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Google Shopping Ads: How To Set Them Up

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Set your Google Shopping ads for success by visually guiding your users to your products. Here’s how to do it step by step.

Google Shopping ads are visual ads that appear when a user searches for a product on Google.

Here’s an example of Shopping ads when a user searches for [pour over coffee].

Google search results page for pour over coffee showing shopping adsScreenshot from a search for [pour over coffee]. Annotations by author, Google, August 2022

This ad format is uniquely engaging. It shows additional information relevant to online shoppers, like product titles, images, prices, special offers, seller names, local availability, reviews, and more.

What Is The Difference Between Google Shopping Ads And Google Text Ads?

Google Shopping ads are shown below the search bar, just like text ads, but since they’re not just limited to text, they draw more attention from users.

There are a few differences in how each ad format is managed, which we’ll cover next.

Campaign Types

To run Shopping ads, advertisers must enable specific Google Ads campaign types – like a Shopping campaign, a Smart Shopping campaign, or a Performance Max campaign.

That differs from text ads on Search, which are placed by enabling a Search campaign.

Note that in summer 2022, Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded to Performance Max campaigns, and Smart Shopping campaigns will cease to exist. The process is expected to conclude by the end of September.

Much has been written about Performance Max campaigns, which are highly automated and can show ads across multiple Google Ads channels.

But since that’s not the focus of this post, when we talk about Performance Max here, we will focus on the portion that places Shopping ads on search results pages.

The six channels Performance Max campaigns will show ads onImage from Google, August 2022

Targeting

Targeting is also different between Search campaigns and Shopping campaigns.

Advertisers choose keywords to trigger ads in Search campaigns.

For Shopping ads, Google decides which product to show for a particular user query based on product data from the feed.

Data like the title, description, MPN, and product category automatically match generated ads with the relevant keywords on the fly.

Account Structure

Advertisers can organize their Shopping ads by using product groups in Shopping campaigns or listing groups in Performance Max campaigns to tell Google which products to include in various campaigns, ad groups, or asset groups.

Structuring things helps advertisers show more relevant creatives in Performance Max and set better bids and budgets across all Shopping campaign types.

Here’s an example of organizing products into two separate Performance Max campaigns.

table with two performance max campaigns for different productsImage from Optmyzr.com, August 2022

Here’s another simple example.

Say an advertiser sells both TVs and HDMI cables.

Cables carry a higher margin than TVs, so they may be added in a separate campaign with a more aggressive target return on ad spend (ROAS) than the campaign for TVs, which have a lower margin.

Of course, cables will be an upsell to many TV buyers, but splitting the products based on margin means that a user looking directly for cables can get a different bid than those searching for TVs who may or may not add some cables to their purchase.

Text ad structure is simply based on campaigns that contain ad groups.

The ad group contains the keywords and ads, so this is where the advertiser focuses on reinforcing relevance by writing ads that relate closely to the keywords.

Ad groups are combined into campaigns, where budgets and bid targets are usually set.

Keeping inventory matched to the right campaigns and product or listing groups can be tedious with both text ads and shopping ads.

Ads

The image below shows what Google text ads and Shopping ads look like when you search.

At the top, you have the Google Shopping ads. Below them, you can see the text ads.

In some cases, the Shopping ads appear on the right side of the search results page.

Text ads are created by combining responsive search ads with ad extensions.

Google search results page with shopping ads, text ads, and organic listings for ultra boost 2022 shoesScreenshot from search for [ultraboost 2022], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

On the other hand, shopping ads are dynamically generated using data from various feeds from the connected Merchant Center account.

  • The title, price, and image come from the product feed.
  • Local availability and store pick-up availability come from the local inventory feed.
  • Promotions and special offers come from the promotions feed.

There are also ways to vary pricing by region with the regional availability implementation of landing pages on your website.

It’s recommended that advertisers use all available ad channels.

For that reason, ecommerce advertisers should run both Shopping ads and text ads (and probably several other ad types on Google).

