FAQ

Product: Finch PPC bid management software

  • What types of campaigns can you manage?

    Finch offers a robust platform specializing in the management and optimization of several campaign types in Search, Shopping, and Display on Google Ads as well as Bing, wherever a given campaign type is applicable. This would include, but not necessarily be limited to:
    - Brand search
    - Non-brand / prospecting search
    - Shopping
    - Dynamic search ads
    - Display remarketing
    - Display prospecting
    - YouTube ads

  • Can you also manage social media advertising with Finch?

    Not at this time. Finch has chosen to focus our efforts on being the best in the channel that matters the most: AdWords. Google touches over 80% of people in the buying process, and we focus on helping you compete more effectively with your AdWords budget.

    Finch will manage Bing as well, but the optimization abilities aren't as sophisticated as Google.

    Unless you have unlimited funds to spend on online advertising, you are better off allocating it to AdWords if you want a higher ROI. Read an article about how Google’s performance is more effective than advertising on Facebook.

  • What criteria do you use to manage and optimize search and display campaigns?

    CPA - Cost per conversion. Recommended when each conversion is worth the same amount. Seeks to maximize conversion volume at or below the chosen CPA target.

    CPV - Cost per Value / Cost of Sales - Cost as a percent of revenue. Recommended when each conversion is worth a different amount. Seeks to maximize revenue at or below the chosen cost of sales target.

    Total Profit - Recommended when each conversion is worth a different amount and margins very. Seeks to maximize profit based on costs and revenue.

  • Does Finch work with mobile specific campaigns?

    There is no reason to manage Mobile in a separate campaign. Finch manages Mobile along side Desktop. We automatically calculate the mobile modifier per ad group to support the ROI goal. Ad Groups that perform well on Mobile will be bid to earn more. Ad Groups that don't perform well on Mobile will be bid down to save cost. In 2016 Google announced the ability to manage Tablet traffic the same way.

  • Does Finch use broad match modified keywords?

    First of all, remember that a keyword is a word or a set of words that you create to target a certain ad.

    Search results on broad match keywords work like this: Your ad might show up when a user’s search term includes relevant variations of your keyword. For example, their search term might include one OR more of the words in your keyword, in any order, or it might be a synonym or a variant of your keyword.

    When you include the broad match modifier, you make the broad keyword matches more specific. By adding a plus sign (+) to the front of a word (within your keyword), that word must match exactly in the search. The other words (that are a part of that same keyword) with no plus sign (+) can still match a variant of that word.

    When Finch optimizes your campaigns and you are using keywords with broad match modifiers, we preserve them. We launch the keyword the same way as a broad match modified keyword. We go further and create additional keywords from that broad match keyword. We remove the plus sign (+) and we do a broad match, a phrase match, and an exact match. In other words, we create additional match types even if you were not previously using them thus enhancing your campaigns.

    Read about keyword matching options on Google AdWords.

  • How do organic and paid keywords work together?

    Research shows that you are at least 3.3 times more likely to get a click if you have both organic and paid search results on a page (position 5 or better for both). Keywords that rank high organically are rewarded with a high quality score from Google, and that means you will pay less for the click on the paid keyword and it will get a higher ranking. The important thing is that you get the click instead of your competitor, not whether you pay for the click.

  • What does optimize for Value do to my revenues?

    Value is a dynamic variable in the Google Conversion Tracking code that enables you to track the revenue generated through a shopping cart and tie that variable amount to keywords.

    Consider the following example:

    A merchant sells products with prices ranging from $10 to $20,000 and is currently using a $10 cost per acquisition (CPA) target.

    In reality, this means that the merchant is willing to pay the same in advertising for a $10 sale as for a $10,000 sale.
    This means two things:
    - Sales of $10 products are not profitable
    - Increased likelihood of no sales of the $10,000 product, because the bids will not be high enough to get impressions leading to a $10,000 sale

    A different merchant also sells products with prices ranging from $10 to $20,000 and is paying 10% of sales for each conversion. This merchant’s ad spend is based on the value of the conversion, or cost per value (CPV), not a set target like the first merchant.

