Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media Today

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Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayGoogle Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayPosted: 17 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTGoogle's looking to enhance its simplified Smart Campaigns offering by adding a new way to quickly check on your Google Ads performance, and a new listing of keywords to target, based on your products and services.First off is the new ad check - Google's made it easier to check your ad performance in the mobile app, with a simple search on Google itself. As you can see here, search for 'Google ads' or 'My Ads' and Google will provide you with a basic overview of how your campaigns are going, while you'll also be able to see how your ads look to others.As per Google:"If you want an efficient way of checking your ad status, this feature is for you. We've made our reporting features …

“How Google Ads’ new keyword selection preferences (are supposed to) work with same-meaning close variants - Search Engine Land” plus 2 more

“How Google Ads’ new keyword selection preferences (are supposed to) work with same-meaning close variants - Search Engine Land” plus 2 more


How Google Ads’ new keyword selection preferences (are supposed to) work with same-meaning close variants - Search Engine Land

Posted: 09 Aug 2019 12:00 AM PDT

With last week's announcement that it will extend same-meaning close variants to phrase match and broad match modifier, Google said it would be changing keyword selection preferences to help prevent keywords from competing against each other. This doesn't mean there still aren't times when keywords compete with each other on Ad Rank. To clarify how Google Ads' keyword selection preferences are designed to work with same meaning keywords, we've mapped out several scenarios.

Existing preferences trump new same-meaning matching. In the initial announcement, Google said of the changes to keyword selection preferences: "If a query currently matches to an exact, phrase, or broad match modifier keyword that exists in your account, we'll prevent that query from matching to a different phrase or broad match modifier keyword that's now eligible for the same auction as a result of this update."

In other words, Google won't suddenly pick a different phrase or BMM keyword deemed to have the same meaning as a keyword that's already triggering on a query. This is how the preferences already work for exact match same-meaning close variants.

The example Google gives is that the query lawn mowing service near me will continue matching to the phrase match keyword "lawn mowing service" even though another keyword in your account, "grass cutting service," could also now match to that query based on same-meaning matching.

Same-meaning exact match keywords. The example above is how the preferences already work for exact match same-meaning close variants. Within exact match, the keywords that are closest to the query generally take precedence over the other eligible exact match keywords. This has not changed.

For example, the query grass cutting services should trigger the exact match [grass cutting services] not [lawn mowing services] if both are active in an account, regardless of Ad Rank.

New keywords with the same meaning as existing keywords. What happens when you add new keywords to your account that may match more closely to queries than your existing keywords?

For example, if the phrase match keyword "lawn mowing service" is matching the query grass cutting service near me in your account and then you add two keywords, "grass cutting service" and +grass +cutting.

They all have the same meaning, but the new keywords are closer word matches to the query than the original keyword. They will prevent "lawn mowing service" from triggering on related grass cutting queries.

However, the two new keywords will compete against each other on Ad Rank to determine which triggers the ad.

In other words, the previous matching preferences will take precedence over same-meaning matching.

[Ad Rank is a calculation of max CPC, quality score (expected CTR, ad relevance, landing page experience), the expected impact of ad extensions and ad formats as well as other contextual factors like location and device. It determines if your ad is eligible to show and where it appears on the page relative to other ads.]

Adding a phrase match or BMM of an existing exact match. Let's say we have the exact match [lawn mowing service] in our account. Because of same-meaning close variant matching, it triggers on the query grass cutting service. If you add the phrase match "lawn mowing service," will it compete with the exact match?

Again, it shouldn't. The exact match and it's close variants will take precedence because the new phrase match would only eligible based on the new preferences (i.e. same-meaning). Again, the previous matching preferences will supersede the new same-meaning matching for phrase match and BMM.

Adding an exact match of an existing phrase match or BMM keyword. This is the inverse of the previous scenario. If I have the phrase match "grass cutting services" in my account already and add the exact match [grass cutting services], will the exact match trigger for the query grass cutting services. Will it compete against the phrase match?

Since the query is an identical match for the exact match keyword, the exact will be preferred. However, if the keywords are in different ad groups, and the phrase keyword has a lower bid and higher Ad Rank, it can be used instead.

Caveats to note. Keep in mind, these systems aren't perfect, particularly when it comes to nuances. Don't expect your idea of "same meaning" and the system's to always align. Have a routine for monitoring your search terms reports and adding negative keywords.

These factors can also cause same-meaning matching to kick in when it otherwise wouldn't:

  • Match types in separate ad groups. Given that match type variations of keywords in different ad groups will compete on Ad Rank, that's something to keep an eye on and consider grouping under one ad group for eaiser management.
  • Paused keywords. All of the scenarios above assume the keywords are enabled. If you pause a keyword in your account, it becomes invisible to the auction system and won't be included in the keyword selection process. To the system, it's as if it's no longer in your account at all. This means if you pause a keyword the other same-meaning keywords in your account could now trigger on the queries the paused keyword had matched to. For example, pausing "lawn mowing services," will shift lawn mowing services near me queries to trigger "grass cutting services."
  • Limited budgets. Limited budgets can throw a wrench in your matching. Google says, "While we do our best to match existing traffic to your keywords, there may be infrequent instances where this will not be the case. For example, if a campaign is budget constrained it may not be eligible to show on all queries.


About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media's Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

Google Ads Keyword Planner gets new (and old) features - Search Engine Land

Posted: 26 Mar 2019 08:51 AM PDT

Google has added several features to Keyword Planner.

The next time you log into Keyword Planner in Google Ads, you'll see an announcement of several new features. Some of these updates are older features ("Add to existing campaign" is one) just now getting added to the new Google Ads UI.