Text ads can be made more dynamic by using ad customizers or third-party solutions that create responsive search ads (RSAs) from structured business data.

Landing Pages

In Search ads, keywords for specific products usually lead to a product detail page (PDP), whereas keywords for more generic product category searches usually lead to product listing pages (PLPs).

Here’s an example:

  • Specific: Adidas Ultraboost 22. Landing page with the different sizes and colors for this specific sneaker.
  • Generic: Running shoes. Landing page shows all the different types of running shoes.

Bids

Whereas Search campaigns can choose from all the various bid strategies – including Maximize Revenue or Target Return on Advertising Spend (tROAS) – Shopping ads should almost always use one of the aforementioned two automated bid strategies.

After all, the goal of Shopping ads should be to sell products, and these bid strategies are most closely aligned with this goal.

However, advertisers should carefully consider how the bid strategy relates to business results.

For example, Maximize Conversion Value equates to maximizing revenues, and revenue maximization occurs when profits are zero. That might not be a desirable outcome for profit-focused advertisers.

That’s where tROAS comes in and can be used as a lever to optimize for profit. But knowing the right tROAS that balances volume with profitability per order can be tricky; it is an art form on its own and something covered here.

Are Google Shopping Ads Worth It?

If you’re in ecommerce or retail, the short answer is yes!

Google Search is part of the customer journey for many online buyers.

And Shopping ads allow you to be right there where potential customers search for things to buy.

Google Shopping ads provide several other benefits that Google’s other campaign types don’t.

Shopping Ads Offer The Highest Visibility In Google’s SERPs

Shopping ads offer higher brand visibility with greater impressions.

And since they appear all the way at the top (with photos, reviews, and branding), more people can see your products.

Shopping Ads Have A Higher Click-Through Rate

As shown in the screenshots above, Shopping ads get the highest priority in visibility over text ads and organic results.

That means Shopping ads attract a good amount of clicks – which was alluded to in Merkle’s Q3 2022 Performance Media Report, where “the majority of survey respondents [reported] experiencing CPC and click increases Y/Y across text ads and shopping ads.”

Are Google Shopping Ads Free?

While there are paid Shopping ads, Google announced in 2020 that businesses could list their products for free on Google Shopping.

That’s different from Google Search, which is the default place a user goes to when they navigate to google.com.

Google Shopping lives at shopping.google.com or can be accessed by clicking the Shopping tab from the main Google search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google Shopping works similarly to Google Search and contains a mix of paid and organic listings, with the paid listings shown at the top.

Google Shopping search results for men's pantsScreenshot from search for [men’s athletic pants], annotations by author, Google, August 2022

Although paid listings get the most impressions, you should not ignore setting up free listings.

Google lets your potential customers view your products across Google’s sites, such as the Shopping tab, YouTube, Search, Images, and Google Lens.

To be eligible for free listings, make sure you follow the guidelines listed on this page.

Conclusion

Shopping ads, whether placed through Shopping campaigns or Performance Max campaigns, can drive a lot of activity for merchants – so they must be a part of your strategy.

But there are significant differences between how Search and Shopping ads are optimized, so it’s worth learning about the differences and approaching each campaign type differently

If you are interested in original article by Frederick Vallaeys you can find it here

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Why Is My New Campaign/Ad Group Getting No Traffic?

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Not getting any traffic for your new ad group or campaign? Here are 5 possible reasons why, according to Navah Hopkins.

Managing paid search and paid social requires plenty of strategic shifts.

One of the biggest is understanding that paid search favors older entities while paid social favors new things.

That said, sometimes there are legitimate reasons why a new campaign or ad group isn’t running.

In this Ask The PPC, we’ll address that question.

Rofhiwa of Pretoria asks:

I have decided to create a new ad group with three ads set, but I’m not getting any clicks or impressions for ads and keywords. What could be the reason?

Note that this post will cover common reasons an entity hasn’t gotten any clicks.

Each account is different, and it’s always best to take any concerns to the ad network support if you believe there’s an issue.

