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Google's change to close variant matching & what it means for you  

by Peter Oxlade on September 02, 2014

From late September Google will be applying close variant matching to all exact and phrase match terms contained within an Adwords account.

Since Google first introduced the close variant matching option in 2012, all accounts had the option to opt in or out of this feature.

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Google Enhanced Campaigns - Enhanced or Simplified?

by Matt O'Brien on August 06, 2013

The compulsory migration from Google Adwords standard to enhanced campaigns recently took place. You may have received an email to tell you that your campaigns have been upgraded. But what does the industry think of the new Enhanced campaigns? A recent survey by Econsultancy showed that 35% of agency respondents think that enhanced campaigns will have a positive impact on their clients’ campaigns, with 21% disagreeing and 43% still sitting on the fence.

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by Matt O'Brien on July 12, 2013

The bright yellow thing in the sky has finally made an appearance in the sky and the mercury has soared, summer has finally arrived here in the UK. But what impact has this had to consumers’ online search behaviour?

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by Matt O'Brien on May 30, 2013

What does the recent Google Adwords legal precedent mean for Advertisers and trademark owners, and what do you need to do as a result of it?

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by Matt O'Brien on May 21, 2013

The high court today announced its judgement in the long running Google Adwords trademark case between Marks & Spencer and Interflora.

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by Matt O'Brien on May 15, 2013

We are at Search Marketing Expo today and tomorrow and wanted to share a quick snap of the stand - looking rather good. Lots of interest too.

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by Matt O'Brien on Apr 24, 2013

Today Google has announced that it is rolling out its trial of universal analytics to all Google Analytics users.

What is Universal Analytics you ask? Google tell us that it is a way for businesses to better track and understand users across multiple devices and platforms, during their customer journey.

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by Matt O'Brien on March 27, 2013

 We last looked at when people were using computers, tablets and mobiles to search online, to help inform our search device strategy.

Computers were king, taking the largest share of search usage at all times during the day, but tablets and mobiles had their time in the sun too, mainly outside office hours. Does this hold up in actual conversion behaviour or are their different patterns that we need to consider when deciding on our device strategy?

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by Matt O'Brien on March 25, 2013

The recently launch Enhanced campaigns in Adwords have made it easier for advertisers to adjust their bids based on device, time and geography. This means that bidding more for users search on a mobile between 10am and 11am doesn’t require significant campaign set up work and can be down with a few clicks of a mouse. But which devices should you bet targeting and at what times of the day?

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by Matt O'Brien on March 14, 2013

A recent study undertaken by eBay has claimed “most of the money spent buying up search terms was a waste of time and had little effect on sales,” having conducted a range of experiments with their own paid search marketing over the past 12 month. 

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by Matt O'Brien on March 13, 2013

Recent research undertaken by Unscrambled has shown that more than half of advertisers are seeing their paid search campaigns run out of their budget and go offline before the end of the day. Our research showed that advertisers with this issue were on average seeing their paid search campaigns go offline at around 19:30 in the evening, seeing them miss out on the all-important, evening browsing and buying period. 

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by Matt O'Brien on Feb 06, 2013

Google has launched Enhanced campaigns, allowing advertisers to “reach consumers at the moments that matter across devices with more relevant ads.”

What does this mean for advertisers?

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by Matt O'Brien on January 25, 2013

1. Having an over reliance on Brand match keywords

Broad match keywords often have a higher cost per click than their exact match counterparts and usually achieve a lower conversion to sale ratio. Relying too much on broad match keywords to drive your clicks and sales, rather than using a balanced match type strategy, may be costing you money and sales.

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by Matt O'Brien on January 17, 2013

1. Have a plan and a contingency

Know what you want your campaign to deliver and what you are going to do it is working better or worse than expected. Allow a degree of flexibility with your campaign based on what it is telling you.

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by mattobrien on October 19, 2012

I am sure that the eagle-eyed Adwords fanatics will have spotted the updated functionality within Adwords today. Like Analytics, Adwords now allows you to compare the dates for easier analysis and evaluation.

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by mattobrien on October 10, 2012

Google announces the UK launch of it’s own credit card for small and medium sized businesses to use to pay for their Adwords spend, following a successful trial in the states. The credit card is designed to allow small businesses to have extra credit to invest into their Adwords programme.

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by mattobrien on October 05, 2012

Recently Google announced that it was going to be proactively enforcing one of its Adwords policies relating to the use of site links ad extensions. But before we go into the changes, first lets explain what site links are and how you can use them.

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by mattobrien on September 18, 2012

The rise of paid search over the past decade has been unprecedented and predominantly driven by the returns that advertisers are able to achieve from the channel. It has reshaped digital, into a lean mean, ROI focused machine. So does this make it the ultimate direct marketing channel?

