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10 Biggest & Best PPC Features Of The Year

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10 Biggest & Best PPC Features Of The Year

Can you believe the end of the year is already upon us? With so many changes to the advertising ecosystem, it’s easy for time to fly by.

The year 2022 will be remembered for welcome (and unwelcome) changes to not only Google Ads and Microsoft Ads platforms but also to new features for up-and-coming channels.

With more PPC platforms available to advertisers, it’s hard to keep up with all the changes!

That’s why I’ve broken down my picks of the top 10 new PPC features and developments of 2022, encompassing as many PPC platforms and campaign types as possible.

1. Google Ads: No More Expanded Text Ads

While other platforms continue to add additional formats and options, Google continues to take away Search ad options slowly.

While it was announced back in 2021, Google officially sunset Expanded Text Ads on June 30, 2022. Search ads are now dominated by the Responsive Search Ads format.

Why is this a big deal?

For advertisers, the lack of control was a huge setback – especially for any regulated industry that needs legal approval on all copies. Additionally, many advertisers saw that their ETAs performed better than RSAs.

The bright side of ETAs being sunset is that marketers were forced to rethink their messaging strategy.

Because of the breadth of headline and description options, Google can mix and match to serve the right message, at the right time, for each user.

This meant removing the redundant copy from RSAs and shifting to an opportunity of creating more intentional messaging for each keyword theme.

Another benefit of moving to RSAs was the increased visibility of ads.

In a study done by Optmyzr in May 2022, it was found that RSAs showed 2.1x impressions compared to ETA-only ad groups.

Screenshot from Optmyzr, December 2022Impressions per ad group with ETAs vs. RSAs.

2. Microsoft Ads: Video Ads Debut

Microsoft continues to make headway into the advertising marketing share in 2022.

With the expansion of the Microsoft Audience Network, they officially debuted Video Ads just last month. While Video Ads were beta tested in 2021, they are now generally available in the following areas:

  • United States.
  • Canada.
  • United Kingdom.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Australia.
  • New Zealand.

From a marketer’s perspective, this allows you to reach your audience where you may not have been able to reach them before.

According to Microsoft’s recent stats:

  • 39% of users watch videos on MSN but not on YouTube.
  • 57% of users watch videos on MSN but not on Facebook.

Another benefit of expanding your video strategy to Microsoft Ads is that you don’t have to start from scratch.

Repurpose your current video ads on YouTube or other placements to save time and resources. Just be sure that the audience intent is similar if repurposing that content.

3. YouTube Ads: Audio Takes Center Stage

Officially out of beta testing, Google announced Audio ads available to all advertisers in October 2022.

This is a big win for advertisers trying to reach their target audience in a different way based on how they use YouTube.

Audio ads in Google are served to users who listen to music on YouTube specifically.

Marketers would want to utilize audio ads instead of video for music listeners because those users likely aren’t actually watching what’s on their YouTube screen.

Another big move for audio comes in the form of podcast placements.

Google rolled out this feature in October as well.

You may wonder, what does this have to do with YouTube ads?

The podcast placement on YouTube is available for audio and video ad formats.

4. Facebook Ads: New Tools For B2B And Small Businesses

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Facebook (now known officially as Meta) has been in the news a LOT this year.

While the news around Meta has mainly been around consumer-facing issues such as privacy and content standards, Facebook has introduced new features to advertisers this year.

In May 2022, Facebook announced new tools specifically for B2B and small businesses. These tools include:

  • Messaging and Conversation Features.
  • Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition Tools.

In the messaging and conversation features comes a new ad form.

Facebook is creating ads that can be run on both Facebook and Instagram, made directly from a business’s WhatsApp Business app.

This ad type helps expand a business and consumer relationship by encouraging interaction via message.

To support this feature, Facebook identified that over 70% of consumers want the option to communicate with businesses in a more conversational way.

The lead generation and customer acquisition new features include:

  • Quote Requests on Instagram.
  • Lead filtering with Instant Forms.
  • Creative flexibility.
  • Gated content.
  • Partner integrations.

From an ad perspective, the most relevant come within the quote requests and gated content, in my opinion.

With the ongoing need for first-party data, creating a gated content ad is a great way to capture essential user information, such as email, to be able to engage with them in the future.

5. Instagram Ads: Introducing AI-Powered Ads

Some of Instagram’s most notable PPC features come from new ad formats.

