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Posts Tagged ‘adwords’

How to Put Custom Labels to the Best Use in Your Product Feed

By November 3rd, 2016

You’ve got your product feed set and sending to Merchant Center. You’ve created campaigns mapped from the attributes that make the most sense for your style of management. And, you’re pretty familiar with the set attributes you can use to define product groups:

Item ID Brand Category Product Type
       
Condition Channel Channel Exclusivity Custom Labels

 

What about those custom labels, though?

Google allows for up to five custom labels per feed. Here are some effective and creative ways you can use them.

SKU Grouping

One clever way to use a custom label is to group SKUs together under a Parent ID. Think of this as a “Parent” and “Child” relationship where we group the Child SKUs under a Parent label.

For example, suppose you offer a coffee mug in different colors. Each variety has its own unique Item ID. You could assign the same “Parent” identification number to each of the variations, and then set a product group to define the set of the products—as opposed to having to map these individually by Item ID.

01-sku

Product groups:
Custom_Label 0: 1234
Custom_Label 0: 1111
Custom_Label 0: 1213

Average Order Value

Another interesting way to apply a custom label is to group products by their price point, or average order value. For example, you could apply values of “High,” “Medium,” or “Low” to products based on where they belong in the overall product mix. In your campaign, you could then segment out Product Groups based on these values, and utilize these levers to bid more or less aggressively on products based on their anticipated return and volume.

Seasonality

Categorizing products by how (or whether or not) they sell according to time of year can be a wise consideration depending on the nature of your business. Indicating these designations in the product feed allows you to increase or decrease bids across a range of products classified by time of year.

So, in the final days of summer, you could increase bids across all seasonal products and then, right after, immediately bid down on those after the heat breaks.

02-seasonality

Product groups:
Custom_Label 1: Winter
Custom_Label 1: Summer
Custom_Label 1: Fall

These are just a few ways to apply custom labels—and give your campaigns levers to bid and segment on—that are completely specific to your account. The main takeaway is to use them.

Brainstorm what makes sense to be able to dictate volume by (whether or not a product is in peak season, whether or not it brings a high yield per order, etc.), then apply the values in the feed and create the defined product group in AdWords. Custom labels are the most flexible of the attributes available, so test them out and see what helps shift the needle in your overall Shopping performance.

Similar Audiences + Customer Match: Google Ramps up First-Party Data Capabilities

By June 30th, 2016

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

A few months ago, Google unveiled a new tool that allows advertisers to interact directly with an audience across the search, Gmail, and YouTube networks. That tool was Customer Match (See my previous post about setup tips).

With this feature, advertisers could submit a list of email addresses from past customers or email subscribers directly into the AdWords interface. Then, advertisers could target individuals who’d already expressed interest in their products, across channels, as long as they were signed in to Google.

With this update, Google strengthened the ability of advertisers to leverage 1st-party data. The move echoed Facebook’s Custom Audiences, which has been in the market for years and proven very effective. While it provides Google-focused marketers a great way to use 1st-party data, Google’s added another feature that uses that data to find and target new customers.

That tool is Similar Audiences.

Similar Audiences

Similar Audiences are made up of groups of people who have characteristics with a remarketing audience you’ve previously created. For example, if you have a remarketing audience created for people who’ve visited your website via a paid ad click within the last 30 days, Google will automatically generate a new pool of prospects you can target if the starting audience is large enough.

Because paid ad traffic is cookied, Google tracks the browsing habits of that cookied traffic over the last 30 days and uses that to find shared interests and behaviors. For a new Similar Audience to be created, at least 500 cookies with enough similarities and characteristics must be active. In theory, a larger remarketing list should yield a better Similar Audience in terms of relevancy, because it’s pulling from a larger set of data being sent back for Google to use.

So, a Similar Audience taken from a Customer Match list should be an extremely relevant pool of new users that you can target to grow a business. However, there are some features that are disabled for a Similar to Customer Match audience that must be taken into consideration when planning new advertising strategy.

