Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: April 25, 2013 4:42 pm

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It wasn’t too long ago that AdWords introduced Enhanced Campaigns, allowing marketers to target their campaigns more accordingly. Their aim? For advertisers to be able to target people based on the time of the day, location and device they’re using.

Now they’ve introduced an upgrade centre alongside to make upgrading easier for marketers with lots of campaigns to manage. Users will be able to upgrade several campaigns at a time, or merge campaigns in a few steps.

The new centre will allow marketers two options for using the upgrade centre.

Google explains:

“1. Bulk upgrade

This option provides a fast way to upgrade multiple campaigns that don’t need to be merged. Rather than upgrade campaigns one at a time, you can select several campaigns, choose a mobile bid adjustment, view traffic estimates, and upgrade with fewer clicks.

2. Merge and upgrade

If you have search-only or search+display campaigns that have similar keywords and location targets, the upgrade center automatically identifies them as candidates to merge. You’ll then be able to preview and adjust the proposed campaign settings, ad groups, and extensions for the merged campaign. By default, ad groups and budgets will be combined. Other campaign level settings and extensions in the Primary campaign will override those in the Secondary campaign.”

The introduction should hopefully make managing campaigns far easier for PPC managers and mean that PPC campaigns can be far more easily managed and targeted to the right people – meaning that money and time invested in PPC campaigns will be more worthwhile than ever.

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: April 2, 2013 1:46 pm

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As a continuation from a post just a few weeks ago, “Google’s Ads Aren’t Numbered”, Google has taken a step further with the use of phone numbers. As of 2 weeks ago, AdWords users were no longer permitted to submit ad text that contained a phone number as this would be disapproved.

This morning, I was welcomed into one of our clients’ accounts with this lovely message:

The learn more link forwards you to this page: http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/176098?hl=en-GB&rd=1 .

However, the section that we should really be interested in is this:Phone numbers and vanity phone numbers can’t be used anywhere in ad text or in a sitelinks extension because doing so is confusing to users who might be expecting to be led to a call session as opposed to a website. To let customers call you directly from your ad, use call extensions instead.”

So we have been warned and we have just a few weeks to implement the required changes, or we must feel the wrath of Google. Understandably, the use of a number in the ad text as well as using a call extension can seem a little pointless, especially from Google’s perspective. Despite the fact that we marketers think it is a brilliant strategy and really emphasises the user to make a call, this is Google’s own way of ensuring quality listings.

Instead of complaining, it’s important to develop a strategy quickly to prepare for another change in the AdWords horizon. The easiest thing to do would be to use the AdWords editor and replace the phone number with “us now” or “today”. Doing this doesn’t really add much to the ad so maybe it could be worth using dynamic keyword insertion to make the ad more relevant in terms of quality score and directly to the user. For arguments sake, let’s say you are a florist in Manchester. Your ad might now say: “Call Now for Manchester Florists”. In my opinion this looks very compelling and relevant, certainly more so than just “Call Us Now”.

We will be preparing for the new implementations by keeping our ads that have a phone number and introducing are newly revised ads, running them side by side. This will allow us to gather data and compare the two different ad formats, along with what substitution performs the best. Then when Google decides to implement these changes we will be fully prepared and won’t have to make any changes to the account.

 

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 27, 2013 4:28 pm

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Today a couple of members of our PPC Team, more specifically: Evaldas Balcius and Lewis Austin set off to London to attend the Google Engage for Agencies event. All in all it was a really insightful meeting that helped to outline the importance of Google’s latest and greatest developments.

Enhanced Campaigns

A major focus and point of interest for the agencies was the infamous enhanced campaigns. The main benefit of enhanced campaigns was driven by context. This means that a difference in context will result in a difference in behaviour, so to make the most of these moments, we need to be able to provide content that will encourage the user to convert.

Taking the example of Niamh Mahon; if I have a pizza restaurant and someone is searching for “pizza”, on a mobile device whilst in a 1 mile radius of my store at 7PM. It is a pretty safe bet to assume that the searcher is going home and would like to grab a pizza on the way back. This context means that the searcher is very interested in making a purchase as soon as possible. As a business, it is these moments in time that are invaluable to my business and to making a sale. Based on these behaviours, I can use enhanced campaigns to set bid adjustments for: mobile devices, location and even time of day.

