Alex Fredheim | Doubling Revenues From Google Ads

Too many companies are focused on the “latest and greatest” Google Ad strategies… while forgetting about the basic tactics that will have a much bigger impact on their ROI.

By doing so, Alex Fredheim, founder of Ascendancy Digital, was able to double the revenue one client got from their Google Ads campaign during their peak selling season. It’s not surprising. Ecommerce business owners might be good at what they do… but they’re not experts in niche techniques like Google Ads, so they are unsure how to gauge their agency’s performance.

It doesn’t have to be that way, says Alex, who shares how you can zero in on the quality providers in a sea of bad ones. We also talk about… 

  • Keyword strategies that focus on revenue… not traffic
  • The one question a digital marketing agency should answer to clients – or get fired
  • The single biggest mistake ecommerce stores make with Google Ads
  • Keyword categories to avoid with Google Ads (it’s not what you think)
  • And more invaluable and up to date insights which will illuminate the path to profitable advertising for your ecommerce business

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

Episode Transcript:

Joris Bryon: Hey, this is Joris of the Ecommerce Excellence Podcast. And today I’m going to be talking to Alex Fredheim. Alex, he is the founder of Ascendancy Digital, an agency that is specialized in Google Ads management for ecommerce businesses. And he’s been doing that since 2012. And together with his team, he has helped dozens of online stores to maximize their revenue and their profit, of course, to Google Ads. And currently, they manage more than a half a million dollars of ads spent per month. So I’m sure we’re going to pick up a few interesting ideas today about Google Ads. So Alex, welcome to the podcast. Great to have you here.

Alex Fredheim: Thanks for having me.

Joris: Cool. Just to get started can you tell us a bit more about your background, where you come from in your career so that our listeners can understand a bit more about you? How did you get started in digital marketing? How did you get to this point where you’re an expert at Google Ads for ecommerce?

How Alex Became a Google Ads Expert

Alex: Yeah, sure. So it’s a bit of a long story. But I’ll try and keep it short. So I started years ago, after university working in finance here in Brisbane, Australia. And I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t, I didn’t really enjoy working in the corporate world. I wanted to kind of start my own business and have more autonomy, have more impact, working with clients, and that kind of thing. And somehow I discovered Google Ads. I had a friend who’d worked in the industry earlier. And I said, you know, done a bit of reading about it. 

And it seemed like an interesting field. So I started learning about it myself, just through books and courses and things like that. And after a few months of that, I got the Google certification and started getting a few clients. And I realized very quickly that the bar in this industry is set very low. That a lot of agencies out there really weren’t doing a good job for their clients. The first ecommerce client I took on was here in Australia. They’ve been working with, you know, a reasonably well-known ecommerce specialist agency here. 

And I was pretty surprised looking at that account that a lot of the basic things I’ve been reading about and learning about through these courses I’ve been taking, they haven’t been applying, and within a few months, which coincided with their peak pre Christmas period, I’ve been able to, I think double their revenue from Google Ads during that time. So and that wasn’t me doing anything particularly amazing at that point, you know, I knew far less than I think I do now, it was really just applying the basics. 

So that kind of made me realize that there’s a lot of opportunity in this industry. Like I said, the bar is set really low. There are a lot of agencies for a whole variety of reasons, just not doing great work. And so I sort of worked with a variety of clients over the years and found that ecommerce was the industry that I enjoyed working with the most. Started specializing in that, picked up more clients through word of mouth. And these days I’m a manager of a small team. And we work pretty much exclusively with ecommerce clients managing Google Ads and Bing Ads for them.

Joris: Okay, cool. So, yeah, you already mentioned that the bar is set pretty low. And I’ve been working agencies for all my life almost. So I’ve seen a lot of mistakes being made hiring the wrong agency. I think every ecommerce owner has done that least one’s hiring the wrong agency. And the problem, I think, is there’s just tons of agencies offering Google Ads services, there’s even agencies that are supposed to be specialized in Google Ads and turns out they’re not really that good at it. What should people be looking for when they’re trying to decide to work with an agency? How can you tell a good one from a bad one?

