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Archive for ‘Google’

Google’s Customer Match: How to Use First-Party Data for Best-in-Class Performance

By November 19th, 2015

This is a guest post from Dionte Pounds, Account Manager at
3Q Digital.

Customer Match is an exciting new feature that Google recently unveiled that can greatly strengthen your ability to connect with an existing customer base. You now have the option to upload the email addresses of past customers or email subscribers directly to AdWords. You can then target that audience through Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube. Similar features are already available through AdRoll and Facebook. With Google’s newest addition, you can now leverage 1st-party data across yet another network.

This is fantastic news for all advertisers, particularly those in possession of large lists of customer emails who are looking for new ways to utilize that data to improve marketing efforts. Every marketer I know is looking for a better way to increase marketing efficiency, so this should really benefit all of us.

Google is allowing you to take what you know about your customers and use that to drive messaging across devices and platforms. This, in turn, allows you to build loyalty and repeat purchases among an existing customer base.

Three Main Methods for Leveraging
Customer Match

1) The first, and most obvious, way to use Customer Match is to stay in front of your customers. If someone has made a purchase from your business, these audiences can be used to target existing customers and keep your brand fresh in their mind. This encourages repeat purchases and leads to incremental gains.

2) The second is to re-engage past buyers who haven’t interacted with your brand in an extended period of time. Imagine Jane Doe bought a stereo in January and hasn’t purchased from your brand since. You can now create an audience specifically to target her, and individuals like her, when they’re logged into the Google network.

3) The third method is to create a negative audience. This audience is made from a group of people whom you do not want to see your ads. (Maybe you don’t want to risk overexposure, or you wouldn’t benefit from re-engaging this audience.) Businesses focusing on generating leads fit into this category. Customer Match allows you to create and exclude that audience from your advertising campaigns. As a result, you only capture new leads.

There’s a Low Barrier of Entry

Setup for Customer Match is simple. Upload a .csv file containing hashed email addresses directly into AdWords. The larger the list the better, since audiences with fewer than 1,000 members won’t be targeted through any of Google’s networks for privacy reasons. Once processed, you have a new audience to target across devices and channels like any other remarketing audience.

The one exception here is the Display Network, since this feature is not yet compatible. For YouTube and Gmail, Google also creates a “Similar Audience” when eligible. This can increase overall lead volume by allowing you to target audiences made of new users who exhibit characteristics similar to your Customer Match lists.

Customers Come First

Google goes to great lengths to protect user privacy, and this feature is no different. All data uploaded to AdWords must be 1st-party data. All email addresses must be hashed before uploading. Once they’ve been processed and matched to Google users, all data is discarded. This process ensures that all user information remains safe and protected throughout the entire matching process.

Additionally, advertisers must provide a link to a webpage where users manage email preferences. This link is a requirement, and you won’t be able to use Customer Match without providing it. Failure to comply with Google privacy policy can result in being denied the ability to use the Customer Match feature and in some cases, account suspensions.

To summarize, if you have a large amount of 1st-party data, Customer Match is a feature you should definitely test. It’s simple to implement and can be used in a variety of ways across Search, Gmail, and YouTube. Since Google makes privacy a top priority, you don’t need to worry about putting any of your customer base at risk. Overall, the AdWords team has made a great improvement that makes it easier for businesses to enhance consumer relationships and brand loyalty.

3 Tips for Using CRM Data to Reach People Across Channels

By November 16th, 2015

With the recent release of Google’s Customer Match, the ability to target users through their email address has finally come to search advertising. This type of targeting has been available in social since Facebook announced Custom Audiences in 2013, and is accessible to display through data onboarding. Now, because of Google’s new feature, advertisers can target users using this data across search, social, and display, and across multiple devices.

This opens up many new possibilities for cross-channel, cross-device advertising. As it stands, a large percentage of marketing CRM emails are never opened. Advertisers can’t depend on email alone to connect with high-value customers in a CRM. We recommend using your CRM data to serve ads across search, social, and the web.

How do publishers match emails or user IDs to users across the web?

First, some background. The deterministic matching method relies on personally identifiable information commonly stored in CRM systems. With this method, a linkage is made when a user in your CRM uses the same email address or social media user IDs to log into an app and a website – across browsers and devices.

As long as a user is logged in across devices and targeting is set up across channels, advertisers and publishers can use this unique identifier to target those users cross-channel, on multiple devices.

