The Finch Blog

Gear up AdWords for the holiday buying season

Fall is in full-swing—apple cider, pumpkins and pumpkin lattes! As we head into the holiday buying season, we know you are busy putting the final touches on your marketing plans for this all important last quarter of the year. Beating out your competition and winning more of your customers will bring you increased revenue and profit. We want to help you make this your best holiday season ever!

As your prepare to polish your AdWords plans, allow us to suggest a couple of areas that will help you turn AdWords into a profit-generating machine!

Google Shopping Campaigns

Google just made the migration final just a month ago. While it doesn’t change the experience for end users, the new Shopping Campaigns give you more tools to drive performance using data. PLAs have long been an excellent channel for retailers to win more customers. We recently published a new eBook that explores the differences with the new Google Shopping Campaigns and the strategies you need to take advantage of them.

Complete Keyword Coverage

Keyword Coverage is often an overlooked and undermanaged portion of every AdWords account. Your keyword bank represents your market opportunity and an incomplete account is leaving revenue and profit on the table for your competitors. The more complete your keyword bank is, the more you are able to compete effectively!

There are 2 ways you can ensure you have complete keyword coverage: connecting to your product catalog and inserting search terms that convert. Connecting your product catalog to AdWords ensures that you have an accurate representation of all the products you carry right inside of AdWords. This XML connection directly to AdWords makes it easy to maximize your market opportunity. Inserting search terms that converts, through Dynamic Search Term Insertion, ensures you are continually growing your keyword bank with terms that generate revenue and profit. In addition to expanding your market opportunity, DSTI will also improve performance lower your costs by inserting the keywords as [Exact Match] keywords.

Bidding for Profit or Revenue, not clicks

Each keyword contributes to revenue and profit differently. Actually, each match type for every keyword contributes differently. When you start looking at your account in terms of profit and revenue, you begin to see how you can do this differently to generate more of what you actually want. Armed with the profit and revenue data for individual keywords, you can begin setting the bids to maximize your revenue and profit, rather than simply setting bids based on the average generated by a larger group of keywords. This concept is the very heart of competing on AdWords and turning your all of your PPC efforts into a profit machine. 

We have outlined this strategy in an ebook title: Buying Profit by the Click, download your own copy.

Remarketing for Search

Remarketing for search has been out for a little over a year, but has been a great success, for those that have implemented it at least! Effectively target your return customers by increasing your bids based on how they have interacted with you previously. If a Search user has visited your site previously, perhaps their click is worth more and you adjust the bid by 20%; if they have viewed several product pages, maybe they are worth a bid that is 50% higher; if they have something currently in the cart on your site a bid of 100% higher is justified; and so on. When you combine this capability with very granular bid you have a killer strategy.

Ad Extensions

Trick out your ads with all of the features Google provides. This will increase your AdRank and give you additional real estate on the SERP page, increasing your chances of winning the click. There are many Ad Extensions and features that you can enable on your account. In many cases having Ad Extensions enabled can improve your AdRank, increasing your chances of winning a click.

Start with an Audit

Want to see how prepared you are for this holiday season? Run a free AdWords audit. We will take a detailed look at your historical performance and give you specific suggestions on ways to improve and grow your revenue and profit this year!


- Brad


Profit-driven Marketing

Matt Lawson, Director of Marketing, Performance Ads, at Google writes about Profit-driven Marketing as a new trend in a post title: The Profit-Driven Marketer: Setting a New Standard for Performance.

Lawson writes, “At the highest level, profit-driven marketing means moving digital marketing from a cost center to a profit center and extracting as much profit as possible out of your marketing spend.” (emphasis added.

At Finch we’ve been offering profit-driven marketing for years using our Total Profit option. eCommerce businesses that put profit-first are seeing dramatic results as they start optimizing their ad spend to maximize their profits rather than conversions.

What if you could do profit-driving marketing with very little effort?

It's actually rather simple with Finch. Here’s what it takes:

  1. Use Google Analytics for conversion tracking
  2. Enable GA eCommerce Tracking; add the product line items and categories with the transaction
  3. Upload the cost of your products and/or categories into Finch’s system.

Using this data, Finch continually optimizes your AdWords account to earn more profit with every bid.

You can read more about this process in our eBook, Buying Profit by the Click. If you want to get specific about how Finch can do this for you, get started with a free AdWords audit and we will demonstrate how your account can be optimized for more profit, transforming your ad budget into profit-driver!


New Ad Extension: Callouts - Increase your CTR, and your sales

Google has been testing a new ad extension named Callouts and is now publicly available for AdWords advertisers. We have had several customers trying this new extension out during the beta phase, but in the next few weeks Google will be making it available to all AdWords advertisers.

What are Callouts?

For a long time, advertisers have understood the power of special offers to increase conversion rates. Callouts is a new extension that makes it easy to highlight special offers and unique selling points within any of your Search ads.

