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Sep 2020 Paid Advertising Roundup from Mabo: Google Limits Search Terms & More

As we come to the end of Q3, preparations are underway to take advantage of the seasonal peaks to maximize on this upcoming potential. The ability to access a monumental amount of data is our biggest ally in the battle for profitability. New updates can come as a rallying cry of innovation or a new hurdle to surpass; the way we react to these changes can be a defining attribute for any advertiser.

1. Google Ads

1.1 – Google Reducing Visibility For Search Terms

In a heavily disputed move, Google announced on the Ads platform that they will start hiding low-traffic search terms, only showing high-traffic results. To confirm, even if that term received a click, it might not show up.

Data is king in this industry, whatever the amount, so this move has received some rather negative feedback. According to Google, this is a move to support privacy and protect user data, which seems slightly hypocritical considering how many user signals are tracked and used for smart bidding.

1.2 – In-Market Audiences Available for Shopping Campaigns

Google’s latest CSS newsletter has announced that in-market audiences have officially been launched for Shopping campaigns, a hugely welcome feature for many of us. With smart bidding taking away a lot of optimization opportunities, audiences are now more critical than ever given that you can still enhance your smart bidding through adjustments. Additional audiences bring more options for you to optimize your bidding, allowing you to utilize that data tweak your bidding on a more granular level.

1.3 – Create Rules More Efficiently In Merchant Center

Feed rules have become even easier to do in the Merchant Center. You can add multiple words and phrases within a single rule with new options giving access to ‘any of’ variants, such as ‘contains any of’. Gone are the days of arduously creating a rule for each query to action on; quality-of-life improvements like these are a real step forward for user efficiency.

2. Microsoft Ads

2.1 – Dynamic Remarketing & More

One of the best additions this month comes from Microsoft, giving us a huge boost just in time for the holiday season with some powerful audience features.

Dynamic Remarketing is now accessible for advertisers, allowing you to target your audience with the very products they’ve been viewing; a perfect fit for Black Friday, Christmas and more. Go one step further with LinkedIn Profile Targeting, giving you a unique approach to create custom audiences based on a user’s company, job function and industry.

Finally, in-market audiences are now available for both France and Germany.

3. The Digital Services Tax (gov.uk publication)

3.1 – Google Parrying the New Tax

Google’s answer to tackling the new DST fees is one that’s come with shock, with them imposing the tax onto the advertiser’s bill as a percentage of spend. Initially affecting the UK, Austria and Turkey, the fees will start as of November 1 with a straight 2% of a UK account’s monthly spend being added onto the bill, rising to 5% for Austria & Turkey accounts.

Although this fee impacts all businesses, it does seem exceptionally harsh to SMEs, having just dealt with the economic repercussions of lockdown.

3.2 – Amazon Following Suit

Amazon has followed the same approach as Google by forwarding the new tax onto its sellers, their justification being that they absorbed the DST whilst the legislation was in the process of being passed. The fees for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) will increase by 2% as of September 1 and 15, respectively.

3.3 – Facebook’s Heroic Response

Facebook has a history of sour representation given David Fincher’s powerful 2010 drama and congressional hearing that sprouted several unflattering memes. Yet in an inspiring move, they have announced their intention to absorb the new tax so that it’s not passed onto sellers.

We’re seeing a rare glimpse of ethical responsibility coming from Facebook in a bold act that will surely improve their image.

A Controversial September

This September is one that advertisers may hope to forget. Despite Google bringing some practical updates, they’ve also included some revisions which are arguably more detrimental to the ads platform. Amazon continues to be frugal and Facebook is taking an unexpected moral high ground, though we’re yet to hear any official word from Microsoft.

Unlike the last two months showering us with utility updates, this month hasn’t been half as fruitful.

For more information on Mabo and their paid advertising management services, please visit Mabo.co.uk.

Paid Advertising Roundup from Mabo: July 2020

The paid advertising industry is a continuous train ride of updates that, if you don’t keep up with, you’ll eventually get left behind. We’ve seen some major acceleration come with automation, how responsive ads & smart bidding are redefining our roles in the field.

