Adwords Chat – Exact Match, Branding & Smart GDN Campaigns

Adwords Chat – Exact Match Branding – Smart GDN Campaigns Transcript


Good afternoon, you’re through to Thomas Green with Today we have Jake Morgan on the call, also a Director at Ethical Marketing Service.  Say hi, Jake.


Hi, how are you doing?

Yeah, very well. How you are doing, Tom?

Yeah, pretty good thanks. We had some proposed topics that we’re going to discuss today. Do you want to open with anything or do you want to go right into the update of exact match?

No, I think that’s pretty good. Exact match is one of the things we looked at discussing and the other thing, I think, was about the benefits of having a brand campaign, which are very often overlooked by clients. So yeah, I’m ready to go when you are and maybe I think the brand one might be a larger topic. So perhaps it would be better to start with the change to the exact match, if you like.

Yeah, I did one more thing onto the end, which was just about the announcement of Smart GDN campaigns. We released a video today just on the concept of Google have released… I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but Smart Google Display Network campaigns where everything is automated. So it would be good to talk about that if we’re near the end of the call, but regarding exact match I think before we went into the call, I think we had a discussion about it and you’re not in favour. Is that right?

Well, you know, I love change and I’m very much in favour of new innovations that Google put forward, some of which have been really, really successful I think. But a lot of the changes that we’ve been seeing recently I think are sort of designed to make it more automated  – the whole of Adwords to be a more automated system. I don’t know if you agree with that.

If that is the case, then they’re taking away the level of control that we previously have been enjoying. I think the benefit to that would be if you’re hands off and you’re not really engaged very much with Adwords. Perhaps you’ve got a small business and you can’t afford to have any professionals really managing the account. It might be better for you than it otherwise was, but it’s just not, in my opinion, going to give you, if you’re really working accounts and optimising them and managing them on a daily basis, I think it takes away a little bit of the control that we’ve previously enjoyed.

So, you know, as that’s what we do, I’m not saying this will be the case but I’m slightly concerned that we’re just going to see a little erosion of the granular way that we’re allowed or able to currently work. So that’s my concern with it. I don’t know what your thoughts are on that, Tom?

Well, my immediate response was not a positive one, but then I did think about what you said about change and how people’s response to change tends to be quite negative because they like things the way they are and Adwords got a lot of negative feedback on social. There was a lot of people that didn’t like it all, mainly agencies.

But then I did look into it a little bit further and they did say that if you have all the keywords live in your account – let’s say you have synonyms and misspellings and they’re not a low search volume – then it will or it’s supposed to make… They’re not going to overlap each other, if you see what I mean.

I guess it depends on bidding as it does with all of these types of things, but supposedly if you have say for example two different keywords and they’re both exact match, they’re not supposed to… One keyword is not going to always take that traffic. It’s not going to affect things if you already have lots and lots of exact match keywords, if you see what I mean. I’m not sure whether I’m conveying that very well.

Yeah, I think essentially… I think it’s quite a minor change in fact. I don’t know if that’s what you’re hinting at there. I don’t think it’s going to make a huge difference. I do think that it’s a very, very subtle erosion and I don’t think in the grand scheme of things… Again, if you, as we do, constantly… Every working day we’re sitting down and we’re analysing accounts and we’re optimising them based on data and I think that we have still the ability to do that, and I don’t think it’s going to make a major change.

But on occasion we have accounts that one particular keyword, exact match keyword, might behave in a much, much… It would just be far superior to another very subtly different version of it and it’s in those particular instances, which don’t affect very many campaigns or very many accounts in fact, but occasionally you do come across one random keyword that you find that seems to outperform very subtle variants of it massively.  And I worry about the sort of… It’s those particular keywords that concern me slightly.


But again, for most accounts it won’t really make much of a difference at all.

I do agree with you. When they released the change they did try and qualify that issue by saying “We will only show certain words which support the phrase,” but they’re bound to get some of them wrong.

The examples they used were flights. I think the examples were US ones, but if we give the example now of like “Gatwick to Barcelona” or something like that, that now would rank if you only had “Gatwick Barcelona” as a keyword. Again, I’m not explaining this very well, but the qualifying words I’m not sure how they explain them. They are going to make a huge difference and they’ve attempted to already solve the issue but in some cases it’s just going to be… Because there’s so many different types of variants that it can be, I think they are going to get some of those wrong.

