Rebekah Schelfhout – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Fri, 18 Sep 2015 23:29:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Up Audiences In AdWords /10-common-mistakes-setting-audiences-adwords-229858 /10-common-mistakes-setting-audiences-adwords-229858#respond Tue, 15 Sep 2015 13:10:19 +0000 http:/?p=229858 Building audiences in AdWords. Are you doing it wrong? Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout describes ten common mistakes and explains how to avoid them.

The post 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Up Audiences In AdWords appeared first on Search Engine Land.


I think it’s clear that the hot concept of the year has been that audiences are more important than keywords. While people have differing opinions here, it’s important to note that audiences should form a part of any successful AdWords strategy (even if you think keywords are still more important).

With this in mind, I thought it would be good to share common issues people find when setting up audiences.

Why You Might Use Audiences

1. Display Network Remarketing

This is the more traditional form of remarketing and is the kind that follows users around the Google Display Network either with static advertisements or with dynamic ads showing products that have been viewed on the website.

Criteria for audience lists: You can start using one of these audience lists once you’ve gathered up 100 members and can utilize lists based on the last 540 days.

2. Remarketing Lists For Search Ads (RLSAs)

Not everyone cottons to this form of remarketing, as it’s less obvious. This is set up within search campaigns and either overlaid into existing campaigns to adjust bids higher for returning users or set up in its own campaign to show different ads or appear for different keywords if a user is within an audience list.

Criteria for audience lists: You can start using one of these audience lists once you’ve gathered up 1000 members and can utilize lists based on the last 180 days.

Common Mistake 1: Creating Niche Lists That Turn Out Too Small

low volume audiences

This is an obvious one, but it still happens all too often. When thinking about which lists to make, it’s best to check in Google Analytics to see how many unique visitors your site gathers to certain pages within a certain time duration.

If you have less than the minimum criteria listed above, then you need to consider starting off with wider targeting. There’s no point spending your time creating multitudes of lists you won’t be able to use.

You might need to think about this differently, depending on whether you’re doing search or display remarketing, as shorter time durations or more niche lists could be used for display remarketing but might not be eligible for search remarketing because the minimum list sizes differ.

Common Mistake 2: Incorrect Settings

This is the worst mistake to make, as it can have big cost or traffic reduction implications. There are two settings when it comes to setting up RLSA audiences at the ad group level. Both are shown below. It is all too easy to select the wrong setting, which can be disastrous.

target and bid

If you meant to set up a target and bid campaign and accidentally set up a bid-only ad group, then you’ll see much more traffic coming in than expected, and costs will be a lot higher. This is likely because you’re advertising on a lot broader list of keywords than you intended, and the ads will go to anyone who’s searching, rather than to your audience.

If you inadvertently set this up for the term “dress,” imagine how much you could end up spending when your ads aren’t displayed solely to a limited audience.

If you meant to set up a bid-only campaign and accidentally set up a target and bid ad group, then you will see your traffic from that ad group dramatically reduced as you narrow down your audience to only returning visitors. It’s good to have alerts set up within AdWords to catch these kind of things, so you can see when you’ve had a massive impression drop and can look into the causes.

As mentioned above, this setting falls at the ad group level, so you could have some ad groups that are target and bid and some that are bid only. Make sure to label ad groups accordingly, so you know which ones are target and bid.

Within the AdWords Web interface, if you need to adjust this setting, you can go into an ad group, go to audiences, then click on the red +remarketing button, which is where you’ll see the two settings shown in the image above.

In AdWords Editor, bid only is set as default at the ad group level. This can be dangerous if you don’t remember to adjust it to the setting you desired. Make sure to double-check your ad group settings in the interests and remarketing box as shown below, before launching any new ad groups fresh from Editor.

audiences in editor

Common Mistake 3: Poorly-Thought-Out Durations

Similar to mistake 1, creating lists that turn out to be too small, some marketers simply don’t think carefully enough about which audiences to set up.

For RLSA campaigns, your lists should be set up with the 180-day restriction in mind, otherwise you’ll have an unrealistic idea of how many people you’re reaching via the list. For display remarketing, make sure to make use of the full 540-day duration so as to reach people who might be buying something with a longer consideration cycle or something that needs to be renewed (such as insurance that expires after a year).

Also, make sure your lists are long enough to cover things like pay days. If you create a 30-day list, you’ll most likely be missing a chunk of traffic that might come back between 31 and 35 days, after they’ve received their monthly pay check.

Common Mistake 4: Overlapping Durations

overlapping time durations

People can get carried away when it comes to creating lists for different time durations. Often, search marketers create 3-day, 7-day, 14-day, 35 day-lists, and so on.

That’s great, but if you forget to subtract one from another, you could cannibalize your audience lists. You may have preferred to reach a person through one certain list, but instead, you end up reaching them through the list that has the higher bid traffic. Then perhaps you ended up paying more for that person than was necessary.

To get around this, always subtract durations from each other when setting up lists. As with the example above, you’d need:

  • 3 days
  • 7 days minus 3 days
  • 14 days minus 7 days
  • 35 days minus 14 days.

Common Mistake 5: Neglecting To Exclude One List From Another

The big mistake often made here is failing to exclude people who have already converted. Always remember to exclude converters where this makes sense. Nobody likes a stalker!

frequency capping

In addition to this, make sure to exclude just converters who did so during the relevant time period. Don’t create a list of people who’ve visited the site in the last 45 days and then subtract your entire all-time converter list, for example.

If you do this, you’ll eliminate any people who might be repeat purchasing. In this case 45-day visitors minus 45-day converters would be best.

Common Mistake 6: Failing To Set A Frequency Cap

Just as marketers forget to exclude people who have converted, neglecting to set a frequency cap is a massive mistake that gets made all too often (as I can see from the number of times I’m followed by ads).

You can adjust frequency caps from the settings tab in AdWords, and there are a variety of options. It’s best to consider this on an account-by-account basis to see how often is too often.

frequency capping settings

Common Mistake 7: Neglecting To Check For Broken Code

This happens all too easily, especially if you have long-duration audience lists set up, as you might not notice that no one’s being added to the list until you’re well into the relevant time period. In those cases, it could be that new audience entrants haven’t been added for some time.

AdWords has made it really easy for us to check this, and if you go into your shared library > audiences, you’ll see in the top right corner if your code is working or not. Remember to keep an eye on this, as it is the easiest way to make sure the code is still working.

remarketing tag AW

If you have issues with putting additional code on your site, remember remarketing lists can now be easily created in Google Analytics, and turning it on is as easy as flicking a switch, provided you have GA code on your site already.

If you’re using GA as your remarketing tag, then you’ll see the following message displayed in AdWords in the same section as mentioned above:

Remarkeitng tag GA

Common Mistake 8: Failing To Make Use Of GA Remarketing

These audience-building tools have been around for a long time now, so there’s no excuse for ignoring them any more. You could be targeting people who stayed on your site for less than a minute or people who viewed a certain number of pages.

