Google AdWords IP Exclusions: When Should You Use Them?

If you are using IP address exclusions in Google Analytics, you may want the same Google AdWords IP exclusions as well

In doing AdWords reviews one of the things I see occasionally is that people will configure Google Analytics to exclude certain IP addresses.  One of the more common reasons I see this is to filter traffic from a company's office to prevent contamination from abnormal usage.  We occasionally see some e-commerce companies that enter their phone orders through the same or similar pathway as their customers do, which would also distort the data if not properly tagged.

If your e-commerce operation does that latter, make sure you copy those same IP exclusions in Google AdWords too.  If you haven't done this, then making that change will have two effects.

First, the perceived conversions will drop significantly. This is an illusion--nothing has actually changed with your conversion count overall, AdWords just won't be taking credit for internal clicks and conversions.

Second, your employees won't see ads from those IPs.

One caveat, this could often include you from seeing those ads too, which is important to remember.  They're still running, but you may not see them if your IP address is on the exclusion list.

One final thought and it's pretty obvious, but you should train your team to never click your ads if they aren't aware that it is costing you money.

If you have any questions about when to use Google AdWords IP exclusions, feel free to email me.  Or, if you have any other AdWords or e-commerce related questions don't hesitate to get in touch.  I love to talk shop.

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Do Duplicate Keywords in Your Campaigns Hurt Your Bids?

Hey Roy, we are getting an audit from a paid search agency and one of the comments from the audit was that we have "many duplicate keywords in each ad group, which makes you outbid yourselves" and I was wondering if that is accurate? Sincerely,


Jeff, that’s a common misconception–each account is evaluated for which single bid (Campaign, Ad Group, and Keyword level) will actually go to auction.

When you have duplicate keywords (two or more keywords that match to the same query), there’s a lot of logic that happens such as:

  • Which campaign is the ‘most restrictive’ (such as one only being a smaller geography, different times of day, etc)
  • What’s the highest ad rank?
  • Are there exact match versions?
  • Do the exact match versions have higher or lower bids than other versions?
  • Doe the exact match version have higher or lower ad rank than other versions?
  • And so on...

Google then decides and only submits one into the auction; so you don’t drive up your own costs.

That’s why it’s impossible to have two ads in one SERP–Google won’t let you actually have two bids in the same auction. There are slight advantages to word-order matches, even outside of phrase match.

The reason not to use duplicate keywords is that it’s harder to set the correct bid/test ads/landing pages/etc when the same keyword is in multiple places in the account. It’s just much easier management and better decision making when you have the keyword in one place (some exception being things like managed/discovery structures or ISO campaigns.

I'd be very cautious in working with an agency that is using that line of reasoning in their audit.  We also offer a free AdWords account review, I hate the word audit, if you'd like another pair of eyes to have a look.  It's no obligation.  I also recently published a book Getting Started with AdWords Guide for E-commerce that may also help.

As always, thanks for the question.  Drop me a line if you have any others.  I love to talk shop.

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Value of Product Reviews in Google Shopping Campaigns

Hello Roy, do you have any sense of how you could quantify the value of Product Reviews in Google shopping?  For example, take a look at the screenshot below for a search on 'Powder Skis'.

- Russell

Google Shopping Product Reviews
Google Shopping Product Reviews

Product reviews are a massive confidence factor for shoppers. You could very easily measure the value of product reviews on your own site by doing a sitewide A/B test where you hide them (if you have them currently), and compare the Conversion Rates. You could then infer from that the potential difference in value to push them in your feed.

Another way you could do that kind of test is to push product reviews for only half of your catalog.  For this type of testing, I've often used odd/even product IDs, to avoid biasing the test and control groups.  You can then compare those two product sets for differences in Click Through Rates (CTR) and Conversion Rates.  You'd want to account for differences in their performance leading up to the test, but with the odd/even method, you're only going to really need to adjust for a few huge moving skus, and the rest should balance out pretty well.

If you haven't collected product reviews yet, and are trying to determine whether it's a worthwhile project, it's difficult to forecast how big of a lift they'd provide, but I can say with certainty that they affect both CTRs and Conversion Rates in every test I've run. However, since they were so conclusive, I haven't had reason to run a similar test in the past couple of years--it's "standard practice" to me at this point, based on the results I've generally seen.

Besides, product reviews aren't just for shoppers. I've used them to drive category sort logic, identify good opportunities for promotions, and to put pressure on suppliers during negotiations. They're an incredible resource to the business, if you look for ways to use the data, not just display it.

Thanks for the question Russell.  Drop me a line if you have any other questions.  I love to talk shop.

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Using Sitelink Ad Extensions to Promote a Sale

Roy, what kind of control/influence do we have on our PPC SERPS in regards to having SALEs show up like the example below?Kevin


Those are sitelink ad extensions, which you have control over in AdWords.  The great thing about the sitelinks is that they're schedulable, so if you have a sale between two specific dates, you can set them up in advance, and then they'll automatically deactivate once the sale is over.

If you have a promo calendar already planned out, you can match it, especially for the brand campaign (where a sale of any product type wouldn't distract from the search intent), and you just need to fill out these fields for each:

sitelink ad extension
sitelink ad extension

Link text can be up to 25 characters, and Description can be 35 per line.

Thanks for the question Jim.  Drop me a line if you have any other questions.  I love to talk shop.

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How Do I Find the Search Terms Google Matches to Our Products?

Roy, how do I find out which search terms Google is matching to which products in our Shopping Campaigns?  Ideally, I'd like to find the search queries that matched to a specific SKU in our feed.  I am playing around with the data in the dimensions tab but am not exactly seeing a view, filter or column that helps make that association clear to me. Derek

Hey Derek, there’s not a great way to get this data by SKU. The best you can do is to use Google Analytics to find search queries matching Shopping Campaigns based upon how your feed is setup.

  1. If you are using Google Analytics and have it connected to AdWords navigate to: Acquisition > AdWords > Campaigns > and click into your shopping campaign
  2. Next, click on keywords in the top navigation
  3. Then underneath keywords, use ‘secondary dimension’ and use search query.

That will show you the search query data based upon your product IDs. I often see a lot of product IDs being * though as there are ‘all product groupings’ or something else and so not all the data will associate to a specific product; but that’s usually the best query data you can get for shopping terms.

Another way I've done this is to create a Shopping segment, and then look at some of the reports. The downside is that from within Google Analytics the "keyword" is actually, for reasons I don't fully comprehend, a string representing the product group that generated the click, and not the specific product.

If you set the segment to Shopping campaign visits, and then check out the "Search Queries" report under Acquisition > AdWords, you can at least see what queries are generating conversions. If you have AdWords and Analytics connected from the Analytics side you can see clicks or CPC in addition to sessions, conversion, etc.

If, however, you had a specific product in mind, you could also refine that "Shopping visitors" segment by going to the Enhanced E-commerce settings in the segment and adding a condition for that product--I just don't see a way to do it en masse.

Hopefully, Google will make it easier to find search queries matching Shopping Campaigns in the future.

Thanks for the question Derek.  Drop me a line if you have any other questions.  I love to talk shop.

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