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Why are you having problems?

Mobile Bid Adjuster

What performs better.. Mobile or desktop? If you can answer this then you probably have a good idea of what bid adjuster you should be using. Mobile performing through the roof? Up the adjuster. Mobile tanking a little, reign it in or shut it off completely.

What you can do to fix it:

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Use conversion data to understand where your adjuster should be. Need the extremes? There are 2 numbers you should remember, -100% and 300%.

Mobile Ad Selection

Mobile ads don’t look the same as desktop ones. Ads you want to display on a mobile may not be what you want the desktop users to see. Ads perform differently whether they are on mobile, desktop or tablet… you get it.

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What you can do to fix it:

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Google actually allows you to select which ads you would prefer to show on mobile. If you don’t select anything, then all ads will be treated the same so it may be worth thinking about differentiating mobile and desktop ads.

Low Impression Share

Low impression share tells you a great deal about your campaign as a whole however many search marketers don’t actually know how to use this info to make the most out of their campaigns. Most SEM’s, PPCers or whatever they go by, still think that a low impression share means your budget is not high enough so you are missing out on impressions. It sounds pretty straight forward actually, you don’t have enough of a budget, so Google is throttling or switching your ads on and off so you don’t go over budget by the end of the day. Right?

Sorta.. but not 100% right. Or even close to 100% right. The more telling statistics to look at are the other impression share data that Google gives you. These include Search Exact Match IS, Search Lost IS (rank) and Search Lost IS (budget). Little briefing:

Search Exact Match IS – Looks at % of impressions you received for terms that matched exactly (or were close variants) your keywords.

Search Lost IS (rank) – Search impression share that was lost due to your Adrank.

Search Lost IS (budget) – Search impression share that was lost due to budget. ss+(2014-09-09+at+06.23.16)

In fact the least important metric when it comes to analyzing impression share is, in fact, search impression share! To get a better idea we would use the other type of impression share data. In the screenshot above, on face value, we are missing out on 10% of impressions but that is only half of the story.

In regards to budgets causing lost impressions it is in fact, only 0.9%, so increasing our budget will not lead to an increase in search impression share. More telling is looking at the Search Lost IS (rank) which tells us that a low Adrank has lead us to missing out on impressions. Even more alarming, we are missing out on 19% of exact match IS.

What you can do to fix it:

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So what shall we do here? Its all about Adrank, not budget. What can we do to improve Adrank? 3 things: Bid, Quality Score and Ad Extension usage. .

Only Using Modified Matches

Are you using modified broad matches only to find that you are not generating enough traffic? Many PPC advertisers have started to consider modified broad matches as the new ‘phrase match’. To some of these marketers, the modified broad match has become a crutch. Probably not the best idea. Remember, modified broad matches only allows for plurals and close variants.. no synonyms.

The downside with the modified broad match is that it can possibly hide invaluable data.

What you can do to fix it:

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Sometimes by only using modified broad matches you could be missing out on some valuable traffic or keyword data especially if its a new campaign or an agency digging into a new industry. Modified broad matches only allows for plurals and close variants.. no synonyms.

Not using Search Query Data

Fitting that this comes right after using the broad modifier as a crutch. Search queries can give you some of the most valuable data available to improve your Adwords campaign. Many marketers think the search query report is only really good for finding negative keywords but that is only one part of it. Understanding your search terms is also a great way to find more keyword ideas to flesh out your campaign.

What you can do to fix it:

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The truth is, how you search for a product, may not be how they search for it. Getting the full story will allow you to build a better keyword list, write better ads (more specific to the actual terms coming in) as well as stop those rogue keywords from coming through dragging your quality score down and Avg CPC up.

Using Automated Rules

Automated rules can be great and can save you lots of time but its important to know what you are doing when you use them.

A thing to note about automated rules is that they are exactly that, automated. I have seen people run automated scripts daily, trying to stay within the top 2 Adrank. This can be a true disaster if your competitor is doing the same or you have a quality score issue.

A common script to run is trying to keep a high adrank by increasing bids automatically if the average position is consistently below a certain number. The script does not know that your profit margins are at $8 so it will happily bid $15 a click.

Ensure you set your limits with automated rules. Even if yo are reluctant, set a max CPC ceiling so its doesn’t go over board.

What you can do to fix it:

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Add Quality score in your automated bid. Ensure you dont increase bids where the quality score is under 5, There are other factors you need to address and simply upping bids with your automated rules won’t solve the issue.

Ignore Competitors

The reason you pay what you do, the reason you don’t get all the clicks and the reason why you now pay $3.25 not $2.95 per click is because of the competition.

What you can do to fix it:

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Want to know the strangest thing? It’s the people below you are the ones driving your CPC higher and higher, not the guys above. How does that work? Well, considering all things were equal, in the Adwords bidding war, you only pay 1c more than the guy below.

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