcast progressive radio in Portland. We can always be optimistic and hope for someone to pull their head out of… um, the sand, and we can get our progressive radio back. If and or when that happens, the advertisers will be there, just as they have been with Carl – online or off. The reason is simple – The progressive audience is extremely engaged, and highly profitable! Smart business people wouldn’t sponsor the content if the content didn’t produce a profitable Return On Ad Spend.
Thanks for taking a minute to stop by and read my latest rant on the subject. If you’re a smart business person looking for a smart marketing agency to handle your PPC advertising, please contact us, we’re always here to help. If you agree or disagree with me, please let me know in the comments section (As long as you are not a spam bot. ) And, of course – Make sure to follow Tom Dwyer Automotive for all the latest updates on the KPOJ Debacle.
By, Tom Hale, Jr.
Click to call only for search campaigns is a thing of the past now with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns. However, due to the targeting options (as of this point) still available for enhanced display campaigns, you may still be able to create click to call only AdWords enhanced display campaigns. Here are some things you can try, if you are interested in running your own experiment:
First of all, follow these instructions to create a mobile app targeted campaign. Call extensions are eligible to show with display ads on mobile apps only. So if creating click to call only AdWords enhanced display campaigns is the goal, target only mobile apps. Now follow these device segmentation instructions for enhanced display campaigns to target only devices capable of making phone calls. Once you create your click to call only call extensions, the campaign setup process is mostly complete. There are however, a few more things you may want to keep in mind…
As always user behavior is key. Just because you may be able to create click to call only AdWords enhanced display campaigns, does not mean that this specific strategy is guaranteed to be effective. Ask yourself – “Do users know that by clicking this in app mobile display ad their smartphone will initiate a phone call?” If the user intention is not to click to call, then call only may actually result in a negative user experience. If you are going to experiment with this approach, make sure to let the audience know within the ad text that clicking the ad will result in an initiated call. Perhaps a call to action like “Call us today…” may help to reduce those unwanted, unintended click to call clicks.
Take a look at the placement reports within the display network tab. Find those apps that generate the highest CTR. Try managing those placements, and exclude the high impression low CTR placements. You can also experiment with adding keywords and other targeting methods to try and further refine your in app targeting. Generally speaking, continued testing and optimization over time will still be necessary of course, just as it is with any type of campaign or advertising strategy.
As you can see, there is no guarantee that even with this setup 100% of all clicks will be CTC clicks. However, so far this is the highest ratio of CTC clicks to headline clicks I have seen when trying to create a click to call only enhanced campaign of any type. It is only because of the device targeting options that still currently exist for enhanced display campaigns that the ratio is this high.
It is entirely possible (and very likely) that Google will remove these device targeting options for enhanced display campaigns at some point in the future. Until they do, if a click to call only enhanced campaign is your goal, give this approach a shot, and see if you can find something of value. While you still can.
By, Tom Hale, Jr.
Tags: AdWords Call Metrics · AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
As I have been writing about AdWords Enhanced Campaigns I have learned about a lot more than just the topic at hand. By using the tools of AdWords, analytics, and SEO plugins for Word Press (Yoast SEO Plugin), I have seen great improvements in the overall engagement with the website. Here is an outline of the strategy and tools I have used to help accomplish our engagement goals.
1. You have to begin somewhere. Perhaps an opening post introducing the concept of the topic. Then link to some resources you use to gain information on the topic yourself. It may not be great content yet, but you are just laying the foundation for better content in the future. Here’s the initial post on Enhanced Campaigns as an example.
First AdWords Enhanced Campaigns post.
2. Use PPC advertising to find the keywords and ad content which resonates with your audience.
Keywords – If the topic is ‘AdWords Enhanced Campaigns’, then use a few broad match variations of that KW, and analyze the search terms report data. At this stage, I am just looking for the search terms which have some impression volume. So, I sort by impressions to try and find any underlying search query terms that may have enough volume to actually show an ad. Once you have the search query data you have one piece of the puzzle – What in the minds of your audience is the “right” term to describe your content. Even though the term hasn’t gotten any clicks (perhaps due to the ads), if accruing impressions is my goal, ‘AdWords Enhanced Campaigns’ is in fact the “right” keyword.