    Since this merchant is spending 10% of each sale on ad spend, and assuming they have the same conversion rate as the first merchant, the second merchant has the following benefits:
    - They are only paying up to $1 per conversion for $10 products (and are profitable)
    - They are willing to pay up to $1000 per conversion for the $10,000 products (excellent chance of getting impressions and clicks)

    Switching from cost per acquisition (CPA) to cost per value (CPV) (cost of revenue) usually makes a campaign more profitable (reduced CPCs) and rapidly grows revenue (increased ROI).

  • Can I deactivate Keywords by your XML feed if my products are not in stock anymore?

    Yes, although technically, we will pause the ad group the keyword is in (Finch maintains only one positive targeting keyword per ad group). This can be done using the "paused" element of the XML feed. Please see the documentation in the Early Access Program area for more information.

  • Does Finch manage remarketing?

    Finch finds that clients benefit most from Search Remarketing - known as Remarketing Lists for Search Ads or RLSA. This is for Search or Shopping. The Finch team will work to create or confirm specific remarketing audiences based on client's individual website structure or business needs. The Finch system will automatically manage a modifier for each ad group to get the best possible results per remarketing audience.

    Finch will support Dynamic Remarketing for Shopping to help boost the ROI on Shopping.

    Finch will occasionally support separate remarketing search campaigns or display remarketing campaigns based on client need. Typically the ROI doesn't support the client's cost of sales goal.

  • How does cost of sales optimization impact my campaigns?

    Value is a dynamic variable in the Google Conversion Tracking code that enables you to track the revenue generated through a shopping cart and tie that variable amount to keywords.

    Consider the following example:

    A merchant sells products with prices ranging from $100 to $1,000 and is currently using an average $50 cost per acquisition (CPA) target.

    In practice, this means that the merchant is willing to pay the same in advertising for a $100 sale as for a $1,000 sale. By treating all product sales the same, it is virtually guaranteed that many sales will be unprofitable, and also that the merchant will be likely to under-bid on searches that might result in much more revenue.

    A different merchant also sells products with prices ranging from $100 to $1,000 and is paying 10% of sales for each conversion. This merchant’s ad spend is based on the value of the conversion, or cost per value (CPV) - not a set dollar amount like the first merchant.

    Since this merchant is spending 10% of each sale on ad spend, and assuming they have the same conversion rate as the first merchant, the second merchant has the following benefits:
    They are only paying up to $10 per conversion for $100 products (and are profitable)
    They are willing to pay up to $100 per conversion for the $1,000 products, which makes it more likely that they can remain competitive in selling these higher priced items.

    Switching from cost per acquisition (CPA) to cost per value (CPV) (cost of sales) usually makes a campaign more profitable (reduced CPCs) and rapidly grows revenue (increased ROI).

    Finch takes cost per value into consideration and determines how much to pay per click, depending on the average order value associated with each keyword or product.

  • How does Finch achieve both volume gain and cost savings?

    In most Google AdWords accounts, there is a portion of the keywords that are strong performers. Finch identifies those keywords and allocates more budget resources towards their increased performance. This provides the volume gain. At the same time, Finch identifies the keywords that have used a disproportionate amount of the budget for limited performance, and less budget is allocated to those keywords thus providing cost savings.

    These achievements are further amplified by the Finch campaign structure that takes advantage of Google settings and choices, such as match types.

    The magic box component is the Finch patent pending algorithms and data models that decide what to do when you don’t have perfect data. This is a key factor since even mature campaigns may only have less than 10% of the required data to be fully optimized.

General | Pay per click service

  • Who is my account manger?

    The Finch representative who helped you enter into your Finch agreement is your first point of contact. There is a global team available to support your account depending on your needs.

  • Who owns the intellectual property (content) of the Finch campaigns?

    You do! If you decide to stop using Finch, you can keep the campaigns that we have set up. However, the campaigns are unlikely to keep performing over time if the Finch software is disconnected.

  • What is the difference between Conversions and Converted Clicks?

    Converted Clicks means that Google will only register one conversion per click on an Ad despite which conversion code the click converts with. This works great when there is only value in having one unique conversion per customer (i.e. a lead for a software client only has value the first time the form is filled out).

    Unlike Converted Clicks, Conversions are recorded multiple times from the same customer after the first click. This is always the way to record conversions for an eCommerce client, because the only way to trigger the conversion tracking script is by completing the shopping cart (meaning the client is making money for every conversion, and it should be tied to the initial ad spend).

