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Conversion Metrics Now Available In Google AdWords Bid Simulator

google-adwords-square-logo The AdWords Bid Simulator tool now offers conversion estimates in addition to impressions and clicks to show how bid changes may affect conversion volume and values. For each bid option shown in the simulator, the bid simulator provides the number of conversions -- both 1-per click and many-per-click -- and conversion values if assigned or set. Conversion estimates show how many clicks might result in a conversion within one day, and the estimates are based on "a recent 7 day period". (Notice Google here does not say the most recent 7 days.) Because the bid simulator is based on a seven day [...]

Holiday PPC Tips From Back-To-School Season: How BookRenter Faced Down Bigger Competitors & Rising CPCs

shutterstock_126762251 shopping As online businesses prepare to ramp up their holiday paid search campaigns, it can be instructive to look at insights from the retail's second biggest season: back-to-school. For, an online text book rental company, back-to-school is its holiday season.  Jean-Michel Boujon, BookRenter's Marketing Director, discussed some of the paid search challenges his company faced this year and how, despite increased competition and soaring CPCs, he says they managed to grow their search traffic faster than the industry. When BookRenter launched in2007, the company’s main challenge w [...]

3 Ways B2B Search Marketers Can Stand Out With Rich Ad Formats

b2b-building-blocks We all know B2B customers differ from regular consumers for a variety of reasons. Their purchase cycle is longer, as they have to consult more options before pulling the trigger on signing a contract for a solution or purchasing a product. There is also more risk involved when a B2B client finally makes a purchase, as the success of their business may hinge on the decisions they make. We also know it's critical for paid search to be present to finally close the loop on the sale or lead when that B2B client is ready. But when the search engine results page is a sea of text ads and organic li [...]

Google AdWords Yellow “Ad” Icon Spotted On Desktop SERPs In UK

adwords-mobile-ad-icon The bold yellow "Ad" icon that started showing up in Google search results on smartphones in September, now appear to be  getting a test run in the UK. This weekend, Ashley Williams, SEO Project Lead at Summit Media in the UK, noticed the icon appearing in the SERPs for every query he performed on his desktop. Here is what it looks like:   In the new design, the yellow shading behind the ads is gone and a thin gray line separates the top set of ads from the organic listings, and the yellow icon is displayed at the top of the right rail ads. The "Ads related to [search query] [...]

The New Visual Brand Ads: What Google Banners & Bing Hero Ads Mean For Search

bing-google-banner-hero-featured In the past two weeks, both Microsoft and Google began testing display-style ads that appear on search results for select brand queries. Many see the introduction of these ads as a money grab to get brands to pay for traffic they would otherwise get for free, an assault on SEO, and the further "brandification" of SERPs that caters to large companies (and hurt smaller ones). Others see it as search maturing toward traditional advertising and a natural extension of a more visually-driven Internet.     Google's test ads, called Visual Search Ads are simple banners that display [...]

Google Testing New AdWords Site Search Extension

google-adwords-square-logo A new flavor of AdWords form extensions has been spotted. It's a site search box, and according to Google, this test is related to the drop-down navigation extension seen in August. Users can perform an internal site search of the advertiser's web site right from the search results. After users types in a search query and clicks the "Search Now" button, they are taken to the product search results page on the advertiser's site. In other words, internal site search results become the landing page. This could be a powerful extension, in particular, for retailers advertising on category key [...]

Microsoft Pilots Giant Brand “Hero Ads” In Bing Smart Search For Windows 8.1

bing-hero-ads-featured Today, Microsoft unveiled a new ad unit for branded search called Hero Ads. The new units are appearing on select exact match brand queries in Smart Search on Windows 8.1. Consider these ads as the front window or as David Ku, Microsoft VP of engineering referred to them, "a brand's effective home page on the search results". The ad units occupy the entire initial frame of results on Smart Search and offer rich visuals and navigational sitelinks. In the Range Rover example below, there are links to allow users to take a specific action such as Request A Quote, Schedule a Test Drive or navig [...]

Microsoft Provides More Clarity On Bing Ads Microsoft Account Sign-In

bing-ads-new-240px Last week, users began seeing prompts to set up Microsoft account log-ins for their Bing Ads accounts. Some users expressed consternation about the changes and log-in errors they were experiencing when trying to postpone the new process. Today, to mitigate customer angst and make the process as seamless as possible, the Bing Ads team posted an updated FAQ and announced a change to the 2-step verification requirements on the Bing Ads community blog. The first point made clear in the post is that the new sign-on process is not required for existing users before the end of the year. Upon sign- [...]

Google Changes AdWords Campaign ‘Limited By Budget’ Estimator

google-adwords-square-logo Google has rolled out a new campaign daily budget estimator for campaigns with the "limited by budget" alert in AdWords. Sergey Rusak of WordStream tweeted the new pop-up view earlier today. The updated budget estimator provides estimated weekly clicks and impressions and cost per week for each proposed budget setting. The graph no longer displays a historical picture of the additional clicks or impressions your campaign would have received by day over the past week if your budget had been set higher. For example, you used to be [...]

FAQ: All About The Banner Ad Test In Google’s Search Results

google-display-ads-featured Yesterday, Search Engine Land broke the news that Google is running a test to show banner ads on branded search results. While the search giant has introduced images to its ad formats, including product listing ads and image extensions, the introduction of banner ads is a noticeable change for the company. Here's what we know so far. Do these new ads include the image banner and text listings? Despite appearances, the ad is comprised of the image banner only. In the Virgin America screenshot below (sent to us by @SynrgyHQ), for example, the text listing for and subs [...]