Ad Content – Try testing a few different messages with your PPC ads. What message resonates most? Learn more, buy now, get answers, etc. This is another piece of the puzzle that let’s you know who your audience is, and what kind of content they are looking for. These ads are tailored perhaps more to the SEM professional crowd looking to learn more about AdWords enhanced campaigns, than to a potential client who is looking for someone to manage their AdWords advertising. AdWords enhanced campaigns as of writing this are still pretty new. At this point, the goal of the content is to seek engagement with other SEM professionals to further discuss and analyze enhanced campaigns. In this case, the target persona is someone who is interested in learning and discussing tips and strategies.
2. Use the “best performing” KW (whatever metric you want, ex. impressions) as the focus KW for SEO, and the best performing ad text as the description. You have used PPC data to immediately find what your audience is interested in. Now, use that information to improve SEO to get even more traffic in addition to your PPC advertising.
3. Now you have an audience, and you know what that audience is interested in. Make sure when creating new content to keep that information in mind. You are not just plugging keywords into a machine to try and win some kind of video game. Your goal is to actually create content that someone, somewhere may find useful and engaging. By using all the tools at your disposal as part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, you will be able to increase both traffic to and engagement with your website.
As you can see above using these simple tactics over the course of less than a month, both page views increased, and bounce rate decreased. Granted these are not the only metrics of importance, or the only metrics which have improved. However, this is evidence that following a content marketing strategy which uses both PPC and SEO to improve engagement is not a difficult task. Any improvement is a good thing. Over time as you continue to use this approach, you are bound to learn ever more about your audience, and continue to create even more engaging content.
By, Tom Hale, Jr.
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
As you probably know by now with AdWords Enhanced Campaigns there is no guaranteed way to create a mobile only (specifically call only) search campaign. However, for AdWords Enhanced Display Campaigns there are currently still some device segmentation options available. So the question is – Can you create a mobile only display campaign?
First of all, in your settings tab you should see a link to expand the device targeting options.
The device models options for Apple products haven’t changed from the options for legacy campaigns. You can easily select which models you want to show your ads on.
However, the device models options for Android are far more complicated than they were for legacy campaigns. There are twenty three different device model families. You will have to go through the list of Android devices and decide which are, or are not, “mobile devices” according to your campaign goals.
Depending on your strategy and campaign goals, you may also want to look at the device carrier options. Do you want only Wi-Fi, no Wi-Fi, only a specific carrier in a specific country, or all of the above?
These options in combination with a mobile apps targeted campaign present some interesting possibilities for AdWords enhanced display campaigns. With the ability to show call extensions with ads on mobile apps, click to call only for enhanced display campaigns may be a possibility. If you are interested in learning how to setup a click to call only AdWords enhanced display campaign, you can get the instructions on how to do so here. As always, thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated, and if you need any help with your AdWords enhanced campaigns, you can always contact us any time.
By, Tom Hale, Jr.
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
Well it’s been about a month now since we first got access to enhanced campaigns. So, what have we learned in that time? Has Google relaxed it’s draconian anti-device segmentation position? Are call only, or mobile only campaigns somehow possible now – Has anyone come up with a surefire effective strategy for such campaigns? Nope. There has however been a steady stream of information coming out about enhanced campaigns. Some of it has been good, some of it… not so much. Let’s go over some of what we have learned about enhanced campaigns, and some of the problems which still (and apparently will continue to) exist.
Mobile only campaigns:
First of all, apparently the lexicon regarding the term “mobile device” varies per user. When we speak about “mobile devices” here in the TCC blog, we are referring to essentially smart phones, or any devices that are listed as mobile devices in the AdWords “legacy” campaign settings. Some believe that any device is a mobile device as long as it is not currently plugged into the wall (or, plugged into something other than perhaps a pair of ear buds). You can consider a tablet a mobile device if you want to, but in the enhanced campaigns world – Tablets and desktop/laptop computers are the same as far as Google AdWords is concerned.
Because Google considers all “PC’s” as the same devices, mobile devices (or, smartphones) is the only distinction between all devices Google makes with enhanced campaigns. Hence, enhanced campaigns are the end of device segmentation, or mobile only campaigns in AdWords. Yes, you can adjust your bids on mobile devices, or even opt out of all devices Google considers mobile devices by bidding -100%. However, no bid adjustments are possible which allow you to opt out of all PC’s (computers or tablets). If all the products or services you are advertising rely on mobile devices, you will have to not only pay for clicks through to your website from PC users, but also risk a “bad user experience”, (read) a lower quality score.