We have recommended that including offers like this is a best-practice in Sitelinks as a way to effectively increase conversions. Callouts serve the same purpose, but do not include links to your site. Google has suggested that you use Callouts to highlight unique selling points about your business (i.e., Free shipping, award winning service, etc.) and important products details and benefits. Your ads can include up to four callouts with up to 25 characters, but pithy Callouts perform the best.

Callouts are additive, so you can include them with other ad formats, like Sitelinks. You can create, schedule and manage Callouts within the Ad Extensions tab at the account or campaign level, and even down to the Ad Group level.

Callouts are awesome!

Whenever you enable ad extensions it improves the performance of the ad by giving you more real estate, more relevance to your customers and now gives them specific reasons to click through on your ad. As you enable ad extensions you click-through-rate (CTR) will increase, lifting the overall performance of your account.

Here are a few specifics on using Callouts:


  • Provide offers and highlight unique selling points.
  • Enabled extensions impact your AdRank, enabling Callouts can lift your AdRank, leading to higher ad positions.
  • Target mobile with device-specific customizations.
  • You can edit Callouts across your Account, Campaigns and Ad Groups without having to edit each ad.
  • You can schedule Callouts to display on specific dates, days of the week and time-of-day.


Things you need to know about Callouts:

In addition to the key features and benefits of Callouts, there are a few things you need to keep in mind as you begin enabling Callouts in your account.


  • You are not allowed to duplicate text in Callouts across the Account, Campaign or Ad Group. For instance, you can’t put Free shipping on the Campaign and again on the Ad Group. Some similar terms will be considered duplicate (i.e., Customer service and Customer support)
  • Google will generally show the highest performing and most useful combinations of extensions and formats. This takes some of the guesswork out for you in determining which combinations will give you the greatest CTR.
  • No Dynamic Keyword Insertion. This is a bit of a bummer, but hopefully we will get this in future releases.
  • No gimmicky text or emoticons in your Callout text
  • Keep them short and pithy. Google recommends 12-15 characters, even though they allow up to 25 characters.
  • Use sentence case for your callouts. i.e., Free shipping not Free Shipping.


Finch Customers, we’ve got you covered

We love new features from Google, especially features that help you increase your CTR, which drives your Quality Score and AdRank, enabling you sell more through AdWords.

As Finch customers we’ve got you covered and will be enabling the features as they become available on your account. If you’re not yet a customer, this is yet another example in the ways Google continues to evolve and how Finch will always help you be in the fore-front. You should start with a free AdWords audit to see the other ways in which Finch can help you generate more profit and revenue through AdWords.

Join us at SearchMetrics Visibility_14

SearchMetrics, an SEO technology partner, is hosting Visibility_14 an SEO user and expert conference July 16-18th in Chicago. Industry experts from all over will be convening to discuss search trends, data and success stories. Our very own Bjorn Espenes will be joined by search experts from companies such as: Walgreens, CBS Interactive, GoDaddy, eBay and many more.

Bjorn will be sharing strategies that eCommerce companies need in order to shift their ad budget from a cost-center to a profit-center. His presentation is based on our new eBook and includes data from successful customers who have deployed these proven profit-first PPC strategies.

Use the discount code: VIS14CONF20 for 20% off your registration. After you register, let us know you’re going and we can connect at the event.

We look forward to seeing you in Chicago!



Webinar: Attribution in AdWords: Myth or Reality?

Not long ago one of our resident Google Experts published a post and data about Attribution inside of AdWords. For eCommerce, the question of attribution models and how that affects bidding strategies is a very important one.

There are many ways to arrive at the appropriate model for eCommerce businesses, but Morten began a quest to answer that question by digging into the actual data. By looking at the performance data for several accounts he cut through opinion and gut instinct and got right to what the data tells us.

Join us for a webinar as we discuss what he found in the data and how you should model attribution in your AdWords account.



Tuesday, June 24th 2pm EST / 11am PST 



Thursday, June 26th 11am Central European


Register now and come be a part of the discussion.


Partner Introduction- Fanplayr for Targeted, On-site Offers

Here at Finch, we are always on the lookout for interesting technologies and partners that can help eCommerce companies, like you, increase marketshare and revenue. A few months ago we started collaborating with Fanplayr, looking for ways to help businesses learn how to get more out of their marketing efforts. Fanplayr is an exciting technology that will help you increase sales by delivering highly targeted and relevant on-site offers to customers on your own site, powered by a cloud-based big data intelligence platform. Finch will help get your customers to your site, and Fanplayr will help you convert them at higher values.

At Finch, we recognize the increasing competition companies like yours face, and we have always been committed to helping you drive revenue in a pay-for-performance model. Fanplayr takes a similar approach, removing monthly subscriptions and relying on their ability to help you achieve a demonstrable lift to your bottom line.

Fanplayr designed its platform to help online merchants make the most out of their visitor traffic by being able to understand and engage with prospective customers in real-time. Based on historical, behavioral, or demographic visitor attributes, you can understand your visitors’ intent, and serve relevant offers in order to appeal to that specific intent. In-depth analytics, dedicated account managers, and in-house industry experts have enabled Fanplayr to improve billions of online shopping experiences. Fanplayr is aligned with it’s customers’ goals, and can launch campaigns to increase site-wide conversion rate & AOV, increase customer acquisition, reduce cart abandonment, increase customer loyalty & lifetime value, optimize offer-based margins, and improve your online shopping experience.