To master these changes is to understand how to utilize them to their fullest.

Each month, we’ll break down the latest digest from the industry, giving you the head start you need to stay on track and the knowledge that you’re one step ahead.

New Features For Responsive Search Ads

Google have already shown us just how effective Responsive Search Ads were when they came about but now they’re taking them to the next level. To further enhance just how dynamic these ads can be, you can now insert locations and use custom countdowns.

It’s good to see updates on their latest products to include these already powerful features.

To quote Google, “Over 80% of digital marketers’ time is spent on manual tasks like reporting, while only 20% is spent on strategy.” We can find ourselves utilizing valuable time just getting the right data into the right place.

Thankfully they have our back with asset reporting, adding performance ratings & including descriptions, allowing you to analyze the ad copy that’s performing best — a very useful area for consolidating performance across your ads, which later becomes helpful for AB testing.

To learn more about these new Responsive Search Ads features, click here.

A New Look For Responsive Display Ads

Google have recently brought new additions to their Responsive Display Ads, focusing on customer engagement, with new designs & automated video. Three new ad layouts have been added to the mix, designed for engagement but with a crisp aesthetic in mind.

Also, you can now automatically create video ads just by using the images and ad copy available, using animations to switch between the assets to create an engaging experience for the user. The is a great resource for those smaller firms who might not have the funding or capacity to create custom video ads.

To find out more about the new looks for responsive display ads, click here.

Buy On Google Goes Commission-Free

Image courtesy of Google.com

We can all appreciate a seamless checkout experience with Amazon leading in that area. To fight back, Google released their own checkout service ‘Buy on Google’ but unfortunately for merchants, it came with a fee. Not anymore.

Starting in the US, the checkout service has zero commissions granting retailers free access to this payment system, dealing a major blow to Amazon. As we see our audiences shifting more towards this purchase option, it can only mean more weight being added to paid ads.

To find out more about this, click here.

Microsoft Ads

Discover Powerful New Keywords With Keyword Planner

In true Microsoft style, features we know and love from Google Ads are continually being added to Microsoft’s platform with the latest update bringing the Keyword Planner. Some accounts may not have the ability to import existing data so having this tool to help expand new campaigns is another step forward.

To find out more about this new tool, click here.

Facebook Ads

Facebook’s Shops: A Revolution In Social Media Shopping

Facebook have released some exciting and much-needed changes pushing their shopping presence into an impressive new direction. Facebook Shops allows users to buy products straight from their account, through a ‘catalogue’ of regularly updated stock, essentially their version of a shopping feed.

Users can add their payment information to their account, alongside other information such as size, resulting in a shop’s page dynamically showing the products available with a system to purchase without having to venture through their website.

This is huge for social media advertisers, where Analytics and a convoluted sales funnel was one of the main ways to gauge performance. The ability to have direct attribution coming straight from the Shops platform for metrics such as revenue & ROAS will be priceless for advertisers.

Advertisers can check stock, upload inventory, check insights and more through the Commerce Manager, the centralized hub for Facebook Shops. Granted that their platform already has over 2 billion monthly active users, the potential here is mind-blowing.

UK businesses will have to hold on though, with this service only being available in the US to start with unless they can get hold of an American bank account.

It doesn’t stop there though as with the Facebook Shops platform, you can create augmented reality ads, which allows users to envision how that particular product might look in their living room or if that shirt they like goes with their favorite pair of jeans.

To find out more about Facebook Shops, click here and to find out more about Commerce Manager, click here.

Facebook’s Roadmap

Building on their 10-year roadmap, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent talks have continued talking about how to combine their services, Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp. They have announced plans to merge the chats of these services into one.

Whether that’s just the technical infrastructure of the app itself hasn’t fully been confirmed but with ads now present in Messenger, this potential merge could introduce more opportunities, or frustration, to these social media networks.

What does this mean for the future?

