Better Digital Marketing Episode 3 – Paid Search Fundamentals

Audio Transcript (machine transcribed, not edited)

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of better digital marketing with me your host Ben Briggs. Today. We’re going to talk about pay-per-click paid search Google AdWords Google ads, whatever you want to call it. We’re going to talk about some of the kind of foundational Concepts some of the the basics.

You know, what you need. Just to be able to advertise on Google and then start to get a little bit into some of the more advanced stuff where you’re optimizing the performance year campaigns. So the AdWords Foundation keywords are the one of the most important things just understanding how keywords work is really really important.

So. Keywords when you when people think about it, I mean especially if you go in and just set up a campaign a lot of times what people are going to do is just type in keywords with no punctuation around them and what that means is you’re going to be using what’s called regular broad match. So. When you have a regular broad match keyword that basically means you really don’t have much of any control over what’s going to happen and you will probably be surprised at how wide.

Net your casting when you have a regular broad match keyword. For instance if you targeted keyword, maybe Portland plumbers, it’s entirely possible that you’d show up for Portland drain cleaning you’d show up for all kinds of other things that Google believes are related. To plumbing and it could be Plumbing equipment.

It could be plumbing jobs. There’s a lot of traffic that you could be buying that you don’t necessarily want when you go in and just type in a regular key word and. Then you’re targeting just all kinds of stuff that you don’t really want. So. That gets us to just the basics of kind of How match types work.

So there’s three major match types and then there’s the modified broad which is a little bit different. So exact match keywords. Back in the day used to be just that it would be only exactly exactly matching. So if you put your decks you would only target keyword X if keyword X if the per someone searched up the plural version, but you hadn’t included that plural version in your account.

Then you’re at wouldn’t fire. It would only fire for exactly the query that you had put in so. That’s been updated with what’s called close variance. And now Google is serving your as a little bit more broadly even on exact match. So if you typed card, if your keyword was car dealership, then you would show for car dealerships or car dealers.

You would be you would be targeting all of these different keywords just with an exact match but exact matches still a lot more a lot more highly targeted than broad match. So you’re. Going to have Behavior that’s going to be a lot more predictable when you’re using exact match keywords, then you would get with especially regular broad.

But exact match isn’t just exact it now and now includes close variance and then the next step up from that as far as broadening out. The targeting is phrase match and really. The kind of key concept to think about when you’re thinking about phrase match keywords is that you can have basically any words before or after so if you’re targeting a phrase match for car dealer you could show up for my city car dealer you could show up for car dealers that sell Chevrolet’s you could show up for worst car dealer in the whole wide world terrible terrible car dealers and.

The phrase match would open you up to all of these words before or after your targeted, you know, say you’re targeting like I said phrase match particular, so. Modified broad match is a little bit different than regular broad measurements pretty significantly different than regular broad match the way that you set up a it will let’s go over actually how you set up each one of these if you’re using the online user interface the online UI of Google ads then for.

An exact match keyword you would put the square brackets on both sides. So you would begin with the square bracket put your keyword in and then you’d have a square bracket on the other side. And that’s how you indicate to the platform that you want to use this as an exact match keyword. For a phrase match keyword you would use quotes.

So you’d have a quote at the beginning and then your keyword and then of course, yeah. And that would engage the platform that you’re using a phrase match keyword. And and like we said that in where exact match would only target the the keyword that you’ve selected and only served the ad based on that a phrase match keyword would allow you open you up to any any keywords before any keywords after.

And it also we also apply that close variants where singulars plurals and to some degree synonyms. It’s not that wide with synonyms usually but it’s entirely possible that that could change in the near future and we could see more and more cinnamon synonyms being included as part of the close variance, but for right now October 2019 we are seeing.

Really pretty pretty tightly targeted when it comes to exact match mostly just singular plural type situations where you’re seeing those expanded close fairing. So. Your exact match keywords only target the actual keyword that you’re targeting which is really what most people probably think is happening with all of their key words.

So I know a lot of people are kind of surprised when they figure out actually what a query to keyword matches and how broadly their campaigns are targeting different keywords. So the exact match like we took we like we talked about targets pretty narrowly the phrase match any keyword before any words before or after in the search and then modified broad basically expands the phrase match in terms of word order.

So the modified broad you put a plus sign in front of each of the key with the keywords that you want to be modified and what that does. In relationship to phrase match if you had phrase match car dealer, right you could have any keywords before or after if you use a modified broad for car dealer, then you could show up for dealer of cars.

