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Google Releases AdWords Quality Score Primer Aimed At Dispelling Misconceptions

google-adwords-600 There has always been a healthy amount of debate over the importance of Quality Score as an indicator of Google AdWords success and the amount of focus that should be devoted to it. Today, Google issued a whitepaper called "Settling the (Quality) Score" to help advertisers use Quality Score to guide optimizations. Will it settle the debate? Maybe not, in fact it may just spark more conversation, but if you're involved in paid search at all, you'll want to check it out. Google describes Quality Score being like a "warning light in a car's engine" as opposed to being a "detailed metric [...]


The Impact Of Google Display Network Magazine Ads

questions-shutterstock In May, Google officially launched a new format for text ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) called magazine ads. Have you taken the chance yet to analyse what has happened to your text ads traffic since? Here's what they look like: I've looked into a few accounts to spot what key differences we're seeing now that this new format has been out for a month. The Impact On Click-Through Rate One of the placements I've been analysing is Devour, a video content site that came up as a placement for a Travel client targeting the USA. You can see from the image below that the text a [...]


eBay’s “Paid Search Is Ineffective” Study Gains Buzz And Skeptics, Again

Ebay jan 2012 bad ads pink roses in a vase By claiming that paid search is largely ineffective, eBay has attracted a lot of attention and buzz with media outlets repeating the findings. Anyone who isn't familiar with eBay's history of throw-it-at-the-wall-and-watch-what-happens paid search advertising strategy may be able to take the company's final release of a report that first made the rounds last year at face value. Those familiar with eBay's paid search efforts (i.e., "Bid on Cancer now") have taken the study with a grain of salt, if not discounted it outright. The problem isn't with the research or testing, it's the fact th [...]


Google Issues Best Practices For Shopping Campaigns Ahead Of This Summer’s Big Transition

google-shopping-600 With Shopping Campaigns becoming the default campaign type for running Product Listing Ads on Google by the end of August, the search giant has issued a best practices whitepaper to help marketers make the transition. The main points the paper dives into are product feed optimization and updates, Shopping campaign structure, bidding and mobile recommendations. Much of the best practices haven't necessarily changed from the original PLA recommendations -- use relevant titles and high-quality images -- but there are good baseline reminders such as limiting title length to 50 characters to [...]


Remarketing Tips Born Of Years Of Experience

Add to Cart Retargeting is an awesome way to reengage traffic that hasn't converted. Over the years, it's evolved, and the tools have become more robust. With this development, we've uncovered some effective remarketing strategies. In this article, I'll cover some ideas related to engaging returning customers, obtaining new customers and remarketing related to specific search term queries. But before getting started, below are some general tips to remember: Tip #1: Don't Creep Your Prospects Out With Constant Ad Bombardment Don't show retargeted ads to everyone and their dog. Take the time [...]


Bing Ads Expands Bid Landscape Estimator Tool To Ad Groups, Non-U.S. Markets

Bing Ads Bid Lanldscape Ad Group Leve In March, Bing Ads launched its Bid Landscape tool in the U.S. -- essentially equivalent to the Bid Simulator in Google AdWords. Now, Bing Ads is rolling out Bid Landscape at the ad group level. Non-U.S. advertisers also now have access to bid landscape at the keyword level. Bid Landscape shows the estimated cost, click, impression and top impression impact of a bid adjustment based on recent history.  Estimations reflect how performance would have changed with a different bid in the past 7 days, so, like AdWords Bid Simulator estimates, they aren't guarantees for future performance. Two [...]


Does Google’s “Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness” Study Mean What It Says?

Google's search ads lift brand metrics study Google is touting a new study this week that concludes "Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness." What the study should be titled, though, is "The Top Search Ad Lifts Brand Awareness". This was a meta-study in which several studies were conducted by Google and Ipsos MediaCT across a set of verticals including CPG and automotive. A total of 800 US consumers were asked to search for a category specific keyword. The results showed that the test brands across the verticals saw a lift in awareness: When respondents were asked what brand first came to mind when thinking about a specific category keyword [...]


Microsoft Shuttering Bing Ads Express

express-train-station-travel-600 Bing Ads Express, Microsoft's program to encourage small businesses to adopt the paid search platform, will be sunsetted this summer. Launched just last October and modeled on Google's own AdWords Express, the program was designed to simplify and automate paid search advertising across the Yahoo Bing Network. Small and local businesses could use their Facebook pages as a landing page in lieu of having their own dedicated websites. Expanded targeting options were rolled out as recently as April. Apparently it wasn't enough. In a blog post announcing the shutdown, Bing Ads Express produ [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Amazing Paid Search Tactics

Paid search continues to get exceedingly complicated, but the expert panel, the last session of this year’s SMX Advanced, blew the audience away with understandable and valuable tips.  Amazing Paid Search Tactics & Tools featured four expert speakers, and it was the first time I’ve ever heard cheers and whistles after a PPC session.  “I’m A Freakin’ Google Analytics Leprechaun” Heather Cooan of Clix Marketing kept the crowd rolling with her hilarious quote. She also blew everyone away with her incredible Google Analytics tips. After walking through the benefits of imp [...]


Google Previews New AdWords Policy Center, Will Go Live September

new-google-adwords-logo A new Policy Center will be coming to AdWords this September. Google says that policies will be streamlined and that there will be more transparency into why policies exist and what advertisers should do to comply. A preview of the updated Policy Center is live now. While most advertisers likely won't be affected by the change, Google points out that there will be some new restrictions relating to weapons, tobacco and fireworks in a new Dangerous Content policy. The new policies are designed to clarify areas of misinterpretation. For example, knife manufacturers and retailers have ofte [...]


