Using AdWords IF Functions to Create Tailored Ad Experiences

AdWords recently introduced IF functions to users as a new method of creating customized ad content. The new feature allows advertisers to generate and serve personalized ad copy when specific conditions are met by their audience. How will this impact your AdWords campaigns, and what can you do to leverage this new feature? Read on to learn more about AdWords IF functions and how you can get started using them today.

What are AdWords IF Functions?

60 day free trial of AdWords PPC managementIf you’re already an AdWords user, you’re probably already familiar with AdWords ad customizers. This feature of AdWords allows advertisers to automatically create custom content for search ads according to their audience’s search query, device, location and other variables. The new IF functions allow ad experiences for Search Network ads to be customized even further by giving advertisers the ability to trigger customized ads to be served when specific conditions are met. When those conditions are not met, default text is displayed.

As an example, you may want to serve up a special offer for new customers. With IF functions, you can set up your ads to include the text “10% off your first purchase” be displayed as the heading of your ad only when the person viewing your ad has not converted previously. If an individual does not meet the parameters to trigger the custom message, your default message will display instead, preventing existing customers from seeing an offer that is not applicable to them.

The Benefits of Customization: Better Conversion Rates, Lower Ad Spend

IF functions allow advertisers to display customized offers to their audience. The key benefit of using IF functions is that advertisers gain an enhanced ability to create personalized ad copy for specific audiences. Personalized content has been proven to increase conversion rates across multiple channels. The more personalized you can make the user experience, the better ROI you will see from your advertising efforts. By creating targeted experiences that are triggered under specific conditions, advertisers can create more compelling brand experiences for the right people.

What’s more, IF functions can allow AdWords users to focus their ad spend on users that are more likely to convert, ensuring that their budget goes farther. Some studies have shown that implementing automation to display customized content can help advertisers generate up to 50% more leads, while cutting costs by as much one-third.  

How to Get Started with Using IF Functions

Anyone familiar with an automation service like IFTTT or with a computer programming background will likely be able to use this new feature effortlessly. However, any advertiser can get started with this powerful customized tool with by reviewing AdWords’ guidelines for use. Visit the AdWords support site to learn how to construct and implement IF functions in your existing campaigns.

Setting up IF functions is relatively straightforward, but their flexibility can make actually using them challenging for inexperienced advertisers. Here are a few key points that you’ll need to know before you get started:

What You Can Do

There are some basic use parameters that you should keep in mind when developing IF function-based ads:

  1. Target by Device: While the new Expanded Text Ads diminish the importance of having mobile-specific copy, IF functions do allow for device-specific copy. If you’re focused on mobile PPC, using IF functions could be a good way to hone in on your audience.
  2. Target by Audience Segmentation: IF functions allow you to focus your ads on specific devices or on any valid user list name. To get the full benefit of this targeting, you’ll want to do you research ahead of time and have a good understanding of what different groups make up your target audience, and how you can best segment them out for advertising purposes.
  3. Customize Headlines and/or Description: Customized copy can be inserted in both headline and description elements. The only place that IF functions cannot be used is in the final URL of your ad.

What You Can’t Do

While IF functions are quite flexible and powerful, there are a couple significant things that they cannot do, including:

  1. They Don’t Use Feeds: Unlike other ad customizers IF functions don’t use feeds. This means that ads that use IF functions aren’t necessarily ideal for displaying a catalog of various products or services.
  2. They are Only for Search Network Ads: Display ads don’t currently support IF functions. Be sure that when you implement IF function text into new or existing ads, you do so only for search network ads. 

Creating Tailored Ad Experiences with Webrageous

60 day free trial of AdWords PPC managementDeveloping personalized ad campaigns can have a significant positive impact on your AdWords ROI. But leveraging features like IF functions requires investing time and resources in your campaigns. Working with experienced PPC managers can allow you to get the most out of AdWords’ more advanced features.

Webrageous’ team of PPC managers can work with you to leverage the features and strategies that will help you tap into the full potential of your digital advertising campaigns. With our assistance, you can optimize your PPC campaigns for maximum results. Contact Webrageous today for a consultation and to learn more about how we’re already helping businesses like yours use AdWords more effectively.

 

Optimizing Desktop PPC Ads for Cross-Device Conversions

Office desk with laptop computer, planner, mobile smartphone and coffee cup.

It should be no surprise to advertisers that mobile devices are important to robust PPC strategies. But that doesn’t mean that mobile PPC is the only important part of digital advertising. Desktop PPC ads are still a critical part of high-performing PPC strategies. Although mobile advertising is on the rise, desktop traffic still represents a significant audience segment for most industries. Because many conversions still happen at on desktop devices, measuring cross-device conversions is more important than ever.

In this post, we’ll discuss why desktop ads should stay within savvy advertisers’ sightlines moving forward, and how you can develop a strong cross-device strategy in a mobile-centric digital climate.

Why Desktop Ads Are Still Critical to PPC Strategy

It is often tempting to jump on new AdWords features or trends revealed by industry data — and it is true that the rise of mobile device traffic has been a boon for many advertisers. But while mobile devices now constitute the majority of web traffic, nearly half of web traffic still comes from desktop devices. Putting all of your PPC focus on mobile ads carries the risk of losing out on a huge segment of your audience.

What’s more, the way that buyers are engaging with devices is changing.Many web users now use multiple devices while making a purchasing decision, meaning that both desktop and mobile devices can be part of the buying process. Desktop devices play a major role in many purchase conversions. Additionally, the actual point of conversion still happens most frequently on desktop devices. Up to 80% of consumer conversions still happen on desktop devices.This is especially true for businesses with consumer audiences.

Best Practices for Optimizing Cross-Device Campaigns

The key to getting the most out of desktop PPC in a mobile-first world is leveraging desktop ads as part of your holistic cross-device PPC strategy. The introduction AdWords’ new expanded text ad format encourages advertisers to create device-agnostic campaigns. However, advertisers can still make an effort to improve their ad performance on specific devices. Here are three of the top strategic moves that you can make in order to optimize your campaigns for cross-device conversions.

Leverage Responsive Landing Pages & Website

With Google’s new expanded text ad format minimizing the gap between mobile and desktop formats, it’s important for your landing pages and website to work seamlessly on a variety of devices and screen sizes. If your advertising materials aren’t yet optimized for cross-device viewing, it’s time to invest in a redesign aimed at responsiveness.

In addition to maintaining a responsive layout, updating the content of your pages matters. Be sure to revisit the copy and messaging of your landing pages and web pages. Ensuring a consistent message and experience across all devices will help repeat visitors have the optimal experience of your brand, and will encourage the trust necessary to secure conversions.

2. Measure Cross-Device Conversions

Tracking your audience’s behavior will help you understand what messaging works best for your campaigns. One study found that as much as 65% of ecommerce revenue is generated by purchases made across multiple challenges. But tracking your audience as they jump from device to device over time can be challenging. Fortunately, Google now allows advertisers to track cross-device conversions to better understand and track their audience.

Enabling “cross-device conversion tracking” in your AdWords account will allow you to access and use data about how your audience moves between different devices and platforms before converting. You may also want to consider expanding your conversion window, if necessary, in order to capture more accurate data.

3. Adjust Bidding Strategy Based on Cross-Device Conversions

Bidding strategies can be built to lean into the conversion behaviors that your audience exhibits, saving you money and helping you get more out of your ad spend. Use the data you gather from your cross-device conversions to build a more spend-efficient bidding strategy.

Using Target CPA bidding allows you to make automated bid adjustments by conversion channel, including by device. This will allow you to optimize your bidding for the devices that convert best for your business. However, keep in mind that AdWords’ Conversion Optimizer isn’t a silver bullet for PPC success. While Target CPA bidding can help you optimize for device-based conversions, it does require that your campaigns already have a relatively steady conversion rate to begin with. For many advertisers, leveraging the help of an experienced PPC manager can be a more effective way to develop a bidding strategy that will yield the best results.

Build Cross-Device Campaigns with Webrageous

Navigating the complexities of building campaigns optimized for cross-device users can be challenging. Webrageous has over ten years of experience building successful PPC campaigns for clients in a variety of industries. We have been designing and implementing mobile PPC strategies for as long as they have been available on AdWords.

Our experienced team of PPC specialists can help you develop cross-device campaigns that make the most of both your desktop and mobile search traffic. Contact Webrageous today to learn more about our services and to get started with your campaign optimization.

Image Source: Pixabay

Optimizing Expanded Text Ads

Now that all AdWords users are obliged to use the new AdWords Expanded Text Ads format for their PPC campaigns, it’s time to start focusing on optimizing your expanded text ad campaigns to get the most out of your updated ads. Many advertisers are already seeing positive results from their expanded text ads, and updating your campaigns to optimize for the new ad format can yield great ROI for your digital advertising strategy moving forward.

Here are our tips for kickstarting your expanded text ads and making your move to using AdWords’ longer ad format as smooth and beneficial to your campaigns as possible.

Transition into Optimization — Don’t Leap

Whether you started testing out expanded text ads as soon as they were available, or if you’ve waited until now to start updating your campaigns, keep in mind that you’ll want to keep your existing campaigns running as you make the transition to the new ad format.

Make changes incrementally and experiment with your existing campaigns slowly, rather than starting entirely from scratch. If the prospect of slowly changing and experimenting with your campaigns seems too daunting, you may want to enlist the help of expert PPC managers to make the process move more quickly and efficiently.

Leverage Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) can help boost CTR by catching your audience’s eye with more personalized, relevant ad copy. With a higher character limit to leverage in the expanded text format, advertisers can take even better advantage of this useful AdWords tool moving forward.

One ad performance study found that by using Dynamic Keyword Insertion in the heading of the new expanded text ads, advertisers were able to boost their click through rate by up to 55%. DKI didn’t have the same impact when used in the description section, however. In order to get the most value from DKI, leverage it as a part of your header to create ads that “click” with your audience at first glance.

Use the New Length to Your Advantage

PPC experts have stated that while your headline length doesn’t seem to have a significant impact on ad performance, the description does.  Expanded text ads perform best when advertisers utilize the description section at its full length. Take advantage of this newfound space to convey a more compelling message to your audience.

Longer ad copy allowances can make it easier for advertisers to use keywords effectively. Make sure that you get your keywords in your header to catch your audience’s eye and use the description section to provide more information and a compelling CTA.

