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Meet us at dmexco!

Meet us at dmexco

With camato, our unique semantic PPC technology, we are working hard to make a world of automated PPC campaign creation accessible to you. Three out of the ten largest fashion e-retailers in Europe as well as more e-commerce big players use camato to create high-quality AdWords campaigns for millions of keywords with just the click of a button – and with perfectly matching ad copy which target your customers and lead them to where they need to go. In addition to saving up to 75% of your time, your revenue also rises by an average of 150%.

This year we will introduce the latest camato features at dmexco, Germany’s largest exposition for digital marketing, in Hall 7/booth D055 – E054.

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The transition to Google Shopping – What do advertisers have to care about?

Google Shopping

There are only a couple of days left until Google abandons its PLA campaigns, which will then be completely replaced by the new Shopping campaigns launched earlier this year. For this reason, I want to give you a short overview of what to keep in mind and how you can work on a smooth transition – in case you have not done it yet – including an easy step by step guideline which will help you to get ready during the last couple of days!

What are Product Listings?

Product listings have become one of the most vital parts of any successful PPC strategy, especially for retailers offering products with a high online competition. In comparison to usual search ads, product listings offer the possibility of actually seeing the product before clicking on the ad, including the price, shipping costs and the most important product information delivered in the title (see image on top).

Why the transition?

Questions arise why there actually has to be a transition from PLA campaigns to Shopping campaigns. I will try to answer that question: product listing have become an important part of retailers’ campaigns, sometimes spending up to 60 or 70 % of the total paid search budget on PLAs. Until Shopping campaigns were launched, PLA campaigns have always been modified search campaigns connected with a client’s Merchant Center. Therefore, developing dedicated campaign types was just a matter of time.

In addition to that, PLA campaigns could not offer you detailed reports of the performance of single products unless you set up your campaigns very granular – one product ID per ad group. But with the new Shopping campaigns you get far more new data via Google, such as performance data on products and brands. All of which can be found either on ad group or campaign level.

What to keep in mind during the transition

Ideally, you have already transferred your campaigns to Shopping campaigns or are almost done with the transition. According to my experience, it takes a while for every campaign to achieve a performance in scope with your key performance indicators (KPIs). Therefore, Google recommended a gradual transition when it announced the end of PLA campaigns.

When you already have enough data on your PLA campaigns, you can use this data to build up your new Shopping campaigns. Just figure out which brands, products or product types already work well and start with these for your campaigns. Give the product groups their own ad groups. Others, for example brands, can be set up within one ad group at the beginning and gradually be split up as soon as you see that enough relevant and valuable data has been gathered. If you split them up granular, you should also make sure to exclude other targets and other products in “All Products”!

Have you used AdWords Labels with your PLAs? Don’t forget to rework them, make them Custom Labels and use more relevant product targets to set up your campaigns. Choose these carefully and make sure they reflect ad groups and campaigns you intend to set up.

If you offer seasonal products give them a label and set up an own campaign for them. With Shopping campaigns, you have the possibility to set campaign priorities. So if you want to promote your ‘sale‘ products separately you can set up an own campaign for them, set their campaign priority to high and make sure that they are only displayed via their own dedicated campaign. While this campaign is active, your labeled products will not be displayed via other Shopping campaigns.

You should also make sure to use the extra reports now being offered with Shopping. You receive great and detailed insights that will help you to improve your performance.

A step-by-step transition guideline

  1. Think about how you want to set up your Shopping campaign. By brands? Or by product types? Do you need labels for special product targets? Make sure that you do not waste time on reworking the feed over and over because you didn’t plan your process!
  2. Check your current PLA campaign(s). Do you already know what product targets work well? Use them to have a first outline of which targets you can already set up in own ad groups and which ones you keep in one overall ad group at first. Start simple!
  3. Rework your feed – use Custom Labels instead of AdWords Labels! While reworking this part of your feed you can also use the time to make sure it is still up to date to Google’s feed requirements.
  4. Get started! Setting up Shopping campaigns in the user interface feels kind of odd at the beginning but do not worry: You will eventually get used to it. Don’t forget to exclude certain product targets as well. Take your time at the beginning to figure out the best workflow for the setup.
  5. Pause your PLA targets as soon as you are ready to start with Shopping. If you have not started yet, you will not have enough time for a smooth transition anymore, but try to use the last couple of days. In order to avoid conversion and turnover drops, pause your PLA ad groups and campaigns step by step, activating the correspondent Shopping ones at the same time.
  6. As soon as you have transferred your traffic from PLA to Shopping, you are done. You can finally start checking the performance of your new campaign(s) and use the new reports and insights offered by Google.