Advantages over cookie-based remarketing

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Display Networks already allow you to serve ads to previous site visitors with remarketing lists. This is traditionally done with cookie pools. Customer Match, Custom Audiences, and display customer targeting all allow you to advertise to recognized, signed-in users wherever they are – whether it’s mobile, tablet, laptop, or desktop.

This cross-channel path is difficult for cookies to traverse. It’s also hard for cookies to move across different browsers, and users can easily delete most cookies.

The other main advantage is that CRM data can be collected from multiple offline sources. For example, retailers can ask for a customer’s email address after an in-store purchase, or a travel agent can ask for an email address after a phone booking is made.

The Best Uses of CRM Data to Amplify Cross-Channel Reach

1. Do the Right Thing for the Right Channel

When it comes to matching CRM data with users for targeting, each online advertising channel has slightly different options. Be sure to make the most of each channel’s unique possibilities.

Email addresses

Google’s Customer Match is a new product designed to help you reach your highest-value customers on Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail. Customer Match allows you to upload of a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way. From there, you can build campaigns in Marin with highly relevant targeting and specifically tailored messaging for your audience.

Email lists, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, Twitter IDs, mobile advertisers IDs

Custom Audiences (Facebook) and Tailored Audiences (Twitter) make it easy to target specific customers or prospects at scale. It allows you to match your customer list against Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users in a secure and privacy-safe way. Advertisers can use Marin to target users across social platforms and devices.

Email addresses, CRM, point of sale, and mobile advertisers IDs

Through uploading emails, CRM data, point of sale, and mobile advertisers IDs, data onboarding technology (such as LiveRamp) can match your anonymized data to online devices and digital IDs, and segment audiences. These audience segments can then be sent to Marin for display targeting.


2. Be Sure to Segment

Segmentation is key to the success of CRM targeting for search, social, and display. Users can be segmented by value, actions, loyalty, recency, and satisfaction, among many other options – the segmenting possibilities of your customer database are virtually unlimited. You can use all of these segments for innovative advertising, such as enhancing your strategy, target audiences, and creative based on fresh and reliable data.

3. Go Cross-Channel

Using CRM data for targeting can produce fantastic results in single-channel siloes. However, when it’s used as part of a cross channel marketing strategy, the number of creative marketing tactics becomes almost limitless.

One common example of using CRM data across channels is targeting users with tailored messages across search, social, and display, depending on whether or not they’re existing customers.

Channel exclusion lists are just as important as positive targeting lists. In addition to reaching specific audiences with your ads, you can exclude unprofitable channels but still reach the same audiences.

For example, suppose an advertiser is in an industry where search keywords are particularly expensive. But, they want to update existing customers about a new product in a more cost-effective way. They could exclude the existing users from search targeting but still advertise to them on social and display.

CRM targeting strategies also open up new customer care and support avenues outside of phone, email, or direct mail. If a customer has a specific issue, it can be resolved at the level of a search query. Using CRM data, you could automatically deliver the most relevant information and links based on the products or services your customers are using, even if they use the exact same search query to search for information.

Using CRM data and user matching addresses a number of the challenges of cookie-based remarketing. It also helps bridge the gap between offline and online marketing activities. With Google’s new Customer Match, CRM data can now be used to actively target across search, social and display. This paves the way for innovative cross-channel, cross-device advertising strategies.

Marin Masters San Francisco at the Terra Gallery – Top Takeaways and Favorite Tweets

By November 5th, 2015

We held our sixth annual Marin Masters San Francisco on Thursday, October 15th. Marin Masters is unique in that it allows us to bring together our customers and partners in one room to share ideas, talk about the latest digital marketing trends, and network.

Beyond the food and drinks, there was a lot on offer. Here are my top three takeaways from the event and some of my favorite tweets.

1. Build audiences of new users who behave like
     your converted customers

One of the new features we were excited to preview at Masters is our version of lookalike targeting. For those of you unfamiliar with Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, it allows advertisers to find new customers by uploading their own customer data, and having Facebook identify other people who might be similar to your customers.

Marin’s version of lookalike targeting will act much in the same way, but will let you develop these lookalikes using data across search, social, and display. Maximizing the data from your first-party audiences is key to expanding your audiences and, in turn, seeing a high ROI.