Finding Professional and Effective Ad Agencies

Alex: Yeah, it’s a great question. I’m not sure I have a fantastic answer for it. I’d be curious to hear what you think in a second, from a conversion rate optimization perspective. It’s tough because there’s so little barrier to entry in this industry. And you can sort of throw up a website saying anything saying, how much of an expert you are, and how fantastic your team is, and all of that kind of thing. So I guess to kind of cut through all of that, you probably want to look for, as a starting point, an agency that either specializes in ecommerce, or does a lot of work with ecommerce. 

You definitely want to want the agency to be able to point to real results that they’ve achieved for other ecommerce businesses. Ideally, businesses that are reasonably similar within ecommerce to your own. I think you want is to be able to verify those results as well. A good agency, if you ask them for references to our clients, they’ll be more than happy to provide that to you. Anyone who can’t do that, that should definitely be a warning sign. I think a lot of questions you should ask you start by asking, I think how they would measure success. 

A good agency, for the vast majority of clients, ecommerce now we’ll talk about maximizing their revenue, their return on ad spend, and ultimately maximizing their profit. Bad agencies will talk about all kinds of other things they do related to clickthrough rate or improving quality score, that kind of thing, which is not important but from the way we look at it, those metrics are only important in terms of the impact that they have on ultimately maximizing profit. 

Yeah, and then I think a few things to be aware of, definitely avoid anyone who wants to think carefully before signing up with anyone who wants to lock you into a long-term contract. That should definitely be a red flag. So there are probably a few things I would be wary of, but I’m curious what you think, as well.

Joris: Yeah, I think you mentioned a couple of interesting things like the right metrics. That’s definitely a good one to look out for. One of the things I mean, we’re not in Google Ads here of course, but we’re an agency as well, and the things that we do as well as we happily provide them with references. That’s also one of the things that you mentioned, I think that’s important. For us in the conversion optimization sphere, it’s also about the process behind it. How the methodology, methodology, people or agencies use because I know that you, if you follow a good process with conversion optimization, you’re going to get a lot better results. 

Whereas there’s still a lot of agencies that just throw spaghetti against the wall, and they hope it sticks. They just best a bunch of stuff based on their gut feeling. And then they might find a few winners here and there, but it’s not going to last. And I think when you’re evaluating an agency, an SEO agency, I think that’s one of the important things as well, one of the things that we do as well as is some form of trial offer. So that is it, maybe just like the first few months or sometimes we set up a couple of tests based on some research and we prove the results. And then we talk about going on a longer-term collaboration. 

But we don’t want to lock them in, too well, in a long-term contract either from the beginning. We just want to prove our value first. And then when they reassured then we can talk about a longer-term contract. So it’s hard to cut through the through the bullshit, actually, I think for a client, especially when it comes to Google Ads, and you’re not really familiar with how it all works and how to evaluate what your agency is doing. And you might be getting decent results. But maybe with our agency you might be getting a lot better results. And I think it’s the same thing for conversion optimization. 

At the end of the day what we do is very broad discipline that involves design, psychology, statistics, there’s all kinds of stuff and clients usually don’t have an idea about how that all works. So it’s hard for them to evaluate. One of the other things I think also is basically trusting your gut feeling. And that’s something a lot of people tend to ignore, when you get a bad feeling with a certain person because they’re trying to push too hard, and they’re too salesy. That sometimes is just an agency that’s only looking out for their own revenue and up for the clients’ revenue. So but yeah, it’s a tough process for clients, for sure.

Alex: Yeah, I agree with all of that. I think it’s a big pain point for them. Pretty much all of our clients I’ve worked with multiple agencies that they have been unhappy with in the past, and I think you touched on a really important point is it’s just, it’s hard for the client without a deep knowledge on Google Ads or conversion rate optimization or whatever you’re hiring for to really be able to evaluate an agency. 

And it’s very easy for a lot of people in industry who don’t know what they’re doing and unable to achieve real results to kind of BS and talk their way, you know, in circles around the client, and, you know, throw a bunch of impressive jargon at them, which I think can often do, you know, give the client the impression that they are getting a higher, much higher quality service than they actually are. So, yeah, it’s definitely a difficult thing. I think you touched on a good point too about the agencies should be able to talk about their approach to, you know, in my case, Google Ads, and I know you’ve got you know, your own agency methodology. 

