Wrangling Up Your Customer Lifetime Value

In paid advertising when evaluating the success of your campaigns, you typically look at key metrics such as ROAS (return on ad spend) or ROI (return on investment). These metrics are both important when calculating the success of your paid advertising although they do not provide advertisers with the full picture in terms of profitability.

There is another important advertising metric that is often overlooked, yet important to calculate when evaluating the profitability of your paid advertising. It is the CLTV or Customer Lifetime Value.

The Customer Lifetime Value is calculated when you multiply your average order value by the average times a customer purchases from your website.

Example, if your average order value is $100 and on average customers will make two purchases over time from your website, your CLTV is $200 (100 x 2).

Although it is important to calculate your CLTV when evaluating the profitability of your paid advertising, increasing this metric has very little to do with actual paid advertising.

A simple formula that dictates to increase your CLTV, you must either increase your average order value or increase the average number of times a customer will purchase.

There are ways to increase both of course. To increase your average order value for example, you may look at anything from adjusting prices to bundling products to increase order size.

Similarly, to increase the average number of times a customer will purchase there are ways in increase the average such as staying in touch after the initial purchase through email or social media.

However, for follow up campaigns to be effective something must happen first whether you are an ecommerce or a professional service business, the customer must be happy with the initial deliverability.

To illustrate my point, I am going to share two stories one of a professional service (a recent visit to a dude ranch) and one of an ecommerce order that I recently placed for some fancy lightbulbs.  

A Recent Stay At A Dude Ranch

Last weekend, to celebrate the end of school our family decided to take a weekend vacation. Inspired by the movie City Slickers, I did a Google search for ‘dude ranch’ about a week before our desired trip.

As most do, I clicked on the first paid ad that appeared on Google which happened to be for a dude ranch outside of Santa Barbara (about 100 miles away).

After reviewing their website, reading reviews (paying particularly close attention to the negative reviews) and confirming availability we made the reservation.

This process highlights many key elements in producing good conversion rates using paid ads:

  1. The keyword they were advertising was relevant.
  2. Their bid was high enough to put them in the top space in Google Ads (high ad rank).
  3. Their ad was well-written earning the click.
  4. Their website was easy to navigate showing off their services and facilities.
  5. They had a good number of reviews with the 5-star outnumbering the 1-star by a ratio of approximately 10 to 1.

Add it all up and they earned the conversion of a weekend booking. With a conversion value in my case of around $1,200, I would imagine that their Return on Ad Spend and their Return on Investment must be particularly good.

However, as we discussed earlier these metrics are just the beginning and not the end. In order to see the entire picture, a business owner must calculate their CLTV.

For this stay, the hotel CLTV would be determined by increasing the order value (how much additional money do guest spend during their visit) and increasing the average number of times guest will return for future stays organically without doing a Google search.

At the hotel, the horse riding was separate so little opportunity for the hotel to increase their average value and all the meals were included with the stay, so again little opportunity there. In fact, the only things that I could see to increase the average order value were the bar and the vending machine.

Now, there are creative ways such as partnering with other experiences in the area other than the horse riding that may be able to increase value, but overall, there was little for the hotel to work with.

For this hotel then, the CLTV would be highly reliant on increasing their profitability by the increasing the average number of return purchases aka the average times that guest are going to return in the future.

The hotel was owner operated and they were friendly, in addition the hotel included nice accommodations. When not riding horses, there was a small, but nicely maintained swimming pool and a game room that the kids enjoyed.

However, there also were a few things that downgraded the experience. The included offenders included that the meals were not as quality as advertised; the dining room was setup using cheap folding tables and matching cheap plastic folding chairs; the mattresses and bedding was very old with springs poking through and both the eating area and cabins had ants and spiders roaming freely.

Now I realize this was a rustic experience and would have been fine at 2-star prices, but when you are charging 5-star prices your customers expect 5-star service and 5-star accommodations. With just a few changes, a 5-star experience could have been fairly easily achieved as most of the groundwork was already in place.

The stable on the other hand (which was not connected) went out of the way to provide a great experience.

My wife and son went on an hour and a half horseback ride. Distraught that she was not old enough to go on a ride, my 5-year-old daughter was overjoyed when the manager of the horse stable put her on a horse and walked her around the paddock for 10 minutes.

