Adwords Support Needs A Better Bra

I know I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record.  Over the past couple weeks, I’ve written about the less-than-optimal changes to Adwords, including near match and the rotate ads fail.

I started this week thinking things couldn’t get any worse.  Surely we’d hit rock bottom and were on our way up.

I was wrong.

Last week, I was hard at work on my first-of-the-month to-do list:  client reporting, and updating ad copy tests.  For as long as I’ve been in agency PPC, I’ve evaluated and updated ad copy tests on at least a monthly basis.  It’s a good practice, right?  Especially in view of the recent “near rotate” fiasco?

Not so fast, bad guy.

We have a global client with campaigns for every country and region of the world.  Although the basic message for their ads is the same, I’m sure it won’t be surprising to hear that minor nuances in ad copy can have different results in different parts of the world.  Anyway, I updated all their ad copy tests and moved on.

Or so I thought.

When I checked the campaigns the next day, I noticed that the US campaign traffic was down a bit.  Well, I didn’t get too worried – after all, we all know that .

A few more days went by, and I checked the campaigns on Monday.  I was in for a shock.

US campaign traffic had screeched to a halt.  Mind you, this is a branded campaign for a long-term advertiser with an average quality score of 10.  At first, I thought the new ads might be stuck in editorial review, which seems to be happening more and more lately.

But alas, the ads were just stuck on the “other” ad position, instead of the top where they had been.  And CTR & traffic tanked as a result.  Quality scores and everything else were still ok, so I figured there must be something else going on.

Well, of course we don’t have an Adwords rep for this client, for whatever reason.  (Eliminating agency reps is yet another tear in the elastic of Google’s support.)  So I called the general support number.

What a nightmare.

I related my story to the rep right off the bat – basically telling her the exact same thing I said here.  She agreed that something was amiss, and promised to get back with me.

Later that day, I got an email reply.  It said, and I paraphrase:  “I took a look at your account, and it looks like your ads are mostly appearing in the Other position, which is why your CTR is down.  Here’s a report illustrating this.  I suggest you raise your bids to get things back on track.”

Seriously?!?!?

One, I told her that I’d already run that report.  I knew that’s what had happened.  But I didn’t know WHY it happened.  Two, how in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks can my quality score drop that much overnight??  The ad changes were very minor – just a tweak to the second description line – and this is a long-standing branded campaign for the brand owner.  I smelled a rat (or something even stinkier).

So I wrote back, basically telling her all that, and also telling her that I’d tripled my bids as soon as I saw the problem (BEFORE I even called Google), and still traffic was nil.

Two days later, I hadn’t heard anything.  So I called support again.  The rep I spoke to that time told me that the original rep had gotten my email and was looking into it further.

Yet another day went by before I heard back.  The reply?  “There might be a temporary drop in quality score due to the ad changes.  Just give it a few more days.”

ARE THEY KIDDING??

Here’s a client whose traffic from their most important region of the world has gone to crap, and they want me to wait?  And does quality score really drop with minor ad changes?  Does that mean that our quality score is reset every time we change ads?  Does historical quality score count for nothing? And how is that going to work now that we have to change our ads every 30 days just to keep them rotating evenly?

After I got this reply, I decided to try a crazy ACE test.  I set the test to 50/50 and set the experimental bids at $108 per click.  Yes, over $100 per click.  And this is for brand terms with an actual CPC of well under $1 prior to this disaster.

Guess what?

Traffic is back!

And no, we’re not actually paying $108 per click, but the average CPC is up about 10x from what it was before.  It’s still early days, and I’m hopeful that I can back the bids down to a more reasonable level in a short period of time.

There’s a nagging voice in the back of my head, though.  And it’s shrieking “MONEY GRAB!”

Postscript:  I just got an email from Adwords Support.  It says “I see that the number of clicks this campaign received today has increased quite a bit from days past.” Nothing like stating the obvious…. Wow.  I’m speechless.

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Two PPC Wins and a Fail

This week brought a flurry of PPC announcements from Google.  Of course, this isn’t unusual – PPC is known for being fast-moving and constantly innovating, with Google leading the way.  Like many of the PPC advances of the past, this week’s list brings both good and bad to the industry.

Win #1:  Adwords Account Labels

On Tuesday, Google rolled out a neat feature called Account Labels.  With Labels, you can organize account elements into custom groupings to facilitating the slicing and dicing of data.