That said, there are certain GA metrics you can’t use with RLSA. Other than these, you can use everything that’s available to you. Currently, there are more than 200 metrics from GA that you can use fully with your display remarketing campaigns.

Common Mistake 9: Failing To Track Seasonal Audiences

Or not tracking them correctly. Not enough people make use of the feature that allows you to track users during a certain time period. This is really useful for seasonal gift-shopping periods such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas. People you track around these gift-shopping periods are likely to start their shopping journey around the same time the following year, and you want to be in their minds when they do.

The snip below shows a correctly set up list tracking a time period from dates near Christmas for 540 days. The common mistake here is to set up the list with a duration of, for example, only 30 days. Then, by the time you want to use the list again the following year, all users have been removed, as the set duration has passed.

seasonal lists

Always set these lists up with the 540-day duration, and remember that if you plan to use them for RLSA, you’ll only be able to utilize them for 180 days.

Common Mistake 10: Neglecting To Put In Place A Well-Thought-Out Strategy

Whether you’re doing display remarketing or RLSA (search remarketing), strategy is key. You can’t just apply lists and hope for the best. You need to have a goal in mind and keep testing out different ways of using your audiences.

For RLSA, it’s easy to go with the option of just applying audiences to your search campaigns as bid only, but what about having a target and bid campaign with more generic keywords or different ad copy in it? Don’t forget you can also add these lists to your shopping and dynamic search ad (DSA) campaigns, too. It’s not just for standard search.

Overall Thoughts

I hope this gives you some food for thought about how you should be setting up your lists.

You’ll notice all of these 10 possible pitfalls involve issues people face with setting up lists, not problems that occur with actually utilizing the lists. While there’s plenty I could say about utilizing lists, the main piece of advice I would give is to make sure you are regularly assessing your bid adjustments for the audiences and analyzing their impact. Don’t just set them up and leave them running without further adjustment.

The post 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Up Audiences In AdWords appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/10-common-mistakes-setting-audiences-adwords-229858/feed 0
10 Top Retargeting Tips For AdWords Users /10-top-retargeting-tips-adwords-users-222603 /10-top-retargeting-tips-adwords-users-222603#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:27:09 +0000 http:/?p=222603 Are you making the most of your remarketing efforts? Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout has some expert insights you may not have considered!

The post 10 Top Retargeting Tips For AdWords Users appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Last month, I spoke at SMX London at the Advanced Retargeting Strategies session and gave my top pointers for things you should be considering when retargeting via the AdWords platform.

Many attendees found these tips helpful, so I thought I’d share them here as well. Do leave a comment if you’ve learned something new or have something to add!

Tip 1: Utilize Dynamic Remarketing For All Verticals

Dynamic remarketing isn’t just for retail sites that have merchant center accounts. You can now upload your own custom feed into AdWords in the business data section, and presto!

You can make these amazing ads that showcase areas such as travel, recruitment, education, real estate, jobs and local deals! Details on how to create a custom feed can be found here. The examples below are from a client called Alpine Elements who sell activity and ski holidays.

alpine remarketing

To set these up, you need to adjust your dynamic remarketing code to include some more custom variables for your business sector; information about this can be found here. Once you’ve done that and uploaded your feed, you can start creating ads using the templates on offer within AdWords.

Dynamic remarketing ads almost always gain higher conversion rates than static remarketing ads, so this is definitely worth setting up for your business even if it is a little extra effort.

Tip 2: Start Using YouTube As A Remarketing Platform

Many people still aren’t using YouTube as either they don’t have the video content for it, or they don’t believe they can see good direct response returns.

To combat the first point: If you don’t have resources in house or are worried about budget, I recommend you check out Wooshi. Using this site, you can be connected with people who will bid to make your video for you within the set budget that you desire.

If your goal is direct response, then as with other forms of remarketing, this one will be a great addition to your marketing plan. You can show your video “In Stream” ahead of other YouTube videos being watched, and if a user clicks to skip the advert before 30 seconds or the end of the video then you don’t pay for the impression.

An example “In Stream” advert is shown below, and more information about True View can be found here.

example youtube in stream advert

This type of advertising is easy to set up within the Video tab in AdWords and will be even easier later in the year when this moves into the main AdWords interface.

Tip 3: Make Use Of The Time Lag To Conversions Report

This can be found by going to your account in AdWords then selecting Tools > Attribution (search funnels) > Time Lag.

time lag report

This feature is great because you can select different types of conversions from a drop down in order to analyze these separately. It may be a completely different story for someone who is carrying out a micro-conversion than someone who is making a purchase.

You can even adjust the conversion window to be 30-90 days to give you another level of detail.

This is a useful tool for strategizing your remarketing audiences and also judging success. Before you kick off remarketing or adjust your strategies, look at this time lag report to see how long it takes people to convert after their first click. This then indicates how long your lists need to be in order to catch people and try and get them to come back sooner.

Revisit these lists a couple of months after launching remarketing to see if you’ve been able to speed up the purchase process!

Tip 4: Link Your AdWords Account To Your Google Play Account

Within AdWords, you can go into the settings cog at the top right, then select advanced settings. There, you’ll be able to select Linked Accounts; select “more details” under the Google Play section.

Once you’ve done this, a pop up will appear that allows you to send a request to your Google Play account to link up to AdWords. Simple!

Google play example

Once that’s done, select remarketing lists will be auto created for you, allowing you to create app engagement campaigns targeting people who have used your app.

You could, for example, show ads to people who haven’t used the app recently and offer them a reason to come back and use it again. You can also see which version of the app they have installed, which can help with advertising when a new version comes out — especially if your app is something addictive like Candy Crush Saga!

You can create further lists, but I suggest dipping your toe into the water here to try to encourage users to come back and further engage with your app.

Tip 5: Consider How You Could Exclude Lists For RLSA

When I mention excluding remarketing lists, people often shudder at the thought of not utilizing these amazing lists for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads to try and re-engage with their visitors in a bid to get them to come back to the site. The fact is, though, that not all businesses want to target users who have carried out a certain action.

Let’s say you’re a dating site, and once your members log in, they reach a unique URL such as /memberlogin. You could create a remarketing list around these members and then exclude them from your brand search campaign so that you may avoid paying for clicks from users who are already members of your site. With dating sites, people may search countless times to simply log in, and you may not want to pay for this traffic.

The main benefit of this functionality is that it gives you another option for cutting costs during tight budget periods. It also allows you to try and focus your strategy on new users within selected campaigns that you apply the rules to.

Tip 6: Set Up Referrer URL Remarketing Lists

This is a function that nobody in the room at SMX was using. It is a little hidden, so perhaps it has gone unnoticed for some time, but it’s been available for a while.