The bottom line was that as we drove home, I asked my wife if she would like to stay at the dude ranch again. Her answer was this, next time we should stay at a different hotel in Santa Barbara and come up and ride the horses at the stable. OUCH!

I would think that this answer is a common one and is definitely dragging down the CLTV of the dude ranch. With some easy fixes and taking into account what their customers want, this hotel would most likely see their CLTV and profit levels skyrocket.

Some Fancy Lightbulbs

When my office was constructed a few years back, the contractor had ordered these big round decorative lightbulbs as a finishing touch. As with all lightbulbs, one day it blew out and I had to search for another.

Like with the dude ranch, I again did a Google search. This time it was a search for the model number of the lightbulb. Through Google Shopping, I found 3 stores that carried the specific lightbulb that I needed all at the same price.

I clicked the Shopping ad from the first retailer (showing the importance of ad rank) and placed my order.

During the checkout process, I was offered a 4-pack of standard lightbulbs for $4.99 with no increased shipping. This sounded like a good deal as typically a 4-pack in the store is closer to $10. I therefore added the lightbulb back to my order thus increases my order value (which is as you remember one of the ways to increase the CLTV as well as a way to increase the ROAS and ROI).

My order took about 2 weeks to arrive, which in this day and age is a bit excessive for shipping time, but I had 5 other lightbulbs that were working in my office so I did not mind too much.

When I received my order, it was in a plain brown box and within the box nicely packed were my lightbulbs that I ordered.

What was not in the box was anything else. No catalog, no offer for more products, no card thanking me for the order, no offer for a discount for a future order, nothing but the order.

In fact, they did not even include a receipt or invoice for the order. The only way for me to see who the merchant was with whom I placed the order with was to look at my email or my credit card statement.

This company again had a great paid shopping ad campaign and great website and did a good job getting me to increase my order value. However, they missed a big opportunity to better connect during their most important piece of the initial experience, the deliverability.

In the restaurant business, it is a proven fact that if someone dines with you there is a 25% chance they will return. If they dine with you a 2nd time, there is a 30% chance they will return. If they dine with you a 3rd time, there is a 90% chance they will return!

I’m not sure of the exact numbers for ecommerce, but in my experience it is something very similar.

And if you know that the percentage of likelihood for repeat busines goes up drastically with each purchase, shouldn’t you do everything in your power to try to get that 2nd or 3rd order?

They paid for the initial conversion when I made the purchase. However, remember the CLTV is determined by the average number of times a customer purchases in their lifetime.

I’m going to need more fancy lightbulbs in the future, it is just a matter of time (although I did buy 2). However, when I need those fancy lightbulbs, I’m going to do another Google search for the model number. Even now a week after my initial order, I do not know that name of the merchant whom with I placed my order.

If I knew the merchant’s name, I would very likely go directly to their website because I know they have the light bulbs that I need. Now, I may very well end up with one of their competitors simply because when I place the order I’m not sure who fulfilled the first order and to be frank don’t really care.

This fact is where this merchant could do better and could find an opportunity to increase their CLTV and thus their overall profitability.

Final Word

As a business owner your business is increasing your profitability and a sure-fire way to do this is by increasing your customer lifetime value (CLTV).

Remember, to increase your CLTV you need to increase either the average order value or increase the average number of times that a customer will purchase from you.

Here are two rules to consider when providing a deliverable:

  1. Deliver your goods or service as if it was your mother who ordered it.
  2. Do everything in your power to make it easy for a customer to order with you again.

For both the dude ranch and the fancy lightbulb retailer they both missed an opportunity to increase their CLTV through their deliverable as they did not follow those two rules.

Take a few minutes, write down those rules where you can see them and take a look at your own deliverables. Are you following those rules or would your mother not place a 2nd order:>

Remember to stay safe and stay healthy!

Looking for More Information on Google Advertising?

Check out the all new The Academy of Internet Marketing (www.theacademyofinternetmarketing.com), the premier online marketing destination for small to mid-sized e-commerce businesses serious about substantially growing their online sales plus exclusive access to me, author of Make Each Click Count book series.

Complete Access To The Academy of Internet Marketing For $1

If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.

If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for access.

