Since launching in October 2019, The Science of PPC has covered a variety of paid search topics with the goal of helping marketers elevate their account performance. Led by Page Zero founder and president Andrew Goodman, the 50-part blog series has featured practical explorations of the concepts, quirks, and complexities that govern Google Ads, including campaign structure, overlooked statistical measures, ad creative and relevance, and more.
Drawing on 18 years of first-hand experience and collaboration with skillful colleagues, Andrew continues to bring clarity and insight to the perplexing world of paid search marketing in Parts 21-30 of The Science of PPC.
Summarized below, these chapters examine topics ranging from bid strategy and smart bidding to predictive analysis and using reports (Google and otherwise) to optimize paid search campaigns.
Don your lab coats once again and dig in.
Selecting a bid strategy is one of the most pivotal—and perilous—paid search campaign settings. There are good cases for using Google’s automated strategies, but they can still lead you down the garden path. Take a closer look at two automated bid strategies to avoid when planning your paid search campaigns.
Smart Bidding can be helpful for some businesses, but it comes with a cost: you lose control of almost every means of optimizing campaigns, including ad rotations, keyword bid adjustments, and more. While the machine learning inherent in Smart Bidding should improve accuracy over time, there’s always a chance that Smart Bidding will selectively “dog it” to enhance Google’s profitability—not yours. In Part 22, Andrew explores two of the more mainstream Smart Bidding choices, how to make the most of your automated campaigns, and how to interpret the results.
Part 23: Predicting Your Customer’s Story, Or Helping to Write It? On Lifetime Value and the Overreach of Predictive Analytics
It’s difficult for many businesses to accurately predict “super-lifetime-value” prospects. Is there a secret to using paid search to unlock high-value customers? Andrew makes the case for embracing unpredictability and taking a less subtle approach to customer acquisition, arguing that the most important determinant of long-term success isn’t some “secret method” for unlocking high lifetime value purchasers form Day Zero—instead, the takeaway may be much simpler.
Flawed ad groups can skew your test results and stymie your analysis. Instead of managing the mediocrity, optimize your results by creating favourable testing conditions.
Smart Bidding strips away a lot of our control as PPC marketers. Andrew pulls back the curtain to reveal five secret levers you can pull to keep Smart Bidding on track, from tailoring your bid strategy to crafting ad copy.
Part 26: Goldilocks and the Three Scones: A PPC Bidding Hack That Could Save You Money on So-So Queries
This keyword delivers great results, that one puts up zeroes. No matter how full or complete your query data is, certain tactics such as negative keywords will continue to be a vital part of crafting the right mix of search intent to achieve your business goals. But what do you do with so-so queries that perform just okay over time? Andrew shares his advice for getting negative keywords and match types just right.
With some accounts showing that now-unreported queries represent 50-70% of dollars spent, Google’s recent decision to stop reporting on low-impression search queries has unleashed more complexity than you might expect—a far cry from the rich data that we used to be able to geek out over. Featuring insights from Optmyzer Founding Partner Fred Vallaeys and other paid search experts, Andrew shares his take on this change.
The Google Ads environment makes it easy (most of the time) to organize campaigns, but there are a number of special touches you can add to enable advanced analysis and improve your workflow and PPC account performance. Labels are a simple tool that can reduce the chaos inherent in collaborating in teams by quickly communicating the work being done and the effectiveness of any changes made to improve performance.
With Shopify now a powerhouse e-commerce platform, PPC marketers should get familiar with its deceptively simple reports. Customer reporting that’s tied directly to a shopping cart can be much more accurate—and provide a greater understanding of the tastes, trends, budgets, profit margins, and shipping burdens on different items—than conventional reporting options available in Google Analytics. Andrew shares three powerful Shopify reports that can help improve your account performance in Part 29.
Ads that closely match user queries perform better. From campaign structure to advanced customization techniques like Dynamic Keyword Insertion, paid search marketers have a number of tools at their disposal to enable rich ad personalization. In Part 30, Andrew puts three Ad Customizers worthy of experimentation under the microscope to help you walk the path to richer personalization.
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