Yeah, I agree with you. I think using your example, as I understand it… For example, it might be Gatwick to Barcelona as opposed to… which previously would have only worked with Gatwick to Barcelona. Now it might be Gatwick from Barcelona. It’s a relatively subtle change but it means completely the opposite. It’s that kind of thing.

I think, obviously that’s fairly… I don’t think that in particular would cause a problem because it’s such an obvious one. They would have sorted that one out already, but there’s going to be more subtle and less common variants that might particularly affect a very specific niche, which they might not have thought about or come across which might make problems there.

There’ll be thousands of potential examples, won’t there, and like you say, they just can’t cover everything.

No, I mean, my biggest concern with it, a lot of the changes that they’ve done recently… I mean, some of the changes have been fantastic. Like extending the number of characters in ad copy. The expanded text ads. Things like this. They’ve been really, really positive.  Many, many changes have been positive and even with regard to misspellings and things like that, I think that’s a really positive thing. Having to go through and put together loads and loads of keywords and then think of all the potential misspellings and put them in as well, that’s a huge chore. It’s very time inefficient and most of them will never see the light of day. Nobody will ever misspell some of these things, so it’s a lot of extra work.

And Google putting in place the misspellings, for example, so that it will pick up on variants, misspelling variants of exact keywords, I think that’s a tremendous step forward and that was a great change.

I’m not sure why they’ve really needed to do the change they’ve recently done because we already have, apart from exact and we’ve got the misspellings, etc – we’ve also got broad modified and we’ve got phrase. So between all of those, I think, we’ve pretty much got everything covered. I just don’t see the necessity of doing it. If I’m honest, the only real thing that I can think of is that it must be better for Google, for Adwords in some way.

Yeah, I was about to say that. I think they have the ability to run experiments to see what the revenue would be based on the ads. So if they run an experiment which says “If we make this change it would produce this amount of revenue,” I think it’s a no-brainer in some instances.

Yeah, I agree with you. I think it’s horrible to say, but I think that’s the thought behind it. It’s just purely driven by their bottom line, as most decisions in business are. Yeah, I’m not convinced that it’s a great step forward, but it is what it is and like I say, in most cases I don’t think it will make a big difference. It will make a difference in some cases and if you have an account that’s properly managed that will be picked up by the Account Manager and dealt with, I’m sure. But if you don’t, if you’re a small guy or a small business rather, using Adwords but not really optimising it to the best of its potential, I think there are going to be a few people that are going to be bitten by this. That’s just part of the game, I guess.

I don’t know if you had anything else to add to that?

There was one thing I was also going to add in, but it links into the last thing that we’re going to talk about. There were two parts that I wanted to make about this particular point and it’s the ease of use. So I think that they’re constantly trying to make Adwords easier to use because of the amount of feedback that they’ve got directly from people trying to use it who can’t. And I think that does help people who are struggling to get volume or let’s say they only want to rank for certain terms but they also might want to rank for slight misspellings – or, as you say, just adding the odd word in isn’t going to make any difference to them.

And also, I do think that they’re trying to – not in a conspiratorial way, but just in like I say, ease of use but also you shouldn’t theoretically… If you have a product you shouldn’t have to hire someone separately in order to use that product. So I think they are trying to marginalise agencies or the need for agencies for people trying to use their product. The more changes they make, like the new Adwords experience where when you create a campaign it’s all very step by step, and for example if you have exact match keywords then it’s also going to pick up some phases which are related to that term. Just all of the changes and Smart GDN campaigns, which is something that we’re going to discuss, the Adwords actually creates the ads for you. It picks the targeting and it does the optimisation.

So all of these things are both for one, ease of use – and two, marginalising the need for anyone you would need to pay to do it for you, if you see what I mean. I think all of these changes are related.

Yeah. You’re probably absolutely right about that. It comes back to the Adwords express. I don’t know how much you’ve used that or how much you know about Adwords express. It’s basically got that same function, to make it as automated as possible and make it as simple to use as possible. Because of that, I really don’t think it works very well. So, I guess that what they’re trying to do is… You’ve got Adwords as it is, which is highly complex and very granular and you need to invest a lot of time and effort to really understand and get the most of it – as opposed to Adwords express which is too simplistic really. You don’t have to do anything, but you can really blow your budget pretty quickly. You’ve got very little control.

