New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

Posted by on Sep 9, 2016 in Advertising | No Comments
New AdWords Cross-Device Reports: 3 Things You Need to Know

How to Boost ROI with New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

Over the past decade, the rise of mobile usage has made it extremely difficult to track customers as they switch from one device to another. Even more challenging for today’s digital marketer is analyzing which channels are producing the highest results and how to attribute value to each of the channels a user passed through before converting.  New AdWords Cross-Device Attribution Reports

In an effort to help advertisers measure a consumer’s path to conversion, Google recently released new AdWords cross-device attribution reports. On average, consumers own anywhere from two to five devices, including their mobile phone, desktop, and possible tablet or television. A recent study from March 2016, conducted by Google and Ipsos Connect, showed that 60% of consumers start the purchase process on device and complete it on another. The path to conversion is more complex than ever and anything but linear.

In the past, the traditional marketing funnel was simple and clear: awareness, consideration, purchase. However, with the rapid adoption of mobile tablets and devices, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers and advertisers to measure the impact of their online advertising campaigns. It’s not as simple as a user search, user click, and a user conversion on the same device. The AdWords cross-device attribution reports use device conversion data that now shows device influence throughout conversion paths.

The three AdWords cross-device attribution reports that are now available include:

  • Devices: showing the cross-device activity happening in your AdWords account
  • Assisting Devices: showing what device types assisted conversions on other devices
  • Device Paths: showing the top conversion paths for customers using more than one device to convert

Each of these reports can be found in AdWords in the Tools tab under Attribution as shown in the below screenshot:

New Adwords Cross-Device Reports


For savvy advertisers that are obsessive about measurement, these benchmarks come in handy in a few different ways:

Using Different Attribution Models Other Than Last Click

There are 7 main attribution models that you can use for conversion tracking:

  1. Last Click Attribution Model
  2. First Click Attribution Model
  3. Linear Attribution Model
  4. Time Decay Attribution Model
  5. Position-Based Attribution Model
  6. Last Non-Direct Attribution Model
  7. Custom or Algorithmic Attribution Model

With the new AdWords Devices Report, you’re able to quickly identify how customers use different devices on their conversion path and better serve particular ads to your audience based on the cross-device activity.  

For Example:

If you notice a conversion trend across different devices, you may want to use adjust your attribution model to boost a exposure for an ad that was displayed on a mobile, but converted on a tablet.

When choosing a new attribution model be sure to account for cross-device behavior because, unlike the traditional last click attribution model, credit will be assigned across the conversion path. 

Quick Note: AdWords Device Report only includes conversions that had multiple device touch points. 

Updating Your Bid Adjustments for Different Devices

The new Assisting Devices report shows the number of last click conversions and click-assisted conversions broken down by each type of device. With the new Assist Ratio metrics, you can see how many conversions were assisted by impressions or clicks on that particular device compared to the number of actual conversions.

For Example:

Let’s say your Mobile Assist Ratio for a campaign is 2.20, this means for every conversion that is reported from a mobile device, 2.20 conversions on other devices were assisted by mobile impressions or clicks.

This information can help inform your mobile bid adjustment strategy. Going with the same example, if you notice mobile is assisting conversions on other devices by 2.2x, and your tablet assist ratio is only assisting conversions on other devices by 0.25x, you may want to lower your tablet bid adjustments and increase your mobile bid adjustments to maximize value from your mobile ad impressions.

Optimizing Your mobile Strategy

Let’s say you’re analyzing the top conversion path and discover mobile is driving more assists than actual conversions. If that’s the case, you can optimize your mobile campaign strategy to be more educational rather than transactional. Your ad can highlight copy such as ‘Learn More’, as opposed to ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Sign Up Now’. Additionally, the mobile landing page can be optimized to show the most important benefits of your product at the top, rather than the call-to-action of sign up now. For B2B companies, this may occur quite often, as your prospects may hear about your products or services at a conference, conduct a mobile search while they’re on the go, and convert later when they are back in their office on their laptop.

As with any attribution reporting, it’s important to consider how you want to measure conversions and apply credit to each device and ad channel. You can use the Google Analytics Model Comparison Tool to compare the results of up to three different types of attribution models to ensure that the attribution model you’re using reflects your advertising goals and business models.


