Enhanced Campaigns

Each year, the US Search Awards recognizes the best and brightest brands among the world’s leading search and digital agencies and professionals. We compiled advice from eight of this year’s judges on what every brand should do to optimize their PPC campaigns.

This year’s awards will take place at Paris Las Vegas on Wednesday, October 7th. For more information and to enter, visit the US Search Awards website.



Diane Pease

Inbound Marketing Manager, Cisco Systems | @DPease

Monitor Your Extension Performance

With all the hype around ad extensions, we can sometimes get caught up in “extension excitement” – putting site links, callouts, and location extensions on our ads to provide a better user experience. But it’s important to monitor the performance of your extensions, to ensure they’re really working for you in the way you want them to. Create a reminder – and check on a bi-weekly basis. If you have an extension that’s not performing, make adjustments or try removing it. Extensions are a great way to expand your ad, but they need to be monitored.



Matt McGowan

Head of Strategy for America’s Advertising, Google | @Matt_Mcgowan

RLSA. Do it. It amazes me how many clients don't add the tag to their sites. For free, you can bring together intent, context, and audience to help your business drive sales and leads with great ROI. With remarketing lists for search ads, you can modify bids, ads, and keywords for past site visitors. For example, people visit your sports apparel site to check out available styles, and look at the shoe section of the site. You could add these shoppers to a "Shoe category" list. Then, the next time they search for running shoes on Google you could bid more for them. More here.



Richard Gregory

UK Industry Expert | @Smartrich

You absolutely have to be leveraging Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) these days. At a recent SAScon event, Larry Kim highlighted the low CPCs that early adopters of the format have benefited from. One great tip is to run a campaign targeting Gmail accounts containing newsletters from your competitors, remembering to negative your own keywords to avoid upsetting existing customers.



Jim Banks

Global Head of Biddable Media | @Jimbanks

Anticipate the device your users will be on and have ads that reflect that context. If someone is on mobile, then having the CTA as "Call" or "Tap" will get higher CTR (TTR - Tap Through Rate) than "Click". Dayparting is now a 168-hour a week function, and device, location, and time of day/day of week will help or hurt more than keyword, bid, or ad.



Lisa Williams

Digital Marketing Strategist, Author, Speaker, Networker, and Columnist; Sustainable Digital Marketing | @SEOPllyAnna

Look at the performance of high-volume, general PPC ads and test the content for titles and meta descriptions. For example, the shipping message "same day shipping" performed better in Paid than the message "fast shipping". Test the better performing message CTR and conversion to see if you get lift in Organic Search the same way you did in Paid Search.



Matt Umbro

Senior Account Manager, Hanapin Marketing; Founder of #PPCChat | @Matt_Umbro

In order to quickly find keywords that are costing too much and not providing enough (or any) conversions, create an automated rule. I'll generally create a rule that runs weekly and looks at the last 30 days’ worth of data. I'll set the rule to identify all keywords that have seen at least 50 clicks and zero conversions. I'll have these keywords emailed to me so I can choose whether to change my bids, pay particularly close attention to the search queries, and/or pause the keywords all together. You can adjust the filter as you see fit, but this rule helps to easily find poor performing keywords.



John Gagnon

Bing Ads Evangelist | @Jmgagnon

To bid or not to bid? Bid. And, there’s finally concrete data. Bing Ads completed a study measuring the number of clicks a brand received when they were the top organic spot alone, versus the top organic spot plus the top paid ad.

After looking at three million impressions on brand searches for retail during 2014, the study found advertisers saw an incremental 31 clicks for every 100 brand searches when a paid search ad was used in combination with the top organic result. That’s huge!

Only 11 of those clicks would have been received anyways. Adjust your CPA lower by about 18% to account for the overlap – and you have a concrete strategy for bidding on your brand terms.



Jonathan Beeston

Owner, Beetsonomics | @Beeston

If you're a retailer, then of course you're running Shopping campaigns. But your campaigns will only be as good as the product or inventory feed that powers them. Spend as much time optimizing your feed as you would any other part of the campaign, making sure you have the right imagery and search-friendly titles. As you can use the feed with Bing Shopping Campaigns (now in beta), Facebook Product Ads, and Google Shopping, the optimization will pay off more than once.

