5 PPC Feature Releases in AdWords and Bing Ads to Watch Now

There have been several interesting new PPC features and targeting releases during this second half of 2014. Here are five that you should be aware of.

In my recent ClickZ post, “Marketing Trends to Watch and Apply to PPC,” I discussed overall marketing trends for paid search that are relevant and deserve to be included in strategic ad plans.

Along with general trends, the second half of 2014 has brought some interesting PPC features and targeting releases for advertisers in paid search. Find out about some important releases and what they mean for you.

Website Call Conversions

AdWords recently announced a new feature called website call conversions. This uses the same Google forwarding number used for call extensions, but it is a dynamically inserted number on the website. A unique phone number is issued for each ad click, so visitors who call the number they see on the website will be tracked back to AdWords. To implement, this requires a JavaScript snippet on the advertiser’s website.

Any advertiser who receives calls from customers can benefit from this feature. This can used be site-wide, showing on every page, or used as part of the landing page strategy. If the call volume is high or needs more complicated routing or tracking for multiple platforms, a third-party system may be best instead.


Custom Affinity Audiences

In October, Google AdWords is releasing a more detailed way to target audiences on the Google display network (GDN). Advertisers can target by interests and behavior (like sites visited). As the audiences are selected for targeting, AdWords will show insights on the audience such as estimate reach, demographics, and top interests.

AdWords interest lists up to this point have not been totally transparent in the exact interests that were being targeted. This new targeting method is perfect for advertisers who have seen some success on the GDN but want to take it to an advanced level to maximize results.


Enhanced Geo-Targeting

Bing Ads released enhanced location targeting that helps advertisers refine and define their geo-targeting for PPC. Besides increased relevancy, many of the updates also support hyper-local targeting, most common on mobile devices. This includes radius targeting (with bid adjustment capabilities), ZIP code targeting, and intent-only targeting (viewing pages about a targeted location).

Advertisers should review reporting and determine performance by location. Using bid adjustments, adjust to emphasize or deemphasize serving in those areas. If a location is not performing at all, exclude it. This can help to cut costs and improve return on investment (ROI) for the overall campaign.

Mobile Search Ads Formats

Time to check and refine mobile ads, because AdWords is changing the way the ads appear on smartphones. The changes will place ad extensions in instead of the second line of ad text (description line two) on mobile search ads. Description line two may or may not show, depending on how well the ad is expected to perform.

Advertisers should check their ad copy for the following: First, ensure there is a mobile-designated ad. Second, move most relevant information (including calls-to-action) to description line one and include a period at the end of the sentence. Third, maximize ad extensions by increasing the number used, and verify all links and relevant messaging.

Tablet-PC Device Targeting Changes

Bing Ads launched changes in device targeting that all advertisers should be aware of. Now, tablets and PCs are combined into a single device target. All existing and new campaigns that target PCs will also target tablets.

The bid adjustments have been changed to +300 percent to -20 percent and all negative adjustments will default to the -20 percent. This means if your bid reduction was greater than -20percent, for example, -40 percent, it will default to -20 percent and you will be paying more.

Advertisers should review the past performance on tablets and smartphones and adjust bids accordingly, as well as ensure any ad copy and landing pages are tablet-compatible.

Are there any PPC releases you’ve been following that are important to watch? Tell us in the comments or tweet it out to @ClickZ or @LisaRocksSEM to discuss.

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