With keywords covered, let’s now look at ads, and the role they play in paid search. For a brief refresher, ads appear on a search results page (SERP) when a keyword in the same ad group wins an auction. If there’s only on ad in the ad group, that ad will be chosen 100% of the time. If there are multiple ads in the relevant ad group, only one will be chosen to display on the SERP (we’ll cover how that ad is chosen later on).
An ad is made up of lots of different parts. …
If you browse any sort of online forum about digital advertising, there’s one piece of advice that routinely gets offered to new Facebook advertisers. It goes something like:
When you’re starting out, your pixel doesn’t have any historical conversion data. As such, it doesn’t make sense to run a conversion campaign; you should just run traffic campaigns.
This advice is often followed by some variant of the dreaded phrase: running traffic campaigns will help warm your pixel up.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some small elements of truth in this advice. It is true that, as a new advertiser, you’re at a disadvantage from the fact that you don’t have any historical conversion data. …
If you’ve been following along, you should by now know that there are these rather important things in paid search called keywords. They exist in ad groups (which in turn exist in campaigns), and they define what search terms you bid in.
Let’s stop here for a second and make sure we’re clear on the distinction between a keyword and a search term. A keyword is an entity that exists inside your account. A search term is something that a user types into a search engine. …
Uber’s ad troubles aren’t recent news. As early as the start of 2020, there were stories coming out about how they’d realised they’d wasted huge multi-million dollar budgets on fraudulent ads.
For some reason, these stories only received limited attention at the time, and mostly just from within the marketing community. At the start of 2021 however they re-emerged, and with that brought a whole new wave of people asking: how did Uber waste that much ad spend?
Uber wasted a significant proportion of their budgets that were spent on 3rd party advertising networks, sometimes referred to as programmatic advertising.
A 3rd party network allows advertisers to buy ad inventory on all sorts of websites and apps, that aren’t affiliated with the network itself. An example of such a network that many are familiar with is Google AdSense. …
Just like auctions, account structure is often seen as one of the less sexy topics within paid search. This is a huge shame though, as how you structure your account is arguably one of the most fundamental and impactful decisions you can make while running paid search. But first:
A paid search account has various different levels of hierarchy:
Auctions may seem an unusual place to start a guide on paid search, but understanding how they work is critical to understanding just about every aspect of the topic. They’re the fundamental mechanism which paid search operates by, and so much best practice is a direct consequence of auction mechanics.
Let’s say you search “laptop” on Google. In the milliseconds between you making your search, and seeing the results page, an auction is held.
The auction is held between all the advertisers in the world that are bidding on laptop-related keywords, and they’re competing over the right to show you their ad. …
This article from The Intercept has been doing the rounds recently. It follows a case lodged by Investor Village, a small financial news message board, against Facebook. The case alleges that Facebook is knowingly mis-selling advertisers on its ad targeting capabilities.
The original complaint, which you can find here, cites internal Facebook emails in which employees describe Facebook’s ad targeting as “crap” and “abysmal”.
The most damning line, taken from an internal Facebook email, is:
“interest precision in the US is only 41%-that means more than half the time we’re showing ads to someone other than the advertisers’ intended audience. And it is even worse internationally. …
The year is divisible by four. The — mber months are here. It can only mean one thing — a US election is on the horizon.
The quadrennial battle pits two of America’s largest digital marketing teams against one another. To the losers, a hefty Facebook invoice to wipe away the tears of defeat with. To the winners, a chance for that guy who appeared in all their ads to run the country for four years.
If the past decade is anything to go by, the digital war that’s waged over the election is going to be fiercer than ever in the run-up to November. …
The digital advertising market is now worth some $110 billion per year. Despite the market’s ever-growing size, 60% of all digital spend still goes to just two players, Facebook and Google.
Both of these players dominate their respective spaces. Facebook controls 83% of social media ad spend, whereas Google accounts for over 80% of search spend, and 96% of streaming video spend.
In marketing, what is a CPA?
This sounds like one of the most introductory questions to marketing that you could ask, but I think very few people fully grasp what a CPA represents. As easy as the answer to this question might seem, understanding the answer at a fundamental level can teach us a lot about how to run efficient marketing.
CPA typically stands for cost per action. You might see it used as an abbreviation for something else, like cost per acquisition, but for the purpose of this article we’re going to treat all these variants as interchangeable.
A CPA is a measure of how much it costs you to drive a particular action. This action could be a purchase on an ecommerce site, a registration to your newsletter, or whatever action you care about in your marketing. …