Google Ads: Most Frequently Asked Questions / Part 1

September 2, 2020
Posted in Paid Search
September 2, 2020 Jen Lopez

Google Ads: Most Frequently Asked Questions / Part 1

Here at Eboost Consulting, we’ve seen hundreds of Google Ads accounts – from ecommerce accounts to lead-gen accounts, both B2B and B2C. Throughout our time managing a robust portfolio of accounts, we’ve often encountered the same questions time and time again. Below, we’ve put together for you our answers to the most frequently asked questions, as they stand today of course, as the digital landscape and the tools in which we access our audience are ever-changing.

Q: Why would I pay for Brand search campaigns? Aren’t my organic results going to pick up that traffic anyway?

A: Here’s the thing – most of the time, purchasing branded keywords are SUPER cheap. You should have a fantastic quality score on these terms, especially since you own the domain, your ads likely contain your brand name, and that same brand name should be prominent on your website. With a high quality score, most brands are paying pennies for clicks on ads that come from their branded search campaigns. This is, of course, moreso the case if you have a unique brand name, where there isn’t going to be a ton of other unrelated businesses trying to rank for it.

Another thing about running brand search campaigns? If your search ads show on a branded search AND your organic listings show – that’s actually great. You are taking up more real estate at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPS), or as we call it, “more shelf space,” which means that you should get even more clicks by being in front of searches even more than your competition.

Additionally, in Google Ads, it is FAR easier to change your messaging in your ads than it is to change it in your organic listing. Got a promo? That can be run nearly immediately in Google Ads, while on the organic side, Google would have to crawl your site again before showing any updated meta-descriptions in your listings. So, do you like quick and easy messaging and promotional changes, or waiting at the mercy of Google?

We could go on for days, but another important thing to note is that when running branded search you are protecting yourself from competitors bidding on your brand terms, which you are more at risk for as your business grows. Even small ecommerce businesses who also sell on Amazon are seeing Amazon bid on their brand terms in Google, which without their own ad prominent and ranking in the top listing, would allow Amazon to rank above their organic listings.

The above is all pretty basic knowledge when it comes to why you should bid on your brand terms, but here’s another thing you may not have thought of: Insights. When a Google Ads account has a large number of conversions, many of which DO come from branded search campaigns, Google Ads passes back as much data as they can to your PPC team. In many cases, we can learn the typical age, gender, demographic, HHI, user behavior, interests, etc of your converters. With all that data, either manually or using bidding algorithms, your Google Ads account can run smarter. Most bidding algorithms in Google Ads request that the account or campaign have anywhere from 10-30 conversions in the last 30 days to be able to “find and bid on similar users based on their potential to convert”. If brand campaigns are pulled from your Google Ads account, do you still have the minimum amount of conversions? Can the team (and Google Ads itself) still glean valuable insights about your target and when they are ready to convert?

For even more on this topic, see our in depth blog post Why Bidding on Your Brand Makes Sense.

Q: Why are you segmenting my account into so many campaigns? I see different campaigns for brand vs. generic, display vs. search, one match type vs. another, and some cases even breakouts by device or state.

A: Our rule of thumb is to break out anything that we would have a reasonable expectation of performing differently than its counterpart, so long as budget will allow for it. Budgets can only be set at the campaign-level, and if we know brand campaigns will do better than generic campaigns, we’ll want to make sure that brand has a much higher budget than our generic counterpart. Same goes for any other breakout you hear about – different products/categories may perform differently, and so might different match types, etc. With all these breakouts though, you need sufficient budget to handle it. If the budget is too small, and the account too segmented, the budget per campaign will be too low and virtually nothing will serve. So, sometimes if budget doesn’t allow for breakouts that we desire, we group things together that may perform similarly, and wait until data tells us it’s time for a breakout. Hopefully, results allow us the ability to garner more budget to test our hypothesis!

Q: My generic search campaigns aren’t even hitting a $1 ROAS. Why bother?

A: That’s probably true, and if they ARE above a $1 ROAS – your team is likely managing the account quite well. So, what’s the point? Generic search campaigns should be run for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, think of them as brand awareness for your business. By running these campaigns, you are getting in front of potential customers earlier on in their decision-making process and planting the seed that your business has what they are looking for. The reason generic search campaigns don’t always have a positive ROAS, is because they often don’t covert right away. Sometimes, seeing or interacting with a generic search ad of yours is just one step on your customer’s journey to purchase. One thing generic search DOES do well through, is increase the amount of brand searches you get over time, and if you are using a last-click model to attribute your conversions and revenue, you’ll often see that brand search does better when supported by a smart generic search strategy. One way to view this data is to look at Top Conversion Path reports to see the amount of times a user either saw or clicked on a generic search ad, but converted elsewhere, like in a brand search, remarketing or shopping campaign.

Q: Should I be bidding on competitor keywords?

A: This one is tricky and needs lots of consideration. First, understand your business compared to your competitors – your budget, how much you would pay for one of their potential customers, and discuss any potential ramifications internally. We often guide our clients to only bid on competitor’s brand names if they are a relatively similar size business, and they would be able to “take the hit” if they got into a bidding war, as often the competitor may turn around and start purchasing your brand keywords in an attempt to push up your CPC and seek out your customers. Also, consider messaging. Even though you cannot use any other businesses’ trademarked terms in your ads, you will need to get creative to be able to showcase WHY a customer should choose you over the other business they are actively seeking out in their search. For more on this topic, see our in depth blog post Google Ads Competitor Campaigns – Do or Don’t?.

That sums up Part 1 of our Most Frequently Asked Questions about Google Ads. Feel free to visit our site again in a couple of weeks for Part 2!

Any questions or comments?

Feel free to drop them below and our PPC team will get back to you with their thoughts!

 

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