5 Ways To Use The AdWords Device Bidding Feature

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Advertising | One Comment
5 Ways To Use The AdWords Device Bidding Feature

How to improve your campaigns with Google’s new AdWords device bidding feature

Learn how the new AdWords device bidding tools can help you improve your conversion rate across different devices.

1. Make a base bid

Set a base bid and bid adjustments of -100 percent to +900 percent on one or more devices. You won’t have to make the same bid for multiple devices, which means you’ll have more flexibility over how you target your ads.

2. Launch separate campaigns

Customise your bids to the devices that your customers use the most. For example, if your market spends more time browsing products and services from a tablet device than a desktop or mobile, a tablet-optimised bid campaign will enable you to tap into this market and become more competitive. While a tablet-optimised or mobile-optimised campaign can help increase your ROI from those specific devices, it’s still important to make sure you have separate campaigns that effectively target all of your customers, whatever the device they use to find your products and services.

3. Identify weaknesses in your current campaign

By separating your campaigns to different devices, you’ll be able to identify any weaknesses. Were you expecting more customers to be visiting your website from a desktop? Is your mobile and tablet performance below your competitors? Whatever is working in your current campaign, integrate it into your new campaigns. Make sure you have a high Quality Score, as this will mean your campaigns have been Google-approved and will likely achieve higher rankings within the search results. A good PPC manager will be able to optmise your campaign to acheive these goals.

4. Enjoy greater control of your campaigns

When Google announced its Enhanced Campaigns a few years ago, it restricted the extent to which advertisers could customise their bids, because all desktop and tablet ads had to be grouped. So, for example, if your customers were more likely to find your products and services via a tablet than a desktop, you would have been disadvantaged. That’s because you wouldn’t have been able to optimise your ads to the device that your audience were most likely to use. This is how you create a responsive website – using HTML and CSS to ensure your content is correctly formatted for different devices. Fortunately, with tablet-optimised bidding you’ll be able to bid to an audience that is more likely to use this device. According to Laura Collins, the PPC Team Leader of the UK media agency and Merkle company Periscopix, it is estimated that tablets are more likely to be used for watching television and other entertainment, rather than work

5. Make the most of mobile

People spend more time browsing products and services online via their mobile than any other devices. That’s according to research from Google in 2015, which revealed that in the U.S, Japan and eight other countries, more Google searches were made via a mobile device than a computer. Google did not reveal the name of the other countries at the time, although it would be unsurprising if this included countries with the highest level of smartphone penetration, such as Australia, the U.K and Spain.

Want to learn more about AdWords bid adjustments? Check out their best practices here.

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What You Need to Know About AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in News | One Comment
What You Need to Know About AdWords Expanded Text Ads

What You Need to Know About AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Google announced a big change to AdWords back in May and in July the official rollout felt like Christmas came early. For years, every digital advertiser lived by the 25-35-35 character mantra and agonized over fitting brand message into those stringent limits when launching AdWords ad campaigns. The next generation of advertisers will eat, sleep, and breathe the 30-30-80 character rule.

One month after Google’s the expanded text ads announcement we’re looking at what these major changes mean, how to get the most bang for your buck, and what advertisers need to know to migrate from standard text ads to expanded text ads. As of October 26, 2016 advertisers will no longer be able to create or upload standard text ads.

[Update: September 13, 2016] Google announced the expanded text ad format deadline has been moved back. Advertisers now have until January 31, 2017 to make the transition to expanded text ads (instead of the original date of October 26, 2016). 

Here’s what you need to avoid costly AdWords campaign mistakes and how to leverage this new ad format.

What are Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)?

Expanded text ads offer 47% more space for your ad copy with two 30 character headlines and an 80 character description. Like Standard text ads, ETAs are available on the Google Search Network and Google Display Network. Both automatic and manual ad extensions are fully compatible with the expanded text ad format.

Google designed ETAs to accommodate the seismic shift in how consumers are now interacting with brands across multiple devices. ETAs will display across desktop and mobile devices AND automatically adjust the format according to the user’s screen size.

New AdWords Expanded Text Ads Interface via reunion marketing

Out of the trillions of searches happening on Google, over half of those searches are happening on mobile. And, looking at data from millions of websites using Google Analytics today, more than half of all web traffic is from smartphones and tablets.