So, not only will you have to pay for unwanted PC traffic, not having an effective PC website (do you sell mobile apps only, for example?) will inevitably reduce your PC quality score (if not your overall QS, depending on if there is, or are not, any device variables) and increase the expense of those clicks. As always, if you are making more per click than you are paying per click (including additional external costs per click), then those clicks are still worth whatever they cost. But, if you are not making anything from a PC click, then all those clicks will only cost you even more money.
Google does state in their enhanced campaigns PDF that: “Ads for app promotion will only appear on devices that the app operates on. For example, ads that promote your latest Android tablet app will only show on Android tablets.” Ok, Android tablet apps, but what about apps for smartphones, or as Google labels them “mobile devices”?
Call only campaigns:
As far as call only campaigns are concerned, there is no way to assure that all your clicks will be click to call clicks, like you could with legacy campaigns. If click to call only campaigns are your bread and butter, then eat all you can while you can, because sooner rather than later you’re going to go hungry! There are some good things regarding phone calls and enhanced campaigns, but click to call only campaigns are a thing of the past. Perhaps, a particular series of circumstances allows for most, if not all of the clicks for a specific campaign or keyword are click to call clicks from mobile devices, but there is no surefire way to guarantee that result.
There are three good things that have happened in regards to getting phone calls from AdWords, which are now confirmed after the first month of enhanced campaigns:
1. The ability to track phone calls as conversions within the AdWords interface. As long as you are using Google call forwarding numbers and call metrics – When you upgrade or create these enhanced call extensions, you will be prompted with the options of tracking a call over a specific duration (which you can set) as a conversion. You can easily do this all within the AdWords interface. You don’t need any third party call tracking software, and integrate the call data within Google analytics using a bunch expensive coding, and then import those goals into AdWords as a conversion. If calls are the only focus of your AdWords advertising, by using CPA bidding with calls as the only conversion, you may very well be able to get even more qualified phone call leads through AdWords with the new enhanced campaigns.
2. There are no longer any additional CPP charges for manually dialed calls using Google voice call extensions. With mobile calls, a click is a click – Whether it’s a click to call click or headline click. Whatever the click would cost to win that position in the ad auction is what you are charged for that click. With legacy campaign manual Google voice number call extensions, there was a minimum $1.00 CPP charge for any calls which resulted from PC ads. Now, there will be no additional CPP charges for PC ads which result in manually dialed calls. So how is Google going to charge for these calls? Since you still can’t click to call from a PC, surely there will be some mechanism to charge for the ad impression which resulted in a phone call instead of a click. So far, we have yet to get any data or insight on how you will (definitely, in some way) be charged for these manual phone calls. This seems like a really good thing, but until enough aggregate data is available to know for sure, we’ll just call it possibly a good thing for now.
3. The ability to show standard call extensions (not Google voice numbers call extensions) using your actual phone number on PC’s. For many small business owners their phone number is their brand. Take Tom Dwyer Automotive for example. Since 1981 their phone number has been the “focus keyword” of Tom’s advertising efforts. Before there was such a thing as the internet, brand awareness of the business phone number was the primary method by which potential customers engaged with the business. The goal of the current advertising strategy, be it radio, internet, newspapers, etc. is still to continue to brand the business phone number. Very few new customers are going to physically walk into the shop as their first interaction with the business. Even if the website is the first point of engagement, calling the shop on the phone is the most direct and effective way to determine how to go about bringing in your vehicle.
That phone number, that necessary step in the conversion funnel can NOT be subject to change via terms or whims of Google voice. Branding the phone number you own and control, that has existed since the first day you went into business, is key to retaining the lifetime business of your customers. If they had put the Google forwarding number in their phone book as your business number and that number changes, then that customer will have to repeat the buying cycle all over again to reach the point of engagement. There is a lot of risk in that situation that the customer might abandon the conversion funnel in favor of a competitor in the interest or awareness stages. For many small local businesses whose phone number is their brand, this is a very, very good thing.