  • What are lag conversions?

    Google's reporting matches up the cost of a click with the resulting conversions to the same day as the cost of the click. Google keeps track of this by issuing a 30-day cookie that helps record any conversion resulting over the 30 days from the most recent click back to the day you paid for the initial click. Google does this in order to match up your cost with the leads/revenue so you can more easily measure ROI and cost effectiveness. When you are looking at Google reports that have data less than 30 days old, you need to know your lag history to be able to fully compare new performance data with older data.

    Example: You spend $1 on a click on January 1st. The person clicking on your ad goes to your site but leaves after a few seconds. If that person comes back to your site in the next 30 days and converts (purchase, lead, or other action), it will be recorded as a conversion for January 1st. This is also the reason that Google data that is less than 30 days old keeps changing as lag conversions are recorded.

    If you want to see your lag conversions (they are also shown in the Finch dashboard reports), log in to your Google AdWords account, go to Reporting, Conversions, Search Funnel, Time Lags, and select First Click.

    Read more about lag conversions in Finch's white paper, How do time lags affect conversion tracking?

  • Why should I pay Google for clicks on my own trademark or domain names?

    Clients often have a strong resistance to pay Google for their own brand names. “Why pay when I can get it for free via SEO” is a common question. There are many reasons you want to include your branded terms:

    • It is frequently the most effective keywords in terms of both cost and volume.
    • Competitors are buying your branded terms, so you will likely be #1 because of Quality Score and allocation due to performance.
    • When people do searches, some click on organic results, some on paid results, and some on both. You want all clicks as long as they are profitable clicks.
    • Studies have shown that being above position #5 for both SEO and PPC gives you a 3.3 times chance, or better, of getting the click.
    • The bottom line is this: It’s about getting the click, not if you pay or not -- Finch makes sure the click is profitable.

    For more information on this topic, See this Search Engine Land case study that shows improvement with and loss without branded terms being purchased.

    What Trademark Search Data Can Reveal About User Behavior

Setup | Pay per click campaigns

  • How do you launch the Finch campaigns, and do you impact my campaigns?

    Finch uses your existing ad copy, keywords, and URLs to recreate an ultra granular campaign. This helps to avoid any negative impact on the quality score in your account.

    The new Finch campaign(s) will be inserted into your Google AdWords account, always starting with "Finch" for the campaign name. Your old campaign(s) will be paused, and the Finch campaign(s) will be activated.

    Your existing campaigns are paused and left 100% intact in case you ever want to revert back to them.

  • How many conversions do I need to optimize a campaign?

    Finch requires a minimum of 50 conversions to optimize a campaign. The number of conversions required to optimize campaigns increases as the distance between historic performance and desired targets increases.

  • How can you start optimizing with as little as 50 conversions?

    We have a better data model with associated algorithms than most others who require far more data, because they typically have very complex algorithms. Complex algorithms may technically be better if you have unlimited data, but with AdWords the challenge is always not having enough data, and the trick is to manage data volume with granularity and sophistication of algorithms.

  • What is the minimum monthly ad spend?

    Suggested minimum monthly ad spend is $5000, per campaign grouping.

  • Will I lose my old campaigns?

    No. Your existing campaigns will be paused, and you can restart your own campaigns at any time.

  • Do you use my paused campaigns when you do an audit for my account?

    When Finch does an audit on your Google AdWords account, we look at your data so that we can produce a report to show you how we work. We include paused campaigns in the audit if they have recent data and they appear to be relevant. We always make a note in the audit report to tell you if we used the paused campaigns.

  • What about negative keywords? Do you support using them? Does Finch use negative keywords when building granular campaigns?

    When Finch launches your campaign(s), as part of copying information from your campaigns and potentially combining multiple campaigns into one Finch campaign, we will find all negative keywords that are in common at the campaign level across all your campaigns that are being combined, and these will become the negative keywords that are created on the Finch campaign. Note that if all active ad groups in a campaign have the same negative keyword, that negative keyword will be considered as being at the campaign level in your campaign.