Rewrite Ad Copy for Quality

If you’ve been running PPC campaigns for any amount of time, you probably have a few campaigns that have been performing better for you than others. It may be tempting to simply tack an additional few keywords to the end of your existing ads. But optimizing your new expanded text ads requires more than simply making your ad copy a bit longer.

In their recent guide to expanded text ad optimization, Google’s advice to advertisers was, “Don’t simply add a second headline to your existing ads. Rethink your entire ad creative.” Well-crafted ads should be a holistic effort. To create stronger, more cohesive ads in the expanded text ad format, reconsider what makes your most successful ads work well, and build new copy from the ground up to replicate (and hopefully surpass) their success.

Craft Device-Agnostic Ads

In addition to expanded text ads, Google has also recently introduced separate device bidding functionality, making it easier for advertisers to pinpoint device-specific audiences. However, the AdWords team has made it clear that the new expanded text ad format is responsive, eliminating the need for advertisers to create device-specific ad copy. Google has gone so far as to advise against creating device-specific campaigns for the new format.

While time and A/B testing will tell whether or not Google’s advice holds true, advertisers can rest assured that their ads will display correctly across various devices. As a result, you’ll benefit from writing your ads with the intention and awareness that they will be served up to an audience that spans multiple devices.

Rethink Ad Extensions

Here at Webrageous, we’re big advocates of using ad extensions to craft more impactful mobile ads. Ad extensions let you add more information into your ads than you would be able to fit otherwise, such as a phone number to call, or reviews of your business. But with more space for copy, the ad extensions you’re currently using might be redundant. Rethink your current choice of extensions and check out the complete list to AdWords extensions to see how you might be able to use them even more efficiently with expanded ads. With mobile-friendly extensions like Click to SMS and Location extensions, advertisers have more ways than ever to pack a a ton of value into their newly optimized PPC ads. 

Optimize Your Expanded Text Ads Campaign Strategy with Webrageous

True campaign optimization requires more than ad-level changes. To truly get the most out of your new expanded ad campaigns, you may need to give your entire ad strategy a makeover. If you are committed to optimizing your ad campaigns in 2017, the expert PPC management team at Webrageous can help. We’re currently working with many of our customers to update, improve, and optimize their AdWords campaigns, and we can do the same for you. Contact Webrageous today to start developing a more impactful PPC strategy.

Image Source: Pixabay

Best Practices for Leveraging Shopping Ads in 2017

shopping ads best practices

A recent article in Search Engine Journal featuring predictions for PPC trends in 2017 indicated that Shopping Ads are going to be top of mind for PPC experts this year. And we couldn’t agree more. Over the last year, Google has quietly expanded impression share for shopping ads, also known as product listing ads or PLA. As a result, advertisers have seen their Shopping ads review more and impressions, particularly on mobile devices. With Google throwing some weight behind Shopping Ads, there’s never been a better time to invest in a PLA strategy as part of your digital advertising efforts.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the best practices for leveraging Shopping Ads to help you get the best results from your PLA and take advantage of this booming PPC space.

Invest in Quality Product Images

In an age where every person with a smartphone has access to a high-quality camera, and where visually-focused websites like Pinterest and Instagram rule the web, it’s critical to use appealing, high-resolution images on your ads. Failing to do so can even cost you business. A study by Live Person found that 56% of online customers will abandon items in their shopping cart if there is a lack of product information — including poor quality or missing images.

Investing in a professional photography service to highlight your products may be the ideal scenario, but even simply taking the time to photograph your products in good lighting, with a decent camera and a steady hand, can provide a significant ROI.

Use Negative Keywords Strategically

Using negative keywords appropriately can help you hone in on your audience and avoid search advertising disasters. But negative keywords can be an equally useful tool for optimizing your shopping ads. Shopping ads can be especially susceptible to displaying the wrong results.  from missing the mark entirely (Apple electronics vs. fruit) or serving simply the incorrect category of item (dress shoes vs. athletic shoes).  If left unchecked, these incorrect search matches can sap away your budget and ruin campaign performance.

Use negative keywords strategically to improve the accuracy of your PLA campaigns and reach your audience more effectively. The exact list of negative keywords that you use will depend on your industry and business needs, but be sure to refer to our list of common negative keywords as a starting point. There are many strategies for building out your keyword list, such as using Google’s Keyword Planner to identify keywords you don’t want to show results for. By working with a knowledgeable PPC management team to develop your keyword strategy, you will be able to build a comprehensive negative keyword list more quickly.

Leverage Benchmark Data to Adjust Your Bids

In addition to the metrics served for Search Ads, Google also provides benchmark CTR and benchmark CPC data for Shopping ad campaigns. These metrics use anonymized data from advertisers similar to you to provide information about the average performance of ads like yours. Benchmark data can be an important tool for Shopping Ads strategy. By leveraging this data to inform how you raise or lower your bids, you can have more assurance that your ads are performing up to par with your competition. This can help you to stay competitive and visible to your target audience without overspending or underspending on your campaigns.

Go Granular with Product Groups

A high level of granularity is available for AdWords PLA product groups, and advertisers can subdivide their product groups into up to seven subdivisions. Product group subdivisions can be defined by a number of set attributes, including everything from your internal item ID to the condition (used, new or refurbished) of the item.

Successful ecommerce PPC can often require identifying the right descriptors for your products that match the search terms used by your audience. The more granular and specific you can make your ad and product groups, the better they will perform. By leveraging subdivision attributes effectively, your ads will have a greater chance of being served to the correct audience. 

Manage Shopping Ads Bids Actively

Active bid management is key for the same reason that creating specific, granular ad groups is — your audience’s behavior can vary from product to product, and your campaigns should be structured to capture each one as effectively as possible. Because of the potential for variability in your Shopping Ad campaigns, managing your bids actively is important to their success. A neglected bidding strategy can easy run up PPC costs and waste your advertising resources on impressions that go nowhere.

Actively managing your bids can be daunting, especially for complex Shopping Ads. If you don’t have a dedicated PPC manager at your business, you may not have the time and resources needed to appropriately manage your Shopping Ad campaigns. Working with a dedicated PPC management firm that can afford to devote its full-time resources to your advertising needs is often the best way to manage your bidding strategy and see the results you need from your PLA campaigns.

Give Your Shopping Ads a Boost with Webrageous

Our PPC management team has extensive experience managing PLA campaigns. Whether you’re new to Shopping Ads and want to explore it as an option for expanding your online presence, or if you’re a seasoned advertiser aiming for better optimization, Webrageous’ team can help you improve your PPC strategy and leverage shopping ads more effectively. Contact us today to learn more about our PPC management services.

Image Source: Pixabay

 

Why Smart Bidding for AdWords Might Not be the Smart Choice

is smart bidding a smart choice?

Machine learning has become more and more integrated with the tools we use every day for personal and business purposes, from music recommendation apps to sales analytics software. And as of earlier this year, machine learning has also entered the search marketing world in the form of AdWords’ Smart Bidding.

With the introduction of Smart Bidding, which uses machine learning to make more dynamic, intelligent automated bids, many advertisers may be wondering if intelligent bidding solutions are a good fit for them. But before you decide to go all-in with Smart Bidding for your AdWords campaigns, make sure to consider where machine learning solutions can fall short, and why human PPC management is still the best choice for many advertisers.

What’s Different About AdWords Smart Bidding

Bidding automation has been on offer for advertisers using AdWords for a few years now, but Smart Bidding is Google’s latest attempt and making automation more responsive and efficient. According to Google, Smart Bidding is designed to “quickly maximize the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail” by evaluating patterns in your campaigns. This allows advertisers to build more complex keyword bidding strategies without spending an excessive amount of time researching and managing them. 

Automation Can Compel PPC Managers to Take On More Than They Can Handle

Automation can be beneficial for PPC managers because it speeds up the bidding process and reduces hands-on time. But those automated processes can be more of a bust than a boon for PPC agencies. It allows agencies to take on more accounts per account manager because they don’t have to spend as much hands-on time managing bidding. Some agencies take on as many as 80 accounts per account manager, giving each campaign less time and attention. Since great PPC campaigns are built on more than just bidding management,

Here at Webrageous, we try to keep our account managers 10 accounts or fewer in order to provide better service. By allowing our account managers to spend more time with each account, we’re able to provide better, more personalized service to each and every one of our clients. That service includes much more than simply managing bidding automation schemes.

Smart Bidding Can’t Make Intuitive Decisions

There’s a reason that PPC experts advise, “Don’t automate anything that would benefit from intuition.” Good campaign management is as much about breaking the rules to optimize campaigns as it is following them. Algorithmically-driven bidding is built on creating and iterating on rules. This can be a very efficient way of making incremental improvements to campaigns that are already performing well. But machine learning still lags behind human experts when it comes to understanding how to tweak and adjust campaigns in significant ways. Human experience and intuition are still essential for giving campaigns big boosts and making major changes. 

From recognizing click fraud and bringing experience from past campaigns to optimizing target keywords and landing page layouts to improve campaign performance, PPC management experts can bring a new level of expertise to your campaigns. Relying too heavily on automation, even if automation that uses artificial intelligence to improve performance, puts advertisers at risk for missing key issues that can make or break their campaigns. Learn more about the benefits of working with a PPC agency here.

Smart Bidding Isn’t Built for Small Businesses

Machine learning-driven bidding is only as effective as the data it uses to inform its algorithm. As a result, Smart Bidding requires a minimum amount of data from your campaigns to work successfully. In order to provide optimal results, AdWords recommends that Smart Bidding users have at least 30 conversions in the past 30 days for Target CPA and 50 in the past 30 days for Target ROA. If your campaigns aren’t already generating at least that much traffic, then using Smart Bidding won’t necessarily provide great results.

For small businesses that are either new to the PPC advertising space or whose campaigns aren’t producing a higher volume of conversions yet, there are better options for campaign management. Working with a PPC management firm like Webrageous can help you increase conversions and optimize your ad spend more effectively than any single AdWords feature or tool alone. 