A warning about enhanced campaigns call extensions:
As of April, any ads with a phone number in the ad text will be disapproved for enhanced campaigns! For click to call only legacy campaigns, you may have added a phone number to the ad text knowing that – a. A call extension is not guaranteed to show with the ad, and b. A phone number in the ad text becomes a click to call number when shown on mobile devices (so there will always be a phone number shown with the ad). Now, not only can you NOT create a mobile only campaign, you can’t even guarantee that a call extension will always be shown for every ad on a mobile device.
When should you upgrade to enhanced campaigns?
For all of the reasons above, if your primary or only return on ad spend comes from mobile devices – DO NOT “upgrade” to enhanced campaigns until you absolutely have to. Yes, you need to run some kind of experimental enhanced campaign before the switch to get an idea of how you may be able to find some return from enhanced campaigns. Create a new campaign, don’t “upgrade” or “fix” a legacy campaign that ain’t broken. Get what you can while you can to try and absorb any losses during the transition. Slow and steady is the way for you to win this race, given your situation.
On the other hand, if you currently DO NOT advertise on any mobile devices, and target both tablets and desktops, then you don’t really have much to risk. Yes, it still may be a good idea to try and experiment with a new campaign first. But, if in your specific situation you already know that the current tablet and desktop performance is similar, then you shouldn’t expect that performance will immediately and dramatically change due to an enhanced campaign “upgrade”. If that is the case, then go ahead and sprint to the finish line and complete your upgrade. There are some ad extensions for example that are only available for enhanced campaigns you may find effective.
New ad extensions:
The call extensions changes I have outlined above, but you can choose to create or upgrade to enhanced sitelink ad extensions as well. (There is bound to be some confusion here, as there are both enhanced sitelinks, and “upgraded” – to enhanced campaigns – sitelink extensions.) You can now see if each individual link in the group is approved or not. If one is not, then the rest of the group will be eligible to show. The data is also broken down per sitelink so you can see which individual links perform the best. Previously you had to do a bunch of fancy coding to track each individual link in Google analytics, then try to compare that data to the adwords data to try and figure out which group of links performed best together for that campaign. Now, you can get CTR and other performance data right in the interface. You can also create a unique extension group for each adgroup to further improve performance.
On the downside, the data seems to indicate that the impressions per link are based off of CTR – NOT conversions, CPA, or conversion rate. You still have to analyze the data and optimize each sitelink as part of the group. Trying to do this for hundreds or thousands of adroups will definitely be time consuming. Perhaps don’t rush into adgroup level enhanced sitelinks right away. Try upgrading your current campaign level sitelink group, gain some enhanced campaigns data, then start restructuring your sitelink extensions (perhaps along with your adgroups) for enhanced campaigns.
Offer extensions are a new type of ad extension currently only available for enhanced campaigns. If you have special offers associated with your products, and want all the benefits ad extensions offer, then perhaps consider experimenting or upgrading to enhanced campaigns to try and take advantage of this new extension. This is an area which I haven’t experimented much with yet myself, and there is little documentation on. Once we have some more information about offer extensions we will be sure to share in a follow up post.
By now you already know that Search Engine Land is one of, if not the best, resources for daily updates and information about everything internet. You can find some of the best information about enhanced campaigns, and discover some of the greatest minds on the subject there.
Ginny Marvin wrote a very informative piece detailing some of the new bid adjustment options and how to implement them.
Brad Geddes is by far one of the absolute best in the business. He has written several pieces on enhanced campaigns, including: Geographic Targeting In An Enhanced Campaign World – There are some very interesting geographic targeting possibilities with enhanced campaigns. You can certainly do more within a single campaign now than you could with legacy campaigns, but it’s neither simpler nor easier as the Google sales pitch suggests. While there are quite a few Google fan-boys who will never admit that enhanced campaigns might not be a good thing for everybody, Brad is definitely NOT one of those people. He did a far better job than I of answering the question - Should You Upgrade To AdWords Enhanced Campaigns? Reality is what it is, and I appreciate the fact that Brad is willing to admit that for mobile focused advertisers, you might want to wait a while to upgrade ALL of your campaigns. Another tortoise like myself. You can find Brad at Certified Knowledge, and I would urge you to subscribe to the daily newsletter if you haven’t already.
Search Engine Watch is another great resource for daily reading, and Alistair Dent is one of their best contributors. He had a great piece on How Display Campaigns Are Becoming Enhanced. Apparently, for the time being we will still have some device targeting options for display campaigns that we are losing with search campaigns. Display is a different critter than search, and it would appear that the targeting options are going to get even more confusing with enhanced campaigns. That will definitely have to be another blog post, if not a series of blog posts to come shortly.
