Interview with Brad Geddes: Why He Loves Ad Testing and Dislikes Quality Score

Brad Geddes was one of the top speakers at the Acquisio Summit on July 30-31st, with attendees flocking to see his sessions and asking him questions once he walked off the stage.

In our interview with Brad Geddes we asked the expert a few questions to try and get to know him a bit better – no we didn’t ask his favorite color, but rather we wanted to know what his favorite chapters to write are in the Advanced Google Adwords book (up to 3 editions now).

He let us know why he created his company, AdAlysis, why he loves ad testing and how much he dislikes when people fuss over Quality Score.

Q: You had an AMA Reddit session scheduled for August 6th at 2:30 EST, how did that come about?

I haven’t actually used reddit a lot. I’ve used it a little bit, people have pinged me here and there. They took a poll on their subreddit for PPC and I was the number one person they wanted to do an ask me anything with. They reached out to me and asked if I would do one with them and I said great.

Q: What were your favorite and least favorite chapters to write in your Advanced Google AdWords book?

My favorite chapter is ad writing and ad testing. I love writing ads I love testing ads, that’s the reason I have a software around it. Ads are the only part of your account a user sees. Every setting in AdWords, or Bing Ads for that matter, is about ad serving. Your bid, your targeting, it’s all about the ad.

My least favorite is probably quality score. Quality score is interesting, but it can be frustrating. If your quality score is great there’s no reason to obsess over this number. You’re kind of wasting a lot of time writing a chapter that only applies to people that are doing it poorly. And in the end it’s about organization and ad copy testing – we’re back to the ads again.

The technical aspects of conversion tracking may also be a least favorite chapter of mine to write because it’s very ABC: get a code, put it on a website. There’s no creativity to setting up analytics; it’s right or it’s wrong. It’s important to know but there’s no creative workflow that goes with it.

Q: What is the AdWords question you get most often?

“How do I fix my quality score?”

It depends if your quality scores are good or not. If your quality scores are ten across the board, don’t even worry about your quality scores anymore. If your quality scores are really bad then you have to work on them. It’s not that you should always improve quality score, you should understand your current business case to decide whether you should even pay attention to them or not.

Quality score is all about organization and add testing. Not everyone needs to fix quality score or fixate on that number. It’s often too important and to under important depending on your account.

Q: How did you get started with AdAlysis, and what was the motivation behind starting that business?

I was in Germany speaking at SMX Munich, and Emmanuel Gad, who is now my co-founder at AdAlysis, initially approached me in London about creating some software together. Emmanuel actually flew out to meet me in Germany. We sat down and initially wanted to create a recommendation engine but realized recommendations were really hard to do, you’d have to do it for SMBs, enterprises, all levels. I think we’ll get there, but we need better machine learning to do this.

Then we thought of the next best thing that people are wasting time on that we could solve for. At the time my largest client had 18 million ads in their account. Trying to do ad testing was really tough. My second largest client had 9 million ads. Within my top 5 or 6 clients I had around 100 million ads and only 5 or 6 accounts. It was such a waste of time to run statistical significance across that many.

I talked to everyone in the marketplace and realized there was a way to save people hours and hours of time, at the same time letting them follow true statistical best practices. Then it was just a win win for everyone. Who doesn’t want to save time while making more money and doing it better than they used to do?

I saw an opportunity to build this, we looked in the marketplace for competitors and there was nothing and so we decided to built it.

Q: Your first session on ad testing was packed, with people lining the walls to listen and learn. Can you share a quick summary of your second session, Seasonal Strategies for Search Marketing session?

Number one, everyone has seasonality. People usually think season means Christmas or Black Friday. If you sell grills July 4th weekend is huge, if you sell flowers it’s Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Everyone has seasonality.

Market to a specific day or season and look at how to do this as a repeatable automated process for any type of season. I’ll go over everything from day planning to overall tips in the accounts.

Q: What is one piece of advice you have for Acquisio as we go local?

Understanding the actual local business that will be getting the results from your clients. What reporting do they need to make them feel comfortable with how their data is being managed, without being too detailed.

Educating sales reps is my other big piece of advice. As a platform you must empower sales teams to sell, but you don’t want a sales rep who says I promise to make you number one on Google. I have a love/hate relationship with sales reps. We need sales reps to be accurate in what they’re saying.

Watch the full interview here:

Learn more about ad testing from Brad in our free ebook, Guide to the Best Automation Solutions:


Jillian Zacchia

Jillian Zacchia

Jill is a professional writer, editor and social media procrastinator. With a degree in Literature and Communications from McGill, she started her journalism career writing about lifestyle and entertainment for teen magazines, and after dabbling with wedding and travel writing she began the transition towards content creation for start ups, marketing and tech companies.

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