PPC Blog: PPC News

PPC Functions and Tools We’re Grateful for in 2019

Once again, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.

And in keeping with tradition, my team and I like to use Thanksgiving as an occasion to reflect and give thanks for the many PPC functions and tools that made our jobs easier this year.

Because when we can complete our work more easily, thoroughly and efficiently, it helps us deliver better results for our clients.

So without further ado, read on to see what we’re grateful for this past year. (And if you’re not using these functions or tools yourself, it might be time to give them a try.)

PPC functions and tools

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3 PPC Changes That Might Scare You

For many PPC newbies (and even PPC pros!) Google Ads can be a scary place. Things can change and catch you by surprise, leaving you thoroughly spooked!

To help you avoid that kind of chilling situation, let me outline three changes that might scare you (and your wallet) if you’re not aware of them. 

PPC changes

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Watch Out for Google Ad Suggestions!

In April 2018, Google started implementing ad suggestions. Basically, these are ads that Google generates and “suggests” that you use.

The ads are developed using machine learning. They pull from prior campaigns for content, including ad headlines, descriptions, extensions and landing pages

Advertisers can review, edit and/or dismiss the ad suggestions. But if they don’t act within 14 days, the ads will be applied to their accounts automatically.

So if you’re not paying attention, you may find that ads you’ve never seen before are now live in your account!

Google ad suggestions

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5 PPC Takeaways That Will Make You a Better Marketer

One of the joys (and challenges) of a career in paid search is the constant state of learning and change. It’s a theme that runs through many of my articles.

But in the busy-ness of our day-to-day PPC activities, it’s easy to simply move from one thing to the next without pausing to learn from what’s in front of us.

What lessons can we draw from our experiences? How can we apply these lessons more broadly?

In that spirit, I will recount some of my team’s top PPC takeaways from the past few months:

PPC takeaways

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Images in GDN Display Ads: Recent Findings

Like most other PPC pros, we’re continuing to test and experiment with the GDN as we come to grips with changes, such as the elimination of standard text ads and the roll out of responsive ads.

Some of these tests are planned. But some emerge organically as our clients put forth new ideas or new challenges arise.

This happened recently when one of our clients developed a new set of GDN display ads.

GDN display ads

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How to Make the Google Ad Grants Program Work for Your Nonprofit

Last December, Google communicated forthcoming changes for its Google Ad Grants program. The changes were scheduled to be implemented on January 1. However, it appears that Google is giving account owners some time to make necessary adjustments.

The program provides up to $10,000 USD in AdWords advertising to eligible nonprofits, with some restrictions.

Some of the program changes are good (such as the removal of the $2 bid limit).

But other changes may create new challenges. In particular, the new 5% CTR rule might create some difficulties, especially if your nonprofit operates in a highly competitive market.

In my latest column in Search Engine Land, I take a closer look at these Google Ad Grants program changes and describe how nonprofits can work with—and around—the new rules.

Google Ad Grants changes

Sharing Stories of Success: The ADworld Experience Conference

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to speak at the upcoming ADworld Experience Conference in Bologna, Italy!

ADworld Experience is a unique conference because it’s based on real-life pay per click and conversion rate optimization case studies.

It will run over two days: April 12 and 13.

ADworld Experience conference

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The Problem With Programmatic Advertising

I was interested to see a recent article in MarTech Today about how some major brands (Procter & Gamble in particular) are pushing back against programmatic advertising.

As stated in the article:

In the past year, major brands have called into question the notion that mass marketing necessitates a scattershot approach to digital advertising. Programmatic’s promise to deliver huge scale at cheap prices has brought to the forefront the tension between scale and vetted quality and transparency. Now stories of brands pulling back on programmatic with little to no downside for their businesses add a greater sense of urgency to addressing issues that have long plagued the ad tech industry.

programmatic advertising

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Customize Your Ads With the New AdWords IF Function

Back in the days of AdWords standard text ad format, marketing teams and PPC agencies would commonly create mobile-preferred ads as a way of tailoring messaging for mobile users.

With the rollout of expanded text ads, we lost this “mobile preferred” option. With expanded text ads, messaging is the same across all devices. If we want to tailor our ads to mobile users, the best we can do (in expanded text ads) is assign a separate “mobile” landing page for them.

Outside of expanded text ads, we have a few workaround options, such as device-based ad customizers and building mobile-specific ad groups or campaigns.

AdWords IF function

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Online Ad Blocking Finally Gets Serious

For as long as online advertising has been with us, people have complained about its impact on user experience. Granted, ads have come a long way since the internet’s early days and aren’t nearly as obnoxious as they used to be (for the most part). But that said, you don’t have to look hard to find examples of bad online advertising.

What do I mean by bad online advertising? The industry group Coalition for Better Ads lists some of the most egregious examples:

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