July brings a step forward for PPC providers chasing in the footsteps of the giant that is Google, who themselves are further emphasizing the future that is dynamic advertising.

We’re seeing Microsoft establishing themselves as a top player adding more enticing features to their platform and rumors that Smart Shopping is on the horizon.

The e-commerce experience is drastically improving with Google & Facebook retaliating against Amazon giving retailers & consumers more options to buy directly.

Our creativity is progressing at an incredible level, where we can utilize the vast amount of user data available to create ads tailored to the individual. The industry is rapidly evolving and it’s our job to keep up.

For more information on Mabo and their paid advertising management services, please visit Mabo.co.uk.

PPC Mastered! Art Meets Science at SMX West

On the heels of great sessions and networking at this year’s two Friends of Search events in Amsterdam, Optmyzr is gearing up for back-to-back SMX sessions you won’t want to miss in February.

SMX West always draws a great crowd of search marketers from around the country. We celebrate all skill levels and those of us fortunate to host SMX sessions learn as much as we give. 

This year, Optmyzr will present two high-impact sessions focusing on essential skills for mid- to advanced search marketing pros hoping to separate from the pack as a PPC rockstar.

Both Optmyzr presentations happen Wednesday, February 19 at the San Jose Convention Center. We present amid a great lineup of presenters on the full agenda, but for those craving in-depth learning about SEM/PPC in 2020, I encourage you to check out our sessions. 

Following our SMX sessions, our team will also host an Optmyzr workshop at the WeWork office just down the road of the convention center. You can register for our workshop here: https://forms.gle/rHu56nZy3oAboDys7.

Here’s a look at what we’ll cover at SMX West: 

The Art of Structuring Search and Shopping Campaigns

Over the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen huge advancements in search marketers’ abilities to craft and manage high performing search and shopping campaigns. The tools in Google and Bing have become much more immersive for users as both platforms are offering many more features and functionality. At the same time, platform automations take much of the guesswork out of core search and shopping campaigns. 

We’ll go deeper during our first SMX session (Wednesday, February 19 at 11:30 AM). 

While it’s become pretty easy and fail-safe to do the basics well, we’ll dive into the art to using the tools to their potential. We’ll explore what’s good and not-so-good about popular structures such as alpha/beta, single keyword ad groups, and GriP (groups of individual products). 

This session will also show you how to easily deploy free automations in the platforms in ways that maintain target structures in a dynamic environment. We’ll dig into other free tools within Google and Bing that you might not be using to analyze data in ways that are better aligned with your unique business needs. 

Perhaps most powerful, though, we’ll bring clarity to how campaign structures work alongside Smart Bidding and other automations. AND we’ll go beyond the platform-level automations to help marketers see how third-party PPC management tools can elevate their role from marketing tactician to genius-level, groundbreaking PPC superstar.

And speaking of “genius level”…

Genius-Level Microsoft Ads, Google Ads Optimizations

Our second SMX session on the 19th is a natural extension of the earlier discussion about search and shopping ads. Entitled “Genius Level Microsoft Ads, Google Ads Optimizations,” our 2:30 PM session will explore ways to optimize across Microsoft Ads AND Google Ads in tandem. 

Using automation layering via Optmyzr, we’ll showcase ways to tackle critical tasks and manage platform automations that will give the PPC pro greater control over his or her search marketing programs. Let’s face it, the PPC pie is getting much bigger. While Google remains king, Bing is continuing to carve out its place as the other big player in search. It’s essential to know how to work in both platforms – essentially working together.

I’ll present alongside Mark Irvine, Senior Data Scientist from Wordstream. Together, we’ll help learn to build a unique PPC game plan for your business, along with a scalable, executable strategy. 

Working in both platforms, you’ll also need to know and understand the important, and often subtle, differences between the two big search engines. Master the automations and gain genius-level status to optimize in both universes. 

SMX West is always a great event for our team, and it’s right in Optmyzr’s backyard. Check out the agenda for this year’s event and be sure to check out our sessions in the SEM/PPC track. If you spot me in the hallways or after a session, just yell “Fred!” I’d love to connect with you. If time allows, maybe even grab a cup of coffee. 