This is basically pivot tables on steroids.  The example Google gives in their blog post is grouping products across geo-targeted campaigns.  Say you sell Nike sneakers, and you replicate campaigns across geographies.  Labels will enable you to group and summarize stats on Nike sneakers across your account so you can evaluate results on a larger set of data.

Labels are a pretty neat feature, and I’m already planning to implement them in one of our international client’s campaigns.

Win #2:  Quality Score Transparency

Ever since it was introduced in 2007, PPC managers have lived and died by quality score.  Countless hours and thousands of blog posts have been devoted to optimizing quality score.

And yet, quality score has been somewhat of a black box.  We all know that click-through rate is the most heavily-weighted factor in quality score, but there were also the ubiquitous “other factors” that Google didn’t specify. 

And furthermore, Google didn’t tell us a lot about what was wrong when we earned poor quality scores.  We were just told keyword relevance is “poor.”

Now, Google’s giving us more transparency into quality score factors.  They’re supplying more detail on what elements need improvement:  CTR, ad relevance, and/or landing page.

Pretty cool – more info is always better!

Fail:  Near Match

For years now, PPC’ers have complained about broad match gone wild.  Just yesterday I was reviewing some search queries for VoIP keywords, and apparently Google thinks that’s the same thing as “voice recognition apps” and “cheap prison telephone voice”. 

But, at least we have phrase and exact match to counteract the silly broad matching.  Right?

Wrong.

From Google’s Inside Adwords blog, “Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. Based on our research and testing, we believe these changes will be broadly beneficial for users and advertisers.”

Are they kidding?!?  What research are they doing?  Maybe they’re looking at their own search query reports and deciding the matches are close enough?

This move hasn’t exactly been popular with PPC pros.  An informal and unscientific poll of the PPC Chat group on LinkedIn reveals that 68% of PPC’ers are against the change (registration required).

While I do see the benefit of this change in certain situations, to me it’s yet another money grab by Google.  Like many other default settings in Adwords, this one will slip by the novice PPC managers and mom & pop folks trying to manage their own accounts, and they’ll wonder why they’re not getting the ROI they expected.

The good news is, there’s still time to opt out.  You’ll find the option under campaign settings in the Adwords UI.  The bad news is, there’s no bulk edit, so each campaign has to be opted out manually, one by one.  And there’s no option for this in Adwords Editor yet either.  Coincidence?  Maybe.

What do you think of the recent Adwords announcements?

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3 Unfulfilled PPC Wishes from 2007

Ah, January: the month when everyone makes resolutions and looks at their holiday wish lists to see what gifts people failed to give them. (C’mon, admit it: we all do this!) In the spirit of gifts not received, I got to thinking about my PPC gift list from 5 years ago, and the gifts I still haven’t gotten after all that time. Here are my top 3.

More traffic and search leadership from MSN/Bing.

Back in early 2007, in the early days of MSN’s PPC program, I found myself wishing that MSN (now Bing) would catch the big guys of search, but wondering if they ever could. In that post, I observed, with chagrin, the fact that “MSN falls down on volume and ease of use. Traffic and order volumes are about 10% of what we get from Google.” The post goes on to say that “I don’t even know which I’d like MSN to address first: increasing volume, or fixing the UI.”

Sound familiar? While the latest release of the adCenter UI is a HUGE improvement, it still leaves a lot to be desired, especially given the fact that adCenter now includes Yahoo traffic. In fact, I think traffic from adCenter might even be lower in 2012 than it was in 2007. There certainly isn’t any increase in market share – which is pathetic given the fact that market share is now Bing and Yahoo combined. It’s sad, really.

Better Adwords query matching.

Match type issues have plagued PPC advertisers from the beginning. Novice PPC’ers make the mistaken assumption that match types actually work the way Google says they do. News flash: they didn’t work that way in 2007, and still don’t in 2012. One merely needs to run a search query report to see all the crazy query matches to exact and phrase match keywords to realize that match types are more of a suggestion for Google, as opposed to an instruction.

I do have to give Google credit for adding modified broad match to the arsenal, though. I’ve had good results with this, and I know others have as well.

More accurate PPC traffic estimates.