AdWords Best Practices Resource Center Opens for Digital Marketers

google-adwords-square-logo We are pleased to announce the new Google-sponsored AdWords Best Practices Center on Search Engine Land. This page provides best practices that are authored and curated by the search company – including checklists, guides, white papers, and webinars – all geared toward improving proficiency with AdWords. In addition to best practices that have been extensively verified by Google teams and supported by internal data, the AdWords Best Practices Center will also provide timely guidance on new AdWords features. We invite you to check out the resources in categories such as Quality Score, [...]


Bing Ads URL Auto-Tagging Finally Arrives

bing-ads-600 Rejoice, the Bing Ads team has finally rolled out one of its most-requested features -- auto-tagging for ad destination URLs. When UTM tags are added to destination URLs on ads, the performance metrics can flow into Google Analytics. Until now, advertisers have had to manually add tag URLs or rely on a third-party solution every time they uploaded new ads in their Bing Ads campaigns. Here's how you do it: Go to the account and billing tab in the Bing Ads web interface and check the box next to "Add UTM tags to my ads' destination URLs". You then have two options, either to replace all ex [...]


Optmyzr Launches Bid Management Solution For Google Shopping Campaigns

black-shoes-google-shopping Google's new Shopping Campaigns offer many benefits over traditional PLA campaigns, including granular performance benchmarks, but bid optimization can still be cumbersome. Optmyzr, the company that provides automation tools for Google AdWords management, has launched a new tool to help streamline and speed-up bid management on Google Shopping Campaigns. Shopping Bidder is designed particularly for companies managing large Shopping Campaigns with thousands of products. The tool gives paid search managers a view of all biddable items in their accounts on a single page. Filters then allow [...]


How To Manage Bids For AdWords Shopping Ads

google-shopping-600 Last month, I covered the basics of how Shopping campaigns in AdWords differ from Search campaigns. The key finding I had was that, with Search, you have to add keywords to target more queries. In Shopping, all queries that match your products are targeted by default, and one of the main reasons to divide products into Product Groups is to get more control over bids. This month, I'd like to share what I've learned about managing bids for AdWords Shopping ads. Bidding In Shopping Campaigns All bidding in Shopping Campaigns is done at the lowest Product Group level -- so while ad grou [...]


WordStream Adds A Paid Search Landing Page Grader To Its Docket Of Free Tools

WordStream Landing Page Grader Summary Bad landing pages can tank even the most beautifully constructed AdWords campaign. For many small businesses, the prospect of tackling landing page optimization on top of managing bids, keywords and ad copy can be daunting. To help marketers gauge the performance of their landing pages, WordStream, a paid search management platform for SMBs, launched a free AdWords Landing Page Grader. The tool is designed to give site owners benchmarks on how their landing pages stack up against others in their industry with similar ad spend. Like the company's AdWords Performance Grader, the Landin [...]


A Defense Of Broad Match For SEM

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat is a renowned work of art that currently sits in the Art Institute of Chicago. You’ve probably seen it at some point or another. It’s known for its size (almost seven feet tall and over ten feet wide) and its style (pointillism). Pointillism, a style of art that Seurat himself invented, involves making colorful dots coalesce into a picture. If you look at some of Seurat’s works close enough, all you’ll see is a bunch of dots. [caption id="attachment_193543" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A Sunday Afternoon [...]


Why You Don’t See “World Cup” Ads On Google

world-cup-soccer-600 [caption id="attachment_193527" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A Google Trends chart shows the huge spikes in search volume for "World Cup" in the years the tournament is held.[/caption] Google is on the cusp of a search volume siege from soccer (aka football) fans as the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ nears. A look at Google Trends data shows we're on the upswing what Google can expect when the tournament starts on June 12, based on the volumes the last two times the World Cup was held, in 2006 and 2010. What may surprise you is the search results from all this "World Cup" interest will be l [...]


Google Introduces New Content API For Google Shopping

google-shopping-600 Today, Google introduced a new version of the API that allows retailers to manage product feed content programmatically, as opposed to through manual updates to Google Merchant Center. It's the first version update of the API since Google first launched it in 2010, before Google Shopping became a paid platform. Version 2 of the Content API for Google Shopping offers these added features: Item-level data quality information: See if an item was disapproved because a landing page URL isn’t working on a mobile device or if unique product identifiers are inaccurate. Faster pricing and av [...]


Reusable Code For MCC Scripts Will Save You Tons Of Time In AdWords

html-code-schema-300px Writing reusable code is something all developers strive for. Any developer worth his/her salt is continuously building a library of reusable code snippets to use in future development. You don't need to re-invent the wheel each time a common problem is encountered because you can use the code you've already written. It also makes legacy code easier to update later. I'm in the process of updating some of my scripts for the new MCC level format, and I've been thinking about some common code snippets I seem to use in almost every script I write. So I thought I'd share some of these idea [...]


Bing Ads Tweaks Its Tune: Desktop/Tablet Traffic To Be Combined, Adding Tablet Bid Modifier

bing-ads-600 [caption id="attachment_193329" align="alignright" width="259"] David Pann, Microsoft[/caption] You may recall last spring, Bing Ads issued a manifesto of sorts in response to Google's announcement of Enhanced Campaigns titled Advertisers Deserve Control: “We do not believe bundling mobile, desktop and tablet advertising together in an opaque manner is in the best interests of our customers.” In what would appear to be an about-face, Bing Ads announced Wednesday that it will begin lumping desktop and tablet traffic together, á la Google's Enhanced Campaigns. The change, announced [...]


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