The first is that, like all Similar Audiences, you can’t target a Similar to Customer Match audience across the Search Network. Because Similar Audiences are based on the webpage browsing history of the cookied user, you’re limited to targeting on the Display Network and YouTube Network.

The Display Network

Speaking of the Display Network, you can only target Similar to Customer Match audiences on the Google Display Network and YouTube. This is where the use of 1st-party data is somewhat limiting in Google. Because the uploaded customer lists lack the cookies needed to track browsing behavior, Google can’t use that data to find an audience with related interests on the Display Network.

Still, you can utilize a similar audience across Gmail and YouTube ads, because these are networks entirely owned by Google where the user is signed in to the network (at least most of the time for YouTube). Because the data Google receives from these channels are different from Display Network, where 3rd-party groups simply opt in to the network, the way Google finds these users and tracks characteristics greatly varies.

Even with these limitations, I still highly recommend testing all similar audiences, but especially a similar audience built from Customer Match. It’s a great way to engage a new audience of individuals similar to that of your past customers.

Your Detailed Testing Strategy for Expanded Text Ads

By June 28th, 2016

This is a guest post from Sarah Burns, Content Manager
at Boost Media.

With the introduction of Google’s Expanded Text Ads (ETA), marketers have a more robust ad format that allows for more text, and Google has the ability to manipulate the layout to fit the appropriate screen for display. While this is a strong shift toward mobile-first that levels the playing fields between natural search (SEO) ads and AdWords, it doesn’t guarantee better performance.

Google reports that some advertisers could experience up to a 20% lift in CTR. The important word here is “some,” as it indicates that simply expanding ads with no plan is not a guarantee of success. What follows is a set of scenarios you should test that will help guarantee the best possible performance lift for your brand.

Scenario 1: Test standard ads versus ETAs using a generic new headline

  • With large accounts, it’s unrealistic to think that you can write custom copy for every ad. It’s important to try to find suitable headline additions that can be applied across the tail of an account.
  • Be sure to test this method on groups of ad groups. The same additional headline in one product line will probably not work in another product line.
  • Don’t test things like “Buy Now!”. The odds of this generic approach being a success are very low.

Scenario 2: Test standard ads versus custom headlines

  • The head and much of the trunk of an account need custom copy. Testing custom copy against the old standard ads will ensure that you don’t just replace old copy with longer copy that’s worse. Our early testing shows that standard ads can outperform ETA ads if ETA is done poorly.
  • Don’t be afraid of rewriting the entire ad. Adding copy to the end of a headline doesn’t guarantee that the entire ad will make sense or drive clicks.
  • Focus on the big ad groups, as custom writing can be time-consuming.

Why not test everything at once?

Be sure to focus on one thing at a time. If you mix descriptions, headline, and paths in one test, you may introduce a better overall ad, but one section may be causing the lift while the other changes are actually causing a drop. By focusing on one variable at a time, you stand a better chance of isolating what caused the lift and understanding the drivers behind what to do next. As you move toward complete optimization, many times you’ll gain insights that can be applied to other parts of the ad.

I don’t have the time for this. What should I do?

Simply put: make the time. If you don’t prepare for ETA and your competitors do, you can expect to see a drop in performance as the competition captures more of the impressions and clicks. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, you don’t have to do this overnight. Set a steady pace and a strategy, and you’ll be on the way to performance increases.

 

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.

Re-engage Mobile App Users with AdWords

By March 23rd, 2016

Google AdWords now lets you upload both Identifiers for Advertising (IDFAs) and advertising IDs in bulk so that you can target your mobile app users using the Google Display Network. Although you can use this feature to solicit new users under the right circumstances, its chief use is re-engaging your mobile app users.

After all, your current mobile app users are your easiest source of IDFAs and advertising IDs, meaning you’re going to struggle making the most of this feature if you don’t already have a user base.

Regardless, you shouldn’t see this as a limitation but rather a reminder of the importance of re-engaging your mobile app users.

