You want to reach your audience fast, within the right context, and with the most impact. So do your competitors. If you are all using Google AdWords as is, you’ll likely end up rumbling over the same set of customers without ever reeling in the results you were hoping for.
How do you get ahead of the competition? What differentiates a high performing ad campaign from the rest of the pack? How do you know if you have a streamlined campaign that reaps positive results instead of bleeding your marketing budget dry?
In any field or industry, leading organizations strive to stay on top of their game by constantly improving efficiency, reducing costs and optimizing value. These days, they do so primarily through strategic partnerships, creative tactics, and smart technologies such as data analytics, machine learning, and automation. The same goes for ad campaigns.
On top of mastering the art and the mechanics behind AdWords, your online marketing team should also actively seek out emerging tools, frameworks, and techniques offered by Google and third party sources that can deliver game-changing impact on your online advertising campaigns. This need drives the expansive growth of the search engine optimization industry (which has exploded to more than $65 billion in value over the years) as well as the online advertising automation sector. Marketing and digital advertising budgets are both similarly on the rise, with the online advertising industry projected to clock a value of around $220 billion by 2019. With your competitors more likely than not to energize their ad campaigns with additional funding, merely relying on conventional internet advertising approaches and legacy technologies will put your brand easily at risk of becoming irrelevant.
For online advertising, Google AdWords remains among the most favored tools of many brands looking to attract user traffic and generate conversions over the Internet. That is hardly surprising. More than 3 billion Google searches are performed on a daily basis and search results pages serve as a viable canvas for displaying your ad. But AdWords go beyond search. Google’s advertising ecosystem is possibly the most lucrative on the planet and includes its Google Display Network, which covers virtually any publicly accessible website that allows promotional materials on its pages. This means drawing up and unleashing an excellent campaign on AdWords is not an option but an imperative for brands who want a significant — if not a commanding — presence in their niche.
Because precise demographic targeting streamlines ad spend and optimizes ROI, Google AdWords provides advertisers with robust targeting capabilities. AdWords allow audience targeting based on location, language use, keywords, domain names, topics, age range, gender, and even lesser known parameters such as parental status and household income.
Much of these targeting parameters allow you to close in on users who will likely find your messaging, service, or product relevant. In contrast, AdWords’ IP exclusion feature allows you to block access to audiences who will not find your advertisement useful at all and may even deem your messaging as spam or offensive. For example, if you are partnering with a specific telecoms provider and plan to offer services to its customers, you can configure IP restrictions to prevent your ads from appearing to users who are enrolled to a different telecoms provider. Most advertisers also exclude their own network’s IP addresses to prevent the accrual of expenses due to misplaced ad impressions and inadvertent clicks.
Using AdWords’ IP exclusion feature is one way to optimize your ad spend and ensure that you 1) reach the customers who fit your ideal buyer personas; and 2) reduce time and resource costs on engagement with users who hardly match your client profile. In a nutshell, this feature prevents unwanted (or even fraudulent) clicks on your online ads which can inadvertently drive up your advertising costs.
In your AdWords account dashboard, you can access the exclude IP feature by clicking Settings and selecting the specific campaign you want to restrict specific IP addresses for. Many teams from small businesses use the IP exclusion feature by manually blocking unwanted IP addresses, but there’s a smarter way that uses automation.
Google allows the exclusion of 500 network masks (IP address) at most. You may not need to exclude 500 IP addresses for each campaign but imagine if you have multiple campaigns to configure and you have dozens of IP addresses to restrict in each campaign. The process would then be very tedious and time-consuming. For companies that implement a fairly large number of campaigns (north of 1000) with different geo-targeting requirements, the ordeal will be very untenable indeed.
That is where MI DIGITAL’s AdWords’ IP Restriction API comes in handy. This smart AdWords scripting solution —
Eliminate unwanted impressions and useless clicks that sap your marketing budget like a hole in your pocket. Left to their devices, unregulated online ad campaigns will become intractable and produce metrics that do not paint an accurate picture of your product’s marketability and performance. Why is this so?
Online advertising transactions generally follow two main frameworks: the cost-per-click (CPC) model and the cost-per-impression (CPM) model. As both terms explicitly say, they cost money.Your money. With CPC, advertisers pay an amount each time their ad is clicked while advertisers in a CPM arrangement pay an amount for the number of times (usually per thousand) their ad is shown, regardless of whether it is clicked or not.
In both cases, you wouldn’t want non-customers or audiences with very low likelihood of buying your product to see or click your ad. If either happens, you have to shell out an amount that will not contribute to your investment or goal. In other words, you are throwing away a slice of your marketing budget for nothing. Wordstream published a useful infographic that will give you an idea of the average CPC rate per industry on AdWords. Imagine just a hundred unwanted clicks on your ad and you’ll get an idea of the costs involved.
Reducing cost/preventing wastage is just one reason why adopting MI DIGITAL’s Automated Campaign IP-Restriction API for AdWords is a smart move. There are other, equally important reasons.
Manually configuring an AdWords campaign is ok but in a scaled up scenario where you need to set up multiple campaigns targeting different locations, things can become tedious as well as error-prone.People are not robots and they tire over time, increasing the likelihood of erroneous data entries. Automation squarely eliminates this hazard. Meanwhile, if you need to set up multiple campaigns with varying target demographics and IP address blacklists, then having a tool that automates the process of blocking/unblocking groups of IP addresses will significantly speed up the process and reduce the likelihood of errors.
Automation becomes indispensable for companies with more than a thousand ad campaigns in their AdWords account. In these cases, manual configuration of IP exclusions is almost unthinkable. Moreover, manually adding restrictions per campaign is not only time consuming but also highly error-prone. If keying in a set of restricted IP addresses takes a minute, doing so for a thousand campaigns will take more than 16 hours straight, or easily in excess of two working days. With automation, performing the same task will take just a few minutes. Without an automated process, removing restrictions entails the same difficulties and complications.
An automated tool for restricting IP addresses greatly benefits companies with well-defined target consumers. For example, telecommunication companies planning to engage users who are not currently subscribed to their services may configure AdWords to restrict ad access their own IP networks to ensure that they are not selling to people who already use their brand.
MI DIGITAL’s AdWords API provides additional benefits. These include the ability to set or remove IP restrictions to both active and inactive campaigns. The scripting solution also allows advertisers to schedule the setting or removal of IP restrictions.
In the digital age, brands that trivialize smart automations will simply fall by the wayside. Technology has become such a key differentiator that Gartner predicts CMOs will begin to outspend even CTOs when it comes to IT procurements by 2017. Servicing the demand for marketing automation, technology firms like MI DIGITAL have joined the ecosystem, providing expertise, insight and services such as custom-built automation solutions for online advertisers.
You can start small. But the need to embrace technology more warmly than your competitors is paramount. Simple automations such as MI DIGITAL’s IP restriction API can make a difference by moving the needle where it matters. Automating AdWords’ IP exclusion feature will optimize your ad spend and deliver a much better ROI than having your staff manually configure the IP restrictions.
By handling repetitive tasks, this solution minimizes the likelihood of human error, reduces marketing costs, enables you to scale campaigns with ease, and improves clickthrough performance — all the while saving precious time that your team can spend instead on formulating creative strategies to stay on top of your game.