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GOOGLE ADWORDS EXPERT & CONSULTANT

Category Archives: PPC

Test The Impact Of Changes To Your Campaigns with AdWords Campaign Drafts

Over the last few weeks, AdWords has been slowly rolling out campaign drafts and several of the accounts I manage now have that feature as an option. AdWords campaign drafts will enable you to test the impact of changes you are considering with a traffic split in experiment mode, so that you can easily view the impact on your data before fully committing to a change that could have a negative implication.

To locate drafts, click into one of your campaigns and you’ll see a new “Drafts” button next to the date range widget.

adwords_camapign_drafts

Click on the drop-down and choose to create a new draft.

create_draft

Once you have named your draft, you’ll be taken to a mirror campaign mode, where you can make changes you’re looking to test just like you would in a regular campaign. For example, you may want to switch from manual bidding to Conversion Optimizer CPA bidding or you could test the impact of raising mobile bids.

Once you’ve edited your draft campaign, click on the “Apply” button on the top right of the screen next to the dates and choose the run this as an experiment.

Choose your experiment settings, including experiment split, which is the percentage of your campaign’s budget that’s allocated to your experiment.

You’ll be able to check in on this experiment and how it’s performing in your campaign management page by clicking on “All experiments” just above the shared library link on the bottom left.

Here’s a snapshot of what it looks like when you have an experiment in progress.

Not only can you see the differences between performances in your original campaign and experiment mode (indicated with up or down arrows), but Google also shows you if a difference is statistically significant or likely not due to chance.

If the changes you have been testing are having a positive impact, you can apply them and choose to either update your original campaign or create a new campaign.

Happy Testing!

 

Target Parental Status Through Google AdWords

There is a new “Parental status” target option that rolled out in AdWords, which helps you target parents versus those who are not. This is a useful feature for advertisers who have demographic data on their customers and already know that their audience falls into a clear bucket. For example, those selling baby products or children’s clothes would benefit from it, as the majority of their customers are parents.

Google determines parental status by monitoring browsing activity of sites you visit as as well as demographic data you may have shared in your Google profile or with similar sites. For example, if you browse mommy blog posts and read child development articles, Google may classify you in the  “Parent” group.

To see this option, navigate to your Display Network tab and select the Parental status sub-tab. Parental status is only available in display campaigns, and of course for a good number of users the information will be unknown.

parental_status

One way you can use this option is to exclude non-parents, for example. Be careful to review your performance metrics first before completely excluding an entire subset of your visitors. Because parental status is unknown for a large number of visitors, you may be excluding some valuable traffic.

parental_status

Another way to utilize this feature is with bid adjustments to increase or decrease bids. For example, if you already know that a good number of your converting customers are parents, bid more on that group, and decrease your bids on non-parents.

Parental status started by being rolled out to US advertisers, and it may not be available in all countries just yet.

Reach New Customers While They Use Mobile Apps Through Google’s Mobile App Campaigns

What Are Mobile App Campaigns?

Imagine you’re selling a fitness product that helps people lose weight and be healthy. Your target customers are probably already looking into fitness solutions and programs. Many of them are using mobile apps to log their calories or track daily activity, or apps that help with nutrition. Now imagine being able to promote your product to someone who’s logging their daily food intake on their mobile app. You can do that easily through Google AdWords with a “Mobile apps” campaign type.

Mobile apps is a strategy that allows you to show text and image ads on the Display Network to mobile device users. Your ads show within an app as potential customers use apps on their mobile devices. You can select app categories to show ads on, or you can research and choose specific apps that you already have in mind.

Mobile Apps Campaign Set-Up

To get started, create a new campaign, choosing “Display Network only” as your campaign type.

display_network_campaign

Choose your target countries, languages, set a budget, bids, and customize your other campaign settings.

mobile_app_campaigns

Next, you’ll get to choose your targeting. You’ll have the option to select specific “Mobile app categories” or “Search all apps” to choose specific apps.

mobile_apps_categories

You can narrow your targeting further by age or gender to only show ads to specific age groups or only to women, for example, if that is your target audience.

Or, you can refine targeting with interests and remarketing categories. For example, you can show ads to customers using apps that have been to your website before but did not convert.

Once you have chosen your targets, create ads and your campaign is ready to run!

Google’s New Display In-Market Buyers

About Display In-Market Buyers

If you’re running display campaigns through your Google AdWords account, you may have noticed a new targeting option called Display- In-market Buyers (ROI) in your interest categories section.