So, yeah, you’re probably right. They’re probably trying to find the medium in the middle, which will maximise their profits and make their product as simple and as effective to use as possible. So I think that is the way to go and the amount of raw information that Google got is mind blowing. They have probably more information on anything than everybody else. So it makes sense that they are actively analysing this and using it to improve their product.

I don’t know if you want to step straight to the third point rather than go into the brand campaign discussion. It sounds to me that you had a few things that you wanted to raise about that subject while we’re on topic.

Well, because it’s new, like in the video I said it’s straight out of Beta. They announced it just a few days ago that now it’s available for everyone. I’m going to do a video on how to create it and hopefully I’ll be able to do some form of case study of how effective it is and how great it is at targeting and that sort of thing.

Because it’s very new – other than the concept of the fact that Google almost does everything for you – there’s not a lot that I can actually say about it, because I haven’t really even done it myself. It was just in relation to the point about everything they’re doing at the moment… Or not everything, but the majority of the things they’re doing, seems to be towards ease of use for the user and marginalising anyone who has a bit of control to make it more beneficial.

I do agree with you about the Adwords express stuff, but I do think overall if they are able to get better results and I’m talking about a client – I think that’s a positive thing, but I think the reason why people hire an expert in the first place is because if you spend all day every day doing one thing, you’re likely to get better results regardless of…  I think that’s the reason why the job exists…

Yeah, I absolutely agree with you. The one thing that I find a bit strange about this whole thing is the concept of making everything as simple to use as possible so that everybody has essentially the ability to quickly and easily set up and manage an account. It’s a bit like giving everybody the same amount of money. If everyone had the same amount of money exactly, would you really need to go out and work hard? Would you buying more things and selling more things? I suppose eventually you would, but there needs to be some kind of difference. If everybody has exactly the same playing field, everything is equal…Imagine a race. I know you like your 10K running. Imagine everybody was identical. You and all your competitors were matched physically exactly the same, who would win the race? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

The person with the largest budget, presumably.

Well, that’s it, isn’t it? It must be that. It must be that. If you look at it like that perhaps you’ve got 100 athletes all in one team who are all equally good and you’ve got five athletes in another team who are exactly just as good and they all start and they all cross the line at exactly the same time, well, who wins? Well, maybe you’d say that the team with the bigger number of athletes, the greater number of athletes, is the winning team because they had more people across the line first. But it kind of makes me think that if all things are equal and everybody can just set up a campaign, then yeah, exactly what you’ve just said – whoever has the largest budget is ultimately going to win out because they’re able to spend more budget and maximise their potential of their account.

That kind of concerns because what we have at the moment is the ability to really become very granular and specific on an account and do a lot of analysis, and this is your job and my job is basically very often getting clients who haven’t got a big enough budget to compete against larger, better known, competitors and still be able to compete because we can be a lot more specific and selective on what keywords we’re trying to compete on, areas and in short all of the very specific things that we at the moment have a great level of control over.

So, yeah, that’s the one thing that doesn’t really add up. I don’t know if my running and teams and 10K analogy really worked there, but I just can’t see it really working if all other things are equal.

It might be possible that they leave both open because I was thinking about what you were saying – let’s say for example, you only wanted to target a query referring to the GDN. Let’s say you wanted to only show ads on a particular website. If they did take away the control, presumably they’re just going to say “Well, you can’t do that anymore.” Let’s say you only wanted to show on ‘The Telegraph’ or something like that just for a short period of time. If Adwords is deciding for you, well actually they want to show on all the other paper sites as well, I don’t think that they would remove that much. I think maybe they’d leave it open so that you have an advertiser who doesn’t want to do all the work, then they have the option of Adwords picking for them but at the same time if they’ve got someone who specifically states “I only want to show for these keywords,” or “I only want to show on these sites,” I think that they would probably leave that option open. Wouldn’t you say?

Well, I hope so. I mean, they’re doing all sorts, Google, and they’re tremendously intelligent.  They’re even producing cars that can drive themselves. Would you like to have a car that drives itself or would you like to drive the car and sell it?

