AdWords Optimization Isn't as Manual Anymore
Those of us who keep an eye on AdWords updates have seen a pattern of big changes over the last 4 months or so. AdWords optimization, for certain, still requires specialists to monitor and optimize regularly. Although, it's getting a little easier for us specialists to deal with, thanks to some recent improvements.
The New Enhanced Cost Per Click
Before May of 2017, enhanced Cost Per Click (ECPC) limited bid boosts to 1.3 times your max CPC. Now, that restriction is gone. The new ECPC takes audience and location into account and adjusts the bid as much as needed while keeping your average CPC under your max CPC over time.
As of now, however, AdWords still doesn't automate device adjustments. You'll have to set those manually. For search and display campaigns, ECPC aims to increase conversions while keeping cost per conversion (CPA) the same. For shopping, ECPC will help increase conversions while avoiding extra spend.
To enable ECPC, go to a campaign and click on the settings tab. Look for "bid strategy," click "edit" and click the box.
In the newest version of AdWords Editor, you'll see recommendations to help your campaigns perform. Simply look for the exclamation point icon, which looks like a yellow triangle with "!" in the center of it. Navigate to the ad group or campaign with the problem and click on it. You'll see an explanation of the problem in the middle of the interface. For example, you might see notifications saying you have "fewer than 3 ads" or "fewer than 4 callout extensions" in an ad group. In many cases, these conditions lead to sub-par performance but now you can resolve them before yours stats go downhill.
You can also create custom rules so Editor will notify you when your account doesn't meet requirement that you specify. Click "custom rules," at the bottom-left of the account window. You'll see a list of all the pre-defined conditions that Google has included. Click "add custom rule" to create your own.
New Exact Match Rules
In March of 2017, AdWords broadened its database to include more close variants. This means you should be able to contact the right consumers a little easier because AdWords has a better idea of which search queries are the right ones to trigger an impression. However, it's still a good idea to look through your search terms report and add irrelevant terms as negative keywords. That certainly hasn't changed.
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