When setting up a new remarketing list, if you drop down as shown below, there is an option for “Referrer URL.” Using this, you can create a list of people who have come in from a certain source such as Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, or any other website.

referrer url

This can be used to tie your user journey together in order to display consistent messaging.

If you were showing a promotion on Facebook, you could then keep track of the audience who had clicked through to your site from that promotion and show them the same one (as opposed to conflicting offers) using RLSA or remarketing on AdWords.

Tip 7: Tag Up Your Email Links With Query Strings & Create Remarketing Lists From These

In a similar vein, I would recommend to tag up all your email/newsletter links with query strings so that you can create remarketing lists based on these.

You can use the Google URL builder to simply create URLs to append; this could be something as simple as “Source=email.” Once you have that, you can set up URL remarketing lists based on those terms.

In this case, you could target people differently based on the fact that they came in via email, and you can even go as granular as having an audience who came in from a certain promotional email so you can follow up on the story.

Tip 8: Make Use Of Google Analytics Remarketing And Similar User Lists

Google Analytics (GA) remarketing lists are still underutilized, and you can do such cool stuff with them! If you haven’t got this feature enabled yet, you just need to log into Analytics, then select your profile and go to admin, property settings, tracking info and data collection. There you’ll find a toggle for switching on GA remarketing. No need to adjust your code anymore to be able to do this.

image004 (2)

Once enabled, you can set up lists based on practically any metric within GA, so the possibilities are endless! You may want to start with something simple like lists targeting different demographics.

Once you’ve mastered this, you could move on to more advanced lists like IP address targeting. A few sample lists are shown below — excluding people who have converted in all instances.

sample GA remarketing lists

These lists are automatically imported into your AdWords audience list in the shared library section. From there, if the data is of a good enough quality, AdWords will automatically create similar user lists for you to use.

This is where Google allows you to extend out your audience to reach people who show similar characteristics to those who are in your list. As well as having your GA remarketing lists available, you’ll also have a strategy for targeting new visitors.

You can even use these GA lists with RLSA worldwide now!

Tip 9: Test Out Smart Lists

Google Analytics Smart Lists for Remarketing can be a powerful tool in your toolbox. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I wrote a full post on this feature last month.

GA logo

Tip 10: Think About Using Audience Data From Other Companies

If you’re lucky enough to have a Google Industry manager associated with your account, then you’ll be able to think about sharing audiences as a strategic option.

Through striking up an alliance with another company, you can both agree to share all, or certain, remarketing lists within your AdWords accounts. Google can arrange this for you by sending you both over a simple form to complete and sign off on. Once this happens, the other company’s lists will appear in your account for you to use.

Of course, there are a couple of things to think about here. You’ll only want to partner up with companies who have a complementary audience to your own, and of course you’ll not want to strike up this conversation with any competitors.

There are many brands out there who could be speaking with each other about data sharing, such as insurance companies and travel agent sites! If you decide to go ahead with something like this, you just need to update your privacy policy to ensure that your users know where their data may be used.

Time To Start Testing!

Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips useful in advancing your remarketing efforts! If you have any of your own tips to share, feel free to add them to the comments.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect that users no longer need to adjust code to use Google Analytics remarketing lists and that GA lists with RLSA can be used worldwide now.

The post 10 Top Retargeting Tips For AdWords Users appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/10-top-retargeting-tips-adwords-users-222603/feed 0
Why You Should Be Using Google Analytics Smart Lists For Remarketing /using-google-analytics-smart-lists-remarketing-221140 /using-google-analytics-smart-lists-remarketing-221140#respond Tue, 26 May 2015 15:07:20 +0000 http:/?p=221140 Are you using Smart Lists in your remarketing efforts? Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout believes you should consider doing so if you're not already.

The post Why You Should Be Using Google Analytics Smart Lists For Remarketing appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Almost to this date last year, I wrote a blog on the Periscopix website detailing what Google Analytics Smart Lists were.  These were introduced in April 2014, so I imagine you’ve heard of them by now. The question is, have you actually used them?

We’ve been doing some more testing of them at Periscopix, and the results look good.

A Recap On What Smart Lists Are

A Smart List is a type of remarketing list that Google creates for you based on your conversion data in Google Analytics. Using machine learning, Google looks through this data for indications that a user is likely to convert on a subsequent visit to your site.

Signals like location, device, browser, referrer, and more are analysed daily, and the list is then updated to include users who show characteristics of those with a higher propensity to convert.

Criteria For Setting Up Smart Lists

You need to have adjusted your Google Analytics code to enable remarketing and advertising reporting features as per instructions here.  You also need to have at least:

  • 10,000 daily pageviews on your site
  • 500 monthly transactions

If you don’t have enough data, then Google will look at businesses that are similar to your own and generate your list based on signals from their data. The list will work better if it’s made using your own data, but it’s still worth testing this list out even if you know it won’t be based on your own signals.

The Results

We set up Smart Lists for a retail client of ours selling high-end items. Image and text ads were split out into separate ad groups, and the other 13 lists that were set up were a mixture of AdWords URL targeted lists and Google Analytics remarketing lists such as “10 minutes on site and no purchase.” A sample of metrics can be seen below from the trial that started mid-March.

Results 1

As expected, Smart Lists are proving to generate a higher ROI than the other lists. They also have a higher relative CTR than other ad groups.

It’s interesting to note here that the text ads are outperforming the image ads despite the image ads being of a high quality. I would speculate here that the text ads are caching more engaged users who are taking the time to spot and read the ads rather than just seeing something that is eye catching and clicking through.

We also set these up for a top-end high street fashion client, and the data below is for a 30-day period.

results 2

Though this is a smaller data set, results are looking much better for the Smart List audience. This time, image ads are working better than text ads, so I haven’t been able to distinguish a key trend yet with which ad type works better. As you can imagine, differences in performance can vary due to many factors.

How To Set Them Up

In Google Analytics, select the “Admin” tab at the top. Then, under “Property,” you’ll see an option for “Remarketing.” Click that, then click on “Audiences.”


Select to create a new audience using the red button, then select the account you want to set this up for.

Step 2

If you select Smart List, you’ll then be able to see roughly how many users you’ve had pass through that site over the last 7 days. This will help you when determining your membership duration, as you need to make sure you’ve got at least 10,000 users in the list for it to use your own data.

Step 3

Add an audience name and hit “Save,” and you’re done! This list will then appear in your AdWords shared library, and you can use it in any of your Google display remarketing campaigns.

Why To Use Them

It can be complicated to research into and set up so many Remarketing Audiences in Google Analytics. In addition, factors change often that may influence a purchase — for example, seasonality and time of the month can play a major part in the purchase process and cycle.

Smart Lists remove the need to keep re-evaluating your remarketing lists, as they dynamically update based on the latest criteria that has shown to lead to a conversion. If you’re new to Google Analytics remarketing, this is probably the best place for you to start!

