Callout Extensions: A Great Way to Enhance Your Ads

October 20th, 2014 by Charlotte Catsadimas

BLOG-calloutsLast month Google announced callout extensions, a new type of ad extension in AdWords. The callout ad extension allows advertisers to include additional text that provides details about their website, before potential customers even click an ad. Businesses can draw attention to specific products and services they offer, such as free shipping, price matching or anything else that might make them stand out from competitors. Callouts appear below text ads and can also be shown with other ad extensions.

Google requires a minimum of two callout extensions per account, campaign or ad group. However, they do suggest creating four callouts per level to ensure as many callouts as possible are available to show with the ad.

With a little PPC management, callout extensions are updated very easily. For example, you can keep your special offers and sales current without having to create or edit text ads. And unlike text ads, if you edit callouts, you won’t reset any of the performance statistics!

Comprehensive reports allow you to see the number of clicks on your ad when the callouts appeared at the campaign, ad group or ad levels. They can also be scheduled, allowing you to select the day or time callouts show. The reporting and scheduling features are available from the Ad extensions tab.

There are some best practices to keep in mind. Google has discovered that ads using sentence capitalization perform better than those with title capitalization. For example: “Free shipping” vs. “Free Shipping”. In addition, callouts may have a maximum of 25 characters, but Google recommends keeping text short, using a maximum of 12-15 characters. Callouts should be like a bullet point, using specific details to help customers decide whether or not your website is the one they are looking for.

Callouts started rolling out September 3rd, and should now be available to all AdWords accounts. Take advantage of this valuable, additional ad real estate.

Goodbye Google AdWords PLAs, Hello Shopping

August 25th, 2014 by Steve Butler

BLOG-byePLAsIf you haven’t already heard, Google Product Listing Ad campaigns are being retired in late August and are being replaced by Google Shopping campaigns. Advertisers will be required to do some PPC management in order to transition to the new platform. Google Shopping offers a variety of new features that improve upon the performance of the old PLAs.

Before you transition your current PLA campaigns to Google Shopping, you’ll want to optimize your data feed. Use the attribute values in your feed to create product groups within your campaign. When reviewing your data feed, consider the best way to subdivide your products into product groups using any attributes you choose (category, product type, brand, item ID, custom labels, etc.). You can make these subcategories as granular as you like. Any ungrouped products will remain in an “Everything Else” product group. You can then use the Products tab to view your inventory, filter by attribute, and place bids.

How Google Shopping Campaigns are Different from PLAs

  • Ability to see your product inventory, group your products, and set your bids directly through AdWords.
  • Enhanced reporting capabilities allow you to see how a particular product or group of products is performing, down to any level of granularity rather than just at ad group level.
  • Access to competitive benchmark data that you can use to optimize your campaign and adjust bids to remain competitive.
  • Ability to organize your campaigns by Product Groups rather than Product Targets. Now that you can see your inventory directly through AdWords, organizing into Product Groups is much more seamless. Then you can bid on each product group according to your particular goals.
  • Custom Labels rather than “adwords labels” or “adwords grouping” allow you to group products that are on sale, are seasonal, or have other attributes (high price, high margin) that you want to easily monitor and report on.
  • Inventory Filters (vs. Product Filters) allow you to limit your advertising on certain products based on certain attributes you identify.
  • Optional Campaign Priority setting allows you to prioritize which campaign will be used when you advertise the same products across multiple campaigns.

Once your Google Shopping campaigns are up and running, you can easily monitor and optimize them. You can view ad performance in the Products Groups tab, and further optimize your campaign based on benchmark data to see how your ads compare to those for similar products, Impression Share (IS) data to identify opportunities for more impressions and clicks, and using the Bid Simulator tool to help estimate the bid that is most likely to provide the desired level of performance.

Google Enhanced Campaigns Device Targeting

February 21st, 2013 by Nikki Kuhlman

BLOG-enhancedCamp-device

On Thursday, February 21st, Google completed their second Webcast in the Enhanced Campaign Series, called “Device Bid Adjustments and Smarter Mobile Ads.”

