COMING AT YOU WEEK OF 1.18.22
Happy Tuesday 👋🏻
Did you get a long weekend or were you robbed? More importantly, did you take some time to think about what Martin Luther King Jr’s life means to you and those around you? For me, his life is a reminder that it takes bravery and action to bring change.
Now let’s get you caught up on the marketing world.
THIS WEEK’S MOST IMPORTANT MARKETING NEWS
In 2020, multiple states and Commonwealths filed an antitrust* lawsuit against Google. They said that Google monopolized the ad market and rigged ad auctions. Files that they submitted to support their claim had pieces of information that had been redacted.
Since then, some of the redacted pieces of those files were unsealed revealing more to the story. The latest info suggests that FB and Google worked together to undermine header bidding. Many people believe header bidding is a healthier model for ad auctions. It lets publishers auction their ad space to multiple interested advertisers instead of Google doing the auctioning.
* In the US, an antitrust law is a law that makes sure corporations play nicely. And play nicely means that they don’t monopolize their industry.
Twitter, we’ve been pleasantly surprised with some of your resources lately. This calendar will update throughout the year and it includes things like the Golden Globes, the college football season, and Movember.
If this goes live for all of us, we won’t have to add posts in a careful order to keep up with grid aesthetics.
You need a developer to integrate the tool into the backend of your site. Once you get it set up you can remove and audit ads at scale. The setup could help you see patterns related to ads that are getting disapproved.
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine, and this news is both a big deal and not a big deal. The actual number of searches is pretty modest compared to Google’s numbers (they reach 100 billion searches roughly every 18 days). But even DuckDuckGo’s modest numbers are a big deal because it highlights people’s increasing priority of search privacy. This privacy focus can have far-reaching consequences.
To us, the law seems meant to encourage Google to make adjustments so their analytics data is in compliance with GDPR. Or, it’s meant to encourage European companies to start using other website analytics providers.
There isn’t an enforcement policy in place for this yet, and remember this was a ruling in Austria. However, there are exactly 100 more complaints of this nature that are waiting on a decision in other parts of the EU.
Here’s the court’s logic behind their decision: The GDPR is meant to protect people’s privacy and it’s more strict than US laws about what kind of data is or is not okay to collect about people. European sites using Google Analytics are seeing data that was originally processed with the US privacy parameters, which are more lax than the EU’s.
QUALITY SCORE: THE KEY TO COST-EFFECTIVE GOOGLE SEARCH ADS
What is quality score?
It’s a score out of 10 that rates your ad experience for it’s quality and relevance.
That’s the concise answer. We’re gonna break that down and expand it much more in the rest of this newsletter.
How does quality score affect my ads? (As in, why should I care about it?)
Quality score is a key player. It has a significant impact on:
- whether or not your ad appears on the search results page
- where your ad appears (which position it earns on the page), and
- how much each ad click costs
Here are some formulas that illustrate the power that quality score holds.
Ad rank = Max Cost-per-click x Quality score
Actual Cost-per-click = (Rank of ad below / Your quality score) + 1p
If those make total sense to you, way to be. But don’t stress if those aren’t crystal clear. We just want you to get a feel for how directly quality score affects the success and cost of your ads.
Reminder: we’re talking about Google search ads. Quality score isn’t a factor for, say, Facebook ads.
There’s a big principle that quality score can teach us.
QS doesn’t carry the same weight as something like your conversion rate. But we really like talking about quality score because it embodies a principle that lives at the heart of successful marketing: figure out what people want from you and then give it to them.
So let’s walk through a scenario where someone has a good experience with a Google search ad and break down why.
Gina Rey searches “absolutely adorable baby sweater” on Google, and she sees a few ads and a few organic search results.
One of the ads shows a picture of a pullover with a modern design, which appeals to Gina because she wants her niece to look chic as hell. So, she clicks the ad to see if the sweater matches her price range, how soon it can ship, etc.
Quickly and painlessly the page tells her that the sweater is a bit more expensive than she wants, but that it matches everything else she was looking for. Gina’s never been one to let her pre-decided budget get in her way. So bam! The purchase is made.
Gina enjoyed her ad experience. Let’s identify some key reasons why.
- The ad gave her the info she was looking for.
Ad message matched keyword intent
- She was brought to a product page for the item the ad showed.
A unique landing page for the ad
- She quickly arrived to the sweater’s page after clicking the link.
Fast page speed
- The page answered the details she wanted after seeing the ad, and the content was shown to her in a well-organized way.
Useful and well-formatted landing page content
Quality score takes all of these aspects into account. Now let’s talk about how to get good quality scores.
Craft a 👌🏼👨🏻🍳 pairing between the keywords you choose and the ads you run.
You can do this by thinking and researching what people have in mind when they search their queries.
Make sure there’s a tight connection between the ad and its landing page.
Consider creating a unique landing page for each ad group in your campaign. Then, use message and design matching to draw a clear connection between the ads and their pages.
Optimize your landing page’s load speed.
People jump ship fast. 3 seconds of waiting and over half of your visitors will give up. So get that page speed to be…speedy.
Create well-organized, clean ad groups.
When you have a relatively short list of closely-connected keywords in an ad group, then the ad can better meet the searcher’s intent for each keyword. On the other hand, the more keywords you have in your list, the less your ad can directly connect to each keyword.
At the end of the day
Remember: what will make this ad a good experience for the internet visitor?
LET’S GET VISUAL
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO 🔮
Jan 25 Edition: Lesson on visual storytelling from Jeffrey Allred, a photojournalist freelancer for the NY Times and USA Today
Feb 8 Edition: How to advertise inclusively on YouTube (while meeting ad goals)