3 Big Changes to Google AdWords

There have been a lot of announcements coming from Google regarding AdWords this spring and summer but what’s really going on? Here’s a highlight of the new features that will affect your campaigns now.

1) Expanded Text Ads: Google’s new ads are now 47% bigger which means there’s more room for essential information and they’reext ads performing way better than standard text ads are. Google rolled these out to appeal to the mobile users but they’re performing well in both mobile and desktop searches. Here’s how the new character limits break down:

  • Headline: Going from one 25 character line to two 30 character headlines (FYI, Headline One is more important in generating clicks than Headline Two)
  • Description line: Going from two 35 character lines to one consolidated 80 character line, take advantage of the new space
  • Customizable URL paths – Your Display URL will be automatically updated from your final URL with options for you to pick relevant URL paths

According to Google’s blog: “The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s here. Every year, there are trillions of searches on Google and over half of those searches happen on mobile. And across the millions of websites using Google Analytics today, we’re seeing more than half of all web traffic now coming from smartphones and tablets.” This is the main basis behind the first change to the ad text structure in 15+ years and you’d better jump on getting your ads updated. As I mentioned earlier, they’re performing way better and starting October 26th, 2016, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve (we don’t know how for sure how long they will be served) and new text ads generated after that date must use the expanded text ad format.

2) What else is new? Price Extensions for Mobile.

Google has a plethora of extensions for search ads and they greatly help to convert visitors as they offer the most relevant information a
ga2user is looking for. We have always been a fan of location, sitelinks, reviews, and others and now mobile advertisers have the options to feature price extensions. The new options for price extensions are flexible and easily adjustable. Google says the new price extensions are:

Easily updated. Change your item names and description whenever you want, keeping them up-to-date for sales and special offers. And good news—you can edit your price extensions without resetting their performance statistics.
Flexible and customizable. You can add price extensions to an account, campaign, or ad group, depending on which ads you want them to show with. You can also specify the dates, days of the week, or times of day your price extensions are eligible to show.

Be sure that your extensions line up with your landing pages so when your mobile visitor clicks on the “Women’s haircut – shampoo and style – From $70” takes the visitor to the corresponding landing page. Since they already made the choice from the extension, leading them anywhere else would create a frustrating user experience.

Learn more about all the AdWords extension options.

3) Google Maps to Feature Local Search Ads & Promoted Pins adwords promoted pins 2

Google Maps is wildly popular and Google AdWords users are currently able to use location extensions to promote their businesses on
the desktop and mobile version of Google Maps. Users searching on the desktop version of Google Maps will see Google Maps ads in the Local Finder above all other map results, this time with purple ad labels. The map also will note these locations with purple pins. These “promoted pins” will make it easier for advertisers to advertise in-store promotions and users can check out what is available at their local store. These map ads may also feature a Call button, Directions button, store hours, and customer reviews.

Google Maps has over a billion users and it accounts for nearly a third of Google’s mobile traffic. To get your ads on Google Maps, login to your AdWords account, pick the campaign you want, click down to Location Extensions and look for Google My Business under your Account extension.When your Google My Business account is synced with AdWords, any text ad in your account is eligible to show your local business information. You can also set up filters to assign addresses to particular campaigns or ad groups. This syncing process gets tricky when you have different accounts for AdWords & Google My Business or if someone else manages one of your accounts, etc. For more information about how to sync your accounts and set up your Ads on Google Maps, check out this step-by-step instruction for Local Search Ads on Google Maps.

If you’re in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area and want more information about Google AdWords, we have classes coming up soon which you can check out here: demandquest.com/google-adwords. We also offer custom AdWords audits and training nationally and would be glad to help you get your AdWords campaigns performing better than ever.

All photos used from Google.

Are CPCs Are Going To Skyrocket? Google’s right-side Adpocalypse

We posted a few weeks ago announcing Google’s decision to stop showing ads on the right column of their search results page and we adswanted to update you on how this has been affecting campaign performance. For virtually all of our accounts, we bid to be in the top 3 (and now 4) positions in search results (with a few exceptions where we would bid for lower ranking on the right-hand side as it had worked for some of smaller advertisers). Over the past month, we’ve seen that our click-through-rates have increased and our cost per clicks have decreased even as we maintain our ad rank positions. We’ve also a positive bump in our quality scores so overall I think the ad placement change has been a positive one as it’s eliminated a lot of less relevant and less skilled advertisers from competing in searches with my clients. It may be too good to last but we’ll keep you up to date on the changes we see. Overall we’ve seen mostly positive changes and hope you have too.

If you’re not seeing an increase in CTR and decrease in cost per click, let me know and I can set up a free AdWords audit for you. You can send me an email and I can address your questions and set up a time to look over your campaigns.