Over the next few months we will be collaborating on educating eCommerce companies about how you can take control of lifting the bottom line through AdWords and on-site strategies. We will explore the data and results of companies that have employed these profit-first technologies and techniques. The first installment in this joint education series is a quick overview of each company, you can watch the video here.


5 tricks to successfully manage your PPC agency

“My current vendor is doing a great job and is taking great care of us” is something I hear frequently.  What they may actually be saying is “I don’t know what is going on, they are nice people and seem to know what they are doing”.  What if you knew exactly how to manage your PPC vendor?  Here are a few tips:

#1. Define outcome: You are in business to make money?  You make money from selling products for more than they cost you (including fees to Google and vendor).  Know that cost and set a hard cost of revenue (Cost per Value) target and measure against that.

Fact: Recently most companies are tracking the revenues that comes from their AdWords ad spend, but 100% of the clients Finch starts working with did not use revenue data when deciding how much to bid for the next click. (hint: they are bidding for conversions (CPA) while expecting revenues (CPV).

#2. Keyword coverage:  You sell products, your prospective customer are searching for products; make sure your product titles, UPC codes, etc. are in  your keyword bank.  Ask the question and do spot checks.

Fact:  The average eCommerce company Finch starts to work with has less than 25% of their product catalog listed as keywords (hint: they ignore 75% of their market).

#3. Influence the Click-through-rate (CTR): Your CTR drives ad rank and how much you pay per click for a position.  Ad copy, extension use and best practices, and ad parameters are key components that needs both strategy and structure to isolate the variables in order to influence them.  Track the CTR on your top producing ads over time.

Fact: 100% of companies Finch starts working with groups keywords into an ad group with multiple ads associated with them.  Isolating a high impression ad with a keyword becomes impossible and optimization is simply not feasible.

#4. Leverage how Google AdWords really works: How Google AdWords works is really simple in principle, you pay them $1 and you get a click in return.  The challenge is that most your competitors are also willing to pay Google $1 for that same click.  That is why Google developed a highly sophisticated auction platform where they sell clicks so that you can bid more or less.  In addition Google developed a very sophisticated “black box” called Quality Score that for all practical reasons enable them to calculate which ad will give them the best click probability/revenue combination.  That is what is called ad rank, you must have a strategy that you are executing against.  

Fact: Exact match clicks have a higher CTR, fewer clicks means you are willing to pay more per click, higher bid/CTR gets a higher position which triggers top 3 ad features (extensions), which again gets a higher CTR, driving a higher quality score, resulting in a higher ad rank (better and more clicks for less).  

#5. Google feature adoption: There has been more changes and enhancements to Google AdWords the past 18 months than the previous 10 years combined.  This is more visible in the Ad than anywhere else; i.e. all extensions give you more real estate on the SERP (search engine results page) which means your competition gets less.  Product listing ads best practices, remarketing for search configuration, bid adjustments on ad group level in the new Enhanced Campaigns (i.e. Desktop vs Mobile, Re-marketing for Search bid adjustment for different shopping stage profiles).  Early adoption is key to benefit early and before others, proven best practices are key over time to remain competitive. 

Fact: The above best practices can influence your CTR and profitability by over 50% just by turning on a feature, turning on all of them with best practices will change your business as it has done for most of our clients.

Bonus #6: Check your log file to monitor the vendor activities (bid changes, Ad changes, keyword additions, etc.  

Fact: If you pay a vendor by the hour you will see a lot of activity, if you pay a flat fee or a license you will see limited activity.  Unless you pay for performance in a model where your and the vendor’s outcome is aligned, one will always try to get ahead of the other.


Buying Profit by the Click - A new eCommerce eBook

Bjorn just hit publish on a brand new eBook outlining the AdWords strategies eCommerce companies must employ to grow revenue and profit with PPC.

If this eBook were written as a tweet (you know, 140 characters or less), it would read: 

Buy profit not acquisitions. AdWords must be a sales channel, not an ad expense. See how one company increased revenue by 310% and profit by 169%!

While a tweet sounds intriguing, this eBook goes into detail about each of the steps necessary to accomplish this. This strategy addresses the unique requirements eCommerce companies have for PPC. Specifically, managing the complexity of offering multiple products, each with different prices and profit margins, and setting the right cost targets.

The key to this strategy, as laid out in the eBook, is to shift away from focusing on Conversions and Acquisitions, and move to Revenue and Profit instead. You’ll have to go read the eBook for all the details, but here are the major topics Bjorn covers:

  • Performance Measurement for PPC
  • It’s all about the Outcome
  • Capturing the right Data
  • The Quantitative and Competitive Case for Buying Profit
  • Putting it all together

The eBook closes with a quick look at the results for one company that applied these strategies to their own AdWords efforts.

Download the eBook now, then start employing these strategies to grow revenue and profit with a free AdWords audit.



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