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by mattobrien on June 27, 2012

With the launch of Google Auction Insights, understanding how you feature in the Google search marketplace for your most important keywords has never been easier. There is now no longer the need to search for the word yourself; Google is taking the strain out for you and giving you access to rich and real data.

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by mattobrien on May 02, 2012

It seems that Google is on a bit of a roll at the moment in rolling out a number of enhancements and changes to it’s Adwords platform. There has been the change to exact and phrase match, greater clarity in what makes up a keywords quality score, the ability to label campaign elements and now the latest enhancement is a change to ad copy rotation.

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by mattobrien on April 27, 2012

We all know that quality score in Google is vital and that with high quality comes better performance. Google is now making it easier to understand how some of the elements perform, that make up a keywords quality score.

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by mattobrien on April 18, 2012

Answer: When Google Adwords improves it’s exact match and phrase match.

Google have announced that from mid-May exact match and phrase match keywords will not only trigger the exact (or phrase) matched search queries, but also close variants.

So what is a close variant, well Google tells us that exact and phrase match keywords will now trigger;
• Misspellings
• Singular and plural forms
• Acronyms
• Stemmings
• Abbreviations
• Accents

Read more

by mattobrien on January 25, 2012

It was announced that today the countries economy shrunk, albeit marginally, in the last quarter, but does online shopping follow this pattern?

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by mattobrien on January 13, 2012

Well January is well and truly upon us, and all the new years paid search marketing campaigns are underway. Search volume is high and the annual budgets are weighted to take full advantage of the increase in consumer demand. It is likely that January will have the highest paid search budget of any month for the majority of advertisers.

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by mattobrien on January 05, 2012

It’s January and for many paid search advertisers it is one of the busiest months of the year, with increased volumes of searches and budgets phased accordingly.

That said even though it is January and for many a new budget year that isn’t a reason why your marketing spend should need to work any less hard or you should accept greater than usual campaign budget wastage.

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by mattobrien on December 19, 2011

We all know that what happens in the real world can have an impact on our paid search campaigns, but are we always ready for it?

Over the years we have observed, planned for and reacted to a number of real world events with paid search campaigns. We know that if it snows the world is more likely to be emptying the shelves of the local Tesco Metro than going online to buy products, possibly with the exception of sledges.

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by mattobrien on December 12, 2011

Clients spend money on paid search marketing, usually to attract customers, drive sales and increase profits. The campaign often has specific targets for sales volumes, customer acquisition costs and ROI. But is it fair to make these the sole responsibility of the campaign and the only means by which it is measured?

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by mattobrien on December 05, 2011

Our clients often ask us how they can make more money from their paid search campaigns and we love giving full and detailed answers. Sometime though, the answers we give are not exactly what our clients were expecting to hear.

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by mattobrien on December 05, 2011

It’s that time of year when everything gets a little frenetic in the run up to the Christmas break, new year and the next year’s marketing campaign.

With economic conditions remaining challenging and uncertain, there are still a few certainties; you will be expected to deliver more from less and to achieve this you will need your marketing budget to work harder than ever before.

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by mattobrien on March 21, 2011

Paid search and measurement go hand it hand, as a channel we are able to track and measure a huge number of different factors, ranging from the number of times our ad has been displayed and clicked on, through to the sales generated and ROI achieved, along with everything in-between and a few things afterwards.

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by mattobrien on March 16, 2011

  1. Your campaign isn’t delivering the results performance you need it to Knowing that your campaign isn’t meeting your targets is one thing, knowing why is another. By looking at the detail of each pillar of paid search, we evaluate every part allowing us to see what is working well, what isn’t. And how it can be improved. This means efforts can be targeted to the elements that will yield the biggest and fastest returns.

  2. You want to know where you can save budget without affecting sales volume If any element of your paid search campaign isn’t running at 100% efficiency then savings can be made, without costing performance or revenue. Savings can often be achieved through a number of areas, including; negative keywords, bid pricing, budget management and keyword match types.

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by mattobrien on March 10, 2011

So, how do you measure quality score?

We all know that quality score is important. There are several benefits of achieving a high quality score, possibly the most important of being able to achieve a higher ad rank and a lower cost per click, no-one wants to over-pay for a click. But just how do you measure your campaigns quality score?

As each keyword is assigned it’s own individual quality score between 1 and 10, the simplest way to calculate the overall quality score for your paid search campaign would be to add up all quality score for each keyword and then divide by the number of keywords. Sounds straight forwards, so how does this look in practice?

Example 1 – Keyword Quality Score

KeywordQuality Score
KW 1 10
KW 2 7
KW 3 7
KW 4 7
KW 5 7
KW 6 6
KW 7 6
KW 8 5
KW 9 4
KW 10 3
Total 62
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