Since the last ‘10 things’ blog so much has changed, such is the pace of digital marketing. If you missed the last one, these posts are a monthly feature offering a brief round-up of the most exciting news from the world of PPC: everything from updates and new features to cutting-edge research.
Google announced dashboards for AdWords
AdWords is to get customisable dashboards. These will allow you to display only the data and important stats to you – meaning no longer will we have to scroll passed irrelevant data displayed in the current ‘home’ tab. The new dashboards will also allow you to create your own custom charts and tables and can display more critical data more prominently. They will also be sharable, which is great news for both us and our clients.
Bing Ads now suggest remarketing bid adjustments
Suggested remarketing bid adjustments, and an estimate of the new conversion rate for the resulting changes are now available to view via the ‘Opportunities’ tab in Bing Ads. These suggestions are generated based on historical performance, so should be somewhat accurate. Bing Ads will also suggest negative bid adjustments and will display the potential savings you can make if these adjustments are applied. We see this as a welcome addition, with data driven insights surly allowing for better accuracy in remarketing bids.
Research Showed Amazon dominant for shoppers’ starting point
Research has indicated that in the majority of cases Amazon is either the starting point for, or plays a significant role in, customer’s product research. The data shows Google is number one when it comes to shopping and product discovery, yet Amazon is the starting point for 56% of customers. Many marketers underestimate Amazon’s role in the customer journey, but this research suggests it’s time to reconsider the influence of the shopping giant.
Google updated AdWords tracking for Safari
In response to Apple’s new intelligent tracking, Google announced a new Analytics cookie which will keep tracking ads on Safari; in light of fears Apple's new tracking would have detrimental implications for AdWords campaigns.
In short, the new Analytics cookie will capture campaign and conversion data from Safari while still conforming with Apple’s new intelligent tracking. But we don’t think you have any reason to fear – this change should occur seamlessly and have no effect on data or reporting.
Google released AdWords feature to support AMP landing pages
In May this year, Google began testing a feature which would allow advertisers to drive their mobile customers to Accelerated Mobile Landing (AMP) pages. Very soon this feature will be rolled out to all advertisers, although the landing pages are only available for text ads. Tests have shown AMP landing pages typically load instantly, with very little or no lag. Reports from Wego.com have shown a 95% increase in mobile conversion rate with the new AMP pages and a 31% drop in bounce rate. These stats are very interesting and confirm it should be every advertiser’s priority to send their customers to these new super-fast landing pages.
AdWords Editor updated to support Showcase ads
The latest AdWords Editor update has added several new features; one of which is the ability to create and edit showcase ads – the latest shopping ad format. Showcase ads first became available last year, but only now are advertisers able to make changes to them within AdWords Editor – a positive step towards full control of our ads and a feature likely to relieve many.
Bing rolled out account-level ad extensions
Bing recently announced the ability to add account-level ad extensions is coming. This update will be rolled out globally; a process which should only take a matter of weeks. The ability to add account-level extensions has been met with much anticipation from the community, putting an end to the monotony of having to apply the same extensions to each campaign over and over again. It should be noted however, this update doesn’t apply to sitelinks and call extensions (not yet anyway).
Call-only ads now eligible for extensions in AdWords
As of last month, advertisers can apply three different ad extensions to call-only ads. Due to the intention of these ad types (to increase phone calls), the extensions allowed are the non-interactive ones (location, callout, and structures snippets). If you have any of these extensions set up at the account level already they will be eligible to show automatically. Early testing from Google has shown click-through rate has increased by around 10% on average with the extensions applied. We see this as an excellent step towards optimisation for call-only ads and expect to see engagement increase as the ads become more prominent on Google results pages.
Google announced new simplified ad rotation settings...
Google announced its ad rotation settings are to be simplified to include only ‘optimise’ and ‘rotate indefinitely’, reducing the amount of available options from four to two. Google also strongly recommended when using ‘optimise’, advertisers should ensure they have at least three ads per ad group (if you haven't already). While this update has caused some trepidation around the office, the majority of AdWords users won’t be phased; most of us are resigned to the fact Google bots will one day have even more control over our accounts, so the ‘rotate indefinitely’ option will likely be the next to go.
… and changes to the upcoming auto-generated ads feature
Last month we scared you all with the news AdWords beta will include a feature that will suggest, auto-generate and then post new ads – possibly all without your knowledge. The proposal for this feature gained a rather sizeable backlash from the community; so much so, Google made some changes to the initial plan:
Now, advertisers will receive more notifications when an ad has been generated – both within the AdWords interface and by email. Also, the functionality of the two-week review period has been announced; within these 14 days, advertisers will be able to edit, pause, dismiss, or enable the ads. Plus, it is now possible to completely opt out at any time. We think this is a positive feature – after all, if you don’t like the automated ads you can always delete them!