I know that not everyone would, but that would be right up my alley.

Yeah, you’d love it. I mean, there are times… If you go out for a meal, for example, and you want to have a couple of drinks. There are countries where you’re not allowed to drink so much as a single drop of alcohol without essentially being over the limit for driving. So places like that. Maybe sometimes you want to drive yourself. You’re a bit tired other times and you’d want the car to drive, or you have a drink or two and you want the car to drive. Maybe to have the ability to switch it on and off depending on circumstances, that might well be the way to go with Adwords as well, I don’t know.

In that particular example I think the idea is that human drivers don’t get the choice anymore. I think that’s where we’re going with that one.

I think you’re right.

Maybe my point about them letting both of the options is probably not right.

Maybe for a short time there’ll be both. You still see people driving along with those amazing old, really old cars, the vintage cars that they’ve lovingly restored and cared for and they’re taken out on a Bank Holiday weekend and driven through the countryside at 5mph, and they’re gorgeous. People still do that so there’s obviously a need for people still to want to drive and I think there’ll be a need for people to want to get their teeth into Adwords. It’s just a question of whether, as you say, that will still be a possibility in the days to come or whether it will all be automated for you. I guess time will tell.

Well, I think going onto You Tube, as you know … If you go onto You Tube and just type in ‘Guy asleep in Smart car’ or ‘automatic car’ or something like that, you’ll find a video of someone who’s using… He’s in a traffic jam. He’s using his self-drive car and he’s asleep at the wheel. So the car is driving for him. It’s totally not related but…

No, but it’s really cool. I think it might not be quite so cool for the other people who are driving round. It might make a difference, but yeah, I mean, it is the way to go. I think technology changes and the more information… And we are in the information age. There’s more and more information available.

You and I, Tom, this is exactly what we do.  We look at all the information, all the data that’s been generated through Adwords accounts and other accounts and we use that and we analyse it and we use the information to make effective optimisation changes, to make the account perform better. I guess that’s exactly what Google are doing. Sometimes you make mistakes and it doesn’t quite work out the way out and you want to roll that back and test something else. To me, it’s all about testing and testing never ends. It’s an ongoing process.

My concern is they do take the ability. Yes, they are going to use everything they can to improve things and make everything better. How that works with competitors, with bigger budgets remains to be seen. Perhaps that will be something that they will address.

One solution often generates another problem to be looked at. Maybe that’s another problem a little bit down the road that they’ll address and deal with as well. But no, I do like change. I don’t think it’s always going to benefit the smaller business.

If we look at large chains that have come over the last 20, 30 years to dominate. You look at large supermarkets, for example, that come along and now smaller competitors find it harder to compete. That’s my concern, but we’ll see.

That’s the issue actually with… or it previously was with advertising anyway. The great thing about online was that even if you did have a small business you could compete with the bigger businesses just being really good at what you do. You’re totally right in what you say. If it all comes down to budget then the smaller guy is not going to last very long.

No, that’s true. Let’s not forget though that all of the large companies all have teams of people or at least an agency managing their Adwords account.

I can’t mention any names but I was speaking to the Head of Marketing actually on an aeroplane the other day. I don’t know if I told you this, Tom, for a large telephone company, mobile phone company in the UK, and this person was telling me that they… The amount of money they spend on Adwords a month was mind blowing. I’d love to have got in on that action, but sadly that was absolutely not on the agenda. They have their own team of people, quite a large team, and they just handle Adwords.

In house?

In house, yeah. They had, I think, an agency in the past and then they went in house because they’ve got the budget for it and they can afford to do that. I guess they like the control. The numbers – we’re talking millions. We’re talking ridiculous amounts of money on a monthly basis. Millions of pounds.

I asked this person about their feelings of Adwords and they said it’s about market domination for them. With that amount of money they just have more money to throw at it than anybody else and so it doesn’t have to be particularly clever. It just has to be smothering for everybody else really. That was quite an interesting conversation I had. It lasted a two and a half hour flight, so it was quite a good conversation. Unfortunately I can’t mention any of the names that I’d love to be able to mention and talk about right now.

So everyone who’s watching this is now speculating about who it is.