There’s More to PPC Management than Bidding Strategy

There’s much more to effective PPC campaign management than just bidding strategy, and while machine learning algorithms have come a long way, technology hasn’t quite caught up when it comes to the full cycle of PPC campaign management. From honing in on the best keywords for your business to leveraging experience to intuit the best way to structure campaigns, there are many components that go into building solid campaigns. If you’re planning to implement bidding automation to fix broken campaigns, you might find that you simply end up throwing more money away
.

Get Human Campaign Management Expertise with Webrageous

There’s no substitute for human campaign managers with years of experience. With over a decade of experience managing search marketing strategies for our clients, Webrageous’ team of PPC experts can deliver more than just managed bidding automation. We work hard to stay on the cutting edge of the latest AdWords features and leverage them in order to maximize the amount of time we can spend on each client’s campaign. Your PPC manager at Webrageous will be dedicated to hands-on campaign management to help you see the results that you need to optimize your search marketing efforts.
To learn more about how Webrageous brings expertise to your campaigns, see the results that we’ve already delivered to our customers.

Image Source: Pixabay

AdWords Management: how to tell if your PPC manager can be trusted

If you are using an external agency to manage your Google AdWords account, chances are your knowledge of AdWords is limited. Therefore, how can you know that your PPC manager is doing a great job?

Of course you can have a glimpse at your account performance with the following metrics: CTR, traffic generated (impressions and clicks), number of leads or sales, cost per conversion and ROI. If you are still using the same agency to manage your account, I am sure you must be happy enough with the work and the leads you are getting, and maybe the number of leads you are getting even exceeds the number of leads you had planned to reach in the initial goal you set up with the agency. But how do you know that you couldn’t get any more leads? Or that you could get the same amount for a lower spend?

60 day free trial of AdWords PPC managementIf you have been using the same account manager for a while and you are happy with the results, there might be a chance that this person is just letting the account running and not looking for ways to improve it anymore. In other terms, your account manager might just prepare a report at the end of each month (or maybe he doesn’t even do that?) and charge you a high fee for that. It also depends on the type of PPC management fee you decided to use with the agency. If you are using a fixed monthly management fee, you should definitely try and find out if the fee you are paying is fair in regards to the amount of work performed. If you are using a percentage of spend fee, you might not experience that problem, although your PPC manager could still just bid on untargeted keywords in order for you to spend more money and him to bill you more (ending with a lot of money wasted on your side for no reason).

I am not saying here that all PPC agencies can’t be trusted and that they are all only interested in making more money. But some will only do the minimum after a while. And the others will be the ones constantly looking to improve your account and going the extra mile to get the most of it like if it was their own account. Those are the ones you want to work with. And if your current agency is not part of them, then it is better to realize it now and stop paying high fees for a minimum job, and instead find the right trustable PPC manager that you will be happy to give your money to as it will bring you so much more return on investment.

Luckily there is a quick way to check the amount of work your current agency is doing. As Google is always keen to track down everything, AdWords is no exception and any change applied in your account is recorded in the change history.

To have a quick look at how often changes are applied and the number of changes that are performed during a period of time, the best is to add a column related to change history:

adwords-management-change-history-column

As you can see in the screenshot above, you can either decide to get the number related to all changes in a single column, or you can use different columns for budget, bids, keywords or ads changes.
Once you have set that column up, it will show you the number of changes applied during the period of time selected, as shown in the screenshot below:

adwords-management-number-of-changes

Usually it is recommended to analyze an AdWords account at least once a week to keep it healthy, so I would advise you to initially choose the last 7 days’ time frame (as shown in the screenshot above).

Regarding the number of changes that should be applied, there is no golden rule (the 3547 changes you see in the screenshot above are quite exceptional, it is explained by the fact that there is a lot of testing going on in this account at the moment) and it really depends on how large the account is and the current optimization phase (of course there will be more changes and testing at the beginning of the management).

If you want to go behind the numbers and actually check which changes were applied, you need to go in the “Tools” tab in the AdWords interface and select “Change History”:

adwords-management-change-history-in-interface

Then you will have a window opening with all the changes applied during the period selected, along with the date, the time and even the details of the user that applied them:

adwords-management-list-of-changes

If you then click on “Show details”, you will get the full details on a particular change.

Having a look at that will quickly help you understand if your agency is doing everything in its hand to get the best out of your account, or if it is just doing the minimum (or not even?). If not a single change has been applied in the last month, there is definitely a problem. Please also be wise not to let your agency know that you are spying on them, as they could easily apply a few small changes that wouldn’t have any impact on the account performance (like for example increasing all bids by 1%) but that would easily regain your trust.

There are also two other parameters that you can quickly check to know straight away if your PPC agency is doing a great work.

60 day free trial of AdWords PPC managementThe first one is the landing page. If the ads that your agency created all direct to your homepage although you have a wonderful website with different landing pages for each product, then I can tell you that your agency is not interested in improving your account. Every PPC manager knows that the key to get a better performance is relevancy and your manager should split your account by themed ad groups leading to different landing pages.

The second one is mobile optimization. There are now more searches on mobiles than on desktops, so if your agency has never mentioned or discussed a mobile strategy with you, I can assure you that they are not going the extra mile to improve your account. They should be concerned if your website is not mobile friendly and they should use specific mobile innovations like click to call ads.

Of course one last parameter that you could add is transparency. If your agency is trying to hide things from you, it is usually not a good sign.

If after reading this post you have a doubt about your AdWords management agency work, do not hesitate to contact us as you could benefit from our 60 day risk free trial. You could even still use your agency in the meantime and see who does the best work after a few weeks. Why don’t you contact us today to learn more about this option?

 

 

AdWords new feature: message extensions

adwords-click-to-message

Google is releasing a new ad extension: message extension.

What are message extensions?

Message extensions allow users to connect with your business through messaging.

How do message extensions work?

When users tap the texting icon in your ad from their mobiles, their messaging apps will be launched, allowing them to send messages to your business.

When someone tap the texting icon, you are charged for a click (just as if the user tapped on your ad to go to your website).

What are the message extensions’ requirements?

  • Message extensions are only shown to people on phones capable of sending and receiving messages, so they are only available on mobiles.
  • Your business has to have a phone number that is able to receive and send text messages (message extensions won’t work with your landline).

How to set up message extensions?

Google is rolling out the feature, so message extensions might not be able in all AdWords accounts yet but they will be soon.

Just as other ad extensions, message extensions are easily set up in AdWords.

They can be set at campaign or ad group level.

You will find them in the ad extensions tab, under “Message extensions” in the drop-down menu.

google-adwords-message-extension

To create a message extension you will need to add:

  • Business Name (up to 25 characters).
  • Text phone number (the number that people will send messages to).
  • Extension text (up to 35 characters – this text will appear alongside your ad, you could use a message such as “Text us” or “Message us”).
  • Message text (up to 100 characters – that’s where you can include a pre-written message to make it easier for mobile users in a hurry to contact you).
  • Don’t forget to schedule your message extensions in the advanced options so that they only show up when your team is able to respond. If you can’t reply to messages straight away or at weekends, consider using an auto responder stating you will reply later.

What are the benefits of message extensions?

  • Mobile messaging is part of our daily life. In a recent survey performed by Google, 65% of consumers said they would consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a service or product.
  • In today’s mobile world it gives users an easy way to text your business and start a conversation when it is more convenient for them.
  • They can help you grow your business by giving potential customers another option to reach you.
  • They give you more exposure with no extra AdWords cost.
  • They are easily set up.
  • Just like any other ad extension, message extensions can improve your click-through-rate, ad’s relevancy and quality score.

 

Images’ source: Pixabay

AdWords individual device bidding: what is going to change and how to get prepared

individual-device-bidding

Another change announced by Google during their May performance summit was individual device bid adjustments. Although this change is not as big as the new expanded text ads, you definitely need to start thinking about it and how you are going to assess and set bids on each device.

So forget everything you learned about enhanced campaigns, Google will roll out the possibility to bid on each device individually in a few months.

What is changing with individual device bidding?

Flashback to 2013 when Google launched enhanced campaigns on AdWords. While until then advertisers were creating separate campaigns for each device, with enhanced campaigns Google asked advertisers to stop creating different campaigns for each device and to create a single campaign for all devices, setting a base desktop bid, and offering them the possibility to set a bid multiplier (a positive or negative percentage of your base desktop bid) on mobiles. But only on mobiles… So the big problem that advertisers have faced since is the impossibility to set any bid at all on tablets, being unable to either bid more aggressively on tablets or either opt out of those devices for good.

Google must have heard the advertisers’ complaints as they will now be offering individual device bidding. Basically it will work as enhanced campaigns, except that now:

  • You will be able to decide on what device your base bid will be set (with enhanced campaigns the base bid was automatically set on desktops).
  • You will be able to set bid modifiers on the devices of your choice: desktops, mobiles or tablets (with enhanced campaigns you could only set bid modifiers on mobiles, and tablets bids were automatically joined to desktops bids).
  • You will be able to bid more aggressively as the bid ranges will be extended from -100% to +900% (with enhanced campaigns you could only set bid adjustments from -100% to +300%).

What are the benefits of this change for advertisers?

The main benefit is that advertisers will now be able to bid separately on tablets, with the bids on those devices no longer joined to desktops. This is a huge change. You will be able to properly analyze the traffic and performance on tablets and you will then be able to decide to opt out completely of tablets should this be the right decision for you.

As stated above you will also be able to set your base bid on the device of your choice. It might be a huge change for businesses that get most of their traffic on mobiles (as it had been predicted, mobile searches have now overtaken desktop searches).

Once again Google didn’t decide to make this change happen now for no reason, and of course this is happening in today’s mobile-first world.

With this change advertisers will be able to create more tailored and relevant ads that will reach different customers, and that should naturally increase their CTR.

To summarize Google is offering advertisers more power and control. Happy days!

When will this change happen?

Google didn’t communicate any exact date yet, just stating “in the coming months”. That’s why we advise you to already collect all the information of your customers’ behavior and your campaigns’ performance on tablets, and we will keep you updated when more information is given.

How to get prepared for the change?

Getting prepared for the change will be the tricky part.

I am sure most advertisers won’t have any problem setting their bids on mobiles and desktops, and I would advise most of you to set the base bid on mobiles as for the first time mobile searches have now overtaken desktop searches (except if your website is not mobile friendly yet, but in that case I would strongly advise you to forget about individual device bidding for now and to seriously only focus on getting your website mobile ready asap).