Here is the Official Google AdWords Upgrading To Enhanced Campaigns .pdf document. You can also check out Inside AdWords for the latest sales pitch from Google promoting enhanced campaigns. I wouldn’t recommend The AdWords Community for any unbiased factual information anymore, unfortunately. (Be warned, if you are at all frustrated by enhanced campaigns you will not get a warm reception there.) But, if you disagree with me completely you will definitely be in like company.
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
Is it possible to create a Call Only Enhanced Campaign? No, but there are some steps you can take to try and mitigate PC clicks, and maximize phone calls.
1. First things first. You can bid up to 300% more for mobile devices. So when you create your campaign, set your adgroup bid at $.01 just to get the campaign built. Then raise your mobile bid adjustment +300%.
2. Now if you have an ad schedule (is there someone available to answer the phone 24/7?), set your ad schedule. Note: You can raise your bids by 900% for ad scheduling, but if you do, you will raise the bids for all devices. A 900% increase will increase PC as well as mobile bids.
3. You can also set bid adjustments by location, but the same stipulations apply for locations as time. Any increases or decreases will apply to all devices, raising your default bid.
4. Now you can use the bid calculator to see what the total bid will be with all these adjustments. The most you can raise your bids by is a maximum of 900%. Again, that 900% increase will apply to all devices. If you have a combination of increases and decreases, then the bid calculator will provide you with your total bid adjustment given the combination of factors that apply for that time/device/location combination.
5. Make sure your ads are formatted for mobile, and select the mobile preference check box, in the edit ad function. By selecting a mobile preference there is no guarantee that your ads will not show on PC’s. The name of the game is reducing the amount of unwanted impressions. Provide the Google machine with all the signals you can to let it know your preference is mobile only.
6. Create your call extension for the campaign, and select call only. You also have an option to select a mobile preference for the call extension.
Another thing – You used to be able to use standard, or Google call forwarding number call extensions for mobile click to call only campaigns. However, now that you cannot select mobile devices only, to further help ensure that ads will only be shown only on mobile devices, call forwarding extensions may be the preferred method.
Here’s why: When you create the call forwarding extension, you will have the option to be able to select a completed call duration as a conversion.
7. Once you have enough call conversions, switch to CPA bidding, and optimize for conversions ad rotation. This will help to maximize mobile click-to-call clicks (conversions), and hopefully mitigate unwanted desktop clicks. When you do have enough conversions to qualify, then you will have to remove any bid adjustments from the campaign. Currently the bid adjustment modifiers do not work with conversion optimized bidding. You will have to make the decision as to if or when you make the switch, but if completed click to call calls is the overall goal, I would recommend trying CPA bidding.
(Of course there is a problem with the conversion tracking and optimization side of things – If you have conversion events for desktop/tablet devices in the account, then there’s no guarantee that the Google machine will prioritize the click-to-call conversions over the desktop conversion events. If however, the only goal of your AdWords advertising is to generate phone calls, then the call conversion should be your only conversion event anyway.)
8. Now you have to play the raise the bids to show ads game. If you are still using CPC bidding, maybe you started with a bid higher than $.01 and/or you have enough data already to set a CPC bid that will allow you to accrue impressions.If you do switch to conversion enhanced bidding, then you will have to experiment a bit to find the “right” bid.
Keep viewing your device segment reports, and raise or lower your default adgroup bid to try and get as many mobile impressions and as few PC impressions as possible. This will of course vary for every account, campaign, adgroup, etc. so you will have to experiment to know for sure what works best for you.
Unless Google changes it’s mind about the device targeting options of enhanced campaigns, there will be no way to create a call only campaign any longer. At this point, mitigating PC clicks and maximizing phone calls is the best possible scenario… Stay tuned, if or when any new options, features, or strategies become available, we will certainly share those tools with you!
Once again, thanks for reading! If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments section. Or, if you need some help managing your AdWords accounts in the new “enhanced” campaigns era you can always contact us, and together we can figure all this stuff out.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Call Metrics · AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
Now that we have had AdWords enhanced campaigns for a week now, we have been able to learn – Not much… At least, not much more than was known for certain after day 1.
