While I have no proof of this, November must be official "PPC Desktop App Update Month." Both Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter announced and released major updates this week. In both cases, there are many features for PPC managers to be excited about. Let's have a look.
Google AdWords Editor
The major updates to AdWords Editor are for those PPC managers who are utilizing AdWords to its full extent with mobile targeting, display ads, and remarketing.
WAP Image Ads
AdWords Editor now is capable of supporting the creation and management of WAP image ads for mobile. While you have been able to do this in the native interface, the ability to manage these ads on a massive/bulk scale is a sigh of relief. Oh -- and WAP is the new name for mobile ads.
More specifically, ads created with the Display Ad Builder tool in AdWords. From day one it has been a boon to advertisers that you can only employ these ads as one-off creations.
Now with AdWords Editor you can copy/paste ads into several ad groups or campaigns! Your abilities are still limited in that you can only edit the ad's name, display URL and destination URL, but this is a major improvement.
Many of you have been building and testing remarketing campaigns in AdWords for months now. Now you can assign and edit your carefully crafted Audiences directly from AdWords Editor.
This process assumes that you have created Audiences already in the native interface. This is very exciting as it will definitely speed up the process of replicating and expanding remarketing campaigns!
Microsoft adCenter Desktop
The updates to the adCenter Desktop tool are just as important now that the traffic running through your adCenter accounts has likely increased dramatically with the Search Alliance. This also means that you have a new mix of traffic sources with the combined Yahoo and Microsoft search networks, etc. The most important piece of this update is increased visibility and functionality surrounding those search networks.
Disapproved Ads and Keywords
Now you will be able to see and filter keywords and ads for disapproval reasons making it easier to resolve those issues (which I run into on a daily basis it seems!).
Pop Up for Timezone/Market
Campaign settings in adCenter have long been confusing at best and some settings are easy to overlook -- like Timezone and Market settings. This update includes a pop-up reminder to ensure you have these set before uploading new campaigns.
Playing catch up with AdWords Editor, now you can target users based on their device (e.g. PC, mobile, etc.). This is important because sorting out mobile traffic (when not running mobile ads, of course) can greatly improve CTR.
Search Network Distribution
This is probably the most important piece of the adCenter Desktop tool's update. Now that the Search Alliance transition is completed, a huge mix of traffic sources are pouring through your adCenter campaigns. While you can't target only Bing or only Yahoo, you can at least split up your traffic based on the entire network, only Yahoo and Bing sites or only Yahoo and Bing search partners.
While these tools will never be perfect, it is reassuring to see Google and Microsoft making strides in improving usability and available features through their desktop tools. With so many details to manage for PPC, any chance given by the engines to speed up a process here or fine tune a setting there will be taken gladly!