And don’t forget to tell us if you’d like to join our free workshop from 4:30pm – 5:45pm in San Jose on February 19th, right after our sessions at SMX.

See you in San Jose!

Microsoft Advertising Automation Roadmap for 2019/2020

Microsoft product teams shed some light on their automation roadmap for the coming year.

Automation features in beta

Automation features coming soon

What role will people play when it’s all automated?

I asked the Microsoft team their thoughts on Smart campaigns and whether these would compete with the services an agency might offer their clients.

Right now their sentiment is that Smart campaigns are intended to help small direct advertisers who don’t know much about PPC and who don’t have the help from an agency or a tool like Optmyzr. It’s a way to bring more advertisers onto the Microsoft Advertising platform and help them see success. Sophisticated advertisers will still want to continue using the traditional campaign types where they have more controls.

Are Smart Display and Smart Shopping coming?

The Smart campaigns that are on the roadmap are only for search right now. Microsoft did not announce a timeline for Smart Display and Smart Shopping campaigns.

Bing Ads is Now Microsoft Advertising: What’s with the New Name?

The role and relevance of PPC in the broader digital advertising mix just got a little bigger today (okay…maybe a LOT bigger). This week, Microsoft is unveiling a newly branded “Microsoft Advertising” and is shedding the more-limiting “Bing Ads” monniker. We’re already seeing this is more than just a name change.

Microsoft is rolling out the branding changes to its PPC advertising platform at this week’s Global Partner Summit in Redmond. The decision to rebrand the expanding presence of Bing Ads in the search landscape is clearly a move to demonstrate its broader capabilities and deeper connections to Microsoft’s overall engagement strategies.

Why is Microsoft doing this? Think back to July 2018 when Google did something similar, renaming AdWords to Google Ads. Clearly a move to demonstrate the platform had gone far beyond text ads, requiring a broader name.

Microsoft’s motivation is clearly rooted in some of the same notion. Pay-Per-Click advertising has moved way beyond matching up search terms and intent with advertising opportunities to drive action. Microsoft is aligning Microsoft Advertising (the platform formerly known as Bing Ads) with the broader aspects of search marketing. In its announcement today, Microsoft led with the notion about “making each connection feel one-to-one, at just the right time and place.”

By rebranding to Microsoft Advertising, the company can more readily connect what it’s doing in the PPC world with other marketing-specific products such as the Microsoft Audience Network. The company is also planning to develop a deeper connection to its partner program, which is now known as the “Microsoft Ads Partner Program.”

In tandem to the name change for Bing Ads, Microsoft is unveiling a new Sponsored Products offering. This new program brings innovative new alignment of marketing efforts between manufacturers (brands) and sellers (retailers). New reporting and optimization opportunities make it easier for brands and retailers to partner more directly for shared success.

Growth, Momentum, Direction

Google still holds the lion’s share of the market, particularly in the US, but Microsoft seems to be stepping on the gas more aggressively now. After 100 consecutive months of market share growth for Bing and it’s strategic push with Verizon Media, Microsoft can no longer have a perception that Bing Ads is a singular, in-the-corner PPC business. The platform and opportunities are expanding significantly, driven in large part by rapid advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Four must-know takeaways from today’s announcement:

  1. Bing (the search engine) is still Bing. Microsoft is not abandoning the consumer-recognized search platform’s brand at all (no need to mess with something that is gaining traction against Google). Bing users will still go to bing.com to launch their search journey. The branding change is all about the ad platform associated with Bing.

  2. Microsoft perhaps sees some of the biggest opportunity around the Sponsored Products offering. This is important because brand owners can gain greater visibility into how their products are performing through their retailers, driving much deeper insight. When a retailer and brand are both running products ads today, it’s not clear to the brand owner how their product is really faring in the market. They only see stats from their own campaigns.

