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Google Visits Koozai!

Michael Rolfe

by Michael Rolfe on 20th September 2011

Fintan Gillespie, Google Industry Manager for the UK and Ireland, was warmly welcomed to the Koozai Head Office in Southampton on Wednesday, where he came to chat with us about all things Google, our client accounts and explaining how he drove from Australia to Ireland in a Hummer…

Most people (rightly) recognise Google as a world-leader in the converging realms of software, Internet marketing and digital innovation, but it is not only their technical prowess that is increasing their success quarter by quarter.

Fintan liaises with 18 of the highest spending independent agencies in the UK to share best practise and strengthen relationships that are mostly conducted at distance over the phone.

Relationships are built between people independently of the service offered, and Fintan managed to cover a lot of ground technically while also being personable, approachable and all round good spirit!

Google is constantly developing new and existing products, and learning about the latest developments and how they impact our clients is of course beneficial to our campaigns.  Even better is having our own agency-manager in the room so we can bounce ideas, questions and examples off them to really get maximum value from what is a terrifically knowledgeable resource!

Over the coming posts we can go in to deeper detail on some of the topics we covered, an outline of which is listed below:

Automatic Rules

Automatic rules in AdWords allow you to save time when managing accounts.  Think of all the routine, mundane operations you perform in accounts and the chances are many of these can be automated. Furthermore, this can be done on the MCC level so this should improve efficiency when it comes to bid management, conversion optimisation etc.

Ad Text

It was suggested that advertisers have four ads running per ad group.  One with dynamic content, two different calls to action and one optimised to display as a long title.  In practice however, dynamic content is only advisable when we have a secure list of negatives, and we believe that all ads should be structured in a way that the first description line flows well from the headline to allow the possibility of a long headline being displayed.

Campaign Structure

The general lesson here if you are not already doing it is to split out your campaigns by targeting settings.  So, if you have ads showing on mobile, tablet and desktops, split each out on its own.  This will allow you to target for each platform.  For example, the display of ads is different on tablet computers (and different again between landscape and portrait layouts), as there are fewer slots available for display on mobile devices.   Likewise, split up your Display and Search Campaigns so you can better optimise budgets and other setting for maximum KPI’s.

Display Advertising

The essential points here were to run one campaign for each type of targeting option, and ensure frequency caps are in place to limit impressions.  Furthermore, all display campaigns should start building remarketing lists, even if you have no immediate plans to utilise them.  Data can be collected free of charge meaning that when the time comes to implement a retargeting campaign, the data is available.  Remarketing lists can then be used to perform split testing of ads to further refine campaign performance, although remarketing does not currently work on mobile devices.

The Google Ad Planner can be used to find audiences to target, and then these audiences can be reached when they visit sites containing specific terms using contextual targeting.  It is worth noting that contextual campaigns don’t acknowledge match types or mis-spellings, and that brand-related words can convert well.  Finally, when choosing keywords it can be worth trialling direct, complementary and audience related keywords in respective ad groups.  The example given was that when selling flights to Barcelona you would target ‘Barcelona flights’, ‘Barcelona hotels’ and ‘City Breaks’ respectively.

Google+

Google+ was examined and I must say I was impressed.  I do have an account but until Wednesday I didn’t grasp the ways in which Google+ is different again to Facebook and other social networking ‘competitors’.

Google+ is similar in that you have a profile, and your friends can be grouped in to ‘circles’ so you can share certain content with particular groups more easily.  What was new for me was how Google+ integrates with the web: If your friends +1 something online then in real-time, if I come across that +1′d content, I will immediately see that my friend likes it.

This recommendation from a friend is valuable, and also highlights how +1′s are less likely to be exploited by spammers if their main function is to display that a friend of yours likes a certain piece of content.  With Google’s established user-base it seems inevitable that a tipping point will be reached when sharing with Google+ becomes second nature to millions every day.

Sparks is a Google+ project that “brings you stories on the things you love from across the web”.  You pick interests, and snippets of relevant content from around the web appear on you r news feed.  It’s easy then to share this with friends and strike up conversations.

Hangouts is a neat feature on Google+ that allow you to connect with other friends that are only.  Available contacts can all share a video display and discuss a film or music track that is playing. Likewise, they can share each other’s webcam feeds and all talk like they were in the same room.

Insights for Search

Many tools and features update regularly, and it is also important to recognise that many terms, guidelines and rules can change over time as well.  One such change is that Google AdWords is now scanning your paused ads to see if they should be disapproved.  If you find yourself with paused, disapproved ads, this could affect your campaign – in some instances by getting your account suspended! As such it is vital to check that you are up to date with policy changes.  The best resource to quickly and easily check policy that may affect you, your business or your clients would be to check the following resource regularly – perhaps consider adding it to your calendar to ensure you stay up to date:

http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/static.py?hl=en&page=release_notes.cs

 

Michael Rolfe

Michael Rolfe

Michael has been earning a living online and winning awards for it since 2005. Projects include launching an affiliate network, database driven comparison websites, and Wordpress education seminars as well as devising and implementing the online marketing strategy for a listed blue-chip organisation.

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