    Any campaign negative keywords that were not in common across all your campaigns will be created as ad group level negative keywords on the corresponding ad groups that Finch creates in its granular structure. For instance, if two of your campaigns (call them "A" and "B") were combined into one Finch campaign and there were campaign negative keywords on campaign "A" that were not on campaign "B", all ad groups created in the Finch campaign containing the keywords from campaign "A" will contain ad group level negative keywords corresponding to the negative campaign level keywords in campaign "A".

    In a similar fashion at the ad group level, you might have an ad group in your campaign that contains 10 keywords, along with some negative keywords. When Finch launches, this ad group will result in 40 ad groups in the Finch campaign (one for each of broad, broad match modified, phrase, and exact match for each of the 10 keywords). The 30 corresponding ad groups created in the Finch campaign that each contain one of the broad, broad match modified, or phrase match keywords will contain all the negative keywords that were on your original ad group. The 10 ad groups Finch creates that each contain just an exact match targeting keyword will not have the negative keywords added, as they are unnecessary.

    Note that if you have the same keyword in the same match type in multiple ad groups (whether in the same campaign or multiple campaigns), and those ad groups do not contain identical negative keywords, only the negative keywords that are in common across both of your ad groups will be carried over to the corresponding Finch ad group. This will make it so that your keyword in the Finch campaign will continue to match the same search queries as it did in your campaign(s).

    We also create our own negative keywords to isolate the different match types by ad group. For instance, on the ad group that contains the phrase match of a particular keyword (say, "shoes"), we will put a negative exact match keyword of that same keyword (in this case, [shoes]). This helps us to drive traffic to the most closely matching keyword, so that we can bid more precisely for every search that a user performs.

    If your search terms report shows unqualified traffic coming from search terms, then additional negative search terms can be added. Please use caution when adding these at a campaign level, as a poorly selected term can block qualified traffic. Please talk to your client success manager if you have questions. Your CSM may also add negative terms if they feel it's required

  • Why should I use conversion tracking?

    Finch uses conversion tracking to track the details of your campaigns' performance. When you have conversion tracking installed, you know whether a visitor to your site purchased a product or signed up for your newsletter. You also know which of your keywords work the best to lead people to your website. Finch needs this information to determine how much to pay for a click for those keywords in order to maximize sales and minimize costs.

    To learn more about conversion tracking, visit http://adwords.google.com/support/agency/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=142348.

    To learn how to set up AdWords conversion tracking, visit http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=115794.

  • Can I use Google Analytics imported into Google AdWords with Finch, or do I need Google Conversion Tracking?

    To use Google Analytics, you need to sync the data sharing between your Analytics and AdWords accounts.

    To sync your accounts, follow these 2 steps:

    Link your Analytics and AdWords accounts: http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033961.
    Import your goals and transactions from Analytics, and map them into AdWords: http://adwords.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=105598.
    Here are some things to keep in mind:

    Conversions do not show up in AdWords immediately - there is some time lag.

    Make sure you do not count your conversions twice (double count) when using AdWords and Analytics at the same time for the same conversions, using the same tracking purpose. In this case Finch can segment by conversions and use one code or the other (or pick specifically which of the conversion codes you want us to use for optimization).Please contact Finch when making changes to your conversion setup to ensure that we manage your campaigns accurately.

    Conversions are not imported retroactively when Analytics is linked to AdWords — they will only show up in AdWords going forward after the integration is done.

  • How do I know who has access to my account, and how do I manage this?

    1. Log in to your Google AdWords account.
    2. Go to the My Account tab.
    3. Select Account access.

    You will see a list of people who have access to your account and their access level.

Your Responsibilities and Optimizing ads

  • How do I change and optimize my ads?

    As a general rule, your Finch client success manager will help with improving ads; however, we don't specialize in ad copy AB testing at this time. We do want to assist and make sure hte ad copy is performing well. Because of our 'single keyword ad groups' the optimization process is easy, but a bit different than a standard ad group.

    Watch this Finch video for more help on optimizing ad copy.

    The important thing is to always work on the ads that have the most impact on your results. Finch uses a highly granular ad group structure that may at first look like it makes it difficult to manage ad copy. For global changes to ads, you can use AdWords Editor, or you can email the changes you want to Finch, and we will make the changes.