There is still no way to create a mobile call only campaign. There have been several theories as to how to do this, but so far, when implemented none work in comparison to legacy click-to-call only campaigns. You can try to use the tools available to emphasize mobile targeting and phone calls, but you still have to incur desktop/tablet clicks and costs. Unfortunately there’s just no way around it, and so far, Google has not backed off their position. However, there is a feedback on enhanced campaigns form that you can fill out to let Google know how you feel about these changes. Interestingly, only a few days ago the form was closed to further input – So if you want to express yourself, do it now before the form gets closed again!
The one new option released this week is a new bid adjustment calculator. For people like me who are absolutely terrible at math at least now we have a tool to calculate the combined percentage adjustments, based on all the factors that go into the calculations. Ginny Marvin of Search Engine Land wrote a great piece on the topic. There is actually some insight in her post that was not included in the Inside AdWords post. The tool is kind of hidden in the UI, so definitely check out the posts to figure out how and where to find it.
Without a doubt one of the best pieces on whether or not you should switch to enhanced campaigns came from Brad Geddes of Certified Knowledge (once again published at Search Engine Land). If you are not yet aware of Brad’s work, follow him on social media, sign up for the Certified Knowledge newsletter, and the BG theory daily email. Get yourself as much Brad as you can! He is without a doubt one of if not the best in the SEM/SEO industry.
I am still being cautious, and taking the transition to enhanced campaigns as carefully as possible. This is going to happen, whether we want it to or not, but why rush into “fixing” your account if it’s not broken? Experiment to learn as much as you can in the interim, to be prepared for the transition. Once again respond to Google, and ask them to please give us some more flexibility! Or better yet, give us back our advanced device targeting options! Perhaps there is still a chance that if enough of us provide feedback, someone might actually listen.
Thanks for reading. Hopefully by the time we have a month of enhanced campaigns data, and the month 1 post is written, there will be some more positive changes to report! If there are any questions you have, please fell free to ask in the comments section. Perhaps together we can help each other solve some of our enhanced campaign problems.
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
For those in town early for SearchFest 2013 or tonight’s SEMpdx Members only mixer – I have a SearchFest related insider tip.
Recently Tom Jr brought a Google+ post to my attention from SEMpdx Board Member and SearchFest 2013 organizer Alan George concerning Portland Musician Pete Krebs.
Pete is one of all too many Portland musicians that face major medical challenges, with no safety net. Tonight at the Wonder Ballroom is a benefit for Pete sponsored by The Jeremy Wilson Foundation. The JWF is a grassroots non-profit making a difference supporting those that lay down the soundtrack for life in Portland and Portland’s growing influence.
The Rock For Pete line-up is rife with members of the Decemberists, features Jeremy’s Dharma Bums, as well as some of my favorites – Casey Neill, Lewi Longmire, James Low.
The show is scheduled from 5:30 to 12:30. Plenty of music left after the mixer.
$25 suggested donation. 21+
If you want to experience the giving heart of Portland’s incredible music scene, stop by for a few hours.
February 18th, 2013 · 1 Comment
Shh… Don’t tell anybody, but I have found the secret to improving quality score. As a thank you for stopping by the website and taking a look, I’ll share it with you! So, what’s the big secret? That there is no secret!
I know you’ve heard it all before – Quality score is all there is to AdWords. If you don’t have a quality score of X then your advertising is not working. And, of course if you pay someone enough money they will “guarantee” you a quality score of 10 for every keyword in your account! Then your AdWords advertising will be effective, you’ll get rich and famous, beautiful people will flock to you, all your problems will be solved and all your ills cured. Couldn’t be simpler right? Facetious? Me? Never…
The truth is that your quality score can improve over time, but the idea that there is a button you can press or a switch you can flip to improve quality score immediately is a complete myth. Over the course of a year I have kept a weekly quality score log for one specific exact match keyword in our company account – AdWords Specialist. I began the campaign on January 12, 2012 with only this one keyword term. At the time, the QS was hovered around 3-4 for the first couple of weeks, then hit an all time low of 1 on January 25. A year after the all time low, as of January 25, 2013 the QS went up to 10. It’s now steady at 10 and has been for some time. It didn’t happen overnight though.