I really can’t say but I just happened to be sitting next to this person on an aeroplane and that’s often the way it goes. As you know, when you’re getting new business that can also be the way – just random chance puts you in the same place as somebody else and you can do business with them.

Unfortunately I’d loved to have done business with this, but they have their own team in house. But my point is that the large players they all use people to look at Adwords on a daily basis and improve the account. So I guess in that respect we’re already in a situation where the playing fields are level really because you’re only competing with people who are perhaps smaller. There are certain niches at least where you’re up against the big boys and they have a team of people who are analysing and making improvements on their accounts on a daily basis just as we are.

And it’s about budget and the way that we can deal with it though because we are also doing that, is to take that into consideration. So I don’t know. Perhaps we’re getting a bit off topic. It’s about the automation thing for me and it’s about whether you actually lose control. That’s my concern.

Okay. Well, I’m not entirely sure whether we had any conclusions there, but even so I highly doubt that Google is going to pay a great deal of attention to our opinions. Do you want to move onto what you wanted to say about branding? I don’t know… We didn’t talk in detail about what your thoughts were going to be here, so I haven’t got anything prepared with respect to branding. So if you want to go into what your thoughts were.

We can just talk about it briefly and perhaps if we wanted to or if it seems pertinent, we could do another discussion about it separately next week or something.

A lot of clients come up to me and they don’t see the benefit of having a brand campaign. There is a benefit to having a brand campaign. There are lots of benefits to having one, but the thing I most often come across is – “Well, if I’m having a brand campaign, people are searching for me. They’re using keywords that are perhaps the name of my brand and they would go on and click on my website if my website is showing there anyway. Perhaps I don’t have competitors that are showing against my website because I’ve got a specific brand name. None of the other competitors are bidding on it. So I’ve got an open field there with no competitors and so if somebody clicks on my brand name, searches for my brand name, why should I put Adwords ads up there which they could click on and it would cost me money? Why not just have my organic results?”

This is an issue that I come across a lot. I don’t know if that’s something that you come across. I imagine it is.

Every now and again, but like you say… I mean I don’t want to take all the reasons from what you were going to say, but the reasons why were popping up in my head as you were stating it. If you want to go into more detail, but I was thinking broad match often picks up competitors’ website addresses. So if anyone who is a competitor has a broad match campaign and that’s a lot of people, often if someone searching for a particular website address, an ad will come up for that, and so if you’re not showing any ads then a competitor might just due to broad match. And they don’t even have to be actively doing it. They can just do it as a result of Adwords match type targeting.

That’s a good point.

The other thing is a keyword which is followed by a product, which I think we’ve talked about before.

So if you’re in the – I always use the plumbing industry. I’m not sure why. I think it’s just like a general example. So if your company name is X and then someone types in ‘X Plumbing’ – someone might be targeting the keyword ‘plumbing’ and so the ad will come up even though they’re not necessarily bidding on your particular company name.

And then the other thing is almost always if you run a brand campaign for 30 days or let’s say 30 to 60 days for argument’s sake, and you do an auction insights report. It’s very rare, providing you have enough data… If it’s one or two clicks then it won’t show up, but if you run auction insights it’s almost always going to show someone else who’s bidding. So it’s proof basically that someone is actually bidding on that.

The only time I think that it would be fair to say that there’s no point in having a brand campaign is if you’re able to prove with the data that you’re getting a massive high click through rate and there weren’t any ads showing. I guess there are a very few instances where that might be right but I think that you would need to prove it rather than just say “My opinion or my perception is that it’s not needed” rather than “We’ve tested it and it…” It’s just down to the numbers again, isn’t it, rather than your pre-conceptions. We know already that it’s not like that.

Sorry for rambling on, but let me know what your thoughts are.

No, no, I utterly agree with that. I mean, you made some good points there.

I think in real terms if you just look again… Going back to the big boys, I think we mentioned a couple of minutes ago. All of the large companies – there may be some exceptions, but you’d need to probably look for them – use brand campaigns. And they use brand campaigns for a number of reasons, partly of course because once you reach a certain level of success, your competitors are going to be trying to poach from you or maybe just get the benefits of some of your success.