I’d love to hear any feedback on your experiences with Google Analytics Smart Lists in the comments.

The post Why You Should Be Using Google Analytics Smart Lists For Remarketing appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/using-google-analytics-smart-lists-remarketing-221140/feed 0
Key Traits Of An Amazing PPC Account Manager /key-traits-amazing-ppc-account-manager-219554 /key-traits-amazing-ppc-account-manager-219554#respond Tue, 28 Apr 2015 15:58:03 +0000 http:/?p=219554 What's most important when hiring a new PPC manager, or trying to be the best one you can be? Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout weighs in.

The post Key Traits Of An Amazing PPC Account Manager appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Having worked in the industry for almost six years now, the majority of that time managing people running PPC accounts, I’ve seen a lot of different approaches to the job.

In this post, I’ll share a few pointers on the common character traits of amazing PPC account managers I’ve known.

1. They Are Proactive


A PPC manager’s world is much like the scenario pictured above. Cheese isn’t given out freely —  you must be proactive in trying to gain it. The same principle applies to gains in PPC, which means an amazing search account manager seeks out opportunities.

A proactive mindset is actually the most important trait for success in this space. With the landscape constantly changing, your accounts will need new features applied to them the moment new capabilities are rolled out so that you can gain some competitive advantage from them.

Being a proactive account manager also means that you’ll conduct more testing in your accounts, and you’ll be on top of the results from these tests and use the learnings to think up new concepts to employ.

A lack of proactivity leads to stale accounts that are behind the curve when it comes to competitor activity.

2. They Always Ask Why



In addition to asking themselves why cat pictures are always a good addition to any blog, great account managers should always be questioning the results in their PPC campaigns. This ties in with proactivity but is a core skill in itself.

Here are a few questions you could be asking yourself:

question cloud

Without questioning your data, it’s easy to miss trends or miss out on why your results look the way they do.

A good account manager should also look at the wider picture and regularly ask the client if they know of any external elements that might impact a campaign. They should also try to source information about these external factors — such as new TV advertisements or PR efforts — from Google Analytics or Google Alerts.

Tip: Set up a Google Alert for your client’s brand name so you will be aware when new articles/posts about them appear online, as this might help explain otherwise confusing patterns in your data.

3. They Stay Up To Date

This one is pretty simple. I’m sure any account manager feels behind on industry developments even after just two weeks of annual leave. These pointers can help with staying up to date:

  • Read Search Engine Land and subscribe to newsletters like SearchCap and SEM
  • Subscribe to Inside AdWords
  • Probe your Google reps for the latest information
  • Have quarterly business reviews with your Google reps if you have managed accounts

Ultimately, make sure you’re learning about new features as they come out.

4. They Know When To Take Risks & Stay Calm Under Pressure

Willingness to test new things is key here. If you’re not willing to take risks and test new things in your accounts, then these accounts are going to remain stagnant.

Not all features work for all accounts, but if you don’t give them a shot with a test budget and realistic expectations, then you’ll never know.

One example I experienced myself involved dynamic search ad campaigns. Initially, I was very skeptical of these as you don’t have as much control over the creative, and there’s a high chance random keywords could be matched to your site.

However, when I took the risk to test this type of campaign, I found they work successfully for certain types of sites.

Another key skill for a brilliant search account manager is remaining calm under pressure. If something has gone wrong in an account, it’s best to find the root of the issue, discuss it with your client, and plan how to get things back on track.

It’s always better to admit any mistakes up front rather than waiting for clients to uncover (with dismay) that something went wrong.

Hand in hand with this is the need to be transparent with your client at all times. Give them access to AdWords and full transparency in reports, so they can see brand vs non-brand data and so on.

5. They Are Data Driven

As well as taking risks on new features/tests, it’s also important to note where the data you have at hand should be applied for decision making. We have so much data, sometimes too much, and it can be easy to just set it aside and make a decision based on instinct.

The best way to run accounts is to base decisions on the data you have at hand. This goes for things like calculating bid adjustments, deciding when to pause/change bids on keywords and when to change ad copy etc. This also helps to back up decisions when explaining your reasoning to clients.

6. They Are Super Organized


Just as everyone loves a neatly stacked dishwasher (believe me, this is the subject of much office debate), your day-to-day life as a search account manager will be more pleasurable and effective if you are organized.

This includes:

  • Being on top of budgets
  • Signing up for and responding to alerts (billing issues, ad disapprovals etc.)
  • Setting up your own alerts for situations like a sudden lack of impressions
  • Sharing a strategic roadmap with your clients or generally keeping your client abreast of future strategy
  • Keeping on top of testing and analysis
  • Keeping track of big changes made to accounts
  • Having an organized to-do list and order of prioritization

7. They Are Effective Communicators

While this is the last trait I’ll mention, it is by no means any less important than the first. Without effective communication, a client-account manager relationship will break down.

Good communication skills are especially important in these three key areas:

  • Being responsive and proactive when emailing/calling. Being responsive alone is not good enough.
  • Knowing how much information to give to different people depending on where they sit in the company.
  • Being able to explain complicated things in a simple way. We deal in so many acronyms that, even for us, things can be confusing from time to time, so put yourself in your client’s shoes when explaining what you’re working on.

There are so many other traits that characterize a PPC superstar, but the above points give you an idea of what I feel are the most important elements an account manager must master. Feel free to add your own key traits into the comments to get the discussion going!

The post Key Traits Of An Amazing PPC Account Manager appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/key-traits-amazing-ppc-account-manager-219554/feed 0
Heal’s Furniture: A Tale Of 2 Ad Types, Text Vs. Shopping /heals-tale-2-ad-types-text-vs-shopping-215393 /heals-tale-2-ad-types-text-vs-shopping-215393#respond Tue, 03 Mar 2015 08:47:52 +0000 http:/?p=215393 E-commerce sites can greatly benefit by switching from regular search text ads to Google Shopping ads, as demonstrated by columnist Rebekah Schelfhout's case study.

The post Heal’s Furniture: A Tale Of 2 Ad Types, Text Vs. Shopping appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Heal’s has been designing, making and selling quality furniture since 1810. Periscopix has been working with them for many years now to drive their digital strategy forward.

Testing generic keywords can be troublesome for any client, but those that sell high-end products can find it even more difficult. Before Product Listing Ads/Google Shopping, Heal’s was spending most of its marketing budget on search text ads, trying to capture consumers who weren’t looking directly for their brand.

Today’s article showcases the company’s transition to pushing more of its budget into Google Shopping and the measures of success it has seen from this transition.

shopping results bialetti

The Story So Far…

The Heal’s strategy has always on brand terms and generic terms, including product categories, brands and items through standard search text ad advertising. In January 2013, Product Listing Ads (now Google Shopping) were launched in the account, and the battle for where was best to spend budget began.

