Category Archives: Paid Search

Three Ways the New Gmail Upgrade Will Boost Your Marketing Campaign

Gmail is a free email service operated and owned by search giant Google. They currently boast a subscriber base of over 1 billion users, which translates to one in seven people in the world using Gmail.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) offers businesses the opportunity to market their product to a large user base.

GSP is sometimes referred to as an impression-based medium. This means that users are exposed to your ad without asking what your content is. Bear in mind this is not a search, you are requesting the user to make an unconscious action of clicking a link they naturally wouldn’t.

For advertisers pursuing leads with a conversion goal of free models or trails, GSP is effective in driving these ‘free’ conversions without hassle.

What is GSP?

GSP is a google service that was launched without fan fare in 2013 with google soft selling ads rather than a full promotion. GSP are advertisements that appear on Gmail user accounts. It is displayed in the inbox, right above the email. The Ads are cleverly designed to look like an email and it expands to a full Ad once clicked.

How does Gmail Ads Work?

Google moved GSP into a standard AdWords toolbox.  The name changed from GSP to simply ‘Gmail Ads’.  The new Gmail Ad appears in the personal Gmail inboxes under the ‘promotions’ tab.

The Gmail Ad is ‘pushed’ to an inbox even when the user did not search for the advertised content. Google secretly crawls Gmail user accounts and compiles information essential with advertisers. Advertisers can select their audiences based on interests, likes and behaviour. They are charged per click when there is an interaction with the ad. This model for online marketing campaigns benefits leads based ads rather than direct sales. Naturally, online users respond best to the ‘freemium’ model or free trial. Users are more likely to click on Ads offering free membership or content. Google Ads impresses with the capacity to deliver leads from those unwilling users.

Three ways to boost your marketing with Gmail upgrades

  1. Targeting is a fantastic substitute to remarketing. Businesses can target recent interest generated by the user and this will enhance your ability to target users more likely to interact with your ad.
  2. Research conducted by Emery Barnes reveals that 87% of online marketers utilise Gmail Ads, 25% of the emails were opened regularly and 30% more masked with emoji. To engage users, advertisers are encouraged to use emojis as this will lead to more conversion for the ad.
  3. Gmail Ads has a metric function that allows you to analyse and monitor your campaign. This way you can review your AdWords strategy to match current trends popular among users.

Gmail Ads is a desirable method of advertising that has earned the admiration of consumers and marketers globally.  Forever changing how advertising and digital marketing will be conducted.

Google Announces Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google recently announced some major changes to ad rotation settings in AdWords that will take place starting from the 15th of September. These changes will bring an end to the long-standing debate among advertisers about the best way to test different ads in each ad group. While all paid search advertisers can certainly agree that ad testing is important, should they let them rotate blindly, make changes after a 90-day period, or optimise them to increase clicks and enjoy more conversions? It seems the answer doesn’t matter anymore because now, the changes simplify the matter by trimming the AdWords ad rotations settings for a simpler solution.

The Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google AdWords will support only two rotation settings where you can either choose to optimise or rotate indefinitely. The first option to optimise (prefer best performing ads), will employ Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads with the potential to do better than the other ads in the ad group. Choosing ‘do not optimise (rotate ads indefinitely) allows your ads to rotate continuously without putting priority on better performing ads to a user’s search.

The existing settings ‘optimise for conversions’ and ‘rotate evenly’ will be abandoned and where the options to ‘Optimise for clicks’, ‘Optimise for conversions’ and ‘Rotate evenly are being used by campaigns, there will be automatic change to the new ‘Optimise’ setting.

Regardless of how campaigns set their ad rotation settings for their smart bidding strategies like Enhanced CPC, target CPA or target ROAS, their ad rotation will automatically be set to ‘Optimise’ as a result of Google’s new decision. In addition, advertisers can easily control their new ad rotation settings at the campaign level and at the ad group level as well.

The Impact of the Changes on Advertisers

Besides the major effect being forcing search marketers to stay on top of their testing schedules if they aren’t already, the announced changes to AdWords rotation will affect many advertisers using the usual ad rotation and bidding strategies.

This means if your campaigns currently make use of either the ‘Rotate evenly’ or ‘Optimise for conversions ad rotation setting’ you will notice the new changes in your account sometime in late September. Campaigns employing smart bidding strategies such as target CPA, enhanced CPC or target ROAS bidding strategies are not left out either.

Although some advertisers would naturally not be inclined to trust Google to optimise their ad rotation, you can reasonably expect to see positive performance n CTR and CPA from making the change.

