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Google Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To KnowGoogle Enhanced Campaigns – What You Need To Know

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Google Enhanced Campaigns

This week Google announced a big change to the functionality of Google Adwords – Google Enhanced Campaigns. The aim of the change is to acknowledge that our advertising audiences are ‘constantly connected’, and to make targeting ads to these audiences more simple. Google are going to achieve this by ‘enhancing’ their campaign capabilities and allowing you to use a single campaign to target different devices, locations and times. Currently this can’t be done because locations and devices were selected at the campaign level, meaning you had to make separate campaigns for different locations and devices.

 

No longer will you need different campaigns like “Sydney mobile”, “Sydney desktop”, “Melbourne desktop”, etc. These can all be merged into one campaign which will target multiple devices and areas. Google is selling this idea as allowing you to focus more on your advertising and your audience, rather than your technology. It isn’t really offering much you couldn’t do before (although there are a few things) – but it is making it a lot easier and quicker.

 

You can upgrade your campaigns at any time (once it is enabled in your account), but Google plans to have all upgrades complete by mid 2013. The new features include:

 

  • Bid adjustments for devices, times, days and locations
  • Allowing separate ads for different devices within a single ad group (there will be a checkbox for ‘mobile preferred’ ads)
  • Allowing ad extensions at the ad group level rather than campaign level
  • Allowing ad extensions to be scheduled – so you could have different ones for sale times, opening hours, weekends, etc.
  • Allowing mobile-specific extensions even though they’re in the same campaign
  • New: Showing clicks on individual sitelinks, rather than just ‘sitelinks’ in general.
  • New: If you change your extensions, performance history will be maintained (previously was deleted)
  • New:Conversion types – digital downloads (apps) and calls (longer than 60 seconds would be a conversion). Not sure if these will be available in Australia though.

 

Note that you won’t be able to use these extensions and bidding features until you create an enhanced campaign – and if you want the new extensions features, then you will also have to create new extensions in your enhanced campaign.

 

What do marketers think?

 

Initial thoughts from the marketing world are that Google is helping out smaller businesses (who might have less time) at the expense of larger businesses and agencies (who might appreciate more granularity).

 

While there is much praise of the geotargeting and sitelinks changes, there is concern about the device targeting capabilities. In particular that advertisers won’t be able to opt out of desktop advertising, and that tablets and desktops are being grouped together (except in display).

 

Some people say this is Google’s way of forcing advertisers onto the mobile network, but I disagree because a)You will be able to exclude mobile by using a -100% bid, and b) for advertisers who don’t question this change, it is likely their campaigns would have been opted in to all devices anyway.

 

Note that even if you have only mobile optimised ads, these can still show on desktops and tablets – it doesn’t seem there is a way to opt out of desktop and have a mobile-only campaign.

 

Most marketers seem to agree that the new interface will make it simpler to manage devices and locations, but it also signals a loss of control.

 

The other problem is that, like with any change, there is going to be a lot of work to get the existing campaigns updated and merged – Google has a 28 page PDF about how to properly upgrade to enhanced campaigns. The most tricky will be merging your different location campaigns or different devices. Google will have two separate methods:

 

Simple Upgrade Flow – Use this on one campaign at a time to upgrade to the new features (where there is no merge necessary).

 

Merge Flow – Helps you combine two very similar campaigns into one (e.g. when only geographic or device differs between them). Use this tool to merge two or more existing campaigns into one new one.

 

This is a big change, and is requiring a lot of work from Google’s customers (i.e. all of us advertisers). Google wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think there was a need for it, and businesses should follow their lead. Not only should businesses fine-tune their advertising targeting, but also start ensuring their websites have the appropriate capabilities, and their businesses have responsiveness, to be able to service the changing demands and habits of their customers.

 

Read more about the Google Adwords changes on the Google site 

 

15 Ways to Stop Wasting Money on Google Adwords

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by Tracy Mu Sung

Runaway Adwords Budget

Run Away Budget: This is a hilarious image I always think of when I think of the term “run away train”. Genius image by The Oatmeal

One of the most persistent complaints I hear about Google Adwords is that it is a waste of money. I hear it mostly from small and medium sized businesses who have started up an Adwords campaign on their own, only to see their funds quickly run down the drain without knowing exactly what business impact it has has had. I have also heard it from businesses who have entrusted someone to manage their Adwords, and then the only thing they see or hear about it after that is their monthly invoice.

These kind of experiences more often than not turn people off Adwords completely. But it doesn’t have to be like this! I’m telling you, there are lots of ways you can save your money on Adwords and make sure it only goes towards targeting good customers/prospects. It’s all about putting limits on your account and making it measurable.

On the Settings Tab

1. To stop a run-away-train budget on your first day – limit your budget to a smaller amount than you might normally want, just so you can see what the market is like for the terms you are targeting.

2. Limit geographically – If you can’t service people in other states, target only your state. Make sure the geographic reach of your ads suits your business. You can even trial your ads in a small location and then slowly expand once you find what works and what is affordable.

3. If you are doing a campaign to the Google results page, make sure you have not opted in to the Google Content network

4. Think carefully about whether you want to spend money on mobile. Are these customers valuable? Is your site mobile-ready? If not, make your campaigns desktop only (or maybe tablet as well). This way you won’t waste money on clicks from people on mobile devices who can’t convert.

