Adwords Chat – The New Adwords Experience

Adwords Chat – The New Adwords Experience Transcript

Good afternoon. This is Thomas Green at ethicalmarketingservice.co.uk.  On the call today we have myself and Jake Morgan who is also a Director at ethicalmarketingservice. Say, hi, Jake.

Hello.

How’s it going?

Yes, very good. Yes, good to have these chats. I was just wondering if there were any specific things that you wanted to discuss today, Tom?

Well, just previously we were having a talk on the interface, the new interface, and also we brought up some stuff which perhaps might not be working as well it used to. I thought that might be a good… one of the two things might be good to start.

Yeah, absolutely. Let’s talk about this new interface as it seems to be a bit of an up and coming thing. It might be a major change if and when it’s launched. It certainly looks completely different to the original interface that we’ve been using for such a long time now.

Yeah, we’ve put out a video recently, and Tom you kindly put a lot of your initial thoughts on the new interface. Any new thoughts, having digested it and thought about it a little longer?

I thought that maybe their intention is to make it more user friendly for people that may not be as well versed in it. But you made a point previously about the fact that if you’ve got a little bit of experience in the current interface and then you log back in and it has completely changed, it actually may have the opposite effect.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think that’s certainly been the case with me in the past. If I’ve used something and I’ve become familiar with how something works, not really masterful, but I’ve become happy enough to dabble and then I have not needed to go into it or do any work on that interface for a while, when I’ve come back to it if there’s been lots of big changes, it’s really turned me off to wanting to use it and it’s made me doubt what I know and I guess not necessarily want to have to relearn everything. And in fact, when you think about it, it may be that it’s just the interface… There may be a few changes within that interface rather than lots of new concepts to learn, but nevertheless it can really put people off, I think. So yeah, there is a small concern about that.

Yeah. The other thing I was going to add is that we have had people get in touch regarding us doing work for them and they’ve essentially said “With all the new features that have been added…” you know, there’s so much that’s new with Adwords very frequently said “You need a degree in order to do Adwords well.” So not only is there new stuff being added all the time, but also they change the layout of it. It’s going to be quite significant.

Yeah, you’re right. The ads have changed recently. Just at the end of last year, from I think was it October or November onwards, there were a whole raft of new changes that have really completely opened up the playing field really, and I think anyone who’s not really switched on and professionally monitoring and managing their Adwords account, it’s really put them at a big disadvantage.

Yeah, so this interface change is going to have an even bigger impact. Possibly good news for us, but not necessarily so good for people who aren’t quite as familiar as we are.

I do think they’re going to make an effort in the new version to be better with reporting because it is something that they’ve been trying to… They’ve been trying to get professional reporting within Adwords for a long time. The reports tool in the top link and they introduced Google Data Studio as well, and I think that with the various campaigns that you can create, like Display Network with the pie charts and stuff… I think they’re going to have more of a push on the new interface with the presentation of it so that they can swipe reports out and they can send it to various staff members and that sort of thing.

Yeah, that’s definitely a good feature for sure. Yeah, it will be interesting to see how it goes. Obviously it’s going through beta checks and they’re just seeing how things work out. I imagine they’ll expand that at some point and then at some point, I would imagine in 2017, who knows when, but I would imagine they’ll suddenly give us a time frame and then one day if you’re not using it every day you’ll come on and it will be an entire new interface.

One thing though, I do think, you know, that might be a shock to some people and it may be that you look at one week, you go on holiday or something and you look at it a couple of weeks later and it’s radically different. But I do think that Google are pretty good with providing information. They do try and help as much as possible to educate you and show you how these new features work, so I’m sure it will… It might not be as intuitive as we’d really like, but if not then there’ll be no doubt a lot of back up information which you can use to help you wade through it. I’m sure the likes of you and I, Tom, we’re really going to get our hands dirty with it very soon.

That’s funny actually. Just what occurred to me is you know how I said about the amount of videos we’ve got on our You Tube channel.  If the new interface goes live and let’s say hypothetically you can’t revert back to the old one, I just realised that Google are going to have essentially do a whole library worth of their help articles.