We have something similar, it’s certainly not as detailed or well-documented, as you know, you have with your book, but I think we can talk to clients, or prospective clients interested in working with us and explain in reasonably simple clear terms the approach that we take to improve the results that they’re getting, and why that’s going to work. 

So if you’re on a sales call with a prospective agency, and they’re just throwing all these, you know, technical AdWords and Google Ads terms at you, and you sort of leave the call having no idea what they’re talking about, that’s probably not a good sign. Because at the end of the day, yes, this is, you know, a lot of controls within Google Ads. There’s a lot of terminology and things like that. But it’s a pretty simple thing really, the sort of, at a fundamental level, what we’re doing to improve the results that they’re getting.

Joris: Yeah, yeah, totally agree. And I think it’s a pity for Yeah, agencies like yours and ours who get good results for clients and really have our clients’ interests at heart. We kind of have to make up for all those bad agencies out there who talk to clients, and then they get burnt. And, yeah, the clients that they don’t trust agencies anymore, and we have to make up for it. So that sometimes it’s something that kind of frustrates me. But yeah, it is what it is.

Alex: Yeah. I feel the same way. I’ve always sort of seen it as a double-edged sword. On the one hand for us, once we’re able to take on a new client and dramatically improve their results within a few months, the clients’ thrilled and, you know, it’s a client, who, you know, assuming, you know, we keep working and don’t put their account on, you know, sort of set and forget thing, which is something a lot of agencies do as well. 

You know, we can keep happy clients who are engaged and enjoyable to work with, and we can sort of partner with them for, you know, 3,4,5 or more years, and we have quite a few clients in that situation. So that’s fantastic on the one hand, but on the other hand, it can be difficult for agency owners like us to sort of even get a foot in the door with a new client, because they’ve been burned so many times. 

And you know, in their head they often you know, justifiably so think, Oh, you know, your agency guy, like the last three agencies I work with who, you know, will say all these interesting things to sell me on x thousand dollar per month retainer, but ultimately won’t achieve a real result and sort of getting past that distrust can be a challenge as well.

Joris: Yeah, absolutely. Somewhat related to that, I remember talking to a common friend we have and he’s an ecommerce owner. And he mentioned to me like, okay, as an agency, it’s very hard to work with ecommerce clients because you touch upon the core of their business directly. And we tend, because he’s an ecommerce owner so he said we tend to be very impatient and unforgiving whenever something goes wrong. And so one month is not performing as good as a previous month, we will fire you a lot quicker than any other type of client. And what’s your experience with that?

Alex: Yeah, I think there might be some truth in that, definitely. I think also, perhaps I’m in a, in some ways, a slightly easier field then you are. I think with Google Ads it’s probably Google as management, it’s probably easier to come in and know from the outset, you’re going to be able to have X impact within say, three months. You know, you never know that for sure. But it’s something that, you know, I’m reasonably confident predicting in advance. I think, with conversion rate optimization, there’s much more research and testing involved. 

And, you know, you mentioned, you know, sort of contract periods and things like that before. I think that might be an area where it makes more sense because it might be conversion rate optimization might take six months, you know, I’m assuming before you’ve done all that research, and you can really get the best possible results for them beyond just implementing sort of easy wins. So we really focus in the beginning on sort of picking the low hanging fruit, and almost all client accounts that we take on, have some, you know, some very quick and easy fixes that we can implement. 

You know they might not be using device big modifiers, or they might be using a single bid for 500 different products on Google Shopping, and that things that we can fix quite easily. And most of the time, improve results by measurable amount pretty quickly. And when I talk about results with clients we’re talking about that revenue, and that return on ad spend. So every dollar that they spend on Google Ads, how many dollars are coming back in revenue. 

And so we try and show them a significant improvement within the first one to at most three months. And then at that point, we’ve usually got assuming we’re also communicating well, you know, not making silly mistakes with ad copy or things like that. Usually, we’ve got a pretty good buy-in from the client. And yeah, the clients’ pretty easy to work with, from that point onwards. I understand with conversion rate optimization is probably a bit higher though because you might have a great hypothesis for a test to execute in the second month, and it just doesn’t work out.

