In the dynamic realm of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, best practices are touted as the roadmap to success. But where do these best practices originate?
- Google Ads Representatives
- The Help Centre
- Official Certifications
- Recommendations (both auto-apply and manual)
- Ad Strength Feedback
- Automated Assets, to name a few.
However, these sources can often present contradictory advice. As advertisers, the challenge lies in discerning which practices to adopt and which to approach with scepticism.
The Illusion of Best Practices
Every seasoned PPC professional has experienced it – that momentary surge of pride when “Google” flashes on the caller ID. But reality often paints a different picture. More often than not, these calls come from junior representatives or third-party services, whose recommendations may not always align with the unique context of your account. And therein lies the conflict of interest.
As e-commerce advertisers, our primary goal is to achieve maximum results on minimal budgets. Contrarily, platforms like Google Ads have a vested interest in increasing ad spend. This fundamental difference underscores the need for a balanced relationship with best practices.
The Good: Recognising Google Ads’ Strengths
Automated Bidding: Automated bidding strategies have revolutionised the PPC landscape. Whilst there’s a vocal section of the PPC community critical of Google for perceived increased ad costs, A/B tests consistently prove that well-configured automated bidding outperforms manual CPC bidding. However, the absence of clear guidelines from Google Ads on optimal setups like conversion density and latency leaves room for improvement.
Broad Match Keywords: Automated targeting, which is essentially what broad match represents today, has shown significant advancements. Numerous studies validate the efficacy of broad match keywords over phrase match types. Yet, just like automated bidding, Google Ads needs to provide clarity on best practices for using broad match keywords to prevent advertisers from flying blind.
The Balancing Act: Navigating the Grey Areas
Data-Driven Attribution (DDA): DDA underscores the importance of cross-channel consumer journeys. By distributing conversions across varied audiences, it offers a more nuanced understanding of campaign performance. However, the lack of transparency from Google, especially in comparing DDA with other attribution models, is a significant limitation.
Performance Max Campaigns: Positioned as the pinnacle of Google’s AI-driven innovations, Performance Max promises to discern the ideal media mix for advertisers. But the adoption of this feature comes with its own set of challenges. Before transitioning to Performance Max, advertisers need to critically evaluate if their current setup aligns with the requirements of this tool.
The Bad: When Best Practices Miss the Mark
Whilst best practices provide a general guideline, they often miss out on nuances specific to individual businesses. For instance, a gift card business might find DDA or Performance Max redundant given the swift customer journey, especially during peak seasons like Christmas. Similarly, subscription-based businesses might not benefit from Performance Max’s bottom-of-funnel goals due to potential overlaps with branded and retargeting campaigns.
At Judeluxe. , our philosophy is rooted in the belief that whilst data is invaluable, it shouldn’t be the sole driving force behind strategies. We advocate for a balanced approach, where data-driven insights are complemented by contextual understanding. As the landscape of PPC continues to evolve, it’s essential to remain agile, continually re-evaluating and refining strategies to ensure they align with the ever-changing best practices and the unique needs of e-commerce businesses.