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  • Posted on 18 December 2013

PPC Industry Updates for November 2013

Google upgrades GDN targeting for Search and Display

by Matt Leaver

Adwords have just announced a new method for advertisers to reach potential additional customers through extending their search campaigns to the Google Display Network (GDN). The new ‘Search Network with Display Select’ campaigns provide an alternative to the traditional combined search and display campaigns and aims to be more ROI focused, claiming ‘ your ads are more likely to be shown to a smaller number of prospective customers, who are more likely to be interested in your offerings’.


Why use it?

The campaigns will use ‘improved signals and methods’ to better predict when your ads are more likely to perform and in addition, will have a higher quality threshold for when they show. This combination will mean a smaller audience than the old search and display campaigns, but this audience should be more likely respond and engage with the ad, meaning ROI should be better than the traditional combined campaigns.

Initial research has shown that adverts served through a search and display select campaign could see a 35% higher CTR and a 35% lower CPA when compared to when they are run on the original search and display campaign type. (Source: http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/select-new-better-performing-campaign.html)

Conclusions & Next Steps

So, for your high performing search campaigns that are in need of some additional reach this new campaign type could be a potential quick solution. However, in a time where ad creative and cut through are essential in getting through to your user, text ads on the GDN are becoming somewhat obsolete. Combining both search and display has always been a no go for obvious reasons – there are fundamental differences in user intent between the two, so they should be approached and managed separately. Based on this, I feel I still need to be convinced on the benefits of running a combined campaign over a segregated approach – especially when it comes down to performance marketing.

Further improve account performance with new Opportunity Tab

by Aude Vallat

Google has updated the Opportunities Tab which was originally launched in 2009, by adding some new opportunities to help marketers boost their performance on Adwords. While the old tab only gave you suggestions based on keywords, bids and budget, the new one will include where to add sitelinks and where to raise or lower bids. It can also suggest breaking out ad groups to be more relevant or using call extension. You can even find comparisons to your competitors to increase your impression share as well as featuring a much cleaner look.


The new tab helps advertisers understand what can be done and how it will impact an account on a weekly basis. They can easily choose to either review them by type of opportunities or per campaign. As always, advertisers have to be careful while reviewing them as the system might not quite understand the subtlety of an account especially when it comes to adding new keywords or ad groups.

The new opportunities are being added to accounts from this tab which is really useful and time-saving. However, it could have been helpful to add an option to download them. Depending on how your account is set up you might want to upload everything through your usual software to enable your tracking. Overall, though, it’s a great addition to the Adwords interface which will help PPC managers to further refine their optimisation strategy.

Bing to Become a Better Ad Platform

by Evie Davies

Following the re-organisation plan unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in the summer, Bing looks set to see some big changes which will see it become a better ad platform. Since Microsoft has integrated search into most Microsoft devices (including Skype, Windows Phones, Windows 8 and the Xbox), Bing Ads has reported +20% advertising growth quarter-to-quarter throughout 2013. The increased reach that using the Bing Ads offers makes using the platform much more lucrative to advertisers, and simultaneously becoming more user-friendly to those utilising the platform.

In summary, planned improvements to Bing Ads include:

  • Simplifying Bing Ads: by improving the ability to easily sync campaigns with Google AdWords, simplifying multi-account management, improving conversion tracking implementation and improving reporting
  • Smart Search Integrated Windows 8.1: which include the page-sized ‘Hero Ads’ being piloted on brand queries
  • Using Microsoft Properties/Partnerships: Bing has recognised the benefit of pulling together its properties and partnerships to improve user experience and improve reach, for example, Excel has been integrated into Bing Ads reporting, call extensions are powered by Skype (which means call extensions can be used across all devices), and the Bing Ads Express Program which will allow advertisers to tie ads to their Facebook page or other page associated with their business.
  • Increased Geographical Reach: Bing Ads will have availability in 55 countries by the end of 2014, and Product ads will reportedly be available in beta next year.

Calls can now be reported as Conversions on Adwords

by Adam Forsyth

Google recently announced changes in the way click to call conversions are recorded. These changes have opened the door to greater insights into how customers interact with your ads and have allowed automated optimisation for click to call.

For those advertisers using mobile click-to-call ads you will now find that the data is shown in the regular conversions column (moved from ‘Phone Call Conversions’ column). In addition to this, calls made from mobile or desktop ads will be shown in your Estimated Total Conversions.

 These changes could certainly have a strong impact on how mobile activity is seen and optimised. Recent research pointed out that 70% of mobile searchers have called a business directly from search results and over 40 million calls from Google ads are made each month to advertisers around the world.

The figures mentioned indicate that ads could be generating more interest and potentially more conversions than what traditional metrics have shown. As reporting in this area has been limited it was difficult to optimise effectively and it may have been tempting to push down bids or potentially stop activity when the performance has not been at expected levels.

With the calls added to the Estimated Total Conversions column we now have a more holistic view of how keywords perform. This means more informed decisions can be made in terms of budgeting and bids, something that we have lacked. Along with this Google’s automated bidding tools can be used to improve the efficiency of the click to call activity.

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