Google has just announced that AdWords enhanced campaigns are coming soon. Over the next few weeks Google will begin rolling out beta tests of AdWords enhanced campaigns to some advertisers, and will apparently be available to all in “mid” 2013. So far we don’t yet have access to a beta test, so we will keep you posted as soon as we do. When is mid 2013 – Don’t know. Perhaps June(?), perhaps it could get pushed back to late 2013 or later? We’ll see. With any big change like this we have to remain flexible and vigilant. Keep an eye out for changes to your campaign settings or campaign types available, and as with any big change, try to take things one set at a time. In the interest of trying to get ahead of the learning curve, here is the information available so far, and my opinion as to some of the possible challenges and opportunities of new enhanced campaigns.
If you are a multimedia visual type person, here is the link to the Google Ads video presentation about enhanced campaigns. (I was having some trouble playing the video from the site, so here is a link to the You Tube video page as well.) To be honest, this is more of a commercial than a learning tool, and I still felt the need for more information.
Eventually, I was able to find the written, long form help document here, which I found to be much more informative. Again, not having access to a beta test yet, there is no way to know exactly how things will actually play out, but after reading through the help document, here are some possible advantages, and concerns that stand out to me.
First of all, let me start with what seems to be the most exciting opportunity we may have with new enhanced campaigns. New “Advanced Call Metrics”!
“Advanced reports to measure new conversion types: Ability to track new conversion types, such as calls, digital downloads, and conversions across devices.”
New reports for:
- Calls: Count calls as conversions with advanced call metrics
Wow! That’s huge for call focused campaigns. Until now, you could not use calls as conversions within the AdWords interface. With third party software, coding knowledge and some fancy integration, perhaps you could track calls as conversions. But, for small business advertisers without all those resources, this could be the best thing to happen to call optimization in AdWords since Call Metrics rolled out. Now you will be able to use conversion enhanced bidding like Max CPA, or conversion focused ad rotation tools, to further improve the number of phone calls generated, and hopefully improve ROI from phone calls. I am also being hopeful that with “advanced call metrics” we will now be able to see call data at the keyword and ad level, something that, as of yet, is not available without all that fancy third party call tracking stuff.
It also looks like there will be some really cool stuff happening with ad extensions, especially sitelinks.
In enhanced campaigns, you’ll be able to use new features on four types of ad extensions: call extensions, app extensions, sitelink extensions, and offer extensions. These are called upgraded extensions. Other extensions will function as you’re used to.
The new features include:
- Create extensions for your campaigns or ad groups: You can create an extension for your campaign or ad group, which means you’ll have more control over which ads your extensions are shown with.
- Schedule your extensions: You can schedule start and end dates for your extension to run on specific days of week and times of day.
- Specify sitelink extensions you want to give preference to on mobile: For example, if you want to highlight your store locator or in-store deals to mobile users, you can create mobile-specific sitelink extensions.
- Get each extension approved individually: Each extension will go through our ad approval process separately. This means that if you create four sitelinks, for example, and three are approved and one is disapproved, then the three approved sitelinks are still eligible to appear with your ads.
- Make changes to each extension: You can edit each extension without resetting its performance statistics. By comparison, when you edit an extension in a non-enhanced campaign, we create a new extension and delete the edited one.
- Monitor each extension’s performance: We’ll show you performance data for each extension. For example, you’ll be able to see how many clicks or impressions an individual sitelink received. This means you’ll be able to better evaluate the performance of each extension.
Another advancement that was simply not available before in the AdWords UI. You could of course manually tag sitelinks, but then you were reliant upon the analytics reports to view your AdWords data. Trying to create advanced segments for each link, and for each data set is confusing, time consuming, and there is no guarantee you can get all the data you are looking for – Much less being able to use and compare it a comprehensive manner in relation to every other aspect of the campaign. Certainly, you will still be able to manually tag sitelinks to get whatever analytics data is of use to you, but now you will be able to get even more granular data with far less effort within the UI. That’s good stuff!
Now, without knowing for certain what things are going to look like and how it’s all going to work, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself complaining about potential concerns.
“Enhanced campaigns let you easily manage complex targeting, bidding, and ads for different platforms like mobile and computers all within the same campaign. Account management has also been consolidated for tablets and desktops. Additionally, with enhanced campaigns you can reduce the overall number of campaigns you need to create — you no longer need to create a separate campaign for each target device type or location.”