This is mainly because re-engaging your mobile app users can boost the success rates of your mobile advertising – though it’s important to note that there are a number of reasons why Google AdWords is now particularly useful for this purpose. And, successfully re-engaging those users will contribute to creating a “consumable experience” that makes them want to keep coming back for more.

Existing vs. Potential Users

Generally speaking, you can convince your existing users with much greater ease than your potential users. In part, this is because you’ve accumulated goodwill with your existing users, meaning you’ll have a much easier time convincing them you’re trustworthy, likable, and reliable.

However, it’s also important to note that you have existing data on their purchasing patterns, meaning you can tailor your mobile advertising for the best results. Summed up, you should focus on existing rather than potential users because it costs you less time, effort, and other resources to convince them on average.

Lasting Usefulness

Re-engagement can be useful throughout an app’s lifecycle, meaning that the resources spent on such mobile advertising can prove useful longer than otherwise possible.

For example, you can use it to solicit new users for a similar app, build loyalty in existing users by making them more invested in an app they’re already using, and even bring back past users by reminding them of the app’s existence at an opportune time.

Simply put, re-engagement is so versatile that it can be used for all stages of an app’s promotion.

Expanding User Base

Finally, mobile advertising has become more important, with no signs of stopping in the foreseeable future. This is because the number of mobile app users is continuing to rise as mobile devices become more convenient and more powerful. As a result, you can expect a better rate of return by spending your dollars on mobile advertising rather than the other options out there.

Re-engaging Your Mobile App Users

With that said, just because you can count on this latest Google AdWords feature to be useful, it doesn’t mean you can slack off when it comes to creating your mobile advertising for re-engaging your mobile app users.

As always, if you want to convince your mobile app users to pay attention – and consider your brand a consumable experience – your advertising needs to show your app as useful and interesting. Furthermore, you need to use your existing data to figure out what will appeal the most to them before sending it out at the right times, which is where the rest of Google AdWords features will prove to be beneficial.

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.

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.

3 Benefits of Paid Search Beyond Direct Response

By April 30th, 2015

Paid search is best known for its ability to leverage search intent to drive highly measurable direct response marketing. Paid search, however, transmits a number of extra benefits that not all marketers take into account.

In this post, I explore three areas where paid search can drive value, even if your main goal marketing goal for this channel is driving direct response.

Increased Store Visits

Research shows that over 88% of shopper’s do research online before making a purchase. With only 9% of all purchases being made online, it’s clear that digital media is driving offline transactions.

The Store Visits metric in AdWords estimates the uplift paid search has on visits to retailer’s stores. This metric is calculated based on aggregated, anonymised data from a sample set of users that have turned on Location History. The data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population and only reported if it reaches a strict confidence level. Google claims that retailers are seeing, on average, that paid search drives four store visits for every one online conversion .

Building Trust

Building trust online is extremely valuable. All things being equal trusted advertisers will see more traffic and higher conversion rates then their competitors. Paid search ads offer a number of features that are designed to help build user confidence in the advertiser, such as these:

Review extensions allow advertisers to share positive write-ups, awards, or third-party rankings with potential customers in an additional line of text beneath your ads. The more respected the website, journal, or publication the higher value this extension is likely to bring.

Consumer ratings highlight industry-specific ratings based on consumer surveys. One or more of your best ratings will be presented below the text of your search ads together with a link to additional ratings. These ad extensions help increase trust with the power of consumer opinion.

Seller ratings are an automated extension that lets people know which advertisers are highly rated for quality service. Seller ratings are gathered from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews. Good seller ratings help build trust for your brand.

Image for blog

Brand Building

Search advertising will have an incremental effect on an advertisers branding. Seeing a brand at the top of the search results page (SERP) can have a sizable uplift in top-of-mind awareness. Paid search is also well placed to increase brand awareness amongst consumers showing high intent to purchase.