Joris: Yeah, right. I mean that’s the thing with conversion optimization, we test a lot. And of course, if you test, there are going to be losers. And some clients don’t accept that or don’t understand that. But if there wouldn’t be losers then testing wouldn’t exist, because then we would know what to change and we wouldn’t test it. And I yeah, I think like in with AB testing, what we see is on average, one out of every three tests is a winner, which is actually a very good average. There’s been research about that as well. 

And when you don’t follow the process and methodology I mentioned earlier, what you’ll see is that you have like one out of every seven tests will have a significant result. So six out of those seven will move to new, and we will be the same and the seven tests will be a significant result that could even be a significant loser. So we get one of those three is, is a significant winner. So that’s not too bad. But at the end of the day, there’s two losers as well in there or two insignificant results. It’s not always losing it could be insignificant as well. 

So yeah, it takes a while to see those results and the conversion optimization, people will have to trust the process and have to take the time. And at the end of the day, the results are often massive, but it takes a while and yeah, just have to be patient about it. You already mentioned a couple of things, like not having bit more fires for different devices. But what are some other common mistakes you see online stores make when it comes to Google Ads?

Common Mistakes Made With Google Ads

Alex: There’s so many things we could talk about. I think starting at a reasonably high level because I think it’s important with the Google Ads as well. I guess this is sort of a mistake in itself is there’s so many things you can do. There’s so much control you have. A lot of people I think get confused and focusing on small details, you know, really obsessing on those. But then unbeknownst to them, they’re entirely missing the big picture somewhere else. So starting with some of the most fundamental, some of the fundamental things from the way that we look at it. The first thing, I think, is targeting on the Search Network, high volume, top of funnel keywords, rather than long-tail, highly-specific keywords. 

So one way that we think about this for ecommerce clients is that are what we call keyword types. So using the example of, say a retailer for running shoes. What we would consider a category keyword, which is sort of top of funnel keyword would be something like men’s running shoes. And then you would have subcategory keywords associated with that. So one of those might be something like men’s trail running shoes.

And then down the list, you have brand keywords, someone looking for a specific brand, something like Essex Trail running shoes. And then finally you might have a product keyword, something like Essex Venture Five, for example, because it’s a specific type.So what we see, and what’s very common is a store selling men’s running shoes, or an agency, you know, managing their Google Ads for them will set things up targeting those simple high volume, top of funnel type keywords like those ones, like men’s running shoes. 

And part of the reason they do that is it’s obvious. You know, if you’re a store selling men’s running shoes, you think, okay, we want our ads to show when someone searches for men’s running shoes. And there’s also not that many of those keywords. So it’s quite quick and easy to set something like that up. The problem with that is that those top of funnel, high search volume category type keywords are most often you by customers when they’re at the beginning of their sort of research and decision making process or and then on top of that, there’s also a lot of competition on Google Ads for those types of keywords.

So all your competitors are there as well. And the cost per click for those keywords is there for hire. So what you end up with is a combination of a lot of clicks, because there’s a lot of search volume, you’ve got a high cost per click, and you’ve got a low conversion rate because it’s top of funnel keywords. Someone’s still a long way away from making a purchasing decision. 

So what we see from lowest type of keywords, a lot of the time especially the accounts that we ordered is a very low return on ad spend. Often the clients actually losing money on those types of keywords. So what we often do with clients’ accounts that we take over is change the whole approach from targeting a relatively small number of lowest keywords, those top of funnel category ones to a much larger number of long-tail product-specific keywords like the Essex Gel Venture Five that I mentioned. 

So although the search volume for those product specific long tail keywords is much lower individually, if you have 200-500-5000 of those products, in aggregate, there’s still a very significant amount of search volume. And then on top of that, the competition is often much lower for those types of keywords, because a lot of ecommerce businesses and a lot of agencies that they’re working with, either don’t know or can’t be bothered setting up campaigns to properly target 5000 10,000 keywords like that. 

So your cost per click is lower, but your conversion rate is awesome, much higher because someone who’s at that point of searching for a specific product is usually much closer to make it in that purchase decision. So that’s one of the most common mistakes that we see for ecommerce businesses making on the search network. Does that make sense? 