Back in 2007, I was an in-house PPC’er, which meant that part of my job was budgeting and forecasting. On a regular basis, I had to estimate how many orders we’d get from PPC, along with traffic, cost, and profit. This was a huge challenge back in 2007, and it’s still a challenge today.

In fact, it can be an even bigger challenge for search agencies. Not only do we need to forecast revenue for the agency, we need to provide forecasts and estimates for clients. And clients often take the estimates as gospel: “Great, we’re going to get 20,000 visits per month from PPC!” In reality, it’s a crap shoot: you might get your 20,000 visits; or you might only get 2,000; or you might get 200,000.

Estimating traffic outside the US, or for geotargeted campaigns, is even more of a joke. To see a nice analysis of just how big a joke it still is, check out this post from PPC Northern Ireland.

In the search world, 5 years is an eternity. Back in 2007, I was writing a lot about Yahoo Panama, click fraud, and garbitrage – all of which are non-factors in the 2012 PPC world. So it’s a bit of a surprise that some things haven’t changed.

Will 2012 bring the gifts of more Bing PPC traffic, better keyword matching, and accurate traffic estimates? Will I be writing this same article in 2017 (God help me)? I guess only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bid high on it.

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Top 3 PPC Stories from Beyond the Paid

Ah, the end of the year: the time when we all sit back and reflect on our accomplishments over the past 12 months. Or not, because most of us are way too busy. But I digress.

In the PPC world, there’s never a dull moment, so I can’t say that 2011 was the most eventful year ever. But there were definitely a few stories worth reviewing as we head into 2012. With that, here are my top 3 stories from 2011 – a la David Letterman.

#3. 10 PPC Experts to Follow on Twitter

Like Letterman, people seem to love “Top 10” lists. I agree that they’re fun – but usually they’re pointless, too. I wanted to create a list of PPC experts that would actually help the community get connected.

#2. Google’s SSL Change: A Bad Deal for PPC

So much has been written about this huge misstep by Google, you’re probably sick of seeing it. But it continues to annoy people, so it bears repeating. This is a bad, bad deal, and I hope 2012 brings the return of our organic search query data in Google Analytics.

And now, for the top story of 2011…..

#1. Microsoft adCenter Ignores Advertiser Feedback

I’m sure some of you think I love to beat up on adCenter, like they’re my favorite punching bag. Not so. There are many things to love about adCenter: quality traffic, helpful reps, features that Adwords lacks, and more. They even have an online suggestion box for advertiser feedback, unlike Google.

This seemed pretty cool to me, so shortly after it launched, I posted the suggestion to give us separate bids for Yahoo and Bing. After all, we PPC’ers are all about transparency and control.

At the time, this suggestion was the top vote-getter by a landslide. But did adCenter take it to heart?

Nope. They shot it down and put it on the “completed” list. So much for advertiser feedback.

What are your top PPC stories from 2011?

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I’m Dreaming Of Separate Bids for Search Partners

Seems like everybody has a PPC wishlist at this time of year. Earlier this week, my good friend Matt Van Wagner published a great post on Search Engine Land called 7 Things On My Google AdWords Wishlist For Santa. I agree with everything on his list, and hope that all of us PPCers find those fine gifts under our tree next weekend.

Yesterday, there was another fun SEL post from Conrad Saam called A Letter from Santa To The Search Community, which was also fun. Give both of these posts a read, if you haven’t already.

All these wishes are fine and good, but the one thing I’m wishing for this holiday is the ability to set separate bids for Google Search Partners. Why this hasn’t rolled out already is a mystery to me. If I had to guess, I’d say that Google doesn’t want to lose the revenue from search partners when people bid less for them. But partners don’t always perform worse than Google – in fact, I’ve seen many instances with our clients where partners actually perform better than Google.

We already have the ability to opt out of partners entirely – why not give us a chance to opt back in with separate bids? C’mon, Google – you quit sending out great holiday gifts years ago; can’t you at least grant us this one wish?

What’s on your PPC wish list this year?

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Is Adwords Turning Into Big Brother?

Over the past few weeks, Google has rolled out a few changes that seem to imply that they know what’s best for all of us. (I know this isn’t new, but bear with me…) There’s Google Plus, with its +1 boxes on search results & ads that you can’t opt out of; and the SSL fail that’s masking as much as 20% of organic search query data.

