On a regular basis I have seen marketers make the same tactical mistakes in running their PPC (pay-per-click) programs. Why?
This seems to occur…
- in the beginning due to inexperience or indifference
- after the account has grown substantially and becomes quickly out of control
- with too many cooks in kitchen adding junk and pushing buttons
- when people panic and start adding junk and pushing buttons, hoping this will improve performance
By identifying and correcting the problems, you should see immediate and positive changes.
Account creep: Recently observed: campaigns added upon campaigns, random keywords added, or text ads added in until there are half a dozen creative versions for one Adgroup.
Solution: with each addition to the account, you need to do an audit to find same or similar or complementary campaigns. Compare and contrast. Maybe the additions you need are simply an edit or enhancement to an existing campaign? For new ad texts, you really only need one or two versions unless you intend to test them. Delete the old ones when adding new.
Duplicate keywords: Have you heard: “Why is the wrong ad showing up when I type in ‘blah blah blah’?” Take a detailed look. Do you see keywords duplicated and all over the place? This can result in the incorrect ad showing up.
Solution: Understand each set of keywords should be associated with the exact ad you want to appear. Make sure the same keyword is not in multiple campaigns. Run a keyword report and sort to find any duplicates. Decide which ones are in the wrong place and delete ‘em!
Google says: “Avoid duplicate keywords across adgroups. Google shows only one ad per advertiser on a particular keyword, so there’s no need to include duplicate keywords in different adgroups or campaigns. Identical keywords compete against each other, and the better-performing keyword triggers your ad.”
This help file is excellent in demonstrating a simple account set up and how the keywords should look.
Keyword matching: The way keywords are matched up with search terms is extremely critical to performance. Recently, I witnessed an account capture 30% less traffic because the keyword match was changed from broad to phrase match in Google. Because phrase match is more targeted than broad match, the keywords were actually tightened up, thus limiting traffic. Google uses broad match and Yahoo uses standard match as the default.
Solution: Learn the details of how to make sense of keyword match types. Experiment in small amounts until you understand how your keywords will behave. Then expand.
Content and keyword campaigns combined: Even though this is the default setting for Google, you shouldn’t mix the two. The content campaigns will behave more like display ads with a lower click-through-rate than keyword triggered campaigns. This will skew the results and make it difficult to optimize.
Solution: In keyword campaigns, only select “Google search” and “search partners”. In content campaigns, do the opposite. See awesome illustration:
Have you made the same mistakes? Don’t panic. Kick the other cooks out of the kitchen and simply set a plan to make corrections and then it will be smooth sailing. For now…
Deal with it, advertisers. Interactive copywriting differs from traditional copywriting. But how?
First: Don’t throw out the baby with the soggy diaper. Declaring yourself an interactive copywriter requires you to master the skills of traditional copywriting. If you’re going to enjoy success in this business, you still must be able to:
- Concept with an interactive designer or art director
- Come up with 9,003 big ideas and executions
- Endure dirty looks from creative directors
- Come up with better big ideas and executions
- Write smart, compelling, conceptual copy
That’s hard. No matter what kind of copywriter you call yourself, chances are good you’ll need to attend an advertising portfolio school or take a concentrated, mentor-guided journey before landing that first job. Building up to interactive copywriting requires mastery of additional considerations:
1. Your audience cares. (Hallelujah!)
Because online and mobile initiatives require active participation, people reading your bullet points, listening to your podcast or watching your spot hold you to a higher standard. You must be able to answer their questions and make them smarter. This means you must be able to weave conceptual solutions with meaty, often expletory, content.
2. Your audience needs you to be good at Jenga.
Interactive copywriting is how we create choose-your-own adventure stories for corporate America. It doesn’t matter how well you can write. If you can’t create (or collaboratively understand) site maps and information architecture, you’re ignoring user experience. Your copy will fail. In other words, you’ve got to keep a beanie and a pocket protector in your soul.
3. Your audience wants to be told what to do.
Yes, traditional copywriting includes calls to action. But you’re not trying for a point-something percent response rate. Part trail guide and part waiter, you must eliminate guesswork and name action steps clearly and compellingly. Tell them to open the e-newsletter, download the widget or bookmark for a time when their boss isn’t peering over their shoulder.
4. But, your audience wants to tell you what to do.
As a wise mentor put it, interactive isn’t another media space for messages. It’s fundamentally changing the nature of branded conversation. Your audience wants to take part in your creations. Allow them to customize, personalize and navigate their own journey with your brand. Give them space to speak up.
5. Your audience is ready to run with the message.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term viral marketing? Or social media? Meaning your boss wants you to crank out a blockbuster right now? In order for someone to pass along your message, you must make it compelling (hilarious, unusual or somehow otherwise relevant), customizable and somehow better when shared.
Interactive copywriting adds distinctly new skills to the traditional bread and rum butter of Mad Men-esque copywriting. That’s cool. After all, geek is the new glamorous.
I recently wrote a post about the great Google content network and the new super campaigns available for advertisers in Adwords. The new features, flexibility, and transparency are expected to make the content network much more efficient for advertisers.
Unfortunately, today I captured a screen shot of Google double serving image ads on the content network. Double serving is “Displaying more than one ad for the same company or person at a time”. Google has a policy against double serving Adwords ads.
How does this happen? I am told it can occur because of contextual targeting and site-targeting in one account. I’m surprised Google’s technology isn’t smart enough to recognize this and prevent it.
But on the other hand, if you wanted to do this yourself, it would be pretty simple to get double exposure? You would just have to set-up two different campaigns. One that is site-targeted, and one with keywords using the new placement feature to target the same sites. Right?
Well, enjoy the technical error folks.