The deadline for submitting an entry to one of the 22 categories in the US Search Awards is the 17th of July, so download the entry form today and you could be a worthy winner at the glittering Las Vegas event in October during Pubcon!

cpc marin software google enhanced campaigns

The migration deadline has officially passed. I believe some accounts are still being migrated over, however, as I noticed some old legacy paused campaigns that I purposely did not migrate were officially moved over this morning. I figured this would be a good time to go over some high-level data points to see what the performance was pre- and post-migration for our own Marin Software marketing account. (Note: This article does NOT include data points from any of our customers.)

We migrated over on June 12, 2013. That gives us six full weeks of data post-migration. For comparison, I took data points pre-migration for the entire year of 2013 up until the migration date just to get a large enough sample set for the period before, though it should be noted that the before and after comparisons are usually flawed because of seasonality/promotions/budgets anyway. By the nature of our business, we don’t do a ton of marketing through mobile search. I would like to preface the analysis of our data below by pointing out that the impact of enhanced campaigns on our account may not be as profound as it would be on a retailer that relies more heavily on mobile searches to drive sales or customers to their stores. After the migration, we kept our search bids even and dropped the mobile bids by 50%. Here what we’ve seen so far:















Enhanced Campaigns Change

CTR



CPC



Avg. Position


Post-Migration (% change over pre-migration data)

+12.34%



+16.60%



+0.0%





We’ve seen a healthy increase in our Click-thru rate but also a larger increase in our CPCs. Our average position has remained constant over this time period so there's nothing alarming there. I didn’t include conversion and conversion rate data as we’ve made some significant changes post-click in the last couple months which makes me think that the changes on that front are more weighted due to that. It’s nice to see we’re initially getting more clicks per impression, but it is worrisome that our CPC has risen so much in the last 6 weeks.

All in all it’s still early, but our results are a mixed bag. I’ll continue to monitor them over the next several weeks and start working on some changes to our bidding strategy by segment to find the optimal sweet spot in the new Enhanced campaign world. Let us know if you have any stories to share.

Google will automatically upgrade all AdWords campaigns to enhanced campaigns starting today. It's been a long countdown, but we hope you have made a smooth transition and are seeing good results.

To celebrate, we’ve put together a series of commemorative GIFs:



Google did what?





What about Quality Scores? Mobile is mandatory?





Okay, maybe this isn't so bad.





Done!

marin software mobile ads



Unless you’ve been living on another planet for the last 6 months, you’re no doubt familiar with what is arguably the biggest change in search advertising since the launch of AdWords – Google’s Enhanced Campaigns. The invention and launch of Enhanced Campaigns from the search engine giant has made it easier for advertisers to scale their campaigns to take advantage of the, now significantly sized, mobile audience.

In the US, mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) now account for 25% of overall clicks from search [1]. More than 50% of the UK population now owns a smartphone and some sites receive more than 30% of traffic from mobile devices, so the importance of mobile commerce cannot be ignored [2].

We’re often asked by advertisers of all different sizes, from different verticals, how to make the most of the opportunity. Today’s blog post outlines four ways for advertisers to embrace mobile search and ensure that you do not miss out on engaging with the growing mobile search audience.



Mobile e-commerce (Mobile Site Links)

Web users all around the world are using smartphones and tablet devices throughout the purchase cycle. Retailer and service providers are benefiting from increasing levels of user-confidence in mobile devices; a study by eMarketer showed that 61% of respondents had purchased a product online using a PC, with smartphone and tablet users less than 10% behind, at 52%. During the research phase, the results are even closer, with 50% of worldwide internet users reporting using a PC to review a brand or product online, the same percentage report using a smartphone and 52% have used a tablet [3].

Retailers and service providers are ahead of the pack with the majority now offering a fully-functional mobile website. The next step is to make it easy for potential customers to find your website: ensure maximum keyword coverage through correct migration to enhanced campaigns and calculate mobile bid adjustments to reflect any differences in performance you see across different devices (for more information, please read our white paper, "The Search Marketers’ Guide to Enhanced Campaigns").



Click to call ads

For brands whose products or services are often bought over the phone rather than online or for those who do not yet have a mobile ready website, click to call ads are a great solution. These ads work in much the same way as traditional mobile search ads; the fundamental difference is that instead of clicking through to a website, the click on the ad triggers a call. The resulting sales and revenue from these calls can be tracked and attributed back to the keyword search so that bids are optimised correctly.



