What Google’s Enhanced CPC Change (Among Others) Means for Today’s PPC Marketer

In light of Google’s many recent AdWords updates, Nancy Lim, Director of Marketing at CallRail highlights what marketers need to know

Since Google’s founding nearly two decades ago, the technology giant has been a frontrunner in creating top digital experiences for consumers and businesses alike.

Nowhere is Google’s expertise about both groups clearer than with its flagship moneymaker, AdWords. The service helps a diverse range of businesses grow and sell products, while also streamlining the buying cycle so consumers can find the products they’re looking for faster. Google has become a real saving grace for marketers, but this dependency does put businesses in a tough position — adapt to consistent platform changes or stop using AdWords altogether (which, in reality, is no way an option for anyone).

Adwords Automation: The Good and Bad

Google routinely releases improvements to its existing suite of technologies and services for a host of reasons: to improve the search experience for Google users, to improve the advertising experience for Google AdWords users/businesses, and to generate additional revenue.

As of late, Google has issued a number of updates to AdWords. The most recent is Google’s decision to remove a ‘bidding threshold’ in AdWords, which allows Google to automatically bid as much as it sees fit to produce sales on behalf of its customers. Previously, the most Google could adjust a keyword bid was up to a 30% (increase or decrease). This switch comes along with a number of updates that essentially do one thing – automate AdWords.

This trend has been building for years — both by Google and other players — but the sheer volume of automation updates within a six-month period is noteworthy. The timing of this shift is key as well. AdWords users are more active than ever and spending money in the AdWords market than ever before, making it an easy area of focus for Google.

Turning on this function is as simple as flipping a switch — a double-edged sword for today’s PPC marketers. New bidding practices make working within AdWords easier, but it also levels the playing field for PPC amateurs. This is ultimately good, as a rising tide raises all ships, but it will also mean that PPC professionals will be held to a different caliber of performance moving forward.

Although there’s limited transparency into how Google actually executes these bids, the results speak for themselves. Google reports indicate that, after turning on “Maximize Conversions”, one of the automated bidding strategies available, that uses Google machine learning, one company was able to boost its conversion volume by 73 percent, with similar improvements to metrics like conversion rates (CVR) and cost per acquisition (CPA).

Offering Value in the Age of Automation

It’s not that automation is an immediate threat to PPC marketers’ jobs, but rather that these professionals must start thinking in terms of these types of changes to thrive.

The most pressing issue for businesses is the rise in marketplace cost for everyone. Fortunately, as it becomes tougher and expensive to stand out on Google, it’s actually more important that companies have team members skilled enough in PPC strategies to differentiate them from competitors. Moreover, as costs increase due to an overcrowding of Adwords users, it’s crucial to find experts that can not only boost paid search performance, but do so in a manner that’s sensitive to savings.

To prove their value, agency and in-house PPC marketers must dive deeper into AdWords and the metrics/analytics associated with their campaigns. For example, interactions via phone are an untapped resource PPC marketers can leverage in a world of automation. Even though call extensions are now automatically pulled from a brand’s website/landing page and added to accounts, there’s a host of data available in these calls that can help marketers produce better results. Multi-channel attribution, call tracking and on-site analytics will become standard repertoire in a pay-per-click marketer’s arsenal.

Google will continue to innovate and automate in these spaces. It hasn’t yet, however, and there are some big wins still to be had. To drive greater ROI from increases to paid search, PPC experts must track every avenue customers are using to interact with companies. Consider these scenarios to see how PPC and call tracking can work together to drive real business results across many areas:

  • Campaigns: As Google prioritizes automation, marketers require systems capable of tracking users’ movements to better understand attribution across channels and devices, and to make more informed advertising spend decisions moving forward. Leading third-party call tracking systems have PPC-specific plans that combine information about performance by keyword, ad and landing page to better find, analyze and track quality calls. These systems also have the ability to run multiple campaigns at once (based on factors like where a consumer started his or her search) and can dedicate a specific call number to each to connect callers with the employee best suited to their needs.
  • Information: Marketers can use inbound calls to identify gaps in their online information. For example, if a high volume of consumers start calling in with questions about returns, a retailer should determine that this topic deserves more content on its website. Again though, while Google is putting contact information at the fingertips of searchers, it demands human intervention and technological support to spot trends and elevate these insights into real-world business strategies.
  • Search: Paying attention to types of query now will better prepare marketers to successfully bid for and earn searches conducted via new voice platforms. As search engines begin to adopt their user experience to mobile and voice, PPC experts can demonstrate added value through a deep understanding of the kinds of questions users commonly ask, as this makes it easier to develop smart answers for them. PPC insights, blended with call-tracking analytic trends, empower marketers to earn a greater share of organic search traffic.

Bringing Automation and Marketers Together

For PPC marketers and other marketing professionals, showcasing value in an age of automation starts with thinking in terms of these updates.

Marketers who can, will find that automation opens them up to powerful new capabilities and opportunities to delight consumers. And, because marketers can lay claim to the systems AdWords (as well as to additional software and solutions available to enhance digital marketing today), they can fully affirm their relevance in the age of digital.

Article source: https://www.martechadvisor.com/articles/search-social-ads/what-googles-enhanced-cpc-change-among-others-means-for-todays-ppc-marketer/

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