But what about setting bids on tablets? Since enhanced campaigns launch in 2013, we have been leaving tablets aside as we didn’t have any other choice. So what now?

We know for sure that users’ behavior on tablets is way different than on desktops, just the way users use their mobiles differently than their computers. In fact tablets probably stand in between mobiles and desktops, like a hybrid device. Think about your own usage. When, where and under circumstances would you use one device instead of another? For my part, I only perform searches on my desktop when I am at work on a break, or at evening times or weekends when my PC is turned on and I am really looking for something (probably more about to buy something or book a holiday for example), so I can take advantage of a big screen. The rest of the times, whether if it is to just check my mail or find a quick information, I would generally use my mobile because I would be on the go (on my way to work, enjoying some time out…). No wonder mobiles are overtaking desktops, it is the ultimate on the go device! I do own a tablet, but to be honest I really use it on very specific occasions, it is the device that I would bring on holidays for example along with my mobile, to be able to have a larger screen, watch videos, take pictures, without having to bring my PC. The rest of the time, my tablet just stands in my sitting room, and I might use it to look at something quickly if my computer is turned off and I want to check something on a larger screen than my phone.

So besides assuming that most users will probably use their tablets more in the evening times when watching TV for example or lying in bed before turning the light off or first thing in the morning before getting up (while I do believe that some users also use them on the go if they have a long distance to commute for example), what information can we turn to in order to have a glimpse of how users search on tablets and to know how to bid on those devices?

Although enhanced campaigns didn’t allow advertisers to set separate bids on tablets, AdWords still at least shows statistics on how users do behave on each separate device: computers, mobiles and tablets. If you go in your AdWords account, select all campaigns level on the left sidebar (but you can also select one campaign if you want to have an insight on the behaviour by device on a specific campaign), go to the settings tab and then select devices, you will have a glimpse of the performance split by computers, mobiles and tablets:

adwords-performance-by-device

You can then customize the columns to select the data you want to include, and then download that report. Once that report is downloaded, you can filter by device and see how the CTR, CPC’s, conversions… change on each device.

I set a 30 days frame and downloaded the following report for one account as an example:

adwords-performance-by-device-example

As you can see and this is no surprise here, the performance is different for each device. The largest numbers of conversions happen on computers, with the lowest CPA, while mobiles and tablets don’t bring a lot of conversions and have the highest CPA. However the position is good on tablets, and average CPC’s lower than on desktops. That’s the good news about it, just as on mobiles, CPC’s are lower on tablets so even if the devices don’t bring you a lot of conversions, at least they won’t spend all your advertising budget.

However, the performance above is just an example and if it does make sense that this account performs better on computers, don’t forget that we are in the mobile era, so I am sure plenty of accounts will see good traffic and performance coming from tablets. The important thing to do is to evaluate that traffic so that once the new individual device bidding is available, you are ready to set your bids and take full advantage of this new feature. So don’t waste time and start analyzing your performance by device now!

 

Images’ source: Pixabay

Reaching Your Target Audience with AdWords Demographics for Search Ads

demographics targeting

AdWords recently introduced demographics for search ads (DFSA), making it easier for advertisers to reach their market. This new AdWords functionality should prove to be a huge asset to advertisers looking to improve their ad campaigns, especially those who are working to improve their conversion rate and want to take a more focused approach to audience targeting. Here’s what advertisers need to know to leverage AdWords’ new demographics for search ads targeting to connect with their audience more effectively.

What is AdWords Demographics for Search Ads?

Demographic targeting allows advertisers to hone in on specific audience segments that are the best fit for their business. Demographic targeting can be a powerful tool for advertisers. Leveraging DFSA will allow AdWords users to get the most out of their ad spend by preventing ad impressions from being “wasted” on the wrong audience. For instance, the buying intent of a woman in her 20s searching for “leather belt” is likely to be somewhat different than that of a man in his 60s. For a company that specializes in trendy women’s clothing, the latter buyer isn’t a great match for their products, but they may still end up serving ads to this user when they search the generic term “leather belt.” Properly executed demographic targeting will ensure that their advertising audience matches their buyer’s profile.

The demographics that Google uses for DFSA are derived from their account information, some of which can be edited at will by Google users. Additionally, Google sometimes receives or infers demographic information shared by social media or other websites, or from cookies that track their browsing history. As an example, Google may infer that a user is may be male in the 25-34 age range because he frequently visits sites that have a predominantly male user base in that age range.

What Advertisers Can Do with AdWords DFSA

In short, demographic targeting in AdWords can be used to set specific criteria for your audience to a given AdWords campaign. With DFSA, AdWords can automatically adjust your bids for specific audiences to ensure that your ads have a better chance of being displayed when your target audience makes a relevant search. It can also let you omit your ads from irrelevant searches to help you spend your budget more efficiently.

There are two major categories of targeting that advertisers can select using DFSA: age and gender. Advertisers may know that “parental status” is another category available for Google Display and Video ads, but this is not currently available for search ads.

Target by Age

AdWords offers the following categories for age targeting: “18-24,” “25-34,” “35-44,” “45-54,” “55-64,” “65 or more,” and “Unknown.”

Target by Gender

AdWords allows advertisers to select between “male,” “female” and “unknown” when targeting for specific audience genders.

For both Age and Gender, “Unknown” represents users for whom Google does not have specific demographic information. But before you rule these users out of your targeted ad campaigns, know that advertising “Unknown” users can be to your benefit!

Best Practices for Demographics for Search Ads

Use Data to Make Your Targeting Decisions

Because demographic targeting can block people from seeing your ads, which is generally what advertisers want to do with DFSA. However, this makes it especially important to choose your targets carefully when first starting out. Don’t make guesses or assumptions about who your audience should be. Instead, rely on the data you have about your current customers and from Google Analytics and AdWords as much as possible. When making your targeting decisions, consider conversion rates, not just your traffic demographics, to make sure that you’re not just bringing in a larger audience, but a more accurate one.

Embrace “Unknown” Audiences

While targeting users who fit known demographic profiles is the goal of DFSA, the “Unknown” audiences can include potential business for you as well. Some percentage of any given set of “Unknown” users may very well fit your target demographics as well. If you omit this subset of users from your campaigns, there is a chance that you’re losing out on reaching potential buyers. You may want to experiment with including “Unknown” audiences in your targeting as well, to capitalize on individuals who may have slipped through the cracks.

Tailor Your Content to Your Audience

Use the fact that targeted ads have a more specific audience to your advantage by tailoring the content of your ads to your audience. Since you know that targeted campaigns will reach a smaller subset of your audience, you can write copy that will resonate best with the kinds of people you want to reach the most.

For example, an outdoor goods store can run ads specifically for women’s hiking boots when they target a female audience with demographics-focused ads while serving ads for men’s hiking boots to a male audience. If they were to run a more generic ad to a general audience (or a gender-specific ad to a general audience), they wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of the “personalized” touch that demographic targeting can allow for each audience segment.

Leverage Negative Targeting

Keep in mind that in some cases, choosing who you do not want to see your ads is as important as seeing who does see them. Make sure that low-performing keywords are included on your negative keywords list when you build out targeted campaigns, to prevent users who aren’t a good fit from seeing your ads.

Refining Your Target Audience with Webrageous

Using demographics targeting for search ads can be a great way to focus your PPC advertising efforts. When executed strategically, DFSA hones in on the search advertising audience that you want to connect with and helps you get the best returns possible from your ad spend.

Webrageous’ team of PPC specialists has extensive experience developing targeted campaigns that yield excellent results for our clients. To ensure that you are targeting your audience effectively, contact Webrageous today to learn more about our PPC management program.

Image Source: Pixabay

Getting More Out of Cross-Device Attribution Reports on AdWords

 

cross-device-attribution-reports

The buyer’s path to conversion isn’t always straight and narrow. According to Google, as many as 60% of buyers start their purchasing journey on one device and finish on another. Tracking your prospective customers throughout their journey and understanding how they make decisions are critical parts of understanding how you can tailor your PPC campaigns to reach the right audience.

To fill this information gap for their advertisers, the AdWords team has updated their cross-attribution reporting. The new reports are designed to provide clear, actionable information about user behaviors. These reports are a valuable tool for advertisers and have the potential to change the way advertisers think about their audience and their PPC advertising campaigns. In this article, we will look at what’s included in AdWords’ three new cross-device attribution reports, and how to use them gain more insight into your campaigns’ performance.

Getting to Know The New Cross-Device Reports

  • Devices – The “devices” report shows how much cross-device activity is happening on your account overall. This report provides a high-level overview of what kinds of devices are important to your campaigns.
  • Assisting Devices – The “assisting devices” report focuses on how often certain devices provided an “assist” to a conversion. This report is useful for fine-tuning your bidding strategy across devices.
  • Device Paths – The “device paths” report illustrates the most common conversion paths that your audience takes across multiple devices. Again, this report can be useful for adjusting your bids, and for gaining stronger insight into common buyer journeys.

 

How to Use Cross-Device Attribution Reports to Improve Campaigns

The introduction of these new reports can be leveraged to improve the performance of your campaigns. AdWords recommends several actions to get the most out of these new reports:

Use Attribution Models Other than Last-Click Attribution: In a world where your audience may see many ads across many platforms before they convert or make a purchase, last-click attribution doesn’t always tell the full story of what ads and messaging are working well. Want to change up the way your attribution models work based on device paths or conversion-assists? Using cross-device attribution reports can help you move beyond last-click and determine which points in the buying cycle are most impactful.

This information can help you better understand your users and anticipate buyer behaviors more effectively. The more granular “assisting devices” and “device paths” reports can be especially useful for determining which devices might be contributing to your conversions.

Update Bid Adjustments: If you’re using automated bidding to manage your campaigns, cross-device reports can help you make your advertising dollar work harder for you. Since Google reinstated device-level bidding earlier this year, you can adjust your bids to focus on the devices that you know will convert the best. This pinpointed bidding strategy can help improve your visibility when viewers switch between devices, ensuring that when your audience moves to the device that they’re most likely to make a purchase on, your ads are front and center. The higher-level “devices” report should be your go-to report for determining which devices you’ll want to focus your ad spend on.

