AdWords promises new update will save time, boost CRO and reduce CPA

Google have announced a series of new features for AdWords aimed at making dynamic search ads more effective. Dynamic search ads are the AdWords product which creates ads dynamically based on website content, rather than manually setting up keywords on which to bid. The idea is this allows businesses to not miss opportunities they wouldn't have known to bid on with a manually set up keyword-based campaign. It also means when the website content is updated the search ads automatically update, so there is no risk of having out of date ad copy after site updates. Google has pressed ahead with the announcement despite the hurricane of negative PR whipped up by the revelations regarding ads being placed by YouTube and Google Display Network on unacceptable content, such as terrorist propaganda or far right groups. Because search ads don't appear on sites (only…

“Close variant” keyword matching to become default by end September can increase clicks by 7% on average

Importance: [rating=4] (If you’re not already using this feature) Recommended link: AdWords official announcement

Context for the change to match types

The Match types advertisers use in AdWords are important since they control whether relevant ads are displayed to searchers based on the keywords they type. This in turn affects the clickthrough rates, Quality Score and the ROI you get on your campaigns. Here’s a reminder of the main match types from iProspect:

What is the change?

In their announcement, Google explain that starting in late September, they’re applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Previously it was possible to opt-out of these. Close keyword variations include Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor…
On 3rd April 2014 Google announced that the clock is ticking until they automatically upgrade all Product Listing Ad campaigns into Google Shopping Campaigns. The timeframe they have outlined is August 2014. Therefore we recommend that you make this switch manually before the end of July as otherwise Google will take the liberty of doing it for you. Shopping campaigns were released in beta mode in October 2013 and then fully in February 2014. There are many aspects to shopping campaigns that are consistent with product listing ads: The ads are matched to user searches based on your product inventory data feed that you send to the Google Merchant Centre rather than being triggered by keywords that the advertiser sets. From a shoppers perspective they look identical - the ads show an image of your product, the product name and price and there is the option to add…

Less than 100 days until Google Shopping Campaigns Switch: 6 migration musts for Advertisers

Do you remember 2012 when Google switched Google Shopping over to paid ads, and merchants on Google had a collective pain attack? It's happening again. This month Google announced they are switching the current version of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) over to the newer Google Shopping Campaigns format. Similar to the initial introduction of paid Product Listing Ads from (October 2012) , Google completely changed how Google Product Search functioned, and required merchants to make the switch within a certain timeline (July 2012). This time you can prepare in advance. How is Google changing Google Shopping and how can you get ready? Below are the details of how Google Shopping Campaigns are different from current Product Listing Ads, Google Shopping Campaigns best practices.

Google Shopping Campaigns vs. Current PLAs

Google Shopping Campaigns…

A 6 Step approach for Targeting Local PPC Campaigns

Last month, I shared my tips for carrying out a local SEO audit on your website. But that’s only half the story. It’s not just your organic SEO that needs to be geo-targeted. With Google placing a great visual emphasis and authority on PPC adverts, you should be integrating geo-targeted ads in your marketing mix. A geo-targeted PPC campaign works best for businesses who perform their services locally, but could attract customers from further afield. Let's take a UK example, Mrs Jones runs Blue Widget Weddings, a store selling wedding dresses in Redditch, UK. She obviously wants to attract brides from her local area – Redditch, Bromsgrove, Birmingham and Droitwich. This makes Mrs Jones the perfect candidate for a local PPC campaign.

Six step Paid Search campaign plan for a local business

Here, is a six step plan she, or any other local…

Keeping up-to-date with the latest Adwords innovation

Importance (to AdWords users): [rating=5] Recommended link: AdWords announcement of Enhanced campaigns This year Google have been shipping enhancements to AdWords at a feisty pace. We thought that it would be helpful to take stock and review some of these key changes. We notifying this update now since from July 22nd 2013 Google is automatically migrating all users to the new Enhanced campaigns feature. Google notes that a fair proportion of campaigns have still not been migrated since the announcement of the new feature in February... "Advertisers have upgraded over 6 million legacy campaigns, representing almost 75% of active campaigns". This blog post covers these 4 main additions for which I give more detailed advice in the newly updated Smart Insights Guide to Getting More ROI with AdWords. 1. Enhanced campaigns 2. Auction Insights tool 3. Automated rules 4. Dynamic Remarketing ads.


A briefing on the new Adwords Enhanced Campaigns

Value/Importance to AdWords advertisers: [rating=4] - But only if you have high levels of mobile traffic and/or physical store locations. Recommended link: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns announcement - 06/02/2013

Our commentary on AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

Google’s mantra has always been Relevance, Relevance, Relevance! They’re now really putting it into practice for mobile marketing with this exciting new feature which means that soon you will be able to more easily target mobile users with ads based on their location, device and time of day. These options were already available to advertisers, but it will become much easier to implement and measure mobile-specific ads. However, I understand that tablets can't be easily targeted any longer. Google says this is due to a blurring of different tablet devices and desktops. Nevertheless, savvy advertisers were using this as a way to reach a perceived more valuable audience. The key features of…

Practical tips to refine your PPC targeting

Recent changes to Google’s AdWords tool allow PPC marketers to set up paid search campaigns without populating long lists of plurals, abbreviations, acronyms, misspellings and stems. In my last post, I mentioned the need to review keyword match types regularly to ensure your paid search campaigns remain profitable. The recent AdWords changes make regular reviewing even more important; especially for small and medium enterprises. Here, ClickThrough Marketing’s Paid Search Manager, Saiqa Bi, looks at the implications of the changes, and the potential pros and cons for internet marketing.

A brief recap on Adwords functionality

Before we delve any deeper into what the recent to AdWords functionality mean for you, it’s probably worth a quick recap of what does what in AdWords: Phrase match keyword targeting allows advertisers to target an ad to any search query that contains…

Which are the most popular search engines I should target in each country?

Its not often I look at trends data but its good to do every quarter. The popularity of search engines does change and within this blended search like video, images, local search is becoming more important. My comments below focus on how this data has search implications but the links also show popular social networks & entertainment sites. This data is always useful when justifying time & effort for channels or campaigns. Another tool not mentioned below is Google's Adplanner (& its top 1000 sites report), this is a great tool when you need data / demographics on categories or specific websites.

Data on most popular UK search engines - Hitwise

March 2012 update - Hitwise have just published a simple infographic summarising UK search behaviour. The main insight which prompts questions about how we target through SEO and paid search…

New research from Google suggests the investment is worthwhile - they would, wouldn't they?

Value/Importance: [rating=3] Recommended link: Google Research Blog

Our commentary

Whether using Adwords is generates incremental visits when you already rank well in natural search is a perennial question within paid search, but the findings in are still relevant & should be taking seriously enough to run your own tests. The research was aimed at answering one simple question: "Does bidding on keywords you already rank number 1 for in natural search just waste money or does it deliver additional traffic?". This situation is often the case with the brand search terms that are so important because they are the most important search terms for most well-known brands. The answer from the Google Research clearly states that: 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused. This…