2. The forward thinking marketer is blending the
     old and new to drive results with audience-
     centric marketing

It’s easy enough to understand that not everyone is the same, but in this data-driven day and age the keyword has in many ways replaced the customer. Cameron Urry, a customer and speaker from Partner Fusion, suggested we continually ask ourselves the question, “Am I truly customer focused?” Though the days of Mad Men are long behind us, we still need copy and content to resonate at an individual level. Campaigns should be set appropriately to target or reengage, and the customer must be supported in their buying process across search, social, email, website optimization, content, and SEO.

3. In digital advertising, the biggest opportunities
     are in the smallest moments

Joseph Corral from Google shared five key moment types digital advertisers need to worry about when addressing consumers:

  • I-want-to-watch-what-I’m-into moments: the moment when someone is looking to explore their passions and be entertained through engaging content.
  • I-want-to-know-moments: this is the moment when someone is exploring or researching, but not yet in purchase mode.
  • I-want-to-go-moments: this is the moment when people are looking for a local business or are considering buying a product at a local store. Being a contender means getting your physical business into their consideration in that moment.
  • I-want-to-do-moments: These moments may come before or after the purchase. Either way, these are “how to” moments when people want help getting things done or trying something new. Making the right content available is key.
  • I-want-to-buy-moments: Someone is ready to make a purchase and may need help deciding what or how to buy. You can’t assume they’ll seek you out; you have to be there with the right information to seal the deal.

We had some great tweets happening during the event, and here are a few of my favorite.

(Hands down, Dashboard Confessional t-shirts are always welcome at any Marin event.)

5 Ways to Maximize Results Throughout the Day

By October 26th, 2015

Today’s retail advertisers have to constantly deal with many different factors simultaneously – direct competition, changes in consumer behaviors, and staying on top of industry innovations and trends, just to name a few. All of this can be quite overwhelming, especially with the holidays quickly approaching.

To alleviate the stresses of the season for retail advertisers, we’re excited to announce the general availability of PositionLock™, an intraday, position-based bid optimization solution designed to help marketers maximize visibility, traffic, and conversions throughout the day. Using PositionLock, retail advertisers can rest a little easier this holiday season, especially during peak online shopping days and hours of the day.

PositionLock relies on a new, patent-pending algorithm that leverages ad position data captured throughout the day to intelligently set optimal bids and bid boosts to keep advertisers’ ads in desired ad position ranges.

For example, using PositionLock, a retail advertiser whose sales come primarily from mobile devices can opt to have their best-selling product terms appear between positions 3-5 for desktop and 1-2 for mobile.

Marin is the only digital advertising platform that allows advertisers to automatically optimize preferred position ranges, by device, throughout the day.

With the holiday shopping season already starting to ramp up, Marin’s PositionLock™ is an excellent solution for helping retail advertisers ensure they’re visible in the top ad positions for their best-selling product terms or important brand terms.

If you’re a retail advertiser looking to improve brand awareness, visibility, or traffic quality over the holiday shopping period, we’ve highlighted five example use cases to show how using PositionLock can help you meet your goals.

Maximize visibility over the holidays

Most retailers have product terms on seasonal items that PositionLock can maximize visibility on during peak shopping season days. With PositionLock’s intraday bidding capabilities, you can adjust these positions throughout the day, and especially during peak online shopping hours. Additionally, as inventory comes and goes, you can easily adjust bids to promote certain inventory over others more aggressively through higher ad placements.

Stay ahead of the competition

Competition for the top ad positions on search isn’t going away anytime soon, as it’s been shown that consumers on search are more likely to click on higher-ranked ads. To help you achieve your desired positions, PositionLock lets you take your non-branded terms and ensure that they outrank competitors. This is especially useful when it comes to advertising popular seasonal items that face a lot of competition.

Increase brand awareness

According to a study by Google, search ads lifted top-of-mind awareness of brands an average 6.6 percentage points. This study highlights the clear opportunity for retail advertisers to effectively create the perception that they’re leaders in a particular product category, by appearing in a top ad position for the related product terms.

For example, a retail advertiser who wants to be known for selling “high-end fashion apparel” could use PositionLock to improve brand perception for these types of products by appearing in a top position for this term.