The Double Serving Myth: When One Company Monopolizes PPC Ad Results

monopoly-game-featured Here are two scenarios that are currently keeping many PPC advertisers up at night -- maybe you're one of them: A parent company buys up a significant portion of the competitors in a sector, and with the backing of large budgets,  advertises each site on AdWords and Bing Ads, shutting out most of the competition. A parent company launches several brands in the same sector and advertises them all with the same keywords on AdWords and Bing Ads, shutting competition out of the auction. Cases of one player monopolizing ad share happens more than you may realize, often devastating the onc [...]

Google Launches Shopping Campaigns To Ease PLA Management

google shopping While Google's switch to paid Product Listing Ads for Google Shopping has proven wildly successful, growth has likely been hindered by the fact that setting up and managing Product Listing Ad campaigns for Google Shopping has been plagued with complexity. Today, Google announced a new campaign type called Shopping Campaigns designed to  make it easier for advertisers to manage PLAs. The key feature in Shopping campaigns is that feed data will now be visible from within AdWords, rather than being walled off in Google Merchant Center. You'll be able to see attributes in your Google Merchant [...]

Google Launches Expanded AdWords PLAs On Mobile Devices

google-shopping-products-featured Google rolled out product listing ads (PLAs) on mobile devices in March. Now the company has launched an updated display for PLAs on smartphones that allows more products to be displayed from the search results page. Users can swipe to see more PLAs from their smartphones. Google also enlarged the product images and product titles for mobile PLAs. According to Google, early tests of the updated view have shown to drive more traffic to retailers. [...]

Google AdWords Third-Party “Review Extensions” Start Rolling Out To All Accounts

adwords-quality-score-featured In June, Google announced the beta release of Review Extensions which allow advertisers to append a quote of endorsement from a reputable publication in their AdWords ads. Today, these Review Extensions will begin to roll out to all AdWords accounts. You should see the Review Extensions option under the Ad extensions tab in your account within the next few days. The blurb you include in your ads can be a paraphrased review or an exact quote from the publication. Review Extensions can take a few days to be approved. Google recommends setting one Review Extension at the campaign level fo [...]

Bing Ads Analysis Tools Go Live: Dimensions Tab, Performance Comparison Graph

bing-ads-square Bing Ads launched two very handy tools today that make account analysis from within the web interface a reality. The Dimensions Tab provides a shortcut to performing campaign analysis and includes access the fantastic Distribution graph. If you're not using the distribution graph already, do yourself a favor and start. The graph is hidden at log-in, so you need to click on the orange arrow for it to display. From the Dimensions Tab, you can drill into a variety of "dimensions" including time, search terms, location, publisher website (complete with Syndicated Search Network partners), desti [...]

AdWords Smartphone CPCs Drop Sharply After Enhanced Campaigns Transition [RKG Report]

Mobile CPCs versus Desktop Q3 2013 With two months of enhanced campaigns behind us, RKG's Q3 Digital Marketing Report offers a look at the near-term impact of the roll-out on its client set, which includes 40 of the top 500 online retailers. Most metrics remained relatively stable; however, the effects were seen in smartphones where CPCs dropped significantly after the transition. RKG transtioned most campaigns to enhanced in late June after refining changes to its in-house bidding technology. As the graph below shows, CPCs dropped dramatically after the transition. The agency offers two reasons for the huge drop: 1. bids we [...]

Study Finds Small Businesses Waste 25 Percent Of Their PPC Budgets

money-garbage-shutterstock While pay-per-click marketing has become an integral part of many small businesses' marketing plans, most SMBs struggle to find the time and resources to manage their PPC campaigns. A new study finds that, due to managerial and strategic errors, SMBs inadvertently waste a quarter of their paid search budgets. Paid search software firm, WordStream, conducted the study by reviewing the accounts of 500 small and mid-sized business clients who manage their own AdWords accounts. WordStream found that less than half of the businesses have conversion tracking installed on their landing pages. A la [...]

Local Google Shopping PLAs And Local Storefronts Roll Out To Limited Set Of Retailers

google-shopping-featured Today, Google is making public what several speakers at SMX East alluded to last week: local availability for Product Listing Ads. The latest iteration of Google's wildly successful Product Listing Ads, which will be referred to simply "Local PLAs" in this article, are currently available to a select set of US based retailers such as REI and Sephora. When users click on a Local PLA, they are taken to a local storefront -- yet another new feature -- which includes product detail and availability, related items available in that location, store hours and directions and other typical Google Pl [...]

Bing Ads Launches Its Own “Express” Program For Local Small Businesses

bing-ads-express-logo This week, Bing Ads unveiled Bing Ads Express, a pay-per-click program for small local businesses that is clearly modeled on Google's AdWords Express program. Businesses can launch a single ad campaign tied to their Bing business listing and geo-target the ad to show in their locality. There is a monthly minimum spend requirement of $50. Beyond that, advertisers can control their spend. Whereas AdWords Express customers have the option to use Google+ pages in lieu of a website, Bing Ads Express customers can use their Facebook page or another web page that is associated with your busi [...]

The Right Way To Do Click-To-Call In An Enhanced Campaign World

SMX East - Up Close Logo Earlier this week, I attended the How To Do Click-To-Call In An Enhanced Campaign World session at SMX East. As a search usability professional, my primary interest is to understand not only how searchers locate and discover desired content, but also why searchers make specific choices. For example, when does a searcher prefer to use a smartphone or some other mobile device to access desired content? Is there a clear benefit for using a mobile device, such as convenience or urgency? If so, can ad analytics truly help me understand what mobile searchers prefer to see and click on, and their [...]

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