Follow-up is important. Particularly when discussing the online space where 24 hours = 1 light year – or so it seems.
In July 2012, I posted Google AdWords – is it the right choice for your business?
My post was not to discourage anyone from engaging in AdWords – there’s lots to be gained from PPC advertising. I simply wanted to provide some insight into AdWords to help in the decision making process. AdWords is not as simple as it is advertised to be.
In November 2012, I went back to school and entered the Google Engage Program, which helps digital marketers represent several small businesses. It was a two-day course, tutorial and some re-testing. It was there that I realized that a re-write – at least an update was necessary.
Here are few key features that peaked my interest and might be useful. These aren’t necessarily new tools, but they weren’t included in my first post.
Ad extensions: Work with text ads and while they aren’t new, Google AdWords has added 6 different options. Using extensions not only helps with optics – your ad will look larger on the search engine results – but allows you to provide more information.
The ad extensions that most interested me allow you to:
> include your business address and phone number which is useful for mobile
> include specific product photos, which really attracted my attention.
> include more site links to your ad allowing you to link people to both a product and a purchase page.
Keyword Insertion: Useful but tricky as it can backfire and I mean seriously backfire. The keyword insertion tool dynamically inserts the customers search phrase into the text of your ad. So, if you are selling Nike Shoes – the keyword insertion tool would insert a customer search phrase such as Red Nike Shoes, Pink Nike Shoes etc – allowing for a richer connection with your customer.
But the classic example of how it can backfire or drive a lot of unwanted costly traffic, is the example of selling air conditioners. Unless you carefully massage the negative keyword list – ads will appear for both Air and Hair conditioners.
This isn’t a new tool, but it was being seriously promoted which makes me think that Google has worked out some of the bumps. Use with caution.
Remarketing Ads: These ads allow marketers to reach visitors who have previously visited your site to see your PPC ads when they are visiting other similar sites within the Google Display Network. Effectively it’s like having a second crack at a pre-qualified customer.
How does it work? The site owner installs a piece of code or a re-marketing tag on all of the web pages. Each time a visitor comes to the site, they are added to a re-marketing list via a cookie. Re-marketing lists are like any other list, they can be segmented, edited and focused per page or activity.
This type of ad has enormous potential.
Mobile Ads: If you are in retail, Google AdWords has a number of interesting options for mobile ads. When thinking mobile, remember to be ‘uber’ local – like within minutes of someone’s cell phone if they are looking for your businesses.
Combine mobile opportunities with ad extensions and it’s easy enough to have direct dialing directly from your PPC ad.
Video, YouTube & TV Ads: Video is a wonderful tool and now can be strategically placed on YouTube and the Google Display Network using keywords. Google AdWords has improved video advertising providing more ad formats, more ad inventory and improved reporting. You pay only when someone actually views your ad.
November 2012 to March 2013 – is three months and things may have changed once again. For my part – I’ll check again in 3 months for a 6 month review.