Preparing for Changes in Ad Rotation Settings

There’s nothing to be done in advance since the transition will automatically occur in late September. Still, it is advisable to pay close attention to your accounts in order to see how they respond to said changes.

Advertisers presently making use of the ‘Rotate evenly’ option should work to finish up current ad tests and possibly migrate to an optimise setting before the ad rotation change takes place to get the most out of ad tests in the future. A smart bidding strategy is a better option for advertisers currently using the ‘Optimise for conversions’ setting in order to optimise their bids in real time auctions.

On a final note, if you are dissatisfied with the proposed changes to be made to your account, you can always choose the ‘Do Not Optimise’ ad rotation so that your ads are rotated evenly into each search auction.

AdWords Announces Upcoming Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

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In the middle of May, Google announced that AdWords will start rolling out changes to enhanced CPC bidding (eCPC) beginning in early June. Advertisers logging into the AdWords interface would likely have seen the notification indicating these changes.

Background of eCPC bidding

AdWords presents advertisers with various bidding strategies to use to achieve their aims. While advertisers can decide to bid for a target CPA, bid for a target location on the SERP, pay for display ads, or pay for video views, majority of advertisers choose to depend on cost-per-click CPC bidding.

Advertisers’ accounts easily grow in complexity and size, and with this growth, it becomes difficult to manage a rapidly growing load of audiences, demographics, keywords, and bid adjustments in campaigns. It is for this reason that Google introduced eCPC in 2010, rolling out a major change in the way cost-per-click (CPC) bidding works. By introducing eCPC bidding, they were able to take some load off the shoulders of advertisers.

The change allowed Google to dynamically adjust advertisers’ bids within a range of 30% if the AdWords algorithm believed a click was likely to lead to a conversion. Since it was introduced, eCPC bidding was used for new campaigns as the default bidding strategy, which in turn gave Google more control over bids.

What do the new changes mean?

Adwords eCPC Update

This is the official word from Google on the eCPC update.

Before the new changes, the eCPC automatic bidding strategy would increase an advertiser’s keywords bids by up to 30% if the AdWords algorithm noticed a click which may be more likely to convert. When automatically adjusting bids, the algorithm would take into account the time of day, users’ location, device, and browser, and before those, any manual bid adjustment.

With the new adjustments to eCPC, Google will be removing the 30% cap, aiming to help advertisers to gain more conversions. The new changes will not adjust bids based on device, and advertisers who have no conversion stats and those with strict CPC KPIs need to watch out.

While it is possible that advertisers will pay more than their maximum CPC for one click in eCPC bidding, Google says it will try to keep average CPC under maximum CPC bids. With the 30% cap removed, Google may become forceful in making automatic bid adjustments.

Also, Google may adjust advertisers’ bids for different demographics, similar audiences, and remarketing audiences. Regarding bids for different locations, if Google’s AdWords algorithms find local markets with higher conversion rates, your bids for that location will automatically be adjusted.

For advertisers using eCPC with excellent results, it is recommended to test for some time and see how the new changes affect conversion rate, average CPC, and impression share.

Bing Relaxes Policy Restricting Use of Trademarks as Keywords

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On March 27, 2017, Bing’s update to their policy on using trademarks as keywords went live. This means advertisers and marketers are now free to use trademarks in their ads, with a number of restrictions of course. The new changes applied to 10 countries. These countries are Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, France, Italy, UK, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

In Bing’s official announcement made by their Program Manager of Search Demand Policy, Melissa Alsoszatai-Petheo, the company made it clear that they would continue to disallow the use of trademarks in ad copy. They mentioned that fair use of a trademark in ad copy will continue to be allowed specifically for:

  • Informational websites such as product reviews.
  • Resellers of an authentic good or service.
  • Ordinary dictionary use of a term.
  • Comparative advertising, but onlywhen supported by independent research.

One of the factors the company seems to have considered before making the change is it will make it easier for advertisers to transfer their campaigns between the major search engines without having to optimise as much. The benefits are not restricted to the advertisers as the company expects that consumers will have a better experience. According to the official announcement, Bing had found that consumers often search for trademarked terms expecting to receive broader results.

Bing has always been stern with piracy, phishing, scams, scareware, misleading content, and other unethical practices. For instance, in 2016, their ad quality review reported that 130 million ads were rejected with 175,000 advertisers blocked. This is nowhere near Google’s 1.7 billion bad ads blocked in the same year but the company does its part. Bing’s decision to update their policy restricting the use of trademarks in keywords could place them on a level playing field with Google’s AdWords. However, Google is certainly way ahead of them, having allowed trademarks in keywords since 2014.