As this platform has become more shoppable, Instagram released a new AI-powered ad called “Multi-advertiser ads.”

Example of new AI-powered Instagram shoppable ads.Screenshot from Business.Instagram.com, December 2022Example of new AI-powered Instagram shoppable ads.

This ad format will highlight different businesses’ ads based on a consumer’s behavior and engagement within the app.

While it’s not necessarily an ad format that marketers can set up, this AI-powered format takes your existing ads and uses its algorithm to get your brand in front of in-market shoppers.

6. TikTok Ads: New Ad Placements In Search

In March of 2022, users first identified a new “Sponsored” ad placement within the top 4 results of a user’s search:

10 Biggest & Best PPC Features Of The YearScreenshot from TikTok, December 202210 Biggest & Best PPC Features Of The Year

It’s important to note that this Sponsored listing is still within Beta, and TikTok has not identified a timeline for general rollout to all advertisers.

So, why is this PPC feature big news?

TikTok has been a haven for users to discover content on countless topics.

Now with the search feature, advertisers will (hopefully soon) be able to target their ads more precisely based on a user search.

TikTok is, in a sense, becoming its own type of search engine. This placement is another reason to test out this ad platform if you haven’t already.

7. Pinterest Ads: Shoppable Product Pins With WooCommerce Extension

While Shoppable Pins aren’t new to 2022, a new feature added in July 2022 made it much easier for merchants to create ads. Over 3 million merchants, to be exact.

The Pinterest for WooCommerce extension simply makes selling your products on Pinterest easier to set up.

So, how does it work?

This new extension turns your entire product catalog into the Pinterest Shoppable Product Pin format. The catalog listings are automatically uploaded to Pinterest, removing the need for manual uploads.

If you use WooCommerce to run your online shopping website, you don’t want to miss this feature.

8. LinkedIn Ads: Enhanced Campaign Manager Interface

Even though LinkedIn has introduced new ad formats and targeting options, I think the biggest feature is its new Campaign Manager interface.

LinkedIn heard the cries of fellow marketers on how inefficient it was previously to manage campaigns and performance reporting.

The new interface touts a left-side navigation, mimicking other platforms like Google and Microsoft Ads.

The left-side navigation includes easy-to-find sections, including:

  • Plan.
  • Advertise.
  • Test.
  • Analyze.
  • Assets.
  • Account Settings.
LinkedIn Campaign ManagerScreenshot from LinkedIn, December 2022LinkedIn Campaign Manager

The second biggest feature enhancement to the interface allows you to switch between multiple accounts a lot easier.

Agency marketers alike, rejoice!

9. Twitter Ads: Dynamic Product And Collection Ads

Another social platform that’s been in the news countlessly in 2022? Twitter.

Like Meta (Facebook), while most of the hype has been around the management change and its residual effects, let’s not discount the new PPC features it brought to advertisers in 2022.

If you’re in ecommerce, these are for you.

Twitter introduced Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) and Collection Ads earlier this year.

DPAs for Twitter Ads work similarly to Facebook or other programmatic platforms. Advertisers who use an existing product feed management platform can integrate it with Twitter easily.

With DPAs, you can either retarget users based on engagement or prospect new customers with relevant product ads.

Collection Ads are also a form of product ads to showcase scrollable product images in an ad, accompanying a main static image.

Twitter Ads: Dynamic Product And Collection AdsScreenshot from Twitter, December 2022Twitter Ads: Dynamic Product And Collection Ads

10. Apple Ads: Expanded Ad Placement Inventory

Last but not least, Apple Ads.

It’s no secret that Apple has honed in on user-privacy standards and requirements over the past few years.

The restrictions on marketing measurement have made it difficult for advertisers to accurately prove campaigns’ success.

While measurement and visibility were top of mind for marketers, Apple officially announced its expansion of available ad placements in the Apple App Store in November 2022.

The new placements include inventory for:

  • Today Tab ads.
  • Product Page ad placements.

The expanded inventory in Apple Ads is important because it allows businesses to be discovered by users instead of being so “search” focused.

Many brands have been limited by Apple ad inventory in the past because user searches could only capture demand.

With Apple doubling its available ad inventory placements, marketers can expand awareness efforts specifically to its pool of iOS users.

What’s Next?

2022 was quite a year, wasn’t it? What does all this mean for the future of PPC?

2023 will surely bring just as many updates to PPC platforms, some for better or worse. Keep tuned in throughout the year for all the latest announcements and developments.