So, for example, if you are company X and you start doing quite well, over time company Y and Z are going to be eyeballing you and even potentially trying to emulate what you do and copy what you do. And so it’s very likely that you will find them specifically targeting you. So even if company X doesn’t currently get targeted and they’ve got their organic results there and there’s no competitors and underneath the organic results you’ve got further pages that are highlighted from your site, you just think this is fantastic. Nobody is competing there in that space. Well, it will only be a certain time before one or two of your competitors will actively start targeting you because you’re doing so well. That’s, I think, the main reason why your large companies all have brand campaigns – because sooner or later the more successful you become and if you’re in business you really should be thinking about becoming more successful – the more successful you are, the more people are going to start targeting you and the more important is this type of brand campaign.

This is just one of many reasons. Another reason is that simply by having a brand campaign it’s far more targeted. With ads you have a lot more control over the content of the ad, the ad copy. You’ve got a lot more control over which particular search terms trigger which particular ads and if you’re relying on somebody who perhaps wants to – we go back to plumbing – buy a tap, there may be lots of different types of taps. You may have a website and you may have your organic results. That popup with a nice option to go on the taps, but no matter how good that it you’re never going to have as specific an answer to the search term query as you would. So if you have put an ad up in place and you can say your brand name X – certain types of taps… I’m not really an expert on taps. I’m not really sure why I chose this example, but mixer taps for example. You can have specific ads that are really going to focus and target much more accurately onto the search terms that have been searched for.

You’re also going to be developing more data over time and you can analyse that data and improve the search terms including new exact match for whatever that might be these days. keywords and things like this and ad copy can be refreshed and improved and you can get much, much tighter results that come up on the search results page. And these are going to come up above your organic results but what you’d find is you’re going to have your organic results. Above that you’re going to have the more specific results if you’re doing your job properly and that’s a lot of information that covers most of the full part of the page. It’s just you and it’s much more specific than it was.

And it may be that some people will click on that product and then will go ahead and buy it. We see extremely high conversion rates on some of these campaigns.

It’s often quite cheap, isn’t it, to do a brand campaign?

Well, that’s another thing. It’s much cheaper. The other thing about it as well, which I think often gets overlooked is that by having all these keywords, they’re much cheaper but they’re also… They have really, really high quality scores. I mean, we’re talking nines and tens on average usually if you’re doing your job properly. These quality scores affect the entire account. The larger your brand campaign is, the more specific it is and the more you’re developing it over time, the more it affects the rest of your account, giving your account a better overall quality score, which should allow you to get cheaper clicks across the board really.

Yeah, this is actually a video I did. I can’t remember what the title was. I might put this in a description, but did you know that the quality score of the keywords in your account actually affects the new keywords that you put in as well? So you’ve got low quality scores then the new keywords that you put into your account will automatically have a lower quality score as it’s an assumption that Google makes based on the rest of the account.

So what you’re saying about the high quality of branding will probably have an impact on any new activity that you might be doing.

Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s something that’s very often overlooked but it’s actually kind of difficult to quantify. Perhaps that’s why it’s overlooked but it is really important.                

Having a brand campaign in place is really critical. I have clients that basically just deal with brand campaigns and then brand awareness. If you’re looking at using brand awareness to increase the searches, then you absolutely need a brand campaign in place to capture and also to more accurately measure the brand awareness campaign. So if you’ve got a similar to audience, for example, or you’ve got remarketing or certainly if you’re using a display campaign with a view of increasing brand awareness, you need to tie that in to a brand campaign.

It’s difficult to measure accurately even using analytics. It’s fairly difficult to accurately measure the success of brand awareness campaigns and display because they don’t tend to get very many specific direct conversions. Not all conversions are measured accurately.  A lot of people will use different computers, for example. So they might be searching for things in their lunch break on their work computer and then when they get home they might be ready to make a purchase and they may become brand aware on their computer at work. They may get displayed ads but Google have no way at this point to link that to when they actually come to do a search using your brand name and then make their purchase from their home computer.

The same with phones. Some of these accounts are linked, so that’s a good thing. So if you’ve got your phone and you’ve got a Google account on there and you’ve got your home computer Google account, same account. Then you’ve got, as far as I’m aware, analytics can pick up that it’s an across device conversion etc, but often that’s not the case. Often you’re using a work computer. A lot of people use work computers. Having worked in offices myself, especially in retail, a lot of people in their lunch break or when they’ve got 15 minutes, they will sit there and they will look at whatever it is they’re interested in – a new jacket or a new phone or whatever it may be – and they do a lot of searching, but they haven’t really got time to buy. They’re just using their time a little bit more efficiently.  They’ve got a short 30 minute break or something, just to have something to eat, and rather than go out because it’s raining, they sit at their computer and they do a bit of research.

