Monday, April 27, 2015

Call Out Extensions from Google Adwords: The Rundown

Call Out Extensions is another ad extension from Google Adwords. Call Out Extensions highlights what’s best about your brand, product or service. Think bullet points, not complete sentences. You can choose to create Callout Extensions at either the account, campaign or ad group level (ad group level will trump those at the campaign level, campaign level trumps account level call out extensions). 

Think of it as an additional 25 (x3) characters to talk about your product or service. Rotate up to 20 different call outs per campaign or ad group. You can also choose to show on Desktop/Tablet or only on Mobile devices. According to Google:

Key Features:
Highlight and “call out” value-added attributes to attract and inform users
Keep the user focused on the main message, without requirement for linking to sub-products
Provides complementary, additive information provided by other ad extensions

Sample Call Out Extension:

When to Use Sitelinks?
When you want to link deeper into the user flow. When you want to give the user a quick preview of the different pages on your website. When you want to give the user multiple options for interacting with your website.

The Results:
Our client saw good results using Call Out Extensions, when they were actually shown. Only 2% of the impressions shown in Google Adwords search results were accompanied by Call Out Extensions. However, Click Thru Rate was 248% higher with Call Out Extensions than without.

The Final Word:

With Ad Extensions playing a significant role in ad rank, it is important to use Call Out Extensions. Especially since they are shown along-side other extensions including sitelinks. This could be the difference between you or your competitor showing up in top position for your top keywords. 

Voice Search Changes PPC Forever

One of the most impressive features of the Motorola Moto X when it debuted in 2013 was its touchless control. You could execute voice searches and commands with your Moto X without touching the device. Just say, "OK Google," and the phone was at your command. "Ok Google" is a hotword that tells Google that you’re ready to start using your voice to search.

Over the years the introduction of different mobile devices and their apps has shaped the keyword search query landscape, from Flip Phones to Smartphones and now to Siri-like search voice commands.

Mobile’s Influence on Search Query Length
The length of search queries in mobile search has grown dramatically. In 2004, the majority of searches were 2 to 3 words in length. In 2009, longer search queries showed up on Search Query Reports (SQR) but the bulk of the search queries were still 1 to 4 words in length. Now In 2015, anyone that looks at their SQR will see search queries as long as 27 words (no way anyone typed that in).

2014, 2009 & 2004 Mobile Number of Words per Query

Modified Broad is More Important
How are we going to capture those 27 word search queries? Modified Broad match. With modified broad you can guarantee that specific keywords are included in the search term captured (ie. +pizza +san +francisco). Regardless of how intricate the search query becomes you can still show your PPC ads for these longer search queries.

The Final Word
Voice search will soon be the primary way that users interact with smart devices, especially as the operating system expands into cars (Google Auto) and onto wrists (Apple Watch). Instead of typing your query into a search bar you will have a conversation with Siri. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Google Upgraded URLs - July 1st Deadline

Google is making changes to the way destination URLs are handled in Google AdWords. They are creating Upgraded URLs. What this means is you will have a destination URL and a separate module for tracking, a tracking template. This is rolling out as we speak but will have a final deadline of July 1st to complete URL upgrades.

What’s changing with Upgraded URLs
Upgraded URLs let you enter the landing page portion of your URL and your tracking information separately in AdWords. Now you have the option to update your tracking information at your account, campaign or ad group without having to re-set your ad stats.

The Best News about this Change
Every time you change tracking the historical data and quality score won't change with your ads. Regardless if you are adding parameters to the URL or redirecting through a third-party click tracker platform.

The following table summarizes the support for individual fields of Upgraded URLs in various AdWords entities:

Below is the Upgrade Group by Tracking Setup

The Bottom Line
The deadline for upgrading your URLs is July 1st. At that time all URLs will be upgraded to only and if you haven't created a tracking template to redirect your URLs through a click tracker (Kenshoo or Marin for example) or appended URLs with utms you will lose the ability to track your Google AdWords traffic in third-party analytics. It will also break your redirects from a third-party click tracker.

The link to the Google Hangout video & the link for the Google Upgrade URL Guide.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Google Adwords & Bing Ads 300% Mobile Modifier Trick

Want to get around the mandatory enhanced campaigns for Google & Bing? Would you rather show your ads on mobile only?

Bing Mobile & Tablet Modifiers
Unfortunately the tablet modifier can only be increased by 20% in Bing so you can't make tablet only campaigns. You can however make mobile only (or almost mobile only) campaigns by lowering CPCs by 66% and raising the mobile modifier by 300%. This works best if your new CPC is lower than the first page bid for desktop.

Google Mobile Modifier
This 300% mobile modifer works on Google too but one account we work with saw a possible penalty. Mobile performed much better than Desktop in this account but we didn't see that reflected in the CPA of the campaigns with the mobile modifier set at 300%. I can't confirm that a penalty was placed on that account for trying to skirt the system but those are the facts.

The Bottom Line
You can get around Google & Bing enhanced campaigns, you just need to get creative

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bing Ads: Close Variants & Deprioritization of Negative Terms - May 21st

Bing is following the leader on close variants. No longer will true exact match exist in Bing Ads. On May 21st, Bing Ads will be making two changes to the way keywords are handled.

The Addition of Close Variants 
Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. The problem is sometimes the plural keyword performs differently than the singular keywords. Or a stemming means something different (ie. printer & printing).