Advertisers can now better engage their audience by delivering a mobile-first experience to potential buyers in their preferred context.

What will Change from Standard Text Ads to Expanded Text Ads?

Google Expanded Text Ads vs. Standard Ads Comparison via

How to Transition to Expanded Text Ads

  1. Make sure you have AdWords Editor version 11.5 or later. If you don’t, don’t worry! You can download it free here.
  1. Launch AdWords Editor, select ‘Ads and Extensions’ tab on the left table.

  1. Select all the text featured on the main screen and paste into a spreadsheet.

The most important fields are: Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Headline, Description Line 1, Description Line 2, and Device Preference

  1. To update your existing standard text ads to the ETA format, you’ll need to create your new columns. So you can easily see copy changes, put the new columns to the right of their respective previous column.
  1. Insert the =length( function to make sure you don’t go over the character limit for each column.

New Headline 1 = 30 characters; New Headline 2 = 30 characters; New Description = 80 characters.

  1. Now that you have your spreadsheet is setup, you can quickly rewrite your old text ads and transition those into Google’s new expanded text ads format.

Transition_Standard_Text_Ads_to_Expanded_Text_Ads via


Wrapping Up: A Few Best Practices to Keep In Mind

Spend Time on Your Headlines

Headlines are more important than ever. With the extra headline field, use that space to focus on deeper messaging that resonates with your intended audience. While longer headlines increase the clickable space of your ad, your first headline still remains the most important real estate space. Some advertisers have noticed the second headline truncated when viewed on desktop. Be sure to include the most important message (and keywords) in the first headline.

Keywords Still Matter, So Use the Path Fields to Match Intent

The ETA format now automatically pulls the domain from your Final URL as your display URL with the option to include two 15 character path fields as an appendage to the display URL. Use these two fields to indicate to your searchers where they can expect to see after the click. More importantly, use this space to include top performing keywords to improve relevance and improve your ad’s overall quality score.

Take this Opportunity to Audit Every Aspect of Your Text Ads

Review how your ad, as a complete entity, supports your client’s message. Analyze your historical data and try to come up with new tests to run with your ETAs. This means assessing everything from the ad creative to ad extensions like callouts, reviews, snippets, and more to strategically optimize your ads.

Have you been testing out the new Extended Text Ad formats? Let me know if you’ve found any tips to share in the comment section below .

#PPCPodcast: Let’s Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip’s Rumyana Miteva

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in #PPCPodcast | One Comment
#PPCPodcast: Let’s Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip’s Rumyana Miteva

Google Adwords is a PPC manager’s double-edged sword. AdWords offers a robust suite of tools to help PPC managers yield impressive campaign results, but this highly competitive auction requires more than just a “shoot from the hip” strategy.

PPCPodcast- Let's Chat AdWords Bidding Tips with HouseTrip's Rumyana AdWords Bidding Strategy via

Running a successful AdWords campaign goes further than simply raising bids. Instead, PPC professionals must understand how to apply a scalable strategy to generate optimal results.  To help explain this further, we sat down this week with Rumyana Miteva and asked her about her thoughts related to ad campaigns, advertising goals, and bidding tips as it it applies to her company.  Originally from Bulgaria, Rumyana currently works out of London, as the Head of Performance Marketing at HouseTrip.

With seventeen plus years of experience, Miteva understands the importance of network expansion. More importantly, she has a wealth of experience under her belt; sharing how crucial it is to track campaign success and stay on top of what it is working and what is not.

In this podcast, she shares insights about the management process of her own company and how to optimize AdWords bidding strategies for advertisers. In addition, she offers valuable tips for generating efficient revenues from ad campaigns. Finally, we learn about her thoughts on newer topic trends and the impact on advertising.

Listen to the full #PPCPodcast and check out some highlights below.