On the advantages of Bing’s update, Paul Smith of Search Creative points out that:

  • Advertisers will be able to optimise search engine results to their advantage by leveraging on trademarks that do not belong to them.
  • Enforcement of trademarks will become more consistent globally.
  • Advertisers will be able to transfer campaigns between search engines without having to tweak optimisation as much.
  • Consumers will benefit as they would begin to get a wider range of results, presenting them with more choices and improving the overall search experience.

Smith insists that while more advertising campaigns may be annoying, making searches broader can only yield better results. He advises that brand owners be aware of the development and consider focusing their efforts on retaining a strong online presence, especially through multiple search engines.

Google is Making AdWords Smarter with Exact Match Keywords


The days of having to enter loads of exact match keywords are soon coming to an end. Over the next few months, Google will effect a series of changes to the way AdWords processes keywords.

What happens now is if you sell children’s clothes, you’ll likely include “children’s clothes” in your list of keywords. For a potential customer to find you, they would have to type “children’s clothes”. If you want to ensure more people find you, you’ll add different variations such as “clothes for children”, “kids’ clothes”, and so on. Of course, this can get tiring and on many occasions, you may be unable to target all the possible keywords.

Because Google understands that this can be a difficult matter for advertisers, they’ve decided to expand close variant matching to help advertisers reach more of their customers. These are the changes they’re making:

Ignoring function words

Google is going to start ignoring function words as long as they don’t change the meaning of the keyword. Function words are prepositions such as “to”, conjunctions such as “but”, articles such as “an”, and other words that don’t alter the intention behind the user’s search. For example, the “in” in “restaurants in Vancouver” can be ignored because it doesn’t change the meaning. However, the “from” in “flights from Vancouver” doesn’t have the same meaning as “flights to Vancouver”.

Words can appear in any order

An exact match keyword will be matched with different queries even if the words are reordered. The only condition is the meaning must remain the same and retain the intent behind the user’s search. Using the same examples above, “restaurants Vancouver” is the same as “Vancouver restaurants”. However, “Vancouver to Toronto” is certainly not the same as “Toronto to Vancouver”.

These changes are to be effected over the next few months starting with English and Spanish, with other languages following through the rest of the year. Google expects to see up to 3% more exact match clicks.

What do advertisers think?

On day 2 of Search Marketing Expo (SMX) West, Mindstream Media’s Stephanie Cheek shared her thoughts on Google’s AdWords update. She explained that advertisers would have to retrain themselves to use and think of exact match keywords differently. Mindstream Media’s report from the panel discussion states that many advertisers were uncomfortable with giving up the level of control they have with exact match.

Scotty D on Google’s advertiser community believes the update is certainly a step in the right direction. He points out that 20% of searches in the US are now by voice, making it harder to pinpoint all query variations that may capture a user’s intent.

Location Extensions for your local business’ Google Display Ads. What good are they?

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Location extensions are a Google AdWords feature that allows for the adding of location data concerning a business into an ad. But why are these extensions important? And how can you use them to your advantage?

Location extensions assist people in discovering the location of a sought after local business with the aid of Google Maps and Google.com. Doesn’t matter what the business offers. As long as it’s listed and it has a physical location, Google will help you find it.

With the help of Google Display Network ads, a store’s photos, working hours, and location are automatically uploaded for the benefit of shoppers who are interested in what said business has to offer. A good example would be of an individual interested in limited edition sneakers browsing online and coming across local information of a little known store selling limited edition, one of a kind Nikes. This would mean thanks to local extensions, our friend with the sneaker fetish can visit this neighbourhood store he’s never heard of and maybe find something interesting.

To help users along, Google has started automatically adding location extensions to Google Display Network ads that are eligible when a user expresses interest in a certain kind of business and is in the locality of said business.

As a business owner, what you can profit from using Google AdWords location extensions is quite extensive. Such as, but not limited to;

  1. Acquiring extra ad space for communicating your business’ value: With local extensions, you’re no longer limited to only traditional costly methods of advertising or social media. Now you can reach potential customers who are in the actual vicinity of your business and are looking for your specific services
  2. Encouraging potential customers to walk through your store’s front door: Potential customers who would have never known of your business’s existence now have a higher likelihood of visiting you. This is thanks to location extension’s targeted approach.
  3. It also improves your Click through Rate by up to 10%, which in turn improves your Quality Score and reduces your advertising costs.
  4. With location extensions, customers have more ways to interact with your ad instead of just viewing it. The can click on the ad’s headline, or hit a “click-to-call” button, or better yet, get directions to your business’s location. This added functionality comes at no extra cost to your business because you’ll still be charged the same Cost Per Click regardless if the user chooses to visityour website or your local store, or call.