And so these are the kind of things that make it difficult to measure. So without having… If you’re just relying on your organic results and people to search for you directly, you’re missing a trick.

But, you know, there are other reasons as well to have a brand campaign. There are many reasons, but I think those are the key ones that I really wanted to bring up. It’s improving the cost per click across your account, improving the quality score which will improve, as you rightly said, new keywords that you put in place across the account and also reducing competitor erosion. If you have a lot of success and you’re growing success – and this can be even locally. You can be a local small business and be targeted by other local small businesses who really know who you are. If you’ve got a brand campaign, so you’re trying to raise brand awareness for these clients, and somebody starts actively targeting you in a competitor campaign for example – so they’re targeting your keyword, they’re really piggy backing off the back of the money you’re throwing at brand awareness because they’re going to be showing their ads up there – albeit it will cost them more to compete with you and they’ll have lower quality score. They could easily put their ads up next to your ads on the results page. So if you’re not actively using a brand campaign at that point, you could have their results and if you’ve got several competitors… You might have two or three competitors showing above your organic results and if they’re doing their job properly, their ad copy could really be hot and you are going to lose some potential organic so to speak, sales.

About that in particular, I’m sure you’re already aware that unless your company name’s trademarked, they can include your company name in their ad copy and that would improve their quality score.  What you can’t do is claim to be another company, but you can have a company name in the ad copy itself which would obviously make the quality score go up.

An example being a good alternative to X.

Yeah. I personally know what you… I’ve said it before about competitor campaigns, is that I’ve never found them to be particularly efficient, but at the same time you can certainly do it for a period of time just to see how it goes. And if you’re a company you don’t want to be losing those visitors, do you?

No, absolutely not. In having a competitor campaign, yeah you’re going to have a lower quality score and that again is going to affect your account. You’re going to have all sorts of issues from it, not just lower competitive… You’ve got a higher cost per click. You’re going to have lower click through rates and lower conversion rates on these accounts because a lot of people who are actively searching for a brand, they’re actually going to want that brand. If we’re talking about really very well known brands – and this is just an example, something like your soft drinks – Coca Cola or something – people who are specifically searching for a brand name that they know, are far more likely to go with that brand than they are to go with a competitor.

But lesser known brands, that might not be the case, especially when they’re looking at products, high cost products for example. If you wanted to fit a new kitchen, there might be a few names that would spring to mind because of brand awareness, which is in itself a good reason why brand awareness is something worth doing. There are few names that will automatically get a lot of searches. In the UK I could name a few that you could probably name the same ones, but if your competing even locally against one of these people, your kitchen… You might be able to provide a better kitchen for a lower price or you might be able to do it sooner. There are all sorts of things that you can focus on, which might steal some of their clients.

I’ve seen that happen as well, and mainly its employees that are ready to take those calls and be aware that they might be looking for other competitors. So if you trained a person who is answering the phone, for example. Let’s say we’re after company X and company Y says “Okay, you’re looking for company X, but did you know that we actually do one, two, three, and we can beat their price or we do a price matching service?” or something like that.  That can be an easy way of stealing that…

Yeah, absolutely, and that’s without you even having… They may never have heard of your company before or they may have come across it a couple of times, but your competitor is what they were really focusing on. They don’t really have any brand loyalty to your competitors, just that they were more aware of their service.

That’s a great example because under those circumstances you are, if you are able to do this great call and really capture their client at that point, you’ve really used their brand awareness which they’ve paid a lot of money for to your benefit and you’ve got that for very little cost, if you look it at that way.  Turn that on its head, this is what your competitors can do for you if you don’t have a brand campaign in place yourself.

So, for me, having a brand campaign in place, I often get people not liking it. They almost always perform much better and have all sorts of other benefits, almost hidden benefits like we touched on earlier with the improved quality scores and things. And yet clients very often are very reluctant to have any brand campaign in place.