Google also offers an upgrade tool for PLAs, which creates a Shopping campaign from your regular PLA campaign, with a campaign structure and bids based on your regular PLA campaign and historical performance data.

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Optimize paid search campaigns to meet business goals

Many of you measure the success of paid search campaigns based on the number of conversions or sales alone. Don’t take it personally but I think this is the wrong approach! PPC optimisation should focus more on business goals. And an enhanced conversion tracking system is the key to it.

Let’s have a look at a simplified conversion chain:

Simplified Conversion Chain

From the search query and the click on an ad through to the order: a PPC campaign can be analysed and optimised at many places of a conversion chain. The conversion itself though should be tracked in detail because it plays an essential role to check the effectiveness of promotional activities properly. It is also crucial for the optimisation of the account by a bid management system. For example, if one has a keyword with a higher than average conversion rate, this keyword may be priced higher as it promises some success. But a closer examination of the conversions shows that the keyword has a particularly low margin. Bidding higher because of the high CR will get you more traffic, but this traffic won’t be very profitable.

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How to organize your PPC team more effectively – plan your work!

How to plan your work

Welcome back to our series on “how to organize your PPC team more effectively”. You already know that you need to trust your team and that focussed tasks can help you to structure your daily work:

  1. Trust your team
  2. Focus on one task per day
  3. How to plan your work
  4. Structure your meetings

In this blog posting I would like to talk about long-term planning because it is something I have neglected for far too long and maybe you have as well? Spending some time on drawing up a good strategy can help you to become much more efficient and successful in the long-term. And who wouldn’t like to work less to gain more?

Now let’s put some meat onto the bones. I will give you a quick overview at first, before I’m going to drill down into it.

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Case Study: “Buy” vs. “Discount” vs. None in Retail PPC Campaigns

goggle-adwords-buy-vs-discount
It is a well-know best practice to use words like “buy” or “discount” in paid search ad copies. But do search words like “buy“ or “discount” really improve the key performance indicators of your retail AdWords campaigns? That’s what I want to find out.

Theory

Let’s have a look at the theory first. If a search query contains “buy”, “online shop” or something similar, you know that the user really wants to buy something – it is nobody who wants to gather some information about fashion or price. He or she really wants to shop. So what you would expect is a higher conversion rate compared to keywords without the buy-indicator.

If someone searches for “discount”, “cheap” or “sale” you also know that he or she wants to shop. But you know more than this, you know that he/she is a price-conscious buyer. So the conversion rate will depend on how many inexpensive or reduced articles show up on your landing page. On the other hand, it is likely that the average basket value and therefore key metrics like earning per click (EPC) or return on investment (ROI) are lower.

Case study

Now let’s have a look at the data. I analysed a big US fashion retailer, looking only at the generic keywords, i. e. all keywords that do not contain a brand name or designer. My findings are: Continue reading “Case Study: “Buy” vs. “Discount” vs. None in Retail PPC Campaigns” »

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What’s new in Bing Ads this July?

Bing Ads

One could say that silly season has reached Bing Ads as well. This month there are ‘only’ three new features which I’m briefly going to summarize for you.

Create insertion orders online

If you are using invoice billing for your Bing account, you can create an insertion order in Bing Ads to pay your bill.

BA_Conc_IO_Workflow

Source: Bing Ads

From now on you can create and manage your insertion order completely online. All insertion orders will be processed quickly and automatically and there is no more emailing, faxing, or waiting.