With this information you can now decide if location extensions are worth it to your business and how to go about benefiting from them. Up your business’ publicity by making the best out of this added feature from Google.

“Fred” Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

8-What-You-Should-Know-About-Google-Fred-UpdateSearch Marketers Beware

Successful search marketing has a lot to do with Google’s search algorithm. As a search marketer, developer or SEO expert, you must be conversant with the latest Google algorithm trends to pull off a successful marketing campaign because it relates directly with:

  • Search engine optimisation
  • Search engine ranking and
  • Organic website traffic

Optimising Search Marketing by Staying Up-to-Date with Google’sever Changing Algorithm

There is need for every search marketer, developer and SEO expert to understand the dynamics of  Google’s algorithm as it undergoes frequent major and minor modifications every often because it is essential to the success of their business. It is important you keep your ears tuned to these changes, especially the major ones which have a considerably weightier impact on the overall success of your business. Google Webmaster YouTube Channel is a useful resource that keeps you informed on latest trends in the SEO world.

The most successful search marketers, SEO experts and developers are those who do due diligence in keeping up with Google’s ever changing algorithm which does have a significant impact on search engine optimisation and ranking that translate into organic website traffic.

To be on top of your game as an SEO expert, marketer or developer, you must have adequate information on latest trends in search marketing and SEO best practices. Google was said to have made a major change in its search algorithm over the past few weeks, on March 8th to be precise.

Latest Google Algorithm Ranking – March 8th 2017 Update

It was reported recently on the 8th of March 2017 that there was a perceived major update in Google’s search algorithm known as Fred. Google’s Gary Illyes recently confirmed the update which was a mere speculation before now. There were, however, obvious signs that indicated there was a major Google ranking update before it was confirmed as it already had its toll on the SEO world with hundreds of websites recording between 50% to 90% decline from Google’s organic search.

According to Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land, the sites that were hardest hit by Fred are sites that place revenue generation above user experience. These are sites which he claims are heavy on ads with low value content. Google’s recent major update Schwartz says is link related. Studies have it that there were significant changes in Google’s rankings in the first week of February which were link and content related. January 10 also saw a momentous change in the SEO world after Google warned against intrusive interstitials. “Fred” is, however, what SEO experts search engine marketers and developers need to be more concerned about now.

The safer thing to do is to go low on ads if your website is already heavy on this and focus more on quality content that will be useful to everyone who visits your website. The most important thing you should keep in mind is user experience.

New reporting features available in Bing Ads Accounts

Bing Ads

Entrepreneurship is the order of the day and everyone is take advantage of the new media revolution to cash in on the digital marketing space. This way, without hassles, products and services can be advertised for wider outreach, while bloggers can also drag ads to their blogs or websites.

The next dilemma is making the choice between google and bing for the ad space. Google surely has more popularity from over the years and has a majority of the digital marketing pie. However, Bing is gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with in the search engine online services war.

Several bloggers and online retailers have written thought pieces about the Superiority of Bing Ads over Google Adwords. Recent statistics have shown that Bing has grown to hold 20% of the search market share while google paid search clicks dropped by 11%.

Why go for Bing Ad?

The growth as mentioned above is by no mistake. Several innovations have set Bing Ad on this rising trend.

  1. It offers less competition. This is crucial for new users. No competition hassles since majority are still on google adwords. At same time, it offers cheaper Cost per click (CPC) compared to google.
  2. Better device targeting. Brings out features directed at individual devices. Sort of a personalisation.
  3. Better social extention
  4. Search demographics can be better controlled
  5. It doesn’t force close variants on you.

Even with these advantages, Bing is not resting on its oars as it brings new reporting features for better user experience regularly. I will be mentioning 3 of the major new reporting features:

Bing Ads Accounts

  1. Performance metrics. Many users have multiple accounts and keeping tabs on progress made becomes a major issue. Performance metrics are new reporting features that help assess the performances of your accounts and compare performances between periods, as well as changes
  2. Data splitting: New reporting features allow you split your data and analyse them in segments. This way analysis of performance can be scaled down to a particular day of the week, or quarter of the month. The data can even be split based on the type of devices clickers used.
  3. Data presentation: Performance metrics can be a lot of data, formulas and so on. For faster assimilation data presentation features have been added. Now the data can be presented as linear graphs, charts and so on.