Leveraging Report Data to Develop Better Ads

You may also want to use the data from cross-device reports to improve your ads and optimize them for multi-device conversion paths. You can optimize your ads to accommodate common user behaviors. For example, if your reports reveal that many of your conversions are coming from people who view your ads on both mobile and desktop, you may want to make sure that any campaigns that you have running mobile-only or desktop-only have consistent, cohesive messaging. This will help ensure that your brand has a more memorable impact across multiple interactions.

Another step you may want to take if you notice that many people view your ads on multiple devices is to simplify and clarify the language of your ads to optimize for mobile screens. Gaining a better understanding of cross-device user flows can also be useful for honing more impactful ad copy. While the introduction of expanded text ads has made it easier for advertisers to craft effective mobile PPC ads, it’s still important to take mobile and desktop users’ respective behaviors into account when you create your ad strategy. 

Managing Complex AdWords Campaigns with Webrageous

With any change to the AdWords platform, you may need to change up your advertising strategy to optimize the resources that you have available. Webrageous has been managing PPC campaigns for over a decade. We have experience with a wide range of campaigns with both complex buyer journeys and in highly competitive spaces.  

If you’re curious to see how leveraging the data you’ll find in the new cross-device attribution reports can help give your campaigns a boost, we can help. The Webrageous team can provide you with the strategic campaign management you need to benefit from these new cross-device attribution reports. To learn more about our services and how we can start improving your PPC campaigns today, contact Webrageous now.  

Image Source: Pixabay

Using Expanded Text Ads Effectively

expanded-text-ads-header

Earlier this year, AdWords introduced expanded text ads. With more space for ad text and some changes to ad format, the introduction of expanded text ads represents a significant change to the way advertisers will write ad copy. Google has announced that by January 2017, advertisers will be obligated to use the new format.

While many advertisers are already seeing promising results, you may find that making the transition to the new format will require a period of testing and experimentation. Today, we’ll go over what’s changing with AdWords expanded text ads, and explore some of the ways that advertisers can prepare for the shift and start getting the most value out of the new ad format.

Expanded Text Ads: What’s Changing

AdWords is introducing several key changes to ad formats with expanded text ads. The goal of the reformat was to make ads more mobile-optimized. Since over half of ad traffic now comes from mobile devices, it makes sense that AdWords is focusing on delivering a higher quality experience for their users across all devices.

    1. Expanded text ads mobile-focused. These new ads are larger than previous ad formats, and are designed to automatically display correctly on screens of all sizes.
    2. They have two headline lines instead of one, with a total of 30 characters between the two lines. This gives advertisers a slightly higher character count to work with when writing ad copy.
    3. The description lines of the ads now consist of one large field. Again, advertisers get a slight bump in total character count, with the new description section allowing up to 80 characters, instead of 35 per line (70 total).
    4. Display URLs now default to final domain URLs. Advertisers now have the option to add up to two additional (and optional) “Path” fields. These fields are intended to provide users with more information about where they’ll be taken when they click on an ad link. Advertisers will no longer manually add a display URL when writing ads.

How Expanded Text Ads Will Impact Your Campaigns

Overall, the net takeaway from the introduction expanded text ads is that advertisers now have more space to write ads. The additions to both headline and description character limits give advertisers more room to write clearer, more impactful ads. By providing viewers with more information in their ads, advertisers may be able to garner more clicks and higher conversion rates for their campaigns.

The focus of the move towards expanded text ads is to optimize mobile viewers’ ad experience. The expanded text format Advertisers may see a boost in conversions on mobile devices after the changeover, as their ads should function more effectively for mobile viewers. As we’ve seen with mobile ad extensions, adding more information to your mobile ads can help increase viewer engagement with your ads significantly.

However, many advertisers have crafted their ads to work specifically within the parameters of the existing ad formats, down to the very last character. While you may ultimately benefit from the change, your campaigns may suffer initially if they aren’t optimized for the format changes. To make the transition successfully and smoothly, you’ll have to take some steps to prepare your campaigns for expanded text ads. 

What You Can Do to Prepare Your Campaigns

Test (and Retest) Your Ad Copy

You’ve likely already done a good amount of testing to find the perfect words for your existing PPC ads. Now it’s time to start experimenting again! A/B testing revised ads that take full advantage of the new format will give you a good sense of how you’ll need to update different campaigns. AdWords itself has strongly recommended that advertisers start testing out the new format ahead of the switch; we also recommend starting your testing as soon as possible, so you can get ahead of the mandatory change.

Start Running Expanded Text Ads Alongside Current Ads

Another of the recommendations straight from the AdWords blog is to start rolling out expanded text ads as soon as possible — but to do so incrementally. If you switch all of your ads to the new format right now, you’re sure to find the updating process overwhelming, and your campaign performance will suffer. To ensure a smoother transition, start moving campaigns to the new format slowly. As you try out expanded text ads, keep some of your other campaigns running in the older format as long as possible. You can also use your existing ads to build stronger expanded ads. For instance, you may want to combine two of your top performing headlines into a single, longer one to get the impact of both.

Focus on Your Quality Score

Because the new format takes up a large amount of space on smartphones and other small screens, getting in the top positions on mobile ads can significantly impact the success of your ads. Start making an effort now to increase your Quality Score to ensure that your newly redesigned ads get the visibility that you need for AdWords success.

Getting the Most Out of Expanded Text Ads

When leveraged strategically, expanded text ads have the potential to make a hugely positive impact on your AdWords campaigns. And if you’re not already tapped into the lucrative mobile PPC space, now is a perfect time to start seeing great results from the mobile audience.

Webrageous’ team of PPC managers is highly experienced in navigating the changes to AdWords’ platform. We’ve helped many of our customers optimize campaigns for mobile campaigns, and now we’re primed to transform campaigns to make the most of the expanded text ads changes. Contact us today to learn how we can leverage our experience to prepare your PPC campaigns to find success with expanded text ads.

Image Source: Pixabay

AdWords new expanded ads performance

With new expanded ads being live in AdWords accounts since 26th July, I decided now is a good time two months after to start analyzing results and see how they perform.

Several people have tried to analyze the performance of expanded ads at an early stage (only a few weeks after the new format was released), struggling to find clear tendencies and common ground. I thought maybe this lack of uniformity was due to early analysis and not enough reliable statistics.

So I decided to give it a go myself and have a look at the data for the last 2 months from various accounts covering different industries, hoping to be able to find some common ground. And I have to admit that was no easy task.

As advised I created new expanded ads in all those accounts as early as possible, letting them run along old ads to see how they perform in comparison.

Expanded ads first common impression

The first feeling I had generally speaking before starting my in-depth analysis was that new expanded ads were performing quite well with a higher CTR. I even ended up pausing old ads on a particular account as the old ads were bringing the CTR down: 0.20% CTR on old ads compared to 1.33% on new expanded ads!

But when I started digging out deeper, although I had the feeling that on some accounts the new expanded ads were shown slightly more than old ads, I realized that for a particular account (the one I mentioned above, which is the account of a company selling collectible legos figures) it was the opposite way around: 43756 impressions and 581 clicks on expanded ads and 87346 impressions (with impressions particularly increased on old ads for exact and phrase ad groups compared to broad) with only 179 clicks on old ads!

See impressions screenshots for one ad group in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads pefrormance

When I analyzed that account even further I also realized that the position on new expanded ads was lower than on old ads, with a similar CPC. So in the end in that account expanded ads were working better bringing more clicks with lower impressions and lower position. I have to say this account was quite a particular case as I haven’t noticed so much difference in impressions (from single to double!) between expanded ads and old ads in any other account.

When I encountered the first discrepancies between accounts, I decided to look at comparable statistics, splitting by brand/non brand, ad groups, and even match type (I usually create one ad group for each match type).

No common ground for branding

I analyzed the first branding campaign on a waste management company account and noticed that for brand terms, old ads seemed to perform slightly better (25% CTR on old ads compared to 23.03% on new ETA) – except for broad ad group where old ads were not shown at all. The positions were the same for old ads and new ETA and when I looked at the average CPC it seemed to be lower for new ETA in exact ad group, but then for the phrase ad group the tendency was the other way around.

So I had a look at another branding campaign for a company selling this time irrigation products. And I realized that the tendency I had noticed in the previous account for branding was the exact way around in this new account and that the CTR seemed to be higher on new expanded ads (with a higher position) than on old ones (18.21% CTR on new ETA compared to 11.88% on old ads). So I decided to go deeper and analyze this branding campaign by match type and although it was true that CTR was higher on new expanded ads in broad and phrase, the CTR was higher on old ads for exact ad group.

See performance screenshots for one broad ad group in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads performance

The only tendency that seems to appear in branding campaigns is the following:

Exact ad groups branding: old ads seem to perform better

Broad ad groups branding: new ETA seem to perform better

Phrase ad groups branding: performance seems to vary

No clear tendency for non-branding

I then decided to have a closer look at non-branding campaigns and see if I could find a tendency there.

When it came to non-branding it seemed expanded ads had generally speaking more impressions than old ones, with a higher CTR. But then again there was this particular account (collectible legos figures) were impressions were doubled on old ads, especially on exact and phrase ad groups (not so noticeable on broad ad group).

When I analyzed non-branding campaigns for the waste management company, the tendency was true: higher CTR on ETA, except for BMM ad groups. But then I analyzed non-branding campaigns for that company selling irrigation products: higher CTR on ETA for broad and phrase, but lower for exact.

I decided to have a look at non-branding campaigns for an adventure travel company: impressions were always higher on new ads, with a CTR here clearly always better (on broad, phrase and exact ad groups) on new expanded ads (up to 6% higher!).

See performance screenshots in this account between new ETA and old ads:

expanded ads performance

old ads performance

To sum up

After analyzing this 2 month data, I have to accept a fact: it is really hard to find a common ground in expanded text ads performance. Some branding campaigns might have a lower CTR on new ads, some others won’t. While it is true that ETA will perform at a lower CPC than old ads on some ad groups, it might be the other way around for other ad groups. New ETA might have a higher CTR on exact for some products, and a lower one on broad. Position might sometimes be better on new expanded ads…or not.

There is no clear tendency and it is all relative to each single account.

Maybe it is still early to try and analyze new expanded ads, and more than likely their performance will change again as more and more advertisers start using them and certainly when Google will get rid of old ads forever.