Yet some of the biggest and most successful campaigns that I’ve run have all had… In fact, all of the biggest and most successful campaigns ever have had sizeable brand campaigns. That really is… and they’ve been very much focused on generating brand awareness and then using their brand campaign to pick up all those searches. So, I really think it’s vital to at least test it out and see if it works for you in an Adwords account, and yet I have many Adwords accounts where the client just point blank refuses to do it.

So that’s really why I wanted to raise it. There’s nothing I can say that’s going to convince someone who’s absolutely reluctant to do it because if you’ve got your mind made up, you’ve got your mind made up. But what I would say is that I would recommend at least test it out for yourself and see the benefits outweigh the extra costs of doing it because when you’re paying £1.50 for a click with say a five per cent conversion rate, and then you get a brand keyword in there that you’re paying 10p for a click on, and you’re getting a 50 per cent conversion rate – it’s a no-brainer really. If you have a big enough budget and you’ve got endless money, then throw money at everything. Fine, why not? But if you’ve got a limited budget like almost everybody has and certainly all our clients have got a certain limit to their budget, then it makes sense to use that budget as effectively as possible. You can get a lot more bang for your buck if you have got a brand campaign. 10p with a 50 percent click conversion rate.

I’m just quoting these because I’ve been looking at an account which has got 10p with a… It was 47.9 per cent conversion rate, which is near on 50 per cent. It generated a lot of conversions in a very short period of time. Generated a lot of money.  So that’s really the reason why I wanted to talk about it.

I think we’ve gone through some pretty good points.  Is there any other topics you wanted to discuss at all?

I think we’d have to touch upon the topic of boring any listeners to death if we went on for too much longer, but maybe that’s something we can talk about in the next exciting episode. I think we’ve talked about three quite interesting things that definitely are having changes and can create big changes in Adwords.

I’m quite interested to see how this new thing – if you could just tell me the name of it again, Tom?

Smart Display Network Campaigns.  Prior to this it’s the last video that was released on the channel. They did a press release or an article about it and then they also… There’s a link to how they work within the article.

Well, I think that’s really going to be very interesting to see how that pans out and I recommend anyone to watch that video – very informative.  

Yeah, I think it’s a question of change can be a good thing. At least testing brand campaigns can be a good thing. Very often they don’t have a lot. If you haven’t got a lot of brand awareness in the beginning, then it doesn’t cost very much money at all anyway because hardly anyone’s searching for you. So it’s well worth testing them out and they just build up naturally as your brand awareness improves and as more and more people start searching for you.  And they kind of almost, in my opinion, serve as an insurance against your inevitable competitors targeting you as you get more successful.

So that’s great. Definitely my advice is to test a brand campaign and yeah, with regards to the first topic with the changes to the exact match keywords, I think time will tell on that. But yeah, perhaps we’ll all be driven around in our automated cars before we really know the answers.

I hope so.

I still quite like putting my hand on the wheel. Anyway, we’ll see.

The other thing that I was just going to close off with, and as you know I like to do videos regarding any news that’s come out, but with this one it’s a notification in the account that came up this morning. It said ‘Price extensions now reaches more audiences.” So it just says “Price extension lets you show the prices of your products or services.” That’s general statement – “That is now available on all devices and ad positions and in additional languages and currencies.”

So basically they’ve expanded price extensions across all different devices and the various positions on the page. The learn more button which normally sends you to a link where they go into more detail is not actually a link with the new article. It’s just generally speaking what a price extension is.  

So that’s a tiny bit of news which… I don’t think it justifies its own video but at the same time I think it’s interesting to know that they’re expanding on price extensions, which may mean that they’re performing well, which might be worth knowing.

Yeah, definitely.  It might be that they are worth at some point discussing in a video. They’re more specific, I think, to certain niches, certain industries.  Yeah, I think that’s quite an interesting one to look out for. It’s a good one to mention.

Okay, mate.  

Good to talk as usual and hopefully some of the things we’ve talked about have been of interest to a listener out there and it might help them in some way.

Okay. I will close off the video if that’s cool with you. Please rate the video and subscribe to the channel. If you have any comments about future videos you’d like us to do, just put them in the comments section below and if you’re interested in Adwords management, please feel free to visit us at and ask for myself, Thomas or Jake, and thank you very much for listening.