Google Adwords has changed a lot, since I started using it for marketing.
In 2006 everything was simple from interface to managing. Google kept on introducing new features and things became more complex thereafter. People were shy of targeting content network. I remember, clients used to tell specifically – No content targeting. Now, scenario has changed and people do want to see their sites on premium content listings. Those who were targeting content initially were very fortunate people. Lesser advertisers targeted it. Still lesser monitored them closely, and very few knew the real magic of this network.
Now the scenario has changed completely with many advertisers monitoring it and in many segments there is nearly war for impressions. Publisher network too has gone smarter, they too monitor the result very closely and knows the optimal layout to make the battle fiercer.
Search Targeting too has evolved with idea of match types and adtext writing becoming more common than before. It is no more confined within the network of professionals, rather advertisers are highly familiar with the concept within their niche.
Keeping watch on their competitors is very common among advertisers. This is also because internet has now become the premier weapon in their marketing arsenal, which earlier used to be TV and print media. If you change your ad, response is visible in your competitors ad too. Finally, the advertising has become highly competitive and survival requires a lot of patience.
Positioning yourself with respect to the cost effectiveness is highly challenging, and cost limits need to be sharply defined. When to be aggressive and when to become passive is the key to keep yourself living in the competitive market. Most advertisers who had made PPC, their sales channel are facing sharp decline in their ROI. Entry of bigger players who understands the importance of branding keeps them ahead of those who only calculates immediate sales.
Advertisers who can play bigger game and have long term goals are more likely to win this game rather than those who have limited short term goals. Better advertisers with better goals will eventually eliminate those with inferior goals. Goal setting was always the focus of adwords campaign management and it looks like it would always be.
Earlier, cheapest click was considered to be the goal. we saw proliferation of bid management tools and techniques. This has become obsolete now. It gave way to conversion based strategy and bid based strategy became inferior. Now, conversion based strategy too has become obsolete, because conversion may not come immediately and concept of conversion needs refinement. If sales was your conversion consider abandoning it. Rather, focus on long term. Improving user interaction on your site might be a better idea.
Start seeing sale as a function of engagement rather than something which comes instantaneously. Trying to improve this engagement is a better idea rather than just focusing on some immediate outcome. Those who have understood it are only likely to stay longer and those who cannot would surely make an exit now.