At Work Media, what we do can be broadly classified as “Internet marketing,” and underneath the Internet marketing umbrella it breaks down into a few more specific areas such as search engine optimization (“SEO”), social media management, and paid search. Over on the SEO side, things are pretty chaotic these days. Google is whacking websites left and right, causing people in our line of work to scramble to make adjustments to how we do things to salvage our clients’ (and our own) rankings. However, while Google continues making it harder and harder to figure out how to get high organic search engine rankings, the company continues to make improvements to its paid search platform that make it easier and more efficient to manage paid search campaigns (you don’t think it could be that Google REALLY wants you to spend money with them to get your site to appear, do you?). Certain policies notwithstanding (a subject for another day), from a technological standpoint, the Google AdWords platform is more robust and powerful than ever. So let’s talk about some of the newer features that Google has implemented, or will soon be implementing, that make your life as an advertiser easier.
Improved exact and phrase match. Soon, Google will display your ad for an exact match or phrase match keyword even if there is a slight variation in the search query if it is clear that the person was searching for the same thing. These include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stem variants and abbreviations. For example, if the keyword is “personal injury lawyer,” but the actual search query is “personel (note the misspelling) injury lawyer” or “personal injury lawyers (plural),” then it will display. Google was even considerate enough to program the system so that only exact, exact matches affect your keyword quality score.
Improved ad rotation. This is one of the things that has always bugged me about AdWords, and I am thrilled that Google has improved this. Google has always encouraged advertisers to use ad rotation that automatically displays the ads that have the highest click-through rates. But that mechanism always kicked in way too early. A like to see LOTS of data to know FOR SURE that one ad is a better performer than the other, yet Google would always start choking ads before they had been exposed to enough impressions. So now Google is about to unveil an improved ad rotation that first gives equal rotation to all ads for 30 days, and then begins making adjustments based on click-through rates. Major improvement.
Mobile app links in mobile ads. If you have a mobile app, you can link to it from ads that appear on mobile devices. This is a great opportunity to increase your prospective customers’ level of involvement with your company. If you can get them using your app, they could see your company name every day, or at least when the right occasion arises.
Smarter keyword research. The Google keyword tool will now automatically build out distinct sets of keywords to use as the foundation of ad groups based on the keywords returned from your query. While I would certainly look at the suggested ad groups with a critical eye, this is a way to quickly split out your keywords into appropriate ad groups, or just to get a campaign built out if you are short on time.
Google seems to be making changes to their AdWords platform at an increasingly rapid rate. The best way to keep up with new features is to check out the AdWords blog at http://adwords.blogspot.com/. Most of the newest changes coming out are very smart features designed to help you use the platform more effectively, so stay informed about what is possible and take advantage of any new feature that makes sense for your situation.