Earlier this week, there was a post on the Inside Adwords blog, announcing that all Adwords campaigns using Enhanced CPC and Conversion Optimizer would have ad rotation automatically switched from “optimize for clicks” to “optimize for conversions” – unless you opt out by filling out a form.


Thing was, the link to the form went to a 404 page.

And then the post was pulled down shortly after it went live.

It’s back up now, and the form actually works. But what the heck was that all about?

Let’s set aside the fact that Adwords obviously jumped the gun on a blog post that wasn’t ready for prime time. Anyone who blogs has probably done that once or twice.

The bigger issue is that Google is once again taking choice out of the hands of marketers and advertisers, opting instead to decide what they think is best for us.

In some ways, this makes sense. The whole point of using Enhanced CPC and Conversion Optimizer is to try to improve the conversion rate and cost per conversion of your campaigns. Therefore, using the “optimize for clicks” setting is at odds with the Enhanced CPC/Conversion Optimizer algorithm. In fact, it’s likely that this factor alone has led to less-than-stellar performance for campaigns with these settings – leading advertisers to say that Enhanced CPC and Conversion Optimizer don’t work. That’s bad for Google.

Also, remember that Optimize for Clicks is the default campaign setting. This means that many novice advertisers are using this setting unwittingly. Consider a scenario in which these same novice advertisers read a blog post touting the benefits of Enhanced CPC or Conversion Optimizer – so the novice says, “Hey, let’s try that,” and then sees poor results because their campaign is still set to “optimize for clicks.” That isn’t good for Google either.

But here’s the thing: The blog post said that all campaigns would be switched over unless you opt out by filling out a form. This implies that advertisers won’t even have the option of choosing “optimize for clicks” for Enhanced CPC and Conversion Optimizer campaigns.

And this is why I have a problem with it.

I’m fine with changing the default for these campaigns to Optimize for Conversions. That’s totally ok. What I’m not fine with is taking the choice out of the hands of the advertiser and putting it in the hands of Google. That’s akin to the fox guarding the hen house.

I find this move even more puzzling in light of the flap over the SSL thing. Ever since that announcement, SEMs have been raising holy hell, asking for more data and transparency. It seems like a bad move to decide to make this change now, on the heels of all the furor – and right before the holidays to boot.

I recently spoke with our Adwords reps about some of our client campaigns. It was one of those “let us make optimization suggestions for you” conversations, so I always take those with a grain of salt. They actually had several good suggestions, so it wasn’t all bad. But they really pushed me to switch all of our client campaigns from “rotate” to “optimize for conversions.”

Bad move.

I good-naturedly told them that they just hit a hot button (and they obviously don’t read my blog and have never heard me speak at conferences), and they quickly backpedaled. But still – why is Google all of a sudden pushing “optimize for conversions” rather than letting us make the choice ourselves?

Has 1984 arrived a couple decades late?

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Google Engage for Agencies – What’s It Worth?

As part of their overhaul of their Certification program, Google recently launched a new service for SEM agencies called Google Engage for Agencies. The program offers training resources, marketing materials, news, and support for agencies who manage Adwords accounts on behalf of clients. Members of Engage also get free $100 Adwords vouchers to use for new clients.

The program launched several months ago, but I just recently had time to go in and play around with it. Overall, I’m underwhelmed. In order to secure your membership in the program, you’ll need to watch four 15-20 minute videos covering an overview of Adwords. The videos are so basic it’s not even funny – really 101 type stuff. And you have to watch each video in its entirety to get a little code you can enter to finalize your membership and get your $100 vouchers.

It seems to me that anyone who’s already Adwords Certified should be able to skip that step. After all, if you’ve passed the Fundamentals test, you’ll already know everything that’s in the Engage videos. You can’t tell me that Google doesn’t know you’re certified – the login for Engage is the same as your Adwords login, and your profile includes certification info. And if you work at an agency, your time is money – time spent watching basic videos on stuff you’ve been doing for years is time you’re not doing billable client work.

All that said, there are a few redeeming qualities of the program. Obviously, the vouchers are nice – I don’t know any agency folks who would turn down $100. Engage also has a library of marketing materials that can be used to sell Adwords to clients. For example, there’s a downloadable PDF on preparing a sales pitch for Adwords, complete with worksheets you can use to ensure you’re asking the right questions of your prospect. While I’m not personally responsible for sales at Fluency Media, I’ve passed along many of these materials to our sales team.