Highlight promotional products

When it comes to launching new products, PositionLock can be beneficial to businesses across all verticals, but especially retailers this holiday season. With PositionLock’s ability to achieve top ad positions, you can easily drive visibility for new product terms with a relevant promotional message in the copy.

Customize desired ad position by device

Today’s consumers have an average of three devices and studies have shown that each device type is used differently. Consumers on desktop devices tend to do more detailed research, whereas mobile users are often looking for fast and quick pieces of information (e.g., phone number, address, etc.)

With PositionLock, you can bid to the optimal ad position for each device to help achieve maximum ad performance across devices for a particular search term. For example, if you know you can achieve optimal performance by appearing between positions 3-4 on desktop but must appear between positions 1-2 on mobile, with PositionLock you can easily customize device-specific preferences and achieve your device-specific ad position goals.


These are just a few examples of the many scenarios in which Marin PositionLock™ can help advertisers gain better position-based performance results across devices. For information on this feature, reach out to your Marin Customer Success Director. If you’d like to learn more about how Marin Software can help you implement an intraday optimization strategy, feel free to get in touch.

How to Use AdWords Location Ad Customizers

By October 19th, 2015

This is a guest post from Jonathan Levey, Digital Marketing Manager at OneSky.

Google AdWords location ad customizers represent a pay-per-click (PPC) way to target a specific audience in a specific location. With location ad customizers, you can change details in your PPC ads dynamically, whether it’s color details, price, size, dimensions, countdowns, sales events, or seasonal sales. If, for instance, you’re managing a large number of ad campaigns, the ad customizers let you make quick changes to a central spreadsheet.

After making these quick changes, you can upload the spreadsheet changes to Google AdWords and watch as all the updates are incorporated across your various campaigns. This makes the customizers completely automated, since after updating your central spreadsheet, the other updates are instantly propagated. (Yay, no time-consuming changes by hand!)

Precision is a great marketing strategy. Location ad customizers allow you to target your audience in a minute, specific location.

There are many ways you can make use of AdWords location ad customizers to achieve superior results. If a user meets the criteria you’ve specified on your array of ad campaigns, your ad text can be updated accordingly. Based on location, here’s how you can use AdWords location ad customizers to do this and more.

Shipping Times

AdWords location ad customizers include shipping times; so, if your ad shows that your shipping time is less than your competitors’, then you’ll gain more customers. With location ad customizers, you can include the places you deliver your products to in your ad text. This can be very enticing to potential customers who reside in the locations that you specify in your ad campaigns.

These kinds of ad campaigns enable you to have a targeted conversation with your prospective customers, since they’re drawn in by the fact that you have the exact shipping time for their specific location. This aspect of your ad will appeal to audiences who end up purchasing your products due to the confidence that they’ll be delivered on time.

Mention the User’s Location in the Ad Text Campaign

Users often include their desired locations when they search for products and services. So, if you include the users’ locations dynamically in your ad text, they’re more likely to click your ad. Not only does the dynamic inclusion of location into your ad text campaign save you a lot of time – with good content in your ad text, your conversion rate is set to increase exponentially.

The time you save by auto-including location would’ve otherwise been used to create distinct campaigns geo-targeted to each of the areas where you deliver your products. In addition to time savings, location ad customizers maintain all of the key information of your ad campaign, despite generating different text for the specified, unique locations.

Address, Duration, and Offers

Suppose you’re wildly successful with your location extensions. In this case, you can increase the effectiveness of your ad even more, by including address and working hours of the location that’s nearest to your user in your ad text. And, to appeal to more potential customers and beat your competition, you can add offers and discounts that are specific to those nearby locations.

The ad customizers allow you to update your closing and opening times or offers depending on the day of the week. This kind of ad campaign guarantees an increase in the number of people who’ll show intent to purchase your products and services.

Include the Cost of Service for a User’s City

Finally, location ad customizers can also include different pricing for different regions. Price is an important factor whenever sale of items and services is involved – every buyer considers the price of your product. Make sure that you include the most competitive prices for your products in your ad campaign. Delivery of top quality products at affordable prices will enable your Google AdWords marketing campaign to be the most successful.

You can include dynamic pricing in your text ads. These prices should match your users’ spending capacities to make sure that you have a large return on investment and a reliable conversion rate to drive your sales exponentially. Inclusion of prices in your location ad customizers will increase the percentage of pre-qualification of your clicks.