Heal’s had previously found it expensive to try to gain attention from generic terms (such as “bureau” and “oak shelves” below), and appearing in the banner when the user was not necessarily at the final stage of their search journey wouldn’t always yield good results. With Google Shopping, they’ve been able to showcase more of their products to users across their purchase journey, and this has proved more successful in gaining conversions.

In addition to this, due to the higher price points their designer items, a certain percentage of people will prefer to go into the store to see the product and will eventually purchase there. The purchase cycle for these kinds of items is often longer, but it’s important to grab the buyer’s attention visually at an early stage.

Shopping ads have helped Heal’s show how great its items look in a way that it wasn’t able to describe within the search text ads.

shopping results bureu shopping results oak shelves

I’ve excluded the search text ads brand data from the following charts as I wanted to focus mainly on the search generic activity and the shift in that.

You can see from the chart below that initially, budget was spent primarily on text ads. Over the past couple of years, as budgets have changed, the shift toward spending more of the budget on Shopping has increased heavily for non-brand activity.

cost trend for heals

Where budgets scaled back year-on-year, we’ve still been able to bring in greater conversions for Heal’s by pushing the budget into Google Shopping, where the cost-per-click is (in most cases) cheaper than advertising on the same terms with search text ads.

trend of conversions for heals

The Sales/Spend ratio has been on the increase for Google Shopping through optimization, especially as Google has advanced its platform to allow us to be more granular with bidding strategies.

trend of sales spend for heals

Even with products where there would be no other search text ads competition, Heal’s is finding that these visual shopping ads are proving much more successful in getting people’s attention.

One of the issues that Heal’s has with generic search terms is that its price points can often be higher than other companies selling desks, lights, etc., because its products are designer. The added benefit of showing the price and style of its items, and appearing more than once, has been one of the keys to success resulting in higher conversion volumes.

togo sofa

Even better is the example below. Not only does Heal’s dominate the entire Shopping area, but the only other competitor’s search text ads are showing at the bottom of the page.

ligne roset coffee table

Shopping Brand Vs. Text Brand

Brand search queries can trigger both search text ads and Shopping ads, depending on how your account is set up. This leads to the question: Which type of ads perform best for brand?

When comparing the two, the higher volume of sales still come in from the solo brand name term via search text ads, as no Shopping ads appear when you search for just “heal’s.”

However, there are some interesting differences between search text ads and shopping ads behavior when terms get a bit more niche.

shopping rugs

Over the last three months, conversions rates have been, on average, 26% higher for shopping ads vs. standard text ads when it came to brand name related search queries.

conversion rate heals

I thought it would also be interesting to look into average shopping basket values and if they differed on brand searches between the two types of ads; the results followed a similar trend, with shopping only slightly yielding a higher average.

Cost-per-click from shopping brand ads, on average over the last three months, has been 23% lower than the search text ads, which just shows how you can save money and increase conversion rates at the same time through optimization on Google Shopping.

The Moral Of The Story

Constantly analyze where it’s best to be spending your budget and don’t be afraid to push for one ad type over another if you’re able to see more success from it.

The post Heal’s Furniture: A Tale Of 2 Ad Types, Text Vs. Shopping appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/heals-tale-2-ad-types-text-vs-shopping-215393/feed 0
Appearing Multiple Times In Google Shopping: The Pros & Cons /appearing-multiple-times-in-google-shopping-the-pros-cons-213703 /appearing-multiple-times-in-google-shopping-the-pros-cons-213703#respond Tue, 03 Feb 2015 15:00:07 +0000 http:/?p=213703 Are you bleeding money or gaining exposure from showing up multiple times in Google Shopping results? Rebekah Schelfhout shares her thoughts.

The post Appearing Multiple Times In Google Shopping: The Pros & Cons appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Recently, I’ve been asked by a few clients why they would want to appear in Shopping listings multiple times. There are, of course, pros and cons to this; however, I’m mainly in favor of appearing more often in the listings.

Why You Would Appear More Than Once

If, like in the example below, you sell multiple products that fall under the same generic naming category, then there is a chance you could be appearing more than once in the shopping results.

Shopping example 1

On the other hand, if someone searches on a more granular term, and you only sell one version of that item (as in the example below), then you’ll usually only appear once in the listings.

Shopping example 2

Having multiple variants of items within a category doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to dominate the shopping real estate, though! There are many other factors involved here, but the main ones are your bids and also how your feed is constructed.

Google picks up information from your product titles and descriptions; so, if you have a range of products that fall under one generic search term and you have that term in more than one product title, for example, then you’re more likely to show up for multiple listings.

Depending on how you have set up your Google Shopping campaign, you can also be very granular with the bids that you set for different products in order to try and show one product over another.

Why Showing Up Multiple Times Could Be Seen As Bad

One line of thinking is that appearing multiple times in the listings could be a bad thing because people that click on the first product ad might not find what they’re after; then, they’ll click back and move on to clicking through all the other product ads till they get to the product they want.

This is unlikely to happen when your product is unique to the search people type in; for example, with the search below, a user would most likely compare prices visually using the shopping listings and then click through to the one with the lowest price.

If this price wasn’t as clear as advertised and there were any hidden costs, or there was an issue with stock, then the user might click back and choose another listing. This is the beauty of shopping — you can find what you need much more quickly due to the easy price and visual comparisons.

Shopping example 3

If the search term wasn’t so specific, such as in the example below, then it could very well be the case that people would click on one listing, read more about the product, then click back and browse other listings until they found the product they liked. This could be seen as a greater expense because of the additional clicks through multiple ads.

Shopping example 4

Why You Would Want To Appear More Times In The Listings

Complete ad domination! In my eyes, if you can dominate this prime advertising space, then you’re winning. As long as you’re showing relevant products to the search that is being performed, then showing more often is always better than just once. This is because you’ll be knocking your competitors out of this position, which is pure gold.

In the example below, you can see The Apple Store are well aware of this and have positioned themselves well to take up almost all the advertising slots in Google Shopping. If it wasn’t dominating there, then any one of the other electronics stores selling its products could also be showing up.

Shopping example 5

Auction insights for Shopping has been out since November and will give you a good indication of whom you’re competing with in this field. In order to narrow down the number of others competing with you, my advice would be to show up more than once.

Appearing more than once isn’t just great for fighting off competitor activity — it’s also really good for the consumer as you showcase the range of products that you’re selling. In the example below, you can browse the listings on the search results page, and then choose the Malbec of your preference from Waitrose.

Shopping example 6

If none of the wines were to my taste, I would then continue my search by clicking on standard search ads and browsing more websites, or refining my search terms. This is normal search behavior, so it’s better to show the consumer the best options that you have rather than just one option.

How To Show Up More Often In The Listings

Feed optimization is key here! There is no exact science to this, but it’s important to have an understanding of the impact of the terminology in your feed on how you appear in Google Shopping.

