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AdWords Q&A With Former Google Evangelist Frederick Vallaeys

Posted by Jason Wells on January 28th, 2014 at 1:51 pm
Tell us about your background a little bit. You worked for Google. What did you do for them?

I started at Google in 2002 when they needed someone who spoke Dutch to help launch AdWords in the Netherlands and Belgium. I had done some AdWords advertising myself and had built a few tools to improve my results like conversion tracking and a search query report (it may be hard to imagine but those things did not exist back in 2002). When the product team found out I had built these tools for my own account, they brought me on and I started working closely with the teams that built Quality Score, the AdWords interface, and I was on the founding team that created the AdWords Editor. My official role was the AdWords Evangelist, and I got to teach a lot of people how to get the most from AdWords. That's why I was excited to do the webinar with LogMyCalls: Google Insider Discusses AdWords Quality Score & CPC.

What's it like to work at Google?

Working at Google was amazing - I doubt I’ll ever work for another company that comes close. What I liked most was that I got to work with really smart people who want to make the world a better place by making information more accessible and useful. Google is always innovating and changing the status quo... Knowing that my work on AdWords not only helped advertisers grow their companies, but that it also supported initiatives like Gmail, Docs, a self-driving car really got me excited about my job.
Describe the major changes in AdWords in the last 3-5 years?

AdWords is always changing which can be a challenge if you don’t log in often, but it’s a good thing for marketers who want all the latest features. Some of the biggest changes:
- Text ads have come a long way thanks to ad extensions that let advertisers enhance their ads with tons of additional useful information, in turn getting them more clicks.
- Mobile advertising is a big portion of online advertising and Google introduced bid modifiers in AdWords to make it easier to set the right bids for different devices, and also for different regions where ads may appear. For example, it’s now easier to set a different bid for a user on a mobile phone in NY than for a user on her desktop in LA.
- Automation has come a long way too and this is great for advertisers who don’t like doing repetitive tasks. Specifically, the launch of AdWords Scripts in late 2012 made account automation much more accessible for all advertisers and it’s the reason I started my company Optmyzr.com.
Can you provide a brief overview of what Quality Score is and how it works?
Quality Score is Google’s measure of how relevant an ad is and it’s used to determine the ad’s rank on the page and the actual cost-per-click it has to pay. In other words, an ad with a better quality score will get a higher position on the search results page and will have to pay less to beat their next competitor. Saving money and getting a better rank, two things all advertisers want, are controlled by quality score so it pays to monitor it and optimize for it.
What are the major misconceptions marketers have about Quality Score?
Quality Score is not as mysterious as a lot of advertisers assume, it’s basically different ways that Google measures the clickthrough rate for an ad. Because advertisers misunderstand it, they sometimes make bad decisions for their accounts. For example, I’ve seen advertisers who hesitate to change their account structure for fear of “breaking” their quality score and I’ve seen countless advertisers waste time trying to improve their landing page score when that’s only a small factor of the overall score.
What are the biggest AdWords mistakes marketers make?
The biggest problems I see in AdWords accounts:
- Ad groups with too many keywords. When an ad group has more than 30 keywords, chances are it can be split into smaller ad groups with more relevant ads.
- Not tracking conversions. As obvious as it seems to many of us, I see way too many advertisers who spend thousands every month but who have no clue how much business it’s driving. Even if they say their business is growing, the lack of conversion data makes it really hard to improve an AdWords account.
Tell us about Optmyzr.
Optmyzr is an AdWords tool company that provides unique big data insights and makes it quick and easy to act on new insights. Some of our unique AdWords reports include a geo heat map, the ability to see performance data by hour of the week and historical quality score tracking. Our One-Click Optimizations™ make it easy to clean up an AdWords account and add new keywords that are known to drive conversions. There’s a free trial on our site so we hope you’ll give us a try: www.optmyzr.com.

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