Google+ Your Business and Link to AdWords

November 14th, 2011 by Miranda Rutkowski

Google+ Merges With Google AdWordsLast week was full of big news from the Google+ Project.  Not only did Google announce that they would finally be opening Google+ up to businesses via Google+ Pages, but they also unveiled the new Social Extensions feature in AdWords.  Social Extensions will be rolled out to advertisers this week and will allow advertisers with Google+ Pages to link their Google+ Page to their AdWords campaigns.  This means that all brand +1s that are received, whether via the website +1 button, ads or organic search results, will be complied and added together to be viewed as ONE single total visible to consumers.

How does this have the potential to affect the PPC advertising efforts you have in place for your business?  Google believes that adding Social Extensions can potentially improve the ad performance for PPC advertisers.  According to Google (via Harris Interactive, June 2010), recommendations from friends and family impact the purchasing decisions of 71% of shoppers.  The AdWords ads for current campaigns that do not have Social Extensions enabled only show the +1 recommendations for the specific landing page of the ad.  Once Social Extensions are enabled in your Google AdWords campaign, potential customers will be able to see all of the +1 recommendations that your brand has received and make their purchasing decisions accordingly.

Now that they are able to show more highly targeted and personalized ads, how will advertisers be able to study the performance data of this new feature and gauge whether or not it is working for them?  Of course Google has an answer for that!  Google has enabled a new +1 annotation AdWords reporting segment for any campaign, ad group, keyword or ad.  This new segment allows advertisers to view performance metrics by three categories.  The first performance segment category is impressions with personal annotations.  A personal annotation means that a personal contact of the searcher has +1’d your brand (your webpage, Google+ Page, organic search result or PPC ad).  The next performance segment is impressions with basic annotations.  Basic annotations are impressions that included an anonymous count of people who have +1’d your brand.  The third, and final, performance segment is for impressions without social annotations.  While both personal and basic annotations make your ad socially relevant, viewers that see people they actually know and trust +1ing something they are interested in purchasing will, in theory, be more likely to purchase said product.

If you are a PPC advertiser interested in making your brand more socially relevant, then you have some homework to do.  First, set up the Google+ Page for your business here.  Setting up your Google+ Page will not only allow you to get closer to your customers, but will allow you to create your business’s identity on Google+.  Next, you will need to use your Google+ Page URL to enable Social Extensions from the Ad Extensions tab in your AdWords campaigns.  Finally, after you have let the data accrue for a bit, use the +1 annotation reporting segment to see how the +1 features are affecting the performance of your advertising efforts.

Here at JumpFly we are very excited to see how these new Google+ enhancements will affect our clients ROI.  We expect nothing less than big things from the ever evolving Google!

Introducing Google Trusted Stores

October 24th, 2011 by Miranda Rutkowski

Introducing Google Trusted StoresGoogle Trusted Stores

Earlier this month Google announced the launch of their latest commerce innovation which they have aptly named Google Trusted Stores.  According to Google, Trusted Stores is “a new pilot program that helps shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience.”  Sites that meet certain Google criteria can receive a Google Trusted Store badge to be added to their site.  So, how does this affect online shoppers and advertisers?

We all know that the amount of purchases being made online increases year after year, but research has shown that online shoppers are wary about purchasing from sites that they are unfamiliar with.  With identity theft and phishing attempts on the rise, shoppers want to know whether or not the site they wish to purchase from is safe and trustworthy.  They want to know that their payment information is secure and will not be compromised during the transaction process.  They want to know that when they pay for their goods, that they will receive them in a timely manner in the condition they expect.  Trusted Stores is Google’s answer to help alleviate these fears without customers having to do their own detective work on the store they wish to purchase from.

A huge benefit to this program is that when a customer makes a purchase from a Google Trusted Store, they are asked whether or not they would like FREE purchase protection from Google.  This purchase protection is optional, but a powerful reassurance to online shoppers.  It is basically free insurance for shoppers that the product that they ordered will arrive in a timely manner, in the promised condition and that they will be billed the agreed upon amount.  If these conditions are not met, Google’s purchase protection will cover the entire purchase amount, including tax and shipping.  It is good to note, however, that shoppers must report any issues either 30 days after delivery or 60 days after order placement, whichever is earlier.

