Why Google’s Reported CPC Declines Can’t Tell The Story Of “A Mobile Advertising Problem”

google-adwords-mobile-featured [caption id="attachment_197199" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Data Source: Google Quarterly Earnings Statements[/caption] It's still happening. Google reported on Thursday that the average cost-per-click (CPC) was down again in Q2 from the prior year, marking the eleventh consecutive quarter in which the average CPC fell year-over-year. Some analysts and news outlets have been pointing to this as evidence of Google's "mobile problem" -- the problem Enhanced Campaigns was meant to fix when introduced last year. The fear is that Google can't figure out a way to monetize mobile ad clicks as [...]


Marin Software Adds Support For Google Shopping Campaigns

Marin Software Supports Google Shopping Campaigns Marin Software has added support for Google Shopping Campaigns, which will become the only way to manage Product Listing Ads (PLAs) in AdWords beginning in late August. The dynamic campaigns tool in the Marin platform automates Shopping Campaign creation and optimization. Advertisers can automate bid strategies, based a number of targets such as product-specific revenue or customer lifetime value, for example. “Support of Google Shopping Campaigns combined with our cross-channel targeting capabilities allows retailers to take their product-based advertising to new heights,” said [...]


Mobile PPC Tips & Tricks – What Works & Doesn’t

ppc-paid-search-mobile-600 As we all know, the mobile environment is becoming more important, and mobile PPC is a topic companies are starting to pay more attention to. At this point, there’s still a lot of low-hanging fruit out there. In this article, I'll share some mobile stats to begin with, and then provide some PPC tips and tricks we've learned along the way related to mobile ad copy, mobile landing pages and mobile scheduling strategies. Mobile Growth Mobile usage is on a pretty big upswing, and "the year of mobile" is coming much faster than people think. Are you losing sales today from bad mobile adverti [...]


Google Launches Free AdWords Express App For iOS And Android Devices In The US

Google Launches AdWords Express App Today, Google launched a free app for Android and iOS devices for AdWords Express, the simplified version of Google's search advertising platform designed for small business. The app has all the features of the web version, allowing advertisers to edit ads and set targeting parameters more easily from their mobile devices. Google is also making targeting more flexible. Advertisers can target ads by their own zip code, city, state as well as in other areas around the country, though the extended targeting is available only in English-speaking countries at this time. The app is now [...]


RKG Q2 Report: US Search Ad Spend Up 23 Percent YoY, Both Google And Bing Ad Spend Rise

Q2 2014 US Paid Search Trends - RKG After slowing down after the holiday season, U.S. paid search performance metrics are up both year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter in Q2 2014 according to RKG's quarterly report. Ad spend rose 23 percent year-over-year among RKG's retail-heavy client base. Both Google and Bing saw spend increases. Non-Brand Search Trends Overall spend on Google rose 24 percent year-over-year. PLAs continued to be a key driver in Google's non-brand performance. CPCs for PLAs jumped nearly 35 percent, compared to 12 percent for non-brand text ads year-over-year. Overall CPCs rose by 29 percent compared to a [...]


Paid Search Spend Rose 21 Percent YoY In Q2, With Mobile Up 98 Percent [Covario]

Paid Search Grwoth G2 2014 Covario Global paid search investment continued its rise through the first half of 2014, according to Covario's latest quarterly analysis of search spend. Overall spend among the firm's clients rose 21 percent in the second quarter year-over-year, and 2 percent over the first quarter of 2014. Mobile search spend nearly doubled, rising 98 percent year-over-year and 6 percent quarter-over-quarter even as cost-per-click prices fell. Overall impressions dropped off 15 percent year-over-year, which Alex Funk, Covario’s director of global paid media strategy and author of the study, says is largely [...]


Should You Be Bidding On Your Brand Terms For Your Search Ads?

Incrementality of organic and paid clicks While many advertisers have bought into the idea of bidding on search terms that include their brand name, there are still plenty of smart people that question the incrementality of such a practice. We've questioned it ourselves, most recently in a 2012 study. That study looked at incremental clicks in instances where you're already appearing in the organic rankings -- something that probably happens a good deal when you bid on the terms associated with your site and your brand. Whether you're already on the side of bidding on your brand terms or not, odds are that you'll have a discussion [...]


Reassess How You Prioritize Your E-Commerce PPC Campaign Builds

ppc-paid-search-mobile-600 Over the last couple of years, the prioritization of e-commerce PPC campaign builds has shifted dramatically.With the rise of Google Shopping and with dynamic solutions now available to advertisers, standard Search Network text-ad campaign builds fall down the priority list. In today's world of e-commerce PPC, I prioritize my campaigns as follows: Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads or PLAs) Remarketing (All Types) Search Network Text Ads & Ad Extensions Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) Google Display Network Google Shopping According to RKG's Q1 2014 Digital Marketing Report, PL [...]


New Google AdWords PLA Test Groups Products By Price

Google AdWords PLAs pricing groups This could get interesting. Last month, we saw Google running a test that ranked product listing ads (PLAs) by ratings and reviews in search results. Now, a new test groups and ranks products by price. In the screenshot below, provided by CPC Strategy, PLAs are grouped in two pricing stacks -- one  for "Up to $30" and a second for "Over $30." The products in the first group are shown in order by price. Oddly, there is one outlier in the second group -- the $36.95 sandal from Nordstrom is listed after two higher priced shoes from Keen. This test could obviously have a big impact on prici [...]


New AdWords Quality Score Info: What You Need To Know

adwords-quality-score-featured By now, you've probably seen (or at least heard about) Google’s recent video and new white paper about Quality Score in AdWords. In fact, when I first heard about the updated Hal Varian video, I was a bit surprised, given that Google hasn't bothered to update it for about five years! Whenever Google officially communicates information about their various algorithms, for obvious reasons there's often more going on than meets the eye. In my column today, I'll share with you my take on what you really need to know about Google's new Quality Score information. What The Heck Is Going On? [...]