More and more users are beginning to recognise the user friendliness of Bing Ads and as long as the digital marketing space gets wider and more competitive, Bing Ads will continue to add more attractive reporting features.

Best merge your PPC and SEO worlds and achieve cross-channel success

PPC SEO Cross Channel

Should we pay per click or should we just focus on search engine optimisation for our website? That is one of the questions business owners and campaign mangers ask themselves when they are looking to increase the traffic to their sites, as well as increase the conversion rate.

The answer to that question is that PPC and SEO both help you to get to a specific destination- just that they use different routes. It is not far-fetched to see that if the forces of the two combined, you would get to that destination quicker and in better shape. They complement each other.

Integrate SEO and PPC

When you combine your SEO strategies with your pay per click campaigns, you are able to share your search marketing goals between both options. They are different channels that when crossed, will bring you much success.SEO and PPC

There is no other way to say it. Ensure that you are integrating both channels and maximising the unique advantages they hold for your search marketing.

Things to note

  1. You will need to conduct keyword research to use both channels maximally. For either channel to be successful, keywords are the basis. In addition, keyword data generated from one channel must be shared with the other so as to make targeting better and more accurate.
  1. Share actionable data: Organic data from your SEO strategies is as important as the data you will get from your pay per click campaign. The data from both sources should be examined and used, to determine your actions going forward.
  1. With a combination of both, you are able to target the right people at the very right time in the right place and with the right organic content. That is too important to overlook. It is what you get when your pay to click campaign messages are right next to the organic listings of your website that you have achieved with your SEO strategies.
  1. If you are using the two channels, do not use them in a silo manner. Let both channels have shared goals that will guide their actions. They should not have separate goals.
  1. Budget: The issue of budget is always one of the top reasons why people are not excited about combining SEO and PPC. While the budget issue is indeed a legitimate concern, you can always custom create a combined SEO and PPC strategy that can suit your budget.

In conclusion, you can win at your search marketing by being open minded and flexible in your use of search engine optimisation techniques and pay per click campaigns. Combine forces.

Bing Ads Releases a New, More Advanced Campaign Setup Process

Bing Ads Advanced Campaign Setup

The second most popular search engine released its much expected upgrade for advertisers to set up their campaigns easily. In recent times, Bing Ads have been advancing rapidly with its new ad extensions, bidding options, targeting improvements, and a better, more optimised platform.

They have made the campaign set up process easier to reflect the qualities and optimisations advertisers need to succeed with Bing Ads.

The following steps show how advertisers can input their campaigns

  • Establish a business goal to direct the creation of your campaign

On the ad platform, it first asks you to select the goal for your new campaign. The options available include “visits to my website”, visits to my business location” and so on. This goal will be used to suggest different features or defaults to start off your campaign on the right note. Regardless of the goal users choose, the campaign will have access to all available features. The goals page also has new shortcuts to other campaign setup tools like File Import, Keyword Planner and Google Import.

  • Copy campaign setting & target particular location

The upgrade allows users to copy settings from a pre-existing campaign. Advertisers can also target specific locations where they want their ads to appear. For instance, users can now manage radius targets in the same view as other locations.

  • Use custom keyword recommendations to target the right searchers

Keyword research can be a handful, especially for long-tail key phrases. Bing now offers tailored keyword suggestions to assist advertisers in prompting the right search results. The keywords have been designed to reflect a URL from your website.

Each suggestion shows the popularity, cost and competitiveness of the keyword. The keywords are also placed in ad groups according to relevance, making it easier to target ad copy and bids to various search queries you want them to show for.

  • Include high-value features for your ads

Features like ad extensions make your ads more captivating and can drive clicks and conversions. There is an available library of ad extensions when you are setting up a campaign, and each ad extension suitable for the campaign goal is highlighted to make selection easier. Unlike before, advertisers are no longer limited to only one ad, but can set up multiple ads and manage them in one page.

  • Use performance estimates to set informed bids

In this last stage, the page has been optimised to enable you set your budget and bidding values. Depending on the campaign features added so far, Bing provides performance projections on what it believes your campaign’s clicks, impressions, ad spend, and average ranking position will be.

Bing Ads Advanced Campaign Setup Process

To get the hang of the new set up process, you can practice without taking the campaign live. Like Google AdWords, Bing Ads is optimised to help advertisers serve ad campaigns to prospective customers searching the internet for services they offer.

The product provides a highly controlled and measurable ad serving process for online advertisers, and will increase use of Bing Ads.