Things to Keep in Mind with AdWords

  • Getting your tracking setup right is crucial and the first step
  • Competitiveness is high, so be efficient about how allocate your budget towards bidding.
    • For example, bidding on position #1 may deplete your budget too quickly.
Focus on the metrics that matter:
    • Return on ad spend
    • Conversion rate by destination page


  • Track and optimize down to revenue by campaigns
  • Segment out and bid towards device performance
  • Bid different by major geographic locations
  • Test Google’s Flexible Bid strategies
  • Bid to target positions through Google and to outrank competitors

Other strategies to test

  • Take full use of  Google services and policies, which are available to advertisers
Keep a close eye on what is out there, think of multiple strategies and tools
Depends on specific objectives and businesses
  • For B2B or B2C companies:
Keep a good balance between spending vs. revenue → want good return on investment
Target towards Certified Public Accountants
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA): easy to use through Adwords editor, great way to keep people engaged, and interested
    • Tailored ad targeting
Possibly treat it as something special; build a separate Adwords account for RLSA
Add target audiences
Continue on existing searching campaigns, build off of what’s there

Interested in learning more AdWords tips like this?

Tune in every Tuesday at 10 AM PST to #PPCPodcast.

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How Did Google’s Right Side Ads Impact AdTech? Get the Results

Posted by on May 24, 2016 in Advertising | 15 Comments
How Did Google’s Right Side Ads Impact AdTech? Get the Results

Earlier this year, Google decided to remove ads from the right side panel of desktop search results page. This left advertisers panicked as they questioned the change’s impact on competition, cost, and impressions. This seemingly radical decision was derived from years of internal studies; the results indicated minimal or no clicks for the right side ad positions. A critical factor in eliminating these ad positions is mobile’s exponential growth, since removing these ads provides a better mobile experience for searchers.

A recent Search Engine Watch article from Jason Tabeling, reveals how this change is already taking effect on the market. Tabeling ran a keyword level report including the Top vs. Other segment and analyzed the last three weeks prior and post Google’s change.

Below are some of his findings:

Impressions are Down

As expected, without ads on the right-hand panel there is less inventory available, resulting in a 19% decrease in total inventory, majority of the reduction coming from the “other” segment.

impressions down google right side ads image 1 via

Position Traffic is Changing

The percent of traffic for all positions below organic listings have either increased or decreased due to inventory restrictions. Based on the data below, it appears positions 3 and 4 are gaining more impressions; however, the total % of traffic is on the decline despite positions 1 and 2 showing a major increase in traffic. These results only reaffirms how important it is to be at the highest position possible for a user’s search results.

percent traffic by position google right side ads image 2 via

CPCs Are Down, But for How Long?

We’re seeing a 12% increase in click-through rates, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise given more searchers are now seeing more ads. This is a win-win for Google because searchers are responding well to the new layout, and advertiser traffic is increasing. What this also means is your Quality Score (QS) is experiencing a correlative boost for this boost in CTR.

How Google’s algorithms calculate QS will always be a mystery. However, because Google is a for-profit business that charges on cost-per-click (CPC), it’s safe to assume QS is heavily based on CTR. Using that assumption in combination with the lift in CTRs, we’re seeing CPCs drop by 11%. Take this with a grain of salt, this is an early study and need to proceed cautiously when making budget decisions. How long will this pricing be valid? Since more ads are not even qualifying for impressions now, bids will increase and overtime every advertiser’s QS will eventually plateau and may drive the price of CPCs in the long term.

cpc ctr google right side ads image 3

Key Takeaways

These early results are based on a single ad account and offer a fair assessment of the direct impact on the industry, we definitely advise analyzing your own data to identify trends within your own account. Make sure to include your Top vs Other data segments against your KPIs.

  • Are you still receiving impressions for your ads?
  • Are CPCs going up in certain campaigns that have higher competition?
  • Does the delta in CPCs allow or restrict you from spending more in other areas?

Share your early results with us in the comments below!

Learn HTML5 Ads Before It’s Too Late

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Advertising | 4 Comments
Learn HTML5 Ads Before It’s Too Late

If you are still using Flash ads, you have three more months until Google cuts you off. Starting June 30th, 2016 Google will no longer allow Flash in AdWords or DoubleClick. By January 2nd, 2017 Flash will cease to run on their networks.

I’ve collected a few quick and easy resources to get started with rich media ads today.

This ad format has some significant advantages. Your ads will run on desktop, mobile, and tablets. They can be built as responsive, formatting to the width of the device. And since they are responsive you only have to build them once for all devices & screen sizes.

Ads should be designed for mobile first. We are close t0 the point where mobile has completely overtaken desktop with use and screen time. According to a recent GlobalWebIndex study, Smartphones are becoming the primary devices for accessing the Internet. In Asia, the Middle East and Africa, smartphone adoption has already overtaken desktop.

