As we move into the fall, businesses looking to start pay-per-click advertising should note that the Google AdWords team was busy this summer. Here’s a quick rundown on what changes you may have missed.
Paid Product Search
The largest strategy shift for merchants this summer came when Google announced they were monetizing Google Shopping feeds and turning it into a paid product search through AdWords. No longer can online stores submit feeds for free through Google Base to be a part of the shopping search engine once known as Froogle. Product ads must now be created and use CPC bidding like other AdWords auctions, and there’s no more free ride. This has cut out many small businesses and “decluttered” the space, but notable retailing behemoths like Amazon have been slow to transition as well. This all-or-nothing move for Google is a gamble on the continued patronage of merchants because the fewer results returned to shoppers, the less useful the service becomes.
Another big change in AdWords has been sitewide remarketing tags, which can now be implemented via AdWords or Analytics. Previously, advertisers interested in retargeting users who did not convert had to put a different tag for every page of the funnel in order to differentiate between potential lost leads and confirmed conversions. Now a single tag can be placed across the run of site, and URL based filters can be used to create exclusions much more quickly and easily. Deployment via Google Analytics also allows complex sites with many variables to accurately retarget very specific groups of users for better results.
Flexible Display Targeting
Previously in AdWords Display campaigns, it was only possible to switch between Broad and Specific reach at the campaign level. Now with Flexible reach, advertisers can control the targeting type at the ad group level, allowing consolidation of campaigns and more dynamic changes without account restructuring.
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