Bear in mind that Google is just a machine managing a load of information to deliver your ads. It is set up to deliver clicks, not money. It has no opinion or preference. Of course, Google doesn’t understand your business. But if you think Google AdWords is unfair, remember it’s equally unfair to your competitors.
It’s easy to imagine that the more keywords you have in your account, the better your chances of appearing in front of the right customer. But that is not a good strategy. By adding a ton of keywords, you will not only generate worthless traffic to your website – and pay for it – you will also waste your budget on useless keywords, leaving less money for keywords that perform.
One of the most common misconceptions around is that the more clicks you’re getting, the better your campaign performance. But that’s not always the case, it all depends on your goals. If you want to improve website traffic, clicks are of course important. But if you are a retailer, conversions are important. And if you simply want to increase your visibility to heighten brand awareness, impressions are what counts.
One of the main goals of a paid search marketer is to create ads that are as targeted as possible to a user’s search query. These ads will drive users to the most relevant content on the website. To achieve this, we bid on highly targeted keywords that ensure the ads are as relevant as possible. Your visitor should be a potential customer and if they’re not, you need to rethink your targeting methods and your overall campaign.
Google does not regard identical keywords as competitors in the same account. The auction system is focused on giving the customer the most relevant results. Therefore, it uses your most effective keywords, your click-through rate (CTR) and best landing page to calculate ‘Quality Score’. As a result, it offers the most relevant results to the customer and generates the highest ranking for you.
First, one of the three factors in deciding Quality Score is the correlation between your keyword and the one used in search. Obviously, an exact match renders it extremely relevant – it’s identical after all; phrase match will be less relevant, and broad match, less relevant still. So exact match gives you a high Quality Score and therefore, a low cost per click (CPC).
Second, if you are bidding on broad match keywords, you will generate a lot of search terms that have a different, lower CPC. (Broad match is the default match type that all your keywords are assigned if you don’t specify another match type). This will, of course, decrease your average CPC leading you to think it’s cheaper, whereas in reality, you are just bidding on irrelevant keywords and paying for worthless traffic to your website.
The fact that you got the ‘below first page bid’ message doesn’t mean you’re on the second page. Your ad just doesn’t appear for every search. Check your Impression Share Lost (Rank) column for an estimate of how many impressions you could get, and make a decision based on the keyword’s performance.
The First Page Bid estimate indicates where you should set your bid to ensure you win as many auctions as possible to appear on the first page of the search results.
Google AdWords and Google’s free search results are entirely independent of one another. Spending money on AdWords won’t affect your ranking in Google’s free search results. Similarly, cancelling your AdWords account won’t lead to your website being banned from Google’s search results.
So now that we have relieved you a few misguided myths, you are free to focus on beating AdWords at its own game.
– This post was written by Celine Nowak – former PPC Account Manager at Tinderpoint.