YouTube

We were then brought up to speed with YouTube, not so much the stats as we all know that YouTube is the giant in video sharing networks. More so about the advertising opportunities that YouTube can offer. One interesting feature available is road blocking, this is similar to sponsoring a channel, so your ad will show for the majority of a selected channels’ videos. By doing this, you can display your message to an audience who you deem to have an interest in your product. Another good point to remember is that you won’t be charged for your ad if a viewer clicks the skip button on your ad, which will save you a lot of money and, give you 5 seconds of free exposure.

Mobile Devices

The last presentation was an eye opener of how we as consumers use different devices and methods to search. It was interesting to see that you can use Google accounts to have all of your browsing data accessible across all of your devices. This means that if I was in a shop and saw a pair of sneakers that I really liked, but wasn’t 100% about the price, I could run a search using the barcode and compare online prices to what is in store. If I feel that the high tops are a little cheaper online, I could go home and open up my laptop, load up chrome and continue where I left off on my mobile.

I think that we can take a lot away from Google Engage this year, in terms of future developments and how our target market is predicted to evolve technologically in years to come.

Before you all run off to research more about enhanced campaigns; here is a quick snapshot of Google Engage for Agencies this year, our Evaldas Balcius is in there somewhere, can you see him?

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 20, 2013 5:51 pm

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Google did explain when the enhanced campaigns were rolled out, that the call extensions feature would make using phone numbers in ad text a thing of the past. It looks like today is the day.

It seems as though ads that are posted as of today will be disapproved if they have phone numbers in them, however I think that ad text that has been approved in the past will remain safe, or that’s what I’m hoping for.

For those that have posted ads and are still waiting for approval, if they contain a phone number, then they are likely to be disapproved just like mine, so you might as well save yourself even more waiting time and submit some close variants.

PPC Managers and AdWords users will now have to think of another call to action to use. The phone number insertion method looked great and in some cases actually received calls. If you were extra sneaky, you would have managed to utilise a number along with call extensions, which showed your number twice, obviously this is what Google is trying to avoid.

It seems as though we will have to go back to “call us now” and our other all time favourites.

 

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 13, 2013 12:51 pm

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On the fateful day of March 11th , Google released an article about the up and coming access update to Google Analytics. This means that now you can grant access based on property level, as well as the previous situation of profile and account level. Also there are now three different three different levels of account access: view, edit and manage users.

This update is definitely one that will be welcomed with open arms. From an agency point of view, Analytics is about to become a lot more convenient. Previously it was often the case where a client would grant access to the whole account and sometimes clients will have multiple domains which are irrelevant to the services you are providing. This means that your profile list in GA becomes colossal; hopefully this update will help to tidy things up. With regards to the access levels, it looks like some of the inspiration for this has been taken from AdWords. This is a useful feature because now agencies can replicate account access structure into their Analytics.

Businesses will also find benefit from these updates. Data can be a very important thing and a lot of people are not so enthusiastic about simply handing over this information. Now businesses have more control over their data and who can access it.

Google has said that the update will be rolled out over the next few weeks, so some people will be getting this sooner rather than later. However, there is no need to panic about account access levels as if you are currently an admin, you will be upgraded to have full rights.

Posted by: Stacey Cosens

Posted on: March 11, 2013 4:37 pm

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New research by Bunnyfoot has revealed that 40% of consumers are unaware that Google Adwords are adverts. 41 out of 100 individuals did not know that the champagne coloured box was paid-for adverts and instead believed they were the most authoritative links – highlighting that many consumers are unaware of the difference between paid and organic search listings.

81% of users clicked on Google Adwords listings as opposed to natural rankings, proving that PPC could be a valuable investment for businesses.

According to previous research from 2011 by Group M UK and Nielsen – women are more likely to click on paid search links. It also showed that the older someone is, the more likely it is that they will click an ad, with the most prevalent group over the age of 55.