Have you embraced any of these 2022 PPC updates? What are your predictions for the top PPC features in 2023?

More Resources:


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Google Dials Back AI Overviews In Search Results, Study Finds

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Photo of a mobile device in mans hand with generative google AI Overview on the screen.

According to new research, Google’s AI-generated overviews have undergone significant adjustments since the initial rollout.

The study from SE Ranking analyzed 100,000 keywords and found Google has greatly reduced the frequency of AI overviews.

However, when they appear, they’re more detailed than they were previously.

The study digs into which topics and industries are more likely to get an AI overview. It also looks at how the AI snippets interact with other search features like featured snippets and ads.

Here’s an overview of the findings and what they mean for your SEO efforts.

Declining Frequency Of AI Overviews

In contrast to pre-rollout figures, 8% of the examined searches now trigger an AI Overview.

This represents a 52% drop compared to January levels.

Yevheniia Khromova, the study’s author, believes this means Google is taking a more measured approach, stating:

“The sharp decrease in AI Overview presence likely reflects Google’s efforts to boost the accuracy and trustworthiness of AI-generated answers.”

Longer AI Overviews

Although the frequency of AI overviews has decreased, the ones that do appear provide more detailed information.

The average length of the text has grown by nearly 25% to around 4,342 characters.

In another notable change, AI overviews now link to fewer sources on average – usually just four links after expanding the snippet.

However, 84% still include at least one domain from that query’s top 10 organic search results.

Niche Dynamics & Ranking Factors

The chances of getting an AI overview vary across different industries.

Searches related to relationships, food and beverages, and technology were most likely to trigger AI overviews.

Sensitive areas like healthcare, legal, and news had a low rate of showing AI summaries, less than 1%.

Longer search queries with ten words were more likely to generate an AI overview, with a 19% rate indicating that AI summaries are more useful for complex information needs.

Search terms with lower search volumes and lower cost-per-click were more likely to display AI summaries.

Other Characteristics Of AI Overviews

The research reveals that 45% of AI overviews appear alongside featured snippets, often sourced from the exact domains.

Around 87% of AI overviews now coexist with ads, compared to 73% previously, a statistic that could increase competition for advertising space.

What Does This Mean?

SE Ranking’s research on AI overviews has several implications:

  1. Reduced Risk Of Traffic Losses: Fewer searches trigger AI Overviews that directly answer queries, making organic listings less likely to be demoted or receive less traffic.
  2. Most Impacted Niches: AI overviews appear more in relationships, food, and technology niches. Publishers in these sectors should pay closer attention to Google’s AI overview strategy.
  3. Long-form & In-Depth Content Essential: As AI snippets become longer, companies may need to create more comprehensive content beyond what the overviews cover.

Looking Ahead

While the number of AI overviews has decreased recently, we can’t assume this trend will continue.

AI overviews will undoubtedly continue to transform over time.

It’s crucial to monitor developments closely, try different methods of dealing with them, and adjust game plans as needed.


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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

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10 Tips on How to Rock a Small PPC Budget

Many advertisers have a tight budget for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, making it challenging to maximize results.

One of the first questions that often looms large is, “How much should we spend?” It’s a pivotal question, one that sets the stage for the entire PPC strategy.

Read on for tips to get started or further optimize budgets for your PPC program to maximize every dollar spent.

1. Set Expectations For The Account

With a smaller budget, managing expectations for the size and scope of the account will allow you to keep focus.

A very common question is: How much should our company spend on PPC?

To start, you must balance your company’s PPC budget with the cost, volume, and competition of keyword searches in your industry.

You’ll also want to implement a well-balanced PPC strategy with display and video formats to engage consumers.

First, determine your daily budget. For example, if the monthly budget is $2,000, the daily budget would be set at $66 per day for the entire account.

The daily budget will also determine how many campaigns you can run at the same time in the account because that $66 will be divided up among all campaigns.

Be aware that Google Ads and Microsoft Ads may occasionally exceed the daily budget to maximize results. The overall monthly budget, however, should not exceed the Daily x Number of Days in the Month.

Now that we know our daily budget, we can focus on prioritizing our goals.

2. Prioritize Goals

Advertisers often have multiple goals per account. A limited budget will also limit the number of campaigns – and the number of goals – you should focus on.

Some common goals include:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Leads.
  • Sales.
  • Repeat sales.