If you want to be appearing on a generic search term like Malbec and none of your product descriptions use that term, instead of calling the products [santa julia], [Valdivieso], etc., then you will not be shown for this basic term. By including the term Malbec in the product titles Waitrose is granted a higher opportunity of appearing in the listings for that term.

As I mentioned earlier, price is also a factor. Testing in house has shown that the higher your bid, the more generic the terms you’ll start appearing for become. This is where you may want to showcase more of a range of products rather than just one item, so you give the consumers more choice.

What Other Experts Say

Ginny Marvin, paid media editor at Search Engine Land:

The pros of having multiple ads showing on a query in Google Shopping far outweigh the cons. There’s the branding of having your name listed multiple times, and the opportunity it lends you to bring users back to your store if their first ad click didn’t get them to buy.  A somewhat higher net CPA is almost always a better option than letting the competition have your business. Multiple listings also give you more data to better position your products — why do certain products get clicked and convert better on particular queries (pricing, titles, descriptions, reviews, etc.)? It can also inform how you’re using your Related Products/”You might also like” links on your product pages.

Brad Geddes, author, speaker and marketing consultant:

I always think about search marketing as controlling real estate so I’m a fan of showing more times in the shopping results. I sometimes see results where every ad is actually just one company.  I can kind of see an argument saying that if we’re there multiple times then we’ll get more poor clicks or people will click one result, go back, and click on another one of our ads so we get charged twice. Except, that same behavior would just happen anyway – so your bidding would take care of those scenarios.

Shopping example 7Matt Rogers, Director at Feedspark

As in the example above where all 5 spaces are taken up by the same company I would advise that this is a good thing for the client because the products shown are all visually different, they are at multiple price points and they are distinct products.  However, there are cases where I would not recommend it, namely if the value proposition is very similar or the products look the same.  Overall I’d generally consider this a good thing, but you need to consider each case separately. If the brand of the retailer is the major drive rather than the product, then there is a good argument for having only a small number of results showing. That said, overall, why would you want someone else to show?

As a closing note, this is something which is currently impossible to test via A/B testing as Google gives us little visibility on how many times we appeared for each individual auction.

It would be great to be able to see some more information on this in the future so that it can be tested in more detail; but for now, I would advise on gut instinct that showing up more often is better than once when it comes to more generic searches for products.

The post Appearing Multiple Times In Google Shopping: The Pros & Cons appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/appearing-multiple-times-in-google-shopping-the-pros-cons-213703/feed 0
Holiday 2014 Learnings: How Delivery Options Impact PPC & Conversions /impact-final-delivery-dates-holidays-ppc-211865 /impact-final-delivery-dates-holidays-ppc-211865#respond Tue, 06 Jan 2015 14:27:15 +0000 http:/?p=211865 Ever wonder how final delivery dates and special options affect online conversions before Christmas? Contributor Rebekah Schelfout shares her insights.

The post Holiday 2014 Learnings: How Delivery Options Impact PPC & Conversions appeared first on Search Engine Land.


Most companies, apart from Amazon, have a cut-off for Christmas delivery which is a few days before the date itself. I wanted to look into the impact of this for online sales for a few accounts.

Account A

In this scenario, the cut-off date for free standard Christmas delivery was December 17, with a higher delivery fee being charged for express delivery after this date.

You can see the impact has been drastic, with conversion rates plummeting to 0.5% over the weekend before Christmas. This low conversion rate remained even after the express delivery period passed, so this type of delivery option didn’t appear to have a big impact on sales.

Account A Example

In this scenario, “click and collect”  (often called “store pickup” in the United States) is in place for the client, but it’s not tracked through PPC as these sales are allocated to stores. This is a typical issue we come across, in which departments are not looking into multi-channel — and this something I hope will be given more focus in 2015 as we begin to be able to track more online/offline activity. Hopefully, more people will start to take advantage of offline conversion tracking next year to help resolve this.

Click and collect data were collected through Google Analytics, and the results are impressive. (Note: These data don’t take into account if the users actually picked up their click and collect items and paid for them in stores.)

The orange line shows the e-commerce conversion rate for all traffic to the site. This remained pretty constant at around 4-5% overall. Click and collect is represented by the blue line, and you can see that conversion rates really peaked in the week running up to Christmas.

Account A Example 2

Account B

Last order date for standard delivery before Christmas was December 16 in this account. After this date, you could order up until December 22, but for a higher postage fee. You can see that this date deadline did have an impact on conversion rates with the 16th being the peak for that period.

Account B Example

The final date for standard delivery was advertised heavily through PPC activity, and this will have fuelled a higher conversion rate for that date. In this scenario there are many stores across the UK but no click and collect option in place at the moment.

Once the higher postage fee delivery option finished on the 22nd, they saw a further dip in conversion rates the next day. With so many shops across the UK, this could have been resolved through offering click and collect.

Account B Example 2

Account C

Interestingly, this company had set final standard delivery to December 17, but they also have a range of stores and were offering 90-minute delivery up until the end of store closing on December 24 for a higher charge.

In this case, the 17th didn’t see a big fluctuation in conversion rates. Unlike most other examples, where conversion rates kept declining after the standard delivery period had passed, this account saw an incline again in the days leading up to and including the 24 — likely influenced by the unique delivery option.

Account C Example

Account D

This online retailer’s final standard delivery date was December 19. Following this, they saw a 2% drop off in conversion rate. No click and collect was available.

Account D Example

What Do The Data Show Us?

Though I’ve only given a few examples here, there were similar patterns for many advertisers. The main points I hoped to convey in this article are:

  • Click and collect is something all retailers should be thinking about for next year if they don’t have it set up already. Click and Collect sales are expected to increase by 82% by 2019, so now is the time to jump on board and take advantage of this emerging trend. Even better if you can offer something like Account C, which had 90-minute delivery on Christmas Eve!
  • Consider extending your standard/free delivery period, as this does have an impact on conversion rates overall. It would be worth running some tests next year to see if covering some of the costs for higher delivery options actually led to a higher increase in revenue over that period, as people are always more inclined to order if they don’t have to pay as much/at all for delivery.
  • Make sure you’re advertising your delivery options. They clearly matter to people and will make an impact on your conversion rates over this period. Be sure to include delivery dates in your ad copy, make use of the new ad customizers and count down the number of days till your final delivery date to create a sense of urgency.

Should You Switch Off Your AdWords After Your Final Delivery Date?

There are varying opinions on this. It really depends what your business model is and what you’re selling.

If you know that people might only be buying your products as gifts and you are running seasonal campaigns, then switching off after your final delivery date would be a good idea. If your products can be purchased year round, then I would say just make sure you are letting people know your delivery policies in your ad copy so you’re not wasting clicks.

As an example, many fashion retailers go into sale already on the 23rd and 24th of December, so switching off for those industries wouldn’t be a good idea because people expect that they’ll only be able to get delivery after Christmas in most instances and might be shopping for New Year’s apparel.