Joris: Absolutely. That makes perfect sense. And I totally agree. I think there’s a lot of agencies out there that just focus on, and it’s not, you know, just google so seed with SEO agencies as well, or target on target keywords that have maybe high volume but are just too far away from the transaction in the funnel. 

So yes, they might convert, but it might take a long time and a lot of retargeting to get them to that point. Whereas if you start with the keywords with the highest search buying intent, then you’re going to have a much higher success rate. And yes, volume is going to be lower, but it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it’s about your transactions about your revenue and your profit. It’s not about the traffic.

Alex: Absolutely, yeah, totally agree. So what we often do is, we might take over an account that might have 3,4,5 search campaigns, and after six months or a year, we might be running 50 different search campaigns for all their different categories and brands, and, you know, targeting one or two or 3000 or more keywords. And of course, building that out correctly, even if you know how to do that efficiently with the right software it does take time and managing that takes time and it takes some expertise as well. 

But the results that you can achieve with that are far, far better for the vast majority of ecommerce businesses than what you can, you know, just targeting a handful of those top of funnel keywords in a few campaigns. So that’s something I really encourage ecommerce businesses to think about. Often, you know, like you said, they kind of have that mindset. And I’ve seen this as well with SEO agencies that it’s sort of like this sort of vanity keywords. 

You know, in different niches when it’s, you know, if you’re selling trailer running shoes, it’s trail running shoes, you know, and you want to say, Hey, we’re ranking first or second for that, which on organic search, when you’re not paying for clicks is is fantastic. But I mean, Google Ads, if you paying $2 a click competing with all of your competitors it’s a whole different story. So yeah, that’s one of the biggest mistakes we see. And consequently, one of the biggest ways that we can increase revenue and return on ad spend for clients.

Joris; Yeah, and I love the distinction you make between the vanity keywords and yeah, what I would call the sanity keywords. And yeah, I mean, even what you mentioned, so if for a men’s running shoes you can rank high to SEO. It often screws our work up as a conversion optimization agency because a lot of, then a lot of people come in, but they don’t have a buying intent. 

So the conversion rate will drop because they’re starting to rank higher and higher on those keywords and a lot more organic traffic comes in. But those people just not ready to buy. Client calls us and says hey, conversion rate’s down. You’re the conversion rate optimization specialist. And we’re like okay, there’s nothing we can do it all well, this, of course, can do something about it, but it’s a lot more, well less qualified traffic that comes in, it’s not ready to buy just yet. So making our life harder as well.  

On Traffic and Conversion Rate

Alex: Yeah, that’s an interesting point. I never thought of that. And I think that kind of highlights how, in my opinion, at least ineffective kind of conversion rate is as a metric on its own. And that is and I’ve seen on ecommerce forums and things like that, you know, threads, what’s your conversion rate? And you know, someone says mines 2.65, so it must be better than yours, which is 1.9. And if you’re not taking into account, traffic source and things like that, it’s pretty ineffective. 

You’d probably rather double your number of visitors you know, and lower your conversion rate if that means you’re bringing in more visitors, even if they’re at the top of the funnel, because ultimately you’ll you know, your revenue, assuming we’re talking about your organic traffic, your revenue and profit will be higher. So yeah, I don’t envy you and your position, client education that must go into sales process and working with clients.

Joris: That’s true. The thing is, we’re screwed with the CRO term. I mean,  SEO already existed and SCA and that kind of stuff. And they felt like, okay, we need to find a three-letter word that sums up what we do, and let’s call it CRO. And the problem is that it contains the term conversion rate. And we always steer away from that term, because at the end of the day, it’s about revenue and profit, it’s not about the conversion rate. And what we tried to do of course can have an impact. But on the other hand, what we do, for instance, when let’s say we make some changes to decide, we run a couple of tests, and it is working better. 

People converted better. Well, at some point you on your end, may be able to switch back on some campaigns that were not profitable before. But now all of a sudden, they are. They are converting, not as good as the other campaigns, but you’re still making money from it. So it’s going to lower your conversion rate, despite of the efforts that we made to make it convert better. So it’s a very tough story to tell, so that clients, well explain it to clients. So that’s why I tend to call it continuous revenue optimization. 