Why is that a concern? Well, more options leads to more possible combinations which you will then have to segment and parse the aggregate data to find the specific data you are looking for. Why do we already segment networks and devices by campaign as per best practices – For one, that way you know exactly what data in each campaign means. It’s not just the ad extensions or ad types that you optimize per campaign, it’s also budget, bidding, ROAS, and every other metric you rely on to effectively manage your account.
When you get used to doing things a certain way, big changes like this can be very scary. They can also end up being very good. Time will tell, and at this point we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. However, let’s hope that we will have the option to create “traditional” or “enhanced” campaigns. It looks like initially this will be an opt in option for beta testers, but so was the new display tab, before it rolled out to all advertisers and became mandatory. The same thing happened with the new impression share columns. We have always been told that more segmentation and optimization was better, let’s hope that this is not a push by Google to go against years of best practices, in an attempt to make AdWords easier for beginning advertisers. That was supposed to be the point of AdWords Express – How did that work out for you?
Here is an article from Search Engine Land, Which provides some more insight and an actual screen shot of what enhanced campaigns will look like.
Still more everyday – Pamela Parker’s thoughts. “Why enhanced campaigns aren’t really an upgrade or an improvement”, with a link to a change.org petition against this change. Just in case you think petitions and feedback don’t matter to Google, remember the ad rotation fiasco? Enough people responded that Google did change it’s mind, and eventually offered the “rotate indefinitely” option. Perhaps we can convince Google that more options are better than fewer options, and what’s “right or best” isn’t the same for everyone?
Also, an Article from Search Engine Watch expressing some of the benefits and concerns of enhanced campaigns.
I’m trying not to assume too much or be too negative – But, the more I read the less excited I am…
Tags: AdWords Enhanced Campaigns
January 14th, 2013 · 5 Comments
Since I first wrote about Click-to-Call only a year ago, my opinions on the matter have changed. As is often the case in life, the more you learn the more you question your previous assumptions. Since that time, it seems as though there may very well be more con’s than pro’s, when it comes to trying to create a call only campaign. This may be an option that you still want to experiment with, but as you do – Keep these things in mind:
More Phone Calls To Your Business:
Pro: Click to call only may very well generate more click-to-call clicks from mobile devices for your AdWords campaigns. If phone calls are the goal of these campaigns, you may think: “Awesome! More phone calls is exactly what I want – How could there possibly be any con’s to that!”
Con: A click-to-call click is just that, a click which initiated a phone call. That does not mean that the click-to-call click was intentional, or that a phone call was completed or received. When you use click-to-call only, any click on the ad will result in an initiated call. If the user’s intent was to click through to the website by clicking on the headline of the ad, an initiated unintended phone call may provide a “bad user experience”. Not only may you not get the call, you may get charged for a click which didn’t even result in a visit to the website.
There are several things you can do to try and prevent unintentional initiated click-to-call clicks.
1. Device targeting. Selecting all mobile devices is not enough to create a click to call only campaign. Devices such as an iPod Touch are an example of mobile devices which are capable of searching the internet, but not capable of making a phone call. Remember that your device targeting at the campaign level determines what devices your ads can show on, and the call extensions settings determine how your ads are displayed when a call extension is shown. If you target all mobile devices, then ads still may show on devices that are not capable of making a phone call – Regardless of the call extension settings.
2. A call extension must be shown with the ad. If your ad rank is not high enough to show a call extension, or another ad extension(s) is (are) shown in lieu of your call extension, then none of those clicks will result in a click-to-call. If you are trying to create a call only campaign, then make sure your call extension is your only ad extension. In addition, don’t try to “low-ball” your bids for this campaign. Find out what an acceptable cost per call is, and bid accordingly. Then segment the campaign by device, and click type to see what the ratio of mobile impressions to mobile click-to-call impressions is. Every impression for a mobile device over the the number of click-to-call impressions are impressions that could not possibly result in a click-to-call click.
3. Target only carriers capable of processing a phone call. In most cases, if a wi-fi network is available, then odds are that a carrier (cell phone service provider) network is also available. However, if the mobile device capable of making a call cannot make a call is only connecting to the internet through a wi-fi connection, then that device will not be able to initiate a call from the ad. There are so few instances where this may be an issue, the potential impression share that could be lost due to opting out of wi-fi is minimal. Consider opting out of wi-fi as a safeguard to prevent any more impressions that could not meet your goal of a call only campaign.
