2016 was a big year for Google AdWords and search marketers alike. Major enhancements to the Google AdWords platform were made to help advertisers reach the growing mobile device audience. As a digital advertising expert, I welcomed the changes with open arms because they presented me with a tremendous opportunity to improve my PPC performance.
Focusing on mobile growth and segmenting activity on desktop, mobile, and tablet gives me more control over my campaigns. And, in the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and goal setting, I’ve set my sights on taking my PPC performance enhancements to the next level.
The four big enhancements I plan to focus my optimization efforts on include device-level bidding, message extensions, expanded text ads, and responsive display ads. While I can’t divulge all of my PPC optimization secrets right now, these key insights will help guide you as you fine tune your plans for 2017.
With more control over how I bid on each device, I can set up my campaigns to be mobile, tablet, or desktop specific. While all of my landing pages are mobile-optimized, I find that my ad copy can resonate differently by device.
Further, different keywords perform better on mobile compared to desktop. This is why having more control over how to bid on each device is extremely beneficial. For example, long tail keywords perform much better on desktop while short tail keywords perform better on mobile. Therefore, I bid differently on mobile versus desktop.
Mobile search drives a variety of conversions, but the one that’s most often overlooked is the call conversion. Call extensions on mobile allow consumers a one-click action to get in touch with sales teams. And the numbers show that mobile consumers are using them. Mobile marketing will drive nearly 130 billion calls to US businesses in 2017. It’s important to get keyword-level call attribution so you can segment those keywords into their own high-value campaign and increase mobile bids.
The SMS messaging ad extension feature was released last year. This provides marketers with another opportunity to connect with consumers directly on their mobile device. I am very excited to test this feature out in 2017. My goal is to better understand the quality of communication via SMS as well as the keywords that drive this type of communication.
Mobile is a big factor here, so I will apply unique bids and budgets to optimize the performance based on the learnings that I derive from testing this feature.
Expanded Text Ads
The ability to include two headlines in an ad shows Google’s dedication to improving the quality of traffic advertisers pay for. The two headlines will also streamline the visual of the SERP (search engine results page). This feature has been a great opportunity to test different messaging tactics and improve quality score and CTR.
In 2016, I was focused on introducing expanded text ads into my account and testing against standard text ads. But now that I have historical data on my expanded text ads I’m ready to start a robust testing of headlines this year to really elevate our SERP presence.
Responsive Display Ads
The Google Display Network has been an elusive tactic for me in the past. I used to be skeptical of GDN, but now find it to be a growth tactic! And one of the reasons is because of the enhancement of responsive display ads.
Giving Google the ad assets (text, display URL, and image) enables Google the ability to showcase your ad in the format where it will make the most impact. Yes, Google wants you to get conversions because then you will spend more. So this new feature is really a win win for everyone. I urge you to test this ad format and give GDN another chance.
I look forward to this year’s performance and all the learnings that will be derived from tests. Want to further optimize your campaigns and improve both online leads and phone leads for your sales team? If so, you won’t want to miss our educational webinar series, starting with how to Maximize Leads With AdWords.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community