Managing paid search accounts is in many ways an exercise in prioritization. There are endless opportunities to expand and refine your account, run reports and analyze data, or make changes and conduct tests.
The only limits are hours in the day, and days in the week.
But not everything you might spend time on is equally valuable, or even has equal potential. So we thought ClickEquations should make it easy to find and focus on critical aspects of your PPC accounts.
That’s why we’ve added four new ‘One-Click Segmentation’ features to ClickEquations V2 which went live last week:
- One-Click Brand Keyword Segmentation
- One-Click Head Keyword Segmentation
- One-Click Content Network Segmentation
- One-Click Custom-User-Defined Segmentation
Each of these enables you to quickly isolate the performance history and then take action on important subsets of your account.
Brand Keywords Are Special
As discussed in our ‘Success Through Negative Brand Keywords‘ post last week, keywords that contain your brand terms and phrases are distinct from your non-brand keywords, and in many ways they should be managed differently.
But many accounts still have brand keywords scattered across many ad groups and campaigns. Wouldn’t it be great to see them all (and nothing else) with just a click?
Now you can. Just choose ‘Brand Keywords Only’ from the Filters and Views menu.
You’ll near-instantly be presented with a list of all the brand keywords in your account. You can review their performance and make any necessary changes. You can even create and apply additional custom filters to run on your brand-only keywords.
Head Keywords Are Special Too
The concept of ‘head’ and ‘tail’ has got a lot of press in the last year. And we all know that a relatively small percentage of our keywords earn the lion’s share of our revenue and consume the lions share of our cost.
This has lots of implications for paid search, but most important is the fact that most of us don’t allocate our relatively precious resource, time, in proportion to the results various keywords produce. In other words, we don’t spend enough time fishing where the fish are.
Wouldn’t it be great to click that mouse of yours and see only that small segment of keywords that are driving the vast majority of your revenue? Or clicks? Or costs?
Now you can. Just choose ‘Head Keywords Only’ from the Filters and Views menu.
You even get to control the definition of ‘Head Keyword’ that you wish to use. You set the target percentage, the key metric, and the lookback period.
The results are amazing. For the account we use for demonstrations – which is a real working paid search account with about 170K keywords in AdWords, just 281 drive 80% of the revenue. Those are an important 281 keywords to focus on, which is the point of this feature.
Content is not Search
We’ve also recently discussed on this blog the distinctions between search advertising and content network advertising. Given those thoughts, it makes sense that we’d support easy segmentation of search and content within ClickEquations.
So now we do. Just choose Search Network or Content Network from the Filters and Views menu.
Any campaigns that aren’t in the group you’ve chosen, will disappear. You can review results, navigate freely, and make any additions or changes.
Most importantly, you can focus. You can think about the campaigns in terms of the distribution network. And not get confused or distracted by the entirely different numbers that come from other network type.
Custom Saved Filters
The one-click access to brand keywords, head keywords, and search or content campaigns is a great start towards making it easier to focus on what’s important within your paid search accounts.
But in the complication of paid search, there are many other segments you may also want to access quickly.
So we’ve also added very powerful named and saved filters. You can define nearly any combination of account structural elements (like ad group or keyword attributes) plus performance results (such as click-through rates or quality scores) and status flags (including paused or disapproved) and even timeframes within which elements were modified. Then just enter a name and save it for easy future application.
These filters can be used anywhere in the account – they’re smart enough to ignore irrelivant settings – so if you define CPC as one of the factors and you’re viewing ad groups, the ‘CPC’ will be ignored but the other aspects will still apply.
We all have many ways we like to slice and dice our campaigns or keywords – and now you can do so quickly and easily.
Intelligent Paid Search Management
We think there are many ways that paid search management software can transform the process of managing ppc accounts. The tools have to evolve beyond simply offering option-after-option and begin shaping the way the work is done.
We think both our best practices and the one-click segmentation features of ClickEquations V2 are great steps in that direction. Both start the shift towards ‘what you should do’ and ‘how you could do it’. For practitioners who take advantage of them, we believe they’re both time savers and clear ways to improve results.