Wow, that’s true.

And they’ve got huge amounts of information, way more than us, on how to do various bits. They’re going to have to update everything in time for the launch of the new interface.

That’s going to be a huge amount of work for them and the fact of the matter is, I said just a few minutes ago that there’s just a huge wealth of information that they provide and they do try and give as much help as they can, but I do also find that there’s information overload.  And it’s really sometimes difficult to find the exact information that you want. There’s just so much information that Google provide that sometimes you just think, “I’ve read this and I’ve read that, and that’s not what I was looking for.” You can spend hours and hours sifting through things.

Yeah, I agree.

So I think that’s one of the great things about the videos that we’ve been putting out is that they are, I think anyway, a lot easier to find particular things that you might be looking for. But you’re right. If they have to update all of that information, it’s going to take them some time. They’re going to have to have a huge task force of people put in place to make sure it’s all up to date if and when they decide to launch this new interface. It would be interesting to see.

Yeah. Also I was coming back to something you said about someone logging in a couple of weeks after they’ve made the change and they’re not knowing about it. They’re quite good with emails, letting people know by email, that there’s going to be a big change coming up, but if you have said in your settings or something that you don’t want to hear from them, then they won’t be allowed to email you and let you know about something. So I think there is going to be quite a bit of a shock when it is introduced.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s the other thing. We all get so many emails. The busier you are, the more emails you get and if you’re running a small business, for example, you might be inundated with emails and it might take you some time to read them all. You may even then only scan through them.

Well, if it’s promotional you’ll probably just hit the delete button, won’t you?

Yeah, that’s right. So, yeah, I think it is going to be quite a big change for some people. It may be that it is more user friendly. I’m quite looking forward to getting my hands on it and having a go really.

You’re already doing that. Is that right, Tom?

I haven’t spent as much time on it as I could do and I think that’s just due to the fact that there’s a whole load of stuff which isn’t included or they haven’t updated yet. Like in the video there were a few bits like extensions and remarketing and that kind of things, which is not in the interface yet. If you want to use those things you have to revert back to the current one or the old one and so really theoretically I could go in and get equated – wrong word… I could get used to the new one in the parts that have it, but I just think “Oh, just wait until it’s been released properly” and then the amount of time spent working on it anyway it’s not going to make any difference really, I don’t think. 

There are just such a huge number of changes that you can make to any account, optimisation changes, etc, and we use them all. Or as far as I’m aware we use them all. But I guess a lot of people who don’t manage it professionally, they don’t really use all of the…

I mean, if we look at some of the other Adwords attempts to make things easier, as an example they have sometimes, in my opinion, made fine tuning a little bit more difficult. So it does kind of make a difference. If they haven’t got all of the facilities in place, they haven’t got all of the extensions and things like this, it’s going to make life a lot trickier to use for the likes of me and you.

The other thing is if you are going to be working offline a lot on Adwords Editor, some of the changes that have been done in the past haven’t always married in very nicely with Adwords Editor and that’s taken a while I think before some things are a bit more user friendly.

Actually I was going to say that about what I just updated the screen with was whilst they might spend a lot of time updating it for its appearance and making sure it works as much as they can, a lot of the time they can’t actually try everything and so if there is an error that comes up, it actually can take quite a lot of time to fix and so I think that there will be bugs and there will be errors that come up and I think for quite a long time they’re going to give the option to revert back to the old version.

So if you want to switch back to the current version I think you’ll be able to do that.

Yeah. Personally I’m not scared of change. I quite welcome it. I’m looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into it, but I’m sure I’m going to pull a few hairs out along the way, and you know, Tom, I haven’t got that many hairs left. That is a slight concern, but I’m still quite interested to see it.

A lot of the recent changes, I think, that have been put in place have been really, really useful, really good. The expanded text ads have been well overdue. It’s long overdue. It’s fantastic to be able to just have… I mean, even now of course you still find some restrictions but 25 characters headline was a real problem sometimes. I don’t know about you, but a lot of my clients had specific messages that they wanted to deliver and a lot of those messages would be just one character too long. So the expanded text ads just really alleviated a lot of those problems.