Not only is this innovation beneficial and helpful for purchasers, but it’s great for merchants as well.  As a merchant, it is extremely important to have FAQ, About Us and Review/Testimonial pages on your site, but are potential customers supposed to blindly believe everything they read on the internet?  Shoppers are wary, especially since unscrupulous businesses have been known to do or say anything to close the deal.  Google Trusted Sites offers shoppers an objective, third party recommendation that should help allay their fears.  When a shopper hovers over the badge that is placed on the site, they see Google’s grades for the shipping and service of the particular store.  The higher the grade, the more trusted and secure the shopping experience should be.

If you are a merchant, you are probably wondering how you become a Google Trusted Store.  While the pilot program is currently limited, Google assures us that they will be expanding the Trusted Store program in the coming months.  You can find out more information from Google here.  It definitely can’t hurt to fill out the application and keep your fingers crossed that when the program opens up, your company site will be chosen.  So, why not apply for the opportunity to show potential customers that your store is a great place to shop?

Updated Google AdWords Keyword Tool

August 22nd, 2011 by Miranda Rutkowski

Updated Keyword ToolGoogle is notorious for providing its users with free web-based products like Gmail, Google Music, Google Docs and the brand new Photovine.  While all these innovative Google products are robust, user friendly and easy to use, the Google tool that I use most frequently for pay-per-click (PPC) account creation and keyword research is the Google Keyword Tool.  This little gem of a tool allows me to plug in a specific list of words or phrases that I think people might be searching on.  Once the list is searched, I  can see keyword data on competition, global and local monthly searches, approximate CPC and lots more.  Google has recently made an update to the free Keyword Tool that was much needed and greatly appreciated.  Users are now allowed to search 2500 keywords and phrases at a time, a HUGE increase from the previous limit of only 100 keywords.

Why is this so great you ask?  Well, I begin my keyword research with root words and descriptive words.  For example, let’s say I am building a new campaign for a company that sells colored hanging file folders.  They have 20 different colors of folders and they can be called hanging file(s), hanging folder(s) or hanging file folder(s).  To begin the keyword research for this project, I would use an excel formula to create every possible variation of each color with each root word (yellow hanging file, yellow hanging files, yellow hanging folder, yellow hanging folders, hanging file yellow, hanging files yellow, hanging folder yellow, hanging folders yellow, etc.).  With 20 colors and 4 root words, this would give me a list of 160 possible search terms to research using Google’s Keyword Tool.  With the old tool I would need to paste the first 100 words in, star the ones with advertiser competition and/or search traffic, then paste the remaining 60 words and do the same thing.  With the new tool I can paste the entire list in one easy step – which is great!

Once I have several hundred keywords starred in the Keyword Tool, there is a “More like these” option which allows me to search for terms that are similar to the ones I have already chosen to star.  In the previous version of Google’s Keyword Tool I would only get search results for the first 100 keywords that I had starred, which was an inconvenience.  I would have to download the list, break it down into groups of 100 keywords and perform multiple searches again and again to get potentially great keyword suggestions for my new account.  With the new version, as long as my starred keywords do not exceed 2500, the Keyword Tool will provide me similar search terms for all of my starred keywords.  Hooray!

Another update to the tool that is worth noting is the “Group by” feature.  By default the Keyword Tool is set to “Group by None” but if you click on the dropdown, you can choose “Similarity to search terms” and the most pertinent words (keywords that include search terms) will show up grouped together below the search terms, but above the related keyword suggestions.  This is great for weeding through the hundreds of irrelevant keywords that the Keyword Tool often provides.

All in all, the Google Keyword Tool is getting better each and every time there is an update.  I am excited to see how it will progress through the rest of this year and beyond.  Keep up the good work Google!