Andy Miller, Google’s Head of Mobile Search Sales and Strategy and one of the presenters, stated that less than 5% of AdWords advertisers had separate mobile campaigns (mobile is defined by Google AdWords as a Smart Phone and does not include Tablets). Enhanced Campaigns were created to “simplify” the situation for that 5%. This begs the question, if so few advertisers were doing it, why was it so important to combine all devices back into one campaign? That question was not answered.

But to focus on what’s coming, and how it may impact your PPC management, here’s the pros and cons of the new Device Targeting.

Pros:

– The ability to set a base PC bid, and then set a bid adjustment either higher or lower for a mobile device (from -100% to +300%).

– The ability to bid differently based on geographic location (range is from -90% to +900%). For example, I can set my bid adjustment to 200% for someone who searches and is within 5 miles of my pizza place.

– The ability to set my bid adjustment based on time of day (range is from -90% to +900%). This is something they’ve always had, so not really new, they just didn’t take it away.

– Google will determine which ad makes the most sense to show to a searcher, based on device (also see Con list). You can create a mobile-optimized ad, and click a check-box for Mobile preferred, and if the searcher is on a mobile device, your mobile preferred ad takes precedence over your standard text ad.

– According to Google, it will make management of your campaigns simpler. Instead of having copies of campaigns for each device and having to manage and optimize each separately, now there will only be one place to manage it.

Cons:

– You can’t opt out of mobile. We have clients whose sites do not work on mobile devices, due to flash or other reasons. We don’t want to show on them. We can’t opt out. The best we can do is set our mobile bid adjustment to -100%. That’s supposed to prevent you from showing on mobile devices.

– You can’t opt out of showing on tablets. I have clients whose sites do not work on tablets, but I have absolutely no way to stop them from showing on those devices.

– You also can’t bid differently, higher or lower, on tablets. We also have clients where we specifically target tablets more aggressively than desktop, but I can’t do that either.

– All bid adjustments are at the campaign level only. That means if I have an AdGroup or a keyword that performs differently (either better or worse) than the PC/tablet, I can’t bid differently.

– Google will determine which ad makes the most sense to show to a searcher, based on device (see Pro list). You can create a mobile-optimized ad, and click a checkbox for mobile preferred, but based on comments I’m seeing on Twitter from people who have Mobile Preferred ads, those ads are being truncated, so for now, it’s in the Con column.

– You can’t opt out of specific operating systems and you can’t bid differently to them. If I have an iPhone app that I want to advertise, I can’t stop my ads from showing on Android devices. We have clients that have iPad-only apps, but  I can’t stop my ads from showing on Android tablets at all, and I’ll have to make sure to bid at -100% for mobile devices.

– You can’t opt out of desktop. We’re absolutely stuck here. There’s no way to bid higher on a mobile device and lower on desktop, because desktop bids are the baseline bid that all bid adjustments work off of.

@bsquatch tweeted during the webcast: “Sorry, you still have to order anchovies, just request 100% less than normal.” That is a fantastic analogy. To take it a bit further, let’s “order” a Google AdWords pizza. You hate anchovies, green peppers and onions, so you ask for -100% less of those toppings, and -50% mushrooms because you’re not a huge mushroom fan but some is okay. You really like tomatoes and garlic, so you order 150% of those. And finally, you’re trying to be good and would like thin crust, but it’s not an option – your only option is deep dish. That’s how the Enhanced Campaign rollout is at the moment – but the hope is that over time, more options will come available.

I’m trying really hard to refrain from judgement on whether Enhanced Campaigns will be good for our clients or not until we start running them and see how they perform. I honestly think there’s some great things about it for those advertisers who are local or have brick-and-mortar stores. The clients I’m most worried about are ecommerce without brick-and-mortars. Only will time will tell how this affects them.