New bid estimates

The ad position is determined by many factors such as bid, relevance or CTR. Bing made it easier for advertisers to get their ads in the best positions.

BA_Conc_AdPosition

Source: Bing Ads

From now on, there are three new columns on the keywords tab. These columns will give advertisers an estimate of the bid needed to get their ads displayed on the mainline, best position and first page of search results. But attention: the estimates do not guarantee the predicted ad position.

More help with displaying your ads

Your ads might be eligible for display, but sometimes there are certain indicators that they won’t perform well. Therefore, Bing Ads added two new delivery statuses: “Low quality score,” which indicates that your ads might not display as often as desired due to a low quality score, and “Low supply”, which tells you that this particular keyword is not searched for often and impressions might be low.

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Product Listing Ads now with product ratings

Shoppers on Amazon love them: product ratings. They are one of the most important influencers on shoppers because people tend to trust other people’s opinion on products. That’s why a lot of retailers implement product ratings within their websites as well.

Yesterday, Google announced that Product Listing Ads, i.e. ads with product information like product image, price or retailer, will now also show product ratings on google.com and google.com/shopping.

Product Ratings PLA

Source: Inside AdWords

Right now, only shoppers in the U.S.A. will see these 5-star ratings. The rating system represents aggregated rating and review data for the product, compiled from multiple sources including merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites and users.

How can I use product ratings?

First of all, you need to be a merchant targeting the United States. And you need to share all of your product review content with Google, either directly or through an approved third-party aggregator. From late July until October Google will show product ratings where there is data available. After that period, merchants need to choose to share reviews to be shown.

How can I share my review content?

To use product ratings you need to submit your content by completing Google’s product ratings form. Attention: due to high inquiry volumes in the beginning it might take some time until your inquiry will be addressed. As most of the times, Google will open up product ratings to merchants outside the U.S. in the future.

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How to organize your PPC team more effectively – focus on one task per day!

On task per day

Welcome back to our series on how to improve the organization of your PPC team.

  1. Trust your team
  2. Focus on one task per day
  3. How to plan your work
  4. Structure your meetings

In the first part, I talked a bit about why overseeing everything and everybody as well as doing half the work yourself might not be the best way to create a productive workplace for you and your employees.

Now that we have the basics out of the way, I want to dig a little bit deeper into how my team works and share our secret philosophy on focus tasks with you.

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Google introduces dynamic sitelinks to AdWords

Dynamic Sitelinks

©Google

For quite some time now, you can use ad extensions like seller ratings, reviews, locations, app extensions or sitelinks in Google AdWords to drive clicks and CTR. Some of them are generated automatically, some are not. Especially sitelinks are an popular extension. They come in addition to the main landing page and, by showing links to specific pages on your website, help you to send customers to important pages with just one click.

Regular Sitelinks

Regular sitelinks

Yesterday, Google introduced dynamic sitelinks. Just like seller ratings or customer reviews, dynamic sitelinks will be generated automatically. However, Google itself states that it is “important to continue adding and optimizing sitelinks because impression share for dynamic sitelinks will be low.” Regular, manually created, sitelinks will always show first, except the dynamic sitelinks perform better. Although this will save you time and simplify AdWords campaign management, I don’t think that dynamic sitelinks will come out on top. Other than seller ratings, sitelinks need quite some work in order to be linked to the right landing page. Otherwise user experience will be bad and sales will decrease.

The global rollout of dynamic sitelinks already began. What’s also interesting is the fact that clicks on dynamic sitelinks are free (you’ll still be charged for clicks on the headline of your ad and other ad extensions) and can be disabled.

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Dynamic Search Ads – helpful or a pain in the neck?

dynamic search ads

©Google

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs): one of the most debated subjects among PPC experts. Are they really helpful or rather a pain in the neck? The way people are searching online is continuously evolving and Dynamic Search Ads, if created and managed correctly, turn out to be a powerful tool to enhance your account. At the same time they can also produce a lot of irrelevant traffic and unwished costs. Let’s see why!

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