In our new weekly feature, Tom Kwei highlights the PPC news and views that have set our paid search radars beeping like crazy. This week, we look at brand-new features for Shopping Campaigns, tips to improve workflow efficiency, and much more…

Shopping Campaigns Get New Features Ready for Black Friday

Black Friday is only a couple of days away, and with Cyber Monday following next week, there’s nary a spare second to pause for breath. Eek!

If you’re in a blind panic optimising your campaigns ready for the big sales days, perhaps you can take a little comfort in the knowledge that Google’s been nice to you.

A shop sign that reads 'Nice Things'.

Source: Kirsty Hall at Flickr.

Yes, the big ‘G’ has made a raft of improvements to Shopping Campaigns to help you get the most out of your Product Listing Ads (PLAs) when the digital shop doors swing open.

There’s a tonne of new stuff, so for the full story you’re best off referring to our news post covering the changes.

Here’s the quick version:

  • Auction insights report lets you see loads of useful metrics to gauge how you’re performing compared to competitors.
  • An improved search impression share view, which has been “revamped to be more useful and aligned with text ads”.
  • Bid simulator columns let you estimate how results might change if you change bids.
  • A redesigned product groups tab that allows you to sort product groups within an ad group, based on performance data.
  • A diagnostics tab in Merchant Center, which is essentially a new-and-improved version of the Data Quality tab.

This PPC Task List Can Turn You Into a Paid Search Machine

PPC people are busy people. And whilst we’ve all got our own ways of handling the bedlam, it can be a little overwhelming at the best of times – never mind in the run up to the Christmas chaos.

A crowd of people, two of whom are holding placards reading "Hurry!" and "Buy more stuff!".

Source: John Henderson at Flickr.

Enter Beyond the Paid blogger Melissa Mackey with a big, hand-delivered festive gift – a list of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks to ensure your workflow is as efficient as Santa’s delivery schedule.

On a related note, you may be interested in reading how BidCops, our instant PPC reporting tool, can help you make quick-win changes to maximise budget and efficiency in the run up to big retail days.

AdWords Crushes Bing Ads in Terms of Clicks, But Bing Wins Big on Click-Through Rate

It will surprise literally nobody to discover that Google PPC ads get more clicks and impressions than ads on Bing.

But we’re talking in terms of sheer volume. Dig a little deeper and the results get much more interesting.

A dinosaur skeleton.

No, the results are not dinosaurs. Source: Wikipedia.

For example, ads on Bing Ads have, on average, a 74% higher click-through rate (CTR) than AdWords ads. And costs per click (CPCs) are generally 44% lower on Bing.

That’s not all. Cost per acquisition (CPA) is also 31% lower on Bing.

However, AdWords wins out when it comes to certain metrics, besting Bing by 31% in terms of conversion rate, and boasting a 13% higher average basket value.

All this juicy info comes from this nifty Infographic, created by Periscopix.

Three Ways to Make a Facebook-Friendly Landing Page

Kristina McLane at PPC Hero reckons it might be more important to create great landing pages for Facebook ads than it is for ads on Google or Bing.

Facebook's headquarters.

Source: Marco Paköeningrat at Flickr.

Her logic is sound: Essentially, ads on search engines respond to a query. They solve a problem. Ads on social networks like Facebook only disrupt user experience – they “take [users] away from their fun”.

How do we get round this problem? We build landing pages that create a harmonious user journey from Facebook to basket.

Kristina has identified three approaches to landing pages that aim to do exactly that:

1. The Company Facebook Page

What’s the best way to ensure users don’t feel like they’ve been ‘jolted’ from their Facebook experience? Keep them on Facebook! Send them to your own company page!

As Kristina points out, this is also a great way to build brand awareness – but will only work for companies whose goals can be achieved from their Facebook page. Apps and games, for example.

2. The Facebook-Friendly Page

The Facebook-Friendly Page forces users to leave Facebook, but softens the blow by referencing the transition on-page.

Kristina’s words:

Promotions, special deals and coupon codes, specific for Facebook visitors, are examples. Others include offering incentives for liking a Facebook page through raffles or one time discounts.”

3. The Congruent Page

The Congruent Page is basically a page that makes direct reference to the ad the user has clicked on. Kristina gives the example of an ad that offers ‘25% Off’. When she clicks through, “I want to see exactly that. I land on the page and there it is: 25% off!”.

This is, of course, conversion optimisation best practice, and can be applied to any landing page you create for any ad platform. Still, as Kristina implies, it’s probably extra important when creating Facebook landing pages.

Five Things You Might Have Missed When Optimising AdWords Accounts

Lisa Raehsler at Search Engine Watch has come up with ‘5 AdWords Optimization Checkpoints You May Be Missing‘.

Lisa says: “It’s always good to revisit an account and check in on important components such as budgets, settings, and goals. Some of these are not so obvious because they tend to be buried in the account or set up at an earlier […] time”.

We couldn’t agree more. So here’s our quick summary of Lisa’s points:

Advertising Goals

Lisa recommends building out your conversion tracking to report on goals like sign-ups, leads, downloads, social engagement cues and website interactions. Including these metrics could bolster your monthly reports and help you see the wider implications your PPC campaigns are having – though, obviously, some of these metrics may not be relevant to your account.

She also suggests you check to make sure each goal is reporting properly. Sound advice.

Budgets

If your campaigns are meeting daily budgets, says Lisa, consider increasing their budgets by allocating spend from campaigns that aren’t performing as well.

Ad Rotation

Don’t just leave your ad rotation set to the default ‘optimise for clicks’ setting. Use insights gleaned from your reports to decide whether to optimise for conversions (or rotate ads evenly) instead. And, of course, test to see whether the change has any positive effects.

Mobile

Are your mobile bid modifiers optimised to deliver the best results? Check, says Lisa. And while you’re at it, consider creating mobile-preferred ad creatives and landing pages too.

Negative Keywords

Lisa points out that negative keywords are “sometimes […] forgotten about”, because they’re “not in-your-face, in the interface”.

Negative keywords are essential to avoid budget wastage, so you should certainly review them, if you haven’t already. Big thumbs up in agreement from us at ClickThrough.

More PPC News and Tips

If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy this post from the archives: 4 Ways to Track Online to In-Store Ad Conversions.

Check out our budget-maximising PPC reporting tool, BidCops.

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ClickThrough is a digital marketing agency, providing search engine optimisation, pay per click management, conversion optimisation, web development and content marketing services.