Deprioritization of Negative Terms
This is a tricky one. No longer will single negative keywords stop phrase keywords from showing. For example, usually you could add "free" to stop "free shoes." Starting May 21st this will not work anymore. Now you must use the [free shoes] negative match. Plus, if you have [free shoes] positive and [free shoes] negative, Bing will prioritize the positive over the negative.

The good news is Bing gets more money from advertising but it creates a headache for advertisers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Now You have to Run Yahoo Gemini

Yahoo! and Bing have created a new agreement as of this morning.

What Has Changed?
Yahoo! now has full control over mobile ads using the Yahoo! Gemini platform. Mobile under the new deal includes Smartphones & Tablets. But Now Yahoo! can run 49% of their own desktop ads (most likely with the Yahoo! Gemini platform). Yahoo! can also have Google serve a portion or all of the 49% of desktop ads.

The Bottom Line
You will need to sign up for a Yahoo! Gemini account if you want to show 100% of the time on Yahoo! For now Bing remains the provider of ads for Yahoo! Desktop search but that is going to change soon.

What about Premium Buyers (Major Advertisers)?
Yahoo! used to service both Yahoo & Bing ads. Now Yahoo! services Yahoo! ads and Bing services Bing display ads. Instead of one Yahoo! rep for all Yahoo! & Bing ads, you will now have two points of contact for advertising on Yahoo! & Bing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No More Phone Numbers in Bing Ads - June 2015

If you have phone numbers in your Bing ads you will find them disapproved in June 2015. Instead of phone numbers in ads you can use Call Extensions for Bing. Call extensions are useful because they can show both your website and phone or just a phone number only. If you have a local business with no website, this is the best way to do call only Bing Ads.

What happens when I use both Call and Location Extensions?

"Call Extensions can be used together with Location Extensions. When these two features are used at the same time, the phone number displayed (coming from one or the other extension) and the availability of click-to-call depend on the device where the ad is being viewed. The table below describes what you can expect." - Bing Ads

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Google Adwords - New Call Only Campaign

According to Google, 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Call-only campaigns are specially designed to only show on mobile devices that can make phone calls. Every click you pay for can be a phone call to your business.

How can I create a call only campaign?
To create your new campaign:
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. On the "Campaigns" tab, click the +Campaign drop-down menu, and select Search Network only.
  3. Add a name for your campaign. To help you find your campaign later, you might want to indicate in the name that this is a call-only.
  4. Choose the campaign type Call-only - Ads that encourage people to call your business.
  5. Choose your Networks, Devices and Location targeting. Under Devices, note that your ads will only appear on devices that can make calls.
  6. Under “Bid Strategy,” keep in mind that all clicks on your ads will result in calls to your business.
  7. Select any other settings you'd like for your campaign.
  8. Click Save and continue.

Adwords Call And Location Extension Phone Number Verification Mandatory - June 2015

Phone numbers that haven’t been approved will be listed as “Unverified” in the Ad extensions tab of your Google account.
To get phone numbers verified, you’ll need to take one of these steps.

  1. Have the phone number being used in the extension listed on the website (in text).
  2. Link your AdWords and Google Webmaster Tools accounts.
  3. Add your AdWords conversion code snippet to the landing page in your ad.

What if I use Marchex or IfByPhone for Call Tracking?
You can still perform step 2 above.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Yahoo Gemini - How Did I Start Showing ads on Yahoo Gemini?

What is Yahoo Gemini?
Yahoo Gemini is a PPC platform and the first unified ad marketplace for mobile search and native advertising. Great, but what you might not know is you may already be opted into Yahoo Gemini for PPC without even knowing it.

Bing Mobile & Yahoo Gemini
If you are currently running ads on Bing Mobile, you are probably running ads on Yahoo Gemini. In March of 2014 Yahoo began auto opting in advertisers from Bing to Yahoo Ad Manager. Yahoo slowly migrated people over to Yahoo Gemini throughout 2014. The only way you would find out is if you looked at your Bing PPC invoice closely.

What about optimizations on Yahoo Gemini?
Yahoo starts your account in a read only state. Every change you make in Bing Ad Marketplace is duplicated over to Yahoo Gemini. You can opt into making changes directly in Yahoo by calling cQualified at 925-381-7921, you will need a dedicated yahoo email address to start.

What Native Advertising Does Yahoo Offer?
Yahoo Ad Manager also offers native advertising in-stream, usually in news content.

Stream Ads appear front and center across major Yahoo sites by naturally blending into the content streams viewed by users.  They’re served in the personalized content streams of major properties including Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Mail, and more.
Image Ads harness the beauty of HD images for vivid, personal, and emotional brand storytelling. Image Ads are served within native image environments across Yahoo properties and Flickr, such as photo galleries and slideshows. - Yahoo Advertising

Google Mobile Algorithm Shift - April 21st

Have you heard the news? Google is making mobile-friendly an algorithm signal for mobile search results.

"Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
To get help with making a mobile-friendly site, check out our guide to mobile-friendly sites. If you’re a webmaster, you can get ready for this change by using the following tools to see how Googlebot views your pages:

Or you can test your website by going to Google on your mobile phone and search for your website, If it doesn't say "Mobile Friendly" then you probably won't show up for non branded search in Google.

Will Brand get affected by the Mobile Algorithm Signal?
Everyone is saying no. You should be good on your own brand name. Make sure you check it on April 22nd however.