Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

In the beginning of February, Google AdWords announced their change to Enhanced Campaigns for their customers.  This “upgrade” is so new that advertisers have been given until mid-late July to finish making the changes on their accounts before Google will handle it for you.  It’s too early to make any predictions or measure the changes, but let’s take a quick look at the updates so that you can understand the intent of this new feature.

What is the purpose of this change? 

Consumers access and search the internet through the use of multiple devices, and you want to grab your potential guests at the most ideal moment.  For most Advertisers, Enhanced Campaigns will allow you to send a targeted message to searchers based on goal intention, time of day and device used.

How does it work?

Within a campaign, you’ll have the ability to adjust your bid for mobile devices.  If you have a good percentage of consumers who use mobile phones, you’ll be able to target them within the same campaign that you have set up for computers and tablet devices.  Enhanced Campaigns give you the ability to increase your bids based on a searchers location or opt out of serving your ads to specific locations.

Smarter Ads

Within your campaigns, you’ll have the ability to show the right advertisement based on certain factors.  Maybe you want to advertise specific deals to the user who is in your neighborhood or show your local phone number (as opposed to your 800#) with your advertisement.  Enhanced Campaigns allow you to showcase relevant information to your customers based on their location, search intent and search device.

It may sound like a lot to take in, but it’s meant to simplify campaign set ups by minimizing the number of campaigns you’ll want to use.  The ability to deliver ads based on device and use your campaign extensions by ad group will provide useful data to improve your message and help you better reach your end goals.

Google AdWords Remarketing Campaign Best Practices – Part 3 of 3

A remarketing campaign, when set up well, can cost less than a regular pay-per-click campaign. Here are some best practices to follow for remarketing campaigns:

  1. Know your remarketing campaign’s objective. Is it for general branding or to facilitate a purchase? If it’s for a purchase, remarketing ads are ideal to offer special pricing to customers who have already visited your site and to motivate them to take action now and buy! Also, we recommend using cost-per-click bidding for most campaigns, except for the most generalized branding campaigns, which could use cost-per-impression.
  2. Set up specific bids.  Use the features in AdWords to segment or target your display campaigns based on interests, remarketing lists, or demographics.  In the case of remarketing, you’ll want to set bids based on specific audiences, it increases the chance of your ad displaying properly. Each audience segment will have a specific bid assigned to it that you can manipulate in order to accomplish your goals.  Follow your campaigns and adjust bids as necessary to achieve conversions on your website.
  3. Use remarketing tags. Remarketing tags are specific Google analytics scripts that when implemented, allow you to target website visitors that have been to specific areas of your website.  By using a single code throughout the website, you can build lists within Google analytics based on actions, pages visited, and goals, and use them in AdWords to build your target audience.    When putting together the audience, you will have the ability to exclude people who have completed certain goals or have already purchased from you.  
  4. Use contextual targeting. Contextual targeting matches your ads to those sites on the Display Network that are relevant based keywords or topics, among other factors.  You have the ability to allow Google to choose these sites for you with Automatic Placements or you can manually add websites or pages by using the Managed Placements option.  After your campaign has run for a while, you also have the ability to block sites that aren’t performing or don’t match your goals. 
  5. Limit the frequency that your ad is shown. Don’t be creepy or annoying.  Put a frequency cap on how often your ad is shown to certain users.  We suggest capping your ads at 3 views per 24 hour period.
  6. Measure what works. Review your placement reports and nurture the campaigns that perform the best.  Follow your statistics and keep your goals in mind.

Remarketing can be a very successful endeavor for many goals in your advertising campaigns.  It sends a highly targeted message that should result in a substantial ROI.  Following these basic standards will help you to achieve your goals.

How much does Google AdWords remarketing cost? Part 2 of 3

The cost of a remarketing campaign is going to be different for every single advertiser, just like it is for Search campaigns.  You will need to consider that you will incur costs for the actual clicks or impressions you receive (based on your bidding methods, competition, etc.), plus additional costs for the steps you need to take to implement tracking code, privacy policies and create remarketing ads.

There are 4 basic costs to consider:
1.    The cost per click or impression for your ads.

  •  Don’t forget about the time spent on setting up a remarketing campaign!

2.    The cost to add the code to your website.

  •  You will need to replace a single line of code to the existing Google Analytics code on your website. You can get that code from within Google Analytics. This allows Google to track cookies placed on your visitor’s browser, and add them to your remarketing lists.
  •  In addition, if you aren’t already tracking action items on your website, such as reservations, contact forms, etc. you should implement code on key pages of your website that allow you to measure return on investment and other important conversion goals.  Take the time to do this!

3.    The cost to add privacy policy information to your website.

  • This can be added to the current privacy policy page on your site.

4.    The cost to create remarketing ads.

  • You should invest a little time (and money) into ad creation, and have your design team create professional, top quality ads.  You can use the AdWords Display Ad Builder tool if needed.  However, the better the ad, the better your chances of getting that visitor back!

