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Keyword Planner, Flexible Bid Strategies Coming to AdWords Ahead of Enhanced Campaigns

Lisa Raehsler
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Google Enhanced Campaigns Smartphone to StoreSeveral pay-per-click marketing leaders gathered in Austin, Texas, for HeroConf this week and shared their top tips and tricks on PPC topics including retargeting, product ads, and PPC abroad.

Also at the search conference, Paul Feng, product management director, Google AdWords, shared a couple pieces of news during an afternoon keynote:

  • Keyword Planner: This new tool is a combination of the keyword research tool and traffic estimator. It features a new integrated workflow, so users can find new keywords and get traffic estimates at the same time. It's available in beta in about 5 percent of accounts as of this writing. This tool was developed in response to feedback that the current system, which consists of two tools, is awkward and clunky, requiring PPC marketers to navigate and work with a single keyword lists in different screens. You can expect this tool to be released “soon”.
  • Flexible bid strategies: This new feature was cooked up as a response to the enhanced campaigns backlash. Advertisers can set bid adjustments at campaign, ad group, or keyword level. For example, you could adjust bids based on a user's place in the sales funnel. One major feature of this flexible bidding to PPC marketers will be the ability for advertisers to set specific bid strategies, such as bid to top of page or to the first page. This is not bidding to a specific position on the page.

We also now know when all AdWords campaigns will become enhanced. The upgrade, originally slated for mid-June, has been pushed back to late July and assigned an exact date July 22, 2013, according to a note at the bottom of an AdWords blog post discussing a coming update that will allow advertisers to set mobile bid adjustments at the ad group level.

PPC marketers have had strong feelings about the enhanced campaign upgrade because it limits mobile and tablet targeting options. You can learn more about enhanced campaigns in these posts:

AdWords product announcements were only a small part of the search marketing conference. Several speakers shared tips and tricks. A few takeaways are featured here:

  • Nick Herinckx, Obility Consulting, presented at Remarketing: Your First Chance at a Second Impression. He recommended you get as granular as possible on the reporting for retargeting campaigns. Don’t stop at the form fill. Try to get beyond the sales funnel to get the lifetime value of the sale. Pass values in URL parameters and hidden form fields.
  • Big Data was the keyword for the day and the topic of the keynote presented by marketing optimization expert Bryan Eisenberg on Tuesday. Big data is big, unstructured, and real-time. “We don’t need to be as data-focused as we have been demanded to be, we need to tell good stories and be better marketers.”
  • International AdWords expert Brad Geddes, founder of Certified Knowledge, joined the conference via video chat on Skype. An attendee asked about his keyword match type strategy for a new account. Geddes noted the approach will vary, however, a good place to start is a combination of match and broad match modified.
  • Rick Galan of 1-800 Contacts expertly presented in Faster, Lighter, Cheaper: Increasing ROAS for SMB Ecommerce. Knowing exactly what you can spend, not what you spend, gives you the power in the auction. Understand your metrics, your margins, your costs, and base your return goals on strategy – not forecasts.
  • Mike Olson of Core Digital Media said advertisers should think of many targets vs only one target. You’ve segmented the search campaigns, why not the funnels? Get demographics from the data feedback. Look at how they are behaving on the site and responding via form, email, etc, keep it simple. Start with an easy way to ask your users for information and get the information you want.
  • Chris Kostecki of Keurig was a panelist on they Might Be Giants: Enterprise Ecommerce. Whether you choose to work with an agency or bring it in house, he said, you need to invest in PPC. You must invest in paid infrastructure, tools, and resources.
  • Shawn Livengood from homeimprovementleads.com spoke at Past, Present and Future PPC Trends. He said PPC has been through many iterations in the last decade. Long-term prospects for PPC are good, considering search engine efforts to emphasize paid results over free listings in the search engine results pages. He also noted that concerns about user privacy and changes in device usage will likely be challenges to face in the short term.
  • John Lee, Clix Marketing and SEW contributor, spoke on A Friend of a Friend: PPC for Facebook. Facebook Ads are the hot topic these days (well, other than enhanced campaigns). A few of the newest developments are making it even more enticing. Conversion tracking is huge. And it seems to work - so far. With the tracking, optimized CPM has evolved to include off Facebook conversions as well as likes, shares, etc. But what is most exciting is the Facebook Exchange (FBX) and Facebook remarketing. CPAs are solid with this new channel and is something he would recommend any advertiser give a try.

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