July 25, 2014

PPC Management Paradox

PPC management paradox

Back in September I wrote about the paradox of testing vs. granularization and got some great insights from my readers. Today I would like to hear how you PPC managers & companies with PPC management deals handle the paradox of PPC vs. Conversion Optimization/Landing Page Optimization.

The Paradox

Tell me if this story feels familiar:

You take over management of a PPC account and make a lot of changes that quickly improves CTR, lowers CPC and brings up the overall QS of the account. All these indicate that you’re doing a good job of improving their account. However, the client isn’t very happy because they’re paying you a lot of money but haven’t seen a bunch more sales.

Herein lies the paradox. PPC management in it’s purest form involves choosing relevant keywords, setting appropriate bids, writing compelling ad copy, sending that traffic to designated pages and testing constantly. You’ll notice this definition doesn’t put you in a position to directly affect the number you’re being judged by: sales. At the end of the day, to justify yourself you need to show that your efforts are contributing to the bottom line, but your efforts are getting filtered through their conversion funnel and/or sales process. So what do you do?

Solutions?

At my last gig we attacked the paradox by helping design better landing pages and providing conversion optimization consulting as part of the package. We did this to protect the contract and add value, but unfortunately we were probably leaving money on the table by not seeking additional compensation for our additional efforts. Yes this created some very loyal customers (who wouldn’t be happy about a 20% increase in their conversion rate and thousands more in revenue each month or twice as many leads from the same click budget?) So how do you deal with this situation?

Google Desperate for Revenue. Now Offering AdWords “Expert Advice”

A few months ago people believed that Google would be immune from the recession. Not only has that been totally wrong, but Google has been taking various steps to increase their ad revenues (broadening broad match, putting ads in Google Finance and News, etc.) and keep investors happy. Yesterday Google took it to another level.

Get Expert Advice From Google

I came across this new offering at Search Engine Land, but didn’t believe them until I saw this screenshot. As you can see, the Google is offering expert advice on AdWords for new users in the US and Canada with a budget over $250/month.

As far as I can tell the service is being offered free of charge (typical Google style), but don’t mistake this for altruism. I’ve worked with Google optimization specialists and they are masters of creating tons of ad groups (all very tightly themed of course) with fairly generic ad copy (helps CTR) to “help” you get better traffic (read “spend more money with AdWords”). In the end Google just wants to get more of your money by helping you find more keywords, get more impressions, buy more clicks, and boost their revenues.

Are PPC Mgmt. Agencies in Trouble?

Some will try and make this seem like Google is cutting out PPC management agencies to line their pockets. While I recognize their argument, I’m not too worried. I’ve seen what Google optimization specialists crank out and it’s average at best. Good management agencies will continue to outperform this type of service. Your cousin doing PPC management in his mom’s basement? He might be in trouble. In the end this is just another “free service” to keep Google making bank.

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