Studies have shown that on average search ads seen in position 1 will have an 80% lift in consumers top-of-mind awareness. Although paid search is not seen as a branding channel, appearing at the top of a Google or Bing SERP will transmit branding value.

Paid search may be known best for driving direct response but there is little doubt it affects other areas in the marketing ecosystem as well. Being able to measure and optimise beyond direct response will allow markers to credit paid search with more than just the direct response it drives.

Paid Search 101: Reaching Relevant Customers with Geo-Targeting

By April 29th, 2014

One of the most overlooked settings in search marketing that produces wasted spend is geographic targeting. There’s  a good chance that your paid search ads are not relevant worldwide, so why spend to show ads in irrelevant locations that do not apply to your business?

If you’re getting started with AdWords, geo-targeting will become your best friend. So, let’s get to know it a little better, understand the capabilities, and discuss some tips on how you can use it for your marketing needs.

WHO: Businesses that have location specific needs such as shipping, physical stores, or services. Or even worldwide businesses with poor campaign performances in specific geo locations. Example: If I’m a food truck that only provides service around the Financial District of San Francisco, I’d want to target ads to customers located walking distance or 2 mi away from my location during certain times of the day.

WHY: By using proper geo-targeting settings that go hand in hand with your advertising goals, you will have better control over your spend and campaigns to serve ads to relevant customers. Geo-targeting helps you reel in the right customers to your business. When you target ads in areas where your customers are, it will likely increase your ROI.

HOW: You can easily target your ads to appear in select locations such as countries, cities, or by radius.  Start by logging into your AdWords account and navigating over to the campaigns tab. Then choose the campaign you want to edit and go into the settings tab. Scroll to the locations section and click on edit.

geo-targeting paid search

The magic begins here. Let’s dive into a quick breakdown of geo-targeting capabilities.

The most basic level is to type in the locations (country, city,  state, zip, DMA) you want and then select “Add.” You can repeat this process for multiple locations.

geo-targeting campaign management

For advanced needs such as location radius, places of interest or bulk locations, click on “Advanced search” on the settings tab.

geo target tab in Marin Software

It will open up a map with targeting options to choose from at the very top: search, radius targeting, location groups, and bulk locations.

For radius targeting, you can hone into locations within a target by mi or km:

geo target by mile or km

In the location groups targeting section, there are three sections to take into consideration.

1) You can target all airports, commercial areas, and universities:

target by airport or university2) You can target locations by demographic based on average income:

ppc target by income

 

3) Lastly, you can target using your location extensions that are enabled in your campaigns by radius:

geo target by radius

 

LOCATION EXCLUSION: Be sure to exclude the areas that are irrelevant within your targeting. You can do this by clicking on “Exclude” in the steps above instead of “Add.” For example, if you decide to target your ads in United States  but do not service in California, be sure to exclude that location so that California searchers do not see your ads.

But wait – there’s more!  Finally, you may want to click and expand the location options (advanced) box within the campaign settings tab to prevent your ads from displaying for people searching about your target location:

geo-target advanced

Edit the options below to make sure it fits your business needs.

geo target to meet business needs

TIPS:

  • Target locations that are relevant to your business strategy or where your customers are located.
  • Be sure to write and target the correct language for your ads. For example, select Japanese for targeting in Japan and for ads written in Japanese. This can be selected within campaign settings.
  • Consider excluding locations that are performing poorly (but understand why it may be performing poorly first).

In short, location matters – a lot!  Your ad could be award-winning, but if you’re not serving it to the right audience then it may not perform successfully. This is a great tool that can help target and exclude locations, as well as help optimize campaigns.

3 Key Takeaways from Google’s Planned AdWords Changes

By April 22nd, 2014

This morning, Google announced several new AdWords updates which will become available in the coming months. Vice President of Product Management Jerry Dischler made the reveal during the AdWords Performance Forum, where he reiterated Google’s mission to help advertisers “turn signals into stories,” and emphasized that “it’s no longer about the device; it’s about the consumer.”