Follow these fundamental methods when you use AdWords location ad customizers, and watch your PPC marketing campaign benefit as a result.

5 Ways Search Data Can Inform Your
Marketing Strategy

By July 30th, 2015

With Google processing more than 3.5 billion search queries in a single day, there’s a surprising amount of insight that can be gained by analyzing the content and user behaviors behind these searches. Studying your own paid search data can substantially benefit several areas of your marketing strategy, including product, pricing, competitive strategy, branding, and store location selection.

Product Strategy

Search engines periodically release insights based on overarching or vertical-specific search trends. Bing and Google both offer places to start researching search trends related to your product. This data can help you:

  • Research the viability of a possible new product launch.
  • Discover what customers like and dislike about your existing products.
  • Inform product-market fit.

If you analyze search query data directly associated with your brand name, you can identify customer pain points, bugs, and potential new product features.

Pricing Strategy

SEM ad creative testing can help inform pricing strategy, as well as the best way to message pricing.

  • Develop a variable pricing approach: Launch hypothesis tests of identical ad copy and landing pages where the only variable is price. The ideal price point is when you’re generating the best possible balance of order volume and return on ad spend.
  • Optimize pricing verbiage: Set up testing with identical price points and variant messaging to learn the best way to position prices and discounts. For example, customers may react differently to these two variations describing a discount on a $100 item: “Save $20” and “20% off.”

Competitive Strategy

The search engine results page is a goldmine of competitive data. By performing searches related to your product, you can:

  • Find out who your competitors are.
  • Identify your competitors’ weaknesses.
  • Exploit your competitors’ weaknesses to your advantage.

Even if you don’t plan to launch a competitor campaign, it’s important to monitor your own branded search terms. The simplest way to do this is to look for spikes in your brand CPC. If it jumps, you may have a new competitor.

Brand Strategy

Search data can help you test new approaches to brand messaging. Marketers can utilize search data to:

  • Understand how your brand awareness plays are performing.
  • Identify tone and intent of customer interest in your brand.
  • Continually optimize and identify ways to position your brand.

Store Location Strategy

Search data can help inform your store location strategy by providing:

  • Granular geographic data to identify zip codes likely to be profitable.
  • Insight into the market share of foreign language speakers to determine demand for foreign language customer support.
  • Brand search volume cross-referenced with existing store locations—spikes can indicate hotspots for interest in your brand, and where existing locations underserve customers.

Search marketing isn’t just a direct response channel, but rather a means to inform your marketing strategy with data. Product, pricing, competitive strategy, branding, and store location selection are just a few examples of how to use search data. Make it a regular practice to analyze search data for insights that can be applied throughout your marketing strategy.

About the Author

sarahSarah manages Content Marketing at Boost Media and leads a team of marketing professionals to drive revenue through complex B2B marketing campaigns in the ad tech industry. Prior to joining Boost, Sarah developed marketing and sales strategy at BNY Mellon, a top 10 private wealth management firm. In a former life, Sarah worked in journalism writing for magazines including Boston Magazine, The Improper Bostonian, and Luxury Travel. When she’s not writing engaging content, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, and yoga.

About Boost Media

Boost Media increases advertiser profitability by using a combination of humans and a proprietary software platform to drive increased ad relevance at scale. The Boost marketplace comprises over 1,000 expert copywriters and image optimizers who compete to provide a diverse array of perspectives. Boost’s proprietary software identifies opportunities for creative optimization and drives performance using a combination of workflow tools and algorithms. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Boost Media optimization platform provides fresh, performance-driven creative in 12 localized languages worldwide.

Click here to schedule a free demo of the Creative Optimization platform today.

Why Retailers Should Spend More on Google PLAs in 2H 2015

By July 29th, 2015

We recently took a look at the Marin Global Online Advertising Index, which consists of advertising data from leading global brands that manage more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend through Marin’s platform. By examining consumer behaviors from last quarter, we were able to forecast how search advertising would impact the second half of 2015.

We also came up with three ways to dominate search in 2H 2015, one of which you could call, “Spend more on shopping ads.”

Shopping Ads Quickly Reach Critical Mass

Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) hit the market in late 2012, and user adoption has grown steadily ever since. Especially during the critical holiday season, this ad format proved to be richer, more engaging, and highly successful.

