Insights

8th April 2021

The Three ‘Paid Search’ Questions to ask in April

In this new series from Varn, we will be asking three vital questions each month all about ‘Paid Search’. 

These monthly questions are framed to help you think about how you can improve and optimise your advertising. This month we ask if you are guilty of over-managing a Google Ads account, and if so, what are the three signs to look out for:

3 paid search questions

Question 1 – Am I over-managing my Google Ads Shopping Account?

With many Google Shopping accounts, in-house and agencies can both fall into the trap of over managing and micromanaging. While Google’s push towards the almost ‘hands-free’ Smart shopping campaigns has proven successful for a handful of basic accounts with easy targeting, the vast majority of Google Shopping is still processed manually in the Google Merchant Centre and pulled through into the GA system. Marketing Managers can then break down the feed into individual categories and you can even set individual bids for individual products. The question is…should you?

The interface doesn’t make it easy to see if you are bidding too high, what your margin is compared, or the impression share and the risk is you could get bogged down in deciding between a 50p bid and a 60p bid. This is the ‘raw’ maximum bid and it will be affected by bid adjustments on the ad schedule, the audiences, and the locational/demographic bidding. If you have hundreds of products you could spend hours on this a month – and unless your budget is huge, you will really only save yourself pennies. 

Instead, our recommendation is to do the following:

  • Divide the products into ‘value’ categories.
  • Tag them using Custom Labels in the Feed.
  • Split the campaign out using these Tags.
  • Use set bids at simple amounts – 10p, 50p or multiples of £1.00 to keep things easy.

This approach will save you hours a month, but still give you control over the bidding on your best selling, high-value, high-profit items.

Question 2 – Am I over-managing my Smart Bidding Search Campaigns?

If you drop into your account, it’s quite usual that the first view you see will be an overview of the last 30 days – and usually what you see isn’t good. Clicks and Impressions will be up, conversions down or about the same, and the instant reaction – ‘What has gone wrong?”

It might not be cause for alarm. Conversions don’t always happen on the same day a customer is shown and clicks on an advert. Google can show you the average lead time from the first click to conversion and – especially in the current social climate – this can have stretched from days to weeks.

Some reminders of things not to do:

  • Don’t rely on one date range, compare the data to the previous period and base any decisions and changes on that instead.
  • Don’t change Smart Bidding campaign goals more frequently than once a week – less is more here.

Question 3 – Am I over-managing my Ad Copy?

Are you or your team constantly worrying that the message isn’t right or on brand? Is there a new keyword that they want to add into the Search campaign copy because they have a feeling it will convert better?

While we do advocate trying to improve the copy of your advert and to update it regularly, it is well worth remembering that Google will use whichever advert brings in clicks and conversions, identify which adverts and keywords have high bounce rates and try to show the advert copy that brings results, as long as you have that setting in place. This goes for the Responsive Adverts too, where slight variations on the Headlines and Description Text can be shown to large numbers of potential visitors to see which ones work and which don’t. Edit these too often and you will confuse the algorithms and you could possibly even lose your best advert. 

As an alternative, our recommendation would be to ensure you do the actions below:

  • Duplicate the whole advert and make the editing changes. 
  • Run them in parallel and monitor the results objectively. 
  • Pause underperforming adverts so you always have a record of what has been tried and when.

Get in touch regarding Google Ads

If you need any help managing a Google Ads Account, do get in touch and the team at Varn can talk you through some of the options we offer, from monthly management, one-to-one training or just help setting up a report so you can see what is really happening behind the scenes in Google.

Article by: Dave, Paid Search Marketing Manager More articles by Dave

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