February saw the launch of a number of new useful features in Adwords that offer improvements to both the display of your advertising and how you can track your ads performance. Trueview Video and automated Display Ads offer a more dynamic and creative means to deliver your message, while the new enhanced Sitelinks program gives a new format to traditional text Ads. With updates to the Automated Rules and Search Funnels features you can have even greater control over how your ads are delivered and new ways to visualise their effectiveness. There’s also some sound advice on ad copy and a re-vamped Adwords Community. Read on for a summary of each of these developments and how they can help your business or agency.
For any of you out there that have considered running image based display ads in the past but been put off by the complexities of building and designing these ads, Google has the answer. The new display ad builder will automatically create and suggest display ads for you. They are surprisingly good looking to start with but you are not restricted to the generated format, and can tweak the design’s fonts, layouts and colours, or access different images directly through Google’s stock library. A great new option for those of you who are not design gurus (or lucky enough to have an awesome designer in the office like I do!).
There’s no denying video is the future of paid online advertising, the astonishing engagement figures for youtube speak for themselves – 2 BILLION pageviews per day. Trueview is the latest step in Google’s attempt to make youtube a service to rival traditional ads in terms of flexibility and monitoring. With Trueview viewers are given greater control over the type of advertising they see and who from. This targeting means viewers are less likely to ignore ads and the surprisingly good figures from Google’s latest research back this up (see the post for more).
Sitelinks (see the pic) are a great addition to your adwords campaign. The primary thing I love about sitelinks is the fact that they mimic the appearance of number one results in organic search -Because organic search results have been showing up in this format for some time the trust a searcher places in these ads is greatly improved, and trust equals greater engagement and a stronger brand image. With these new improvements adding siteinks to your campaign is now even simpler and an approach I fully recommend.
If you’re new to search funnels the easiest way to consider them is as the next step on from conversion goals. Rather than just looking at the 2 or 3 pages a user arrives at your goal from you can analyse the organic keywords and paid campaigns that ‘assist’ in bringing these conversions to your site. The new improved interface brings in year-on-year and month-on-month comparisons as well as some other metrics which allow more flexible, in-depth analysis.
I’ll admit I missed the boat a little on automated rules, but they’re one of those Google tools that once you master you can’t believe you managed without! Having an adwords account running can feel a little like having a child around sometimes – the moment you turn your back or aren’t carefully watching your budget disappears, CTR plummets and your avg position is nose-diving. Automated rules take the stress out of running your campaign. You can define rules based on many factors, including pausing groups/campaigns with low ctr or overly high costs, adjusting max bids to maintain top spot on key terms, distributing your budget/impressions to target important times of day or week for your business and numerous others. Brilliant tools which have just become even more simple to use.
Advice and Tips
Due to its ever-changing nature (just look how many updates we’ve blogged on in the last 12 months alone) everyone is constantly learning and improving the way they use Adwords. I think it’s this constant learning curve that fosters the sense of camaraderie in the Adwords Community. No doubt you’ve come across forums in the past where your questions are responded to by some know-it-all in a derogatory manner; not so here. When you’re struggling with a new tool, function or feature the Adwords Community should be your first port of call. But far more than just problem solving, the community is a great source of new ideas and tactics too. I’ve learnt 90% of what I know on here and the new layout has made it that bit more awesome, go get involved!
With all the amazing tools for automating, distributing and monitoring your Adwords campaigns is sometimes easy to get lost in tweaking all the metrics associated with your campaign and forgot the one factor which is important above all else – the content of your ads. Good copy in your ads is the number one key to successful campaigns. Here’s a good reminder of the basics that also links to the more in-depth help center article which is well worth a read too.