Some advertising-related questions might seem obvious to marketing experts, but not to business owners trying to figure out how digital advertising works. In this post, Daria Gorbenko, a PPC advertising expert at Promodo, breaks down typical questions clients often ask so that clients and their contractors can cooperate better.
Questions are the best way to get information and a better understanding of a specific tool for digital promotion of your business. However, instead of discussing trivial issues, it would be better to spend time deep-delving into business-specific tasks, generating new ideas, testing those ideas, analysing and automating your marketing processes. To facilitate the dialogue between clients and PPC advertising professionals, we’ve prepared a selection of frequently asked questions and answers to those questions. We hope this will help you use your time more efficiently.
1. Why can’t I see my ads?
If you mean search advertising, check if your ads fit into the characteristics of your chosen target audience. That is, whether the location, the time of the query, and the keywords you’ve used in your search phrase match the settings specified in the campaign.
Another reason might be that your advertising campaigns may be inactive. This can happen if you’ve set limits for the number of impressions or your daily budget, and those limits have already been reached. If everything is in order but you still can’t see the ad, this might be because the system has identified you by your IP address and stopped showing the ad to you. This happens because a system may dismiss this ad as of no interest specifically for you if there are many search queries but no clicks from your account. Try searching in the incognito mode to bypass this restriction.
Also, in rare cases, an account can be under Google’s internal review. In this case, the system automatically stops running ads while they’re being reviewed, which usually takes less than 3 business days.
2. Why should we run branded search ads if my website already appears on top of free, organic search results?
Even if you have a protected trademark, search engines still allow your competitors to use keywords related to your brand to target their ads. The only restriction for them is not to mention the trademark explicitly in the ad text.
That’s why if your website is not on top, but only appears on the first page of search results, you need to use branded search advertising as a means of protection against competition. Besides, by securing two positions in search results, you’ll increase the probability that a user will navigate to your website.
In addition, branded search queries help you monitor consumers’ interest in the brand over time, as well as measure how your offline, display or video ads affect brand loyalty.
Why aren’t my ads listed first?
When a user enters a search query, a search engine conducts an advertising auction to decide which ads to display and in which order.
First, the search engine matches the search query with keywords and ads related to that query. Next, it analyses other settings, such as the city or language in which the ad is set to appear.
Finally, it evaluates the ad’s ranking, which is affected by the size of the bid, the ad’s quality score, expected impact of display advertising and characteristics of the search query.
Since the auction takes place every time, and the number of factors affecting the search results is quite large, the ad may appear in different places or not appear at all.
The Yandex and Google advertising systems are gradually abandoning metrics associated with the ad position. They replace such metrics with such indicators as the percentage of ad impressions at the top of search engine results. You don’t necessarily need to raise your bid to increase the number of impressions at the top of the search results page, it would be sufficient to improve the quality of your ads and landing pages in your account.
Marketing experts often pay attention to the positioning of advertising campaigns if there is a traffic drawdown, or if you choose the ad click rate as one of your KPIs.
If the task before a marketing professional is to increase the market share size and brand awareness, listing on top of the search advertising results would be a must-have since it generates the most traffic. But please note that the cost per click at the top of the search results is much higher. So make sure your budget allows you to pay more for conversions.
In the case of more complex indicators, such as increasing the profitability of marketing investments, A/B testing would be the most suitable solution. A/B tests will enable you to understand what is better for your project: climbing on top of SERP resulting in more traffic or getting a lower rank at a lower cost per click. A/B tests help you stay competitive by adjusting to market changes, thus driving the most revenue for your company.
3. What guarantees can you give me?
At the beginning of the cooperation, an agency or a marketing specialist can give you an assessment of your ads’ effectiveness. Along with that, you will decide on the responsibilities and the key performance indicators (KPI), such as transaction goals, revenue or return on investment. After a certain period of time, you’ll be able to compare the goals to the actual results and discuss them together. This way, you’ll be able to get a rough estimate of the cost of acquiring a single customer or the amount of traffic you’re going to get. However, estimates are not guaranteed.
The estimates are based on the audit of already existing accounts. For instance, you can see the approximate cost per click in a certain field and adjust it with more precise settings. In other cases, you can use estimates by advertising systems, such as Google Keyword Planner or Yandex Wordstat.
There’s also a certain time period between making an estimate and launching an ad campaign. During this period, market conditions may change: the demand may go up or down, there may be seasonal fluctuations, new competitors may emerge as well. An experienced specialist can foresee only a part of these factors, therefore the forecasted data may differ from the actual results.
4. Why does it take so long to wait for the launch? Some other company said they would launch a campaign within only three days!
To launch an advertising campaign, marketing experts need to carry out preparatory work, which is more important than just setting up campaigns in an account. They need to get themselves immersed in the client’s business: examine the target audience, workflows, and analyse the competition. Next, marketers need to pick up the appropriate marketing tools, as well as analyse user behaviour on the website. And only after that do they start setting up advertising campaigns: from researching semantic keywords and writing unique texts to creating scripts.
If one skips these stages, their advertising campaigns won’t bring the expected results.
Therefore, when choosing a contractor to run your brand’s ad campaigns, make sure that the agency doesn’t operate like a sort of conveyor belt, with a large number of clients assigned to a single specialist — in such cases, the priority would be in the quantity rather than the quality of the projects. It’s better to have specialists able to dive into your business processes as deeply as possible. The most valuable thing an agency can provide you with is not just a quality account, but a solution to your business problems.
5. How soon will I start receiving orders?
It depends on the field you’re operating in (services, online stores, b2b etc.), the way your business manages relationships with your customers and the time it takes for your audience to make a buying decision.
If you’re in online retail, you may start receiving orders generated by those ads on the very day a marketing campaign is launched. If your potential customers need several days or weeks to make a purchase decision, their decision-making process would involve multiple stages. Your potential customers will need time to compare their options and consider their purchase, which means it will take some time before paid ads start generating purchases.
Here’s an example. In promoting Monobank, the first Ukrainian mobile bank, the Promodo team chose the AIDA model, which implied gradually familiarising the target audience with the brand. Advertising campaigns were launched one following another over four month and were aimed at solving different tasks, starting with informing consumers about a new brand to encouraging them to get themselves a Monobank credit card. Accordingly, it may have taken several months for different customers to make a buying decision since the launch of the campaign.
That’s why in the process of placing paid ads you should also consider your marketing strategy and the time it takes a target user to make a decision.
6. How can you manage both our account and our competitors’ accounts?
The knowledge and expertise your contractors have in managing accounts within a particular scope help them reduce your business expenses. That’s why if the agency already has client success stories in the industry you’re operating in, this would be a great advantage in planning and managing your advertising campaigns.
Experts already know which products or brands you need to pay attention to when a new season begins, how consumers decide to buy the product, what to expect from Black Friday, and other unobvious details. This will make it much easier for paid marketing experts to delve into the structure and principles of your business. This will save you money on testing ad creatives, finding the best placement options and testing your hypotheses.
However, in this case, clients may be at risk of having their confidential information disclosed. To solve this problem, you should enter a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and pay close attention to the reputation of the agency you’ve decided to turn to. Even while still at the negotiation stage, it’s possible to understand whether you should trust your potential contractors. If they share with you any of your competitors’ confidential data, they might as well “leak” information about your business.
Even placing ads at the same sites as your competitors won’t guarantee you the same results. The product itself, the way you do business, brand positioning and marketing strategy, all these things have a significant impact on the result.
When in doubt whether or not you should ask questions to a specialist, it’s better that you do. Since marketing specialists are directly responsible for the success of advertising, all the more so because they share the same goal of growing the business.