You could you can reverse the word order you can have any any words in between any words before or after? Your ad would be eligible to fire. If you’re using modified broad where you put plus sign in front of the keywords and you can also mix your match types with modified broad. So you could have a plus sign in front of one of the key words, which means that this word must be included in the search in order for my add to fire but.

Then you could have a regular broad connected to that so you could have maybe. if you let’s say we’re matching to Portland plumbers and Portland plumbers you had both as. Regular broad match then you had Plus reviews. All right, you wanted to Target people who are searching for reviews only you wanted to make sure that the word reviews was included in the query.

So you’d put a plus sign in front of that reviews and then that would make sure that the reviews term is included in the query in order for your ad to serve. So that’s a little bit of a deep dive into how keyword match types work the other really important attribute at the keyword level is bids. So you can set your keyword bids.

You can set your bids at the keyword level to specify exactly how much you want to bid for any particular keyword. If you’re using manual cost-per-click bidding, if you have your bids set, if you’re using any of the automated bid strategies, then you won’t be able to set specific bids for specific keywords.

But if you are using manual CPC bidding, then you can set your bids at the keyword level.

And the other side of keywords is negative keywords. So let’s say that you want to use a phrase meant for car dealers, but you don’t want to show up for worst car dealers. You don’t want to show up for terrible car dealers. You don’t want to show up for car dealers that sell lemons you can use negative keywords to block that and my favorite.

Negative keyword match type is the phrase match now. It’s important to remember that when you are targeting keywords on a positive basis Google expands the reach of those keywords with those clothes variants that we talked about. So your plurals your different variants of the specific keywords that you’re targeting will be included in your targeting when you’re targeting on a positive basis, but when you go to block terms when you want to block Search terms.

It’s only going to Target exactly that keyword. So let’s say that you wanted to your plumber you’re targeting for the Plumbers. You don’t want you don’t have any you’re not hiring you don’t you don’t want you want traffic from people who want to buy plumbing services. You don’t want people. Traffic from people who want plumbing jobs, so you might want to phrase match negative the word job that would mean that you’re not going to show up.

And if anybody includes the word job in their query now if you. Phrase match negative job and you’re trying to block that kind of traffic and then someone searches Portland plumbing jobs the plural your ad would still fire if you only have job as a negative keyword, so you’ve got to make sure that when you’re trying to- match when you’re trying to block traffic when you’re trying to avoid having your.

Ads fire and buying clicks when people are searching for terms that aren’t relevant in terms of generating business for you. Then you’ve got to negative match singular and plural versions of whatever it is that you’re trying to block. And one thing that can help you out with negative keywords are negative keyword lists, you can build a negative keyword list in the shared Library section and then apply that to your campaign.

So that will allow you to if you build a new campaign or if you want to and you want to add your negative keyword list to multiple campaigns, then you can use that. Negative keyword list and shared library to make that process just a little bit faster a little bit easier. So you’ve got your keywords your match types your bids and your keyword blocking and those are the major things that happen at the keyword level the keywords live inside of AD groups and the best practice is to have your keywords and keywords organized into ad groups that are pretty tight pretty relevant you want you don’t want to have.

Keywords for all your different products in one ad group definitely not you want to have up to say 15 to 25 keywords. Generally. There’s a lot of times when we violate that guideline. We have more keywords in an ad group than 15 to 25. But as a general rule you want about 15 to 25 keywords in an ad group you want to have them all be.

Very tightly themed you want them to be very similar to each other. And the reason for that is that the ad group level is where the creative lives so you want to make sure if you’re going to get a good click-through rate, which you need to get a good click-through rate. If you want to have an efficient campaign because if your click-through rate is lower than your competitors click-through rate, then you’re going to have to pay a premium on the cost-per-click side to be able to.

Win auction show your ad by the traffic so. making sure that your keywords are organized into tightly themed ad groups allows you to write those text ads in a way that is highly relevant to the specific keywords that are living in that ad so. Organizing your keywords into ad groups that are very highly relevant super important because that allows you to control what type of creative what keywords are in the creative that you’re going to search I think will dive deeper into text creative optimization and the on and all the best practices there on a later podcast.

One thing that can happen with and groups. I call it keyword confusion. If you’ve got keywords that could potentially fire if you got two key words and they could potentially fire. Against the same query then and you’ve got these keywords living in two different ad groups. Then you’ve got a possibility where you’re kind of mixing your traffic your blending your traffic and gives you less control and makes it harder to analyze things.

So if you start to see that you’ve got. Situation where the same query is driving traffic from two different ad groups than you’ll want to you can use negative keywords, or maybe you just need to reorganize your keywords in the ad groups to start to remove some of that. At the ad group level you do also set default bids.