Just because an option or tool is available in AdWords, doesn’t mean you have to use that option. Trying to create a call only campaign with a 100% ratio of total clicks : click-to-call clicks, and 100% of those clicks resulting in intended completed phone calls may not be a possibility. After all, when do 100% of the clicks on your AdWords ads result in a goal completion (with any kind of volume)? If you still want to experiment with creating a call only campaign, by all means do! Just remember that AdWords advertising is always an ongoing process, and try not to get frustrated if you don’t immediately get the results you desire.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Call Metrics
There are many different types of marketing professionals, who specialize in many different fields. Some specialize in television, radio, print advertising, or digital marketing. Some don’t specialize in any one particular field and offer services through many different mediums. Some of those professionals are AdWords Certified Partners (as we are), and some of those certified partners specialize in AdWords advertising specifically (hey, that’s us again!).
A Google AdWords Certified Partner will have a click-able badge (like on the right) to verify their partner status. Becoming a Certified Partner is fairly easy, if of course you have some experience with, and knowledge of AdWords. As long as you register, pay for, and pass the fundamentals exam, and at least one advanced exam (advanced search, display, or analytics) – Boom! You’re a certified partner. Which means that not all certified partners are necessarily AdWords Specialists.
Heck, I first became an AdWords Certified Partner when I was still a full time mechanic specializing in primary starting and charging electrical systems. I didn’t become an AdWords specialist until I began working for Tom Sr. full time, and focused on learning all the subtle in’s and out’s of AdWords I possibly could. A process which continues to this day, and for an AdWords specialist, that process never ends.
If you are looking for an AdWords certified PPC account manager, how do you know if that certified partner is an AdWords specialist? Well, ask them some questions! For example:
What are some of the differences between AdWords and AdCenter?
What are some of the biggest recent changes to the AdWords program?
Are there any new features still in beta testing that your clients have access to and others don’t?
What do you think is the most import AdWords metric to check first and foremost everyday?
If you have any questions you would like to ask a certified Google AdWords specialist, please feel free to do so in the comments section below! If you are looking for a company with two generations of certified AdWords specialists to help you meet your PPC advertising goals, please contact us – We would be happy to help.
Tags: AdWords · More About Us
Before you consider opening an AdWords account, do yourself a favor – Learn as much as you can before you begin! The more prepared you are before you begin, the better the PPC experience, and AdWords results will be. There are several resources which are well worth reviewing before you start using Google AdWords.
The AdWords Help Center is always a good source for AdWords information in general, but the Intro To AdWords is the best place to begin. It covers several basic topics like how AdWords works, how much it costs, where your ads can appear, and you can easily expand from there to review any and all topics associated with AdWords.
There is also a multimedia version of the learning center called Learn With Google, if you prefer a more visually oriented introduction to AdWords. Several additional topics are covered such as getting online, online marketing, and managing your online presence. It’s still in beta, so you may not find everything you are looking for now, but you can always search the help center if you don’t find a particular topic covered.
The AdWords Glossary, especially the Basic AdWords Terms is a great entry level resource as well. Some of the lingo associated with PPC advertising can be confusing at first. The more familiar you are with the terminology the easier it will be to follow the learn with Google videos, and retain the information in the help center documentation.
Unfortunately, often the documentation is outdated, and in some cases outright wrong. If or more likely when you do come across a piece of documentation that seems counter to what else you have read, or is not very clear, you can always head on over the the AdWords Community and ask a question. There are many competent, capable, and experienced professionals who are always willing to help others learn about AdWords.
If you have a question about possibly using AdWords that you can’t find an answer to, you can always ask us in the comments section below of course. Or, if you know you want to start using Google AdWords, but are looking for someone to help you set up or manage your account you can contact us here. We have clients in many different industries – Some large businesses, some small – We are always ready and able to help our clients achieve their PPC advertising goals!
Tags: AdWords Basics
You may be wondering – Does AdWords really work? In a word – YES!
This is of course a bit of a loaded question. Perhaps the question you should be asking is: Can AdWords work for me? The answer is, as always – Well, that depends…
First of all you have to have some kind of website to advertise. That site and the products or services you are offering have to comply with the AdWords Terms and Conditions. Most importantly, you must know that AdWords is an advertising medium, and just like any advertising medium, you shouldn’t expect to just “flip a switch” and get rich quick. Building a business is a process, it takes time, effort, and continual re-investment.