Reason #1: The Date Is Wrong

The most common and frustratingly obvious reason is we don’t always have the right date range.

That could be because we were analyzing another part of the campaign or working on a different account.

Set the date range in the top right-hand corner (true for all ad networks) to include at least yesterday and today.

You also might have unintentionally set the start date for the future.

Check start and end dates in campaign settings.

Once you’ve confirmed that you have the right date range, you can move on to other technical fixes.

Reason #2: The Ad Got Disapproved

When an ad is disapproved, you’ll get a notification.

At times, these can get lost in email filters or spam.

If you see that your ad is disapproved, check if it’s for a valid reason (e.g., editorial policies, restricted industries, etc.) or a mistake on the ad network’s part.

Valid ad disapprovals need to be corrected, and then you can appeal the disapproval in the ad interface.

Sometimes, ads get accidentally lumped into restricted categories because of wording choices.

The following words can sometimes accidentally trigger red flags:

  • Credit.
  • Housing.
  • Broker.
  • Loan.

You might also have an editorial issue and not even realize it.

These are the most common editorial issues in ads:

  • Including a phone number in the ad text (must be contained to call extension).
  • Using all caps (e.g., “FREE” or “TRY”).
  • Using punctuation in the wrong place (e.g., “!” in a headline instead of description).

Reason #3: The Keywords Have No Search Volume

There’s nothing worse than being told your ideal keyword has no volume.

Yet, some industries naturally have lower search volume because of how niche their products/services are.

If your keyword has low search volume, it won’t run.

A good middle ground is to use a broad match on your longer-tail keywords.

Broad match allows audience signals to inform how the ad network matches your keyword to queries.

This additional queue can mean the difference between enough data to serve and being stuck in low search limbo.

Reason #4: The Bid Is Too Low/Bidding Strategy Doesn’t Make Sense

Brand new accounts won’t have the benefit of conversion data.

This means bidding strategies like Max Conversions, and Max Conversion Value will struggle to set meaningful bids in the early days of an ad group or campaign.

If the bid is too high for the budget (more than 10% of the daily budget), the ad network might struggle to enter the keyword into the auction.

Be sure to set bids and bidding strategies in line with your industry and the age of the account.

Reason #5: Accidental Exclusions

Ad groups inherit the negatives from their campaigns.

You might have a negative keyword list or campaign level negative prohibiting a keyword you’re actively bidding on from serving.

Audiences can be applied at both the ad group and campaign level, so adjusting the new ad group’s targets is possible.

That said, be sure you have the right exclusions, and confirm whether you intend to be on target and observe.

Target and observe prevent anyone who isn’t part of your targeted audience from triggering your ad – which means you’re excluding audiences without actively excluding them.

Final Takeaways

There are several reasons an ad group or campaign can struggle to get traffic.

Be sure to check for these hidden pitfalls, and if you’re still struggling, reach out to your ad network representative.

Have a question about PPC? Submit via this form or tweet me @navahf with the #AskPPC hashtag. See you next month!

If you are interested in original article by Navah Hopkins you can find it here

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5 PPC Advertising Lessons From A B2B Growth Marketer

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Getting started in PPC advertising? Bringing a new team in-house? Here are 5 lessons from my time marketing a PPC ad tech product.

As a primarily organic marketer, working for an ad tech brand has been one of the most amazing phases of my career.

When I joined Optmyzr a little over two years ago, I had no idea I would learn so much about PPC advertising in so little time.

Between our customers, my colleagues, and the paid search community that’s welcomed me with open arms, I’ve been more involved with PPC during these last two years than the rest of my career put together.

Like any smart marketer, I’ve been listening attentively and taking notes.

Between that and managing campaigns of my own, I’ve accumulated a relative wealth of PPC knowledge.

These are the five most important lessons from my time leading marketing for a bootstrapped PPC ad tech brand.

1. Treat Your Ad Budget Like Your Investment Budget

Walled gardens, monopolies, platforms – whatever you call them, the different places businesses can advertise aren’t known for playing well together.

