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by Oliver Ewbank on 28th December 2012
With more algorithm updates looming, it’s important you know how to make the most of Google AdWords in 2013. This ever-evolving platform has a stack of new features to take advantage of. This post will explore the new quirks to test in the New Year.
Dynamic Search Ads
Dynamic Search Ads are one of many new AdWords functions. They are designed to automatically show your ads based on the content of your website. There is no need for keywords, which can save you huge amounts of time when setting up your campaign. Simply tell Google when you add a page to your website or you can create an ad for each URL on your domain.
Google uses their organic search index of your web page to determine if your ad is relevant so it is extremely important that the copy on your page accurately describes your product. Generic product descriptions are definitely a no no. You can still use negative keywords to block unwanted impressions.
Customer Support Extensions
One extension expected to feature in 2013 is the customer support extension. This will enable account holders to offer support via email, live chat, phone numbers and email addresses. We expect this to run alongside your site making it easier for the user to reach their desired destination. This extension will be popular for organisations like medical practices who have a high demand for quick customer support.
Slowly rolled out in 2012, this extension is expected to become extremely popular in 2013. The email extension allows you to include an email sign-up option in your ad. Ideal for anyone who has a newsletter and wants to build a community of users who they can push and remarket content to.
Remarketing in Search
Google are in the process of rolling out remarketing for search ads. This will enable companies to retarget up to 70% of users who click on an ad but leave the shopping cart. You can easily set up remarketing by placing a small piece of code on your site. You can then target users as they re-use search at a later period. The text ads will need to be normal text ads so there is no way to highlight you are proactively remarketing your product. However, I think after a successful beta run it will be a great way to increase conversions.
Google Tag Manager
Google tag manger is a great new tool which allows you to update your website tags without having to rely on any IT or technical support. The benefit of using this tool is you will no longer have to wait weeks for website code updates. The tool is free and the tag loads asynchronously. It will help you remarket ads for search campaigns in a matter of minutes.
Google have reported that they have made improvements to their existing call extension. The development will dynamically insert a Google Voice number which will allow you to track call metrics more accurately.
Google + Adverts
This is more of a rumour than a foregone conclusion, but it can only be a matter of time before Google Plus start to test ads on this platform. Google now have access to a lot of social information which means they can target users by their interactions on this network. Watch this space!
Paid Google Shopping
Google Shopping is switching to the same Pay Per Click model as AdWords. This could potentially de-clutter the advertising space and leave less chance of duplication between shopping results and AdWords results. If you are operating in this space you can expect the competition to go down. However, the fact that this is now a paid service, you will need to focus on products with a high margin.
While the true benefit of using 3D imagery is a bit vague, Google are certainly placing emphasis on the need for customers to view all angles of a product. If you are an ecommerce site I would certainly bear this in mind. The rumour mill has even suggested that better quality images could lead to an increase in quality score.
Google Trusted Stores
The Google Trusted Stores programme is Google’s way of improving the user’s shopping experience. The badge is only awarded to stores with a good track record of reliable, on-time shipping and superb customer support. The programme gives users free purchase protection and assistance if there is an issue. I would make being part of this programme a priority for 2013. It’s already up and running in the US so watch this space.
Feed Based Ad Formats
Google are trying to make ads more relevant with accurate feed based ads. Product Listing Ads will certainly be something to use in 2013 and in particular on mobile devices. Linking feeds to your ads will allow you to dynamically insert the most relevant product, picture and price to the user.
There is no question that Remarketing is going to continue being a successful platform in 2013. Now you can link your data feeds to your ads so your remarketing campaign will display the most relevant product. For example, a holiday company may link their data feed to the Google ad builder enabling them to remarket the exact holiday to the user who visited the site previously.
User Engagement Targeting
In 2012 AdWords launched skippable ads on YouTube. This meant you were only charged if a user chose to watch your video. This is a great way to maximise your return on investment as you never waste your budget on videos that are skipped. This form of advertising is only set to get more popular in 2013.
After years of waiting, 2012 was finally the year of mobile. 2013 is going to get even more competitive so make sure you run appropriate mobile specific campaigns. Use mobile specific ads and make sure you bid aggressively as there are less spots up for grabs. Make use of all the AdWords extensions and in particular ‘Click to Call’.
Long Tail Keywords
As AdWords evolves so do the ways in which people search. In 2013 nearly 40% of search queries will be longer than three words. With this in mind it will be worth bidding on broad (providing you have adequate negative keywords in place). Alternatively you should target longer tail keywords as this traffic is often cheaper and will provide a better return on investment.
Google AdWords is certainly set to evolve in 2013 but the core factors of a successful campaign will remain the same. You need to focus your campaign around relevant keywords, ad copy and landing pages. Click through Rate and Quality Score will remain key to a successful campaign but utilising some of the new features could help set you apart from your competitors.
Do you have any AdWords predictions for 2013? If you do please leave a comment below.
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