There is a new era of AdWords developing in front of us. The increasing speed of enhancements from Google combined with more available data are creating opportunities to separate you from the competition. Most advertisers on Google have limited technology access, limited quantitative tools, some access to best (manual) practices, and depend on people for their success. People are critical; however with technology, tools and best practices create miracles in the AdWords arena.
There has been more innovation and change in Google AdWords over the past year+ than over the previous 10 years combined. I am talking about everything from Ad Extensions, Ad Params, Remarketing, to Enhanced campaign features, etc. These are all new features that, depending on how well implemented, can have tremendous positive impact on the performance of an account. Google has done a great job educating the market about the benefits, and the adoption of them has been great, albeit leveraging best practices and being more metrics-focused when evaluating success could capture much more benefit.
In numerous ways the changes have given many sophisticated advertisers a big advantage. I.e. using price and quantity inside your Ads drives click-through-rates up dramatically, but you need technology to be able to do it practically. The same goes for Remarketing; creating profiles that enable you to target repeat visitors is only helpful if you track and capture data that allows you to bid differently (more aggressively) depending on the expected outcome (predictive bidding).
Maybe the biggest opportunity to compete more effectively is the one most often overlooked. The measurement for success over the past 7-8 years for most companies using Google AdWords to source customers is CPA (cost per acquisition). It is the cost per acquisition that matters the most, simply because if this goes out of control, it makes the advertiser lose money. The number of acquisitions (conversions) of course matters as well, but only if they are “profitable.”
For an eCommerce site, most conversions on the site have different values. Furthermore, most keywords (that trigger the Ads) drive a different value for each transaction they trigger. However, there are strong trends in the cost/revenue (or profit) history for each keyword; some tend to drive higher revenue transactions while others tend to drive lower revenue transactions. If you knew this on a keyword-by-keyword basis, would you bid differently for those clicks?
Here is the crazy thing: This information already exists (or can easily be captured) in your AdWords account, yet hardly anyone uses the information to bid more accurately for the clicks depending on how much they are worth. If you knew that the probability of the resulting revenues from buying click A over click B was 10x greater, would you bid more for click A? Are you? Why not?
Each enhancement from Google over the past year+ represents great opportunities to differentiate you from the competition. Bidding based on revenue (or profit) outcome can supercharge each of those features and your entire account. That is the BIG picture.