Happy Marketing!
Andy Splichal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Splichal is the founder of True Online Presence, author of the Make Each Click Count book series, founder of The Academy of Internet Marketing and certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal, visit www.trueonlinepresence.com or read The Full Story on his blog, blog.trueonlinepresence.com.

Resuming Paid Advertising In A Post COVID World

Over the last few weeks as areas across the country have begun to slowly reopen, many of my private clients who paused their online advertising back in March have decided to relaunch their Google Ads Campaigns.

I’m excited to announce that I’m seeing preliminary results based on advertising over the last few weeks and those results have been very good for business owners.

Each one of my private clients’ accounts has been more profitable during May than they were in February of 2020.

Here are what I believe to be some reasons for the increase in profitability using paid Google ads:

  1. Less Competition On Google

It is a fact that many advertisers paused their online advertising in March or April of this year.

Google works by displaying ads in the most prominent position based on a real time auction. When determining how high an advertiser’s paid ad appears within Google search results, Google uses a combination of an advertisers bid and other factors such as relevancy to the user search query to determine what is called ‘Ad Rank’.

The higher the Ad Rank the more prominent on the page an ad will appear. The more prominent an ad appears, the more likely an ad, whether a product ad like in Shopping or a text ad as in Google Search, is to be clicked on by a potential customer.

With less businesses advertising, it translates into less competition and cheaper bids for those who advertise meaning higher Ad Rank and more prominent positions within Google.

Right now, I have seen some of my private clients with their average cost per click 50% or less than what they were paying earlier in the year for the same search terms!

Combine cheaper bids with the relatively same conversion rates and it is no wonder that profitability has been substantially higher.

And although I’m not sure how long this phenomenon will last, current advertisers are certainly taking advantage of cheaper clicks thus reducing their costs per click thereby helping to drive their profit margins higher.

There is also an opportunity to reach more shoppers. Less competition online means less options for shoppers. This may not be a good thing for consumers, but it is a REAL good thing if you are one of the remaining choices.

Increasing Business In The Long-Term …

I always like to remind clients that advertising using paid Google ads is not a short game.

Not only is advertising in Google about optimizing profits per sale, but it is also about the average lifetime value (ALV) of a customer.

Advertisers are paying for that first sale, but how many future sales will an average customer make from your website after their initial purchase?

This is the data you need in order to calculate Average Lifetime Customer Value. Increasing the ALV depends on factors like staying in contact with past customers (how often are you emailing your customer base), how happy customers are with your products (are you doing everything you can to exceed customer expectations) and how smooth was the initial transaction (did they receive their order in the manner promised).

Combine good service with good products and you have the initial recipe for increasing your average customer lifetime value.

2. More People Shopping Online

What has happened in the past few months is like nothing we have ever seen. In California, we have been asked to stay at home for almost 3 months and counting.

That not only means that the grass in the backyard has been getting worn out, but it also means that personally I’ve been buying a whole lot of stuff online some I need, much I don’t.

Do you know what?

In the action of increasing the amount of shopping done online over the last few months, I’m not alone.

It isn’t just the people who are already accustomed to shopping online either that are increasing how much they are shopping.

Nope.

In addition to regular online shoppers, there are people that have never previously shopped online that have had no other choice due to stay at home orders.

Including especially some generation Xers and a whole lot of Baby Boomers, the stay at home orders has created a whole new wave of online shoppers and it is a big wave!

In 2019, online purchases made up 16% of commerce. Many experts predict that the COVID-19 pandemic will change the way shopping is done and specifically how online shopping is done forever more.

In 2020, online shopping could skyrocket to as high as 50% of all sales. As new shoppers become more accustomed to shopping online and become more adept at doing so, this percentage could increase even higher than 50% over the next few years.

If you are selling products online, you should be filled with optimism. If you are not selling products online, you should be thinking about how and where you can start.

3. People Ready For Normalcy

Let’s face it. After weeks or even months at home, people are ready for normalcy. And I’m not talking about purchasing that 10ft inflatable pool for the backyard, although yes I did recently order one or even that new videocam and yep I bought one of those too.

Instead, I’m referring of the new baseball batting helmet for little Johnny or a new volleyball for the beach.

Items that return a sense of normalcy even though the activity for which they are bought may still not be back at full capacity.

Demand has picked up online, due to what I believe is people’s desire for a sense of normalcy.