So you set an ad group default bid and then that means if you haven’t defined a specific bid for for a keyword that’s living in that ad group. Then it will use the add group default bid. You can also adjust your bids at the ad group level if you’re using some of the. Automated machine learning cost per lead to a bidding return on ad spend tight-fitting.

You can adjust your bids at the ad group level. If you’re using some of those automated strategies at the campaign level. It’s the most important settings are the the daily budget and the Geo targets and now there is an option for monthly budget. I. Use it I guess you could I don’t I’m just so used to using daily budget that I continue to use daily budget.

There is the double spend problem with daily budget. So if your daily budget a hundred bucks and. You have enough traffic available based on the keywords that you’re targeting and the bids that you’re that you have set to be able to buy more traffic than a hundred bucks school will spend up to two hundred dollars on any given day now that.

can create a problem obviously if you. consistently are overspending. Then you know maybe you just end up spending more money than you wanted to now Google will solve that problem for you with what they call the monthly charging. Which is 30 point four times your daily budget, but it starts to get really complicated.

If you make any changes to your daily budget throughout the month because if you make changes to your daily budget throughout the month and that adjust is adjusts the way that the monthly charging limit is calculated and just can lead to all kinds of mess with your. Pacing with your spend pacing with your traffic if you are consistently overspending and you’re adjusting your daily budget throughout the month and maybe you end up having to go dark.

You have to turn your campaigns pause status at towards the end of the month in order to avoid a significant overspend. So daily budget management can be a little bit of an issue if you are active with it, if you’re changing your daily budget throughout the month. It is a little bit more simple. If you leave your daily budget static, then you then you know that you’re protected by that 30.4 monthly charging.

But the daily budget is set at the campaign level. So each of your campaigns will have its own daily budget and at least you know that you’ll be limited to two x at Daily Budget on any given day as far as how much traffic you’ll buy but that is. That’s a pain Point that’s been there forever. It was a used to be Google would only spend much overspend by 20% Now they’ve updated maybe 18 months maybe four years ago.

They updated to having the ability to double spend, you know, spend up to double of your daily budget, but. Again, you can control that by leaving your daily budget static throughout the month or you can keep a tight eye on it. You can also use automated rules. Maybe you want to say my target monthly spend is $3,000 so I can run have a rule that runs every day that says if the spend this month exceeds three thousand dollars in pause the campaign that can be another way to manage the daily.

But in any case the daily budget set at the campaign level is one of the key settings that you only have control over at the campaign level. You can’t set an ad group budget. For instance. There’s no way to control the spend over a certain keyword at the keyword level. All you have is the bid don’t have any kind of a budget level so.

When you’re organizing your ad groups your keywords into ad groups when you’re organizing your ad groups into campaigns. That’s an important concept to keep in mind is that you can only set the daily budget at the annoyance of the budget daily or monthly at the campaign level. Another setting in Google ads that really only lives at the campaign level.

Is the Geo Target especially for search there might be some ways to influence the geo-targeting for display campaigns at the ad group level or videos video campaigns, but when it comes to search campaigns, you can only set your geo-target at the campaign level. So if you want to if you let’s say that maybe you are a franchise organization you have.

Different branches in different areas and each of those branches maybe has a different budget because the franchisee themselves have have set different levels that they want to spend different amounts of Google traffic that they want to buy. Well then what you would have to do is set up individual campaigns for each of those locations in order to be able to control where the ads are served how many of them are served how much money is spent so.

The campaign level is where you set those go targets. And you’ve also got the easiest way to control brand safety is at the campaign level with those negative keyword list that we talked about you can create a negative keyword list for maybe you want. You don’t want to show up for scam rip off terrible.

Horrible. No good very bad. Business you want to make sure that you’re not showing up for any of those kinds of keywords. You can create a keyword list that has all of these kind of negative connotation. Words in it. I like to get on like to use phrase match for negative and don’t forget to negative match your plurals and and your clothes variations of those words specifically when you’re doing a negative keyword list, and then you can apply that negative keyword list to your campaigns.

With your daily budget when you’re looking at non-branded traffic. If your campaign is really profitable if you have a set of keywords that are working really well for you than one thing that you might want to do is actually set your daily budget significantly higher than the amount of traffic that you normally get.

And the reason for that would be have got this subset of my keywords, and maybe you’re just. Maybe usual awesome at life and business and all of your keywords are wildly profitable and you just want to buy all the traffic that’s available for this stuff. Then you could just set your daily budget if your average spends a hundred bucks a day.

You can set your daily budget at a thousand bucks a day. And then that would make sure that your ads are basically never going to quit firing now, so there are ways to put yourself in a position to basically by all of the available traffic. If your campaigns are working so well that they’re totally crushing your Roi goals.

