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November 04, 2019
Google Ads Smart Campaigns – The End for Digital Advertisers?
Before the official announcement of new Google releases were unveiled this July—there had been some rumblings—AdWords becoming ‘Google Ads,’ DoubleClick becoming ‘Google Marketing Platform’, etc. All changes that - like the new AdWords UI - are bothersome, but ultimately not a huge inconvenience.
We get it, they’re consolidating their branding and platforms.
However, there was one rumor that had piqued every paid search advertiser’s attention—Smart Campaigns, and you can bet every advertiser worth their salt was listening in.
In Google’s announcement, they made their mission with Smart Campaigns clear: making advertising on their platform more accessible to the small business arena. With Smart Campaigns, Google provides the option of “total automation”—from set up, to creative, and delivery optimization based on the product or service being advertised, as well as the goal indicated.
So where does this leave digital advertisers? Did we just spend countless years devoting ourselves to a craft that…just like that…becomes obsolete?
After some research and a little digging, we can take a deep breath—our jobs are still intact. Here’s why you absolutely still need a professional digital advertising team:
1. A Middle Man
How does Google make all their money? From paid advertisement. What is stopping them from unnecessarily increasing your Cost-Per-Click? Nothing.
This isn’t to say Google doesn’t have incredibly useful automation tools, such as eCPC– a tool that helps increase/decrease bids based on your advertising goal. However, a skilled advertiser knows the nuances to an individual business. Maybe you don’t want to be in position 1 for that keyword, and don’t mind settling for position 2 and saving a few bucks—while still maintaining a strong Click Through Rate. Google’s algorithm is good—but it’s not a human.
2. Daily Management
Although Google optimizes regularly, they’re primarily focusing on bid adjustments. If you’re thinking, “other than set-up and bid optimizations what else really needs to be done?”, please hold while we roll over in our hypothetical graves.
Let’s use an example from one of our clients – a self-service laundry company. We monitor all search queries that trigger their ads on a regular basis. Looking into a recent search query report, we found a significant amount of budget going towards “dry cleaning” queries. This client does not provide that service, so we added these terms as a negative keywords. We estimate that we saved ~$10/month in media spend. That’s ~$120/year that can be reallocated towards showing for terms more likely to convert prospects, and that kind of money can make a difference for a small business. Take that Google.
3. Flexibility and Customization
In a sense, the appeal is a “set it and forget it” strategy - which is no doubt attractive to many business owners and marketers. However, if you’re investing in digital advertising, it’s important to update what’s important to your business in real-time. For instance, if your company has multiple promotions that change frequently, you may run into quite a few road blocks with this approach. Calling out promotions in ad copy can substantially increase conversion rate, and is worth the time it takes to update creative.