5. If you are very worried about your budget, you can choose to have your keywords not include plurals or misspellings
Google Adwords Misspellings

6. If there are times or days when you know that your advertising is less effective (e.g. are your prospects more primed during the week or weekend)- you can schedule your ads to not show at certain times

On the Keywords Tab

7. Keyword Matching – Don’t put everything on broad match. I see many accounts set up with only broad match keywords – mostly because there isn’t enough knowledge of the other types. I would recommend starting with tightly matched keywords (exact or phrase). If traffic isn’t enough, add broad match modified. I would only go with broad after a lot of experienceGoogle Adwords Keyword Match Types

8. Keywords – Start out by matching your keywords closely to your products or services. E.g. if you sell netball skirts – don’t target broad terms like sporting clothing or netball. Be very specific. Then, when you have successes, you can slowly expand.

9. Negative keywords – did you know about negative keywords? Read more about negative keywords and then get some for your own campaign. (e.g. free, second hand, advice, etc).

10. Check your Search Terms. This is a report different from your keywords, because it is what people actually typed in to Google. From this list you can add keywords, or make new negative keywords. It lets you see exactly where your spend is going.
Searched Term Report in Adwords

On the Ads Tab

11. Ad copy – if you can, try and make your ad copy very specific for the people you want to click. E.g. if you are selling products for builders which aren’t suitable for the public, you might write terms like “Trade Only” or “Commercial Only” in your ad copy. (Note this doesn’t dissuade everyone, but it can help reduce wastage).

12.Make sure your landing page is as accurate as possible. Don’t send all traffic to the home page, or even a category page. If you have adgroups that are product-specific, make them go to the product page. You can even have URLs at the keyword level. By sending traffic to the most relevant page for their search, you increase the chance of a conversion.

Tracking

13. Make sure you have Google Analytics on your site (MUST have for any website really).

14. Link your Adwords Account with Analytics. (It’s kind of easy) Then you can see how long your Adwords traffic is spending on your site, what pages they are interested in, and where you can cut some spend!

15. Set up conversions in your Adwords. Either through putting conversion tags on your site OR importing analytics goals. This is really important so that you know what actions are resulting from your spend.

Facebook Ad Testing

By | Facebook, PPC | No Comments

Written by Tracy Mu Sung
 
Testing Facebook Ads

 

Do you assume that because you know how to use Microsoft Ad Center, or Google Adwords, you will automatically be awesome at creating and running Facebook Ads? Well, unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that a lot of the assumed knowledge from other ad platforms, like Yahoo/MSN, Google Adwords and Bing, is not necessarily true for Facebook.
 
For example, did you know that when creating your Facebook ads for the first time, you should make multiple versions to test them? Of course, because that is what you do in normal ad testing! You create two ads which differ in only one respect, run them against each other, see which one does better, pause the low performer, then test another aspect of the ad. Repeat ad nauseum.
 
But with Facebook ads, it is slightly different. First of all, Facebook will not offer rotation settings for you – you need to accept Facebook’s default rotation setting, which is basically – Facebook quickly decides which of your ads is performing best and shows that one more often. Very quickly, your poorer performing ads will drop off.
 
For this reason you need to;
 
1. Put up 3 or 4 ads at once which differ in only one aspect. E.g. make the same ad with four different images or four different action words.
 
2. You need to make those ads go live as close together as possible. Don’t go have lunch after making 2 ads, and decide you’ll make the other 2 later. Facebook will have already decided on a winner, and then your 2 new ads won’t even get a look-in.
 
3. If at any point you want to test a new ad, you’re going to have to create a new campaign and recreate your existing ads in there. Otherwise, Facebook will never give your new ad a chance, because it is competing with the history of the other ads.
 
Bonus Tip: If you don’t test your Facebook ads (what?!), you do need to at least keep your eye on ‘Frequency’. This will tell you how many times the average user in your audience has seen your ad. When it gets up to 10 – time to refresh your ads!
 

Google Shopping Goes Paid – 17th October

By | Google News, PPC | No Comments

On 17th October, Google Merchant Centre users in the USA will no longer receive free clicks through Google Shopping/Product search, but instead will have to fight it out in the paid bids similar to Product Listing Ads through Adwords.

 

Switching a free, relevance-only offering to paid-inclusion – Evil or just good business sense?

 

Paid Inclusion or Not?

 

Google has stated that ‘paid inclusion’ has historically referred to entries which were not identified as paid, whereas their paid shopping entries will all be labelled appropriately.

 

Other people (including the US Federal Trade Commission) see paid inclusion as any practice of including a result only if payment is made – (which potentially excludes relevant entries if they are not paying).

 

Google Shopping previously provided a huge ‘inventory’ of products, which was very helpful in finding the more obscure products on the web. However, with paid inclusion, how much of that inventory is still going to be searchable?

 

A Good Way To Fight Spam?

 

Should we believe Google that the reason for the change was to encourage advertisers to provide more up to date, high quality feeds? After all, it’s true that if you are paying for each click on your feed, you don’t want to waste clicks on products which aren’t there anymore. Additionally, you want to encourage relevant customers by having the most relevant information in your ads. This will all in turn mean a better user experience for shoppers.

 

However, as Danny Sullivan has pointed out, this could have been achieved by an annual fee, but then again, why would you want that when you could get an almost unlimited revenue of clicks?

 

Also, when they have to charge people to try and minimise spam, what does that say about their technology? Their regular search results are up against much stronger spam every day, is there no hope for them in fighting it?

 

What Else Can We Pay For?

 

The Bigger Worry: What else could Google change to Paid Inclusion?  Many businesses get a huge amount of their business through Google, and have become increasingly reliant on it. The most obvious example of something which could move to Paid inclusion now is Google Places. They have just had a big shakeup to make businesses transfer to Google Plus, could they switch the whole thing again, this time to paid inclusion?

 

We’ll do another post after the changeover to see whether the cost of clicks in PLA adgroups has risen, numbers of competition has increased or maybe some advertisers just refused to pay.

 

The changes will roll out to Australia and the rest of the world probably over the next 12 months.

 

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