I wonder what they’re going to do with the right hand side because obviously it sort of makes sense to have a character limitation in the headline if you have to fit two bars on the search page. So one in the middle and one on the side, you have to obviously limit the characters, but now they’ve got this empty space on the right hand side which only seems to be used for I think local ‘my business’ pages. And so they’ve got all this what they would refer to as real estate which is probably a massive amount of money that they’re losing out on considering the amount of… the billions of searches every day. You would be think that they must be planning something to use that space up. I would suspect that they’ve got something in mind for paid search.

Oh, I’m sure of that. Google has made literally billions and billions and billions of dollars through precisely making money from search ads. To have that space going vacant without any profit coming from it at all, I think it’s almost inconceivable that that’s a long term strategy. I’m sure that they’re going to be looking more at, like you say, localised searching and Google might do some things like that. There’s definitely things that they can use in that space which is going to deliver more profits to them.

They’re making a lot of changes in YouTube as well at the moment. There’s a lot of noise about YouTube changes, changing the length of the ads. At the moment you’ve got ads which come up for 30 seconds before you can click to get rid of the ad. At the moment 30 seconds is quite a long time. A lot of people might be wanting to watch a video that only lasts 30 seconds itself or a minute or something like that, so to be forced to watch a 30 second ad before then, is a bit of a turn off and I think that they’ve identified that as an issue and so that’s being withdrawn shortly and you’ll be left with 20 seconds or five second ads before you can click.

Google are always, in their various guises, analysing data that they’re getting. They’re fantastically good at it and making changes to better optimise their real estate, as you say. So yeah, I think that… I can’t see that space lasting for very long. I’m sure it will filled very soon.

I thought that they might be able to do something like an image preview of the site if you hover over the link or something like that. I thought that might be quite cool to see what you might visit before you do, but then I also thought maybe that might actually stop people from clicking certain sites.

True. I don’t know.

They could be testing image extensions. That’s not available to everyone yet. I don’t know whether you’ve seen that, but I think something like the images that are on the page of the various… sort of like site links. So if your ad comes up at the top you’ve got various different links that you can go to and there’s actually images that come up that you can click on which take you to the page. I know that they’re testing them but I haven’t seen anything further other than that they’re testing them.

Well, whatever they do use to fill that space on the right hand side, you can be sure that it’s going to generate money for Google. That’s for sure. That’s absolutely a given and I can’t see it… I’m sure it will be something very useful to people as well. The end user is going to no doubt find some relevance and some use for whatever does fill that space.

That’s one thing that Google have been able to do very effectively throughout the time that they’ve dominated our search space. Whatever it is that people want, they’re very good at providing it, and if it isn’t what people want it doesn’t last very long and they’ll find something else to replace it. That ad space there, I think, is a good example of exactly that. It wasn’t working and so the right hand side is available, but I’m sure it will be filled very, very soon.

I just wanted to briefly talk about Adwords Express if I may because it’s not something that I use at all. I just wonder if Adwords Express and coming roundly back onto the initial topic… Adwords Express is a simplified version of Adwords and it’s designed for people who aren’t going to spend very much time on Adwords.

I don’t really have very much experience with it except that it takes away a lot of control that you will otherwise have.  Alarm bells started ringing in the back of my head when you mentioned that some of the key features aren’t yet available on the new interface. It kind of reminds me of Adwords Express because whenever I’ve looked into and dabbled with Adwords Express it just seems like there’s not really very much you can do there. So as long as this simplification doesn’t go down that route to that extreme, I think it will be very useful.

Personally I find the current interface with all the possible changes that you can make to fine tune an account is excellent. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the new one, but yeah, just a slight alarm that some of the capability that we currently have on the existing interface is no longer supported.  I’m sure, like you say, that’s just in the testing stage.

It actually did occur to me that if they are trying to… If we take the hypothetical that they’re trying to make the new interface easier to use, that they actually might phase out Express altogether and just do away with it.

Well, that wouldn’t be a bad thing in my book.

