Over the years, the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) have changed a lot. Features like news, images, videos and the Knowledge Graph have impacted the display, sorting and order of SERPs, dramatically impacting organic listings. Recently, Google decided that paid search ads will no longer appear on the right-hand side of search results for desktop users globally, and up to four paid search results will appear at the top of the page (up from a maximum of three previously). Paid search ads that fall below the fourth rank will appear at the bottom of the page, which has limited visibility to end users, for a total of seven ads per page max. This is a big change, but how does it really impact organic search? The answer is a number of different ways, which I will explore shortly. But before I do, let’s examine why Google is doing this. Like many companies, Google has seen mobile traffic grow at an accelerated pace over the past two years. This new layout makes the desktop experience … [Read more...] about The real impact of Google’s new paid search ad layout on organic search
In a keynote discussion Wednesday morning, Google’s Jerry Dischler, VP of search ads, and Babak Pahlavan, senior director of product management for analytics solutions and measurement, discussed a wide range of topics affecting search marketers and made several announcements. The search ads news centered around audience targeting, while the analytics announcements ranged from new integrations for Tag Manager to the global release of a free version of Optimize 360. New in search ads Cross-device remarketing for remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). Following on the news earlier in the week that display retargeting is now available across devices, Dischler announced that RLSA targeting can also now occur across devices. That means that if a signed-in user first visits on a mobile device, they later can be retargeted on a desktop, for example. RLSA can soon be set at the campaign level instead of only at the ad group level. That announcement was particularly welcomed by the … [Read more...] about Google announces slew of search ads and Analytics updates at SMX East
It’s well known that Google’s Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) have the potential to feature longer headlines in text ad copy, as these headlines are pulled from the advertiser’s web page and aren’t limited by the hard caps placed on text ads created by paid search managers. While expanded text ads (ETAs) are now giving advertisers 60 characters to work with in crafting titles between the two headline fields available, DSAs continue to carry a slight advantage, as we’ve seen headlines that exceed even 60 characters rendered through DSA. Indeed, Google is still advising in their documentation to avoid adding top-performing queries from DSAs as keywords specifically because they might receive longer headlines. Google also lists “specific landing pages” as a reason to allow DSAs to continue to serve ads for well-performing queries. Google didn’t always advocate for continuing to allow well-performing queries to run through DSAs; for a while, it … [Read more...] about Google’s shaky pitch for why advertisers should let Dynamic Search Ads handle queries
Bing’s dynamic search ads can give you a lot of freedom to improve, customize, and enhance your text ads. Yahoo and Bing partnered relatively recently, and as a consequence, Bing has gained importance in recent years in terms of its capabilities as a search engine. As of 2016, Bing Ads began testing dynamic search ads in the U.S. This, most notably, “lets you create ads for relevant search queries based on the content on your website”. The truth is, you could be getting a lot more out of search ads with Bing by making them dynamic. Dynamic insertion, when used correctly, can more accurately match a user’s search, and thus get them to click through to your site more often. According to Advertising.com, “…inserting the exact keyword into a paid listing improves CTR by 38% on average.” Not only that, but they are more targeted and you can create several in your Bing account. They are also very easy to update and change, meaning that it does not … [Read more...] about Bing’s Dynamic Search Ads: Better Features than Google?