In the example below, the advertiser uses a small budget to promote a scholarship program.

They are using a combination of leads (search campaign) and awareness (display campaign) to divide up a daily budget of $82.

Screenshot from author, May 2024

The next several features can help you laser-focus campaigns to allocate your budget to where you need it most.

Remember, these settings will restrict traffic to the campaign. If you aren’t getting enough traffic, loosen up/expand the settings.

3. Location Targeting

Location targeting is a core consideration in reaching the right audience and helps manage a small ad budget.

To maximize a limited budget, you should focus on only the essential target locations where your customers are located.

While that seems obvious, you should also consider how to refine that to direct the limited budget to core locations. For example:

  • You can refine location targeting by states, cities, ZIP codes, or even a radius around your business.
  • Choosing locations to target should be focused on results.
  • The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get, so balance relevance with budget.
  • Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to prevent irrelevant clicks that use up precious budget.

If the reporting reveals targeted locations where campaigns are ineffective, consider removing targeting to those areas. You can also try a location bid modifier to reduce ad serving in those areas.

managing ppc budget by location interactionScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

4. Ad Scheduling

Ad scheduling also helps to control budget by only running ads on certain days and at certain hours of the day.

With a smaller budget, it can help to limit ads to serve only during hours of business operation. You can choose to expand that a bit to accommodate time zones and for searchers doing research outside of business hours.

If you sell online, you are always open, but review reporting for hourly results over time to determine if there are hours of the day with a negative return on investment (ROI).

Limit running PPC ads if the reporting reveals hours of the day when campaigns are ineffective.

Manage a small ppc budget by hour of dayScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

5. Set Negative Keywords

A well-planned negative keyword list is a golden tactic for controlling budgets.

The purpose is to prevent your ad from showing on keyword searches and websites that are not a good match for your business.

  • Generate negative keywords proactively by brainstorming keyword concepts that may trigger ads erroneously.
  • Review query reports to find irrelevant searches that have already led to clicks.
  • Create lists and apply to the campaign.
  • Repeat on a regular basis because ad trends are always evolving!

6. Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding is a game-changer for efficient ad campaigns. Powered by Google AI, it automatically adjusts bids to serve ads to the right audience within budget.

The AI optimizes the bid for each auction, ideally maximizing conversions while staying within your budget constraints.

Smart bidding strategies available include:

  • Maximize Conversions: Automatically adjust bids to generate as many conversions as possible for the budget.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This method predicts the value of potential conversions and adjusts bids in real time to maximize return.
  • Target Cost Per Action (CPA): Advertisers set a target cost-per-action (CPA), and Google optimizes bids to get the most conversions within budget and the desired cost per action.

7. Try Display Only Campaigns

display ads for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

For branding and awareness, a display campaign can expand your reach to a wider audience affordably.

Audience targeting is an art in itself, so review the best options for your budget, including topics, placements, demographics, and more.

Remarketing to your website visitors is a smart targeting strategy to include in your display campaigns to re-engage your audience based on their behavior on your website.

Let your ad performance reporting by placements, audiences, and more guide your optimizations toward the best fit for your business.

audience targeting options for small ppc budgetScreenshot by Lisa Raehsler from Google Ads, May 2024

8. Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max (PMax) campaigns are available in Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

In short, automation is used to maximize conversion results by serving ads across channels and with automated ad formats.

This campaign type can be useful for limited budgets in that it uses AI to create assets, select channels, and audiences in a single campaign rather than you dividing the budget among multiple campaign types.

Since the success of the PMax campaign depends on the use of conversion data, that data will need to be available and reliable.

9. Target Less Competitive Keywords

Some keywords can have very high cost-per-click (CPC) in a competitive market. Research keywords to compete effectively on a smaller budget.

Use your analytics account to discover organic searches leading to your website, Google autocomplete, and tools like Google Keyword Planner in the Google Ads account to compare and get estimates.

In this example, a keyword such as “business accounting software” potentially has a lower CPC but also lower volume.

Ideally, you would test both keywords to see how they perform in a live campaign scenario.

comparing keywords for small ppc budgetsScreenshot by author from Google Ads, May 2024

10. Manage Costly Keywords

High volume and competitive keywords can get expensive and put a real dent in the budget.

In addition to the tip above, if the keyword is a high volume/high cost, consider restructuring these keywords into their own campaign to monitor and possibly set more restrictive targeting and budget.