Combine this demand for normalcy with lack of competition and many advertisers are seeing more profitable sales even when logic may dictate that it would be better to hold off on resuming advertising for certain product lines.

Final Word

If you were using paid advertising before COVID, there is no reason not to resume advertising now. When I say resume advertising now, I’m not referring to next week or even next month, I’m referring to today.

If you are not quite ready to take a full plunge but want to just put your toe in the water, then you can resume on a limited basis.

Restart your advertising with just your best-sellers or restart your advertising bidding at reduced level (say 50%).

In what method you decide to restart advertising, know that the opportunity is high right now to see cheaper clicks and higher profit levels from your online marketing. The time for being timid with your ad budget is gone and customers are again wanting your products.

However, like that 48-hour sale at Macy’s, be warned that this sale (the Google ads sale on cheap clicks) may be over before many know that it even began!

Remember to stay safe and stay healthy!

Looking for More Information on Google Advertising?

Check out the all new The Academy of Internet Marketing (www.theacademyofinternetmarketing.com), the premier online marketing destination for small to mid-sized e-commerce businesses serious about substantially growing their online sales plus exclusive access to me, author of Make Each Click Count book series.

Complete Access To The Academy of Internet Marketing For $1

If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.

If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for access.

Happy Marketing!
Andy Splichal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Splichal is the founder of True Online Presence, author of the Make Each Click Count book series, founder of The Academy of Internet Marketing and certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal, visit www.trueonlinepresence.com or read The Full Story on his blog, blog.trueonlinepresence.com.

Google’s Automated Bidding Strategies

Since the 1980’s, the concept of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ has been debated on its merits of either advancing society or being the eventual end of mankind.

I’m not willing or ready to join that debate nor is this the proper forum to do so, but what I will discuss is Google’s semi-new automated bidding strategies.

For those Google advertisers with the time and the knowledge to properly segment and optimize their Google Ads campaigns, typically you will generate better results and gain important insights not available when you manually segment, optimize and actively manage your campaigns.

However, like anything, you won’t know for sure if optimizing campaigns manually is more effective than Google’s automated bidding strategies if you don’t test. I recommend and I am always testing different bidding strategies for my private clients and I suggest that you do the same.

I’m not proposing that you test your entire account, but a subset of your account that may not be performing well or at least is not your most essential account during your busiest time of year make excellent candidates for testing:>

A quick note when testing is that you will want to understand the bidding strategies before running any test so pay attention to the rest of this article and discover which strategy may be the right fit for you and your advertising goals.

And for those of you who lack the time or knowledge to properly optimize your campaigns (if you are reading this article) know that using a Google automated bidding strategy is going to far outperform doing nothing, so know your options.

Automated Bidding Strategies – What They Are

In general, the purpose of Google’s automated bidding strategies is to automatically set bid values in order to maximize the likelihood that a click on your ad will result in a conversion.

In order to calculate the likelihood of conversion, Google uses past historical data including search terms, click through rates, device, operating system, time of day, etc. to either increase or decrease bids in real-time based on the selected bidding strategy.

For automated bid strategies to be effective, advertisers will first need to ensure that they have properly configured their conversion tracking and then that they have established conversion history and know their campaign goals.

Automatic bid strategies can be changed easily through the settings link at either the campaign, ad group or keyword level depending on the strategy.

By using automated bidding strategies, advertisers are addressing two problems that can be commonly found within manually optimized campaigns.

  1. Ensuring that bids are set high enough to compete with other qualified advertisers.
  2. Ensuring that bids are not set too high which can result in ads being shown on too loosely relevant of user queries where there is little likelihood of purchase.

Note, we are discussing the automated bidding strategies, which are not to be confused with Google’s Smart Shopping Campaigns.

For information on Google Smart Shopping Campaigns, see my article – New Google Smart Shopping Campaigns – What You Need to Realize.

Types of Automated Bidding Strategies

Google offers six different automated bidding strategies – Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversions, Maximize Conversion Value and Target Impressions Share.

All six of these campaigns are available for use in Search campaigns, while only two automated bid strategies are currently available for Shopping campaigns – Target ROAS and Maximize Clicks.

My feeling is that soon all the automated bid strategies will become available in Shopping campaigns. Therefore, even if your Google Ads account is predominantly Shopping campaigns it is advisable to know the difference between the automated bidding strategies and to even test how they work and their effectiveness within your Search campaigns.

