Google AdWords and the Countdown Widget

January 19th, 2015 by Kelly Levine

BLOG-CountdownWidgetDo you run time-sensitive promotions on your website? Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to automate your Google AdWords text ads to match the dates of your current promotion? Well, there is!

Over the next few weeks, a new feature called the Countdown Widget will be rolling out across Google AdWords accounts.  As you create a text ad, simply type in {= and you will see a window appear, which will allow you to input a Countdown End Date and time, as well as how many days until the Countdown ends. You can also set the Time Zone and Languages to target specific viewers.

Once you have entered your countdown information, you will be able to preview your AdWords ad before setting it as active.

Example:  You are running a sale on red roses for Valentine’s Day. Your sale starts February 1, 2015 at 1PM, and the ends February 13, 2015 at 6PM.

The Google AdWords Countdown Widget allows you to create an ad that will let customers know how many days they have left to take advantage of your sale! If your customers see your ad four days before the end of your sale, your ad text will reflect that there are four days left of the sale.

To get started, go to your Ads tab in AdWords, and create a new ad. To create a text ad description line that includes this information, simply type “Hurry, Sale Ends in {=” Once you type {=, just enter the date and time your countdown ends, then the number of days you have before the countdown end date. Your text ad will automatically count down as time passes!

Would you like help using this feature, or any other tools that AdWords offers? Contact a proven PPC agency like JumpFly today! We love to help people achieve and exceed their advertising goals!


Upgrade Coming to Google AdWords Interest Categories

December 30th, 2014 by Tyler Kaha

BLOG-InterestTargetingGoogle announced that advertisers will no longer have the ability to add “Other interests” as a targeting method for advertising on the Google Display Network (GDN), effective January 15, 2015. This news comes in the wake of Google’s rollout of more sophisticated interest-based targeting options over the past couple of years: “Affinity” and “In-market” audiences, and the more recent introduction of “Custom Affinity audiences” in October of this year. Although there will no longer be an option to add “Other interests” after January 15th, existing AdWords campaigns already targeting those categories will continue to do so until June 2015, at which point the targeting will be automatically upgraded to the new audiences. With the upgrade right around the corner, it is important to have a thorough understanding of interest categories and a PPC management strategy to take advantage of them.

Affinity Audiences:

Being the broadest of the interests methods, Affinity audiences are primarily used to raise brand awareness while reaching new potential customers. According to Google, Affinity audiences “show your ads to unique audiences based on their lifestyles, buying habits, and long-term interests”. Since it has the ability to reach consumers in large numbers, frequency capping and CPM bidding is recommended, but not required. Pairing Affinity audiences with other display targeting options such as keywords or placements could be an effective way to not only raise brand awareness, but also generate conversions.

Custom Affinity Audiences:

Don’t see any Affinity categories that are applicable to your product or service? – Use Custom Affinity audiences to find niche segments and create audiences tailored for your brand. Instead of selecting interests from a list, you define them yourself by entering specific interests (as if they were keywords) and/or adding URLs that that contain content related to the interests of your potential customers. This allows AdWords advertisers to raise brand awareness and drive consideration for a product/service to a large, but clearly defined, segment of users. The recommended bidding strategy for Custom Affinity audiences can vary depending on the amount of information you provide; CPC bidding may be best for detailed lists with many custom interests and/or related URLs added, and CPM for less specific audiences.

In-market Audiences:

When targeting In-market audiences, Google will find and show your ads to users that are actively searching out the products or services you provide; reaching consumers across the GDN when they are ready to make a purchase. At this time, there is a limited amount of categories to choose from, but I predict a customizable list of some sort in the future. Google recommends not adding any other targeting method while using In-market audiences, as it will limit the volume of impressions and cause you to miss out on possible conversions. Since generating conversions is what In-market audiences is designed to do, CPC bidding should be used along with conversion tracking in order to measure the effectiveness of the targeting.

Even though the “Other interests” categories will be available until June 2015 (if already in use), making proactive changes to the interests categories before the forced upgrade would be optimal to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that you are the targeting audiences that will get you the most out of your Google AdWords advertising budget.


Don’t Underestimate the Power of Mobile

December 9th, 2014 by Stephanie Shaw

BLOG-power-of-mobileThere’s no doubt that mobile advertising is here to stay and its growth has been staggering. Recent research by Nielsen reveals that smartphone penetration in the US has reached 70% with Americans spending seven more hours each month on their phones than in 2013. What is astounding is that while people are spending more than 38 hours on their phones per month, mobile only comprises about 4% of total ad spend. The good news is, with such little saturation in the market, that means less competition, cheaper clicks and more sales for PPC advertisers keen enough to enter this space.

Prepare for Mobile Advertising

So you know you want cheaper clicks and more sales, but where do you start? It’s not as simple as just throwing up some mobile ads if you really want to reach the mobile market and see converting visits. Businesses need to not only deliver a mobile-optimized ad, but deliver a great experience on mobile devices after the click. This is incredibly important. Not only does it affect your Quality Score, ad position, cost and sales, but it affects your customer loyalty and organic visibility too. The most essential step a business must make before entering the mobile ad space is optimizing their website for mobile devices. If you jump in feet first without a mobile website, it can actually have adverse effects on your business.

Mobile Optimized Websites

According to a research study by Google, 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service. I’m sure the majority of you have experienced the frustration of trying to navigate an outdated website with miniscule text and infinite scrolling. It just doesn’t work. The majority of mobile users will just leave and go to a different website they can easily navigate.

It’s not just about losing business. When you send mobile users to a website that is not optimized for their device, it can actually damage your brand’s reputation. According to Google, 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company and 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business. This means that not only will users leave your website and go to a competitor, but you could be hurting relationships with your current customers. Make mobile work for you, not against you, and get started on a mobile website

The Endgame

So, we’ve convinced you to mobile optimize your website; what next? This is where the real fun can begin. Let’s make some money! Get in touch with your web designer and kick start your mobile initiative with a mobile responsive website. After that, it’s time to optimize your PPC accounts for mobile devices and begin analyzing this wonderfully new flood of data. When you start delivering a truly great mobile experience to consumers, you’ll not only see an increase in conversion rates, but you’ll also start to see mobile contributing to conversions on other devices. Having a great mobile site isn’t just about making more sales, it’s an essential part of building your brand and creating long lasting customer relationships.