When done properly, you can significantly increase the return on your ads by using remarketing. The time, energy and cost required to get remarketing campaigns going in your AdWords account is worth it in terms of increasing revenue. So, don’t be shy; add the remarketing tags to your website and dip your toe in the water by setting up a small, trial remarketing campaign.

Stay tuned to hear the nitty-gritty on Remarketing Best Practices.

Remarketing in Google AdWords – It’s All About Targeting, Folks! Part 1 of 3

Part 1:

You spend a lot on your PPC ads in Google AdWords. But how many people make a purchase decision the first time that they visit your website? The trick is to capture the traveler who is thinking about coming your way, and still shopping. If you could only capture their email address, you could remind them about why they should stay with you.  But capturing emails means work for the person visiting your site. People hate work.

Remarketing, however, allows you to capture that visitor’s information without your web visitors doing ANYTHING.

Zip.

Nada.

Sound cool? It is! If you aren’t already doing remarketing, then read on.

I was purchasing TV ad time in the early 90s for the small business where I worked. (Yes, I know how that dates me.) I met with the ad rep from CBS, ABC, NBC, and also the “Cable” rep. I could choose my ad time based on the characteristics of the people who watched certain shows. I also purchased magazine and newspaper ads. People who read them had certain traits in common, and I was able to target the people most likely to purchase the products we were offering.

Then along came the Internet and PPC ads. Now we could market to people from all over the world, regardless of where they were, and target them based on what keywords they were targeting. Think about it. I pay for impressions to people searching for keyword terms, and I can limit certain things such as what part of the world they are in, but clearly, I’m targeting a very wide audience with my PPC ads. It’s great to have a wide reach, but also it means a lower number of those people will be likely to book a stay with me, and I can easily pay more per booking, or conversion.

However, when I remarket to those people who already visited my website, suddenly I have the benefit of several things:

1. Repeat impressions. The more often that someone sees your ad, the likelier they are to book. You get that somewhat with PPC ads, but it is diluted. If you use remarketing, however, you specifically target the people who have already been to your website, and you could make it based on viewing a particular page, such as a property that you rent to travelers, or your reservation page.

2. Focus. Your ads are shown to people who already expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer, not just to people who have put in certain keywords into a search engine.

3. Specific Ads for Specific Desires. You can display ads targeted at what the traveler is looking for. If you know that they are coming for a specific event, like Spring Break, you can choose that ad to display to them.

Coming soon: How much does remarketing cost?

Want to learn how to set up remarketing campaigns?

We can help. Our Pay-Per-Click Focus Plans include training on how to more effectively spend your AdWords campaign budgets.

Google Analytics URL Builder

Tracking your referral sources accurately in Google Analytics is a big deal.

As the marketing person for a resort, you may increasingly rely upon the reporting that Google gives you to evaluate how your marketing efforts are working.

The problem with relying upon referral reports in Google Analytics is that:

  • Some or all of the data gets lost (Twitter can have this problem).
  • The referral website actually has several websites and your traffic gets spread around so it be hard to calculate.
  • The referral website has a paid and free component (like LinkedIn and Facebook) where your fee-based advertising gets lumped into the free version.
  • You are doing email marketing and the emails aren’t being tracked.
  • You are not tracking your 301 redirects or domain forwarding usage.

My favorite tool to solve this problem is the Google Analytics URL Builder which quickly and easily appends “campaign” data the  URL I use in some of my (Blizzard Internet) specific advertising campaigns.

So, for my LinkedIn Pay-Per-Click campaign aimed at Hotels… and specifically, the ad where I offer a consultation plan would look like this:

This ad would send traffic to this landing page URL: 
http://www.blizzardinternet.com/plans-and-pricing/website-marketing/consultation-plans/
[Read more…]

5 Ways to Improve Your AdWords CTR

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) in Google AdWords is important not just as a benchmark for how well your ads are doing in terms of clicks and impressions, but it’s one factor that may gain you better positioning and lower cost per click prices, and is a component of Quality Score.

Here are 5 ways to improve your CTR:

1)    Theme, Theme, Theme!

Keep your ad groups tightly themed.

Group like keywords into one ad group. For instance, if users are searching “Napa Valley Vacation” and “Napa Valley Lodging,”  keep those terms and their “siblings” in two separate ad groups – vacation and lodging.

Write  your ad(s) to include those specific terms in the copy.

The specific search terms will then be bolded in your ad in the search results, catching the user’s eye and helping to increase CTR.

[Read more…]

Best Practices for AdWords Sitelink and Product Extensions

If you spend time in AdWords then you know that there are countless ways to enhance your Google ads.

Don’t get overwhelmed, one of the easiest (and most profitable) enchantments you should spend on time is AdWord’s Product and Sitelink Extensions.

Do it right from the start – learn the best practices for using the extensions in Carrie Hill’s newest Search Engine Land Article – How To & When To Use Product and Sitelink Ad Extensions.

While you are in learning mode, check out How and When to Use Google’s Ad Extensions and How to Increase Your Click Through Rate with Ad Sitelinks.