Regardless of what kind of business you are running, before you begin with AdWords you should also ask yourself – What is my goal, what is it that I want to accomplish by using AdWords?
If you are just starting out, and you simply want to get some more traffic to your site, generate more interest in or awareness of your business, start small. If you begin with a large initial investment in adbuy, sure you can “buy” a lot of traffic in a very short time, but it takes time to find out what kind of traffic you are buying. Even the most experienced PPC account mangers with the most state of the art tools at their disposal don’t have a crystal ball which can tell them ahead of time what will happen. The more experience and tools you have, the quicker and more effectively you will be able to respond to the situation which presents itself. However, it’s important to remember that just because you are using a computer program to advertise, does not mean that you are marketing your business to a computer program.
You have to connect with your audience to run an effective AdWords campaign. One of the great equalizers of AdWords is that no matter how computer savvy you are, or are not, it is always the users viewing the ads that determine whether or not AdWords works for you. Do they find your ads interesting? Does your website offer something unique that will keep the user engaged? How do you then turn that interest and engagement into a sale? All those moving parts have to work together as part of a holistic approach for AdWords to work for you.
There are never any easy answers when it comes to AdWords. At least, none which don’t come with a subtle dose of sarcasm. AdWords takes time to learn, and sometimes we all just need a little help. We here at TCC are always available to help our clients meet their advertising goals. If you have any questions about AdWords, and how it can work for you, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or contact us directly.
Tags: AdWords Basics
December 12th, 2012 · 1 Comment
In the comments section of my last post on the new click type segment, someone asked me:
“Do you have any data to show that this line does include actual “completed” phone calls on mobile and I shouldn’t trust the straight-up “mobile click-to-call” stats under segmenting a campaign?”
First of all, I have never trusted that the mobile click to call clicks were any kind of an accurate representation of completed mobile calls. The numbers just never added up. However, that all changed with this new click type segment.
Just as with the reported manually dialed calls in the click type segment, reported received calls from the dimensions tab lasting at least thirty seconds, report as calls in the click type segment.
For a single campaign, for the first seven days of December there are six received mobile calls over thirty seconds in the dimensions tab, and six reported tracked mobile calls in the click type segment.
Granted, this is a very small data set, and the segment is so new there may still be some bugs that need to be worked out, but this segment is a much more accurate representation of actual completed phone calls.
Take a look in your accounts, what do you see that stands out to you? There is still no official Google documentation on the matter, so it’s up to us to figure out what this new segment means at this point. Please feel free to share any observations you have in the comments section below, we look forward to hearing from you!
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Call Metrics · Mobile devices
With the continued increases in mobile device (smart phone) sales, it’s more important now than ever to have a mobile strategy in place. The approach to mobile advertising cannot simply be just to duplicate your PC/tablet campaigns, and assign different bids. Competition is ever increasing, as well as mobile device users expectations. Here are three tips to improve the performance of your mobile device targeted campaigns:
1. The most important thing to remember (and a lesson I learned the hard way) is make sure you use mobile friendly pages, or mobile apps for your destination URL’s. If you simply land on your desktop site, your bounce rates will be horrendous! Think about it – Who wants to be surfing the net on their smart phone, and be re-directed to a site which doesn’t load properly, and can’t be effectively used with your device? If you don’t have a mobile friendly site, or a mobile device app, you may want to consider pausing your mobile device campaigns (or removing mobile devices from active campaigns), and put those resources towards optimizing your website to accommodate mobile devices.
2. Android devices and iOS devices are not the same thing. I know it sounds like a lot of extra work, but if you have already put in the effort to optimize your site for mobile device users, it’s well worth the effort to create separate campaigns for each device OS. Especially if your are landing on your apps page. Target Android devices and land on your Android app, and target iOS devices to land on your iOS app pages. If you are using a mobile site destination URL, it’s still worth the effort to isolate your mobile campaigns by OS. Bids, budget, and various KPI’s will differ between devices and audiences.
