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The Perfect PPC Advertiser Platform

Posted on by in Rants

One of my favorite movies growing up was Weird Science. I recall watching the film for the first time with my babysitter back in the 80s. Thanks to Netflix, I was reminded of this classic a few days ago and, as strange as it sounds, thoughts about the movie have popped into my head since. “What is the name of the actress who played the female lead?” “I was way too young to be watching a rated PG-13 movie” “I wonder if the premise of building a perfect woman from a computer infuriated 1980s feminists” and sitting at my desk today at work “what if I could build the perfect something”. And that last thought brought me to today’s posting idea: the perfect PPC Advertiser Platform.

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Obviously there are other things I would like to make first if I could, such as my dream home or an amazing car, but an awesome PPC advertiser platform would diminish a lot of frustrations as far as my work is concerned.

A powerful Account Editor with Real-Time Stats

Don’t get me wrong, the Google Adwords editor is pretty great. Editing keywords, creating ad text, and just plain account organization is easy and efficient thanks to this desktop application. It is one of the main reasons I enjoy working with my Google accounts over other pay per click accounts. Although the Google editor is a huge time saver, what is the deal with the “Choose Stats Interval” feature? I hate it that I can only go back 30 days and the data hardly ever loads anyways. Basically, it’s a waste of space. In my perfect creation of an account editor, I would be able to pull live statistics for any date range.

As you already know, if your daily budget in any of your AdWords campaigns is less than Google’s recommended daily budget, Google will deliver your ads when the demand is greatest, and may not show them every time your keyword phrase is searched.
And you’re probably aware that on any one day, Google may deliver up to 20% more ads than your daily budget allots. Google calls this “over delivery”.

Now Google ensures that you will not be charged more in a month than the number of days in that month multiplied by your daily budget.

So what’s the problem?

Consider this example:

You’ve set your daily budget to $100/day, or $3,000/month. However, Google recommends a daily budget of $1,000. Since you can’t afford the recommendation, you’re okay knowing that your ads will not show every time someone searches on your keywords.

And, since your daily budget is less than recommended, AdWords can “over deliver” your ads and charge you up to 20% more per day than your daily budget. In this case, your daily charge could be $120.

So, what eventually happens when you’re charged $120/day on a $100/day budget? You’ll run out of budget before the end of the month. In fact, in our example, you’d expend your monthly computed budget by the 25th day of the month, leaving your ads on the sidelines during the 26th through the 30th of the month.

Transparent Bidding

I remember the devastation that my colleagues and I felt the day transparent bidding died in Yahoo. That was always one thing we could all agree on: Yahoo’s bidding model exemplified a market that was reflected supply and demand principals. It was nice to know why my ad moved down in position and having the option of outbidding someone in order to get that position again. And unlike Quality Score, at least ad positioning and keyword pricing was straight forward. As long as Quality Score is determined in part by “other relevance factors”, I would prefer transparent bidding because at least I know exactly what is determining my minimum bid and ad position.

Phone Call Tracking

In general, conversion numbers are pretty dismal when it comes to selling high ticket items online. I think consumers continue to feel uncomfortable about using a credit card online to buy expensive goods and services. They also might have questions to ask the retailer before spending their last month’s paycheck. Although many ecommerce websites are now tracking lead forms or contact form submissions as separate actions, I am not aware of many websites that are tracking call-ins generated through PPC. Tracking this piece of information is important for keyword and advertisement evaluation because decreasing a bid for a keyword that doesn’t appear to be converting may not be the best move. That particular keyword could be generating a huge number of call-ins from interested customers. Having call-in information available in reporting would allow PPC marketers to see the true value of each keyword and advertisement.

Believe me, this list could go on. Quality scores column added to reports, customized cookie length and more precise ad scheduling would be great too. Clearly, there are numerous other elements that would make up a “perfect” PPC advertising platform, but these are the main three features I would personally love to see the next time I log in to an account.