What I do recommend is that you perform your own analysis, but don’t forget to segment by branding/non branding, match types, ad groups etc as new ETA might perform very differently for each segment. And if you notice as I did that for some accounts new ETA already perform way better than old ones, don’t wait to pause old ads and do that now. The most important thing right now is to monitor performance and if you see a sudden decrease in performance after implementing ETA go deeper in your account and try and find out what is working or not. As always in PPC it is all about testing, testing and testing again.

Some good news to end

The good news is that Google might have heard the complaint of several account managers that were probably struggling to create a high amount of new expanded text ads, as they extended the transition period during which you can still create and edit old format ads. The initial deadline of 26th October has now been extended to 31st January 2017, so that advertisers have 3 more months to create expanded text ads and test them along old ones.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords Editor

Google releases campaign groups in AdWords

Earlier this month Google released a new feature that makes it easier for advertisers to monitor the performance of their campaigns against their advertising goals: campaign groups.

What are campaign groups?

Campaign groups allow advertisers to aggregate data from separate campaigns based on a common theme. It allows them to select campaigns that share a same objective and group them so they have a quick look at performance, what works and what doesn’t.

Let’s say you just created 2 new separate search and display campaigns for the coming Christmas season. It would be interesting to create a campaign group for them as they have the same goal.

How to set up campaign groups?

Campaign groups are available in the AdWords interface, on the left menu:

campaign-groups

 

Once you click on the button to add a campaign group, you are redirected to a page where you can:

  • Name your campaign group.
  • Select the existing campaigns you want to add to this campaign group.
  • Select a performance target: you can choose clicks or conversions.
  • Eventually select a specific date range to view more accurate projections. If you choose this option you can then select the number of clicks or conversions you want to receive, the budget you want to spend, the average CPC or CPA you want to reach.

campaign-groups-set-up

 

You will then have a quick glimpse of your current performance and what you may achieve by the end of the campaign period.

What are the benefits of campaign groups?

  • With campaign groups it is easier to monitor performance across multiple campaigns.
  • You have a quick glimpse of how your campaigns perform relative to your goals. Of course campaign groups are not to be compared to some powerful third party tools but they allow advertisers to have a quick access to that data without having to create pivot tables or export data in separate spreadsheets (therefore saving some time and energy).
  • The set up is simple and you will have access to monitored performance in minutes.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords interface

AdWords new expanded ads are now live!

 

It happened sooner than expected while no account manager was really aware of it: you have now the ability to create new expanded ads in AdWords.

How to create new expanded ads?

As you probably know already, those new expanded ads contain:

  • Two 30 characters headline (compared to one 25 characters headline before) so 60 characters in total, that’s more than the double amount of characters allowed before!
  • One 80 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before), that’s 10 more characters allowed than old ads.

You can now create new expanded ads directly through your AdWords interface. If you go on the “Ads” tab on your AdWords account and choose to create a new ad by clicking on the red button “+ AD” and you then select “Text ad” in the drop-down menu, this will automatically give you the opportunity to create a new expanded ad as you can see in the screenshot hereunder. If you want to create an ad with the old format instead, you will need to click on the option “Switch back to standard text ads”.

Create Expanded Ads AdWords

Google has also released a new version of AdWords Editor for the occasion, and if you download the latest update of Editor you will be able to create new expanded ads straight away (I have to say that Google really made a huge effort here to make it easy for account managers as you usually need to wait a few weeks or even months for any new change to be supported in AdWords Editor). Once the latest version is installed, you will see “Expanded text ads” listed under the “Ads” menu as you can see in the screenshot hereunder.

Create Expanded Ads AdWords Editor

What is the deadline to create new expanded ads and what is going to happen during the transition period?

We are now in a transition period where you can still create and edit old AdWords text ads until 26th October. After that date, you won’t be able to create or edit those old ads anymore, so it will be mandatory to use expanded ads if you want to change messaging or create new ads. However, it doesn’t mean that your old ads will stop showing after 26th October, they might still run for a while along new expanded ads (no extra information has been given yet about what will happen to old ads after 26th October, except that you won’t be able to update them anymore).

What is sure is that if you do create new expanded ads now, you can still keep your old ads running along with them, and I would advise you to do that so you can test new expanded ads and see what could be improved.

When should you create your new expanded ads?

Even if you technically can wait until 26th October to create new expanded ads, I would advise you to start creating them now and as soon as possible, for several reasons:

  • If you are an account manager dealing with several accounts, you might need to rewrite hundreds or thousands of ads. This is not going to be done in one day. If you start now, you will have the time to come with a plan and a schedule, which will make things smoother and less stressful that if you leave everything until the very last day.
  • As stated above, if you create new expanded ads now, you can also keep your old ads running during that transition period and take advantage of that period to test your new ads, as it might need time and lot of adjustments before your new expanded ads work as good as your old ad texts.
  • A lot of advertisers will leave creating new expanded ads until September or so, as we are now in a transition period where both old ads and new expanded ads are allowed to run along each other. Which format do you think will get the more attention between the new expanded ads with their 140 characters and the old ads with their 90 characters? That’s right, now is the right time to get your expanded ads ready and gain advantage over your competitors who are not using them yet!

What are the best practices to write new expanded ads?

Here are a few tips to create new expanded ads:

  • You should take advantage of the new full characters limit. Don’t just use your former description line 1 and use it as headline 2. You should rethink your entire ads and write new versions, creating deeper messages. Try and focus on needs and benefits, including concepts important to your customers that will make you stand out among your competitors.
  • You should focus on the headlines as they will appear in blue and be the most viewable part of your ads. Write your most important messages in your headlines. You should particularly focus on headline 1 as there might be a line break between your two headlines, especially on mobile devices, or your headline 2 might appear on same line as headline 1 but be truncated (during the tests a lot of users already complained about that and Google advised to limit both headlines to 33 characters maximum to be sure headlines are not truncated, which is a bit extreme!).
  • Use the path fields and add your top keywords to display URL to make it clear for users that they will end on a relevant landing page.
  • Mobile preferred ads are no longer supported with new expanded text ads, so you should use messaging that speak to users on all devices. You can also choose to add a mobile specific URL, so if you have landing pages that are best optimized for mobiles, don’t forget to use that feature.
  • You should create multiple versions of expanded ads and test them. Remember how it took you years to figure out what messaging was working best in your old ads? You are back to square one now, and you should start A/B testing different versions of your new expanded ads.
  • You should keep your old ads running along with new expanded ones, and not pause your old ads directly. As stated above the current transition period is ideal for testing. Keep your old ads running so if your new expanded ads don’t perform as well at the beginning you have time to adjust and test between different versions of expanded ads to see what works best.
  • You should check your ad extensions and update them if necessary. Now that you are allowed more characters in the new expanded ads, you might add messages that you were before using in your ads extensions because you were limited by characters in old ads. You therefore have to make sure that the message you now use in your new ads don’t repeat in your old ad extensions.

What about display?

Following the release of new expanded ads on the search network, Google has also announced that a new ad format will be ready for display soon: responsive ads.

As for the expanded ads on the search network, the new responsive ads on the display network will have more characters:

  • Two headlines: the first headline will contain up to 25 characters and the second one 90 characters (compared to only one 25 characters headline before). That’s 90 characters more.
  • One 90 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before). That’s 20 more characters allowed.

 

Those new responsive ads are rolling out at the moment, if they are not available in your account yet just be patient a few more weeks.

 

Images’ source: Google AdWords interface / Editor

Price extensions for mobile ads: AdWords new feature

price-extensions

Google has just released new ad extensions: price extensions.

What are price extensions?

They are new extensions that advertisers can use in their AdWords mobile ads. It allows them to easily and quickly show prices for different services or products.

What are the price extensions’ requirements?

  • They are only available on mobile ads for now (so you need to have a mobile friendly website).
  • You need to set up a minimum of 3 price extensions and a maximum of 8.
  • Your mobile ad needs to appear in the top ad position (otherwise it won’t be eligible for this new extension).
  • They are only available in English at the moment.

How to set up price extensions?

Just as other ad extensions, price extensions are easily set up in AdWords.

They can be set at account, campaign or ad group level.

You will find them in the ad extensions tab, under “Price extensions” in the drop-down menu.

Price extensions set up

To create a price extension you will need to add:

  • A header (clickable title, up to 25 characters).
  • A description (up to 25 characters).
  • The actual price.
  • A final URL (the landing page related to the extension – the same landing page can be used for a set of ad extensions).

What are the benefits of price extensions?

  • They give extra information to potential customers with minimal work. You don’t need to include your price in your ad anymore and you can use that extra space to focus on other unique selling points in your ads.
  • They are one click away to conversions: when users click on your price extension, they are redirected to your website straight away.
  • They are easily set up, updated and can be used for special offers.
  • They are flexible and customizable.

 

Images source: Pixabay

Google Adwords Campaign Settings: What You Need to Know

 

adwords campaign settings

Just getting started with your AdWords campaigns? AdWords offers its users a wide array of settings to adjust, giving them a large amount of control over their campaigns. Campaign settings can feel overwhelming at first, but they are an important part of running successful PPC campaigns. Here are a few tips on getting campaign settings right from the beginning so you can start seeing results from your AdWords campaigns more quickly.

Adjusting Network Settings

Start with “Search Only”

AdWords can serve ads on the Google Search Network as well as the Display Network. While your first instinct might be to serve ads as many places as possible, the Display Network will deplete budget your campaign budget quickly. If you do not have experience with AdWords already, stick with “Search Only” until you’re more familiar with running campaigns.

It’s important to note that Google’s “Search Partner Network” is also included in the default “Search Only” settings. Unless you have a heavily restricted budget, it’s worth leaving this setting on, as the Search Partner Network can bring an additional 20-60% of clicks to your campaigns.

Reaching Your Audience

Check Your Location Settings

Reaching as many people as possible may seem like the best way to boost your business. In some cases, such as for eCommerce websites who can serve a geographically diverse customer base, this might be true. But for many businesses, including those the legal industry and other service-based industries, you’ll want to focus your PPC strategy on reaching viewers who are in the specific area you serve, whether that’s a city, state or region.

To adjust the location of your AdWords audience, expand the “Location Settings” tab to see options for targeting more specific audiences. There are both inclusive and exclusive options for location settings. In addition to focusing your ads only on people in specific locations, you also might want to exclude people in locations that are irrelevant to your needs. As with negative keywords, this excluding specific locations can be an effective way to whittle your audience down to the best fits for your business and avoid wasting ad spend.