For the first three months (through March 2012), the QS hovered around the 3-4 range fairly consistently. In April it went up to 5, and for the next several months the roller coaster continued. Up to 7, down to 4, some five’s, some sixes… Then at the end of November 2012, I finally saw that magic number – 10. Where the quality score has remained ever since. I did absolutely nothing, over the course of the year with the implicit intent of trying to improve quality score. Nothing, and I was rewarded for my lack of efforts with a quality score of 10!
So the performance of that single keyword campaign must have been awesome right? Nope. To be completely honest, it kind of sucked – Or at least is far from my finest work.
Yep, there’s an entire year of data, that’s it. Not very impressive at all. Not a whole lot of interest or engagement. Pretty terrible CTR and average position. Absolutely horrendous website engagement. It seems as though the mantra of high CTR equals good Quality score is a myth. The one caveat is that this is a highly competitive term. In order to have an average position of lower than 4, there has to be at least five ads on the page, more or less on average. It’s not just historical CTR, but historical CTR as a matter of context in relation to other advertisers historical performance that is (rumored at least) to be one of the primary factors in quality score. I can’t help but wonder – If I get a quality score of 10 for this terrible performance, just what the heck are our competitors doing with their own AdWords accounts?
So, I’ve got a quality score of 10 for a specific kw term now. I must be rich, famous and all that right? Nope. Surely I must get a much higher position for much lower cost? Nope, not really. Remember, adrank is about more than just quality score. QS X Bid = Adrank. Even with a quality score of 10 I still have to be able to outbid the competition to win a higher position. Take a look at the same data set for the first 14 days of February 2013:
If you are just looking at adrank and the effect quality score can have, and increase in average position of .3 isn’t much of a boost. Bid is of course part of the equation that is absent, but the bid has been actually increased by 25% since February. In order to get an increase in average position of .3 I actually had to increase the bid with a quality score of 10. Yes, CTR, pages viewed, and visit duration are much better. However, I did not work to improve those metrics over the course of a year to improve quality score. Whatever improvements have been made were done in an attempt to improve the overall holistic performance of the AdWords account and the website.
That’s the real secret to improving quality score. Try to improve everything other than quality score, and see if maybe, eventually, quality score improves. If or when it does, don’t expect an increase in quality score to be a magic bullet. Competitors can still outbid you for top position, and ad position has nothing to do with what happens after the click. Not to mention the fact that you have to write an ad that people actually find engaging enough to click on. Even if you are not in the top position, if you have the most compelling ad in the eyes of that unique individual user, they may still click on it!
Always remember, quality score is the one aspect of your AdWords account that you cannot control. Maybe Google “rewards” you with a high quality score, maybe they “punish” you with a bad one. Who knows, maybe quality score is just a big scam by Google to try and increase CPC revenue for the big G. Whatever quality score is in your mind, it’s certainly not all there is to AdWords. Focus first and foremost on writing more effective ad copy, developing your website content, and offering a better value than your competitors for your products or services. Over the course of time, focusing on everything and anything other than just quality score may very well be the secret to getting that magic number.
Tags: AdWords Quality Score
February 13th, 2013 · 2 Comments
After the first day, and the first experiment with enhanced AdWords campaigns, I am not buying the sales pitch. There’s no other way to put it – Device segmentation is a thing of the past. Period. I can’t help but wonder, what are we going to lose next? What I just can’t figure out, is why. Why?
Regardless of why, and without wasting any more time and effort trying to figure the angle, let’s just start with what we now know for sure. What have we lost, and what have we gained.
Device Segmentation -
With enhanced campaigns, the only devices you can “opt out” of are mobile devices, and you can only do that by setting a mobile device bid of -100%. You can no longer target only tablets, desktop/laptop PC’s, or smartphones. If you advertise internationally especially, you may have found that in some countries, tablet devices or smartphones are the only profitable devices to target. Parsing the data and trying to find out why takes time. Clicking a button to say “stop it unit l I can find out why” is not an option anymore. A profitable ROAS is the difference between spending more (or any) money on AdWords or not. If that country, device, network, etc. is not profitable, who is going to keep throwing good money after bad? If I don’t have the option to define rules for the campaign to make it profitable, I can’t justify spending my clients money. Less ad revenue for Google is less money off the bottom line. I just can’t figure it…
Call Only Campaigns -
Yep, call only campaigns will be a thing of the past now as well. Since the only devices you can opt out of are mobile devices, you cannot create a campaign which only targets mobile devices capable of making a phone call. You can only bid up or down +/- 300% for mobile devices. You can still select call only for ads on mobile devices in your call extension settings, but you will have to bid on PC and tablet traffic whether you want to or not.
