PPC Weekly Roundup: AdWords News, Christmas PPC Tips and More

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Like Edmund Hillary before him, Tom Kwei has scaled a mountain of paid search gossip to bring you the peak of PPC news and views this week. First up, Google updates AdWords. A lot...

Google Updates AdWords Editor

Google has updated AdWords Editor with several new features designed to speed up workflow.

AdWords Editor Source: AdWords Editor.

The new version includes new keyboard shortcuts, an undo history, and the ability to switch between separate accounts quickly and easily – users can now simply drag and drop items between accounts. The accuracy of search filters has also been improved.

Jerry Dischler, Google's vice president of product management, announced the launch via a livestream last Wednesday.

Dischler also provided an overview of AdWords in 2014, saying the software had enjoyed around 200 updates throughout the year – with the biggest focus being on automation.

He said:

AdWords is growing in response to your demand for more automation.

“As your business grows, you need more powerful tools to scale campaign management and reduce repetitive tasks.”

Source: Search Engine Watch

Improved Integration Between AdWords for Video and YouTube

Just one day after Google launched its new AdWords Editor, it announced it was improving integration between AdWords for Video and YouTube Analytics.

The biggest change is that advertisers can now see how their videos are performing in the AdWords for video interface when they're watched 'organically'. Previously, users would have to switch to YouTube Analytics to gain insights into non-paid video performance.

New features include a clear visualisation of paid and non-paid performance, together in the same chart...

Paid video performance versus non-paid video performance chart. Source: Inside AdWords.

...and, from YouTube Analytics, an audience retention graph. This shows how long users typically watch each video for:

Audience retention graph. Source: Inside AdWords.

New Widget Takes the Fiddliness Out of Countdown Timers

In yet another AdWords update, Google has made it much easier for advertisers to create countdown timers in ads.

Now, rather than typing strings in manually, advertisers can use a new widget that automatically creates the countdown string based on several simple choices.

To access the widget, simply begin typing the '{=' into your ad copy. The widget will appear, allowing you to choose the start and end times of the countdown, as well as its time zone and language.

This new feature was spotted by Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land. It doesn't seem to have been officially announced by Google.

5 PPC Tips to Help You Capitalise on Christmas

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. But if you're not seeing the results you want from the Christmas sales rush, it's time to put down that mince pie and log in to AdWords. You've got some work to do.

Mince pies. Source: Simon Cocks at Flickr.

Don't worry. Curran Boomer at Acceleration Partners has some tips to help you out. Here's a summary of his points:

  • Keep an eye on your budgets. If your budget is too restrictive, you risk restricting your audience, so consider spending a little more if your ROI will hold out.
  • Use Christmas words. Specifically, write about gifts and gifting in your ad copy, because everyone is interested in gifts and gifting right now.
  • Link to gift categories in your sitelink extensions. This gives you more chance of catching your customers' attention – especially if they see a nice, clear category that helps steer their purchase journey.
  • Use callout extensions. If there's ever a time to highlight great product features, discounts and shipping cutoff times, now is that time. Now.
  • Use holiday-related keywords. People search for Christmassy things at Christmas. So bid on Christmassy keywords relating to gifts, winter, discounts and... well... Christmas.

Make Copy Better. Sell More.

When your brain is steeped in the analytical side of paid search, it can be easy to put ad creatives and landing page copy on the backburner.

Magnifying glass showing the word 'Grammar'.

This is a mistake. After all, your creative copy is the first thing your customers see. It's the 'front line' of your PPC marketing efforts.

And the last thing you want to do is present customers with a flat, uninspiring message – or worse, put them off by confusing them.

Brooke Oliveri at eZanga is acutely aware of these issues, and has created a quick guide to help you create “easy, breezy, readable PPC copy”.

Here are her thoughts, in summary:

  • Landing pages: Make sure your landing page keywords (and its overall message) match that of your ad text. This way, you signal to customers that they're entirely on the right track, and you improve your Quality Score to boot. You should also ensure your call to action stands out, and use different font sizes to create a hierarchy of text, highlighting the most important points of your offer.
  • Calls to action: Landing page CTAs should be simple (no off-putting 17-syllable words), short (for added 'punch'), and visually attractive.
  • Ad copy: Your ad creatives should be short (after all, they have to be), as well as including keywords (which are 'bolded' in search) and tailored to your target audience.

More Paid Search News and Views

Read last week's PPC roundup: The World’s Most Expensive Keyword?

Over at BidCops: 5 AdWords Scripts to Supercharge PPC Reporting

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