Avinash has said that “Segmenting your data is the fastest way to finding actionable insights from your web analytics data.” You can read some of his thoughts on it here and here. We think segmenting your data is one of the best ways to prioritize too.
Spend some time in ClickEquations V2, and we think you’ll agree.
Google wants to make advertising easy. They describe AdWords in simple terms, they make setup quick and easy, and they provide simple reporting on the stuff that suggests progress.
But the gun has no safety.
AdWords makes it remarkably easy to do insanely stupid and wasteful things. Things they could easily prevent at the cost of simplicity for you and revenue for them.
Take content network advertising, for example.
The idea of bundled, co-mingled search network and content network advertising is crazy. The two have almost nothing in common. Mixing them assures poor and confusing results. And yet bundling is the system default.
So you should un-bundle.
Why Search is Not Content and Content Is Not Search
Google search and the search partners are search query based. Ad show when people execute specific searches matched to your ads via keywords and match types and quality scores and bids.
The content network is site targeted or contextual. Ads show when people are visiting a specific site or type of content, based on keywords and quality score and bids.
They keywords are different (one is an attempt to match queries, the other content), match types are different (content doesn’t have them), quality scores are calculated separately using different formulas, performance is wildly different (much lower CTRs on content networds in most cases), the types of ad copy that is effective is different, and on and on.
The fact that AdWords opts you into an automatically inappropriately managed advertising channel is astounding. It’s as if there were a ‘Waste 25% of my budget’ option. And they checked it for you by default.
Do not accept their kind offer.
The Content Network Is A Good Place To Advertise
None of this is to say that there is anything wrong with the content network. There was a few years ago, and Google has done a great job of improving it to the point where it is a viable and valuable advertising channel if appropriately managed.
But it has to be managed on its own terms, independantly of the search networks.
It works differently, had different options, and different success metrics. It’s a different advertising channel.
You should learn about the content network, allocate time to exploit it, and profit from it. But don’t get fooled into thinking that if you don’t have the time or knowledge to do so you can just tag it onto your search campaigns and get even marginal results. Do it right or don’t do it.
NOTE: Other than this one, the 21 Secrets of High-Resolution PPC are focused on the search networks. To learn more about the content networks, we recommend the book ‘Customers Now’ by David Szetela. (You can get a free ebook download, or order a hardcopy version.)
What Do You Think?
This blog post is part of a series extending and amplifying the ideas in our free ebook ’21 Secret Truths of High-Resolution PPC’.
What they’re saying: “Everything you know about AdWords is the basics Google wanted you to know. Just enough to get you hooked. But what if there was fundamental secrets that they neglected to share? Would you want to know them? Now you can! 21 Secrets Truths is what you must read, no, act on, before your competitors do.”
- Bryan Eisenberg Conversion Expert and New York Times Best-Selling Author ’.
After first passively and then actively squandering a business and technical lead, running Yahoo into the ground over the past few years, destroying and rebuking billions in shareholder value, and sending his entire executive team heading for the exits, it is worth a moment to consider what Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has done to you, the paid search advertiser. And what you should do in return.
George Michie covers this topic over at SearchEngineLand today, and discusses the fact that with Google campaigns running on the Yahoo properties, there is a clear economic problem – your bids were set based on the value of Google search and search network traffic. And for the vast majority of companies that value is not equivalent to the value of Yahoo search and search network traffic.
In other words, you’re now paying for steak but getting served hamburger.
Your two choices, as George points out, are to accept this fact or cut bids which drives down your Google results. Nice choices, huh?
I’d like to suggest a third option. Google needs to de-couple the Search Network from the Google Search bidding, like they did a few years ago with the Content Network. In other words, we should be allowed to separate campaigns/ad-groups and bid to the value of the network and not be forced to buy it bundled with Google search.
Making this change puts advertisers in line with Google on this and any major network ad-distribution agreements. Ultimately, allowing us to opt in and out of individual distribution channels, and get click-level reports on performance is also necessary.
It took them a while but Google did the right thing on the Content Network, and has made incremental improvements in these areas since the first step. All these moves were driven by advertiser feedback and demands. Time to start speaking up on this one.
Jerry has cost enough people money and heart-ache. It shouldn’t have to cost all of us.