28
2011
Oct

Dear Saint Google,

Bob Dumouchel

Twas the night before Christmas, when all though the net not disk drive was stirring, not even in the cloud. The clicks are hung by the SERP with care, in hopes that Saint Google soon will be there.  The AdWords Experts are nestled all snug in their beds while visions of new features danced in their head and I am sure you know all the rest.

Every year in the fine tradition of the Christmas letter, I write an open letter for the things I want to see in Adwords.  Before I get started with the details I would like to note that many of the things I asked for in prior years I actually got, so maybe this letter isn’t as silly as it seems.

Negative Search Query Report

I would like to start with a billion dollar idea in hopes that some Google Engineer will adopt this idea and make it their own on their 20% time.

A negative SQR would show us the searches that we lost during the time period because they were dropped by a negative word. Negative keywords are a great tool but they are also dangerous because they are silent. The Negative SQR would allow us to see errors in the keyword model and correct them. The recovered revenue from this report will probably pay for itself every month.

Enhance Budget Controls

Budget controls get difficult as the size of the account increases and one glaring problem is the lack of an account wide budget control. This would be across all campaigns and when the daily budget was exceeded in aggregate it would shut down the traffic.

Add MCC Negative Keyword Reporting

Negative keywords deserve some respect and they need to be supported in the reporting process. Nowhere in the MCC can you get negative keywords extracted to a report yet they are critical to the process of AdWords.

MCC Level Change Log

In our business we have over 100 accounts and several people involved in the maintenance of accounts. It would be great to have a central log that you can view all the changes in the accounts and who is making them.

Annotations

Google Analytics has had this for a long time and AdWords needs this desperately. We should be able to click on the date in a chart and add an annotation so we know what caused certain data to move.  Keeping notes on an account is a very basic function that you expect in today’s systems.

Bounce Rate on Keywords, AdGroups, and Campaigns

For an account that is linked to Google Analytics the bounce data flowing back to the keyword and up the data hierarchy would be a great tool.

Formula Based Bid Updates

Let’s face it bid updates are a painful manual processes that really do not have to be like that. Since AdWords already has filters to create sets of keywords all we need is to add an update function that supports simple formulas for update. This does not need all the fancy math functions just the basics of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Keyword Lists

Similar to the function now supported in Negative Keywords keyword lists could be added to an adgroup just like a single keyword. The advantage of this is that you would not have to duplicate the keywords when you reuse them in another adgroup or campaign. It is very common to have the same set of keywords in different campaigns because of other controls such as geo or device targeting.

Segment Totals

Segmentation is a great tool in AdWords but it can be difficult to work with on larger accounts. When you segment with top and side it shows every campaign but it never totals it for you so it is difficult to see that is high or low for the value. If the detail is segmented it would be swell if the totals were as well.

Trend Line in Graphs

Graphs display the actual value but often we are looking for is the trend not the data value. It would be nice to have this option on the graph so you could see if the cost per click is trending up or down although we would not want to lose the data view we have now because it is very useful.

Scheduled Bid Updates

Now that we have filters and bid formulas we should be able to set up schedule and a time period to perform the update. This should be as simple as saying on the 10th of each month using data from last month apply this filter and formula.

Batch up the changes

I have to be honest the constant roll out of changes makes managing AdWords Accounts a nightmare.  It is a common experience in our offices to discover a new feature that just rolled into production or maybe a beta that looks like a production change. In the olden days software changes were batched together into organized releases with good documentation. When they went into production everyone knew it and we also knew what changed. While we understand the value of the development model of release and refine we think that there should be a production level of code and you should be able to opt in or out of being a beta. When a beta is active in an account there should be some notice on the account so you know not to look for it everywhere else.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Conversions to all, and to all a good-night!”