TARGET CPA

The lingo – CPA – Stands for Cost per Acquisition. In other words, what is the average amount it costs you to generate a sale.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to get as many conversions possible at the advertiser’s selected cost per acquisition goal.

Where it is available – campaign and ad group levels.

When to use – This strategy works best when you already have an established CPA with over 30 conversions in the last 30 days. You can use this strategy to either lower your CPA or to maximize conversions by setting the Target CPA slightly higher than your last 30-day average. Note, this strategy will remove any location/device bid adjustments that are currently active.

TARGET ROAS

The lingo – ROAS – Stands for Return on Ad Spend. To calculate ROAS divide gross revenue by ad spend.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to get as many conversions possible at the advertiser’s selected ROAS goal.

Where it is available – campaign, ad group and keywords levels. (Shopping & Search Campaigns).

When to use – This strategy works best when you already have an established ROAS with over 50 conversions in the last 30 days. In addition, this strategy makes sense only when conversions have different conversion values.

MAXIMIZE CLICKS

The lingo – A click is calculated each time a user clicks on your ad and is directed to your website.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to get as many visitors as possible to your website within your set budget.

Where it is available – campaign, ad group & keyword levels. (Shopping & Search Campaigns).

When to use – You have a historical high conversion rate and you would like as many visitors as possible sent to your website.

MAXIMIZE CONVERSIONS

The lingo – A conversion is what the advertiser defines as their end goal. For eCommerce retailers this is typically a product purchase. For others, a conversion could be as simple as joining a mailing list.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to get as many conversions within the set budget.

Where it is available – campaign level.

When to use – You have a reasonably large budget and wish to generate as many conversions as possible.

MAXIMIZE CONVERSION VALUE

The lingo – The conversion value is the total value of all conversions.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to gain the maximum conversion value within the set budget.

Where it is available – campaign level.

When to use – You have a reasonably large budget with conversions of drastically different conversion values.

TARGET IMPRESSION SHARE

The lingo – Target impression share is the percentage of time your ads appear at the top of the page.

The strategy – Google automatically will adjust an advertiser’s bid in order to generate ad placement at the top of the page as often as possible within the set budget.

Where it is available – campaign level.

When to use – You have a reasonably well performing conversion rates with a reasonably large budget but are struggling with how often your ads appear at the top of the page.

Final Word

You probably have heard the phrase ‘All Roads Lead to Rome’?

This is true when optimizing your Google campaigns, as there are many ways to achieve your goal of conversions. However, although there are many ways to achieve conversions some will perform better than others.

By better, does that mean lowering your cost-per-acquisition or increasing the number of conversions?

The key metrics that matter are going to depend on your goals as an advertiser and how you wish to best utilize Google in your advertising.

However, whether manually optimizing or using one of Google’s automated strategies it will require testing to discover which strategy performs the best based on your advertising goals.

Looking for More Information on Google Advertising?

Check out the all new The Academy of Internet Marketing (www.theacademyofinternetmarketing.com), the premier online marketing destination for small to mid-sized e-commerce businesses serious about substantially growing their online sales plus exclusive access to me, author of Make Each Click Count, The TOP Guide To Success Using Google AdWords.

Complete Access To The Academy of Internet Marketing For $1

If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.

If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for access.

Happy Marketing!
Andy Splichal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andy Splichal is the founder of True Online Presence, the founder of The Academy of Internet Marketing, author and certified online marketing strategist with twenty plus years of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal, visit www.trueonlinepresence.com or read The Full Story on his blog, blog.trueonlinepresence.com

Google Ads Editor – The Difference Between Mastering & Being Simply Proficient

How do you determine the difference between a master and simply being proficient when it comes to managing Google ads?

For me, what constitutes a real master regardless of subject are these three things: knowledge; efficiency and quantity output.

Sound, right?

Although a proficient user can have all the knowledge on Google ads regarding how it all works and the most effective methods to optimize an account without using the Google Editor, these users will never be able to match the efficiency and quantity output of someone who relies on the Google Editor for making significant account changes.

What Is The Google Ads Editor?

Google Ads Editor is a free downloadable application for managing your Google Ads account. Once installed you can download your account or accounts and make changes to the account within the Google Ads Editor. The changes that you make within the Google Editor are stored ‘offline’ until you ‘Post’ the changes at which time they are uploaded back into your Google Ads account where they are immediately implemented live.