Let’s take a look at their feature announcements in more detail:

1) Mobile App PromotionGoogle will focus on improving the ways in which advertisers drive mobile app installs, engagement, and conversions through AdWords.

AdWords mobile app promotionsChanges will include suggested keywords based on popular searches in Google Play, improved targeting options on the GDN, and deep linking in mobile app ads for users who have already downloaded an advertiser’s app.

Renewed emphasis on the mobile app space should come as no surprise. From a mobile usage perspective, the statistics are too glaring to ignore. While there have been more than 50 billion app downloads in Google Play across 190 countries, many advertisers still struggle to promote their apps and drive engagement post-download. In fact, some 60% of the available mobile apps on Google Play are never installed and over 80% of apps only get used once. According to eMarketer, more than 86% of mobile usage occurs via apps while only 14% occurs on the mobile web.

While Google was the first major advertising publisher to offer a mobile app install advertising solution (mobile app ad extensions), they’ve recently taken a backseat to Facebook. Approximately 18% of mobile app downloads now come from Facebook and Twitter, and many believe that social beats out search when it comes to app discovery and download. With these new mobile app promotion features, Google hopes to change that perception.

2) Intelligent Measurement Tools Google will focus on more intelligent measurement tools to help advertisers make the online-offline connection.

Last year, Google released Estimated Total Conversions. Marketed as a way to illustrate how Google search campaigns affect offline conversions, it also provides an estimated impact of advertising spend in one central location (AdWords). Today, Dischler announced additional tracking for offline conversions as part of this calculation. While his description of “offline conversions” was not specific, it will likely include in-store purchases.

This renewed focus on offline conversion tracking fits with Google’s aim to be a one-stop-shop for online advertising. However, advertiser concerns about sharing first-party data necessary for improved tracking still remain. Most advertisers prefer to keep most (if not all) of their first-party data out of Google’s reach due to privacy concerns. It will be interesting to see the adoption rate of this updated Estimated Total Conversions feature given the reluctance of advertisers to share offline data with Google.

3) Intelligent Tools for Power Users Google will focus on helping AdWords power users manage campaign complexities by adding a few sophisticated tools.

google adwords changes

Dischler recognized some current frustrations advertisers experience with AdWords, including the difficulty of completing large-scale bulk actions across campaigns. He called them “far too complicated” and acknowledged that many users currently go outside the interface and create complex spreadsheets to get the insight they need.

To address this pain point, Google will add functionality to help advertisers more easily upload, create and edit “hundreds” of Google advertising campaigns. In addition, AdWords users can expect new reporting, visualization and testing features in the AdWords interface. For example, advertisers will soon be able to drag and drop metrics into the UI to create pivot tables and easily manipulate reports “across multiple dimensions,” similar to what many do today within Excel. Through these “Intelligent Tools,” Google hopes to provide a way to handle reporting, analytics and optimization “all within AdWords.”

This is an exciting step for Google, but it’s important to note the data is Google-specific only, so advertisers will still need to go “offline” or to a third-party platform for comprehensive, cross-channel reporting. Furthermore, Google has historically struggled when it comes to reporting on actual revenue from purchase transactions. At best, Google will provide advertisers with revenue proxies and estimates which can be used for analytics and optimization.

A Note to Our Customers

At Marin, we see these newly announced Google features as a step in the right direction to help address gaps in the AdWords interface. The new features will initially be released in closed-beta, but we look forward to working closely with Google to integrate themas they become available in the AdWords API.

As the leading digital marketing platform and largest spender through the Google API, our mission to provide the industry’s best cross-channel marketing capabilities for advertisers remains the same. As always, we value your product feedback and look forward to receiving your comments.

Learn to Reduce Irrelevant AdWords Costs & Boost Conversions in 15 Minutes

By February 25th, 2014

As a search marketer, my ultimate goal is to generate the most relevant clicks to my website and to trim the costs of my campaigns so I’m spending efficiently and optimally. Given this, my biggest enemy is irrelevant clicks because it can suck the life out of my piggy bank. While I think Google AdWords is a great channel, it can definitely run up your costs in a wasteful manner if you don’ t know what you’re doing. But when paid search is done right, it can really help drive visitors that are highly interested in your product or services.

