The Growing Importance of AdWords Ad Extensions

April 17th, 2014 by John Callery

BLOG-adextSince their introduction in 2009, Google AdWords ad extensions have been a powerful and effective PPC advertising feature. The various types of ad extensions allow advertisers to show additional information about their business within ads, such as an address, phone number, links to additional pages within their website and more. When AdWords transitioned to enhanced campaigns last year, they also introduced upgraded ad extensions that offered a number of improvements when compared to their predecessors. These improvements included:

  • Added control over which devices AdWords ad extensions will show on
    • The new “Device Preference” option allows advertisers to show their extensions on mobile devices more often if that strategy aligns with their advertising goals.
    • This can be particularly effective for call extensions, as well as sitelink extensions that lead to mobile-optimized landing pages.
  • Ad Extension Scheduling
    • Upgraded call and sitelink extensions can now be scheduled to show during specific dates, days of the week, or even times of the day.
    •  This allows advertisers to align their ad extension schedule with business hours or special events, such as a sale or promotion.
  • Advanced Reporting for Sitelinks
    • Sitelink extension reports are more detailed and precise.
    • Google AdWords Advertisers now have the ability to manage and track individual sitelinks, rather than only being able to view combined data for all sitelinks.
  • New Conversion Types
    • AdWords Call Extensions now include an option to count phone calls as a conversion if the calls exceed a certain length.
    • This allows advertisers to compare the value of call conversions to more traditional conversion types.

These added features offer a much more granular view of AdWords ad extensions and their performance, allowing advertisers to optimize extensions better and make sure their extensions are effective in regard to ROI. The addition of these features highlighted the growing importance of ad extensions, and it appears that this trend will persist as Google AdWords continues to evolve.

Updated Google AdWords Ad Rank Formula
Near the end of 2013, Google announced that they had updated their Ad Rank formula, which they use to determine the positions of different ads on the page following each search. Previously, Ad Rank was calculated using a keyword’s Max CPC and Quality score. Ad Rank now also considers a third factor when determining ad position: the expected impact of ad extensions and formats. According to Google, they now “consider such factors as the relevance, click-through rates, and prominence of ad extensions” when calculating Ad Rank.

How will this impact your PPC advertising on Google?
If you are using a certain keyword, and one of your competitors is also advertising on that keyword with the same bid and the same quality score, Google will prioritize the ad with ad extensions. Therefore, something as simple as the addition of a call extension or sitelink extensions can give you a distinct advantage over your competitors in the ad auction without the need to bid higher. This can help improve ad position, which often increases click-through rates and helps generate more traffic and conversions, without the risk of accruing any additional, unnecessary cost.

Ad extensions have always been an important feature since they were introduced, and they can certainly improve PPC performance and ROI. With the upgraded Google AdWords ad extensions that were rolled out last year, as well as the announcement of the new Ad Rank formula, it appears that Google will continue to place more and more emphasis on ad extensions moving forward. If you aren’t using extensions in your ads already, it might be the time to take a closer look at the added benefits they can offer your PPC advertising.

Google AdWords and the Google Translator Toolkit

March 21st, 2014 by Kelly Levine

BLOG-translateMany of you are probably aware of the useful marketing tools that are available through Google AdWords. You have most likely used the Keyword Planner, the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool, Google Analytics tools, and all sorts of various reporting tools. From day-to-day account analysis to campaign construction, these tools are the basic bread and butter for most PPC Management professionals.

There are some other fantastic tools afforded by Google that have not had as much spotlight presence. One of these tools is the Google Translator Toolkit.
The Google Translator Toolkit is a great thing to utilize if you have an AdWords campaign that advertises to foreign countries and languages. It automatically translates your AdWords campaign(s) to a language that you select. Not only does it translate keywords, but your text ad copy and negative-matched keywords will get translated as well!

Before using the Translator Tool, it is recommended that your landing pages are also translated to the language you plan to target. You should make sure to have payment and any other support systems ready to accept international customers.