The Google Ads Editor has been designed to be easy to understand and will work even when you are not connected to the Internet.

A powerful resource for those wanting to improve their efficiency managing Google Ads, the Google Editor allows advertisers to quickly make changes in a fraction of this time it takes compared to making the same changes using the Google Ads interface.

Given the capabilities of using the Google Ads Editor, why is it then that more advertisers do not incorporate doing their work within the Editor?

My thought is that those advertisers that are not using the Google Ads Editor simply do not understand its capability or how using the Google Ads Editor will make managing their Google campaigns a whole lot more proficient.

In order to remedy this lack of understanding, I have listed the top time saving tasks that can be performed using the Google Ads Editor. There are many other ways to incorporate the Ads Editor into your optimizing of Google ads, but these should be enough to show you some of what can be achieved.

My Top Ways To Use The Google Ads Editor

1. Copy/Cut & Paste

Although there is limited copy and paste function within the Google Ads interface, the process is cumbersome and slow to perform. For example if you want to copy a search ad between ad groups, you must go to the ad (click copy under the more button); navigate to the ad group you wish to copy; go to the ‘Ads & extensions’ section of the ad group; click the more button and paste the ad.

If you are very quick, this process can be done in about 1-2 minutes.

If you want to copy an ad in the Ads Editor, you left click the mouse (click copy), click on where you want to copy the ad, left click your mouse (click paste).

If you are slow, this process can be done in about 3-5 seconds!

Being able to copy and paste is not limited to ads or even to Search campaigns. Whether modifying your Search, Shopping or Display campaigns, the Google Ads Editor can quickly copy almost anything from one campaign to another including ads, ad extensions, product groups, keywords, settings, audiences, placements and more.

In fact, you can even copy and paste entire campaigns or move ad groups from one campaign to another!

Needless to say, the ability to copy/cut paste can be a huge time saver when you need to copy or move elements within your account.

2. Bulk Changes

The Google Ads interface is extremely limited when making changes. Advertisers are limited to changes of one at a time or if very proficient making multiple identical changes to items within the same ad group (such as keyword bidding).

The Google Editor in contrast allows advertisers to use bulk edits to quickly make changes to multiple campaigns simultaneously.

The bulk editing tool allows you to search and replace text, move items, and undo or redo changes across multiple campaigns in a fraction of the time it would take using the Google Ads interface.

3. Import/Export

If you or someone on your team is more comfortable working making changes in excel rather than in the Google Editor, no problem. The Google Editor allows you to export data, make changes within excel and then reupload changes into the editor.

Once you reupload the changes, you can review all changes before approving them and sending them live to your Ads account.

Whether using excel or the Google Editor to make changes, one thing is for certain – both are a whole lot faster than making changes directly within the Google Ads interface.

4. Find & Replace Text

Using the find and replace text is geared toward working with Search campaigns. This feature allows an advertiser to quickly change text throughout ads.

During the holidays, I found the find and replace tool particularly useful when working on private client accounts, as I would change promotions and details fairly regularly.

Example, you want to change a sale from the 40% you were running during Black Friday to 20% for the rest of the holidays.

If you are using the Google Ads interface, you will need to navigate to each ad and manually make the change at either the ad group or campaign level. Depending on how many ads you are running within how many different campaigns or ad groups this type of change could take between minutes and hours.

If you are using the Google Ads Editor, you simply use the Find & Replace tool and the process takes a minute or two regardless of how many ads you are changing!

5. The Ability To Work Offline

With the Google Ads interface in order to be able to make changes you need to be connected to the Internet.

With the Google Ads Editor this is not the case.

And although typically most of us are not spending our days flying through the country on private jets without internet, occasionally this feature does come in useful. You never know when you may be unable to connect to the Internet, but still have changes to make to your Google Ads.

A few weeks back, due to some winds here is Southern California, my Internet was out of commission most of the day and during the holiday season. If I did all my optimizing exclusively in the Google Ads interface, I would have been dead in the water.

However, since I work so much in the Google Ads Editor, I was able to work in my private client accounts that had data downloaded, make changes and then upload them into their Google Ads accounts when the Internet was restored.