This new research should make marketers aware that there are consumers on the internet that aren’t aware that adwords are ads and begin to consider it as an addition to their search campaign. The obvious benefit of PPC is that you’ll likely see much quicker results and you’ll find yourself on the front page as soon as it’s all set up.

For businesses that want quick results, PPC could be the answer and is a great option if you have the budget and resources to support it. Yet if you can no longer pay for PPC, you’ll disappear from the front page.

However, natural search is hugely valuable and with the right kind of campaign can show impressive work over weeks or months as well as maintaining a high ranking if done well. You’ll also attract visitors that avoid search engine ads.

Whether you choose to focus on one campaign or both, working on a search campaign is vital to remain ahead of the competition.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: March 7, 2013 10:12 am

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Since its launch in 2000, AdWords has made a big impression and proven to be one of the most effective advertising tools on the internet. Google’s revenue for 2012 from AdWords alone was $42.5 billion American dollars, an indication of how popular the device is. The short text based adverts consisting of one headline of 25 characters and two additional text lines of 35 characters each are said to reach at least 81 percent of users on search results. Findings like this prove just how important PPC is and how significant it is to get it right. In light of this a new software has been launched which allows PPC to be determined by the weather.

The new WeatherFIT is a cloud based software program that controls your adverts so that they are displayed depending on the weather. The unique platform delivers AdWords adverts based on real time localised climate conditions. The program allows users to set up various campaigns based on various weather conditions. For instance if it is raining in Liverpool, you could have your campaign running for an umbrella company, however, if it is sunny in London your campaign would not run in the Capital. The software is programmed so that adverts will only show if they meet the weather criteria you have set.

Furthermore weather sensitivity analysis by the Met Office allows you to see first- hand the impact of weather on your sales in the past. It is possible to use this knowledge on a real time basis for your PPC strategy giving you the highest amount of potential customers at any relevant time and as a result makes your campaign as cost effective as possible.

Posted by: Lewis Austin

Posted on: March 6, 2013 4:57 pm

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According to Knotice, 41% of all emails are opened using a mobile device. The search volume conducted on a smartphone doubles almost every month and to top it all off, 25% of UK purchases are made using a mobile device. Those are some hard facts and to a marketer or business, should emphasise how important mobile optimisation is.

For those of you who don’t spend every waking minute following Google’s every move, Google AdWords released a huge update called enhanced campaigns. There are some advantages to be gained from this such as improved site links, but the main focus on this is to target mobiles. By making all ads display in the mobile search results, it ties the hands of businesses and agencies using AdWords. Now they must create a mobile friendly landing page, or suffer a loss at the hands of an increased bounce rate and much lower conversion rate.

It is safe to say that all the top dogs are barking about mobile. All the stats are available and there is the evidence to prove its ROI.

Let’s think about this for a second though, Google does encourage businesses to “think like their customers”. Cast your mind back to when you last whipped out your smart phone and looked for information, be it pizza, a bakery or a fact to prove that you do know what you’re talking about in the pub. You scroll through the results and find something promising and chances are if you’re not on EE and in London, you’ll be waiting a while but that’s ok because you want to see this page.

As the page finally loads next to a new day dawning, you have to navigate your way through a huge website with tiny text and elements of flash. To get any good content, you have to pinch your phone being careful not to mis-click and lose all your hard work, and then if you finally find what you are after, you click the link and your thumb or finger is “too” big, so you’re sent off to another page and the journey begins again!

From a business point of view, if a mobile user is browsing on their phone and clicks through to your site, chance are that they are pretty engaged and interested in converting. All you have to do is make it as easy as possible for them to find what they want.

An alternative to getting a high rank or a page one ranking in a search engine results page ranking is via advertising. One advertising method that is commonly done via the internet is through the pay-per-click method or commonly known as PPC. Pay-per-click method of advertising can either make or break your business. This is how fragile and how risky it is to conduct a pay-per-click campaign. We have heard of stories of people who became successful with their online business by promoting it via PPC, sadly however, we also have heard of those who lost their business through PPC because of the fact that their campaign was mismanaged. So if you have decided to conduct PPC you can still do it on your own or hire an SEO Company or SEO consultant to help you out. Either way you also have to learn more about the inner workings of PPC in order for you to better prepare yourself in handling your PPC campaign.