I think that sums up better what we do then conversion rate optimization. Somehow people think of the conversion rate as some constant thing. Like, if I show a couple of thousand extra visitors in there from a very bad Facebook campaign that has nothing to do with what we actually do, but we deliver a lot of clicks, they think that the conversion is going to be constant. And so if we can get the conversion rate up, and we can just dump any traffic on magically it’s gonna work. And of course, that’s not how it works. 

We work with people that are more or less ready to buy or not. And if they’re not ready to buy, we have to find a way to warm them up until the point you’re ready to buy. It’s a difficult position to be in sometimes, and it’s based on the term conversion rate optimization, which I personally really hate. It makes our work a lot tougher. But anyway, any other common mistakes that you see online stores make?

Alex: Yeah, there are tons. So trying to think of sort of the most common most fundamental, highest impact ones. Another one we can discuss briefly is remarketing, aka retargeting. That’s something I see almost every ecommerce account that we look at get wrong. And the big mistake that they make there is treating all past website visitors as equal or doing something very close to that. So a very common setup is you’ve got a remarketing campaign, you’ve got one ad group targeting people who abandon the shopping cart, which is fantastic, that almost always performs very well. 

And then you’ve got another ad group targeting everyone else who didn’t buy. And that’s where the big opportunity is. Let’s say you’ve got 100,000 visitors a month or 10,000 visitors a month, it doesn’t really matter. So you got 100,000, you might get 3000 people who buy something, which is fantastic. Another 7000, who add to the cart, which you don’t buy, which you retarget, and that’s great as well. Then if you look at that Allah 90,000, if you just run that one ad group targeting all of them together, you treating all of those people as if they’re of equal potential value to your business when they’re not. So what we do instead is segment those audiences. We segment that audience in a couple of ways. 

One is by the level of intent that they have displayed on the website. So cart abandonment is the most competent, most obvious one. But then what we’d also do is think about, okay, people who haven’t added a product to the cart and haven’t purchased, how many pages have they viewed on the site? How much time have they spent on the site? How many sessions have they had? Have they been to the website once? Have they returned three times? Typically, the more engaged they are with the site, the greater the likelihood of them returning and purchasing. 

And then the other way that we segment audiences, for a lot of clients, particularly retailers that sell products of a wide product range. So we have some clients who sell products ranging from $20, up to two or $3,000. So what we also do is segment based on the value of the products they have viewed. So putting these two sort of strategies together, if you think of, you know, that hypothetical 90,000 parts website, visitors in the last 30 days. You imagine one of those people might have viewed an $800 product, and returned to the site three times and viewed a total of 12 pages. 

And then you imagine someone else At the other extreme, who might have viewed a $50 product and bounced off the side in one session after 20 seconds. So if you were just running that one ad group, targeting everyone who didn’t add a product to the cart, your bidding equally for both of those people, even though that the two of them have a very different potential value to your business. So instead of targeting them all equally, segmenting audiences based on the level of intent, and if it makes sense the value of the products they viewed. And with that strategy, pretty much every ecommerce business, I think can dramatically improve the results that they’re getting from remarketing.

Joris: Yeah, yeah, I really like a segmented approach. One of the things that we do, for instance when we look at Google Analytics of our clients is, we look at how many days it typically takes before someone converts. How many days there are between the first session and the actual transaction. And we recommend them to use that information as well in their retargeting, because if you have, let’s say 70, or 80% of visitors convert within two days, it doesn’t make sense to have the same bid after 30 days and retargeting. 

But probably better to just bid a little bit more aggressively the first two days, because there’s a higher chance of converting them at that point. And then start down bidding and stop building at some point. Maybe it depends a bit on what we see in Analytics, of course. But it’s, I think that kind of those kinds of tweaks really help making campaigns a lot more profitable, I guess. And it’s just looking at what your clients do and, yeah, treat them all exactly the same way because that doesn’t really make sense.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. It’s a really good point too about the time since the last website visit. And that’s something we often incorporate as well. And so we might, depending on what we see in Analytics, we might have one audience running for the first seven days, and then a second audience running for the next seven days, or from eight to 30 days, or whatever it may be. And that initial audience, whether it’s two days, five days, seven days, whatever it might be, almost always performs better than the later. The audience is targeting people who haven’t visited the website more recently. 

