PPC Blog: AdWords

When Smart Goals Aren’t Smart at All

In December of last year, Google rolled out Smart Goals to AdWords users. The company promoted the feature as a way for businesses to forgo the painstaking process of setting up conversion tracking by using conversion data collected from other businesses instead.

But this “easy-to-use” solution begs a big question: Would the actual data (if conversion tracking was in place) bear any resemblance to this aggregated data?

Truth is, advertisers have no way of knowing. And that seems more than a little risky.

In her latest column in Search Engine Watch, Pauline Jakober takes a closer look at the issues surrounding Smart Goals and speculates at what might lie behind this latest Google offering.

Smart Goals

The GDN Update You Shouldn’t Overlook

Google is continually updating its products, which (generally) is a good thing. But sometimes the updates happen so frequently, it’s easy to overlook them—especially if it’s an update to a product or service you don’t use often or aren’t particularly enamored with.

This happened to my team and I recently. Google announced an update to the Google Display Network (GDN) in August, and its significance initially escaped us. Only when we started playing with the update, and dug a little deeper, did we fully “get” the implications.

GDN update

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Sweating the Details With Dynamic Structured Snippets

As PPC marketers, we’re detail orientated. It’s mandatory. (Try to find a job posting for a PPC marketer that doesn’t say applicants must be “detail orientated.” You won’t find one.)

After all, in our line of work, details matter. Often, it’s in the nitty gritty (the stuff that’s easy to overlook or ignore) that we find new ways to maximize ROI.

(To friends and families who must live with our extreme attention to detail: we apologize. To clients: you’re welcome.)

Not surprisingly, then, we’re very, very picky about what we put in our PPC ads. We write and rewrite our ad copy. We analyze, we ponder, we argue. Once ads go live, we monitor, adjust and then adjust again.

Consequently, we had some concerns about the automatically generated text that comes with AdWords dynamic structured snippets. And from what we’ve seen so far, the results have been mixed. Learn more about our experience with dynamic structured snippets in Pauline Jakober’s latest Search Engine Watch article.

P.S. It looks like AdWords isn’t yet done with structured snippets. It recently announced it will be rolling out a new variation of snippets, called structured snippet extensions. Stay tuned for more on this topic!

Dynamic structured snippets

Why You Can (and Should) Include Video Ads in Your PPC Campaigns

When we suggest video ads to clients, many are taken aback.

“Video ads?” they say. “Can we do that?”

Well, if you have video assets and a relatively healthy PPC budget, then yes, you can. And probably should.

Why aren’t video ads on everyone’s radar? Many think video ads are out of their budget. Others think they’d have to engage a specialized agency to manage them. But, in fact, video ads are within reach of many businesses, especially if targeted appropriately.

video ads

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What You Need to Know About AdWords for Video

Video is the hot new thing in PPC advertising. In fact, video advertising (for desktop alone) is predicted to grow 21 percent by 2019!

If you haven’t taken AdWords for video for a spin yet—and you’re thinking of giving it a try—you should know there are some important differences between video ads and the Google Search Network.

For an overview of the similarities and differences (and a few things to watch out for), check out Pauline Jakober’s latest PPC column on Search Engine Watch.

AdWords for video


Who You Gonna Call? Using Call Only Campaigns to Maximize Your Advertising Dollars

If you’ve seen the movie Ghostbusters, you know the scene: A ghost appears in the local library. The frantic librarian calls the Ghostbusters team. The team arrives, saves the day and issues an invoice. A slam-dunk conversion!

Of course, this all happened when mobile phones were the size of shoeboxes and Google didn’t yet exist.

call only campaigns

Today, the Ghostbusters would run a call only campaign. The frantic librarian would whip out her mobile phone, search “ghost removal services” and click on a call only ad to phone the Ghostbusters team. Another slam-dunk conversion!

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Given Up on the Google Display Network? Not so Fast!

Some search engine marketers argue that the Google Display Network (GDN) via AdWords doesn’t work as well as its counterpart, the Search Network. But on closer inspection, the GDN has some real advantages over the Search Network—if you know where to find them.

If you’re interested in broadening your advertising options with the GDN, check out my latest SEM column on Search Engine Land.

AdWords Roundup: 8 Features Announced in June

June was an exceptionally busy month for updates to AdWords features. Between all the new reports, extensions, offerings, webinars and implementing stuff on client accounts, it’s been a bit overwhelming.

That’s why we wanted to make it easier for you by rounding up some select AdWords features announced in the past month, talk a little about what and who they’re good for, and offer some additional resources if you want to explore further.

Feel free to reach out to us in the comments below if you have any questions on how these features are working for us.

1. Review Extensions

What It Is: Review extensions allow you to include accolades and positive feedback about your brand from third parties right in your advertisement.

Who Should Use It: Review extensions could be an especially nice option for B2B advertisers.

Pro: Glowing reviews play a big part with consumer decisions these days, not to mention your ad will really stand out if others in your industry have not implemented them.

Con: This extension may be tricky for some advertisers, since they’ll need to link to a third-party website to verify the testimonial. It’s not for everyone and rules out consumer-based reviews.

Check out this article on Search Engine Land for a closer look at the feature.

2. Dynamic Remarketing

What It Is: Dynamic remarketing lets you create retargeting ads through various templates that Google says automatically combine the layouts, products, messages and offers that your customers are most likely interested in.

Dynamic Remarketing Ad

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AdWords Image Extensions: The Pros and Cons

AdWords image extensions rolled out in beta early this month for English ads worldwide. Similar to Product Listing Ads (PLA), image extensions allow businesses to use images right in their ads. But unlike PLAs, these images can be used in different ways than just a product image, like conveying the “body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans or a particular shade of eyeshadow,” Google said in its announcement.

Google also explained when image extensions would be shown:

“Image extensions will show in some cases when we determine that a search is likely for visual content. For example, it is more likely that your image extensions will show for a query like luxury car designs than locations of nearby car dealerships.”

Here’s what those extensions could look like:

AdWords Image Extemsion

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Let’s Talk About Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

This month, Google announced Enhanced Campaigns in AdWords, and it’s caused quite a stir. Google says the new structure is for the good of people performing the search and the business serving the ads. Some advertisers think it could be for the good of Google and its wallet. Whichever side you’re on, these changes have the potential to make a big impact. Let’s quickly recap the story of Google Adwords Enhanced Campaigns, and then we’ll dive into some details.

This is Google’s take on Enhanced Campaigns:

And this is what marketers are saying:

Enhanced Campaigns Twitter Reactions

As you can see, it’s an industry divided.
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