Levers that can impact costs on this include experimenting with match types and any of the tips in this article. Explore the opportunity to write more relevant ad copy to these costly keywords to improve quality.

Every Click Counts

As you navigate these strategies, you will see that managing a PPC account with a limited budget isn’t just about monetary constraints.

Rocking your small PPC budgets involves strategic campaign management, data-driven decisions, and ongoing optimizations.

In the dynamic landscape of paid search advertising, every click counts, and with the right approach, every click can translate into meaningful results.

More resources: 


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What Are They Really Costing You?

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What Are They Really Costing You?

This post was sponsored by Adpulse. The opinions expressed in this article are the sponsor’s own.

As managers of paid media, one question drives us all: “How do I improve paid ad performance?”. 

Given that our study found close variant search terms perform poorly, yet more than half of the average budget on Google & Microsoft Ads is being spent on them, managing their impact effectively could well be one of your largest optimization levers toward driving significant improvements in ROI. 

“Close variants help you connect with people who are looking for your business, despite slight variations in the way they search.” support.google.com

Promising idea…but what about the execution?

We analyzed over 4.5 million clicks and 400,000 conversions to answer this question: With the rise in close variants (intent matching) search terms, what impact are they having on budgets and account performance? Spoiler alert, the impact is substantial. 


True Match Vs. Close Variants: How Do They Perform?

To understand close variant (CV) performance, we must first define the difference between a true match and a close variant. 

 

What Is a True Match? 

We still remember the good-old-days where keyword match types gave you control over the search terms they triggered, so for this study we used the literal match types to define ‘close variant’ vs ‘true match’. 

  • Exact match keyword => search term matches the keyword exactly. 
  • Phrase match keyword => search term must contain the keyword (same word order).
  • Broad match keyword => search term must contain every individual word in the keyword, but the word order does not matter (the way modified broad match keywords used to work).   

 

What Is a Close Variant? 

If you’re not familiar with close variants (intent matching) search terms, think of them as search terms that are ‘fuzzy matched’ to the keywords you are actually bidding on. 

Some of these close variants are highly relevant and represent a real opportunity to expand your keywords in a positive way. 

Some are close-ish, but the conversions are expensive. 

And (no shocks here) some are truly wasteful. 

….Both Google and Microsoft Ads do this, and you can’t opt-out.

To give an example: if you were a music therapist, you might bid on the phrase match keyword “music therapist”. An example of a true match search term would be ‘music therapist near me’ because it contains the keyword in its true form (phrase match in this case) and a CV might be ‘music and art therapy’.


How Do Close Variants Compare to True Match?

Short answer… poorly, on both Google and Microsoft Ads. Interestingly however, Google showed the worst performance on both metrics assessed, CPA and ROAS. 

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

1718772963 395 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

Want to see the data – jump to it here…

CVs have been embraced by both platforms with (as earlier stated), on average more than half of your budget being spent on CV variant matches. That’s a lot of expansion to reach searches you’re not directly bidding for, so it’s clearly a major driver of performance in your account and, therefore, deserving of your attention. 

We anticipated a difference in metrics between CVs and true match search terms, since the true match search terms directly align with the keywords you’re bidding on, derived from your intimate knowledge of the business offering. 

True match conversions should therefore be the low-hanging fruit, leaving the rest for the platforms to find via CVs. Depending on the cost and ROI, this isn’t inherently bad, but logically we would assume CVs would perform worse than true matches, which is exactly what we observed. 


How Can You Limit Wastage on Close Variants?

You can’t opt out of them, however, if your goal is to manage their impact on performance, you can use these three steps to move the needle in the right direction. And of course, if you’re relying on CVs to boost volume, you’ll need to take more of a ‘quality-screening’ rather than a hard-line ‘everything-must-go’ approach to your CV clean out!

 

Step 1: Diagnose Your CV Problem 

We’re a helpful bunch at Adpulse so while we were scoping our in-app solution, we built a simple spreadsheet that you can use to diagnose how healthy your CVs are. Just make a copy, paste in your keyword and search term data then run the analysis for yourself. Then you can start to clean up any wayward CVs identified. Of course, by virtue of technology, it’s both faster and more advanced in the Adpulse Close Variant Manager 😉.

 

Step 2: Suggested Campaign Structures for Easier CV Management  

Brand Campaigns

If you don’t want competitors or general searches being matched to your brand keywords, this strategy will solve for that. 