To get started, from AdWords Editor, export an AEA backup of the campaign/campaigns that you wish to translate. To export in this format, choose File, Export backup (AEA). Launch the Google Translator Toolkit by logging into your Google account and clicking here:

To upload the AEA file you just created, click the red Upload button on upper left corner. Choose “Add content to translate”, find your AEA file, and upload it. Choose your preferred language, and then click on Tools. You can choose to share your translations, or keep as personal. I always keep it personal, but this preference is up to you. Once selected, click the blue Next button.

ads translation tool

You will now come to screen that will give you the choice to pay for an optimized version of your translation, or do it yourself. If you choose to pay, that is completely up to you. I have never chosen this option myself, so I cannot comment on that service at this time. To continue this process on your own, click the grey “No, thanks” button.

Your Translator Toolkit will open back up, and your AEA file will appear in active translations. Click that file, and you will now see your translated content. To import back into Google AdWords Editor, click file, and download. You must save it as an AEA file in order to re-import it back into Editor. Once saved, open up your Editor again, and choose “Import account snapshot” under the File menu. Select your AEA translated file.

You will notice that when you re-import your file, it will NOT import it as new. It will actually change your existing campaign data. If you do not wish to replace your existing campaign with your translated file, please do NOT post changes. What you will need to do is click “Keep changes”, copy your new data, and paste it into a new Excel workbook. Save this file. It will be what you use to import as your new translated data.

Go back to your Editor, and highlight the bolded changes. Choose “Revert changes”. This will change your translated content back to your original campaign content.
You’re almost ready to import your newly translated content. Before doing this, you must review your translated file. Check to see that the translations make sense, including keywords, negative keywords, and ad copy. Make sure that your ad copy does not exceed recommended character limits. Once this review has been completed, you can now import your translated campaigns.

To import your newly translated content, open the excel file containing the data you pasted from Editor. Rename your campaign in the campaign column, making sure to copy down this data for the whole column. Save the file as a CSV. From the AdWords Editor File menu, select import CSV. Locate your CSV file, and choose Import.

Your newly translated content will now appear in your Editor. Before posting data, be sure to apply the appropriate targeting options and do another review of your translated content. Also, make sure to change your existing URLs to match your translated site’s landing pages. If the domain is different for your translated pages, make sure to change your Display URLS as well. Once you feel that you have successfully accomplished these tasks, click Post Changes. Your new translated campaign is now ready for advertising!

Thank you! – Merci! – Grazie! – ¡Gracias!

Remarketing to Your Converters (Stop Excluding Them!)

March 5th, 2014 by Faina Shapiro

BLOG-remarketconvertersGoogle AdWords remarketing campaigns are an excellent marketing tool. They offer businesses a way to segment site visitors and serve ads to them as they browse the sites within Google’s Display Network (which is most of the web!). This means higher overall conversion rates and a chance to reach visitors who didn’t convert right away.

Many remarketing campaigns are set up to exclude previous converters. Ads are only served to users who have visited a site but haven’t bought a product, filled out a lead form or converted in some other way. If you are trying to get a user to take that initial action, excluding converters will make the audience more targeted.

The Power of Referral – Converter Remarketing

Converters, however, are a valuable segment because they already liked your business enough to buy from it or ask for more information. Creating campaigns targeting past converters can be a powerful way to:

  • Ask for Referrals: In lead generation, a referral is typically more valuable since recommendations from friends help influence decisions more than ads. Creating a special landing page for referrals would help make this campaign even more targeted.
  • Bring Back Repeat Customers: For ecommerce, past converters can be segmented by time of last purchase. Running campaigns against shoppers who have converted more than 30 days prior (or another time window) would be a great way to promote new offers and bring these customers back.
  • Evaluate the Customer Experience: If you’re on a quest to improve your web site and customer service experience, remarketing to converters with surveys would represent a new opportunity to hear what their experience was like and what can be improved.

Don’t forget the converters! This audience may prove to be just as critical – and often times even more critical – than the non-converters.