Google AdWords Introduces Store Visit Conversions

February 4th, 2015 by John Callery

BLOG-storevisitconversionsGiven the ever-changing nature of digital marketing, 2015 is sure to bring a number of new features and enhancements to the world of PPC advertising. One of the driving forces behind this ongoing evolution of PPC is the growing need for accurate, reliable data that provides better insights into the true impact of digital ad campaigns.

People are constantly connected in today’s multi-device world, which makes it even more important for a business to understand how their online marketing efforts influence consumer interaction once potential customers are offline. Recent studies indicate that 65-70% of consumers have visited a store after seeing a local search ad online. Furthermore, 68% of U.S. internet users were likely to research a product online and then purchase it at a physical store during this past holiday season. This combination of online and offline shopping has forced digital marketers to reconsider performance and ROI measurement when it comes to advertising online.

Consumers might be inclined to visit a store and make a purchase after seeing ads from certain campaigns or on certain devices, and ignoring these purchases could cause a business to drastically underestimate the power and influence of their digital advertising campaigns. During the past year, Google has steadily improved cross-device and offline conversion tracking in an effort to eliminate the disconnection between PPC ad clicks and in-store visits. Over the next few weeks, they plan to start offering eligible businesses throughout the U.S their latest enhancement to conversion tracking: store visit conversions.

This new metric will represent the estimated number of store visits that occur after a visitor sees a PPC ad online, and the data it will provide should make the offline and multi-device conversion estimates in AdWords even more powerful and accurate. Knowing what campaigns, ad types and devices drive people to visit a store will ultimately allow businesses to make better decisions regarding the direction and scope of their digital advertising.

In order to be eligible to measure store visit conversions, businesses must meet a few basic requirements:

  • Have a Google My Business account that is linked to their Google AdWords account.
  • Set up location extensions that use the listing(s) from their My Business account.
  • Consistently receive a large number of ad clicks and store visits.
  • Have multiple physical retail locations in the U.S.

If your business meets these requirements, store visit data will be available at the campaign level without any additional set up required. Google doesn’t specify what they consider a “large number of ad clicks or store visits”, nor do they give specifics regarding the number of physical locations a business must have in order to qualify. Regardless, advertisers should keep an eye out for this new conversion data in the coming weeks if their business meets the above requirements.

By giving us a more complete representation of the impact that PPC advertising can have on a business, this new conversion metric should provide some powerful insights that will become more important to digital marketers as we move into 2015.

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.