In our last blog post, we talked about the importance of ongoing PPC management.
In this post, we continue the theme by exploring what would happen if you ignored your AdWords account for six months. Of course, we know you’d never willingly do that, but what if you had no choice? What if your best friend won the lottery last March and whisked you away to a remote tropical island for six months, only returning a few days ago? What then?
First of all, welcome back you lucky, lucky person.
Second of all, you missed a lot—too much to list in one post. But here are the biggies:
April: Phone Number Verification
In April, Google announced mandatory verification of all phone numbers placed in online ads.
To pass the verification process, you need to make sure the ad phone number appears (in text) on at least one page of your website or prove that you own the domain. Otherwise, Google will not approve your call extensions.
May: TrueView for Shopping and Mobile Ad Offerings
While you were enjoying a glorious month of scuba lessons, Google introduced TrueView for shopping and new ad offerings for mobile app marketers. While not everyone is affected by these changes, marketers that are promoting products through video and/or mobile apps could see their performance affected.
June: Google Shopping Feed and Product Taxonomy
On June 8th, Google announced it would be updating the Google shopping feed specification and product taxonomy. Aimed at those using Google Shopping, the purpose of the update is to help customers find products online and simplifying the process of inputting information into your feed. The updates require you to make changes to your campaign product data by September 15.
If you missed the deadline (which you did thanks to that marathon session of beachside bingo), you missed a valuable opportunity to improve your ad categorization and feed set up. Consequently, your conversion rate declined.
July: Upgraded URLs
July 1st was the deadline to use upgraded URLs instead destination URLs. If you didn’t make the changes manually, some URLs may have converted automatically, but others may have stopped serving, taking your ad offline.
We monitored this upgrade closely for our clients and (as inevitably happens with upgrades) found we had to resolve some issues manually.
August: Structured Snippets Extensions
In August, Google announced the introduction of structured snippets extensions. While dynamic structured snippets have been around for a while, structured snippets extensions are a new tool that gives advertisers more control over their ads, which is a good thing. The catch is that this new extension brings the total of possible manual extensions to seven. Seven! With this number of extensions in play, it’s time for you to rethink your ad extension strategy as a whole.
September: Customer Match
With September came a HUGE announcement that blew PPC marketers out of their seats: Google’s introduction of Customer Match.
Customer Match is a new Google product that allows marketers to upload lists of email address to Google. Google then matches these lists to signed-in Google users, allowing marketers to set bids and create ads specifically geared to their email list audiences. Further, Customer Match also comes with “similar audiences” functionality so you can reach additional similar users who aren’t on your email lists.
Customer Match marks the first time Google has allowed marketers to target ads by customer-owned data, bringing it into line with similar offerings from Facebook and Twitter.
(We’ll be writing more about Customer Match and its ramifications in the coming weeks. But have no doubt—it’s a major game changer.)
So once you’ve shaken the sand out of your luggage and logged into AdWords after your six month absence, you’ll find your PPC campaigns in disarray. Getting them back on track will (sadly) take many cold, hard winter months.