8.16.17

PPC Management in 2017: 5 Things You Aren’t Taking Advantage of

BY MATT O'CONNELL

PPC management is a moving target, and it's easy to fall behind. Here are 5 things you should be taking advantage of in your campaigns this year.

The world of search advertising is ever-changing as ad platforms continue to evolve and offer more ways to target your audience. Sometimes you reach a point where you feel like your campaigns are all running smoothly, so set it and forget it, right?

Wrong! Continuous optimization is the key to sustained success and the only way to do that is to take advantage of everything Google AdWords and BingAds have to offer. With that in mind, here are 5 tools you should be leveraging if you aren’t already.

 

1. Expanded Text Ads

Both Google and Bing rolled out expanded text ads in 2016, though we see many active campaigns that still aren’t taking advantage of them. Neither platform still supports the standard text ads so if you haven’t made the upgrade, it’s past time to get on it!

In a nutshell, we’re talking about “double” headlines with more characters. Previously, Google and Bing both permitted one headline of up to 25 characters. With ‘Expanded Text Ads’, you can now use two headlines of up to 30 characters each. Google claimed that in early testing this could increase Click-Through-Rates (CTR) by up to 25%.

 

Expanded Text Ads

 

We wouldn’t expect the same increase in CTR necessarily, but this does allow you to take up more real estate and include additional information in your headlines. Expanded Text Ads are generating better CTR in the new format (did you notice there are no more right-side ads?) and every search advertiser should be taking advantage of them.

 

2. Local Search Ads on Google Maps

Google Maps has more than a billion users and people visit 1.5 billion destinations based on their Google searches per year. According to Google, location-related searches account for nearly a third of all mobile searches and grew 50 percent faster than overall mobile searches in the past year.

 

Local Search Ads

 

Not only can you run local search ads now, you can even run branded ads for non-branded searches in the map results, including your company logo! If you have a brick-and-mortar business or any business that focuses on a local geographic area, you need to start leveraging local search ads within Google Maps.

 

3. Promoted Pins

To drive more online traffic from Maps to local businesses, Google is rolling out other ad formats including “Promoted Pins”. If you use Google Maps, you’ve probably noticed the ordinary red “pins” that indicate places of interest. These new “Promoted Pins” are purple by contrast, and allow your business to visibly stand out from other locations in your area.

You can also tailor promotions and coupons based on search history. The end result is a much more customized ad experience within the Google Maps interface.

 

Promoted Pins
 

Here’s an example of a promotion from Walgreens (map result on left, map ‘page’ [Google My Business] should you click on the right).

 

4. Rich Media Ads

Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content. These ads go further than simple text or image ads, and many brands are seeing improved engagement numbers as they experiment with these options.

Google supports the following rich media creative types:

  • Expanding                                                                    
  • Interstitial
  • Banner
  • Banner with floating
  • Multi-directional expanding (MDE)
  • Multi-floating interstitial
  • Push-down
  • Video
  • VPAID

 

5. Google Shopping

Google and Bing have offered shopping feeds for a while, but not everyone is taking advantage of them. You might have tried shopping ads in the past and failed to see encouraging results, leading to the conclusion that they don’t work for your brand. However, the shopping feeds continue to evolve and it might be worth another try! 

For starters, you can now view more information that might help you make improvements to performance. BingAds added inventory feeds and search query reports at the product level this spring. This means advertisers can view the real search queries that triggered ads based on product search term. This makes it easier than ever to figure out what is triggering your ads and potentially identify negative keywords for better refinement.

On the Google side of things, shopping ads are now showing on the Display Network. This is a pilot program from Google but one that could be a game-changer if you’ve not had success running shopping ads in the past.

Matt O'Connell
written by MATT O'CONNELL

Matt is an Inbound Marketing Manager at Carbon8 with a wide range of experience in SEO, PPC, Content and Social Marketing as well as direct sales. He has worked in a variety of business development roles in multiple industries across the United States and Latin America and he loves finding innovative ways to improve his clients' search marketing performance.

Matt holds a degree in Geography from the University of Maryland and is passionate about language and culture. He spent three years living and working in Buenos Aires prior to joining Carbon8.

A transplant to the Denver area, Matt is originally hails from Maryland and is a diehard Redskins football and Maryland Terrapins basketball fan. When he's not toiling away in the office, Matt can be found carving up the Rockies on his snowboard.

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