For this particular ad type, we looked at retail advertisers and their audiences. We found that:

  • Retail advertisers spent 47.0% more on shopping ads in 2014
    than 2013.
  • This year will see another increase of 20.1% over last.
  • Roughly a third of all PLA ad spend concentrated in the last quarter of 2014.
  • PLA spend in December is forecasted to reach 250% of
    January PLA spend.
  • Click behavior during this time mirrors spend behavior, with large surges during Q4 each year.
  • This year, PLA clicks are forecasted to be 136% of January’s
    click volume.

All of this data highlights the importance of the holiday season for many retailers. This isn’t so surprising, since PLAs are highly effective at reaching consumers during this season, which starts in November.


Budget Share and Consumer Adoption

In terms of budget share, PLAs have also been steadily gaining ground against text ads in the retail space. While 2013 saw advertisers spike to 23% in PLAs during Q4, overall growth has been slow and steady, taking up just over 20% of all paid-search budgets. This is projected to hit 27% during the holiday season.

Consumer adoption of shopping ads has also shown consistent growth patterns, as the ads have improved and been refined by publishers and advertisers. Shopping ad click share has shown constant growth and made significant gains over the past year and a half. It’s on track to account for over one-fourth of all paid-search clicks by end of year.

Bottom line: Since shopping ad spend is projected to spike dramatically during Q4, retailers should increase shopping ad spend accordingly.

This is just one of three recommended tactics for leading the search field in 2H 2015. To learn more and access full data charts, download our report, Mid-Year Outlook: 3 Tactics to Dominate Search in 2H 2015.

Upgraded URLs – Making It Easier for Paid Search Advertisers to Manage Tracking

By July 14th, 2015

Continuing with our cadence of thought leadership and innovation in digital marketing, Marin Software has successfully upgraded approximately 2 billion URLs to the new Google Upgraded URLs format. We partnered closely with our customers and Google to ensure a smooth transition.

Complete Transparency: Marin’s Upgrade Portal

For visibility into the upgrade process, Marin developed a one of a kind interactive Upgrade Portal. This portal allows customers to quickly and easily review their account configuration and proposed tracking structure before routing changes to Google. As an added bonus, the post-migration summary report within the Upgrade Portal enables customers to keep track of their top performing keywords and ads, and quickly take action within their Marin account(s) to guarantee a timely and successful upgrade.

Ready for a preview of the report tab? See for yourself by watching our two-minute overview video:

Best Practices for the Upgrade

Marin’s Customer Support and Service teams were on hand to assist with any questions that arose during the upgrade process for fast response and inquiry resolution. This experience was specifically designed with our customers in mind!

Through Marin’s close-knit partnership with Google, our customers were upgraded in accordance with Google’s advanced best practices approach – using shared tracking templates at the ad group, campaign, or account levels to benefit from reduced website load when creating new ads or keywords, add new ValueTrack and custom parameters during the upgrade process. Future URL changes can then be made without an interruption to ad serving.

At Marin, we understand that our customer needs are unique. For our customers who chose to self-migrate, Marin had them covered as well! We published comprehensive campaign management and self-migration documentation to Marin’s Enhanced Support Center, along with the archived version of our highest rated webinar to date: Marin’s Best Practices for Managing Upgraded URLs. If you’re a Marin customer please be sure to check this out!

Google Upgraded URLs: the Deadline Approaches

By June 18th, 2015

The June 30th deadline to upgrade your AdWords URLs to the new Upgraded URLs structure is quickly approaching! As mentioned in our previous blog post, Upgraded URLs is a mandatory change to help advertisers track ads and execute updates more efficiently. With Upgraded URLs, you can now separately specify two pieces of information for your URL:

  1. 1) The landing page URL – where the user will go when they click an ad
  2. 2) Your tracking information – the values you’d like to track about your ad performance, which can be at the account level. As a result, you’ll no longer need to update ads, keywords, or sitelinks every time you need to add a tracking parameter to your URLs.