I also have noticed – and sorry to interrupt – that they’re doing lots of things like for example automated extensions where they’re trying to help out without you doing anything. It may be the case, like you say. I don’t personally think that they will take away features but I think they will add them if you don’t add them yourself. And obviously you can opt out of stuff but I think they’re trying to help people’s performance if they’re not very good at doing it themselves, if you see what I mean.

Which is good I suppose, but ultimately from my point of view it just levels the playing field, and if it’s levelling the playing field then it’s a bit like giving everyone in the world the same amount of money. It loses its value. It’s harder to get ahead. Giving everyone in the world the same amount of money might seem like a really good idea, but ultimately…

I didn’t expect us to get into politics on this call.

No, but I mean, if everything is equal then ultimately it may just make it harder to really see that top performance and improve your account. Again, I think that’s just a hypothetical and it’s a long way off if that were the case.

Yeah, if you make it easier for people who aren’t really that engaged and plugged in and using Adwords that much, then it kind of takes away a little bit from those people who are really focused on it and at the moment able to get much better results.

I’m just really curious and interested to see it and as always, quite impatient, to get my hands on it.  Even if I don’t ultimately think it’s a good thing, I still need to have a go.

Sure.

Anyway, it would be no bad thing to get rid of Adwords Express in my opinion. That’s not a bad thing.

Did you have anything to add about… We had a very, very short discussion about some accounts, not tricks but certain things that maybe used to work that now aren’t working on accounts.

Yeah, I can’t really put my finger on it, but there seems to be just in the last couple of months… It’s not because now we’re February and we’ve been through December and January which are traditionally very strange months of the year and they vary tremendously depending on the market that you’re looking after.  For example, in the run up to Christmas if you’re a retail company you might be trying to push sales to get the Christmas sales and then of course you’ve got the January sales to come after it.

Other industries, heating industries do very well at this time of year, and other industries pretty much switch off around Christmas time and only start to really kick in around this time of year, so it’s a bit of a funny time of year. I’ve just seen quite a big variation in some accounts in the performance from one month to the next when we’re looking at month on month performance over the last two or three months whereby tried and tested methods that I’ve been using for, I guess, the last couple of years have always driven results in a positive direction. I’ve had to backtrack on a couple of occasions and undo a lot of the changes that I’ve made because I have seen that they have made an effect on the account but it hasn’t been a positive effect. And so I’ve undone those changes and then the account has recovered.

So it could be… I don’t know. I don’t know if you’ve got any ideas about that or that’s a bit too vague perhaps and it might warrant another chat.

Yeah, maybe on another call we can do some specific examples because it’s always good to have case studies and that kind of thing.

Yeah.

I’ve been more inclined to use automatic bidding strategies lately than I have previously just because I’ve learnt a little bit more about what’s entailed in certain ones like CPA bidding for example.  Just due to control, like we talked about, I haven’t necessarily wanted to use CPA bidding because there is this – “Don’t let Google decide for you” philosophy that is occasionally thrown around on the Internet or whatever. But when you actually look…

It’s win win either way, if you take a short term point of view. So I can understand that. So you’re using it now more, are you? Sorry to interrupt there, Tom.

I’m certainly more open to using it just since I learnt what they factor in. Providing you have all the conversion data in an account obviously and it’s plentiful then they’ll factor in device, they’ll factor in time of day, day of week, providing I’m not fudging the information there. But that’s what Google have said to me.

I just think if you’re able… Manual bidding just can’t compete with that. I’m always open to seeing what works like we’ve said before many times. So you’d create a draft campaign and see what competes with… have a competition between the manual bidding and the CPA bidding and over a 30 day period you see what works and what doesn’t or what provides the best results. But if it is the case that CPA bidding is able to factor in all of those things, you would think that it would be pretty easy to beat the manual one.  So I’ve changed my opinion quite a bit on that.   