We found a great article on Search Engine Land about the “Adpocalypse” that took an in-depth look at how other campaigns are being affected by Google’s recent changes. Here are some of the highlights: After looking at Merkle RKG data through the weekend, Andy Taylor says, “Overall, we haven’t really seen much impact to non-brand text ad click or impression volume yet. CPC has also remained roughly steady, but we’re still very interested to see how first page and top of page bid minimums shift.”

Click-through rates (CTRs) are up – Especially for ad positions 3 and 4.

Costs per click (CPCs) are static – We’ve found that our CPCs have actually gone down in cost.

Traffic is steady – No real surprise here, Google wouldn’t have changed their search engine results pages if they thought they would lose visitors or ad money.

Impressions are down – Again, no real surprise since there aren’t as many ads for people to look at on the search results page. We’ve also noticed that a lot of our competitors’ ads aren’t showing up as well when we search for our own ads which may mean campaign managers may have to make some adjustments to increase ad quality score.

Here’s the overall analysis from Search Engine Land:

  • Most advertisers are responding well to the change.
  • Advertisers’ metrics seem to have mostly balanced out so far.
  • Traffic and CPCs have remained relatively flat.
  • The losers are those who were at the bottom (positions 8–11). But even then, it’s nearly impossible to find examples of advertisers that have been totally and utterly annihilated.
  • Finally, it’s important to remember that this change is exclusive to desktop. Regardless of how you spin the numbers, it’s clear that desktop is becoming less of a focal point for Google.

Let me know if you have any questions about the new Google result’s page ad positioning and if you’d like a free AdWords audit. We’re also starting up our Google AdWords classes soon and would love for you to join us. You can register here

More Changes & Updates to Google AdWords

​Last week was a big one for Google AdWords news. Not only did they eliminate ads on the right-hand column of search results (you can read more about that here), they also introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMPs with the purpose of creating a “better, faster mobile internet.”​ And our favorite feature last week was when they added a video campaign editing feature to the AdWords Editor which works great and has saved us a ton of time when editing & optimizing videos campaigns. You can check out a quick how-to video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxIttJx4_9w. We’re also still really excited about the AdWords drafts and test features and have found some great insights while doing easy A/B testing. As always, if you have any specific questions about how these changes will affect your campaigns, please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call. I’d be glad to help you answer them. 

Here are some other great articles we found:

Fixing 404 Error Pages with Google Analytics – from Search Engine Watch: http://bit.ly/1ONi1XX

Google’s AMP Project Gets Google Analytics Support – from MarketingLand:

http://selnd.com/1UmtEfM

Why your Facebook Ad Measurement is Messed Up – from Search Engine Watch: http://bit.ly/1T6IS93

DemandQuest Digital Marketing Classes Minneapolis – Spring 2016, 

As always, feel free to drop me an email (ted at demandquest.com) and let me know if you have any questions about the new Google AdWords features.

Google to remove all ads on right side of page – effective immediately

Google decided last weekend to stop showing ads on the right column of their search results page effective immediately (Feb 24, 2016)​ and globally. According to Google “We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.​” You will still see product listings ads and the Knowledge Panel on the right column.

There’s speculation that this change is revenue driven on Google’s part; if there are less ads above the fold (there are up to 4 ads before organic results) there is more pressure to make sure your ads are in one of those top 4 spots. This will affect all advertisers  but especially those who consistently aim for the top ad rank position. There is also a more organic visual flow to having all the ads line up with organic results that is especially relevant for searches on mobile and tablets.

What does this mean for the average advertiser? Bottom line; it’s time to optimize your campaigns and add a Google Shopping campaign (Product Listings Ads) if you haven’t already. It will be really interesting to watch how Google Shopping campaigns fluctuate over the next few months while advertisers figure out what this move means to their current campaigns. PLAs already make up 42% of Google’s paid advertising and we believe these will be more relevant and important for cost effective conversions.

Analyzing and monitoring your campaigns right now is also crucial. Look into bid adjustments for certain times of the day, get rid of expensive keywords that aren’t converting and optimize your ads for a better quality score. Keep an eye on your ad placements and see if your costs are going up if you’re in the top 4 paid positions.

It’s also time to work on optimizing your Google Business pages and boosting your online reviews. With the increase relevance of the Knowledge Panel on the right hand column it’s a great idea to focus some energy on your free Google My Business listings as well. You can find more information about your listings here: http://www.google.com/business/befound.html

Here are some more articles about how this will impact your campaigns:

Hubspot: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-removes-right-side-ads

Search Engine Watch: https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/23/google-kills-right-hand-side-ads-what-does-this-mean-for-sem/

Ads will no longer be served on the right hand column.      

b1

 Heat map example of where people look at search results.

b3

 

Four paid ads above the organic results and Google knowledge panel on the right column.