Between low data visibility and shifting controls, true omnichannel advertising is not really a viable approach.

But, just because each platform’s campaigns are fenced in doesn’t make it a good idea to rely totally or excessively on a single ad platform:

  • New features (such as Google’s Performance Max and keyword match type changes) can throw off your entire advertising program.
  • You miss out on potential customers who either block/ignore ads on your platform or don’t use it in the first place.
  • Outside influences like market economics and regulatory changes can do anything from drive up costs to render a whole platform moot.

Between platform-side automation and increasingly demanding online audiences, it’s important to diversify your PPC mix if you haven’t already.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

In the quest to spread your budget across multiple channels, don’t rush to the other extreme of investing in too many different ones.

Not only will you end up with campaigns that don’t have enough money behind them, but you may run the risk of pushing your team too hard.

Since I joined Optmyzr as the first marketing hire, we’ve grown our team at a rate that’s healthy for our revenue run rate.

No one on the team is expected to put in 60-hour weeks, own 10 different channels, or otherwise push themselves beyond their physical and mental limits.

Accordingly, we’ve approached advertising (and marketing in general) with the understanding that we don’t have the same muscle as a heavily funded organization.

For example, if your entire marketing team is three people, it’s not wise to advertise on half a dozen channels.

You’ll compromise your testing and campaign efforts, with the additional cost of other needs in marketing being neglected.

In-house teams should begin by testing everything, then switch to a 1-2-1 approach:

  • 1 primary platform that gives you the best results and demands the bulk of your budget (e.g. Google Ads across multiple inventory types).
  • 2 secondary platforms for niche audiences or objectives (e.g. YouTube to grow your video audience and Twitter to grow your mailing list).
  • 1 experimental platform to test out new ideas (e.g. running stories ads on Instagram).

Then, as you grow your team, pad out each tier from the top down.

3. Brand Matters, Even In PPC

I know a lot of PPC specialists feel otherwise, but I’ve always been a fan of branded search terms for a few reasons:

  • Already some level of intent towards your product.
  • Claim space that your competitors now can’t.
  • Room to test out different offers and messages.

Branded search traffic is cheap, easy to win, and lets you capitalize on a range of business opportunities.

I’ve used branded terms to leverage traffic surges after high-publicity events, tailor offers to specific queries (like ones including “reviews” or “pricing”), and lower customer acquisition cost by shortening the time between discovery and conversion.

4. Focus On Offer, Targeting, And Creative In That Order

I earned my marketing stripes as a creative (specifically a copywriter with an art director partner), so I’ve always placed significant value on having well-crafted ads.

But the more I’ve worked as a strategist, the more I’ve come to realize that the offer takes priority.

Offers include aspects of both messaging and positioning, and most often manifest as copywriting – be it a headline, dialogue, or voiceover.

This is what allows you to occupy a specific place in your ideal customers’ minds, and play to your unique strengths rather than your competitors’ weaknesses.

As for the creatives themselves, the longer I work in marketing, the less I expect ads to follow brand guidelines or even look like ads.

Customers get defensive the moment they feel like they’re being sold to, so pattern interrupts can be positively disarming.

I’ve seen unconventional ad formats like customer testimonial videos win battles that perfectly “on-brand” stills couldn’t.

Without a solid offer and accurate targeting, even the most gorgeous creatives will struggle to convert.

In my experience, getting these three things right is easier said than done, but essential to PPC success.

Great offers can still succeed with average creatives, complicated account structures, and less-than-perfect targeting.

It rarely goes that way for weak offers presented as attractive ads in well-built accounts and campaigns.

5. There’s More To Advertising Than Google And Meta

Both platforms offer a level of reach and variety that most advertisers have a tough time ignoring.

Google’s inventory spans search, email, YouTube, and more of the internet’s most visited properties; Meta’s network includes some of the world’s most popular apps on Facebook and Instagram.