Adjust Language Settings for Your Audience

The U.S. has over 40 million native Spanish speakers, and countless other non-English speakers. If your audience is likely to make searches in languages other than English, the appropriate AdWords can help you reach them more effectively. A key thing to remember here is that Google serves ads based on the user’s interface language settings — not the language your ads are in. 

By adjusting your target language settings to include browsers whose language settings are in the language you want to target, you’ll have a better chance of reaching them. Even if your ads are all in English, this can be used as a tactic for reaching bilingual audiences, who may have their browsers set to another language. Another thing to note: Google recommends setting up different campaigns for each language to help keep your campaigns organized and focused.

Optimizing Your Ads

Enable “All Features”

Adwords Ad Extensions are some of the most useful tools that AdWords advertisers have at their disposal. When used effectively, they have the potential to significantly increase the profitability of their campaigns. Extensions make ads more visually appealing and can even improve your ad rank. To get the most out of Ad Extensions and other AdWords features, make sure you enable “All Features.” Ad Scheduling, Dynamic Search ads and other features also fall under this category. These features can give you more powerful advertising bang for your buck.

Optimize Ad Rotations to Collect Data

You have several options for how your ads cycle. The default setting is “Optimize for clicks: show ads expected to provide more clicks.” However, since clicks aren’t always the best metric for campaign success, you may not want to leave this setting untouched when you launch your campaign.

When you first start running ads, using “rotate indefinitely” over other settings can help you collect valuable data about what messaging gets the most clicks, conversions, and other interactions. Over time, you may opt to switch to another setting, such as “Optimize for conversions” (if you use AdWords conversion tracking) or “Rotate evenly” (if you plan to manually track and tweak your ads based on performance).

Improving Your Campaigns: Always Be Testing

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with AdWords is to create your ads, set your keywords, adjust your campaign settings once — and never touch them again. The “perfect” combination of AdWords campaign settings may vary from company to company. As a result, building successful AdWords campaigns requires continuous experimentation and tweaking. Including a healthy amount of A/B testing in your regular campaign management can help you find the right messaging, audience and campaign settings to optimize your results.

Jumpstarting Your AdWords Campaigns with Webrageous

Working with an experienced PPC management firm like Webrageous is one of the best ways to develop more successful PPC campaigns. Our team of PPC managers has years of experience running campaigns, and we can share our expertise with you to help you create campaigns that convert more effectively, whether you’re making your first foray into PPC marketing, or if you’re looking to give your AdWords campaigns a boost. Contact Webrageous today to learn more about our services for optimizing and managing successful AdWords campaigns.

Image Source: Pixabay

5 PPC Features for AdWords to Try in 2016

adwords-PPC-features

The year is halfway through, but there’s still plenty of time to boost your PPC performance in 2016. If your campaigns feel stale or aren’t getting you the results you need to build your business, it might be time to try some of the powerful but often under-used features that AdWords has to offer. To get the most out of your AdWords account this year, be sure to try these 5 PPC features before 2016 is over.

Customer Match

Account-based marketing and sales are gaining a good deal of traction in the marketing world right now. AdWords Customer Match helps you translate these identity-based marketing strategies to PPC. Identity-based marketing can be a highly impactful strategy for building your business. A study by the Alterra Group found that 65% of marketers say that account-based marketing is an effective way to attract new clients.

If you have a list of email addresses of prospective clients you would like to target, AdWords Customer Match allows you to input email lists of prospects you’d like to focus your campaigns on reaching. Once you’ve established your lists, Google will serve your target prospects custom ads on Gmail, YouTube, and other channels to create a buyer journey tailor-made for them.

Remarketing Lists For Search Ads

While known prospects can be targeted with Customer Match, finding ways to reach unknown prospects who visit your site multiple times is also critical. Remarketing is another powerful tool in the advertiser’s arsenal. Some companies have seen stellar results — one watch retailer saw 1300% ROI by leveraging remarketing with Google.

AdWords remarketing lists for search ads on give advertisers the ability to customize search ads for people who have previously visited their site by tailoring bids and ads to recurring visitors’ browsing habits. Remarketing lists can help to maximize your budget. They allow you to bid on keywords you normally don’t bid on when previous visitors make relevant search queries. Remarketing lists also allow you to optimize bids on existing keywords specifically for previous visitors. In industries with highly competitive and expensive keywords, such as legal and insurance, remarketing lists allow advertisers to make the most of their spend and reserve bids on expensive keywords for prospects who are more likely to convert

Video Ads

Many advertising agencies say that online video ads are as effective — or more effective — than TV ad spots. Leveraging audiovisual content online can be a good method for catching your audience’s attention. One study found that 80% of users recalled the content of a video ad they saw 30 days prior. Do your text ads have the same impact?

Google offers TrueView video ads to serve ads to customers both on YouTube and as video sidebar ads. One major drawback of using video ads is that, compared to text and static image ads, video ads can require much higher production investments. However, AdWords offers an ad gallery with pre-created video templates for advertisers to use to build simple videos at no cost, reducing traditional barriers to getting your video ads up and running.

Call-Only Ads

We often advocate using call only ad campaigns to drive business. The value of a customer making a call and interacting with you directly is generally far greater than the value of a click or a purely digital conversion. This is especially important when accounting for the fact that over half of Google search traffic comes from mobile devices. Call-only ad campaigns can reduce the friction required for prospective customers to make a call and increase your conversion rate in a meaningful way.

Call-only campaigns are a good way to induce calls and target prospects that are ready to have a conversation with your business, and can often provide better overall ROI than other conversion types. In order to best leverage call-only ads, advertisers must adhere to some best practices unique to call-only campaigns. These best practices include using call-focused CTAs, running ads only during times your customers are most likely to call (and when you are most likely to be able to pick up the phone), and leveraging keyword types such as broad match modifier and phrase match that will help you reach your customers most effectively.

Ad Customizers

Ad customizers dynamically update ad content with tailored messages and time-sensitive CTAs. This functionality allows you to do things like run a sales countdown or offering discounted goods or services on a timer to capture browser attention. Ad customizers also enable you to serve multiple offers to the same customer.

You can display multiple products or services in a single ad within different parameters. For example, a camping supply retailer might serve different camping equipment offers to searchers who searched for the term “camping equipment,” while also circulating ads for different tent models if the browser searched specifically for “camping tents.” As with keyword insertion, you can customize results for specific regions or locations. These tactics can help your prospective customers know that you offer exactly what they’re looking for, and increase the likelihood that they will engage with your ads.

Taking Your PPC Campaigns to the Next Level with Webrageous

If you’re ready to experiment with new ways to boost your campaign performance, consider working with a PPC management firm. Webrageous has been helping companies build their business with PPC for over 10 years. We have extensive experience working with all AdWords features and can leverage them very effectively for our clients. Get the benefit of our experience managing and experimenting with PPC campaigns to try out new PPC features more successfully when you work with Webrageous for PPC management. To learn more how we can make your PPC campaigns more successful in 2016, contact us today for your risk-free consultation.

Image Source: Pixabay

 

AdWords Editor new version

A few weeks ago, Google released a brand new version of the AdWords Editor interface (version 11.4), and along with it some new features that will make the life of AdWords users easier.

AdWords Editor 11.4.3

New “Add campaign button”

One very interesting new feature is that you can now create a new campaign faster, with a drop down menu added on the “add campaign” button that allows you to select straight away the type of campaign you want to create: search, display, shopping or video. Please note however than when you create a new campaign this way, some default settings are applied (example: language targeting is set to “all” for shopping campaigns), so make sure to double check the settings so you don’t have any bad surprise.

You can now create display mobile app installs directly from AdWords Editor too.

Capture

New section for Ad extensions

But the main changes have been applied to the extensions. First, ads and ad extensions are now separated in different sections in AdWords Editor, which brings more clarity in the menus.

AdWords Editor ads and ads extensions

App extensions

Along with that, and it is probably the new feature that AdWords users will love the most, it is now finally possible to create and edit app extensions and review extensions in AdWords Editor, as they are now both available from the Shared Library.

Frequency capping

Last but not least, it is now possible to set up frequency capping through AdWords Editor, which allows you to limit the number of times a same person will see your ad on the display network. The frequency capping option is located in the campaign settings under the enhanced CPC setting.

AdWords Editor frequency capping

AdWords new expanded ads: how to get prepared for the change – optimization tricks and strategies

expanded-ads

 

Google announced several AdWords changes during their 2016 performance summit last month, the most important one probably being the increase of characters limits with new expanded text ads.

Google has been working on this for years (the side ads removal in February happened for this reason) and this might be the biggest change since the creation of AdWords! Finally marketers will have a bit more space for their creativity and will be less frustrated by the very restrictive characters limit they had to deal with until now. But unfortunately such important changes usually don’t happen smoothly and there is a high price to pay for improvement… If you are part of an agency dealing with several huge AdWords accounts, you might need to cancel your forthcoming holidays and work your whole summer on new ads to be ready for the change. And if you are not an AdWords expert and you only run a campaign for your small local business, you might be lost and not sure where to start. The goal of this post is to give any advertiser tricks to get ready for that huge change as quick as possible so you have your campaigns updated and don’t lose deals when the new ads format rolls out.

But first let’s have a look at what is changing.

What are the new expanded ads characters limits?

The new expanded ads will now contain:

  • Two 30 characters headline (compared to one 25 characters headline before) so 60 characters in total, that’s more than the double amount of characters allowed!
  • One 80 characters description line (compared to two 35 characters description lines before), that’s 10 more characters allowed.

So the new ads will be allowed to contain 140 characters in total, that’s 47% more than the current 95 characters!

What are the benefits of this change for advertisers?

Google has announced that the new expanded ads will work better across screens, especially mobiles, and that this change was designed especially for today’s mobile-first world, where more and more searches are done on mobile devices.

With the number of characters expanded, there is no doubt that advertisers will get more visibility, and you can therefore more than likely expect a higher CTR.

When and how will this change happen?

Google didn’t communicate any exact date yet, they just gave a vague indication of “later this year”. That’s why we advise you to get ready as soon as possible, and we will keep you updated on how and when exactly the change will happen when more information is given.