Ad Optimization – This isn’t as straight forward of an issue. It’s not an obvious campaign setting, or advertising strategy, so you have to look a litter deeper to see what you will be losing come June. Because the screen for mobile devices is so much smaller, and the SERP space so much more limited, you may have noticed that your desktop ads actually get truncated when shown on mobile devices. Rather than two 35 character lines of text, 25-30 character description lines may be more effective for mobile text ads. Now that you cannot segment by device, you have to parse the ad copy data to determine which ad performs better on each device, and hope that Google shows the right ad on the right device. “I hope it works right” is just not acceptable to me. You test, analyze, and optimize so that you can know for certain whether it’s working or not.
Bid Adjustments -
Only being able to opt out of mobile devices aside, there are actually some pretty cool new bid adjustment options for other areas of the campaign settings which have never existed before. You can now adjust bids per targeted location as well as time of day. I haven’t dared try to experiment with enhanced campaigns for any profitable, effective CPA campaigns yet, but if there’s any chance that you can now use time and location bid adjustments for CPA campaigns, that would be awesome. I doubt it, but when I have to use enhanced campaigns for current CPA campaigns, I will certainly write about the outcome, one way or the other.
Call Extensions -
This was the one thing promised by enhanced campaigns that I was actually excited about. Now that I have a chance to see what’s going on, I’m still pretty excited. CPP charges no longer exist with enhanced campaigns. So how do you set your CPP bid high enough to help ensure that your call extension shows with an ad? You don’t. For the first day, 91% of the total impressions were shown with a call extension. Even with CPP bids 91% would be an outstanding ratio to total impressions. When you set up your enhanced call extensions, if using Google forwarding numbers, you automatically get the option to set a call duration as a conversion. WOW! That’s huge. Never before have you been able to track a call metrics call as a conversion within the AdWords interface – At least not without fancy third party call tracking software and special coding and programming, which could undoubtedly get very expensive.
Sitelink Extensions -
Now you can see individual link data for your sitelink group. You can also edit any individual link without resetting the entire ad extensions data. Cool. However, although it’s hard to know anything for certain with only one day’s data, at this point all the stats for each individual link are all the same. I’m not yet certain whether the functionality falls short of the promises, there just isn’t enough data, or there are still some kinks to be worked out with such a new feature. That will take more than just a day.
Other Enhanced Ad Extensions – It looks like you can also upgrade to enhanced offer, and mobile app extensions. In this limited test case campaign, neither of those are an option I have available to play with, but if you do, then take a look at those as well. Maybe there’s actually something cool going on there?
In general, you also have options at the adgroup level for each of these advanced campaign features. For the first day, I’m not going to complicate things anymore than they already are just yet. Although, I can already see how you could possibly do some things within a single campaign using different adgroup settings that you used to only be able to do with different campaigns. However, you would still have to rely on Google to do the “right” thing per ad impression. If you’re OK with that, then you may find it’s easier now to only have one campaign, and multiple adgroups.
I am still not convinced that when it comes to the bottom line of our clients businesses that we haven’t lost more than we have gained. I’m going to continue to rant and complain a bit, but I know that this change is coming whether I want it to or not. Reality is what it is, and we have to deal with it. Like with anything AdWords, I wouldn’t recommend going full throttle until you have had some time to test, analyze, and optimize enhanced campaigns on a small scale. I would definitely recommend experimenting with advanced campaigns as soon as you can – Perhaps a new enhanced “lost leader” campaign that is not likely to affect your current “legacy” campaign performance. That way, when the change that’s coming happens, you are as ready for it as you possibly can be.
The one change that could make enhanced campaigns palatable to me, would be if you could have bid modifiers for all devices, based off of a default adgroup bid. Then we wouldn’t be really losing anything (except specific carriers, and specific devices, which would still kind of suck)… What are the odds of that happening though?
You can find more information about Enhanced Campaigns here. Shout out to PPC Hero – They beat me to the punch on a lot of this stuff. Now that you’ve read my spin on it, check them out for another perspective. That’s all from the first day for now. We’ll have to see what happens, what other information comes out, and what we can learn after the first week.
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns