Google Ads: Why are we losing keywords and control of our campaigns?
Ashley Jones, (formerly Ashley Schweigert) visits the Endless Coffee Cup studios. We revisit Ashley’s last visit and the discussion about the changes with Google Ads and challenges for new advertisers. Then, we examine the recent changes and moves within Google Search Ads. From changing keyword targeting to automatic Smart Ads to dealing with recommended “upgrades” to the account.
We look at what real account improvements involve and compare these to Google’s recommendations. There is some Google bashing, but it is also countered by the honest appraisal that Paid Search Ads is still one of the most effective methods of reaching a targeting audience!
Beyond this, we debate the end game of Google’s push for full automation and control of our accounts. When will too much be too much?
Working with Google’s Broad Match Modifier & Phrase Match Changes – Adalysis
Google Ads Is Not For Small Business Anymore. Here’s Why.
PPC Survey: Adoption of Google Ads automation high, marketers unhappy with recommendations
[00:00:00] Ashley Jones: And that’s what gets me, too, like the, this, the Display Network. So, there’s the Google Search and then there’s the Google Display.
[00:00:13] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:00:13] Ashley Jones: Search is what we were talking about whenever you do a search in Google and you see the results, that is for the Search Network. It looks like organic.
[00:00:21] Matt Bailey: The Search Network. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:00:23] Ashley Jones: And then you have Display, and those ads show up on other websites.
[00:00:26] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:00:27] Ashley Jones: And there is a time and place for both of those.
[00:00:31] Bumper Intro-Outro: Welcome to Endless Coffee Cup, a regular discussion of marketing news, culture, and media for our complex digital lifestyle. Join Matt Bailey as he engages in conversation to find insights beyond the latest headlines and deeper understanding for those involved in marketing. Grab a cup of coffee, have a seat, and thanks for joining.
[00:00:54] Matt Bailey: Well, hello listener, and welcome to another edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast. And I have got a guest with us who, it’s been a while since you’ve been here, Ashley. How are you?
[00:01:04] Ashley Jones: I’m good. Thank you for having me. I’m very excited.
[00:01:07] Matt Bailey: I know. You, well, your life in, you know, well, everyone’s life through COVID got turned upside down, but you decided to make something of that time. Right?
[00:01:16] Ashley Jones: I did. I had a baby. Um…
[00:01:18] Matt Bailey: Well, I think you…
[00:01:18] Ashley Jones: …bought a house.
[00:01:19] Matt Bailey: …you’ve also gotten married…
[00:01:20] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:01:20] Matt Bailey: …and had a baby since…
[00:01:21] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:01:21] Matt Bailey: …since you were here, so…
[00:01:22] Ashley Jones: Yeah, let’s not forget about that important part.
[00:01:24] Matt Bailey: I know, I think, sometimes, yeah, I noticed that. I’m like, “Let’s include the hubby here.”
[00:01:28] Ashley Jones: I know. Poor guy.
[00:01:31] Matt Bailey: So, yeah, you, you have just been on a tear here the past few years and so glad to have you back.
[00:01:37] Ashley Jones: Yes. Thank you. I really missed doing these and I’m excited to talk about what we’re going to be going over today.
[00:01:44] Matt Bailey: So, yes, if, if you are a regular listener of the show, dear listener, you know that Ashley, you, you know, is heavy into the Google Ads and, you know, the Google AdWords and, and how all of those things work. And so, yes, the past, I would say the past few weeks we’ve been trading articles and ideas…
[00:02:01] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:02:01] Matt Bailey: …and talking about some of the things that has been going on. And I, it, it really is a continuation of what we talked about last time is this move towards automating everything.
[00:02:13] Ashley Jones: Yeah. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of great things about that because there are some things that you can set up in your account, leave it go, not worry about it as much. I mean, of course you need to be checking in on that on a weekly basis if you do have automation in place, but because of some of the recent changes within Google, that automation isn’t so good. And I know that, I don’t want to jump ahead, Matt, and I know you have some things that you want to discuss along those lines.
[00:02:40] Matt Bailey: Oh, I’m, I’m, I’m waiting on, you’re the one bringing the knowledge ’cause I, it, it, really the past, I would say past year, I’ve really backed off Google Ads.
[00:02:49] Ashley Jones: It’s, it’s become a little bit of a nightmare for me. I have a lot of AdWords accounts and they’re all over the spectrum. I have corporate accounts where you’re just dealing with a couple different departments within that corporation, or you have a corporate account that’s obviously for the entire corporation, a much larger budget, and then you have a nonprofit who has the grant, which, let me tell you, some of these new rules that are in place when you have a grant, it’s just, it’s a little bit of a nightmare.
So, how that grant works is you get, if you’re a nonprofit, you can get $10,000 a month from Google for that nonprofit and, and that sounds awesome, right? But you want to make sure you’re spending the money, and some of this automation that’s in place, it doesn’t really help you to get the clicks that you need to spend the money, because it’s much more than just getting the clicks.
You do also want to get conversions. You want to get the right kind of clicks, even though you are getting that much money, but you do have a little bit more wiggle room to play with the grant, but keep in mind that if you, if you are a listener that is a nonprofit and looking into the Google grant, that may not be the best and only solution for you because those ads are going to be a lower priority for Google to serve…
[00:04:10] Matt Bailey: Oh.
[00:04:10] Ashley Jones: …to an audience versus a paid account.
[00:04:12] Matt Bailey: So, it’s really my, kind of like the old, you know, like the television ads, they would backfill with the public service announcements.
[00:04:21] Ashley Jones: Yeah. It’s, I, I don’t want to say it’s similar, but yeah, I, I think that that analogy is a good one.
[00:04:26] Matt Bailey: Yeah. And I would always tell people if, if you’re not being tracked online and you start seeing, like, public service stuff, you start seeing nonprofit ads for organizations, that’s when you know you’re not being tracked because you’re getting…
[00:04:41] Ashley Jones: Absolutely.
[00:04:41] Matt Bailey: …they don’t know who you are and you’re getting inventory that just needs to be put out there.
[00:04:46] Ashley Jones: It needs to be put out there. Abs-, yes. Yes. I’ve just seen such a change with the grant alone. I know if I get a grant account, like even some of the legacy accounts, I know you and I were talking about that outside of this podcast, but we can really see what the automation, if you’re a new account versus an older account, what your strategy looks like, what kind of automation you’re doing, what type of keyword matching you’re doing. It’s going to be very different for our new versus an older account.
But with the grant, even if you’re a legacy account, you do have to play with that automation. The phrase matching might not be the best for you. And I know that we’re talking to people that may not know what I’m talking about when I say phrase matching, so Matt, maybe we should go over some of the keyword matches.
[00:05:30] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and before we do that…
[00:05:32] Ashley Jones: Okay.
[00:05:32] Matt Bailey: …and, and yeah, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll look at some of the phrase match, ’cause those have been changing and modifying and it’s like…
[00:05:38] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:05:38] Matt Bailey: …a flexible definition.
[00:05:40] Ashley Jones: I know, my favorite way to match a keyword is no longer available.
[00:05:44] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:05:44] Ashley Jones: So, that happened what, like a couple years ago?
[00:05:46] Matt Bailey: I think that’s what…
[00:05:47] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:05:47] Matt Bailey: …turned me off, like…
[00:05:48] Ashley Jones: I know, it does tick you off, doesn’t it?
[00:05:50] Matt Bailey: …I’m like, “Oh, that’s gone. I’m done.” But on the Google Grants, now naturally this, these are probably going to be very long tail terms, which, through the Google Ad system is becoming more and more difficult to match those long tails because it seems like Google doesn’t have as much patience with long tail infrequently searched terms, and it seems like those organizations using Google Grants, that’s where they need to be. So, it’s almost contradictory.
[00:06:20] Ashley Jones: Yeah. Well, if you have a smaller budget, right, and you’re a nonprofit, but with the grant you get $10,000 a month, so you don’t have to use the long tail terms as much. Now, I will say using the long tail terms for a company that doesn’t have a big budget and you know that that particular question, so, like a long tail term is, right, basically several, it’s like a question…
[00:06:42] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:06:42] Ashley Jones: …or, it’s more than just saying “Baseball Bats.” It’s like, you know, “Quality Wooden Baseball Bats” would be a good long tail term.
[00:06:49] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:06:50] Ashley Jones: And the difference between having “Baseball Bats” versus “Quality Wooden Baseball Bats” is that it’s more specific. So, if you use a more specific term that you’re bidding on within AdWords, you’re going to save your dollars because you’re spending those dollars per click. So, you don’t want to pay for a click that isn’t going to get you a conversion. So, you want someone to buy. And that’s typically what AdWords is for. I see a lot of e-commerce sites, a lot of people that are further down the funnel is what AdWords is for.
But I do know that there are probably some listeners that use AdWords for other types of things. Like, if you’re in the Display Network, you probably use it for content downloads, or even if you want to experiment with an audience, especially today with what’s going on, you know, with user behavior, if you just want to experiment and see what’s, what’s going to drive an action, AdWords is a good way to get that short term outcome and then modify your organic efforts by what you’re seeing within AdWords.
[00:07:53] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:07:53] Ashley Jones: So, there are several things that you could do there, but with the grant, if you have this very large budget, typically, like say if you want to do an automated bidding strategy, like the optimized clicks, which, that automation is, I mean, that artificial intelligence is going to take those terms and do everything it can to get you the most clicks. And then you have optimized conversions. So, it’s going to do everything it can to get you those conversions. Now, keep in mind that machine learning or artificial intelligence, it needs a broader data set in order to make those decisions to get those clicks and to get those conversions.
[00:08:36] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:08:37] Ashley Jones: So, if you are a newer grant account, where is that historical data? It’s not present. So, it is going to be harder for you to build that so that machine will understand how to serve your ads. So, that’s why you see a lot of people doing broad keyword matches, which me, as an advertiser, I hate that because I do have, I do have clients that don’t want to spend a lot of money.
[00:09:01] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:09:02] Ashley Jones: Now, the grant, you have a lot of money, so why not, right? But there, there are some, there are some problems with that. You want to keep your quality score up.
[00:09:12] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.
[00:09:13] Ashley Jones: You need to have a certain click-through rate, and the click-through rate to keep that grant is a lot higher than a click-through rate for a typical account.
[00:09:21] Matt Bailey: Oh wow.
[00:09:22] Ashley Jones: Oh yeah. It’s 5%.
[00:09:23] Matt Bailey: Wow.
[00:09:24] Ashley Jones: 5%, yep.
[00:09:25] Matt Bailey: So, that’s what I mean. It’s, it’s almost contradictory that yes, you’ve got this money. If you’re going more broad, you know, long tail terms, it’s less frequent, lower cost. Going short tail, it’s more expensive, but that could drive down that click-through rate because it’s not specific.
[00:09:44] Ashley Jones: It’s not quality.
[00:09:44] Matt Bailey: It’s not, it, it doesn’t have the features. You’re, you’re going more broadly and so, you’re not writing an ad that’s going to reach a specific query.
[00:10:00] Ashley Jones: Right. Now, there is something you can do, but keep in mind how we were talking about if you’re a newer account, Google does not understand if you don’t have that historical data, doesn’t understand where to serve your ads. What you can do is observation targeting. So, you can go into audiences within ads and say, “Okay, Google, I only want these ads to be served to this type of audience,” and it can be by demographics, all those different things. So, that is a good option, but that is also going to narrow down who it’s going to be served.
[00:10:25] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.
[00:10:26] Ashley Jones: And you may not want to do that at the beginning. So, observation targeting is a good way for you to observe and see if you did do something, what it could possibly do…
[00:10:35] Matt Bailey: Oh, yeah.
[00:10:35] Ashley Jones: …before making that step. So, that’s something that I do a lot, not just with Google Grant accounts, but with really a lot of my clients. You know, I do get a lot of clients that only want to spend a certain amount and they want to make sure that they’re getting the most bank for your buck, if you will.
[00:10:50] Matt Bailey: Oh, of course. Yes.
[00:10:50] Ashley Jones: And so, what I do is I will do that observation targeting to see if that works, especially if they’re a newer account and I know I want to use automated bidding and broad match is going to help, unfortunately, with getting that machine to understand. It’s not my favorite. I prefer, uh, phrase match, which, that term…
[00:11:12] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:11:12] Ashley Jones: …is going to basically tell Google that this, like say, “Quality Wooden Baseball Bats,” any way that that’s used within a sentence in a Google search, my ad is going to pop up. Versus exact match, like somebody would have to use that exact term the exact way for my ad to show up. So, there’s a time and place for both of those search, those keyword matches.
But broad, the problem with that is that, say if I did “Baseball Bats,” like any way “baseball bats” is used in search my ad is going to pop up and, I mean, think about how many useless clicks I’m going to have.
[00:11:47] Matt Bailey: Oh. Oh.
[00:11:48] Ashley Jones: Especially if your ads, if you have an agency that is working on your ads and they are not as descriptive to that landing page that you are sending people to, you are really going to have a problem getting, getting a lot of useless clicks. So, you can have a good click-through rate, but a poor conversion rate.
[00:12:06] Matt Bailey: Right. Yeah, I, and, and this is where I’ve just seen the, I understand Google wants, I, I think it’s something like 10,000 impressions in order to start understanding how they can better target your keywords to the audience.
[00:12:22] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:12:22] Matt Bailey: The problem is to get to that level, not a lot, you know, especially if you’re dealing with small to medium sized businesses, it’s not going to be there.
[00:12:30] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:12:31] Matt Bailey: Like you said, “I’ve got a limited budget, here’s how I want to spend it.” And five years ago, eight years ago, it was very easy to manage a budget of that size…
[00:12:41] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:12:41] Matt Bailey: …and get quick results, and it required a bit more time on your part, the agency part too, make sure, “Okay. We’ve got that,” but once it was in place, it was almost like a money, cash machine. You know, it just…
[00:12:56] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:12:57] Matt Bailey: …I know people will search for it, I, here’s my click-through rate and, and I could bet on it because it became very predictable. But now with this, this focus on AI and automation, I, I think I shared this before. I was setting up, you know, an account for coffee and I’m saying this specific coffee, because it was a very unique, you know, regional based coffee. And I started seeing some of the keywords that it was being matched to, and one of the keywords cost me $8.
[00:13:25] Ashley Jones: Ugh.
[00:13:25] Matt Bailey: And, and I’m, but that was not in my strategy. That was not in what I defined for a phrase match. It was completely outside of what I had defined, and Google just decided to do that and there with them…
[00:13:38] Ashley Jones: Because it was a recommendation…
[00:13:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:13:39] Ashley Jones: …in the top, yeah. So, this is the biggest problem for people who are listening and that understand AdWords. When you go into the account, Google will have recommendations in your notifications, and do not listen to every single recommendation.
[00:13:53] Matt Bailey: Oh no. No.
[00:13:54] Ashley Jones: In fact, what I can’t stand is people who don’t understand AdWords and they’re, they want to check to see if their agency is doing what they need to do and that is great. I have no problem with that.
[00:14:03] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:14:04] Ashley Jones: But if you go in there and you see that your optimization score is lower, that does not mean that it’s because your account sucks. That actually means that you just didn’t listen to their, their recommendations.
[00:14:15] Matt Bailey: And Google’s rec, so here, here’s how I’ve described Google’s recommendations, and not only that, but their emails, their guidance for running an account seems to me like, say, Google AdWords and what they want you to do is like a toxic Twitter date or, or a, a toxic, not Twitter.
[00:14:35] Ashley Jones: I know, I’m trying to think of the word.
[00:14:36] Matt Bailey: What’s the matching program? Yeah, it’s the dating, they’re like a toxic date.
[00:14:39] Ashley Jones: Oh, oh yeah. Like match.com…
[00:14:41] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:14:41] Ashley Jones: …or like, yeah.
[00:14:42] Matt Bailey: They, they, the pressure…
[00:14:43] Ashley Jones: Or Tinder.
[00:14:44] Matt Bailey: Yeah. It’s a toxic Tinder date…
[00:14:45] Ashley Jones: Yeah. I think that’s right.
[00:14:46] Matt Bailey: …because it is constant pressure.
[00:14:48] Ashley Jones: I, I’m out of the scene anymore, Matt.
[00:14:50] Matt Bailey: Oh, I know.
[00:14:50] Ashley Jones: So, I, I don’t know it as well as I used to.
[00:14:52] Matt Bailey: I’m not, but that was my metaphor.
[00:14:53] Ashley Jones: That’s how I met my husband, everybody.
[00:14:54] Matt Bailey: That’s my metaphor is, is that AdWords now is turned into this toxic Twitter date…
[00:15:00] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:15:00] Matt Bailey: …of, “You need to do this. You need to spend more money. You need to use this map,” and, and, and they give you a low and that is a completely made-up score based on their recommendations. It’s not based on your results. It’s not based on your profitability. It’s not based on anything other than them getting more money and you changing your account to accommodate what they want, even though it may be contradictory to your own goals.
[00:15:32] Ashley Jones: Exactly. That’s why I don’t listen to, anybody that has AdWords always gets a call from a Google rep.
[00:15:37] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:15:37] Ashley Jones: Like, and, you know, and it’s, I feel bad saying this because there have been times I have had a good call, but that’s maybe twice and I’ve been doing AdWords for a very long time. And so, usually they are just trying to get you to spend money.
[00:15:51] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:15:51] Ashley Jones: And it’s terrible.
[00:15:52] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:15:53] Ashley Jones: And I, I just, I really think you need to be wise about the recommendations that they’re showing and one of the biggest recommendations that I’m seeing, and actually, before I get into that, I don’t want to jump too far ahead. I did want to talk about if you are using an automated bidding strategy like clicks or conversions, you can put a cap on how much you’re willing to spend on a click. So, I usually put like what, $2?
[00:16:15] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:16:16] Ashley Jones: I’m willing to spend $2 or a $1.50 per click, depending on how big that budget is. Or, you know, usually before you start adding the keywords into your campaign, there is a forecast in the Google Keyword Planner…
[00:16:27] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:16:27] Ashley Jones: …that you could see how much…
[00:16:28] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:16:29] Ashley Jones: …you know, an estimate those clicks would cost that you can get an idea what your return would be spending like a $1.50 or $2 per click. And you can do the same thing for conversions. You could say, “Well, every conversion is worth basically this much that I, I’m willing to spend.” So, I, I would put those in place if you’re using automated bidding strategies so you just don’t go hog wild. Now, I will, now I will say there are some accounts that I experiment with, and I may not do that at first, just so I could see what the search term report will pull.
[00:16:59] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:16:59] Ashley Jones: Especially if it’s an account that say is more of a really, it’s very niche and there’s not a lot out there and I just want to see what will, what will happen…
[00:17:10] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:17:10] Ashley Jones: …I may do that. But, um, one of the, going into those recommendations again, one of the recommendations that I’ve seen that I’m really annoyed with are those dynamic search ads.
[00:17:19] Matt Bailey: Oh.
[00:17:19] Ashley Jones: And it happens…
[00:17:20] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:17:20] Ashley Jones: …all the time ’cause, you know, when I see those recommendations, I scroll through them, and I’ll hit ignore. Ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore. Or it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t apply. And I’ll still get the same recommendation the next month. And I’m thinking, “Doesn’t your robot know I just answered this? Why am I getting it again?” So, it’s, it’s really annoying.
But dynamic search ads, if your website is not optimized, like meaning that there’s not metadata descriptions, they’re not, there aren’t any title tags, there isn’t good copy on your product pages, you definitely should not be doing dynamic search ads because that is, that SEO piece of title tags and metadata descriptions, that is what is going to be in your ad. So, if you don’t have that in place, they’re just going to pull what’s on your page.
[00:18:07] Matt Bailey: I feel like you’ve seen some stuff.
[00:18:09] Ashley Jones: Oh, I have. So, you see, you see how I’m getting red? I was like…
[00:18:13] Matt Bailey: Yeah, you’re, you’re all of a sudden, you’re like just getting so serious and angry.
[00:18:16] Ashley Jones: Oh, it just makes me so mad. Well, because, well, you know, I, I dealt with this quite a bit, and this is like very early in my, in my career. I had a car dealer, actually, and they had all these hubcaps, all these different models, and it was kind of a nightmare getting everything in place for AdWords, as you can imagine, there were so many…
[00:18:38] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:18:38] Ashley Jones: …products. So, I thought, “Oh, you know what? I’m going to do dynamic.” Well, it was a new website. So, and even though I did have dynamic title tags and metadata descriptions in place, it was still a hot mess.
[00:18:53] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:18:53] Ashley Jones: You want to be able to control what, and that’s the thing that I think as a control freak in general, why I’m having such an issue with some of the changes in Google, uh, I miss, I mean, you can still do this, but I loved the days whenever you had, you can manually go in and change…
[00:19:09] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:19:09] Ashley Jones: …your cost per click for each keyword.
[00:19:10] Matt Bailey: Well, I think, but that’s a thing is that Google Ads always, if you had that type of personality, Google Ads was perfect.
[00:19:19] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:19:19] Matt Bailey: Because you could micromanage. You could…
[00:19:21] Ashley Jones: Exactly.
[00:19:22] Matt Bailey: You knew all the buttons and levers to get the output that you wanted and now it’s, it’s being taken away. And so, all these people that have that personality type, just like you, you know, we had Brad Geddes on and he was saying the same exact thing is there’s different levels at which you manage different accounts. They’re not all unique, but what’s happening is Google is forcing everyone into this one size fits all…
[00:19:47] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:19:48] Matt Bailey: …automation and I, I did not send this article to you, but it was very interesting on Search Engine Land just couple days ago, they, they polled search marketers. Automation is the least favorite part of paid search.
[00:20:00] Ashley Jones: Yeah. It really upsets me. I’m, there’s some great things about automation so that’s why I don’t want to, like, for us it’s the grant, right? So, I, one of the best rules that I like with automation with the grant is to pause keywords that have a low-quality score…
[00:20:15] Matt Bailey: Ah, yeah.
[00:20:15] Ashley Jones: …because, yeah. Because I know that’s going to impact my click-through rate. And also, that’s actually a part of one of the qualifications with keeping that grant is that you can’t have low quality keywords within your campaign.
[00:20:28] Matt Bailey: Wow.
[00:20:28] Ashley Jones: So, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s really tricky. That’s why, if you are thinking about a Google Grant, you really need to have an expert manage that and I’m not trying to plug myself. I was just saying it…
[00:20:37] Matt Bailey: The level of management is, I mean, just…
[00:20:39] Ashley Jones: It’s insane, yeah.
[00:20:40] Matt Bailey: …the, the things you’ve said so far is like, that requires so much more attention than a regular account.
[00:20:44] Ashley Jones: Yeah. You have to really understand AdWords and there’s just a lot of times that I’ve been handed accounts from, you know, other agencies that a client’s like, “I’m not really sure what’s going on here,” and, and it wasn’t like the agency was terribly off. It’s just, you could tell that the level of knowledge was kind of limited. And that’s why, whenever you do have a grant, you do want to make sure that that is carefully managed or you’re going to lose it. You can get your grant back, but if you lose it after so many times, you do not.
[00:21:12] Matt Bailey: Wow.
[00:21:13] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:21:13] Matt Bailey: Wow. That is amazing. Yeah, it, it’s funny the, the quotes that people were have here is, “I don’t like giving all my control to Google with smart bidding, dynamic ads, and a lack of reporting while also seeing the prices increase year after year.”
[00:21:28] Ashley Jones: I know.
[00:21:28] Matt Bailey: I mean, some of these things are, Google is forcing automation and we don’t want it. The consistent pressure to relinquish control of performance to the platform by adding automation and broadening our targeting. I mean, the, the, paid search professionals all over the world are, are, are responded to this that we’re losing control, we’re losing reporting ability, and the pressure to give up more is happening daily and it’s like, and, and one of the thing I, it jumped out to me is the lack of transparency.
[00:22:02] Ashley Jones: Yeah. I really, I’m glad you brought that up ’cause I was just thinking that because the reason why you can’t do the reporting like you could, and this is, this isn’t just with AdWords. This is also with Facebook and a lot of other platforms because of the privacy laws, right? And I understand that, but, okay, Google, what do you know about me? Like, just go into your settings or your search engine, the stuff that they know about you, they even knew my income.
[00:22:25] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Yeah.
[00:22:26] Ashley Jones: I mean, for crying out loud, why can they get away with it and we can’t? I’m not saying I need to know somebody’s checking account number…
[00:22:34] Matt Bailey: No.
[00:22:34] Ashley Jones: …but I’m saying I would like to be able to do good reporting so I can make smart business decisions on what I’m going to do the next month for that AdWords campaign.
[00:22:44] Matt Bailey: Right. Right.
[00:22:45] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:22:45] Matt Bailey: Yeah. And, and that’s what, what bugs me as well is, is I want to know, your process to choose keywords for this client might not fit. They might be good for the, you know, 40,000, 50,000 a month spender, but not the 5 or less. You can’t, they’re doing something different.
[00:23:05] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:23:05] Matt Bailey: They’re not doing something as niche. And so, to apply that to here, it, it, there, it seems to be a, a significant lack of scale for the small business, small to medium size, that there is for the large advertiser. This, this system fits those that are spending 40,000, 100,000 a month or more because the AI can take over. But also, I think there’s less accountability when you’re spending that kind of money…
[00:23:33] Ashley Jones: Yeah, there is.
[00:23:34] Matt Bailey: …on these accounts.
[00:23:34] Ashley Jones: Yeah. You don’t have to know as much, I think.
[00:23:36] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:23:37] Ashley Jones: But, you know, I mean, if I had a larger account, I mean, and I, I wanted to do an automated bidding strategy, I would go ahead and implement that. And I would definitely do the observation targeting with audiences and see what’s going on there. Heck, why not do the broad matches? I’ll pull up a search term report and see what’s going on, pay close attention to negative keywords, because whenever you’re doing a broad match, you do want to make sure that you have negative keywords in place, which to me is always like, I mean, come on. If I just could do the right phrase, phrase matches at the beginning…
[00:24:09] Matt Bailey: Oh…
[00:24:09] Ashley Jones: …I wouldn’t have to do this, but this is a way you could kind of combat those issues. Because if you don’t do the broad, you are going to have limited impressions and that, you do want to have so many impressions to get a click.
[00:24:21] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:24:21] Ashley Jones: And you want so many clicks to a certain amount of impressions to have a good click-through rate. And a certain click-through rate will bring in a certain amount of conversions, as well. So, it all does work together. So, that is one way you can combat that issue, but if you’re a smaller account doing the broad match, I mean, I feel bad, um, but unfortunately you, if you’re a new account, you do kind of have to do that and you just really have to watch.
But I do try with phrase, an exact first to see what happens, but this is something else that I’ve noticed. Because Google is using a lot of AI within their algorithm, it’s taking it a while to really learn. AdWords used to be a very short-term solution, but a lot of strategies that I have implemented for different clients have been taking a while for me to see if they work.
[00:25:13] Matt Bailey: Oh, wow.
[00:25:14] Ashley Jones: It doesn’t take weeks. It’s now taking months.
[00:25:17] Matt Bailey: See, and that’s where it really makes me wonder how this, how good is this AI…
[00:25:22] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:25:22] Matt Bailey: …when, as a human, we could spot trends so quickly?
[00:25:27] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:25:27] Matt Bailey: So quickly. We know the intent. We don’t need a machine to figure this out for us. And, and I, I have heard a lot of pushback about some of these, especially Google MUM at, you know, to understand language and the nuances of language and yet here’s the results we’re seeing.
[00:25:42] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:25:42] Matt Bailey: We’re not seeing, I’m not seeing anything really that impressive, and especially when it comes to these accounts. And you have to wonder, is this being purposefully drug out to get more of my budget? Because, you, you know, anyone who’s been in this business knows that it would take me weeks to a month to figure out, okay, how to nail this down, figure, especially if you’ve got enough views and throughput going through, you could figure out the patterns so quickly. Get my matchings tried up and within three months we’ve got a, not a set it and forget it, but we’ve got a pretty good system because we’ve looked at the feedback.
[00:26:22] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:26:22] Matt Bailey: And, and that’s all being taken away. That, that, yeah, that…
[00:26:26] Ashley Jones: Yeah, it’s really upsetting. I can’t…
[00:26:28] Matt Bailey: …just blows my mind. It’s, yeah.
[00:26:29] Ashley Jones: I’m a very strategic person in general, and I love coming up with strategies and thinking of ways to improve a strategy and, you know, looking at data and all that fun stuff, right? I can’t do that as much as I used to and it’s really upsetting me when it comes to AdWords.
[00:26:46] Matt Bailey: Well, and, and also from the user perspective. So, I, I was just doing some searches the other day for developing some training. I think there were five ads at the beginning of the search results.
[00:26:58] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:26:59] Matt Bailey: And…
[00:26:59] Ashley Jones: Oh my gosh, yes. I was just talking, yeah, I’m sorry. I like, literally just had this conversation with a client that was trying to decide, their industry is a little different than, I mean, what I’m going to say is, I know listeners are going to think, “Well, duh, you want to get into digital.” Well, that’s not always the case depending on the industry and what it is that you’re serving.
[00:27:18] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:27:18] Ashley Jones: But this client wanted to measure everything, right? And he’s like, “You know, I think, you know, I’m going to, I think I’m going to look at AdWords,” right? And we were pulling it up and he was like, “Oh my gosh, how many ads…”
[00:27:29] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:27:30] Ashley Jones: “…are in…”
[00:27:31] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:27:32] Ashley Jones: “…the first page of Google?” And I said, “This is why it might be a good avenue for you,” because, you know, they have a newer site. It’s going to take a while for you to see results.
[00:27:42] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:27:43] Ashley Jones: …with some of that. So…
[00:27:44] Matt Bailey: I was amazed. I, and may, I think because I usually use a, a browser that blocks as much as possible.
[00:27:51] Ashley Jones: Oh, I know you do.
[00:27:52] Matt Bailey: And, and…
[00:27:53] Ashley Jones: I know you do, we’ve had this discussion.
[00:27:54] Matt Bailey: So, yeah…
[00:27:54] Ashley Jones: I still have Google Chrome.
[00:27:55] Matt Bailey: I was, I was looking…
[00:27:56] Ashley Jones: Curses.
[00:27:57] Matt Bailey: …for screenshots and so, I use my non-blocking browser and I was absolutely amazed at how many ads were showing up.
[00:28:05] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:28:06] Matt Bailey: And I’m like, “What happened to just three ads? What?” I think it was five to six, maybe more. And then I’m, I immediately had to get my phone. I’m like, “How many ads are going to show up on the phone when I use this browser?” And I was absolutely amazed that you, especially on a phone, you have got to give your finger a workout to get to an organic result.
[00:28:28] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:28:28] Matt Bailey: Because it was not only ads, then it was products from the feed, then it was the, you know, the suggested questions, then I get to the organic and, and then, you know, continue from there. But it, it just, is there, I mean, I guess I felt like, what else do you need to know to see that with what’s going on in the AdWords management and with the amount of ads being pushed on the search results, I, I mean, they, they, I, I believe they crossed the, you know, the 250, 300 billion in, in revenue in last year. And I think 80% of that is just from this system.
[00:29:11] Ashley Jones: See, I’m wondering, there’s a lot of stuff that I do on organic, but I, I am wondering if this is impact, impacting organic traffic overall. ‘Cause if you think about it, if it’s taking…
[00:29:23] Matt Bailey: Oh…
[00:29:23] Ashley Jones: …you a while to get to what you want, I mean, normally people don’t like to go past that first page. Uh, I mean, they will, but they normally don’t like to do that. When they’re clicking on the ad, your organic traffic’s going to go down quite a bit. So, that’s why it’s almost making it unnecessary as a brand to have AdWords.
[00:29:41] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:29:42] Ashley Jones: Or just, and that’s why I was talking at the beginning of this podcast about how, depending on how you’re using AdWords, it’s not always for e-commerce.
[00:29:49] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:29:49] Ashley Jones: You might need to do it just to, you know, make sure your company is showing up, right? Or to make sure, like, certain places on your website, like resource centers are showing up that maybe you have data sheets and things like that. Yeah.
[00:30:00] Matt Bailey: Absolutely. Well, I mean, and, and it’s used in a lot of different communications. It’s not just e-commerce, it’s not just the lead generation that I, I went to a conference of government communicators. I thought that was…
[00:30:13] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:30:14] Matt Bailey: …it was interesting. I was so fascinated and, and learned a whole lot be, because it’s, it’s marketing.
[00:30:20] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:30:21] Matt Bailey: But it’s done with public communication. We have to get the word out. And especially when you think about how COVID played into all of this, how do we get information out quickly that’s trusted, that gives people the information they need, but then also just public service information that, are you going to make people scroll, you know, all the way down to get the information, or are you going to use AdWords to keep that up in the visibility?
So, there’s a, another, there’s a number of reasons you would use that, but you look at how the system has changed dramatically in the past few years. And it really is, it, it just, it, I hate to say it. You know, you know me and Google, you know, back a few years now.
[00:31:03] Ashley Jones: Oh yeah.
[00:31:03] Matt Bailey: It’s a money grab. It, it, it is a money grab, and I am, my judgment is I’m just not so impressed with what I’m seeing.
[00:31:11] Ashley Jones: Yeah, it’s gotten really bad. I mean, it just sensed the pandemic, actually. Which I find to be a shame because to me, it’s like as, I, I remember when COVID first hit and I will always value the clients that really stood with me and I stood with them to get through that, those first six months, right? And, you know, while there were companies struggling, we were helping each other to get through and I, I will always remember that. And I just feel that, okay, Google, you’re doing all of this during a time when there’s inflation, there’s all of this stuff going on. What, who are you as a brand?
[00:31:55] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:31:56] Ashley Jones: We should be helping each other out when it, as a business.
[00:31:58] Matt Bailey: So, their revenue, uh, and this is Alphabet, the Google company here, the revenue in 2019 was $161 billion. In 2020, it went up to $182 billion. So, it increased 12%. In 2021, they crossed the $250 billion, they were $257 billion, a 41% increase from 2020.
[00:32:28] Ashley Jones: Wow.
[00:32:30] Matt Bailey: That, and that’s when we start seeing more automation being pushed in AdWords, more ads being shown in the results, I, I think that’s, 41% increase?
[00:32:41] Ashley Jones: And what’s a shame is then you have like, some, you know, say mom and pop shop that just wants to make sure they’re being seen and, you know, with everything that’s going on, you know, they want to make sure they show up in search and, you know, they’re playing against the big boys and they’re just trying to survive and then…
[00:32:59] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:33:00] Ashley Jones: …you see this and I’m sorry, it kind of ticks me off.
[00:33:03] Matt Bailey: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It, it’s, I’m right now I’m looking up their share price.
[00:33:08] Ashley Jones: Oh, jeez.
[00:33:08] Matt Bailey: I want to see, I want to see how this, wow. Okay. So, their share price went down like March 20th, the beginning of the pandemic, to $1,072 and then, so in November, November-December of 2021, it was up around $2,800, $2,900.
[00:33:33] Ashley Jones: Gee.
[00:33:33] Matt Bailey: Yeah. It, it, it, it basically doubled from 2020 to 2021.
[00:33:42] Ashley Jones: See, you know…
[00:33:42] Matt Bailey: The share price doubled. Yeah, I know. I hate to be down on a company, but yet there is something to be said for people that are, you know, calling this out.
[00:33:54] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:33:54] Matt Bailey: And I think this need, you know, the share price, the revenue needs to be a part of the discussion because this is how they make their money.
[00:34:02] Ashley Jones: Yeah, it is.
[00:34:04] Sponsor: Hey everyone, this is Matt and thanks for listening. Just a quick break in the middle of the podcast here to let you know there’s a couple ways that you can connect with us. The first is learn.sitelogic.com. That’s the learning site where you can see courses on analytics, courses on digital marketing across paid search, SEO, multiple disciplines, and then also you can connect with us on Slack.
Go to Slack if you’re there and look for us at endlesscoffeecup.slack.com. Connect with us. I’d love to hear from you, hear what ails you in the realm of digital marketing. Are there courses you need, information that you’d like to hear, or maybe some past guest that you’d like to hear more from? Thanks again for being a listener of the Endless Coffee Cup, and I look forward to hearing from you.
[00:34:59] Ashley Jones: So, that’s why I, I’m so tired of getting these calls from these reps. I’ve gotten to the point I don’t, I don’t return their calls and, you know, they don’t follow directions anyways, because I can’t tell you, there’s been times I have gotten a call, I’m on my way to a meeting or I’m getting ready to, you know, get, jump on a call or something. And it’s, I’m just like, “Email me. It’s the best way to get something scheduled.” And I don’t get that. I’ll still get the calls. It’s almost, I mean, I, I would get them literally almost every week.
[00:35:32] Matt Bailey: So, ad reps is like number two or three on this “things I hate about paid search.”
[00:35:37] Ashley Jones: Yeah. I can’t stand it.
[00:35:38] Matt Bailey: Ad reps have to, are up there.
[00:35:40] Ashley Jones: I can’t stand it ’cause they don’t really know what they’re doing either.
[00:35:42] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:35:42] Ashley Jones: I mean, I’m sorry. There have been times that I’ve gotten a good one, but it’s very rare.
[00:35:47] Matt Bailey: Yeah. They have a script.
[00:35:49] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:35:49] Matt Bailey: It’s obvious when you talk to more than one, there is a script and it all comes about, it, it really, it starts with, “Have you increased your budget?”
[00:35:58] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:35:58] Matt Bailey: “Have you gone broad match?”
[00:35:59] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:36:00] Matt Bailey: It, it, it’s, “Have you allowed automated bidding? Have you done the dynamic ads?” It’s the script and they all go through the same thing.
[00:36:08] Ashley Jones: The same recommendations you’re getting when you sign in.
[00:36:11] Matt Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. And, and it starts with, I talked about this with someone, it starts with right away when you’re setting up the account and it ask if you want your ads to be on the Google Display Network or…
[00:36:22] Ashley Jones: Well…
[00:36:22] Matt Bailey: …I forget what the other option is, but it’s, it’s to show on search results that are on other websites that use the Google Search.
[00:36:32] Ashley Jones: Well, and that’s what gets me too, like the, this, the Display Network. So, there’s the Google Search and then there’s the Google Display.
[00:36:39] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:36:39] Ashley Jones: Search is what we were talking about whenever you do a search in Google and you see the results, that is for the Search Network. It looks like organic.
[00:36:48] Matt Bailey: The Search Network. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:36:49] Ashley Jones: And then you have Display, and those ads show up on other websites.
[00:36:53] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:36:53] Ashley Jones: And there is a time and place for both of those. Now, typically the Search Network is for users who are further down in the conversions funnel. They have their mind, depending on how you’re using AdWords, again, but they typically, their mind is in that place where they’re ready to buy. They’re ready to make some kind of a decision.
Display is for just getting in front of people. It’s really good for rebranding or like some kind of a PR piece, or like, say if you’re, I have a client who is very, very niche. So, people don’t typically search for his product, but they do need it. So, if they see it on sites that they’re on, so if this site is targeting that audience and if they see it enough, the chances of them converting is, is higher than Search. So, I know I’ve seen a lot of articles lately on how Display isn’t great, and that’s not always the case. It depends on how you’re using it. With any type of marketing channel…
[00:37:52] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:37:52] Ashley Jones: …it’s how you are using it.
[00:37:54] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:37:55] Ashley Jones: It’s not necessarily a bad channel. But I will say I’ve had a conversation with a sales rep pretty recently where I’m, I’m on the phone with them and yeah, they’re trying to get me to spend more money. They’re like, “Oh, well it’d be really good if you did YouTube ads.” Well, I’m like, “We don’t have a display campaign.” And I made it very clear to him, I’m like, “We’re not upping our budget.” I said, “That requires me to spend more money by opening up another campaign. What other recommendations do you have?” And guess what? He had none.
[00:38:27] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yep. Now I tell people when you’re setting up the account, and for some reason, well, obvious reasons…
[00:38:32] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:38:33] Matt Bailey: …those two options are pre-selected for you.
[00:38:35] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:38:35] Matt Bailey: That’s the default. I’m like, “Turn those off.”
[00:38:38] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:38:39] Matt Bailey: Because time and time again, I’ll look at an account, they’re on, and as soon as they’re turned off, guess what? The impressions go down. The clicks don’t go down, but the impressions go down which means your click-through rate goes up which means your quality score improves.
[00:38:55] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:38:55] Matt Bailey: Because what you were doing was showing ads on other sites, other search results, and it increased your impressions, but they weren’t being shown to the best audience. People, when they go to Google, expect to see Google results and, and they’re, it carries with it a certain level of credibility that if those ads show up on other sites, that credibility’s not there. And plus, you don’t know how those ads are going to be seen, how they’re going to be displayed, what else is going to be on the page.
[00:39:28] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:39:28] Matt Bailey: And so, it, it, it basically just creates a lot of noise impressions that, and, and like you said, there’s a time and a place.
[00:39:37] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:39:37] Matt Bailey: You got to know what and test, but yeah. The first thing I tell people is, “Uncheck those. Don’t need them.”
[00:39:44] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:39:44] Matt Bailey: “You want to be in the results.” That’s all you want to be when you’re starting up and looking to see, “How, well, how’s this going to work?”
[00:40:00] Ashley Jones: Yeah, exactly. Now, I will say if you’re trying to gauge, like how many impressions should I really be aiming to have, I would look at having 1 click per 100 impressions. That’s typically how I look at it. ‘Cause that, that should get you around a 2% click-through rate, which like across the board I say, no matter what industry, that’s typically average, it’s pretty good. So, that’s what you want to look for. But, you know, I will say there are clients that I do do this, the Display Network for, and that do get conversions and they’re doing quite well.
[00:40:23] Matt Bailey: That’s good.
[00:40:23] Ashley Jones: And they do have a higher impression amount, but they’re willing to do that because they’re, again, it’s a time and a place, the ROI on that product for just getting, like, one conversion is extremely high.
[00:40:37] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:40:38] Ashley Jones: So, that’s why they’re okay with that.
[00:40:40] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:40:41] Ashley Jones: But a company that say, doesn’t have, like, they’re spending like $50 a day or $30 a day, they don’t want to do that. They want to be really careful.
[00:40:51] Matt Bailey: And that’s part of it. I, I, I know of one company that it, it doesn’t, the ROI doesn’t, the ROI doesn’t work for them…
[00:40:59] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:41:00] Matt Bailey: …but the cost per conversion through AdWords is lower than any other channel.
[00:41:06] Ashley Jones: Yeah. So, it makes sense. Right.
[00:41:07] Matt Bailey: So, you know, it doesn’t, it doesn’t financially, you know, it’s still an ouch, it’s just not as big as an ouch.
[00:41:14] Ashley Jones: Right, right.
[00:41:14] Matt Bailey: So…
[00:41:15] Ashley Jones: I know.
[00:41:15] Matt Bailey: Yeah. So, let’s talk about these, these match types and, and like, where do you start? What, what, because the match types have changed, and I understand what you’re saying. Like, yeah, my favorite one’s gone. I, uh, it just….
[00:41:27] Ashley Jones: Yeah, broad, was it? Broad? No. Is it broad, broad match modifier. Oh my gosh I forgot the name of it.
[00:41:32] Matt Bailey: Yes. Broad match, modified broad match.
[00:41:33] Ashley Jones: Yes. And that you could do a broad, so like say the wooden baseball bat that I was talking about. So, you could do “Wooden,” you know, like the plus and then the “Baseball Bat.” So, anything that has “wooden” and a “baseball bat” would, you know, show up, right? But I guess, like, I think that their reasoning for that is that phrase match is very similar. But unfortunately, when they’ve removed that, and then they were using more of AI into their automated bidding strategies to truly measure if that was a loss, it’s kind of hard.
[00:42:04] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:42:04] Ashley Jones: There’s so many other variables going on within the account, you’re not totally sure what’s going on there.
[00:42:11] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:42:12] Ashley Jones: Is this like, whenever you’re doing A/B testing, you should only test one variable at a time, otherwise you’re not really sure what, you know, to change or what to, what is really making that impact. But yeah, going back, there’s broad phrase and exact match for those.
[00:42:29] Matt Bailey: And broad was always the one, we would always tell people, “Just stay away from broad. Don’t…”
[00:42:33] Ashley Jones: Always. Yes.
[00:42:33] Matt Bailey: But broad is the default…
[00:42:35] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:42:35] Matt Bailey: …when you’re setting up and when you’re adding keywords, and that’s what a lot of, you know, small business owners or people that are new to Google Ads don’t realize that as you’re adding keywords, the default is broad match.
[00:42:48] Ashley Jones: You know what I notice, and I’ve never had this happen to me before, because I have a lot of clients that already have an AdWords account established or, you know, I mean, I have my agency account so when I add them in it’s a lot different than if they were creating an account…
[00:43:03] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:43:03] Ashley Jones: …on their own.
[00:43:04] Matt Bailey: Yes.
[00:43:05] Ashley Jones: Well, I was shocked. So, this poor guy, he created his account and I go through and you’re right. Like, I, I started putting a phrase match in there and no joke, that system changed it back to broad.
[00:43:19] Matt Bailey: I’ve heard about that. I’ve heard that…
[00:43:21] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:43:21] Matt Bailey: …that, that changes are made.
[00:43:22] Ashley Jones: I, he told me that and I’m thinking, “No, he doesn’t know what he’s looking at,” right? I’m thinking, “Nah, there’s no way.” And I go in there and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, he is totally right. I cannot believe this.”
[00:43:32] Matt Bailey: I…
[00:43:32] Ashley Jones: “Like, what is going on here?”
[00:43:35] Matt Bailey: I saw that…
[00:43:35] Ashley Jones: So, and he has a big budget, too.
[00:43:36] Matt Bailey: …in an article as well, that sometimes that there are changes made to the account…
[00:43:40] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:43:40] Matt Bailey: …that they didn’t, that were automatically changed back to something and yeah, and again, there’s the transparency. What’s happening? Why, you know, aren’t I the one in charge of this? And, and that’s, you know, unfortunately it’s a system where Google has the ad inventory, they’re also the ad manager, the, there’s, wow, there’s no third party in any of this.
[00:44:05] Ashley Jones: No, it’s a mess. Like, whenever he first got started with AdWords, he went ahead and utilized one of the Google reps to have run his account, and there was definitely like a language barrier there. He couldn’t understand what to do and where, so he couldn’t ask a lot of questions to get very clear responses on why certain things are happening. So, that’s why he brought me in. He wanted to, you know, further understand and see like why he wasn’t getting the performance that he wanted.
And of course, I’m seeing a lot of broad and my first, you know, my eyebrow raised and I’m like, “Why would they do broad?” Right? But then I also very aware of what’s going on. So, I’m like, “Well, let’s just look.” And I noticed that there were so many negative terms so I’m like, “Well, why aren’t they doing audience targeting, like maybe narrowing it down there?”
So, that wasn’t happening and then I was looking at the ads and so, I don’t know how you feel about the responsive search ads. I, I mean, I would love to know your thought on that ’cause I have, I have a lot of opinions about those. So, so go ahead.
[00:45:12] Matt Bailey: I’m going to go back to something you said earlier. It depends on how you use it.
[00:45:16] Ashley Jones: Yes.
[00:45:16] Matt Bailey: It, it, they have a, they have a purpose, but I’m not, that’s not, it’s not the best tool in the toolbox. Let’s just say that. It’s not, it’s not the hammer.
[00:45:27] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:45:27] Matt Bailey: I’m not going to grab that first thing out of the gate and say, I’m going there. It, it it’s I, and, and I, and I, I, I, best I can say is I played around with it to see what it would do, how it would work, and it was like, okay. I just don’t think it can do better than my brain.
[00:45:44] Ashley Jones: Yeah. It’s, it’s really bad actually, because in order for you to have like, so they rate your ads, right? Your responsive ads and they’ll be like, this is either, you know, poor, average, great. And in order for you to have that good quality ad, you have to make sure you’re utilizing the keywords, which we know anyways, right? We know to do that. But we want to be able to write them a certain way, and there may be terms that we’re bidding on, like say if something is misspelled…
[00:46:10] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:46:11] Ashley Jones: …that we may not want in our ad. Right?
[00:46:13] Matt Bailey: Right. Yeah.
[00:46:14] Ashley Jones: And they keep wanting you to add so many headlines in order for you to have a higher quality ad, and you may not have that many headlines for that ad group. And it’s requiring you to do that. In fact, whenever you go in and you see your recommendations, how many times do you see, “Add more headlines to have la da da dah.”
[00:46:35] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:46:35] Ashley Jones: And it’s like, come on. I, there’s no more I could possibly add here.
[00:46:38] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:46:38] Ashley Jones: And you’ve added everything and you’re going through and you’re like, “I’m using all the keywords.” It, it’s, it has gotten pretty bad. There is a formula that you can use that will increase the chances of you having a higher quality ad, it’s that keyword insertion one. So, I decided just use that. I’m like, “I’m not going to use all these. I’ll just put the keyword insertion in there.”
[00:46:55] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Well, I, I heard someone, well, they were talking about, even on the Google instructions themselves, Google was saying, “So, if you’re bidding on cars, our AI will know if they’re searching for tires or searching for this,” and, and they’re like, “That’s not a good advertisement, Google. That’s not a good connection.” Because if I am selling tires, I’m going to put an ad for tires.
[00:47:19] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:47:19] Matt Bailey: Why would someone type in “Cars” when they’re searching for tires? But Google’s example makes, you know, to the untrained eye, Google’s example’s like, “Oh, they, even though they type in cars, they’re connected,” you know, “they want…” No. People don’t search that way, and anyone who has a history of understanding keywords and targeting sees right through that beautiful marketing copy, the glossy site that Google’s given us. It’s like, but that doesn’t make sense.
[00:47:48] Ashley Jones: No. The only time I saw that really make sense is I have a, a flooring manufacturer and I thought that that did make sense for them. And it, it goes into, you know, search intent and, you know, again, being very niche, so that works for them, but it, that is not going to work for the majority of AdWords clients.
[00:48:08] Matt Bailey: Right. Right. Well, I think even the article I sent you, like they were talking about, they were advertising medical payment solutions and the broad match search terms that were suggested, management software, manage cyber security service…
[00:48:22] Ashley Jones: Oh yes.
[00:48:24] Matt Bailey: …outsourcing customer service, enterprise risk management. Like, this is broad match.
[00:48:30] Ashley Jones: Well, what gets me about this is that these articles have been out for, you know, I think a while since they started doing AI into their bidding strategies, why isn’t anything changing?
[00:48:41] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:48:42] Ashley Jones: So, this to me is like, okay, Google. You’re, you’re smart. I’m sure you’ve seen these things. Why isn’t it changing? That to me tells me that they don’t care.
[00:48:50] Matt Bailey: Wow. That, I mean…
[00:48:53] Ashley Jones: I’m sorry, like why hasn’t it changed?
[00:48:54] Matt Bailey: …there is a couple, yeah. I mean that, I don’t blame you for feeling that way. I feel the same way too, is, is these are terrible.
[00:49:00] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:49:01] Matt Bailey: These are absolute terrible matches and even, this goes back when the, like, I can go back 10 to 15 years and show examples of how broad match was traditionally terrible.
[00:49:15] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:49:15] Matt Bailey: And bringing, associating keywords that had nothing to, what are you thinking? That, and, and you can talk about AI all you want and how much you’re putting into AI and how can these, they’re becoming so much more intelligent. No, they’re not.
[00:49:30] Ashley Jones: It’s a shame because I do think that there’s a lot of great things about AI, but to force the hand is not good.
[00:49:37] Matt Bailey: No. No, not at all. Not at all. And that’s why, you, you know, the, the biggest thing, I think the biggest thing we start with is don’t broad match. Don’t broad match, unless, that is…
[00:49:48] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:49:48] Matt Bailey: …one way to suck your account dry and have nothing left over at the end because how they match broad match just doesn’t, it’s still not ready for prime time.
[00:50:00] Ashley Jones: No, it’s not. I remember one of our older podcasts, like AI got brought up and I said how much I liked it, and I think it’s ’cause I had the expectation that it was going to be very different than what it is today and, ’cause it does, it, it can help with alleviating some of those tedious tasks, right? Like basically keyword research, but my gosh, if I’m getting these kind of results, I don’t want it.
[00:50:23] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah. And, and usually, from what I saw, they’re usually very expensive words.
[00:50:30] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:50:30] Matt Bailey: They, they…
[00:50:30] Ashley Jones: Well, that’s why I put that cap on that keyword and I’m like, I’m…
[00:50:32] Matt Bailey: They tend to broad match. Yeah.
[00:50:33] Ashley Jones: …wondering if it would still pop up.
[00:50:35] Matt Bailey: I, I thought I had put caps on everything, but when I saw an $8 keyword pop up that specifically I went out of my way to ensure that we would not show, with the negatives, with, with a caps, and I saw that pop up, was like, “What?” That was like directly opposite of my intent…
[00:50:57] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:50:57] Matt Bailey: …directly opposite of how I set up the account…
[00:50:59] Ashley Jones: Your strategy.
[00:51:00] Matt Bailey: …the strategy.
[00:51:01] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:51:01] Matt Bailey: It contained a brand name that I, there’s nowhere, none of that was in there. It was almost like it felt like, “You are working against me. You’re not working with me…”
[00:51:11] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:51:11] Matt Bailey: “…to sell. You, you are working against me in a way that you just brought someone to my site who was looking for something completely different, used an expensive keyword, and I know they’re not going to buy this because they were looking for something different.” I, it, it, it’s one of those where, and, and I, this is like the general feeling that I’m reading in articles and, you know, from you and others that specialize in this is that it, it’s an antagonistic relationship. It’s not…
[00:51:41] Ashley Jones: Well, that’s why you have this and then you get the calls from the reps.
[00:51:44] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:51:45] Ashley Jones: And it’s almost like if you don’t answer them and then say, they eventually listen to me and I get an email and literally I got an email saying, “If you don’t answer to this, we’re no longer going to respond.” And I’m over here thinking, “Praise God!”
[00:51:57] Matt Bailey: “Great!”
[00:51:58] Ashley Jones: “Thank you!”
[00:51:58] Matt Bailey: “Thank you!”
[00:51:59] Ashley Jones: Like, “Can I get an Amen?” And I’m like, I’m like, “Thank God, I don’t want to deal with that.” But you know what? They still call me.
[00:52:06] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:52:07] Ashley Jones: But it’s probably ’cause I have like several accounts, so…
[00:52:10] Matt Bailey: It almost fits the definition of a toxic relationship.
[00:52:13] Ashley Jones: It does. It really does.
[00:52:14] Matt Bailey: It, it, it’s a toxic Tinder date is what it is.
[00:52:15] Ashley Jones: It’s like they won’t, they’re not getting that my ignoring is like…
[00:52:18] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Like, I don’t want to talk to you.
[00:52:19] Ashley Jones: …you know, meaning something. I’m not interested.
[00:52:20] Matt Bailey: You’re pressuring me every time…
[00:52:21] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:52:22] Matt Bailey: …I talk to you to do something I don’t want to do.
[00:52:24] Ashley Jones: Right. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Oh. Yeah, it’s terrible but you know what gets me is there have been things that Google has released in the past and they saw that they were getting negative feedback and they changed it. Why haven’t they changed this?
[00:52:40] Matt Bailey: Well, when their revenue increases by 40%…
[00:52:43] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:52:44] Matt Bailey: …in one year…
[00:52:45] Ashley Jones: Yeah. Why would they, right?
[00:52:46] Matt Bailey: Why? It’s something and, and that’s a thing. You’re not, I look at it like you’re not the customer.
[00:52:53] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:52:53] Matt Bailey: The customer is the shareholder. I mean, like, it, it’s…
[00:52:56] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:52:56] Matt Bailey: …you, you are an advertiser, which should make you a customer, but you’re not being treated in the same way that a regular business has to care for their customers.
[00:53:08] Ashley Jones: Ugh.
[00:53:08] Matt Bailey: You know, we’re, we’re talking about a large mega corporation and when shareholders, when everyone sees that your revenue go 40%…
[00:53:19] Ashley Jones: It, I mean, Google’s just gotten so bad. I mean, this is getting into other areas of Google, but there’s been times I’ve had to contact, uh, Google My Business, or, you know, actually going back to AdWords or even Google where they disapproved an ad saying it violated some terms and conditions that wasn’t even true. So, I had to, yeah, it’s, it’s rare, but it does happen on occasion and I, I’ll have to resubmit. But Google My Business, I’ve had some things there.
[00:53:45] Matt Bailey: Oh, wow.
[00:53:46] Ashley Jones: Yeah. And like, I’ll get a response and they didn’t even understand what I was asking.
[00:53:51] Matt Bailey: Right.
[00:53:51] Ashley Jones: And I know that I’m a good communicator and I’m thinking, maybe an over communicator at times, but, I’m thinking, “Come on. How does,” I mean, they answered a question that had nothing to do with what I was saying.
[00:54:04] Matt Bailey: Well, and this is where it’s so obvious that this is a Silicon Valley based company that I’m wondering how many people that work there have experience in a small to medium sized business, a local business, and what you have to go through to market yourself.
[00:54:24] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:54:24] Matt Bailey: Because the, the local business and, and you could see how Google My Business or, or, you know, the iterations of it has had to modify because of the very beginning, they didn’t know how to handle small business classification. I, I, I’ll help people locally. I help them all the time get set up on the local business listings.
[00:54:46] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:54:47] Matt Bailey: And it was interesting how one company it’s like, “We do this.” And I’m trying to put it in the listings and invariably, a few days later I get an email, “Did you mean this?” No, I did not. And then it was added.
[00:55:01] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:55:01] Matt Bailey: Without my, you know, I, I specifically said, “No, that is not a legitimate business description.” They added it anyway.
[00:55:08] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:55:09] Matt Bailey: He’s a business-to-business industrial business…
[00:55:13] Ashley Jones: Oh, I know exactly who you’re talking about. Yep.
[00:55:14] Matt Bailey: …who performs a certain thing and it’s like, it, it blew their brain because it didn’t fit their five levels of business classification.
[00:55:26] Ashley Jones: It doesn’t fit a lot of companies.
[00:55:27] Matt Bailey: Yes.
[00:55:27] Ashley Jones: That’s the problem. And…
[00:55:29] Matt Bailey: And that’s where I, I, I think I…
[00:55:31] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:55:31] Matt Bailey: …that’s where I, not to cut you out. Sorry. That’s why I feel like they, they have…
[00:55:33] Ashley Jones: No, no, no, you’re fine. I totally agree.
[00:55:34] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:55:34] Ashley Jones: You probably see me like…
[00:55:35] Matt Bailey: No, they, these are…
[00:55:36] Ashley Jones: I’m making this face ’cause I’m shocked that they do this.
[00:55:38] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:55:38] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:55:39] Matt Bailey: Well, it, it’s a bunch of young programmers…
[00:55:42] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:55:42] Matt Bailey: …who don’t get the con-, and, and, and we can, and that’s a thing. If we did a show about the problem with Yellow Pages, you know, there are many, many Yellow Page reps and all that, how they’re pushy, all they’re out to do is sell and all that. And, and, and there was one company as soon as I got them on…
[00:56:00] Ashley Jones: Yelp is another one. Yeah.
[00:56:00] Matt Bailey: Oh boy. As soon as I got them on Google Business, they’re like, “Why do we need Yellow Pages anymore?” I’m like, “Exactly.”
[00:56:05] Ashley Jones: I know, Google My Business is great.
[00:56:06] Matt Bailey: You can see who sees your ad…
[00:56:08] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[00:56:08] Matt Bailey: …who sees your business, how many people map it. And so, they drop their yellow pages, but one thing the yellow pages did very well was classify.
[00:56:16] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:56:17] Matt Bailey: Classified businesses, they understood the relationships that, and they understood, you know, I love to tell people we’re in the Midwest, we are like industrial heartland. And there are companies that they are business-to-business industrial service companies. They do one thing. And how do you describe that? How do you market that? How do you inform the world that they do this one unique thing that is necessary in steel or glass or something like that?
[00:56:48] Ashley Jones: I know, it’s a chase your description on your Google My Business. That’s the only way and…
[00:56:52] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:56:52] Ashley Jones: No, I will say I totally agree with you like yellow pages and all of them are just, yeah, you might as well just have a Google My Business, but I will say if you do have a bigger budget for SEO that, you know, you can’t be doing like link building like you did what, 10 years ago, right? But local citations still…
[00:57:08] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:57:09] Ashley Jones: …have good domain authority that, that will help you to increase your search rankings.
[00:57:15] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah.
[00:57:15] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:57:16] Matt Bailey: Yeah. I’m just, I don’t like the whole model…
[00:57:18] Ashley Jones: I know, it’s like…
[00:57:19] Matt Bailey: …but they understood the classification.
[00:57:21] Ashley Jones: Yeah. Yeah, it’s annoying. They always…
[00:57:21] Matt Bailey: Thomas Register. Thomas Register was one of those. They had very specific business classifications and they understood it because it was based in business knowledge.
[00:57:30] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:57:31] Matt Bailey: And I think what’s going on with Google is we have a bunch of programmers and, and I don’t mean this despairingly. It’s, it’s very smart people, programming people. They are trying to build a business engine, but I don’t think they understand the nuance of running a business, especially a local business, because everything seems to be, and this is the history of Google from my perspective, it’s all a one size fits all.
[00:57:59] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:57:59] Matt Bailey: Everyone should fit this model and no that, no, not really, and I have to adapt it to make it work for me. And then you fall outside of certain parameters and, and, and…
[00:58:10] Ashley Jones: And then they do it themselves, which really…
[00:58:12] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:58:12] Ashley Jones: …upsets me. Right. Yeah, I know. I know. I can’t stand that, it’s like, “Did I give you that permission? Do I have any control?” Yeah.
[00:58:20] Matt Bailey: Right, right. And we’re seeing now, yeah, less control over things and more, and, and unfortunately now we’re seeing it now with G4 Analytics that, uh, yeah.
[00:58:29] Ashley Jones: Ugh, I was afraid you were going to bring that up today. You know, you want to hear something terrible? ‘Cause I know I have time, I haven’t done it yet.
[00:58:35] Matt Bailey: I…
[00:58:35] Ashley Jones: I have not. It’s like…
[00:58:37] Matt Bailey: So, I have switched. I have, I am now running both, I, I tried a couple things. I tried, I think it’s Matomo or Matomo. I don’t know where you put the emphasis on the syllables. And they will import your Google universal data into your, their account on Matomo.
[00:58:56] Ashley Jones: Now, see, I’ve never done that. Now, does it link to AdWords?
[00:58:59] Matt Bailey: I have not done that yet.
[00:59:00] Ashley Jones: Okay.
[00:59:00] Matt Bailey: But it, it…
[00:59:00] Ashley Jones: ‘Cause that’s, like that’s my biggest thing is like…
[00:59:02] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:59:02] Ashley Jones: …all these connect, right?
[00:59:03] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[00:59:03] Ashley Jones: And I’m just like, “Ugh.”
[00:59:05] Matt Bailey: It’ll, it, you can connect, you can create your tag manager in Matomo. I’m also working with Piwik Pro and I have been so impressed at both of them. They’re so easy. And…
[00:59:18] Ashley Jones: Well, I mean, you are the analytics guy, so…
[00:59:21] Matt Bailey: They’re so easy. I can set up goals, I can set up, that’s the biggest thing. When I look at analytic, when I was looking, I, I evaluated probably 12 different programs because I said, “I, I’m done with Google. I’m done with Google Analytics.”
[00:59:33] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[00:59:34] Matt Bailey: It’s time that I pay for something that has value.
[00:59:38] Ashley Jones: Right.
[00:59:38] Matt Bailey: Because if, if, if you’re not paying for analytics, then you get what you get, and that’s what’s happening with, with G4. You’re getting an unfinished package that they’re pushing you into. So, I evaluated all these others and, and I had a specific set of parameters. And that’s, I tell people, “If you’re going to start looking, know what you need first. What do you need?” I need, I have to see by channel.
[01:00:00] Ashley Jones: Yep.
[01:00:03] Matt Bailey: Channel breakdown. I have to be able to track the goals, goal conversions, and the goal value. I have to be able to put my own value in. So, if it’s a B2B lead generation where I know every lead is worth $27…
[01:00:17] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:00:17] Matt Bailey: …we, I can plug that in, and I can see the results and track it all the way back to source and I want to see those calculations. That, that was, for me, that’s the starting point. If you don’t have that ability? Out the door.
[01:00:32] Ashley Jones: Okay.
[01:00:32] Matt Bailey: You’re just a…
[01:00:33] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:00:33] Matt Bailey: So, I, I, Matomo and Piwik Pro I, I’ve kind of focused on those. I’m going to move into one of their tag managers and get completely off of Google Tag Manager and use theirs and…
[01:00:45] Ashley Jones: Oh, wow, look at you.
[01:00:46] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah. Yeah. I haven’t yet done the conversion from bringing in my universal into Matomo. I’m still, I think I’m ready to do that. There’s a lot of heavy instructions. Um…
[01:00:56] Ashley Jones: I know. That, see, now I’m thinking, “Oh, I’m going to have to do this.”
[01:00:59] Matt Bailey: Yeah. But it’s the only way you’re going to keep your historical data.
[01:01:02] Ashley Jones: I, I have been, I have been putting, I’ve been really putting it off and I know I need to do it.
[01:01:06] Matt Bailey: But yeah, I do believe there are connections into Google Ads and other things. So, that’s, I, I think going to be the next frontier of what we’re going to have to deal with because I, I, I mean, every time I get into G4, I don’t know why, but the, it’s similar, a lot of the structure and what they’re doing is similar to what I’m seeing in Piwik and Matomo which, by the way, both adhere to European data regulations and privacy. Google 4 still does not and so, consider that.
But what blows me away is how easy the instructions are for companies that aren’t named Google. The instructions for setting up accounts, the instructions for importing, the instructions for all this and, and, and making the analytics work for your business are so much clearer, simpler, understandable, whereas you look at instructions for anything on Google, and it’s obvious that programmers are writing these instructions.
[01:02:09] Ashley Jones: Oh, I know. It’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible.
[01:02:13] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:02:13] Ashley Jones: Which is why I usually have my programmer get involved. I know it sounds terrible, but I’m…
[01:02:19] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:02:19] Ashley Jones: …not a programmer, but yeah, I usually do have him involved.
[01:02:21] Matt Bailey: Because that’s part of it is if I’m going to recommend analytics, then I want to recommend some, something that anyone can set up. If you have to call a programmer to understand what’s happening, or what does this mean, I don’t think that that is a legitimate method of setting things up because you’ve already excluded the most amount of businesses around the world…
[01:02:48] Ashley Jones: I know.
[01:02:49] Matt Bailey: …that don’t have that support. And so, that, and I think I, I’m going to bridge this back into Google Ads.
[01:02:56] Ashley Jones: I know. We’re going on a tangent here.
[01:02:57] Matt Bailey: Look at the amount of instructions, the amount of collateral that has produced and, and I would even say the amount of propaganda around…
[01:03:08] Ashley Jones: Yeah. I, I completely agree with you.
[01:03:10] Matt Bailey: You know, how, “Look at how awesome broad match is.” That’s propaganda, because you talk to anyone in the business, they got another story.