One thing to think about we brought geo-targeting briefly just because Geo targets can only be applied at the campaign level when you look at the options that are available. There’s a ton of different options available in Google ads in terms of how. Target geographically, you can Target countries you can Target States you can Target Nielsen dmas.

You can Target down to Target cities. You can Target a specific radius, you know, maybe you will set. This is where my business is and then you can say I want to Target 10 miles around my business or 50 kilometers around my business or what have you. The geo-targeting gives you a lot of different options, but one thing to keep in mind when you’re setting your geo-target is that it’s not perfect geo-targeting at least in 2019 is not perfect.

It’s gotten a lot better than it used to be but it’s not a hundred percent accurate and one of the reasons why is just because of the way that the geography is determined so. There are a lot of different signals that Google could use to determine is this user within this geographic area. One of the indicators for desktop is just your IP address, you know, it’s gets assigned by your internet service provider and gives a pretty good idea about where you’re physically located and that’s really the key.

Factor that Google uses when determining your location on desktop now, it also could use active signings. If you’re signed in to a Google account. Then that’s going to give Google more information about where you as a user physically located. Maybe you have multiple devices are all signed in and then they could use your information from your mobile devices instead of just the IP address, but.

When you’re targeting just by IP address, it can get a little bit sloppy maybe a person is using a VPN and their IP addresses misleading about where they’re physically located there could be. Issues of just rerouting through rewriting rewriting the IP address through different areas and that can end up buying irrelevant traffic in terms of geo-targeting.

So it’s important to keep in mind. It’s not perfect the the more narrow. Let you go the more narrow that you’re trying to Target when it comes to geo-targeting. Obviously. It’s going to limit traffic because you will have to have some kind of signal that the customer is in the area that you’re targeting in order to serve your ad, but it’s also it also can be more difficult for Google to determine where somebody is and then that can lead to having a little bit more kind of out-of-market traffic.

In my experience you’re going to have about you know, at least 80 80 percent of your traffic that you buy if you set say a City Target know probably 80% of your traffic is going to come from that City and then some portion of your traffic is going to come from just other areas and it can be completely random it it can be sometimes just a little bit out of the area and sometimes it could be a long way off just because.

Google can get confused maybe somebody on the laptop. They’re moving their laptop around they travel somewhere else. I’ve experienced this where I take a laptop to another city and Google still thinks I’m in the previous City and sort of me ads based on that. So there are some issues when it comes to location accuracy, but again, it’s set of campaign level.

Mobile devices when Google serving ads to a mobile device, they have a lot more information to go on. It’s assuming depending on the user’s privacy settings, but you know in most cases they have more signals to figure out where somebody is if that person is on a mobile device because they’ve got the GPS the latitude longitude they can also look at what.

Tower is the user connected to when it comes to Four G’s if you know 3G 4G data, they can also look at Wi-Fi. They can look at if you’re connected to a particular Wi-Fi network and Google knows where that Wi-Fi network is one of the reasons why they know that is because they drove those Google cars around and found out.

Exactly where in the world is this wi-fi? So if they know that a particular Wi-Fi connection is in a particular place and then they see the your device is connected to that Wi-Fi network. Then that gives them a pretty good idea about where you’re physically located currently and then they will use that data point to serve ads based on advertisers who were targeting the area where you’re currently at.

So those are some of the major. And a high-level things is far as what settings are available at the campaign level little bit about geo-targeting and then little bit about keywords match types negative keywords are really important. A lot of times people forget specially newer. People who are newer to Google ads will forget to set up a sufficient negative keyword list another the other big mistake that people make most of the time is starting out with keywords that are too broad so they end up.

Matching two queries matching to user searches that aren’t as relevant or that are a little bit unexpected. So using those exact match keywords as phrase match keywords, and then using those negative keywords to block any relevant traffic traffic that’s not going to be profitable for you is a really important kind of.

T concept to get if you’re just getting started with Google ads you need to really pay attention to that stuff again using the negative keyword list can save you a lot of time if you have multiple campaigns or if you have keywords that you know, you always don’t want to show up for for instance scam, right?

You know, you know, nobody wants to be no, but nobody wants to serve in and say hey I’m a scam so building out that negative keyword list. I can save you a lot of time a lot of effort of wooden Stakes so it’s definitely a good idea to do that. So that’s just a little bit about how Google ADS works.

Just kind of some some basic intro stuff in future episodes will dive deeper on specific topics. And thanks for listening. Thanks for joining me today for the better digital marketing podcast, and I hope this helps you make your digital marketing better.

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