What I Like About Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.
McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.

I’ve been busy doing and early migration for our AdWords clients into Enhanced Campaigns. Through extensive testing on AdWords rollout last month, I found that there was no downside to migration and that there were actually some nice benefits.Here’s Why You Should Upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns Early

1. If you are getting phone calls and have a under one dollar cost per click, moving to Enhanced Campaigns will lower your expenses. Phone calls to desktops and tablets will be free and from mobile phones will only cost you a click instead of the previously default minimum $1 bid. For one of my clients whose typical cost per click was $.21 to go from $1 a call to $.21 per call based on their typical call volume was a huge dollar savings.

2. Records phone calls as conversions based on your needs. We know for a fact that AdWords drives phone call activity and this for many clients is growing in importance. With Enhanced Campaigns, the client and I can decide the number of seconds for a call to be recorded as a lead conversion. And on top of that I can now even specify when the phone number will show. I will typically set the time to be 60 seconds and set the phone number to show during their office hours only. I can schedule the time of day as well as the day of the week.

3. AdWords Enhanced Campaigns offer very granular location targeting and the ability to bid up or down by location. By drawing radius settings around the addresses (even multiple addresses) that are listed as location extensions, you can bid up for better ad placement. For example, I manage a number of AdWords programs for dentists. I will routinely map out a radius of 2 miles, 5 miles, and 10 miles and then bid up 10 to 20% up by location proximity working to get more location specific traffic for my dental office clients.

4. I can now see activity and clicks by actual site link. This information is very helpful in regards to understanding what is important for a client. I can also now add up to 20 site links instead of 10, and change them at will. Now longer are site links tied together as a group, they are individual for the account and you click to add them by either ad group or campaign. The ability to specify site links at the ad group level for some accounts is a welcome enhancement.

5. I can craft smartphone specific ads that fit correctly on a typical smartphone sized screen and choose to serve this ad specifically to smartphone users. This is a very nice feature. I typically will use click to call in the ad text.

These are just a few of the things I personally like about AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and are using for clients. If you are looking for a knowledgeable AdWords account manager for your own program and one that know Enhanced Campaigns, I invite you to visit our AdWords services page for more information and account set up and management pricing.


New Challenges for the Delivery of e-Newsletters

Clients are sometimes shocked when they review their first delivery report for their new e-newsletter. Their 1,000 subscriber list ends up showing that only 10% to 30% of their subscribers actually opened their campaign. From what I have seen with a variety of accounts, the open rate may never top 50% for e-newsletter campaigns.

So What Can a Business Do to Improve E-Newsletter Opens?

1. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable subscriber/e-newsletter service. I like iContact, Topica, and Constant Contact. If you are dealing with a small no-name service you may have delivery issues. The larger services will all police their own clients to be Can Spam compliant and typically work directly with ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to try to assure delivery of newsletters. That being said, it is not uncommon for double opted in subscribers to be sent via a specific IP block that has ISP service provider approval and those that are not double opted in to be sent through a different server block that may be filtered out at the ISP level and so never delivered.

2. Try to double opt in your readers. This is a hard one, and most lists we work with although typically “clean” will not be double opted in. Double opted in means that the reader has verified their email address and their desire to receive your message. This is a two step process – sign up for your e-newsletter and then respond to an automated email that asks them to click to verify their email address and desire.

3. Craft an e-newsletter title that is transparent and identifies who you are. Putting your name and a reminder of who you are in the title can help to increase open rates. So can sending at least once a month versus quarterly. For those clients that send infrequently to their e-newsletter list, their open rates will typically be lower, as readers in many cases have simply forgotten that they have signed up or who you are.

4. Make your newsletter sharable and memorable. ISP are watching reader behavior. If more subscribers never read, open, or click things in your newsletter, over time the ISP may lower your newsletter rating pushing it into filtered out status. Here’s a great article that speaks to this topic and shares with you some of the new technology and filters that Internet Service Providers are using to filter out spam.


How to Enhance Your Bing Ads Program to Mimic AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

McCord Web Services is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional Company.
McCord Web Services is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional Company.