In this quick 15 minute read, you’ll learn a few targeting option basics and how to identify where you might be wasting costs. I’ll also cover how understanding data performances will help you optimize to boost your conversions. If you’re able to pay less for clicks, your cost per conversion will also be less – and that’s a big win. For each of my suggestions below, I strongly advise you to add in the Google Conversion Pixel so that you can see the performances against your marketing goals.

Here are 3 questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Is your campaign on the Display Network?

When you’re setting up your campaign for the first time, Google Adwords will default to traffic your ads on both the “Search & Display Network.” In most cases, this isn’t the option you’re looking for. Here’s a quick breakdown of what the difference is:

  • Search Network: Your ads will appear next to Google search results, and you’ll reach people with intent in mind who are searching for a specific product or service.
  • Display Network: Your ads will be placed on websites opted into Google AdSense, a program that gives websites a way to earn money by displaying ads on their site. By selecting ads to run with this option, AdWords will take your keywords and match them up with related websites. While this may sound like a good idea, the user intent is usually very different than Search Network ads; these ads are usually shown to people that fall into the “browsing” category where they are simply surfing the web to read – not having specific intent.

There are two ways to find out if you are active on the Display Network. First is the small text above the “Settings” tab, or you can find it by clicking on the “Settings” tab and navigating over to “Type.” Here you will be able to see and change what network you are running on.

AdWords campaign settings example

To see how your network placements are performing, click into the “Campaigns” tab, then select “Segment” and navigate to “Network”.  Here you will see the breakdown per network and make strategic decisions from there.

AdWords segment setting example

Tip: If you are going to try out Display Network, it’s best to break it into a separate campaign so you can monitor the campaigns and bid separately. Be sure to also check the placements to see where your ads are appearing.

2. Should you be bidding on mobile devices?

The first question you should ask yourself is if your website has an optimal mobile experience. If it doesn’t then you could be wasting clicks away. You can view this data through your analytics platform to see what the engagement metrics are between mobile traffic versus computer traffic – or better, import the data from Google Analytics into Adwords to get one full view. While mobile searches are growing and it sounds great to reach new customers from any device, marketers need to realize that mobile users have different intent and behaviors than someone on a computer. For example, mobile users may encounter your ads at 7:00pm while waiting for dinner and are simply just browsing to pass the time, whereas those who are in front of a computer may be more engaged and looking for something specific with intent in mind.

Due to the way Google Adwords is setup, it’s likely that you are trafficking ads to mobile devices. To see how your mobile ads are performing, click into the “Campaigns” tab then select “Segment” and navigate to “Device.”

With the presented data, you can decide to reduce or increase the bid adjustments across your different device targeting options anywhere from 90% and +300%, or at -100% to opt out of traffic from mobile devices completely.

3. Do you know what geographic locations are high-performing or low-performing?

Let’s role-play and say that you’re a company that specializes in selling custom teddy bears and you operate in the entire United States. For some reason, the conversion rates are lower in the Midwestern states compared to all the other states you’re targeting. This is your opportunity to optimize your bids and reduce the bid adjustments.

When you set yourself up for bidding in locations with a large audience size, such as all of the United States, your reach is broadened and it’s best to put some controls so that you’re reaching locations that resonate best with your product, services, or goals. Geographic bid modifiers is a fantastic way to boost bids on high-performing locations and lower bids on poor-performing locations.

To drill in and see how geography locations are performing, click into the “Dimensions” tab then select to view “Geographic.”

AdWords geographic setting example

With these three things in mind, don’t let irrelevant clicks drain your piggy bank. Be sure to keep tabs on your campaign, at the very least, once per week. The more informed you are about who you’re targeting, the better you can optimize to efficiency and profitability.

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