In-market segmentation is a new audience targeting method that allows advertisers to target users who are actively looking to buy certain products or services in the near future or have high propensity to buy if they find the right product or offer.

Google classifies users being in-market by:

– Identifying content that indicates user-intent to purchase an item. For example, someone        browsing consumer reviews and price comparison sites.
– Considering how often and how recently a user visited these pages.
– Identifying contexts where users have previously clicked on ads related to the product or service of interest and have converted.
– Considering common search keywords that led users to the page.
– Looking at display impression data or 3rd party data or both.

Display In-Market Buyers Best Practices

The set it up, I recommend creating a separate display only campaign dedicated to this targeting method, so you can use a different budget for this test. You’ll find Display In-Market Buyers in your Interests & remarketing section as you create an ad group and choose how to target ads.

in-market-buyers

The current available targets include categories such as “Autos & Vehicles” and “Education” and many others, as well as sub-categories if you’d like to make your audience more specific. If you do not see a category that’s relevant to you, make sure to check back as Google has been adding new categories since the launch of this feature.

in-market-buyers-categories

I suggest keeping the bids more conservative than search, since you’ll be reaching a much more wide pool of users.

Make sure that you add image ads, and if you’re planning on using text ads, create separate ad groups for the text and banners, so you can use different bids.

As with any campaigns, check in on this campaign to make sure it’s bringing you the right types of visitors, and optimize by adjusting bids, excluding placements, and trying different ads.

So far, I am seeing a large amount of traffic from this strategy, but conversions have not been even close to search. It will likely convert worse than your remarketing campaigns, but could be a nice source of additional traffic for those who are looking to brand or reach new pools of users.

Buy My Google AdWords Book, Get One Free Book Offer

My publisher Packt is running a Buy One, Get One free offer to celebrate their 2000th title. You can buy my Google AdWords book “Advertising on Google: The High Performance Cookbook” and other tech books via this link http://bit.ly/1j26nPNLearn how to run effective AdWords campaigns, build your website, and more using Packt’s library of practical tech guides.

packt2000titles

Enhance Your AdWords Ads with Review Extensions

What Are Review Extensions

With Google’s recent announcement that ad rank is now factoring ad extensions, it is now more than ever vital to incorporate any relevant enhancements to your ads, such as sitelinks and call extensions. One of the more recent additions to the ad extensions menu are Review Extensions, which allow you to highlight reputable third party reviews and accolades. They can help you entice users to clicks on your ads by highlighting an endorsement and help expand your ad with additional real estate. If you’ve got some praise, why not flaunt it?

Reviews appear below your ad description in top ranked ads and link to the review source, such as a magazine article. If a user clicks on your review extension, you won’t be charged for a click that’s going to your review source, unless this user clicks on your ad as well.

How To Set-Up Review Extensions

Just like with sitelinks, you can set-up review extensions at the campaign or at the ad group level. When you’re choosing your review extension text, make sure that it is not too similar to your ad copy and potentially redundant. Use that space to communicate what someone else raved about and make sure you are accurately representing the original source.

To get started with review extensions, log-in to your AdWords account and go to tab Campaigns. Go into a specific campaign, click on tab Ad Extensions and choose Review Extensions from the drop down.

review_extensions

Click on +Extension to create a new review extension. You can either use an exact quote from your source or you can paraphrase text. Make sure to state your source in the Source field and link to the third-party URL — your review source cannot be your own website.

review_extensions_example

Here are some additional guidelines and restrictions:

-Your review should not be about a specific product or service, but about your business as whole. It should also not be just a description of your business.
-The review also needs to be less than a year old.
-Individual customer reviews and testimonials are not accepted.
-Aggregate reviews and rating from websites like Yelp.com are not allowed.
-Press releases cannot be used.
-Currently, review extensions are only available in English.
-Do not repeat your business name in the review – one review extension I created was disapproved for this reason.
-Use … ellipses to show missing words or phrases.

You can find the full list of requirements and restrictions here. There has been quite a bit of confusion with what counts are “reputable” with some seemingly prominent websites getting disapproved. Make sure to check on your review extensions to see if it’s been approved. If you notice that it’s been disapproved, get in touch with AdWords support to find out why, as no disapproval reason is currently listed in the AdWords interface.

Just like with other ad extensions, your review extensions won’t show every time a user is searching. You can review impressions and other performance metrics in the Ad Extensions tab by choosing the Review Extensions drop down.