Google Ads layout

 Google Shopping Ads (PLAs), one paid ads and just blank space on the right column. 

toro lawn mower   Google Search

 

Want to learn more about how these changes will affect your campaigns and how to optimize effectively? Join us for Google AdWords classes in Minneapolis starting March 29th. Click here for more information: http://demandquest.com/google-adwords/

Interested in an AdWords audit and consultation? Learn more about our AdWords consulting services here: http://demandquest.com/personalized-training or call us at 612-460-8770.

We Offer Custom Training for Agencies

We work with agencies all the time! Let us help your team bridge the gap between traditional marketing education and current technology trends and updates.

We love agencies! We work with agencies across the US and recognize their value. We want to help your team stay current and up to
date with the latest digital marketing best practices, technology trends, and software applications. We have found that many employees at marketing and advertising agencies have a great foundation but are missing advanced skills in digital marketing, advertising, and analytics. We’ve actually had DemandQuest students who represent clients meet with agency reps and our students knew a lot more about digital marketing than the reps did. Save your agency that embarrassment and be the most educated team in the room. We want to help your employees bridge the gap so you can continue to offer a comprehensive, well-rounded solution to your clients all while saving you money. We offer a competitive rate for group training that is more cost effective than sending employees to individual classes. Take advantage of our group rate and custom training options, tailored to meet your company needs.

Custom Training in Google AdWords, Yahoo!/Bing Advertising, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & All Social Advertising Platforms, Search Engine Optimization, and More, All Tailored to Meet Your Specific Needs.

Clients know that they need to be online but most of them don’t know where to start or how to be effective, which is why they have engaged you as an agency. We can help ensure that you are creating the most effective online campaigns for your clients utilizing social media, comprehensive analytics, and online advertising. Show your clients tangible data that prove their online marketing efforts are creating conversions.

Make sure that your credentials are up to date when you pitch your next client. Are you employees Google AdWords or Google Analytics certified? Are they “social media experts”? How do you know the level of education and experience your team is bringing to your clients? We will ensure your reps have a full understanding of the technology and platforms that you offer to your clients with your custom digital marketing training.

Call Today for a Customized Experience! 888-336-1314 or email info@demandquest.com

 

Getting Google Analytics & Google AdWords Certified

Interested in getting Google Analytics and/or Google AdWords Certified?  Whether you’re new to Google’s complex software or have been using it for years, here are some reasons you may want to get your certifications.

Why get Certified:
  • Clients and employers believe training and certification are important
  • Learn how to use and implement new features
  • Improved online advertising & overall website performance
  • Get included in the new AdWords Professional Search

Clients and Employers Believe Training and Certification are Important:

There are so many marketing professionals out there offering a wide range of services at all levels of competence so having your certifications can show a client or an employer that you really do know what you’re doing when it comes to PPC management and Analytics. If you’re self-employed or at an agency, this is a must have. I believe it will help set you apart amongst job applicants as well as it shows your commitment to education and training.

Learn How to Use and Implement New Features:

We often joke in our AdWords and Analytics classes that we’ll probably see at least one new feature appear in any of our 4-5 week courses and we often do!  The updates to Google’s software are astounding and we see students who have been using AdWords or Analytics for years who never knew about certain features that make their lives easier and their campaigns much more effective. It’s also really gratifying when you can bring in a new technique to your clients or employer or both.  Also, since you have to get certified every two years, having this certification proves that you are educated and up to date on current features.

Improve Your Online Advertising & Website Performance:

It used to be that we just threw money at the web and hoped for the best. Now we’re able to track who’s coming and for how long, how they got there and what their behavior looked like while they visited. Then we can re-market them to come back and give us another shot. The intricacies and complexities of analyzing your online advertising efforts are amazing and incredibly useful. When you have a handle on how both Google Analytics and AdWords work, you can use them to cut costs, improve ROI, improve visitor retention and return rates. The possibilities are endless.

Be Included in the Google AdWords Professional Search:

Once you are certified, you and/or your company will be featured in the Google Partners Search which is a directory of certified companies and individuals. Prospective advertisers and clients can search here: http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/partnersearch.html and use a variety of criteria (location, estimated budget, services, etc.) to find a qualified Google professional. You can also use the Google badges on your website (with a link to your credentials) for added credibility.

Resources:

Learn more about the Google Partner’s Certifications:

AdWords CertificationAnalytics Certification –  Take test here: https://google.starttest.com/

About Training at the DemandQuest Marketing Institute: 

We offer on-site, virtual, and in-person training. We can send our instructors to you, we can teach via Google Hangout or Skye, or you can attend one of our classes at our Northeast Minneapolis training facility. Our classes are comprehensive and the goal is to be able to understand and effectively use the Google Analytics and AdWords software. We offer in-depth training and certification programs as well as one-day seminars. Please check out our certifications classes here.