But there’s a whole world of advertising options beyond these two networks:

  • Microsoft Ads offers a lot of the visibility and control that advertisers miss about Google.
  • Amazon is a marketplace you can’t just ignore if you retail a physical product.
  • TikTok and Snapchat are great ways to reach younger audiences.
  • Spotify lets you play with audio in a way few other digital channels allow.
  • Sponsoring a newsletter or community offers consistently higher user intent even if they aren’t strictly PPC advertising.

Several years ago, I was on a team that advertised on one channel to a limited market.

Once we exhausted the audience available on that platform, all future leads were people who had either converted in the past or been marked as closed-lost.

Moving to a second channel meant starting the work over from scratch and learning the nuances of a completely new ad platform, while delivering a quantity and quality of leads far below expectations.

The Single Most Valuable Trait In PPC And Marketing

Sometimes I remember what digital marketing and PPC advertising looked like in 2010 when I started my career, and I realize that not a single person at the time could have predicted what it looks like today.

Nearly every best practice – many of them focused on meeting targets and nothing else – has given way to ones more focused on automation, user experience, and accessibility.

If you told 2012 me that gating a blog would one day be frowned upon, he would have laughed.

With how quickly our industry changes, adaptability is the single most important trait to cultivate.

Being bonded to a single ad platform, format, technique, strategy, or mindset can stagnate your progression as a marketer without you even realizing it.

Then one day, you realize everything around you has changed and everyone but you has turned the playing field in their favor.

Across all my conversations with PPC strategists and account managers – agency and in-house – this may be the single piece of advice I hear consistently and repeatedly: Adapt or be replaced.

If you are interested in original article by Ashwin Balakrishnan you can find it here

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TikTok Shares Marketing Tips and Advice in New Video Overview

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Looking to integrate TikTok into your holiday campaigns?

This could help – TikTok has published a new video overview which looks at key brand and marketing tactics on the platform, and in particular, how brands can partner with creators to help maximize their messaging.

The video, entitled ‘Do You Speak TikTok?’, is hosted by train enthusiast and TikTok star Francis Bourgeois, who looks at what people come to TikTok for, what they’re seeking from brands in the app, and how businesses can use these key trends to maximize their TikTok marketing efforts.

Bourgeois says that TikTok has provided him with a means to explore and share his passions, in his own way, which has since led to him working on brand campaigns for Gucci, Spotify, ASOS and more.

Based on this experience, Bourgeois offers four key tips for brands working with creators:

  • Let them express what makes them them’ – As has been reiterated by various influencers and brands that have run influencer campaigns, you need to choose your creative partners based on brand match and suitability – but then let the creators give their creative take on the content, without too many restrictions or directions. If you want stale brand messaging, you don’t need creators – it’s their nous and audience understanding that they bring to the table.
  • ‘Collaborate, but never dictate’ – As above, being too prescriptive doesn’t enable you to maximize the value of creator content, and will likely limit the results of your subsequent campaigns.
  • ‘Tap into their own style and strength of content’ – Bit of a theme here, huh? I wonder what bad experiences Bourgeois has had to come to these conclusions.
  • ‘TikTok users come to be entertained’ – Wrapping up the above points (which are really just one big point), Bourgeois says that TikTok users are not on the app to make connections as such, or follow brand pages for the latest updates. TikTok is an entertainment platform, and as such, you need to be providing entertaining content that leans into that demand.

Bourgeois then further explores some of the key trends in TikTok usage, including music, and how brands should look to utilize sound in their clips.

On this, the video also includes an interview with musician Lady Leshurr, who discusses how TikTok has helped her grow her fan base, while also facilitating her own commercial partnerships.

Lady Leshurr says that ‘uniqueness’ is the key selling point of the platform, with creative, interesting takes helping to drive better performance on the platform.

The final section of the video includes an interview with creator Dannero, who discusses the importance of visual effects and action in TikTok clips.

There are some interesting notes here – maybe nothing ground-breaking, as you’re probably well aware of most of the trends and notes highlighted. But it could help to get you thinking about your TikTok marketing approach, and what elements you should look to include in your videos, or how you should go about partnering with creators.

