Hello, Tyler DeWitt here.
We’re going to talk about Google Ads recommendations, when and when not to apply them. In all actuality, you should never really have to apply them. If you’re a search engine marketing master, and you’ve been doing this for years, I’d say like 20-years, I’ve been doing this since the beginning of time. You’ll know when you need to apply recommendations and when you should not apply them. Actually, I don’t ever recall even applying any recommendations. And our accounts are performing excellence.
Now, I do you have staff and I know people that do apply them. You have to be careful. They can be beneficial. But I just want you to keep in mind, every time you see a recommendation, it does not necessarily mean that you need to apply it. People get really loose in their decision making. They’re like, “Not sure.” If you are not sure, don’t apply them.
Let’s talk about one of the first ones here. I actually got a client account up. But I can’t screen scare the client account, of course, due to privacy reasons.
Upgrade Your Existing Keywords to Broad Match
No, don’t do it. Actually, what you want to do anytime you launch your ad groups, create a new ad group, you can put exact match phrase match broad match into the same ad group. And what you do, you set the exact match at a $1.50. That is something you have to figure out because I don’t know what industry you are in. Every industry has different click costs. But let’s say that your exact match costs you a $1.50 a click. Set the phrase match as $1.00 for that same keyword. Set the broad match to $0.75 to $0.50.
The reason being for is because your exact match converts to the highest. The phrase match converts the second highest. And then the broad match, converts at the lowest rate. The exact match converts generally two to three times better than a broad match keyword. Of course, you do not want to pay a high cost per click for your broad match keywords.
This recommendation we will not be applying. We are already confident in this account and in this campaign. We already know where the broad match stands. In fact, we tested the broad match in these ad groups for this particular client, broad match was not converting. We were lucky to break even. So, what we are using is exact and phrase match keywords in this campaign. Does that make sense?
A phrase match only, because the phrase match is doing really well. We did away with the exact match. We actually launched these ad groups with exact and then moved into phrase. But see, if we hit apply, and we convert those keywords into broad, what’s going to happen? Our campaign is going to go downhill and we’re losing money or breaking even as I mentioned. The way we started the campaign, we already know. This recommendation does not need to be applied.
It will make Google more money. It will send us more traffic. But it will send us lower converting traffic. You have to be really careful. It’s like this system, this Google recommendation system, is kind of bias in its own way. You have to learn how to outsmart it. I’m not saying it’s bad or it’s not good to have, because for some people it can be helpful. But don’t take it literal all the time.
Add Site Links to your Ads
For this recommendation, I don’t advise doing it unless the site links you are adding are highly relevant to the keyword searcher, for what the user is searching for. They’re searching for dog training toys. Now, it might make sense to add some site links in there and show out your most popular dog toys on your site. It can be a dog ball, frisbee, whatever, and show those into your site links. Then the main ad can go into the main category bag of dog toys.
If there is a specific keyword like dog balls, or whatever, I’m not sure what they call them. I’m trying to think here. You just want to keep everything relevant. Let’s just say that, keep everything relevant. Site links are not always beneficial and other times they can be. Sometimes people will be searching for something and then they see your site link, and are like, “Wait, that’s what I need.” If it makes sense to do that, add a site link that is relevant. You know that is what they actually need but kind of using the wrong word to search. Then yeah, add some site links in.
For example, Los Angeles attorney services, I see some people adding contact us, about us, more services. That is cool and everything. That might make sense because Los Angeles attorney is a vague keyword. But there again, you have to be careful. Now someone is searching for a specific keyword, like Los Angeles malpractice services. You would send them into a landing page that would offer than a free consultant. Anything outside of that is kind of irrelevant. By this time, the searchers intent has become very narrow. That keyword is a longtail and it is more specific. You want to send them into a highly relevant landing page.