I’m still not 100 per cent sure. I’ve seen it several times outperform manual bidding, but I’ve also seen it not outperform manual bidding where manual bidding has been head and shoulders above. I’m not entirely sure why because it may be on accounts that are a little bit… I guess there aren’t so many conversions perhaps.  Or perhaps you’re able to… By making changes you’re able to manually. With a CPA you’re bidding to a particular CPA. Say you’ve got £20 for example, whereas you might be able to manually get it down to £10 or £15 which is below, or even lower than that. So there have been occasions where I’ve been able to outperform it, but again that might just be due to the intricacies of that particular niche rather than something that can be exported across all accounts.

But I have come across one account where it was performing significantly better but the client contacted me and said “Look, I can’t see my ads showing now. When I’m going and searching online my ads used to come up in the top three and now half the time they don’t come up at all and then sometimes they’re in the second or third position and sometimes they’re not there. So whatever you’ve done, I want you to change back to what you were doing before.” And I’d just been testing the CPA out and the performance had been fantastic. I’d said “Look, this is the performance last month and this is the performance the month before. We had two clear months’ worth of data.” And I said, “Look at the difference. It’s worked really, really well.” And he said, “Yeah, I want to see my ads.” And that was that.

I guess it just depends on what the client really, really wants. You and I we both know that some clients want specific phrases regardless of how useful those phrases are. They might be phrases that just don’t convert and cost a lot of money and they’re very highly competitive because that’s what the big players out there are using. For their budget they just can’t afford to be bidding on those kind of phrases and yet they insist on throwing a lot of budget at them. No matter what you say, no matter what you do, that’s what they want and the customer is ultimately… It’s their account so they’re right.

So I find that kind of thing a bit frustrating, but yeah, CPA I have found, I think, generally does at least as good as you can with manual bidding.

I’ve actually got an account at the moment where I have a test CPA running for 30 days. I only started that last week, so I’m quite looking forward to… I’m just letting it run at the minute and I’m just looking forward to seeing the results.

I find myself logging in and just looking at that test to see what’s going on, if you see what I mean. I always find it fascinating when you do a test and there’s just no getting away from the result. Whether you like one thing or another, what matters is what the best results are.

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, ultimately I don’t care. If I’m doing a system and I’m using a tried and tested method and somebody can show me a better method or this tool, CPA, for example, is better, than I’ll move over to that one straightaway because ultimately my bread and butter is through performing well with Adwords campaigns. So if we can prove outright that that’s better and we can demonstrate that to the client and the client is willing to listen to us, then I’d be happy to that.

Yeah, CPA I’m still not a hundred per cent convinced because like I say I have seen a couple of campaigns where I’ve been able to outperform it. But again, you know, I’m still willing to test it. I do think it depends on the particular niche really.

It’s our first live stream Adwords chat, so would you like to conclude anything and also maybe if we do another one, is there anything you want to discuss on our next call?

Essentially I think it’s been really useful to have a topic of conversation that we can focus on. A bit like when you go to a meeting and you have a specific agenda laid out. As you know Tom, I’m prone to waffle. I can go off on tangents and things, so as always it’s good for you to bring me back in. But yeah, if we can have a general topic. I think this one worked really well talking about the new interface coming through and I’m sure we’ll talk about it again as more information comes forth and as we start using it as well. That’s when it’s going to get really exciting.

But yeah, if there are any particular topics of conversation that you’d like to discuss in our next call I’d be more than happy to go along with that. At the moment I think there’s just so many changes that there’s plenty to pick from.

Yeah, there’s a couple of videos that I released on the channel which it would be good to get some case studies on. One of them was Adwords If functions. If you remember me saying about that, and then also YouTube are starting to show shopping ads more and more. I have perhaps the capability to implement them on a couple of accounts and it would be good to know how that compares to search. It would be nice if we can do some investigation on that.

Yeah, those are a couple of really good points actually. Yeah, I’d be more than happy to look into those and we could have a nice discussion and see if we can bring any reveals out about how best to manage these features.

Okay. If you’re good, then I’ll round it off. Always great to speak to you. For all those listening if you’d like to enquire about Adwords management, you can find both myself and Jake at ethicalmarketingservice.co.uk and please rate and subscribe to the channel.

I will see you later Jake.

Thanks a lot, Tom. Been a real pleasure as always.

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