And the training modules are definitely helpful for new agency team members who need to get up to speed on PPC. So if you’ve hired an intern or new staff member, I recommend starting them off with the intro videos I mentioned earlier. You’ll get the dual benefit of training them on PPC and enrolling them in the Engage program at the same time.

Engage also includes handy links to Adwords Certification training modules. This info, formerly found in your Adwords MCC, is a good training resource for those new to PPC, as well as a handy refresher course for anyone who needs to get certified or renew their certification.

To sum it up, if you’ve been doing PPC for a while, you may not find much use for Engage; but if you’re new to PPC, you’ll find it informative.

Have you tried Engage for Agencies? What do you think of it?

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Adwords Reps – A Love-Hate Relationship

Since the dawn of Adwords, PPC managers have had a love-hate relationship with their Adwords reps. In my own experience, I love having someone who can go to bat for me when I need help pushing ad copy through editorial, solving a billing problem, or increasing the capacity of my account.

On the other hand, I’m not so fond of the frequency at which reps change: just when I feel comfortable that my rep understands our clients, we’re assigned someone new. I also have been almost universally disappointed with the “optimizations” provided by Google. The only thing they’re optimizing is Google’s revenue.

Late last year, Google announced that they were switching up their account rep structure for agencies. Instead of one rep per agency, reps would be assigned by vertical. Personally, I’ve found this to be a pain – I can never remember who I’m supposed to contact about which client. Furthermore, vertical support is only available at a certain spend level: as far as I can tell, the minimum is at least $15,000 per month. That’s a pretty hefty chunk of change for many advertisers.

To get support for clients below that budget level, we had to contact the generic Adwords support hotline. While I’ve always found the general support reps to be attentive and helpful, it’s still frustrating to have to re-explain a client’s business and goals over and over to a new person each time you call.

Just this week, though, I got an email from a rep who said he’d been assigned to our agency for this quarter, offering to discuss all of our clients. I agreed to a call, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. He had obviously taken the time to review our client campaigns, and beyond that, he had looked at their websites to get an idea of the client’s business. He had several optimization ideas I was impressed with, as well. While most of the ideas weren’t new features, he had suggestions for new ways to use the features that I hadn’t thought of or heard of. All in all, I was quite pleased, and have spent a chunk of time this week implementing many of his suggestions for testing.

But that’s just me. In a recent PPC Chat, PPC’ers weighed in on the usefulness of Adwords reps. The overwhelming sentiment was that reps are only marginally helpful, and often are just trying to make more money for Google. I have to say that I’ve found this to be truer of the vertical reps than the agency rep I talked to this week. PPC Chatters also said they find it much more helpful to ask other PPC’ers via Twitter or online forums for help, rather than going to Google.

What’s your take? Is Adwords Support as marginal as ever, or is it getting better? Share the good, the bad, and the ugly in the comments!

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Preparing for the Adwords Fundamentals Exam

Many professional careers have certification programs, and PPC is no exception. Both Google Adwords and Microsoft adCenter offer certification programs for PPC professionals. In this post, I’m going to talk about preparing for the Google Adwords Fundamentals exam, which is the first step to becoming a Certified Professional.

First of all, if you’ve been actively managing PPC accounts for at least a year or two, you should have a good chance of passing the Fundamentals exam without even studying. But if this is your first time taking one of the Adwords exams, or if it’s been a couple years since you’ve taken it, there are a few things you should be aware of:

• The test costs $50, non-refundable. So if you’re not feeling confident about your Adwords knowledge, don’t take the test.
• You have 90 minutes to complete the exam – and once you start, you have to finish in one sitting. Make sure you have that big a block of time available to take the exam uninterrupted.
• Once you start the exam, the testing interface locks out your computer so you can’t access browsers or other programs. It wasn’t always this way with the Adwords exam – you used to take the exam in one browser, and could have another one open to search for the answers! (Of course I didn’t do this, wink wink!)
• You can mark questions for review later, so if you don’t know an answer or aren’t sure, mark it and go on – you can come back to it later.

If you’re relatively new to PPC, though, you’ll want to study a bit before you take the exam. The best way to study is to review the training materials in the Google Learning Center.

The Learning Center is your home base for preparing for the exam. It contains detailed written documentation on all the topics that will be tested.