    Optimizing the click through rate (CTR) for the ads in a campaign is best done with the following methodology in Google AdWords:

    1. Click on the campaign you want to work on, then select the Ads tab, and set the data range to Last 30 days.

    2. Click on the Impressions header to sort your ads to put the ads with the most impressions on top.

    3. Among the top 25 ads, look for those with the lowest click through rate (CTR), click on the Ad Group link, pause the least performing ads, and add new ones.

    4. Keep track of the ads you are changing (xls) and check next week for improvement (learning).

    5. Every week do this same drill, and you will have a rapidly increasing CTR where it matters the most -- from the keywords with the most traffic/impressions.

  • What is the best practice for writing ad copy?

    Watch this Finch video for more help on optimizing ad copy.

    You want your ad copy to get clicks that convert. Writing your ad so that it stands out from other ads on the search results page is the most critical task. And when your ad is relevant to the search term, this increases the probability that the click will convert, which helps both your cost and volume.

    Four lines are available for your ad, and the best practice for each of the lines are as follows:

    1. Dynamic {search term} insertion, combined with text
    2. Benefits of buying from you and/or a snippet of what makes you different from others
    3. Call to action (why buy now; discount, shipping, service, etc.)
    4. URL
    When you write your ad copy internally, it may be your most effective instant market research tool. By changing what you offer as benefits, describing what makes you different, and supplying a “call to action,” in a few days you will learn how your target market is responding to the message you sent with your ad. When your ad has a good response, you should use that information in all of your other online promotions since it has proven to be successful.

    When you pay attention to ad granularity and carefully select which ads to modify with the best practices described here (combined with following the instructions in the “How do I change and optimize my ads?" FAQ topic), you can, in most cases, dramatically improve your CTR and Quality score.

  • How can I get longer headlines for my ads to improve CTR?

    Longer headlines have proven to increase Click-Through-Rate (CTR).

    For some ads, Google moves description line 1 to the headline and separates them with a hyphen. This creates longer headlines and a better experience for users, because more information is highlighted in the ad.

    To improve your chance to have longer headlines:

    Make sure each description line of your ad appears to be a distinct sentence.
    Make sure each description line of your ad ends in proper punctuation (a period or a questions mark).
    Note that punctuation varies by country.
    Read more about Longer headlines for select ads on Google.

  • Are sitelinks beneficial?

    Sitelinks are shortcuts to different pages on your website that appear below your ad. They allow you to show links to pages on your website in addition to your main landing page. Learn more in Google AdWords help article, Show your website links below your ad text.

    We have found that 4-6 sitelinks work best with our clients.

    Google has a policy that each sitelink in a campaign needs to link to a unique landing page on your site. As of fall 2012, Google will begin enforcing this policy. Read an article on what you need to know about Google’s sitelink policy update.

  • How can Google+ help my AdWords account?

    When you have a Google+ Page and link it to your AdWords campaigns, you can receive +1 endorsements on your ads.

    A +1 on your ad also applies to your Google+ Page, and a +1 from your Google+ Page also applies to your AdWords ads.

    Learn more in this Google AdWords help article, Show your ads with your Google+ Page endorsements.

  • How do I add customer reviews to my AdWords account?

    Google Shopping seller ratings are made up of combined customer reviews from third-party sites and from Google Checkout. Seller ratings are beneficial because they let Google users know about advertisers who are rated well by their customers.

  • How do I add a new ad to all or some of my ad groups?

    Watch this video to learn how to use AdWords Editor to add a new ad to all or some of your ad groups.

    Finch campaign structure provides a lot of power for optimizing your ad copy. You have a lot of control with the ability to increase your click through rate (CTR) and quality score for all of your keywords. This added power means there is some extra work to do to manage ads with Finch, but AdWords Editor provides an easy way to manage your ads.

    Read the steps for Adding new ads to all ad groups with AdWords Editor. (You can find this paper on the Finch website under Product Materials > Resources.)

  • When Finch manages my campaigns, what is left for me to do?

    We like to think we're building a partnership. We know how to drive performance on AdWords. You know your business best. We work together on improving ad copy and tightening campaign relevancy with negative keyword insertion. Additionally, we provide consulting and testing for landing page optimization, but typically need to work with someone on your team to implement changes.