Dynamic Search Ads were recently added to all AdWords advertisers’ accounts. This nicely collided with me restarting the management of an old client of mine who had wanted to manage their AdWords campaigns in-house for a while. This advertiser has had access to Dynamic Search Ads for quite some time and starting a DSA campaign had great potential to generate extra profits from their AdWords campaigns without much extra work. In practice however, there were several flaws and the newly started DSA campaign moved the account from profitable to unprofitable. The advertiser had started a Dynamic Search Ads campaign in the beginning of 2012 and was relying on the campaign to generate new revenue for his AdWords account. Dynamic Search Ads can be great, but as many other things within AdWords, they require optimization and do not work optimally with standard settings. The Official Statement: It Fills Out The Gaps Dynamic Search Ads were invented to help bigger advertisers fill out the … [Read more...] about How Dynamic Search Ads Can Take Over Your AdWords Account With Devastating Effects
Google announced a slate of major updates and new products for AdWords advertisers in its Google Performance Summit today. Their largest advertisers and partners had a sneak peek at the announcement yesterday, and I’m excited to bring you the details on what’s new! The updates were revealed by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce and Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords. Here’s what they had to say about exciting changes coming to AdWords: Crazy New AdWords Stats Google AdWords is more effective than ever and driving massive economic activity, according to Google. Among the statistics they shared in their presentation: Google’s search and advertising tools drove $165 billion of economic activity for over 1 million businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits across the United States in 2015. There are now trillions of searches on Google.com and over half of those searches happen on smartphones. Nearly one … [Read more...] about Major Google AdWords Changes Announced: Expanded Text Ads, New Local Search Ads & More
Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) allow Google AdWords users to customize search network campaigns to target users who have completed a desired action on their website. This targeting can allow advertisers to target a specific audience already familiar with the brand, while leveraging budget to maximize ROAS. In this post, I will outline 5 actionable uses of RLSAs that will allow you to influence your search network targeting and modify bid strategies on AdWords based on audience lists that can easily be created within Google Analytics. 1.Increase Bids for Users That Have Visited Your Site an Optimal Number of Times Before Purchase Within Google Analytics, you can view the split of conversions by number of channel interactions. This data is available in the path length report, in which you will be able to view how many conversions and the value of conversions split by the number of sessions the user has had before making a purchase. This data can be extremely useful for … [Read more...] about 5 Remarketing Lists to Boost Search Ad Performance
I’m about as white hat as they come and would never advocate that you do anything shortsighted or irresponsible (as tempting as the instant payoff might be) to jeopardize your brand. But when I see a cool new ethical and totally above-board way to swing the AdWords pendulum in favor of marketers, I say go for it! This fun new hack uses Google’s own web crawling technology in a new way, enabling you to pay to rank on keywords you were hoping to rank for organically. Google just made a massive, global update to Dynamic Search Ads (DSA), essentially re-writing this once previously mediocre Ads offering to add a powerful organic insights element to drive more relevant ads. Previously, DSA would index your website and decide which search queries to show ads for. If the content on your site was considered a good match for the query, an ad was automatically created and entered into the AdWords auction. This was awesome in itself, as it allowed you to cast a wider net, showing your … [Read more...] about Dynamic Search Ads: Pay for Organic Keywords
Paid search is a pretty awesome channel, but it’s not without its challenges. As the chart below illustrates, the cost per click (CPC) in certain highly competitive verticals can get super expensive – we’re talking more than $100 per click in some cases, for industries like law and finance. (This is Bing data, but it’s a similar story in AdWords.) Another challenge is that conversion rates really haven’t changed much in 15 years, whether you’re selling washing machines or alarm clocks. It’s around 2.5%. Finally, we know that desktop search query volume peaked in 2013 and that more searches are happening on the smaller, more competitive screens of mobile devices. As marketers, we want to get more for less. We want more conversions and we want them to cost less so we can maximize our profits, right? I frequently get emails like this: Larry, how do you make money with PPC today? If my cost per click goes from $1.50 to $4 with a Quality Score of … [Read more...] about Are remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) the future of PPC?
Incorporating live inventory and pricing data into your ads is an interesting concept and something many companies would like to implement within their search ad text (not talking about Shopping ads or PLAs). We’ve seen the number of companies requesting and implementing these types of dynamic creative solutions skyrocket over the past six months. Incorporating data points like geography and promotional timing into your ads is a huge trend. We see this in retail, B2B e-commerce, B2C e-commerce, and many other verticals. Incorporation of inventory data (whether from your own database or a third party) is a very realistic option that many big brands are beginning to take advantage of. Performance marketing managers are realizing how valuable this copy differentiation can be in improving clicks and conversions within competitive markets. But the data requirement is huge. Think about it: if you’re a searcher who needs a specific quantity of a specific product and the ad … [Read more...] about Pull live inventory data from your product database and place it in your search ad copy