Mobile Device Importance

“If you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, or you’re not providing a satisfactory mobile experience you will miss out compared to competitors who are.” – Danyl Bosomworth,

Rich Media Guidelines

HTML5 ads are unique in that they’re built from many files to serve dynamic content, much like a web page. IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has published guidance for designing HTML5 ads. You can find the documentation on their website at http:/

Google has also published best practice guidelines you can follow. This ensures that you provide viewers with the best experience possible.

Google outlines those as:

  1. Build ads in HTML5
  2. Design ads with device in mind
  3. Design for both mobile web and mobile applications
  4. Keep broadband speeds in mind when using mobile video

Not only do they provide a great framework for building rich media ads, they also provide all the tools.

Flash to HTML5 Converter

If you already have Flash ads and would like to convert them to HTML5 ads, you can use Swiffy. Upload your files (below 1MB) and Swiffy will convert them for you.

There’s also a google-swiffy tag on Stack Overflow. More than likely you will find that someone has already answered your conversion questions.

Build ‘Em Yourself

It’s easy to build HTML5 ads. There are a few apps that allow you to create ads, but Google Web Designer (GWD) is the easiest and cheapest (free) to use.

Google Web Designer Screenshot

Web Designer provides a comprehensive library of ad templates.  The desktop app consists of a simple linear timeline editor and drag and drop editing. You can also access the HTML & CSS to add extra customization.

One of the best features of Web Designer is that you can publish to DoubleClick or AdMob with a single click.

If you are building an animated ad, make sure to follow Google’s policies to ensure your ad gets published.

  • Animation is less than 30 seconds
  • Ads must take up the entire space of the image size
  • Don’t get fancy with upside down or sideways ads
  • Image ads must be relevant to your site or app
  • No strobing or flashing ads!
  • Don’t mimic content, new articles, or text ads
  • All ads must be G-rated and family safe

There can be severe consequences for breaking the rules. Your domain risks suspension from Google’s search results. Or worse you may no longer be allowed to advertise with Google.

Rich Media HTML5 Starter Files

Google provides a starter file generator located on this site.

You can choose your ad format, the size, and open the starter file in GWD with the click of a button. The ad preview is also a cool feature, providing you with an idea of the finished ad.

HTML5 Starter File Screenshot

Buy a Template

Often you may find yourself if need of an ad and you don’t have the time to spend creating one from scratch. Luckily there are many free & paid templates that you can use as a canvas to build your ad., an Envato Market site, has an entire category of HTML5 ad templates. Most of the templates will cost you $10.00. That seems like an attractive price to time savings ratio to me. Each ad template also includes multiple sizes and is compatible with Google Web Designer, making it easy to change the ad colors, photos, and CTA’s.

CodeCanyon HTML5 Ads

Regardless if you are ready to tackle designing Rich Media ads yourself or want to start with pre-made templates, you should be preparing to switch both Flash and static image ads to responsive HTML5 ads before it’s too late.


Webinar Recap: The Most Valuable Google AdWords Features for the PPC Account Manager

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Advertising | One Comment
Webinar Recap: The Most Valuable Google AdWords Features for the PPC Account Manager

Google AdWords has many features useful to any PPC account manager. Experts on the subject, Mike McEuen, Director of Demand Generation at AdStage and Amanda West-Bookwalter, Senior Account Manager at Hanapin, sat down to share with their top ten features, along with useful tips on how to best utilize Google AdWords for your PPC campaigns.

Watch the webinar below to learn more about search query reports, ad extensions, ad rotation and bid settings, and more. Check out the live Q&A session with questions from our viewers for more in-depth tips and tricks.


10. Search Query Reports

Running a search query report is any PPC account manager’s baseline. Search query reports are useful to get rid of irrelevant traffic and find additional opportunities to expand. When launching your account, broad match modifiers matches you with your actual searches.

Search query reports matches you with words that you are being paired with. This helps you discover negative terms that don’t lead to conversion, and ensures that you won’t show up for them in the future. When you come across a search term that does lead to conversion, it’s smart to add that keyword to it’s own ad group, along with similar terms, and create new ad copy.


9. Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a useful tool that sometimes get overlooked, and can be seen as an afterthought. By successfully utilizing your ad extensions you can cover more real estate, become more relevant to your audience, and give yourself more opportunities for traffic. With this feature, you can increase click through rates and simultaneously decrease your average cost per click, just by taking advantage of your description area.


8. Ad Rotation and Bid Settings

Ad rotation helps you test your ad copy to make sure it’s catering to your end goals. Important features to take note of include optimizing for clicks, optimizing for conversions, or rotating evenly/indefinitely. For brand new campaigns with minimal performance history, you can start optimizing for clicks. With this feature, you can collect the actionable data you need to start A/B testing.

During the testing period, rotating the ad copy is a helpful comparison tool. Once you have enough conversion data and the account is actionable, you can switch to optimizing for conversions where you can choose the best ad to display based on your campaign goals and history.


7. Exclusion Targeting on GDN

This feature is helpful for conserving your budget so your ads do not show on irrelevant sites. In addition, you can exclude specific categories, such as mobile apps, which tend to be accidental clicks. By adding sites or mobile apps as negative placements, you rid your account of budget-burning traffic.


6. Labels

Labels is a great way to keep your account organized. Michael recommends for new PPC users to “label like a librarian”. In addition, you can get filtered views based on individual labels. With filtered reporting, you have access to quick and in-depth insights on how things are performing. In all, labels helps you keep your account clean and saves you time on reporting.


5. Auction Insights

Auction insights gives you important data on your competitors that will really impress your boss or clients. You are able to view your competitors’ impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate for specific keywords. Using an outrank bid strategy, you can stop your competitors’ aggressive strategies that may be hurting your business. Use Auction Insights to inform your bid strategy so you never miss out on impression share.


4. Dynamic Search Ads

Finding new keywords is important to your ad campaign. Dynamic search ads is a useful tool for keyword mining, in addition to traditional search query reports. Using your search query report, you can identify keywords that people are searching for that you’re not targeting yet. Dynamic search ads is another useful tool to help expand your keyword portfolio, just be sure to keep a small budget on these campaigns so you don’t overspend.


3. Compare Time Periods

Compare time periods provides helpful graphs and metrics to view specific changes. You can check your performance to see if there is a drop in conversion rates and change your course accordingly to optimize your campaign. It’s always important to track progress over time and this feature provides insight into what is or isn’t working well to help you increase conversions.


2. Search Audiences

With so many different uses for search audiences, there is something useful for any ad campaign. For example, you can retarget an audience more effectively by increasing bids on more qualified site visitors, use broad keywords, and exclude previous converts. By increasing the bids on qualified buyers, your target audience is more likely to see your ads. Using broad keywords for your ad campaigns are a reminder for customers to come to your site when they aren’t searching specifically for you. Excluding previous converts is especially helpful if a second conversion has no value to you. Search audiences helps you reach out to customers with better precision for better results.


1. Scripts

AdWords scripts is a hot topic at any conference – they programmatically control your AdWords data. For example, you can use scripts to forecast how much money you have to explore new advertising opportunities like display campaigns. By automating these difficult tasks in AdWords, your job becomes easier and more efficient.



Q: In relation to ad rotation and bidding, how is much data is enough data before you should change a rule?

Michael: It all depends on what type of business you are, but typically, about 14 days once trends have developed. If you have a leaner budget, you might want to wait for 60-90 days.

Amanda: I would say, it’s more about volume of data, as opposed to time periods.


Q: Do call-only ads bid on the same ad space as mobile text ads with a click-to-call extension?

Michael: Yes, it does go into the same data auction as mobile. However, the experience is a little different. Instead of allowing options, any click leads to ideally dialing.


Q:There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to building keyword lists. Build a very large list, and whittle it down as you run your campaign. Or, build a small list, see what works, and build it out from there. Which school would you recommend?

Amanda: That depends on your business goals, and how much funding you have upfront for your marketing. For clients who want quick results and a lot of money to throw at it, I would say, go for the larger keyword set and see what works. In cases of lower funding, you’d want to start at smaller keyword sets.

Michael: I completely agree there, if you go a little too in-depth, you’ll have months of data without actionable insights. Unless you have a large budget, it isn’t very opportunistic to cast a wider net.


Q: Which bid strategy would you recommend for AdWords search? I currently use a flexible bid strategy with first page targeting. How does this compare to just manual bidding?