As a Google AdWords Certified Partner and Bing Ads Accredited Professional, I am very familiar with both platforms and the benefits and differences of each. This article will show you how to “Bing Up” and enhance your Bing Ads campaigns to mimic some of the functionality available in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.Google AdWords has recently rolled out Enhanced Campaigns and will be migrating all AdWords advertisers into their new program by mid-June. If you have embraced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns early and like the new extra power of Enhanced Campaigns, here’s how you can “Enhance” your Bing Ads campaigns.

First, one important difference between AdWords and Bing Ads, if you had previously segregated your mobile campaigns out from your desktop and tablet campaigns you can still continue to do so with Bing Ads. Google AdWords did away with this option in Enhanced Campaigns.

Second, you can tweak your Bing Ads settings to provide much of the same functionality as Google AdWords Enhanced campaigns with a few savvy setting updates.  Remember, in Bing Ads you have some of the same, but also improved functionality, as you can set your targeting at the campaign level or ad group level. In Google AdWords you only set targeting at the campaign level.

How to “Enhance” Your Bing Ads Program

  1. For this example I am only going to mention how to “Enhance” settings at the campaign level, but you can follow these same steps at the ad group level as well, overriding any campaign settings.Let’s get started, click the campaign name from the campaign summary page and then click settings. Go to locations and open the selector by clicking the arrow. Tick the radio button next to “Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions”.
  2. Use the “browse” or “research” tab underneath “Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions” to find the locations you want to add. Click to add your state or city name.  Make sure to click to include that location and it will appear in the field just above in the “show your ads in these locations”. Make sure to change your incremental bid as you desire for these newly added locations.I will typically bid higher incrementally as I near the location to my client’s business. For example, my default bid may be at the US level, I may bid +10% for the state location, and I may bid +25% more for the city location. If you prefer you can bid by radius by selecting the radio button “near a business or other location”, but be aware you will only be able to set one radius location not multiple locations as in AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.
  3. Just underneath the “Locations” section you will find “Targeting Options”, click to see your options in this section and review where you may want to consider adding additional incremental bids. Select days, hours, gender, and age. You can leave your bid at the default of +0% or bid up your selection up to +100% of your default bid. AdWords does not offer the ability to target age or gender at this time for search campaigns unlike Bing Ads.
  4. In “Targeting” underneath the demographics options you can select which devices to show your ads on; desktops, mobile devices with full Internet browsers, and tablets.  AdWords Enhanced Campaigns will only allow you to bid up or down on the mobile setting at the campaign level, but Bing Ads continued to allow you full control and even the ability to create a separate campaign or ad group to target advertising uniquely for mobile devices, tablets, or desktops.Although you cannot adjust bids incrementally by device in this screen, by setting up separate ad groups or campaigns and targeting different devices you have full bid control. It is easy to create “mirror” campaigns or ad groups by using Bing Ads Editor and the copy and paste function. Then, just set your device targeting uniquely as you desire and bid accordingly in your default CPC or keyword bid.

    For many advertisers the ability to continue to segregate out advertising programs that target mobile only and desktop and tablets together separately will be worth the time to look carefully at advertising on Bing Ads if you are not already advertising there.

  5. Make sure to create a smaller version text ad for mobile. Remember typically that even smartphones won’t be able to show all the allowed 70 characters of the description. I will typically use 40 to 45 characters out of the 70 available for best display on a smartphone, especially if I am creating ad text for a mobile only ad group or campaign.
  6. At the campaign level click “ad extensions” and then make sure to add in your website sitelinks. Just click create and add up to 10 links for each campaign. Although you cannot select which to show on mobile, keep character count for the description in mind and keep your link title short yet descriptive. In the future Bing Ads will have call extension, but for now the U.S. does not have this option available.

Although there continue to be some differences between Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and Bing Ads you can tweak your Bing Ads program to mimic some of the same functionality that you may like in the new AdWords Enhanced Campaigns and you get to keep the functionality in Bing Ads that you have lost in AdWords in regards to separate device targeting.