While many marketers have already put together an upgrade strategy for this transition, if you’re still figuring out how to handle your AdWords URLs – it’s not too late. Here are some options and resources to help ensure you’re covered for Upgraded URLs:

  • Auto-migration: If you have very basic URLs (for example, you don’t use any tracking in your URLs), you can either perform the automated upgrade on July 1st, or earlier to get a head start. This method copies your current destination URLs to the new final URL field for all ads and keywords. The benefit of this approach is that you don’t need to do anything; all your ad stats will be maintained, and your ads will not be subject to policy review. However, if your URLs go beyond the basic URL structure, the automated upgrade may not structure your URLs according to best practices.
  • Self-migration: If your URLs include any tracking parameters or use tracking templates, Google provides a self-migration feature. Depending on whether you go with their Basic or Advanced migration, you’ll be able to bulk upload local or shared tracking templates. The Basic migration allows you to create local tracking templates for each of your final URLs. The benefit of the Basic migration is that your ads won’t be subject to policy review, whereas those with Advanced self-migration may be. On the other hand, the Advanced migration allows you to manage shared tracking templates at the ad group, campaign, or account levels. Using the Advanced migration will enable you to try new ValueTrack and custom parameters during the upgrade.
  • Platform help: If you’ve been considering leveraging a 3rd party platform to help you manage your ads, Upgraded URLs presents a great opportunity and reason to try one out. Platforms such as Marin have provided customers with migration resources to help alleviate the stress of making the upgrade, and to minimize any potential disruptions to workflows. Currently, for new customers, Marin is providing Upgraded URLs migration services as part of the onboarding process prior to July 1st. With this approach, you get the assurance that your URLs will be migrated according to best practices. And, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of platform support for ongoing management of your ads.

With all the options you have available for Upgraded URLs, it’s important to review your Google ads to determine which approach works best for your business.

Top 3 Takeaways from Google’s AdWords Livestream 2015

By May 6th, 2015

Yesterday morning at Google’s AdWords Livestream 2015, the AdWords team announced several exciting new features. The features they’ll be launching fall into three broad categories: ad experiences, automation, and measurement. Here’s a run-down of each:

1. Ad Experiences- Creating experiences for consumers when they’re looking for your business

For Automobile Ads, Hotel Ads, Shopping Ads, and Comparison Ads the big theme across all is an emphasis on interactive. Google is releasing a number of enhancements to the creative formats for different verticals by making them more interactive, with a greater emphasis on images and integration with mobile apps. With these enhancements, Google is looking to move advertising beyond just text ads, which are the most common ad format today. This is an understandable move, as ads containing images are proven to drive higher levels of user engagement, according to eMarketer, with a 28% growth in clicks for image-based ads versus just 4% for text ads in Q2 of 2014.

2. Automation – Accelerate, customize, and scale your activity in AdWords

In today’s world, advertisers need to manually create campaigns and set bids for Dynamic Search Ads. Google acknowledges that this can be a cumbersome task that is difficult to scale for advertisers with expansive keyword sets. With the launch of the new Dynamic Search Ads, an improved workflow will allow advertisers to simply type in a URL and view recommended CPCs provided for their categories. Additionally, the introduction of automation into the DSA workflow demonstrates Google’s intentions of moving away from keywords and towards more macro targeting. Google has also announced auto-resizing of GDN ads to help advertisers save time and make it easier for them to reach their audience through Display. For bidding, Google is launching a CPA bid simulation report that will allow advertisers to simulate bids for target CPAs on search and display, as well as an enhanced bid strategy dashboard in the Shared library that will allow advertisers to review the status of their bid strategies over time.

3. Measurement – Measure every moment that matters, across touch points and devices

To provide advertisers with the full value of digital and insight into their advertising performance across devices, Google is enhancing their analytics and reporting capabilities. These new capabilities will allow for better conversion and attribution tracking across devices. The first step in this process will be the integration of Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) to bidding to help inform better bidding and budgeting decisions. Later this year, advertisers will be able to take action on cross-device conversions for automated bidding and to include cross-device conversions as part of the conversions column in AdWords. The goal is to provide advertisers with the ability to track cross-device conversions that started on the web and finished on the app, regardless of device type. Attribution was also discussed, with the integration of data driven attribution into AdWords to make attribution actionable for Search. This integration will allow you to break down the customer journey and measure every moment using your own conversion data to value attribution. This will allow Google to calculate the actual contribution of every keyword in your account and optimize for the best performing keywords across the conversion path. Coupling this new feature with automated bidding will allow you to optimize keyword bids based on the actual value of your Search ads.

All these new enhancements are planned to roll out over the course of the next few months so stayed tuned to Marketing Insights for more updates as we provide all the details you need to you know as they launch.


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