Amanda: I’m employed to do PPC, and I want to be efficient as possible, so I do everything manually. It’s a great idea, if you have the time to do that. If you don’t have the time, this may not be the best strategy for you. You have to be smart about your automations and check back regularly to ensure that it’s profitable.

Michael: I’ve seen enhanced PPC both work phenomenally, and take a nosedive. That’s why it’s very important to check if it’s working. Manually, the best is having a philosophy that manages in a spreadsheet form. If you don’t have the time, a flexible bid strategy could work well, but it’s always important to go back and compare the results over a time period to see the impact.


Q: What is your method of consolidating and managing A/B test results and optimization?

Michael: It depends on budget and what you’re looking at. When A/B testing, you want to make sure to isolate your variables and stick to your hypothesis. Labels really help when checking results. You can see how things work in comparison to non-changing variables. Having too many experiments at one time makes it difficult to track impact. I record my expected result, make sure I have the timeline to determine if something works, and then compare results.

Amanda: At Hanapin, we’re super diligent about our ad testing. We have the creative testing cycle, where we follow a step by step process. We take a look at all of your site’s features, then list possible ad tests. We only run one ad test at a time, to ensure that it’s completely A/B. We then wait until it’s significantly relevant to determine what the winners are, and upload a new ad.


Q: Is remarketing required to do what you mentioned for search audiences?

Amanda: You don’t have to put remarketing ads on the display network, which is what remarketing is referred to as. But, you do have to place the remarketing code onto your website, and start collecting cookies into different lists.


Q: Can you talk about the pros and cons of using existing Google Scripts and having someone write custom ones for you?

Michael: Some of the alert type scripts work very well, allowing you to not be cautious on impact to your account. Looking at the bid modifier scripts, they can get more complex, causing unintended consequences. When finding someone to write them for you, you need to find someone that has the technical skills that also has knowledge of PPC.


Q: Any recommendations on how to find the best keywords?

Michael: As far as keyword mining is concerned, there are a lot of tools to help. One of my favorites is Übersuggest.

Amanda: I use the site as an influencer to find keywords that seem valuable. I also use AdWords keyword research tool, Quizio, and a lot of DSA campaigns.


Q: What is the rule on pausing keywords?

Michael:  General rule of thumb, if your keywords aren’t creating enough value, pause them. If you aren’t receiving a return on ad spend, and it’s been a considerable amount of time, I’d look to pause.

Amanda: You want to take a look at your funnel as well. You may have a top of the funnel keyword, trickling down and causing conversion. I’d check that out before you pause. I’d also take seasonality into account, some keywords work better certain times of the year.
Have any additional questions for Michael and Amanda regarding PPC ad campaigns or Google AdWords? Ask them in the comments section below, or follow them both on Twitter @Lonohead and @Amanda_WestBrook!

Talking Quality Score with Frederick Vallaeys

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in #PPCPodcast | 3 Comments
Talking Quality Score with Frederick Vallaeys

We’ve been honored to have some amazing guests on PPCPodcast this year. What started out as a fledgling idea, slowly swept over the team. The podcast matured from a dorm-level production grade, to high quality mics, opening music, an incredible roster of industry leaders.

While there were many great moments, the interview with Frederick Vallaeys, CEO of Optimyzer, was my absolute favorite. Among colleagues and industry friends, there’s been a continual debate over which elements influence AdWords Quality Score. “Does account level Quality Score actually exist? How much weight does your landing page affect the calculation of your score?”

It’s fascinating to hear from an early AdWords team member, reveal insights into the thought process and methodology used to formulate one of the most misunderstood AdWords metrics. I find myself relistening to the interview, and catching new takeaways each time. Below, are some of the best snippets from the podcast.

What is Quality Score and how does it work?

It’s one of the 3 factors that goes into determining your ad rank. Fundamentally, Quality Score is click through rate. Back in the day, Google used a simple equation to calculate ad rank:

Max CPC bid x CTR = ad rank

Quality Score is a huge factor in how much you pay and how many clicks you will receive.

What are the most important factors in building a good Quality Score?

There are 3 key factors.

    1.  Historical CTR

On Google Search, when the keyword matches exactly to the query, what is the CTR.

    2. Relevancy factors

Predictive CTR looking at auction time signals. If you have certain factors, how do they correlate with CTR.

