If you’re like most real estate professionals who have tried to manage their online marketing efforts on their own, then you should have come across Google’s AdWords system. If so, then you should also know that in order for you to get the highest ROI on your AdWords account you need to constantly be testing, refining, and optimizing your campaigns. From my conversations with most people that have ventured down this road, the majority of self-managed AdWords account simply don’t get the love and attention they need to be effective.
Not that I think Google has reached out to these time deficient advertisers, but as an Authorized Reseller of Google AdWords we have just received an official email from Google stating that AdWords is going to start enabling Automatic Matching in every AdWords account, by default. Advertisers will have to opt-out of this feature should they wish to continue without it.
What exactly is Automatic Matching?
Well, instead of regurgitating the email message, you can just check it out for yourself here (courtesy of Google):
Dear AdWords Advertiser,
On May 20, 2008, a checkbox will appear on your campaigns’ ‘Edit Campaign Settings’ pages giving you access to an optional beta feature called ‘automatic matching.’ The feature will be enabled by default, although it won’t begin to affect your account until June 3, 2008.
Please use this time to decide if you’d like to participate in the automatic matching beta. If you wouldn’t, simply uncheck the box on the ‘Edit Campaign Settings’ page for each of your campaigns before June 3rd. Below you’ll find more information about automatic matching and how to opt out, if you choose to do so.
I. About Automatic Matching
Automatic matching shows your ads on relevant search queries not already captured by your keywords. It works by analyzing the content of the landing pages, ads, and keywords in your ad group. It then shows your ads on search queries relevant to this information.
The system will continually monitor your performance on these queries and adjust its matches accordingly. Automatic matching aims to show your ads only on queries that yield a high clickthrough rate (CTR) and a cost-per-click (CPC) comparable to or lower than your ad group’s current average CPC. This way, your ads receive additional targeted traffic at a similar cost to your current traffic.
Automatic matching won’t affect the traffic you’re currently receiving. In addition, automatic matching will have no impact if your campaigns already capture the majority of relevant traffic.
See a list of frequently asked questions about automatic matching at http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?topic=13669&hl=en_US.
II. How to Opt Out
See full instructions for opting out at http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=86319&hl=en_US. Remember, you’ll be able to opt out as early as May 20th, but the feature won’t begin to affect your account until June 3rd.
If you have a large number of campaigns in your account and don’t want to opt each one out of automatic matching, please reply to this email by May 29th stating that you don’t wish to participate in this beta.
We’re eager to hear your feedback once this feature has run in your account for a few weeks – just reply to this email with any comments or suggestions.
Thank you for advertising with us. We look forward to providing you with the best advertising service possible.
The Google AdWords Team
Email preferences: We’re sending this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important new AdWords features.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
What does this mean for you as an AdWords Advertiser?
Well, simply put, it will should save you some time on extra keyword research. With this feature enabled Google is saying that they will show your AdWords ads for relevant keywords without you having to put them in your account.
Is this good or bad?
For a lazy advertiser or one that doesn’t have time to monitor their account then it is a good thing as it does a very necessary job of keyword research for you. However, this reminds me a lot of Google’s "Budget Optimizer" feature which is horrible for getting the highest, most cost effective results.
I am going to be skeptical on this feature until it proves otherwise. I am yet to see any feature Google has offered that has truly "optimized" a campaign to what it needs to be for the highest possible ROI. I have never come across any type of marketing that just allows you to set it and forget it, especially with real estate marketing campaigns. Hopefully Google proves me wrong this time. I am going to be testing this beta feature so check back to see what our review is.