In most cases, I would advise leaving your PPC activity running but to use bid modifiers to lower positions for the period between your last delivery date and your next promotional activity beginning or Christmas, whichever comes first.

The post Holiday 2014 Learnings: How Delivery Options Impact PPC & Conversions appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/impact-final-delivery-dates-holidays-ppc-211865/feed 0
Insights Into PPC Traffic From “Sofa Sunday” In The UK /insights-ppc-traffic-sofa-sunday-uk-210022 /insights-ppc-traffic-sofa-sunday-uk-210022#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:38:57 +0000 http:/?p=210022 You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about Sofa Sunday? Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout discusses this new mobile shopping trend.

The post Insights Into PPC Traffic From “Sofa Sunday” In The UK appeared first on Search Engine Land.


On December 16th, The Drum magazine highlighted a new “day” called Sofa Sunday.

“Sofa Sunday” was named for the expectation that millions of people would shop using their smartphones on the Sunday that follows Black Friday. The prediction was that browsing from m-commerce would be highest between 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. that day. Did the prediction match the reality?

What Happened To Mobile Traffic On Sunday 30th November?

Through grouping together data from some large online retail clients in the UK, I was able to see some top-level data on trends.

As you can see from the chart below, impressions were dominant from computers for the most part of the day and peaked at around 8:00 p.m. with mobile taking over as the lead impression generator from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., exactly as predicted.

Though mobile impressions did heavily drop at 11:00 p.m., they remained double those of computers!

Impressions sample 30th nov

Though mobile was a clear winner toward the end of the day in terms of impressions generated, it was a different story when I came to look at clicks from the retail client campaigns. As seen from the chart below, tablet traffic was the most dominant toward the latter part of the day.

Clicks sample 30th Nov

Click-through rate was much stronger for tablets for the selection of accounts that I analyzed. This again shows that tablets are becoming ever popular for browsing. Though we can’t bid differently for tablets, everyone should be thinking about the user experience for visitors that land on a site from a tablet device.

Of course, the data above is from a sample of clients, so there could be outliers affecting that data.

The chart below hones in on one particular client in the fashion industry to show what happened to its traffic on Sofa Sunday.

This mostly follows the same trend when it comes to tablets, but shows how many more people were clicking through to ads from mobile devices than computers from earlier on in the day.

Despite mobile impressions not overtaking computers until 8:00 p.m. for this particular retailer, clicks became stronger from mobile from 6:00 p.m., which is ahead of the sample curve above.

Fashion retailer clicks 30th nov

I thought it would also be interesting to compare this same fashion retailer year-on-year to show how the landscape has changed over time.

Looking at the data below for the Sunday that preceded Cyber Monday last year, you can see it paints a completely different picture. Though the peak of incoming traffic remained between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m., computers brought in the majority of traffic at all hours.

Fashion retailer clicks 1st December 2013

A simpler version of this year-on-year data is shown below to summarize.

YoY Sofa Sunday Impressions

This just shows how much things have changed in just one year and how important it is to have a responsive mobile and tablet site to accommodate for this change in browsing behavior.

Did We See A Similar Pattern For Conversions?

Not only was 8:00-9:00 p.m. the most popular time of the day for impressions and clicks, this hour also saw the most conversions coming in from all devices!

Computers still stole the show in terms of volume of conversions coming in, but this year, tablets also produced a much higher volume of conversions.

Sales from sample of online retailers

Mobile conversion volumes increased toward the end of the day, but the results overall lean more toward mobile still being utilized for browsing, as conversion rates were lower than on other devices.

Is This Trend Different From Any Other Sunday?

It’s pretty obvious that this is not an out-of-the-blue trend; in general, people will be browsing from their mobiles more in the evenings as they settle down on the sofa.

I took a look at the same retail client we’ve been looking at in previous datasets to see what happened to its data on the four Sundays that preceded Sofa Sunday (November 2, 9, 16 and 23) compared to Sofa Sunday.

Though the trends are broadly similar, you can see that between 8:00-10:00 p.m., mobile overtook computer traffic more on Sofa Sunday, giving us further insight into why it’s so important to have a presence on mobile and to make sure your site is easily shoppable from mobiles.

Fashion retailer impressions 2014 Impressions from a fashion retailer sunday 30th nov

What To Take From This Data

  • Increase bids for mobile during key hours
  • Make sure you have full impression share during these key hours and have enough of your daily budget left for the end of the day
  • Be sure to have mobile-specific ads and even consider a mobile-specific promotion as this traffic is predicted to grow further year-on-year
  • You should also be looking at your estimated total conversions within AdWords to see if Google thinks that people who came in on one device actually purchased on another; this metric is still too-often overlooked
  • Make sure to prepare a “Sofa Sunday” strategy for next year!
  • Adjust your site to become responsive for tablets and mobiles if you haven’t already

On my wishlist for next year is the ability to see cross-device conversions within AdWords rather than just estimated total conversions. Hopefully, with the advances in technology and Google’s acquisition of Adometry, we might see some more features being added here in the future!

The post Insights Into PPC Traffic From “Sofa Sunday” In The UK appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/insights-ppc-traffic-sofa-sunday-uk-210022/feed 0
Traffic Insights From Google Shopping Search Partners /traffic-insights-google-shopping-search-partners-207255 /traffic-insights-google-shopping-search-partners-207255#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:12:03 +0000 http:/?p=207255 Google recently started distributing Google Shopping campaigns to selected partners. Columnist Rebekah Schelfhout explores what impact, if any, this has had on advertisers.

The post Traffic Insights From Google Shopping Search Partners appeared first on Search Engine Land.


On the 9th of September, Google announced it was testing Google Shopping for selected partners running AdSense for Shopping, which include e-commerce sites like I carried out some research across accounts in our agency to see what the impact has been since this announcement.

The Impact So Far

Even though Google did state this would be a slow rollout to partner sites, I was expecting to see a bigger impact than we are seeing at the moment for most of our accounts.

Below, you can see impressions for the UK and USA for a client that sells fancy dress items (aka costume items).


As of September 14th, impressions did start to increase for the USA shopping campaigns. Pre-announcement, they had hovered at around 10,000 impressions while the testing was still pretty small-scale.

Impressions in the UK have also increased, but they are showing on a much smaller scale than in the U.S.

I also checked into some shopping campaigns running in Australia where there are still equally low volumes of impressions, on par with what we’re seeing in the UK. This is a similar story for quite a few of the accounts that I checked.

One outlier that I came across can be seen below for a cosmetics company running in the U.S.


As of October 20th, the company saw its Search Partner impressions shoot up past those coming in from search! The actual clicks that came in were minimal, however, which indicates perhaps the partner site:

  • Didn’t have ads showing in a very prominent position
  • Wasn’t showing the most relevant products for the search terms

We also know from Google search that partner sites tend to have a much lower click-through rate, so we’ll need to wait for the volume of impressions to increase before we can make a call on performance here.