You can check out the ‘Do You Speak TikTok?’ video here or via the embed above.

If you are interested in original article by Andrew Hutchinson you can find it here

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LinkedIn Lists This Year’s Top 25 Marketing & Advertising Companies

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LinkedIn publishes a new report that lists the top 25 com

LinkedIn lists the top 25 companies in the marketing and advertising industry in a new report that could be a valuable resource for job seekers.

The report aims to highlight the ‘best workplaces to grow a career’ in 2022.

Companies are chosen based on a methodology that looks at LinkedIn data across seven pillars:

  • Ability to advance
  • Skills growth
  • Company stability
  • External opportunity
  • Company affinity
  • Gender diversity
  • Educational background

LinkedIn’s data illustrates the demand for professionals with experience in search engine optimization. Within the top 10, there are three companies where the most notable skills are related to SEO.

In this article I’ll highlight the most relevant data for search marketers, followed by a skimmable list of all the top 25 companies.

Top Companies For People With SEO Skills

LinkedIn’s list of top 25 companies in marketing and advertising includes three that are top employers for SEO-related jobs.

At number two on the list, the most notable skills of workers at Merkle include web analytics, Google Data Studio, and PPC advertising.

Power Digital Marketing, at number six on the list, hires a notable number of search engine optimization specialists.

SEO, Google Analytics, and social media marketing are the most notable skills among employees at Publicis Health, which is number 10 on the list. Search Engine Marketing Analyst is also the most common job title.

As LinkedIn’s report only includes companies with at least 500 employees, this list excludes smaller firms that may be considered top workplaces for SEOs.

LinkedIn’s Top 25 Companies In Marketing & Advertising

Below is the complete list of companies LinkedIn recognizes as the top workplaces in the marketing and advertising industry. It’s listed by company name followed by most common job titles.

  1. Havas Media Group: Media Planner, Media Supervisor, Investment Associate
  2. Merkle: Search Engine Marketing Analyst, Account Manager, Senior Analyst
  3. VMLY&R: Creative Director, Engagement Director, Account Manager
  4. Criteo: Account Strategist, Account Executive, Software Engineer
  5. Spark Foundry: Media Associate, Strategy Associate, Senior Analyst
  6. Power Digital: Marketing Strategist, Account Manager, Search Engine Optimization Specialist
  7. Quotient Technology: Customer Success Manager, Campaign Manager, Sales Director
  8. PHD: Strategy Supervisor, Media Strategist, Associate Media Director
  9. Digitas Art: Account Executive, Art Director, Producer
  10. Publicis Health: Search Engine Marketing Analyst, Account Manager, Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
  11. Area 23: Account Supervisor, Producer, Associate Creative Director
  12. RPA: Account Coordinator, Account Executive, Media Planner
  13. Intouch Solutions: Account Manager, Project Manager, Marketing Coordinator
  14. Digitas North America: Data Analyst, Account Manager, Art Director
  15. Horizon Media: Brand Strategist, Digital Media Planner, Strategy Supervisor
  16. Spectrum Reach: Account Executive, Account Planner, Local Sales Manager
  17. Ogilvy: Account Executive, Art Director, Copywriter
  18. Octagon: Account Executive, Event Specialist, Group Director
  19. McCann Workgroup: Account Executive, Art Director, Copywriter
  20. Starcom: Media Associate, Senior Analyst, Strategy Supervisor
  21. Saatchi & Saatchi: Account Executive, Art Director, Copywriter
  22. Walmart Connect: Partnerships Manager, Campaign Manager, Account Manager
  23. WPP: Researcher, Executive Assistant, Information Technology Operation Manager
  24. 360i: Media Manager, Account Manager, Art Director
  25. DDB: Account Executive, Art Director, Copywriter

LinkedIn notes nearly all of the above companies are hiring. For more information, including links to available job openings, see the full blog post.

If you are interested in original article by Matt G. Southern you can find it here