Use Google’s Bid Simulator To Estimate The Impact of Bid Changes on AdWords Conversions

Are you considering changing your AdWords bids but are worried about making the wrong choice? Wondering what would happen if you increased your bid from, say $1 to $1.20, and what difference it would make?

Adjusting bids based on traffic and conversion patterns is essential to optimizing your PPC campaigns, and all successful advertisers modify their Max CPCs regularly to reach their goals. AdWords has for some time now provided data on the impact of bid changes on impressions and clicks, but what anyone tracking conversions really wants to know is what the impact will be on sales or leads. AdWords advertisers can now make some more educated guesses using Google’s updated bid simulator.

How The Bid Simulator Works

The bid simulator works with your Search campaigns only by analyzing data over the past 7 days, taking into account information like your competitors’ bids and traffic you received. It then estimates how results might have differed if you used a lower or a higher bid. For example, you can estimate how many more clicks and conversions you might have received if your bid was 10% higher. If you track conversion values, the tool will also include that metric.

If your campaigns are limited by budget, the tool will not be available and it will also not work with auto bidding or Conversion Optimizer (CPA Bidding).

How To Use The Bid Simulator

You can find the bid simulator at the ad group or at the keyword level. In your AdWords account, go to your Campaigns tab and navigate to an ad group. Hover over the Bid Simulator graph icon below your Max CPC bid and click on it to bring up the tool and explore the different bid options.

Google will provide some metrics based on a variety of Max CPCs you could choose, or you can enter a different Max CPC you are considering by clicking on Use a different bid.

bid_simulator

Compare the current bid metrics to what your results would look like if you used a different bid and decide if the change in bid makes sense for you. For example, if after increasing the bd, the cost would go up significantly without a high enough change in conversions or conversion value, you might want to leave the current bid as is.

Keep in mind that the estimates you are seeing are just estimates and future results will vary, as search patterns are constantly changing and do vary week over week. Your competition is likely changing their bids as well on an ongoing basis.

Make sure to explore the available data when considering changes to your campaigns. If you do adjust bids, continue to monitor your conversion numbers, especially budget and ad spend if you increased your bids significantly.

 

YouTube Video Ads Best Practices

Google’s YouTube video ads are not just a branding tool for large advertisers anymore, they have become increasingly effective at driving direct sales and leads. If you have a YouTube channel, you should be testing video ads, which you can set-up through Google AdWords. In this post, I’ll share some strategies for getting started as well as best practices.

Connecting YouTube Channel To AdWords 

Your YouTube channel with existing video content can be re-utilized to reach massive numbers of potential users. Do you have videos that explain your key product benefits or testimonials from happy customers? Use this videos to share your message with highly targeted audiences. When thinking about which videos to promote, Keep the videos short – no more than 60 seconds, otherwise users will skip or tune out.

Before you can run video ads through Google AdWords, you will need to connect your YouTube channel to your AdWords account. Follow these steps:

In your AdWords account’s campaigns tab, click to create a new campaign +Campaign and choose Online video.

Link YouTube account

Click on the Linked YouTube accounts section on the left, then on +Link YouTube account and enter your YouTube log-in information. You will now be able to pick and choose from your video library.

YouTube Video Ads Best Practices

Targets


– Start with broad targets, such as “All topics” and “All interests” and let ads accumulate impressions and clicks. Once you have data on individual topics and interests, create new targeting groups and set higher bids for top performers.
– Set low initial bids (such as $0.05) and adjust based on results.
– Set-up a keyword based targeting group to reach users using YouTube search keywords.
– Stay away from demographic targeting, at least not on its own as the only target.

Ads/Videos

– Target all 3 recommended formats:

1. In-Stream
2. In-Search
3. In-Display

– Create multiple videos ads to test the effectiveness of different assets.
– Pause videos that do not meet target metrics, once you have sufficient data.
– Include call-to-action overlays. If ads do not perform, try alternate call-to-action overlays.

youtube call-to-action overlayRemarketing

– Set duration to 540 days for remarketing rather than 30 days.
– Create a remarketing target group to show videos to users who have previously visited your website.
– Create a display campaign in AdWords with text and image ads to target video remarketing lists that are automatically pre-populated for you. For example, you can target users who viewed specific videos or users who subscribed to your channel.

youtube remarketing lists

Keep in mind when evaluating video ads that the sales cycle could be a bit longer than what you’ve been seeing from your search campaigns. As with any campaign, monitor results, adjust and repeat!