About the Author

Nancy McCord is the founder and President of McCord Web Services LLC which is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional Company and provides Bing Ads account set up and management and Google AdWords account management services. Since 2001, Nancy McCord has developed a reputation as an expert on how businesses can promote their products and services on the Web using pay per click. You can visit Nancy and her firm at www.McCordWeb.com. Connect with her @mccordweb on Twitter, in the Bing Ads LinkedIn Group, +Nancy McCord at Google+, and on Facebook. You can also chat with Nancy at her Google+ Community online called Bing Ads Strategies.



Looking for an Alternative to Google Reader or iGoogle?

If you’ve used and loved iGoogle or Google Reader, be aware that Google is retiring this service on July 1, 2013. Not to worry though, you’ll want to check out MyMSN as your need feed reader platform and guess what I know that you’ll like it better!

I’ve been using www.My.MSN.com preferentially as my RSS/XML feed aggregator for years. This simple and easy to use interface is fully customizable. I watch 30 news feeds in my control panel and even have feeds for stocks and weather. It is easy to add a new feed when you find it by clicking Add Content on the top right and then you paste in your feed URL or you can select from preset MSN news modules.

I like My.MSN.com much better than the Yahoo version as I have mine set up to show three columns per page, have very little advertising and I have lots of customization options.

So if you are bemoaning the fact that iGoogle or Google Reader is going away, switch now and check out My.MSN.com. I personally think that you will like it better and will drop iGoogle before July 1st.


DudaMobile Integration with Google AdWords

A smart secret about AdWords and DudaMobile.
A smart secret about AdWords and DudaMobile.

This is a little known fact, but did you know that DudaMobile and Google have agreed to allow mobile URLs in the destination URL in Google AdWords to be a DudaMobile top level domain and still work.Let me explain

The destination URL, where your visitor goes when they click your ad on Google.com, by AdWords rule has always had to go to a page in the site of your top level domain. If it did not, your ad was disapproved.

Now you can have a DudaMobile destination URL and your own domain Display URL and your mobile ads will be approved and show by Google AdWords. Wow! Who knew! As Google is pushing mobile, and encouraging AdWords users to set up a DudaMobile website, but some business owners are having trouble knowing how to implement mobile or create a mobile CNAME record for their domain, Google has decided to make it easy.

Here’s an example:

In my AdWords ad, my Display URL for an ad would be www.McCordWeb.com. Typically my destination URL would be http://www.mccordweb.com/ but now for my mobile ads my destination URL can be http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/mccordweb_2 and my ads will be approved and run! Cool, thanks Google for helping all business owners get into the game with mobile without too many headaches.


Google AdWords Remarketing Strategies

McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.
McCord Web Services is an AdWords Certified Partner.

AdWords remarketing has been around for a while, but AdWords has made some nice changes recently and if you haven’t tried remarketing or tried it previously and did not have success, it is time to try it again.Remarketing audiences are easy to set up. You’ll access the audience creation feature from the slide out library menu on the left of your Google AdWords control panel. Go to the Shared Library and then Audiences. Build a new audience for your needs. I recommend one to target the whole website and then refine to specific audiences using tag rules.

Once your audience is set up, AdWords will generate code. Get your webmaster to install the code in all pages of your website. Make sure to update your privacy policy as you need to be transparent on what you are now doing and allow people to opt out of remarketing. There are some good privacy policy examples out there already for you to use as a starting point for your updates.

Then create a new Display campaign. At set up select remarketing as your option and the steps are very simple you will select your audience (pulled from your shared library) and then create text and display ads using the Display Ad Builder.

Once your audience lists hits 100 people, Google will start to serve ads. I have to say from experience that this process is now so simple and streamlined that it should be used by every account using AdWords. I like to set the daily budget at about $10 a day and pay about $.79 a click for most account initially. I have found that nearly all account are having conversion success with remarketing.

If you haven’t given AdWords remarketing a look, now’s the time to check it out to see if it would work for you.