Things to Consider in PPC

The following are the things that you should consider if you want to conduct a PPC campaign for your website:

1. Consider Your Budget – unlike in Search Engine Optimisation, PPC Campaigns require money to run. You need to allocate specific budget to your bids on keywords that you want your site to rank for and be displayed on specific ad spaces.

2. Be Wary of Content Networks – if you would like to include your ad to be displayed on content networks it would be best if you would monitor this campaign separately, this is because of the fact that there are several spammy content networks that would give you a high number of clicks, which you have to pay for, but low number of conversions thus you would just be spending a lot of money for little or no return of investment.

3. Identify Your Target – if your product is specifically for a certain geo-location then it would not be wise to bid on a keyword that would cover the international market. This way you would only be spending for clicks that are truly targeted to your locality of choice.

4. Use the Right Keyword – relevance is the key when you choose the keyword you are going to bid on. Make sure that the keywords you will be bidding on is directly relevant to the services, products or items that your site is providing or selling. This way you can only have targeted visitors who are really interested on what you are offering making them the visitors where you can get the highest possibility of conversion.

Notes on PPC Account Audit

If you are unsure on how Pay Per Click works but have been motivated by the different success stories of those who have used such method, then do not fret. You only have to hire the best PPC Specialists who can conduct PPC campaigns and PPC Account Audits to make sure that you are on track with your campaign and that you are gaining more than you are spending in advertising.

 

A lot of people were shocked at the new steps that Yahoo is trying to achieve, for those who have been following the search engine wars knows that Yahoo have been ousted by Google in the number one spot for the most used search engine. Since then Yahoo have been trying it’s best to compete with Google and regain the top spot to no avail. It even took the search engine pioneer to merge or enter into agreement with another of Google’s rival, Microsoft’s Bing.

The Yahoo Dilemma

After Yahoo fell from the rankings and have consistently owned only a small portion in the search engine users’ pie, the company entered into a ten year deal with Microsoft with the hopes that it would boost their share of search engine users. Up to today however there have been little to no significant change in their share of search engine users. This explains why Yahoo’s stock value has continued to plummet, and Yahoo would not want to have that so they had several changes especially in the ranks of their CEO. Recent Yahoo CEO’s did not last long and have been replaced only to find out that they will also be replaced. This may be attributed with the fact that Yahoo’s search battle with Google still puts them at the losing end.

CEO Search Ends?

Yahoo of course would like to get the company back on track as still there are investors that are willing to fund the company. The latest moves by Yahoo came as a surprise for some because of the fact that they were able to net or convince one of Google’s executive who is instrumental in their success in search among other Google products. This Google executive is in the person of Marissa Mayer, known as Google’s 20th employee and was the designer of what known to be Google’s iconic web page. Prior to taking the CEO post at Yahoo, Mayer was heading the local places venture of Google among other projects.

The Basis of Yahoo’s Choice

According to Yahoo’s spokesperson the  reason why Marissa Mayer was chosen was because she stands as an advocate for the user, her background proves that she is able to create her ideas revolving around the user and not mainly on advertising. This would mean therefore that there is a huge possibility that Yahoo may yet again move into another direction with Mayer at the helm.

What To Expect

The fact that Mayer came from the search engine giant, Google, she might apply the different strategies that she may have implemented or have learned from Google, or maybe do it better. Already the news about her transfer to Yahoo gave positive effects to the company as their stock rose to 2% minutes after the announcement of Yahoo’s new CEO. If everything falls into place Yahoo might again become a significant signal in the radar of every SEO Company and SEO consultants and with a savvy marketing team Yahoo may also gain advertisers through their different advertising programs like their own version of the PPC. One this is for sure, Yahoo is not done yet and Google may have to prepare for another battle.

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