Attention Accountants: The New Tax Bill Could Kill Your PPC Account
Have you heard the news? There are some drastic tax code changes on the horizon.
The GOP plan for tax overhaul cleared the House on Thursday. Regardless of your political leanings, that’s big news for your AdWords account! If you’re a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), or an agency running accounts for accountants, you’re going to want to prepare for the impending increase in impressions and subsequent clicks. Otherwise, you risk wasting a ton of your budget on clicks that represent absolutely no value to your business.
Here’s a quick rundown on what’s changing, and how you can alter your AdWords account to hedge against wasted spend, impending doom, etc.
Who knows!? And that’s the point.
As news, both real and fake, permeates the internet, Americans will enter panic mode and begin searching for answers to their tax-related questions. Here’s a screenshot I took this morning:
Look at those articles, those pivots to video, those clickbaity headlines.
Do you know what searchers looking for information as to whether they should weep or cheer aren’t looking for? A CPA.
How Will The Tax Reform Bill Impact Your AdWords Account?
Even though you probably aren’t bidding on “tax reform bill,” you’re not out of the woods.
In the coming days, folks across the country will make millions of tax-related search queries.
From 3 am to 11 am on Nov. 16th, search interest in “tax reform” rose 84%.
Images via Google Trends
If you’re bidding on any broad, broad match modified, or phrase match keywords that contain the word “tax” (which seems likely since, you know, you’re an accountant) and you aren’t explicitly negating the words “reform” and “bill,” you’re in for a world of hurt.
And by hurt, I mean a massive uptick in impressions. Which will inevitably lead to a whole mess of unqualified clicks.
Guess what? You still have to pay for those clicks.
What Can You Do?
Add. Account. Level. Negative. Keywords.
AdWords allows advertisers to create lists of negative keywords that can be applied at the campaign level. Luxury advertisers use this technique to stop their ads from being served for queries that contain modifiers like “discount,” “sale,” or, god forbid, “free.”
Here, I’m going to show you how accountants can use negative keyword lists to hedge against tax reform-related queries cannibalizing their AdWords budgets.
Enter the new AdWords interface and click the helpful little wrench at the top of the screen. From there, click the “Negative keyword lists” option under the “Shared Library” menu.
Here, simply click the giant blue circle bearing a tiny white plus sign.
List creation time!
Name your new list of negative keywords something like “Tax Reform Bill” (this will make it easy for you to find it among other lists of negative keywords or remember what you’ve included here so that you can remove it at a later date if need be). In the “Add negative keywords” box, add “reform” and “bill.”
^ You see how I formatted those? Make ‘em look just like that. Adding the words “reform” and “bill” as negative phrase match keywords will ensure that any query containing either word will not trigger one of your targeted keywords. Whatever you do, do not add the word “tax.” Please.
Save your list of keywords and leave this menu. Navigate over to the keywords tab (on the vertical bar to the left of your interface) and select the “Negative Keywords” header.
Use the radio buttons to select the “Use negative keyword list” option, add all of your campaigns in the “Add to” section, and, finally, use the search field (depicted at the bottom of that screenshot you see above) to find your “Tax Reform Bill” negative keyword list.
If you find the new AdWords UI confusing (or you're already using WordStream Advisor), you can use our software's one-click negative keyword functionality in the QueryStream report to add both "reform" and "bill" to all of your accounts' AdWords and Bing campaigns in seconds.
And you’re done. Congratulations: you just saved your AdWords budget!
Adding specific, account-level negative keywords is a quick fix for a problem that could completely derail your AdWords account.
Leave your account untouched, and you run the risk of paying to put your ads in front of frenzied searchers who either won’t click them (which will destroy your expected click-through rate and, as a result, diminish your Quality Scores) or, worse, will click but with zero intention of hiring you to help them out come April.