Final Word

Just because you have always done something a certain way, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most efficient way of doing it.

I, myself, get into this trap of when I have been doing something for so long and it is working that it is difficult to evolve even if there is a better way.

I was recently at a marketing event and I was speaking to an individual that coincidentally also ran a Search Engine Marketing company managing private clients. When we spoke about the subject of maximizing time and using the Google Ads Editor he said, ‘I don’t need the Editor I do just fine making my changes directly within the Google Ads interface’.

All though you can work exclusively inside the Google Ads interface (as many advertisers do), using the Google Editor is going to make you a whole lot more efficient and increase your quantity output.

The top ways that I have listed above are some of the more popular ways of using the Google Ads Editor, but in no way is it an exhaustive list.

The Google Ads Editor can be used to make any type of change where you are currently changing using the Google Ads Interface and if you are making more than one change, probably much quicker.

If you aren’t currently using the Google Ads Editor, I encourage you to start exploring what is possible and making it an essential tool in your Google Ads management.

After all, by become proficient in using the Google Ads Editor you will be a step closer to becoming a true master in the realm of Google advertising. Well, maybe not a true master, but at least a whole lot more efficient!

Looking for More Information on Google Advertising?

Check out the all new The Academy of Internet Marketing (www.theacademyofinternetmarketing.com), the premier online marketing destination for small to mid-sized e-commerce businesses serious about substantially growing their online sales plus exclusive access to me, author of Make Each Click Count, The TOP Guide To Success Using Google AdWords.

Complete Access To The Academy of Internet Marketing For $1

If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.

If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for access.

Happy Marketing!
Andy Splichal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Andy Splichal is the founder of True Online Presence, the founder of The Academy of Internet Marketing, author and certified online marketing strategist with more than twenty years of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. To find more information on Andy Splichal, visit www.trueonlinepresence.com or read The Full Story on his blog, blog.trueonlinepresence.com

Search Text Ads – Which Type Is Right for Your Business?

Google’s Search Text Ads

Search text ads are Google’s original ad type. These are the text ads that appear just below the search bar and typically above the organic results.

Search text ads are eligible to display based on keywords that an advertiser enters that Google matches with a user’s query using a real-time auction that determines the ad rank (the order) for which advertisers’ ads appear.

For more information on search keyword types, readers can review my article [Properly Using Keyword Match Types in Google Advertising].

Although there have been a few tweaks over the years to the character limits for the ads and the of course the change of removing search text ads on the right side of the Google page (Feb 2016); however, for the most part search text ads have remained constant.

However, Google has over the last year been introducing different types of search ads that are more automated which include: Expanded Text Ads (EXTRA), Responsive Search Ads (RSA) and Dynamic Search Ads (DSA).

This has many advertisers a bit confused on which type of search text ad they should be using. Below you will find a summary of each along with some recommendations for best-practices.

Expanded Text Ads (EXTRA)

Expanded Text Ads are the most like standard text ads with a few differences in terms of the character limits of the ad.

  1. Extra Headline Field – The first two lines are required; however, with Expanded Text Ads advertisers have the ability to add a 3rd optional headline consisting of up to 30 characters. This 3rd headline will appear more often on widescreen mobile devices.
  2. Extra Description Field – With Expanded Text Ads, advertisers have the ability to add a 2nd description consisting of up to 90 characters.
  3. The domain URL is based on the final URL domain. While standard text ads show the full domain ‘www.example/product/or/category/url’, the Expanded Text Ads will only show the final URL ‘www.example.com’.
  4. The display URL can include two optional paths. This is where advertisers can add descriptions to their URLs. Paths should be used to give users a sense of where they will be directed if they click on the ad although it does not have to exactly match the destination URL.
  5. Mobile-Optimized – Expanded Text Ads will generate a preview for both desktop and mobile format inside the Google Ads interface when advertisers are creating the ad.

Expanded Text Ads are available to serve on both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network and are full compatible with all ad extensions (automatic and manual).

Responsive Search Ads (RSA)

Responsive Search Ads allow advertisers to show multiple headlines and multiple descriptions to their customers. Over time, Google will test the different combinations discovering which perform the best.

Using a Responsive Search Ad, advertisers need to provide a minimum of 3 headlines and can add up to 15 headlines (30 characters each). Advertisers also need to provide a minimum of 2 descriptions and can add up to 4 descriptions (90 characters each). These minimums are required for every Responsive Search Ad.