Set up one ad group with your exact brand keyword/s, and another ad group with phrase brand keyword/s, then employ the negative keyword strategies in Step 3 below. You might be surprised at how many CVs have nothing to do with your brand, and identifying variants (and adding negative keywords) becomes easy with this structure.

Don’t forget to add your phrase match brand negatives to non-brand campaigns (we love negative lists for this).

Non-Brand Campaigns with Larger Budgets

We suggest a campaign structure with one ad group per match type:

Example Ad Groups:

    • General Plumbers – Exact
    • General Plumbers – Phrase
    • General Plumbers – Broad
    • Emergency Plumbers – Exact
    • Emergency Plumbers – Phrase
    • Emergency Plumbers – Broad

This allows you to more easily identify variants so you can eliminate them quickly. This also allows you to find new keyword themes based on good quality CVs, and add them easily to the campaign. 

Non-Brand Campaigns with Smaller Budgets

Smaller budgets mean the upside of having more data per ad group outweighs the upside of making it easier to trim unwanted CVs, so go for a simpler theme-based ad group structure:

Example Ad Groups:

    • General Plumbers
    • Emergency Plumbers

 

Step 3: Ongoing Actions to Tame Close Variants

Adding great CVs as keywords and poor CVs as negatives on a regular basis is the only way to control their impact.

For exact match ad groups we suggest adding mainly root negative keywords. For example, if you were bidding on [buy mens walking shoes] and a CV appeared for ‘mens joggers’, you could add the single word “joggers” as a phrase/broad match negative keyword, which would prevent all future searches that contain joggers. If you added mens joggers as a negative keyword, other searches that contain the word joggers would still be eligible to trigger. 

In ad groups that contain phrase or broad match keywords you shouldn’t use root negatives unless you’re REALLY sure that the root negative should never appear in any search term. You’ll probably find that you use the whole search term added as an exact match negative much more often than using root negs.


The Proof: What (and Why) We Analyzed

We know CVs are part of the conversations marketers frequently have, and by virtue of the number of conversations we have with agencies each week, we’ve witnessed the increase of CV driven frustration amongst marketers. 

Internally we reached a tipping point and decided to data dive to see if it just felt like a large problem, or if it actually IS a large enough problem that we should devote resources to solving it in-app. First stop…data. 

Our study of CV performance started with thousands of Google and Microsoft Ads accounts, using last 30-day data to May 2024, filtered to exclude:

  • Shopping or DSA campaigns/Ad Groups.
  • Accounts with less than 10 conversions.
  • Accounts with a conversion rate above 50%.
  • For ROAS comparisons, any accounts with a ROAS below 200% or above 2500%.

Search terms in the study are therefore from keyword-based search campaigns where those accounts appear to have a reliable conversion tracking setup and have enough conversion data to be individually meaningful.

The cleaned data set comprised over 4.5 million clicks and 400,000 conversions (over 30 days) across Google and Microsoft Ads; a large enough data set to answer questions about CV performance with confidence.

Interestingly, each platform appears to have a different driver for their lower CV performance. 

CPA Results:

Google Ads was able to maintain its conversion rate, but it chased more expensive clicks to achieve it…in fact, clicks at almost double the average CPC of true match! Result: their CPA of CVs worked out roughly double the CPA of true match.                 

Microsoft Ads only saw slightly poorer CPA performance within CVs; their conversion rate was much lower compared to true match, but their saving grace was that they had significantly lower CPCs, and you can afford to have a lower conversion rate if your click costs are also lower. End outcome? Microsoft Ads CPA on CVs was only slightly more expensive when compared to their CPA on true matches; a pleasant surprise 🙂.

What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

ROAS Results:

Both platforms showed a similar story; CVs delivered roughly half the ROAS of their true match cousins, with Microsoft Ads again being stronger overall. 

 

1718772963 395 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024

Underlying Data:

For the data nerds amongst us (at Adpulse we self-identify here !) 

1718772963 88 What Are They Really Costing You

Image created by Adpulse, May 2024


TL;DR

Close variant search terms consume, on average, more than half an advertiser’s budget whilst in most cases, performing significantly worse than search terms that actually match the keywords. How much worse? Read above for details ^. Enough that managing their impact effectively could well be one of your largest optimization levers toward driving significant improvements in account ROI. 


Image Credits

Featured Image: Image by Adpulse. Used with permission.

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