3. Know your audience! Just as Google users exhibit different behaviors than Bing users, there are different demographics that each device OS appeals to, and you shouldn’t treat those audiences the same. Android devices are more plentiful and made by several different manufacturers. Where as iPhones are all made by Apple, and the brand loyalty can be quite extreme. You will have a hard time getting permission to use trademarked terms in your ad copy, but keywords, targeting methods, even content pages viewed and on site engagement behaviors will differ between the two audiences.
These few tips are no substitute for the ABT’s of PPC advertising – Always Be Testing! The more you isolate and optimize your campaigns the more appealing the personalized message will be for each unique user. Mobile devices are no exception. The tide has turned, and mobile users have more options now than ever. If you don’t reach out to your audience, your competitors will.
Step by step guide to targeting mobile apps.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Strategy · Mobile devices
December 7th, 2012 · 2 Comments
Google recently came out with a new campaign type for the display network, mobile app targeted campaigns. With mobile device sales set to outpace PC sales by 2015, it’s important not to wait until it’s too late to get ahead of the mobile device curve. Before last Christmas tablet sales and usage were nothing compared to what they are today. All the buzz this Christmas is about the expected explosion in mobile device sales. Setting up a mobile device targeted campaign couldn’t be easier with this new campaign feature, and it’s well worth exploring sooner rather than later. Here the three easy steps to set up a mobile app targeted campaign:
1. First, select create a new campaign, and click display network only.
2. Select the mobile apps campaign type, and select mobile devices only. The line between tablets and PC computers is almost indistinguishable nowadays. Just because a tablet is a “mobile device” as per Google’s device settings, doesn’t mean that the user behavior is the same for tablets as smart phones.
3. Now comes the really awesome part! It has never been this easy to create both text and image ads at the same time. The format and display of both ad types is different in mobile apps than it is for traditional display network placements. Google couldn’t have made it easier to create properly formatted ads with this new campaign setup.
That’s it! Just click save and you have now created your first mobile app targeted campaign. Of course being a brand new platform there may be some hiccups along the way. If or more likely when a hiccup occurs, try not to worry too much. If you get started exploring this new option sooner rather than later, you will plenty of time to refine and optimize your mobile app targeted campaign before your competitors catch up!
Tips and strategies for targeting mobile devices.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Strategy · Google Display Network
December 7th, 2012 · 2 Comments
Aha! At last we can finally answer the question, why doesn’t the click type segment reported mobile click to call clicks match up to the dimensions tab reported received calls.
It has been such an issue of confusion and frustration for so long, and we were all left to assume why these anomalies occurred. (My observations on the matter) We don’t have to assume anymore now we can know, and knowing is half the battle!
The problem had always been knowing whether or not the reported click to call clicks actually resulted in intentional, completed phone calls.
We still have to assume (without a dedicated AdWords line) that the reported received calls in the dimensions tab were actually received calls, but of course there’s only one way to actually verify that (with a dedicated AdWords line!).
Now we can see, in the campaigns tab, using the click type segment how many reported received calls occurred from both mobile devices, and manually dialed phone calls.
As you can see, there is still a large discrepancy between click to call clicks, and the number of actually received calls. This is something that we always assumed was happening – Not all users who clicked the click to call button were actually interested in making a call – But now we know for sure how many of those click to call clicks were intended , completed phone calls, without having to go back and forth between the click type segment and the dimensions tab. What’s even worse, is the dimensions tab doesn’t give you any totals, so you have to manually add those totals (what a pain).
We have all been waiting, wondering, and hoping for the day when this would happen, and now that day has come! Since there is not yet any announcement on Inside AdWords I assume that this segment may not yet be available to all. Keep an eye out, double check your click type segment, and when an update from AdWords comes out, I will certainly post it here. One thing I’m certain about is that this is a huge improvement!
Analyzing the new tracked mobile calls segment.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Call Metrics
AdWords Call Extensions are now eligible to be shown for mobile app ads. Since mobile apps are part of the Google Display Network, this marks the first time that phone calls can be generated from a display network targeted campaign. So make sure that any display campaigns opted into mobile devices have call extensions enabled.
From Inside Adwords:
“Call Extensions for in-app ads – We also recently introduced Call Extensions for ads showing in apps on the Google Display Network. Now in addition to click-to-call ads across the mobile web, advertisers can also drive calls from ads in more than 300,000 mobile apps.”
In addition, Google has also announced that call extensions are now available in Germany, and will be rolling out to even more countries soon.
Tags: AdWords · AdWords Call Metrics · AdWords Strategy