What To Do Next

Segment by search network (including search partners) and keep an eye on the data for yourself. As more search partners get added, this traffic will grow — and you’ll want to make sure you are aware of how this is impacting your campaigns.

segment by search partners

It would be interesting to hear if people are seeing any different results yet and if anyone has seen a good conversion rate coming in from Google Shopping search partners.

Though it’s not been explicitly stated, performance on search partners usually bears no impact on Google Search quality score, so one would presume that this is the same when it comes to Google Shopping.

If you’re not seeing a good click-through-rate yet, hold on there for some more data to come through and make an assessment once you actually start spending more money on the partner network.

If you want to set up Google Shopping for search partners on your site, you can fill out the form here, and you will be contacted when it starts to include more advertisers.

The post Traffic Insights From Google Shopping Search Partners appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/traffic-insights-google-shopping-search-partners-207255/feed 0
Top 5 Takeaways From The Big Bing Ads Session @SMX East /smx-east-top-5-take-aways-boosting-performance-bing-ads-session-205259 /smx-east-top-5-take-aways-boosting-performance-bing-ads-session-205259#respond Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:30:11 +0000 http:/?p=205259 Bing Ads beats Google AdWords? Well, yes, when it comes to partner segmentation. Columnist and speaker Rebekah Schelfout shows you all the ways Bing Ads is improving.

The post Top 5 Takeaways From The Big Bing Ads Session @SMX East appeared first on Search Engine Land.


If you weren’t able to make it to SMX East to hear me and my fellow panelists present about Bing there’s no need to feel sad. I’ve summarised a few of the top things you would have picked up from our session below!

First, let me introduce the speakers:

1. Bing Is Not As Annoying As It Used To Be

Yes – that’s right; I said the unthinkable. Bing is actually much easier to use now, thanks to a visual refresh. It has a load more new features that will mean optimisation and reporting no longer take up half your week!

One of the biggest changes Paul spoke about was that you can now make bulk changes in the interface for up to 1 million keywords. In addition, you can view up to 500,000 ads and 250,000 ad groups.

These familiar features are now also available in Bing:

  • Enhanced site links
  • Negative keyword libraries
  • Top movers reports
  • Improved radius targeting

You do still need to look outside of the interface for some reports, but this doesn’t mean you should just ignore these features.

If you haven’t already downloaded the Bing Ads Intelligence Tool here’s the link. (Make sure you’re using a Windows-based computer and have Microsoft Visual Studio Tools and Microsoft Office Excel 2007, 2010 or 2013 installed before downloading.)

By far the most interesting feature in this tool is the Auction Insights report which gives you very similar data as its counterpart within Google.

We all know your relationship to competitors will vary between Google and Bing, but through using this report, you can actually prove where you’re able to gain a more competitive advantage through running on the Bing platform.

Bing Ads Intelligence

2. Bing Can Beat Google When It Comes To Search Partner Segmentation

Jake Hoopes ran us through a case study in which he had split out his campaigns to separate Bing partner sites from Bing- and Yahoo-owned properties. This is really cool and is often underutilised as most people — habituated to using Google — don’t realise that you can split these two out.

The search partner network often performs very differently from the owned and operated properties; but on Google, there is little you can do about this. However, with Bing you can. If you see vastly different performance, why not split these out into separate campaigns so you can manage budgets and bids differently.

The image below shows how you can set this up.

Bing advanced settings

You also have added transparency with Bing in that you can pull a report for each partner and actually exclude partners that are not performing well for you.

3. You Can Go Way More Granular With Bid Adjustments On Bing

I spoke about the benefits of bid adjustments on Bing being at ad group level. We’d love to see this feature implemented on Google, but it often goes underutilised on Bing.

Firstly, you can adjust bids for locations at ad group level, which is pretty amazing in itself. On Google, we have to split these out into separate campaigns if we want to bid differently for them for certain ad groups.

Bing locations

Secondly, you can also do this for ad scheduling, demographic and device bidding!

Bing advanced targeting

As you’ll probably be aware, Bing has started transitioning to enhanced campaigns; and as part of that move, desktops and tablets (and smartphones post-Christmas) have to be run out of the same campaign.

The game changer here is that Bing will actually allow you to add bid adjustments for tablet. If you have a campaign on Google that performs exceptionally well on tablets and you can’t do anything about it, start running that campaign on Bing, too, and you’ll be able to add up to a 300% bid multiplier for tablets.

4. Make Sure You Understand What Normalisation Is & How It’s Changing

If you haven’t heard of this term before, then it could be that you’ve not been fully aware of which searches are leading to which keywords in your accounts.

Normalisation is the process of stripping noise terms such as “in,” “from,” “to,” accents, hyphens, etc. from your keywords and searches.

In the past, when you uploaded campaigns into Bing, you would have received quite a few error warnings for duplicates. This is because Bing was normalising your keywords.

For example, if you had the term [net a porter] and [net porter], Bing would consider this a duplicate and would remove one of the terms from the upload. All traffic from both [net porter] and [net a porter] search queries would then flow into the keyword [net porter].

Bing made a change back in June 2014, which meant that duplicate keywords were accepted into the user interface, so you no longer see annoying error messages; however, the internal process of matching up queries to keywords is still happening in the same way.

If you were advertising on [flight from London to Paris], then Bing would strip this down to have all terms to do with flight, London, Paris coming into the same keyword. With this in mind, you could never tell if you were advertising to people looking to go to Paris or fly from Paris. Confused? Yes!

Bing realised this is confusing, too! From early 2015, this process will be changing to be similar to that on Google, whereby your search queries will actually match up with the matching keyword. This will allow a greater level of control over keywords and bids, which is great.

In addition to being aware of this process, you also need to know that close variants on exact match is being tested, meaning exact match is no longer “exact.”

You’ll need to drill down to the search query report level to see if Bing has pulled in misspellings, plurals, stemmings or common abbreviations. If you find this isn’t working out for you, Bing has kindly given us the option to opt out; so, take advantage of this if you need to.

Bing keyword matching

5. Bing Now Has Product Ads (U.S. Only For Now)

Everyone knows how well these work for Google. If you have a U.S. billing address, are advertising products with SKUs and sell products online with a secure checkout option, then you should have these set up in time for Christmas or you’ll be missing out on revenue.

Bing product ads

You can find more information on how to set these up here. If you’re not a U.S. advertiser, watch this space and hopefully these will be rolling out to other countries soon.

For More Information

You can find the slide shares from our presentations below and feel free to post here if you have any further questions about the topics we presented.

Paul Corkery

Rebekah Schelfhout

Jake Hoopes

The post Top 5 Takeaways From The Big Bing Ads Session @SMX East appeared first on Search Engine Land.

/smx-east-top-5-take-aways-boosting-performance-bing-ads-session-205259/feed 0