Google’s New AdWords Editor Version Offers Shopping Campaigns Support, More Display Targeting Options

adwords-editor-icon Roughly a month ahead of the rollover to Shopping Campaigns, Google has released a new version of AdWords Editor that supports the new campaign type. Google announced the old style of PLA campaigns will be shut down at some point in late August. Note that support is limited to editing Shopping Campaigns that are already set up, so you'll still need to create your new campaigns and product groups via the AdWords web interface. Other updates for display advertisers include support for more audience targeting. Interest categories and in-market audiences are now available from the "Assign Au [...]


Semantics: Google AdWords To Replace “Delete” With “Remove” In Most Instances

new-google-adwords-logo It's always seemed odd that choosing to "Delete" a campaign, for example, in AdWords doesn't actually mean the campaign will be vaporized as if it never existed. It's not possible to truly delete a campaign from an account -- that historical data remains available in perpetuity. That's good for historical records, but can be confusing for those new to AdWords. In a semantic move that has been a long time coming, Google is replacing "Delete" in AdWords with "Remove" in most cases. The change will go into effect in roughly two weeks. It's subtle, but makes sense. As Google writes in a blog [...]


Google AdWords Begins Enforcing Porn Ads Rules

adwords-movies-featured CNBC reports that Google is now banning porn businesses from utilizing their ad network. The truth is, the policy of not allowing adult ads in the Google ad network was announced in March. You can read about it on Google's help pages over here: The AdWords policies on adult sexual services, family status, and underage or non-consensual sex acts will be updated in late June 2014 to reflect a new policy on sexually explicit content. Under this policy, sexually explicit content will be prohibited, and guidelines will be clarified regarding promotion of other adult content. The change will [...]


The 10 Most Important Paid Search Developments So Far In 2014

money-mouse-ppc-600 It's been a big year so far for product listing ads on both Google and Bing. Google started putting more ads in the Knowledge Graph. Bing followed Google's lead on combining tablet and desktop traffic. And Google said it would begin stripping paid search queries from referrer strings. Now that we're halfway through the year, let's step back and look at what's happened so far in paid search. These were the 10 biggest announcements and changes to come from Bing Ads and Google AdWords in the first half of 2014. Bing Ads There were three announcements made by Bing Ads in the first hal [...]


Mobile Calls Are The New Conversions: 7 Tips For SEMs

mobile-conversions-money-shutterstock Are you seeing depressing plateaus, or even declines, in your year-over-year conversion numbers? The fact is that a huge portion of search activity is moving to mobile. Soon, mobile activity will account for over 50% of searches. The problem is that the mobile conversions don't follow the mobile searches. For many SEM accounts, this means that year-over-year conversion volumes may be stagnating, or even look like they are declining. They probably aren't; it's just less trackable as people jump devices in their journey. People grab the device at hand and execute conversions in non-linear [...]


3 Opportunities With Those New Google Shopping Campaigns

(Click to enlarge.) For those who are not necessarily familiar with Google Shopping campaigns -- let's clarify things straight away. Product listing ads (PLAs) are remaining the same as an ad format for end users, whether search marketers are using "old PLAs" or new Shopping campaigns. The novelty lies only on the campaign management side of things, including a layering system based of the Google Merchant Center feed directly in AdWords. But in my mind, some of the new Google Shopping features should have a significant impact for both advertisers and end users – here are a couple of initial thoughts. 1. [...]


YP Joins Google’s Premier SMB Partner Program

google-adwords-600 YP is the largest of the major U.S. yellow pages publishers (and local search providers), with roughly 4,000 sales and support reps and 575,000 (mostly small business) advertisers. The company has now joined the ranks of the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program. Also on the list are fellow publishers Dex Media, Hearst and hibu, as well as pure play digital agencies such as Yodle and ReachLocal. Google's criteria for joining this program include the following: Large existing customer base of small/medium sized businesses Tele field sales force with the ability to sell Google [...]


Google Beefs Up AdWords Location Extension Reporting And Targeting

google-adwords-local-map-featured Google has rolled out a couple of enhancements for paid search advertisers with brick-and-mortar locations. A new distance report for ads with location extensions show performance broken out by distance from your businesses, ranging from 0.7 miles to over 40 miles. The distance report is located from the Dimensions tab. Separate Settings For Location Extensions Within A Campaign Instead of having every every location extension within a campaign restricted to using the same setting, now location extensions can have different radius settings for targeting and bidding. For example, s [...]


Google Analytics Now Separates Brand And Non-Brand PPC Traffic

google-analytics-600 Brand and non-brand paid search terms typically perform very differently and most paid search teams analyze these sets of keywords separately. To make this task easier, Google has added a handy feature to Analytics that automatically segments brand and non-brand, or generic, paid search terms into distinct channels. No more building custom segments or filter strings. Analytics makes assumptions about which keywords are brand terms based on factors such as click-through rate, text string and domain name and buckets them in the Brand Paid Search channel. Non-brand terms are grouped under [...]


Remarketing Lists For Search Ads Can Now Use Conversion-Based Automated Bid Strategies In AdWords

google-adwords-600 Now when you enable AdWords conversion-based automated bid strategies in your Remarketing Lists For Search Ads campaigns, the predicted conversion performance of those remarketing lists will influence the bidding. Google announced on its Google+ page that remarketing list performance is now among the real-time signals such as location, browser, time of day that affect automated bid strategies in AdWords. Conversion Optimizer, target CPA and target ROAS automated bid strategies will each take into consideration the conversion performance of your RLSA lists and modify the bids when vis [...]


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