It would be great if those new expanded ads could be somehow automated, as it was the case for Upgraded URL’s. When that changed happened last year, Google set up an upgrade option in the AdWords interface that helped advertisers along the way, simply copying their current destination URL’s to the final URL’s fields. That made upgrading pretty straightforward and advertisers with small and simple accounts were able to be ready for the update in just a few minutes and clicks through the AdWords interface (it was also very easy to upgrade through AdWords Editor).

However an automated system is unlikely to happen with the new expanded ads, as the changes here have more consequences and the whole ads structure will be changed with now 2 headlines and 1 description line. Things would certainly be easier if there was an automated option in the AdWords interface that could just copy your existing description line 1 and use it as your new second headline, and keep your existing description line 2 and use it as your new description line. But the problem with that would occur with the characters limit: your first headline would remain the same and only contains 25 characters while your second headline would contain up to 35 characters and might exceed the new 30 characters limit if you used them all, and your new description line would only contain the 35 characters of your previous description line 2, instead of the new 80 characters allowed. Besides that, you might not want to use a previous description line as headline, depending on its content. So we just don’t see a way for this change to be automated, and if it is somehow anyway, it won’t be a perfect solution. Extra work will definitely be needed on your side to make sure you take full advantage of the new expanded ads and you are not left aside and losing deals to your competitors that got prepared quickly and have created amazing new expanded ads while you were just waiting for the last minute…

Our only hope is that Google will give enough time to advertisers to get prepared for this update. We assume that as for any AdWords change there will be a transition period during the which you will still be allowed to use your old ads while writing new expanded ads and a deadline date when your old ads won’t be allowed to run anymore, therefore you will start losing deals from that date if you don’t have expanded ads ready.

How to get prepared for the change?

Depending on your ads messaging, we can think of 2 different options for a smooth update. Either you update your current description line 1 to become your new headline 2 (reducing characters to maximum 30 if needed) as outlined in previous paragraph, either your merge your current description lines 1 and 2 to become your new 80 characters description line.

If you are already using extended headlines (where your description line 1 is combined with your headline – your ads need to be eligible to appear at the top of the page and your description line 1 needs to end with proper punctuation) we would advise you to choose option 1. The first and only thing you will absolutely need to do for the update is to reduce your new headline 2 if it exceeds the 30 characters limit.

You will also need to rework your current description line 2 and add extra messaging (filling the at least 45 characters empty space) to take full advantage of the new format, as the limit for the new description line is now 80 characters.

You might also want to rework your new headline 1 to add 5 extra characters, but this is just a small change and it can wait until later as your new ad will still look good without those 5 extra characters.

For those who don’t use extended headlines, we would strongly advise to use option 2 as you will keep the same ad structure and messaging and it will be pretty straightforward. You will just need to merge your current description lines 1 and 2 into the new 80 characters limit description line. Then you will need to think of a new 30 characters headline 2. You might also want to rework your new headline 1 to add 5 extra characters and your new description line to add 10 extra characters, but as stated above it can wait until later as your new ad will still look good without those extra characters.

In order to summarize:

Option 1: make your current description line 1 your new headline 2, and your current description line 2 your new description line:

  • Eventually reduce your new headline 2 so it doesn’t exceed the 30 characters limit.
  • Update your current description line 2 and add 45 extra characters.
  • Optional: add 5 extra characters to your new headline 1.

See with an example:

Current ad:

24/7 Accident Recovery

Reliable & Fast Recovery Service.

24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week!

New extended ad:

24/7 Fast Accident Recovery

Reliable Recovery Service

24 Hours a Day and 7 Days a Week. Call Us at Any Time and We Will Come and Help!

Option 2: merge your current description lines 1 and 2 into your new description line, and create a new headline 2:

  • Create a new 30 characters headline 2.
  • Optional: add 5 extra characters to your new headline 1 and 10 characters to your new description line.

With the same ad example as above:

New extended ad:

24/7 Quick Accident Recovery

Certified Professional Towing

Reliable & Fast Recovery Service. 24 Hours a Day and 7 Days a Week, Call Us Now!

 

Whatever option you choose, you can see that you will still need a bit of extra work to get ready for the update and your new expanded ads won’t be written in 1 hour, unless you only have a very small account with 10 ads. That’s why you need to get prepared for the update as soon as possible, starting today.

Another question that might cross your mind if you are dealing with several huge accounts with thousands of ads is where to start to be ready on time and make sure you don’t lose deals. You need to schedule and prioritize. Start with the top campaigns bringing the most leads/sales. Inside of each campaign select the ad groups bringing the more conversions and start working on them first, so that if you are running out of time and you are not 100% ready for the update, your top ad groups and campaigns will contain expanded ads and only secondary campaigns/ad groups will be left aside and you won’t lose your main deals to competitors. If you don’t have the time to create several expanded ads per ad group now, just create 1 for now, so that your campaigns can still run when the change rolls out.

Once again, don’t wait to get ready for the change, the earlier you start the smoother this huge change will happen for you. Allocate 1 hour of your time today to start thinking about it and elaborate your own plan of actions:

  • Depending on your current ads messaging, choose either to follow update option 1 or 2 stated above.
  • Run reports/download statistics and select your top performing campaigns, and top performing ad groups within them.
  • Select your current top performing ad within those ad groups.
  • Copy that data (the top performing ad, along with the ad group and campaign names containing this ad) in excel and start writing 1 new expanded ad, with the messaging inspired by your current top performing ad. Please make sure you add a formula to calculate the number of characters for each line in order to respect the new characters limit:

30 characters for headline 1

30 characters for headline 2

80 characters for description line

 

 

Images source: Pixabay

Is Removing Desktop Sidebar Ads a Good Decision by Google?

desktop-sidebar-adwords

Earlier this year, Google rolled out a significant change to how search ads are displayed for desktop browsers. The removal of sidebar ads from desktop search results has many advertisers wondering if their AdWords campaigns will be negatively affected moving forward. Here’s what you need to know about what has changed for desktop search ads, how it might impact your PPC results, and what you can do to future-proof your AdWords campaigns.

Streamlining Google Search Ad Results

In short, Google has removed sidebar ads for search. For desktop browsers, the positions above organic search results will be the only ads that will display for searches. The one exception will be PLA (product list ads) boxes, which will still appear on the sidebar of search results. For most searches, Google will continue to limit the results shown to three ads. However, up to four ads can be shown for some “highly commercial” categories. While what exactly “highly commercial” categories includes has not been defined by Google, it seems that categories that tend to have high-cost, competitive keywords, including insurance, law and travel will be included.

Why Did Google Remove Sidebar Ads?

Google is always very responsive to how people use their products, as we saw with the recent introduction of a redesigned AdWords dashboard. But while the AdWords interface update was focused on advertisers, this update seems to be for the benefit of both consumers and advertisers. Matt Lawson, the director of Performance Ads Marketing at Google, explained the logic behind the change in a recent article for Search Engine Land:

“Over time, we’ve found that text ads on the right rail were simply less useful than we’d hoped. In direct terms, users didn’t click on them as much as other ads — and when users don’t click on things, we take that to mean that something wasn’t what they were looking for.”

Sidebar ads (referred to as “right rail” above) on Google search results look and feel more like ads than those that appear in-line with organic search results. By refining how ads are displayed to provide a more “native” advertising experience, it appears that Google wants to keep consumers from feeling like they are being barraged with too many ads while providing a more effective advertising environment for AdWords users.

This change has not been entirely unexpected. Google has been testing variations of how search results are displayed since at least 2001, including adding a fourth ad position above organic search results. With a strong focus on improving usability and implementing Material Design, advertisers and consumers alike should expect to see periodic changes to Google’s interface from time to time.

What Removing Sidebar Ads Means for Your Campaigns

The overall impact of removing sidebar ads is hard to gauge this early on. Advertisers are likely to see a decline in overall impressions since ads will not be served at all on sidebar results anymore. More importantly, Google has essentially throttled supply for a high-demand advertising outlet. As a result, it’s possible that CPC for high-demand keywords may rise significantly. This might be especially relevant for businesses in highly competitive PPC spaces, including law firms and insurance providers. 

However, some PPC experts have predicted that with a smaller, more focused offering of ads displayed for any given search, advertisers may see better results overall. If you’re already doing a good job of targeting and serving ads to the right audience, you’ll be rewarded with less competition on-page from other advertisers. That could potentially lead to higher CTR and conversion rates.

The good news is that if you’re already aiming for the top three positions, the change isn’t likely to negatively affect your campaigns significantly — at least not immediately. Since CTRs can decrease significantly for ads in any spot lower than the top three positions, it’s estimated that less than 15% of total click volume on PPC ads will be affected by the change. If your ad position strategy doesn’t involve working towards the top three ad positions, the removal of sidebar ads has made changing your strategy moving forward absolutely critical. Making simple changes such as bumping up your budget for particular keywords and working to improve your Quality Score can help you boost your position.

Future-Proofing Your PPC Campaigns

With this change, as with all others, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your campaign metrics for any sudden changes. Watch your budget, your conversion rate, and your click-through rate carefully. You may find that increased competition will require you to increase your bids for certain campaigns in order to continue serving ads effectively. Alternatively, if you notice that your ads are performing better for certain keywords than others, you may want to focus more resources on those campaigns.

If you start seeing a negative impact on your campaigns, it may be time to revisit your PPC strategy. Webrageous advocates for constantly A/B testing ad copy, placement, and bidding strategy regularly to continually improve campaign performance. Making changes such as implementing extensions or moving more of your budget to call-only campaigns can be effective methods of increasing conversion rate.

Leveraging Webrageous for Better Results in a Competitive Landscape

Working with a PPC consultant with a strong track record of managing high-performing ad campaigns can help you adjust to Google’s new ad display changes. We can prevent this change (and future ones) from tearing down your campaigns. At Webrageous, we specialize in managing campaigns for clients in the legal industry and know how to effectively navigate the highly-competitive legal PPC space.

Webrageous has an experienced team of dedicated PPC managers who oversee multiple accounts. We can leverage our experience managing the changes that Google has introduced to ensure that your campaigns will continue to thrive. Learn more about the results Webrageous delivers our clients to see how we can help you move your PPC strategy to the next level.

Image Source: Picography via Pixabay