Have you ever looked at Google’s products like Drive or Analytics and thought how cool the design is? And then have you looked at your AdWords interface and wondered if you just did the timewarp to 2008? Well, Google has answered your prayers: over the next few weeks, your AdWords interface will be updated to bring it fully into 2014.

On the AdWords blog, Google announced that it will begin to roll out an updated interface to AdWords users. It eschews the green bars of the original and instead replaces it with a design much more akin to other Google products such as GMail and Google Drive. The major features will still exist in generally the same space, but the top menu will feature the unified header of the other Google products with a gear icon to access account settings.

The original post can be found here.

We always hear people lament how the holidays come ‘earlier and earlier each year’. Seeing snowmen and ornaments in stores before Thanksgiving used to be shocking – now, it’s not uncommon to see wintery decorations in Macy’s in the middle of October.

The holiday season is usually a big one for advertisers, especially those in retail. There’s never a bad time to start to get your paid search accounts ready to handle the coming months, and these five tips will help ensure that you’re able to handle whatever November and December have to throw at you:

  1. Make your ads say exactly what customers are searching for with Keyword Insertion.
    When using Google and Bing, any words included in your search query that also appear in ads and search listings are displayed in bold font. So, if your ad contains more of the words that the customer typed into the search bar, your ad will stand out more. This will lead to more clicks, more sales, and a happier and healthier holidays for everyone involved.
    Since you can’t predict exactly what everyone will search for, there’s a handy tool called Dynamic Keyword Insertion. Using it, you can have your ad dynamically insert what each user types into your ad, so when it appears, it contains exactly what the prospective customer searched for, and stands out with bold letters. This isn’t a panacea, and the character limit still comes into play, but used appropriately, it can help make a good ad great.
  2. Tell your customers why you’re awesome. Lots of advertisers waste the 25 characters in their ad headline and 70 in their ad text. Don’t be afraid to say straight-up why your products or services are better than your competitors. Make your paid search ads uniquely you.
  3. Lose the ‘www.’ in your display URL- it’s SO 2000’s. Google and Microsoft require that your top-level domain (TLD) be consistent with your landing page for your ads. So, if you’re sending people to www.ChoskeConsulting.com, that means the only thing you should put in your display URL is ChoskeConsulting.com. The same holds true if you’re sending people to AdWords.ChoskeConsulting.com/really-long-url/wow-this-is-long.html, you can still have your display URL say ChoskeConsulting.com (or, to be super cool, make it say ChoskeConsulting.com/PPC; anything outside of the TLD is yours to play with).
  4. Install Google Analytics to your website and link it to AdWords. If you use Google’s AdWords paid search platform, you need Google Analytics. Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) is a free solution that easily links to an AdWords account for paid search tracking. Even if you’re using Bing Ads or another provider, Analytics allows you to tag your inbound links to unify tracking of all your marketing channels in one place. Oh, and did I mention it’s free?
  5. Give Choske Consulting a call! (#shameless-plug) In all honesty, the best way to get your paid search accounts up-to-par is to get an evaluation from the experts. You wouldn’t go to the library and check out a book to learn how to give yourself an annual physical; you’d call a doctor and talk in-person with an expert who can do what is necessary to ensure you’re healthy. Make us your paid search marketing doctors!

“The only two constants in the universe are death and taxes.” I don’t know who originally said that, but, had they been around today, they would’ve added a third to that list: Google pushing AdWords updates. Lately, the search mega-giant has been releasing new features and platform updates to its pay-per-click (PPC) management system at an unparalleled pace. With all that is changing, it is hard for many advertisers to keep up.

One of the biggest releases from Google in the past year is Enhanced Campaigns. By now, all campaigns are now “enhanced”, meaning that your mobile outreach is now merged with your traditional computer outreach: enhanced campaigns allow you to target your ads within your existing campaign structure to both mobile and desktop users, without the need to create separate adgroups or campaigns.

The chief question on many peoples’ minds is, “what do these Enhanced Campaigns mean for me and my business?” Depending on your business, target market, and means of conversion, it can mean nothing or a whole ton. If your primary form of conversion is offline and you target the business or enterprise sector (with the majority of your traffic from computers), you’ll be able to sit on the sidelines of this one. For ecommerce and local retail, this is a game-changer. With simpler campaign management, you can modify ad variations based on a user’s platform, such as telling mobile users to ‘call now’ and for desktop user to ‘sign up’. An ecommerce site can direct users to mobile-friendly product pages for the casual iPad shopper, while raising their bids for serious desktop shoppers. Local shops that offer online orders or delivery may encourage people to ‘order online’ from their desktop system, ‘call’ from their phone, or ‘stop by’ if they are within two miles.

If you have questions about how to leverage this new development for your business, you can check out all the blog posts, Help Center articles, and conflicting ‘best practice’ guides out there…or you could just give us a call!

Today, Google finally announced a way to upgrade your current Analytics accounts to the new Universal Analytics code without losing your historical data. Previously, users had to create a new Analytics profile in order to take advantage of the new tracking script. Today’s announcement created a path for people who didn’t want to create new profiles and lose their previous data with a way to now take advantage of the new tracking features and new code.

What is Universal Tracking? Google Analytics has always been a powerful platform for tracking online interactions, but has lacked in mobile and offline tracking. Universal Tracking seeks to bring your entire business into one, unified dashboard that can track users on your site, on your mobile app, and how they interact with you offline as well.

I’m sold-let’s go! Well, you may have to wait a bit: this new option is rolling out gradually. However, you’ll want to start to work with an experienced Google Analytics provider to ensure that your site and apps are ready for the new tracking code and that your current implementation is giving you data that you’ll be able to get value from in the future. The new script and system will allow you to have greater insight into how users are interacting with your business and Analytics will be able to easily expand along with your customer engagement efforts.

Got more questions? Callus! We’re happy to help. Feel free to pull up Google’s announcement (http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/10/an-easy-way-to-upgrade-to-universal_23.html) and give us a call!

Choske Consulting! We’re here to change the world by giving you the tools to do it.