To get started, you can now ad up to 10 seed keywords when you select the "Find new keywords" option.

Grouped ideas. Grouped keywords can now be found under the "Grouped ideas" menu option. You can choose to add all or some of the keywords in a grouped idea to an existing or a new ad group.

Find keywords organized by theme under the Grouped ideas menu in Google Ads Keyword Planner.

More monthly search detail. Hover over the "Avg. monthly searches" chart for individual keywords to see a monthly trends bar chart that provides more detail in terms of the monthly breakdown and search volume quantities. You can also download this data.

Hover to see more monthly search trend details.

Add to existing campaigns. In addition to being able to save new keywords to a plan, you can save new keywords to existing campaigns. Once you select new keywords to add, there is a drop down option to select "Add to plan" or "Add to existing campaign." If you opt to add to an existing campaign, you'll then be asked to select an ad group in that campaign or create a new ad group to get added to it.

New Competition column. A new Competition column is available to show how competitive ad placement is for a keyword. (You can see it selected in the screen shot above, along with two other columns that don't display by default: Organic average position and Organic impression share.)

Labeled "Competition (indexed value)," the value is specific to whatever location and targeting options you've selected for the Search Network. The 0-100 index is calculated by the number of ad slots filled divided by the total number of ad slots available. As in other columns, if there isn't enough data  available, it will show a dash (-).

Daily budget suggestions. When you add keywords to a plan, it provides a suggested daily budget "to help make sure that this campaign's budget won't be limited on any day during the forecasted time period." It's located under the total Cost estimate.

Why you should care. It's good to see Keyword Planner getting attention and features that had been available in the old UI version getting incorporated into this version. The ability to add keywords to existing campaigns, in particular, will be a useful time saver for a lot of advertisers.

Hat tip for alerting us to these updates: Internet marketing consultant Ross Barefoot.



About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media's Editor-in-Chief, running the day to day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin writes about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

How to Use Competitors' Names in Google Ads - Practical Ecommerce

Posted: 20 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

A hotly debated topic in paid search marketing is bidding on competitors' names and phrases. The considerations go beyond legalities. Whether to do it, and how, is what I'll address in this post.

Legal Issues

The legal ramifications revolve around trademarks. A company that has been granted a trademark on its name and associated phrases has legal protections.

In Google Ads, there are two aspects to using a competitor's name. First is the keyword. Google states, "We don't investigate or restrict trademarks as keywords." So nothing is preventing an advertiser from bidding on a competitor's name or trademarked terms as keywords.

Second is the ad copy. Google is equally clear, prohibiting "Ads referring to the trademark for competitive purposes."

Usually, Google Ads will automatically block a trademarked term in ad copy. If you do manage to skirt the algorithm, the competitive company holding the trademark will likely file a complaint and get your ads removed.

Hence, you can use a competitor's name or trademark as a keyword, but not in ad copy.

Ethical Issues

Trademark policies are clear. Ethical issues are not.

While you may bid on a competitor's name, remember that the competitor can also bid on yours. I've seen two common scenarios:

  • One or more competitors are bidding on your name.
  • No one is bidding on competitors' names in your niche or geography.

Most advertisers reciprocate if a competitor is bidding on their name or phrases. An eye for an eye, so to speak.

The second scenario is less common. It poses a more difficult question. If you're the first one to bid on competitor names, you'll likely invite those competitors to bid on yours. Do you want that? Or would you prefer a peaceful co-existence? How aggressive are your competitors? Carefully weigh those questions against your business's interests.

How to Do It

If you've decided to bid on a competitor's name, here is how to have the biggest impact.

Adding the keyword(s) and setting the bid are basic. (For instruction, search the Google Ads help center).

However, bidding on a competitor's trademarked name can be expensive. The competitor is likely bidding on its name, too, and should have a strong click-through rate. Google Ads will set the competitor's expected CTR as high. Thus, your keyword will have a low rating on the expected CTR component of Quality Score.

The critical step is writing high-performing ad copy.

Since advertisers can't use the trademarked term in the copy, the keyword relevance component of Quality Score will also be low. That's two-thirds of the Quality Score with a poor rating. The result is a much higher cost per click than the trademark owner.

But you can still have effective ad copy. Let's use a search for "Geico insurance." On the screenshot below, the ad at the number two position, from Insure-online.com, attempts to connect to Idaho, my state. Otherwise, it's a generic variation.

The ad from Insure-online.com attempts to connect to Idaho, the author's state.

The ad from Insure-online.com attempts to connect to Idaho, the author's state.

The ads at the bottom of the search results aren't much better. These lower ads don't target my state, which is a missed opportunity. Their pitch is low cost.

The ads at the bottom of the search results focus on low cost.

The ads at the bottom of the search results focus on low cost.

Searcher's Intent

In the example above, the searcher is looking for Geico, the insurance company. We don't know the type of insurance, such as auto, homeowners, or renters. But we know the searcher is familiar with Geico and wants Google to specify the appropriate web page. As a competitor to Geico, we could turn that to our advantage.

Imagine that the number two ad stated, "Get Better Insurance" in Headline 1. Our searcher wants Geico. But "Get Better Insurance" could cause him to reconsider —  for better a better policy or lower rates.

You didn't mention Geico by name. You didn't have to. The "Geico" keyword tells you the searcher is looking for that company. Your ad copy states that there's something better. That introduces doubt and FOMO — fear of missing out.

Pair "Get Better Insurance" with a compelling benefit in Headline 2 to pull clicks away from Geico. Then, your landing page will help win that searcher by using comparative terms such as "better" or "bigger" or "superior."

In short, bidding on competitors' names usually takes aggressive pricing and compelling ad copy. Do it right, and you'll swipe conversions at the last second.

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