Reach Additional Customers on Partner Sites
Expand your reach with Google search partners, recommended because your search network ads can drive additional traffic with Google search partners. This is very true. But there again, as I’ve told everybody, and I tell people when I’m speaking, doing workshops, masterclasses, wherever I’m speaking, I tell everybody. You start your ad groups off with the search partners off. Search partner sites are low converting sites that tend to not convert so well. Think of Lycos, AOL.com, Webcrawler.com, Northernlight.com, all these third party search engines. People that search on these search engines, their intent is very low. Whereas, when they are on Google searching, their intent is much higher.
When you turn the search partners off, you are only targeting the Google. The problem is when you turn the Google search partners on, you might have an underperforming campaign and think that Google Ads does not work. When in all reality, all you had to do is turn the Google search partners off. Run your ads for a month or two with the Google search partners sites off and then turn them on after your campaign or ads are hitting the desired ROAs, KPI, whatever you want to call it. Once you know they are doing well, you are getting a good return, then turn the search partner sites on and see how the campaign and ad groups are doing. If your conversion rates start going down, start losing money, then turn the search partner sites off. The issue is Google doesn’t tell you how the search partners convert.
At one time, it was through Yahoo, I think, in the old days that you could exclude certain sites off the search partners. Because Yahoo used to be the big beast before Google. But Google has never revealed that data. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the way their system is set up. Clearly, they have the resources to put something into place. It would be nice to see how AOL.com is converting, Webcrawler.com is converting, but unfortunately you can’t. It is best to keep the search partner sites off.
Add New Keywords
Show your ads more often to people searching for what your business offers, recommended because you are not targeting searches that could be relevant to your business. It is just telling us to add keywords that we know is not going to work.
And that’s another thing, when you are using the keyword planner tool, or adding keywords into your ad group, campaign, and when it says, “Try these keywords or add all these keywords.” A lot of people just go in there and add every single keyword without any logical thought behind it.
For example, you have a category page called Nike shoes. The only thing you need to target is Nike shoes exact match keyword, a phrase match, and a broad match. You don’t need to start adding every single keyword. When you put in Nike shoes, phrase match, it will target thousands of keywords. And chances are, you are adding all these other keywords into the ad group, when your phrase match is already set up to target that keyword. It doesn’t make sense. You want to start with a highly targeted relevant keywords to your landing page and then go from there. It usually starts with exact match, moves into phrase match, broad match, or you can launch all three at the same time. I would recommend start with exact match. If it converts, break down to a phrase match. If it converts, add in the broad match. As I mentioned, keep the broad match at a lower cost per click because it’s the lowest converting keywords.
With all the keywords that is it telling us to add, we know they will not work because they are not relevant to our ad group.
Add Audience Segments for Reporting
Get insightful reporting on audience segments relevant for your business. This is recommended because you can better monitor your ads performance by adding new audience segments with observation setting. Now, this is very true. We just haven’t added this yet because this ad group campaign that is targeting the search network is performing very well. It’s meeting our desire KPIs. And this is actually not a small campaign, but it’s not a super big one. It just doesn’t make sense to add the observation.
But I will tell you, if your campaigns really big, adding the observation audience can definitely help you. It will give you an ideal of what audience segments are converting the best. You’ll be able to observe that audience segment. And then maybe, if you find audiences out there that’s converting, giving like an 8X return versus a 4X, then you can target that audience segment and go after that one giving you the highest return.
But keep in mind, your volume will decrease. Conversion might increase but the volume will decrease on how many visitors you get. But who knows, maybe you spend less and get a bigger profit by adding audience segments into your campaign.
That should be it. Once again, if you know what you are doing, you don’t need to apply these recommendations more than likely. I still look at them. And I’m sure a lot of senior PPC marketers do. But it’s not necessary that you need to apply them. Just because Google says to apply them, it doesn’t mean you have to apply them. Just review them. Do your research. And then go from there. If you do apply them, make sure you keep notes of what you applied. Give a notebook and jot it down. If something starts going downhill, you can go back into the campaign and remove that setting.
So, that’s it. Thank you.
A Top Performing Marketing Executive, Consultant, and Speaker.
Tyler’s success at helping clients scale has resulted in numerous speaking engagements. Tyler has spoken for numerous tradeshows including DigiMarCon which is one of the world’s largest digital marketing conferences.
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