[01:03:18] Ashley Jones: I know, it’s just, it’s a shame like for everybody that I work with is on Google, that’s what they use, and you know, it is what it is. And I will have to probably learn, you know, some G4 and, you know, get with the program here a little early.
[01:03:32] Matt Bailey: Come to the dark side.
[01:03:32] Ashley Jones: I know.
[01:03:33] Matt Bailey: Come to the dark side…
[01:03:34] Ashley Jones: I know, I want to, but…
[01:03:35] Matt Bailey: …of using legitimate paid for analytics programs. And it’s, it’s not bad.
[01:03:40] Ashley Jones: I probably will just do both because yeah, if it’s, I did read it’s more of a simplified version.
[01:03:45] Matt Bailey: Oh yeah.
[01:03:46] Ashley Jones: And I don’t like that ’cause, I mean, going back to your point, you want to see certain data points so you can make those decisions.
[01:03:53] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:03:53] Ashley Jones: I know my biggest thing is I have to be able to see year over year comparisons…
[01:03:57] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:03:57] Ashley Jones: …and so I can make, you know, proper decisions.
[01:04:00] Matt Bailey: Right. Well, but that’s the thing is that has, I don’t think the historical data is going to carry over.
[01:04:05] Ashley Jones: That’s what I’m afraid of.
[01:04:07] Matt Bailey: Even if you stay with Google, I mean, people are posting, they’re losing like 17 years of data I think it was, it goes back to.
[01:04:13] Ashley Jones: See, and that’s a problem because if you notice that your traffic isn’t as high and here, I’ll use a, a client, client example. So, I was looking at their traffic and I’m thinking, “Why is there,” there were a couple things going on. The first thing was that they had a lot of PDF content downloads and, you know, PDFs will show up in search results.
But Google does not put as much weight into those and that’s really, I mean, we already knew that, right? Um, so we already knew that, but we didn’t know that it was going to plummet as much as it has…
[01:04:43] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:04:43] Ashley Jones: …and I have been seeing that with some clients who have used a lot of PDFs.
[01:04:47] Matt Bailey: Right.
[01:04:47] Ashley Jones: But say, if you didn’t have that historical data, you wouldn’t know that. You wouldn’t know really what the problems were. Another thing that I’ve been noticing is I have a client that likes to use trend keywords. And I, I have mixed feelings about it actually ’cause they target like a certain type of an audience like engineers.
[01:05:06] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:05:06] Ashley Jones: And they know engineers are going to be familiar with these types of topics and they’re going to like reading about these. So, they’ll write about them, rank for them, which I think is smart to get that audience back to their site. But they’re not terms that are going to drive a conversion…
[01:05:20] Matt Bailey: Right.
[01:05:20] Ashley Jones: …or to drive people to the consideration stage for their product. But I could see what the thought process is there. So, so I have mixed feelings about it depending on my day, so…
[01:05:30] Matt Bailey: Well, well, it’s, it’s the content cycle.
[01:05:32] Ashley Jones: I know. I mean, that’s why it’s just like, I don’t, if it’s not driving a conversion, is it really a good use of time?
[01:05:39] Matt Bailey: It’s a micro conversion.
[01:05:42] Ashley Jones: I know, I know, right? I guess…
[01:05:44] Matt Bailey: It’s a micro conversion and you put a value on that.
[01:05:46] Ashley Jones: Yeah. Yeah.
[01:05:47] Matt Bailey: That’s, that’s how I typically would, for example, now this might be going back a few years. Like, how much would it cost you to send that information to someone if they requested it? So, I, I can put a, a little bit, maybe a dollar value.
[01:06:00] Ashley Jones: Hey, that’s what I was going to say, it’s not, if you have limited time, I don’t know if that’s where I would be focusing.
[01:06:04] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:06:05] Ashley Jones: But what’s happening is if they don’t focus and they have a lot of time to invest in another area, then, you know, the traffic will plummet a little bit.
[01:06:15] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah.
[01:06:15] Ashley Jones: Because it was a trending keyword. So, if you’re doing…
[01:06:17] Matt Bailey: Yeah, I see what you’re saying.
[01:06:18] Ashley Jones: …year over year comparisons…
[01:06:19] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:06:19] Ashley Jones: …you’re going to see a lot of fluctuation.
[01:06:23] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:06:23] Ashley Jones: So, it is kind of hard. I mean, you can filter out some of that traffic, but it depends on the URL structure and a lot of those things, right? And it’s…
[01:06:31] Matt Bailey: Well, even if I’m, if, if you’re doing SEO, it really helps to show, you, you know, especially the longer period that SEO, I was showing someone the other day, like, “Here was your site before it was optimized. You’ve now had three years of optim-,” oh my goodness. Comparing three years prior and three years post optimization, radical differences…
[01:06:52] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:06:52] Matt Bailey: …in visits, in conversions, in, I, I, and it’s one of those things that month by month, you don’t really see. You know there’s an improvement, but then after year one, year two, you get used to that, but you’re still not remembering what it used to be.
[01:07:10] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:07:10] Matt Bailey: And there’s something to seeing that long term, “Wow, here is an event and something took place here and now here’s the cumulative result of that event.” You don’t get that in a week to week, month to month report.
[01:07:24] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:07:25] Matt Bailey: And seeing the results of that, and unfortunately that’s what modern analytics and especially Google Analytics, they focus you, the default is seven days. I mean, we’ve lost this long-term view of what were significant events that created a trend?
You don’t see that when you look in a week or a month, or sometimes even a year. You’ve got to go back even further to see where some of these events have happened in order to make that, get you where you are now and to make decisions about the future.
[01:08:01] Ashley Jones: Yeah. I know, I know, that’s why I, I, I am not, I’m kind of down in the mouth when it comes to G4.
[01:08:08] Matt Bailey: Yep. Oh yeah. I…
[01:08:10] Ashley Jones: Because I know I have to do it and I’m not happy about it.
[01:08:13] Matt Bailey: That’s how I felt and now I have freedom because I am…
[01:08:16] Ashley Jones: I know…
[01:08:17] Matt Bailey: …I am not…
[01:08:18] Ashley Jones: …I know.
[01:08:18] Matt Bailey: I’m like, “That date can come and go. I don’t care.”
[01:08:20] Ashley Jones: I, well, you know, the thing is I’ll probably just do both. I just, I really just need to knock everything out, like take a week and just get all of that done and familiarize myself and then get the new programs as well, because I do like to have that detailed reporting.
[01:08:34] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:08:34] Ashley Jones: But I do know that there are going to be clients who do want the G4, so…
[01:08:39] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:08:39] Ashley Jones: Yeah.
[01:08:40] Matt Bailey: I don’t know why, but, uh, we’ll deal with that when it happens.
[01:08:43] Ashley Jones: I know. I still have a little time. I know it sounds terrible. I’m procrastinating, I really shouldn’t.
[01:08:49] Matt Bailey: Oh, well Ashley, it is so good to see you and thanks for making it into the studio.
[01:08:53] Ashley Jones: Oh, I’m so happy to be here. I can’t wait for our next topic.
[01:08:56] Matt Bailey: Yeah, absolutely. Maybe the next topic I’ll actually show you analytics live while we’re recording and, and hear your reaction.
[01:09:02] Ashley Jones: Oh, I know. I know, you really should. It’d probably, like I’m sure everybody could tell I get a little passionate about some topics and AdWords.
[01:09:08] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:09:09] Ashley Jones: You could only imagine what it’s going to come out of my mouth.
[01:09:11] Matt Bailey: Well…
[01:09:11] Ashley Jones: Maybe we shouldn’t.
[01:09:13] Matt Bailey: It’ll be interesting to see, I mean, there’s more and more critical articles being written. I think people are being much more vocal about it, and like you said, it’ll be interesting to see if this is heard or even acknowledged. I think that’s probably one of the most frustrating things, it’s not even being acknowledged.
[01:09:29] Ashley Jones: That’s how I feel.
[01:09:30] Matt Bailey: Yeah.
[01:09:30] Ashley Jones: I’m like, “Why don’t you care?”
[01:09:32] Matt Bailey: Yeah. Yeah. I think until advertisers and, and that, that’s what it’s going to come back to, until advertisers say, “Enough is enough.”
[01:09:41] Ashley Jones: Right.
[01:09:41] Matt Bailey: “We can live without this.” Because I, I think, you know, if ROI, and that’s where that long term view, if I’m looking at my ROI on this and I see it five years ago was much better than it is now, depending upon the work and what’s going into it, that’s what it’s going to take I think for advertisers to start realizing, the more that realize, “This is not a good option. There’s better places.”
[01:10:00] I don’t know when that’ll happen, because search is still, you know, a primary place for great results and, and for some it’s a lower, it’s a, it’s the better ROI than others options. So, until you have a, a kind of a mass change or drift from your advertisers, probably not much is going to change…
[01:10:27] Ashley Jones: No…
[01:10:28] Matt Bailey: …unfortunately.
[01:10:28] Ashley Jones: …which is a shame.
[01:10:29] Matt Bailey: Yeah, it is. It is. Well, on that note…
[01:10:33] Ashley Jones: I know. Let, let’s end on this happy note right now, like…
[01:10:35] Matt Bailey: I hate to, yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you so much for coming in, Ashley. It was great to talk with you.
[01:10:39] Ashley Jones: Thank you.
[01:10:39] Matt Bailey: And thank you, dear listener for listening to another edition of the Endless Coffee Cup and I look forward to talking with you again and having a great cup of coffee over the next conversation.
[01:10:54] Bumper Intro-Outro: This podcast is heard along the Marketing Podcast Network. For more great marketing podcasts, visit marketingpodcasts.net.
Ashley Jones (Schweigert)
Marketing Communications Consultant
LinkedIn profile: Ashley G. Jones | LinkedIn
Website: Marcom Content by Ashley