App download ads

New research from eBay shows that mobile apps involving retail products or services had a 42% success rate for reaching launch stage, with just shy of 73,000 retail apps made available in app stores last year. Both online retailers and traditional bricks and mortar stores have embraced the world where there is always “an app for that” by creating user-friendly apps that provide mobile users with an alternative to visiting the full mobile website. Small screen size inhibits use of mobile websites on smartphones as it is simply too fiddly to input strings of information and smartphone users are often in public places where they may not feel comfortable typing out payment information. Apps are particularly attractive to users on smartphone devices as they facilitate the storage of personal information, such as credit card details, so that they do not have to be manually entered on a small screen in a public space.



Joining online and offline

One of the emerging tactics used by high street retailers is to offer vouchers that are redeemed by simply showing a code on your smartphone at the point of sale. This is a highly innovative, trackable use of mobile which should not be missed out on. Geo-target mobile ads to the areas close to stores or restaurants, promote the voucher in the ad copy to foster click-through and make the voucher accessible within one or two clicks of the landing page. When users redeem the voucher in store, you have a reliable way of quantifying the footfall driven through mobile advertising. This strategy can be taken further by using a technology such as Revtrax who can pass keyword information via the voucher code so that in store redemptions can be attributed to individual keyword clicks for powerful optimisation.



References

  1. Marin Software Q1 2013 Global Advertising Benchmark Report
  2. Econsultancy Mobile Commerce Compendium June 2013
  3. eMarketer How Mobile Is Shaping Global Digital Behavior
willy wonka enhanced capaigns meme

Last week we delved into best practices for Google enhanced campaigns, and now we’re back with six more ways to ensure your transition is as seamless and profitable as possible.




Best Practice #6 – Use Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages

Make sure to use mobile-optimized landing pages to ensure a good experience for mobile users. If you leverage creative-level destination URLs that direct users to various landing pages, use the {ifmobile} and {ifnotmobile} ValueTrack parameters. For example: {ifmobile:m}{ifnotmobile:www}.marinsoftware.com.



Best Practice #7 – Track Conversions and Revenue by Device

Google’s new {device} ValueTrack parameter enables advertisers to track paid search performance by device. If destination URLs are tagged with this parameter, a “c,” “t,” or “m” will be inserted based on the device the user has clicked and converted from. To make use of this new feature, it is critical to migrate your URLs correctly and confirm their function properly. We recommend migrating URLs after merging parent and sibling campaigns in order to reduce the number of URL changes required.



Best Practice #8 – Leverage Upgraded Ad Extensions

During a campaign merge, ensure that all ad extensions in sibling campaigns are present in the parent campaign. If your mobile sitelink or call extensions are unique from your desktop ad extensions, you will want to leverage upgraded extensions. Simply specify “Mobile” next to device preferences to customize your extensions for a mobile-optimized experience. Mobile-optimized extensions will be triggered more frequently over standard extensions for searches on mobile devices.



Best Practice #9 – Generate Mobile Preferred Creative

If you have creative that specifically target mobile devices, set the device preference to “Mobile” for these creative in the parent campaign. Creative text that contains phones numbers will be disallowed, so use call extensions instead. To make the most of your mobile campaigns, consider creating ads that leverage location identifiers. Finally, remember that mobile-preferred creative are eligible to show on desktop and tablet devices, so you will want to create desktop optimized creative as well.



Best Practice #10 – Separate Display Campaigns

At this time, advertisers are not required to merge separate, network-targeted campaigns. Continue to separate search campaigns from display campaigns in order to calculate optimal display mobile bid adjustments based on display performance. “Display Network only” campaigns can still target creative by device models and operating systems.



Best Practice #11 – Monitor Performance

Be sure to monitor the performance of your new enhanced campaigns to ensure they are achieving your performance goals and satisfying your business requirements. Generate recurring reports segmented by device, and create alerts to identify significant shifts in key performance indicators. This will allow you to successfully analyze and respond to your campaign results.



This concludes our series on best practices for Google enhanced campaigns, but you don’t have to stop there. Download our full guide, “The Search Marketer’s Guide for Migrating to Google Enhanced Campaigns,” for even more information on how to successfully advertise using this new upgrade.

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