And what you can also do if you want to get more advanced if you’ve got claim traffic is set up your remarketing campaigns such that you can target people with different offers at different stages. So in the first two or three days, you might simply show them the route to the call to action to return, someone who hasn’t returned and purchased within or hasn’t returned to the website within the last 15 days. At that point, you might want to offer them a 10% off coupon, or might want to emphasize some other selling point or something like that. That’s something that can work well as on top of the strategy that I’ve already mentioned. 

Joris: Yeah, that’s interesting. I think you guys go really in detail. And it really makes sense. And I can imagine you do a lot more than what we talked about today. But are there any tools you use to make your life easier?

Helpful Tools For Google Ads

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. So the first and most important one for us is the tool offered by Google, which is called Google Ads Editor. Basically, it allows you to do almost everything that you can do within the Google Ads web interface, but far more efficiently. And where this really becomes useful is working with larger clients with a larger project range. So if you have a Shopify store, for example, and you have one product, you can probably set up your campaigns just fine without using Google Ads Editor. 

But if you are an online retailer with hundreds of thousands of products, that’s where it can become really helpful in setting up campaigns properly at scale. So that’s definitely a starting point. Anyone who’s managing Google Ads and is reasonably serious about it, who’s not using Google Ads Editor should definitely check that out. There’s a small learning curve to get started, but once you understand how it works, you will make your life easier and make you far more efficient in setting up any management campaigns. 

Beyond that, there are a few paid tools that we use one is called Optymzr. The spelling on that is OPTYMZR. I think that’s a great tool, it can do a ton of different things particularly useful for ecommerce for managing Google Shopping campaigns. And so they have some really nice tools there. One allows you to build out Google Shopping campaigns at scale using structure of your choosing. And I probably won’t go into detail on exactly what I mean. That could go for another half an hour or something on that topic alone. 

Joris: Okay. We’ll do a separate class about that then.

Alex: Yeah, sure, perhaps sometime down the track. And then it’s got a lot of other nice shopping features, as well. So you can look at the performance of your shopping campaigns by attributes for individual products, for example. So one thing that we often look at is how shopping campaigns perform based on product price. So it will put your products into different pricing buckets. So it might be everything from zero to $40, and then 40, from $80, and that kind of thing. 

And then if you’ve got hundreds of thousands of products, you can see very easily. Okay, I have products priced $800 or over have a much higher return on ad spend, then our products priced under $100. And then you can update bids on all of those accordingly. Okay, so Optymzr is a great tool. And then we use another one primarily for ad testing, but it can do more these days. And that’s called Adalysis it’s spelled. I’m not sure why they both have these funny names. But it’s ADALYSIS, I guess think analysis but with ad. And that’s a great tool as well. I definitely recommend checking out both of those.

Joris: Okay, cool. But you do a lot of manual work on there as well. I can imagine you don’t just let tools run it for you.

Alex: Absolutely not. No. So the tools are, as the name suggests, a tool and not something that should be running the campaigns on their own. I think some clients can be nervous when they hear you talk about automation because they think what you’re doing is something that quite a few agencies do is set up some simplistic rules for managing the account and then basically letting them running wild. 

And, you know, perhaps login once a month and keep an eye on it. That’s not what we’re doing at all. We use these tools to make us more efficient, to cut out a lot of the work that a lot of advertisers do manually and make that more efficient. And that frees up a lot more time for strategy and coming up with new ad copy ideas and things like that. But we can add really, a lot of value.

Joris: Cool. Alright. Yeah, we’re kind of running out of time. Alex this has been absolutely great. I could probably go on for hours. Even just talking about the tools, I guess. But yeah, we’re running out of time and just want to make sure that people know how they can find you, learn more about you and how you can connect with you.

Alex: Yeah, sure. So the best place is probably our website at ascendancydigital.com. I’m sure we’ll have that link for the show notes or something. Yes. Anyone who’s interested take a look at that. Also can reach me at [email protected]. In terms of social media, professionally LinkedIn would probably be the other place.

Joris: Okay, cool. Thanks so much for being here. Alex. It’s been absolutely great.

Alex: My pleasure. Thanks a lot for having me.

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