Like standard search ads and Expanded Text Ads, the advertiser determines both the Final URL and the Display URL.

How It Works –

In any given user search, Google will assemble a maximum of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions to display in different combinations and in different orders. Therefore, each headline and description should make sense individually as the order may change.

Over time, Google Ads will learn which combinations are the most relevant for different queries thus increasing the effectiveness of your ads.

If there are certain headline or description that advertisers always want to display, advertisers have the ability to ‘pin’ those to a specific position in the ads. However, for most advertisers this is not recommended as it will prevent Google’s algorithm from testing all headlines and descriptions, but it is an option.

You can view reports on your responsive search ads within the ‘Ads & extensions’ page. Data provided will show totals for all the ad combinations that were shown for each headline and descriptions.

Note, there is a current limit of 3 Responsive Search Ads per ad group.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

Dynamic Search Ads are ideal for advertisers with well-developed website or a large inventory. These ads allow advertisers to help fill in the gaps of keywords based on campaigns.

With Dynamic Search Ads, the headlines and landing pages are automatically generated by Google using content from the website. This dynamic creation ensures that the ads are relevant and saves time.

With Dynamic Search Ads, advertisers just need to add creative descriptions and Google will pull data content from their website to complete the rest of the ad.

How It Works –

When a user searches a term that is closely related to title and frequently used phrases on your website, Google Ads use your website title and description to select a landing page and dynamically generate a relevant headline for your ads. Keep in mind with this type of ad, the HTML page title is extremely important as this is what Google is using to create your Dynamic Search Ads headline.

Creating Dynamic Search Ad Targeting.

While you can add other search ad types inside the same campaign, with Dynamic Search Ads those are the only type of ad that can be used within a single campaign. You cannot therefore have a campaign running both Dynamic Search Ads side by side with either Expanded Text Ads or Dynamic Search Ads.

In addition, Dynamic Search Ads work a bit different than the other search ads type as advertisers need to direct Google which URLs are eligible to appear for those types of ads.

Advertisers can select specific URLs through the URL_Equals option or capture many URLs at once through the URL_Contains option.

In addition, for websites that are organized by theme, advertisers can determine which subset of a website to advertise using Dynamic Search Ads or use standard ad groups to make certain products are eligible to appear.

Dynamic Search Ads are a fantastic way to make sure that all products are being represented with an ad by allowing Google to identify items that may not be currently appearing for some of the other search ads types.

Dynamic Search Ads have provided an essential tool for many retailers with large product offerings where creating a search ad for each product would be near impossible.

Last Word

Which type of search text ad you use depends upon your business, your goals and quite frankly which one performs better for your business.

For best-practices, Google recommends advertisers use 2 Expanded Text Ads (EXTRA) and 1 Responsive Text Ad (RSA) in EVERY ad group.

In addition, retailers with many skus would be most likely benefit from the additional use of a campaign that uses exclusively Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) ads in order to make sure all products are running with a search ad.

Although there is some work involved in creating this many different types of ads, those advertisers that do will gain a measurable advantage over their competition still using standard text ads or those who lack the knowledge to use the different types of Google search ads properly.

Looking for More Information on Google Advertising?

Check out the all new The Academy of Internet Marketing (www.theacademyofinternetmarketing.com), the premier online marketing destination for small to mid-sized e-commerce businesses serious about substantially growing their online sales plus exclusive access to me, author of Make Each Click Count, The TOP Guide To Success Using Google AdWords. 

If you have the dedication and are ready to take your online sales to the next level, then The Academy of Internet Marketing was created for you. It provides the tools in the form of knowledge of what works today. Join us and see what makes us special and together we will grow your business.

Complete Access To The Academy of Internet Marketing For $1

If you are ready to take your online advertising to the next level, I welcome you to take a trial. It only costs $1 for complete access for 2 full weeks.

Happy Marketing!
Andy Splichal

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

About The Author - Andy Splichal

Andy Splichal is an online marketing strategist with more than a decade and a half of experience helping companies increase their online presence and profitable revenues. Although this blog focuses on driving profitable traffic through Google AdWords, True Online Presence offers additional services for lead generation as well as other proven marketing strategies customized for each client.