That said, there are a LOT of topics. If you’re a complete beginner, you’ll want to take the time to go through all of the lessons; you can do this while you’re actively managing a PPC account or shadowing someone else during training.

However, if you have some Adwords experience, read through the lesson description first. If it covers something you feel pretty confident about, skip it. Focus on the lessons on topics that are new to you. If the lesson includes any case studies or examples, pay particular attention, as a lot of exam questions are in the form of case study-type examples that you’ll need to analyze and answer correctly.

Remember that all the rules for taking standardized tests apply to the Adwords exam, too:

• Skip questions you’re not sure of and come back to them
• Your first impression is usually correct
• On true/false questions, you have a 50/50 chance of getting the answer right
And so on

With careful preparation, you’ll be able to pass the exam and become a Certified Professional!

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AdWords Campaign Experiments: Details and Pitfalls

Back in September, I wrote a brief overview of AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE), and Joe Kerschbaum wrote an excellent post on ways to use the feature.

ACE is a great enhancement that can really take your PPC campaigns to the next level. That said, there are a few important details you need to know before using it, as well as some pitfalls to watch out for. Let’s look at an example to illustrate.

ACE Details

One of the highly touted ways to use Experiments is to try new keywords, and with good reason. Maybe there’s a broad match keyword you’re not sure will generate the results you want, or maybe there’s a keyword that is marginally relevant to your campaign, but you’d still like to test it out.

Pre-Experiments, your only option was to add the keyword and watch it like a hawk while hoping for the best. Now, you can use Experiments to display the keyword on as little as 5 percent of your total traffic. Great news, right?

Yes and no. First of all, using Experiments requires at least a rudimentary understanding of testing principles. If you haven’t conducted controlled tests before, even the terminology in the Experiments documentation will be confusing.

It’s also a little tricky getting your head around the “control,” “experiment,” and “control + experiment” categories. Basically, the “experiment” will only run on the percent of traffic you specify.

So if you only want your test keyword to run 10 percent of the time, you’ll need to set it to “experiment only.” Conversely, if you don’t want a particular keyword or set of keywords included in the experiment, you’ll need to set it to “control only.”

Remember, Experiments run at the campaign level, so if you’re only testing keywords within one ad group, be sure to set the other non-experiment ad groups to “control,” as well.

It gets confusing, to be sure.

ACE Pitfalls

One big shortfall of Experiments is that it can’t be applied to campaign settings. For example, it would be great to test dayparting, networks, devices, daily budgets, and other campaign-level settings, and Experiments would be ideal for this. Unfortunately, it isn’t an option at this time. I’m hoping it will be, eventually.

There are also some pretty big pitfalls to watch out for when using Experiments. The biggest one I’ve discovered has to do with launching changes fully.

So, you’ve run your experiment, and it works great and you get great results. The logical next step would be to roll out the changes to all traffic, right? Yes, but rolling it out involves more than just clicking that button in your campaign settings.


I ran into this unfortunate pitfall in a client campaign recently. I ran an experiment on match types: I wanted to see if modified broad match performed better than regular broad match. But I wasn’t testing all the keywords in the ad group — only some of them.

I added a few modified broad match keywords and set them to “experiment only.” I set the broad match variations of these terms to “control plus experiment.” I set all the remaining keywords to “control only.”

The test worked great: the modified broad match terms, as expected, generated a better cost per conversion with an acceptable loss of traffic (traffic did go down, but not enough to justify the higher cost per conversion). So I clicked “Apply: Launch Changes Fully.”

The next day, when I checked on the campaign, traffic and spend had fallen through the floor. It didn’t make sense: the experiment showed a nearly negligible difference in traffic, but the rolled-out results were more like an 80 percent decrease in traffic.

When I dug into the campaign, I realized that most of my keywords were paused! What happened? Turns out, all the keywords that were set to “control only” were shut off when I launched the experiment fully.

After thinking it through, it made sense. In hindsight, I should have set all the keywords to “control plus experiment” instead of “control only,” and then the test keywords to “experiment only.”

Once I realized the issue, I was able to fix it quickly, and luckily the client lost less than a day of traffic. But the result was unexpected and really caught me off guard.

With these caveats in mind, make use of Campaign Experiments, and you’ll reap the rewards without stumbling!

This post originally appeared on Search Engine Watch on February 22, 2011.

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