Example: If you have advertisers who have a billing address in the United States, but have a searcher’s IP address in Canada, does that affect CTR?

    3. Landing page quality

How many times should the keyword be mentioned in the ad text?

Adding keywords in your ad copy is a good thing, but don’t focus on it too much. Just make sure the ad stands out.

What are some pro-tips to increase your Quality Score?

If you can boost your click through rate, that’s what matters the most. Ultimately, it’s what makes Google money. Essentially, Quality Score is the calculation of different ways that Google can calculate CTR in different situations.

Focus on:

  1. Tightly structured ad groups
  2. Multiple ad texts
  3. No more than 30 keywords in an ad group
  4. Take advantage of all your ad extensions

What doesn’t impact Quality Score?

  • Keyword match types
  • Negative keywords

What’s a good Quality Score?

New keywords start at a Quality Score of 6. If your keyword remains at 6, I’d leave it, if it drops below 6, and you can’t make it better you might want to remove it from your account.

Is there an account level Quality Score?

There is no published number. But Quality Score is a learning algorithm. A learning system needs to rely on bigger signals when it doesn’t have enough data about a specific element. If Google doesn’t know how this ad text will perform against this keyword, they may look at the advertiser across the account and is the performance good or worse than average, and based on that they can set a base level Quality Score.

Listen to the full podcast:



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17 Free Photoshop Templates for Google Display Ads

Posted by on Dec 3, 2015 in Advertising, How-Tos | 7 Comments
17 Free Photoshop Templates for Google Display Ads

Create Compelling AdWords Display Image Ads

Designing creative image ads is one of the of the most fun parts of being a digital advertiser. It’s where you get to apply the visual side of your brain, creating engaging content that will drive click-throughs.

However, our display ads have been under attack by ad blocking software, and there’s no end in sight.

In fact, according to a study by PageFair, 45 million monthly active users in the United States use ad blockers. Those active users represent a 48% increase in usage between Q2 2014 & Q2 2015.

The stats above should motivate you to create compelling display ads for your audience so you can keep their attention.

Here are a few fundamentals to achieving best results with your display ads.

1. Use the Z-Pattern in your layout design

If you are advertising to viewers in the U.S. or other western countries, most people will read from left to right, top to bottom. In design, this is known as the Z-Pattern. Place your value proposition on the top left side of the ad, and your call-to-action on the bottom right. You have very little time to capture the attention of your audience and viewers will quickly glance to the areas they expect to find the most relevant information.

2. Use the Rule of Thirds

Everyone thinks of Leonardo da Vinci when discussing the Rule of Thirds. And it’s true he used it often in his drawings and paintings. There’s a reason that this technique is used by visual artists and that hasn’t changed in today’s digital world.

Evenly divide your ad horizontally and vertically with four lines. The four points where these lines intersect are your points of interest. Arrange essential elements so they touch one of these points to make your ad copy more engaging.

3. Write a Compelling Call to Action (CTA)

Do not just write “click here.” Let your viewer know why they should click on your ad. For example, if you are selling winter jackets & you show an ad with different color selections, a good CTA may say, “Choose My Color.”

Also, use a contrasting color for the CTA button, so it stands out from the rest of your ad.

The Free Templates

We’ve created a free Adobe Photoshop PSD template that includes 17 popular Google Ad sizes that you can freely use for your ad creations!

Enter an email address where we can send you the download link.

The 17 Google Display Ad Sizes in the Template:

  • Vertical Banner (120×240)
  • Skyscraper (120×600)
  • Wide Skyscraper (160×600)
  • Small Rectangle (180×150)
  • Small Square (200×200)
  • Vertical Rectangle (240×400)
  • Square (250×250)
  • Medium Rectangle* (300×250)
  • Half Page* (300×600)
  • Portrait (300×1050)
  • Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)
  • Large Mobile Banner* (320×100)
  • Large Rectangle* (336×280)
  • Banner (468×60)
  • Leaderboard* (728×90)
  • Large Leaderboard (970×90)
  • Billboard (970×250)

*Top performing ad sizes according to Google

Free Google Display Ad Templates Preview


When exporting the file, make sure the image size is no larger than 150 KB. Google will reject anything larger. The file types accepted are JPEG, SWF, GIF, and PNG.

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