New year, new horizons. Google developers never rest on their laurels long. The revolutionary changes ushered in by Google developers throughout 2013 altered the global search leader’s landscape more than any other year-long slate of innovations in the brand’s history. Consequently, Google AdWords strategists have quite possibly never seen so many immediate opportunities at once to enhance campaign performance and ROI. This is the time when the world catches its breath a moment just barely removed from the holiday season. While Million Global Leads has a moment or two to spare between extending our clients’ impressions throughout the Internet, we’re zeroing in on catching up with these five major 2013 updates while 2014 is still young and full of possibilities. That’s because we believe these will be the changes with some of the highest ceilings for increasing the profitability of our clients’ campaigns. Remember, PPC is just one dynamic field of search marketing. Let’s all start 2014 already keeping pace with Google’s march of changes.
Let’s start with an update that helped Google close out a year of innovation. Google AdWords developers this past November quietly rolled out In-Market Targeting, a valuable customer-interaction tool in Active Consideration mode. In the Display dashboard’s Targeting>Interests & Remarketing tab, “In-market buyers (ROI)” now enables users to direct display ads to audiences most likely to buy what a business sells. That likelihood is determined by examining users’ tracked search and website habits. That’s some seriously advantageous precision to not even merit a properly publicized introduction. Take the most obvious advantage. Review your PPC campaign performance alongside your website’s analytics. Google has just given the green light to spend even more carefully by centering campaigns strictly on your most likely buyers, as suggested by their very own tracking. You could begin 2014 by watching your ROI rise more efficiently as your PPC expenditures decrease.
Revised Ad Rank Formula Reflects Extension
Before November’s improved targeting system, Google unveiled a more observant Ad Rank formula this past October that sizes up previously overlooked choices in AdWords campaigns. Prior to October, the Ad Rank algorithm divided an account holder’s closest market competitor’s Ad Rank by the account holder’s quality score, with one cent added, in determining an ad’s cost per click. Higher-ranking ads naturally garner more premium ad space. As of October, this pivotal metric now factors in your site extensions’ anticipated positive impacts. This update deserves your serious consideration not only because of how effectively your own site may effectively utilize ad extensions – assuming you’re using them at all – but because your competition’s own effective implementation may give their ads a leg up on yours. That means less advantageous ad position for you in addition to a rising CPC rate. You can’t do anything about your competition’s well-employed ad extensions. On the other hand, employing your own thorough array of review extensions, image extensions and others at least ensures that they won’t score any “uncontested” decisions over your own PPC campaign. Best-case scenario, if Ad Rank rules in favor of your ads, you get the most desirable placement and lower CPC.
Bid Management Sorted By Time & Location
As long as we’re discussing how Google changed the way AdWords clients vied for promotional real estate, new bid-management functions will change the way Ad Words users strategically compete over ad space. Any PPC campaign’s objectives take root strongly in securing the most visible ad space that leads to the most conversions at the lowest CPC. Just as much location, ad timing can significantly sway whether the ad produces traffic. In 2014, fine-tuning only becomes finer. Get the most out of your bids this year by optimizing them with day-of-week and time-of-day adjustments to plan bidding in accordance with your price and performance research. “Location” entails more than just where your ad appears on any given page. You should already be doing your level best to see that your geographically optimal customers see your ad more often than any other single set of searchers. Kiss the days of creating a unique PPC campaign for each geotargeted customer base “goodbye,” thanks to location-oriented individual bids that now adjust separately at your discretion with positive or negative modifiers. Increase your bid when targeting ads to nearby bases or decrease them for searchers further outside your local range. Building Better Sitelinks Google made its Enhanced Campaigns rollout a mandatory addition across all AdWords users this past July. It might’ve been an imposed adjustment, the rollouts introduction of Enhanced Sitelinks could do users that embrace them nothing but favors through better information and more controlled user management. Enhanced Sitelinks can now break out sitelink data with more detailed reporting than ever, thanks to settings that can be applied at Ad Group levels as opposed to requiring broader changes that impact an entire campaign whether they suit all groups or not. Users may now schedule up to 20 sitelinks within any Ad Group to display at different desired times for better campaign-planning around which key searchers are most likely to see ads when. Designers can create these links with up to 35 characters per line – for link text, 25 characters max – and display them two or four-link groups. At the end of the day, Enhanced Sitelinks came bearing gifts of more detailed sitelink reporting and improved appearance controls, including an emphasis on mobile ads.