With new sponsored products opportunities, the brand can get a more complete picture by seeing how their products perform when advertised through the retailers.  
  1. Retailers can benefit from these changes too because the door opens wider to forge agreements in which the brands themselves could pick up part of the advertising costs. Shared benefits = shared interests.

  2. We expect to see continued improvement in the consumer experience through the Bing search platform. Combined with a continuing trend of market share gains for Bing, we expect the changes to drive even more clicks to product ads, which is a category of ads that has been surging in volume for the last few years, in particular.

Bing and Google will undoubtedly continue to duke it out for search supremacy. It may be one of the best examples of healthy competition in the marketplace. With each move by the big players, they need to deliver greater value to the consumers and the advertisers who pay to engage with people in the moment.

Let’s not forget our friends at Amazon who continue to work their wizardry to capture shopping intent and drive conversion. The Optmyzr team is studying every move by these players and we’re working closely with them to ensure we can simplify the work you do in the trenches to be the PPC rockstar your clients demand.

Regular Pages

Sep 2020 Paid Advertising Roundup from Mabo: Google Limits Search Terms & More

As we come to the end of Q3, preparations are underway to take advantage of the seasonal peaks to maximize on this upcoming potential. The ability to access a monumental amount of data is our biggest ally in the battle for profitability. New updates can come as a rallying cry of innovation or a new hurdle to surpass; the way we react to these changes can be a defining attribute for any advertiser.

1. Google Ads

1.1 – Google Reducing Visibility For Search Terms

In a heavily disputed move, Google announced on the Ads platform that they will start hiding low-traffic search terms, only showing high-traffic results. To confirm, even if that term received a click, it might not show up.

Data is king in this industry, whatever the amount, so this move has received some rather negative feedback. According to Google, this is a move to support privacy and protect user data, which seems slightly hypocritical considering how many user signals are tracked and used for smart bidding.

1.2 – In-Market Audiences Available for Shopping Campaigns

Google’s latest CSS newsletter has announced that in-market audiences have officially been launched for Shopping campaigns, a hugely welcome feature for many of us. With smart bidding taking away a lot of optimization opportunities, audiences are now more critical than ever given that you can still enhance your smart bidding through adjustments. Additional audiences bring more options for you to optimize your bidding, allowing you to utilize that data tweak your bidding on a more granular level.

1.3 – Create Rules More Efficiently In Merchant Center

Feed rules have become even easier to do in the Merchant Center. You can add multiple words and phrases within a single rule with new options giving access to ‘any of’ variants, such as ‘contains any of’. Gone are the days of arduously creating a rule for each query to action on; quality-of-life improvements like these are a real step forward for user efficiency.

2. Microsoft Ads

2.1 – Dynamic Remarketing & More

One of the best additions this month comes from Microsoft, giving us a huge boost just in time for the holiday season with some powerful audience features.

Dynamic Remarketing is now accessible for advertisers, allowing you to target your audience with the very products they’ve been viewing; a perfect fit for Black Friday, Christmas and more. Go one step further with LinkedIn Profile Targeting, giving you a unique approach to create custom audiences based on a user’s company, job function and industry.

Finally, in-market audiences are now available for both France and Germany.

3. The Digital Services Tax (gov.uk publication)

3.1 – Google Parrying the New Tax

Google’s answer to tackling the new DST fees is one that’s come with shock, with them imposing the tax onto the advertiser’s bill as a percentage of spend. Initially affecting the UK, Austria and Turkey, the fees will start as of November 1 with a straight 2% of a UK account’s monthly spend being added onto the bill, rising to 5% for Austria & Turkey accounts.

Although this fee impacts all businesses, it does seem exceptionally harsh to SMEs, having just dealt with the economic repercussions of lockdown.

3.2 – Amazon Following Suit

Amazon has followed the same approach as Google by forwarding the new tax onto its sellers, their justification being that they absorbed the DST whilst the legislation was in the process of being passed. The fees for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) will increase by 2% as of September 1 and 15, respectively.

3.3 – Facebook’s Heroic Response

Facebook has a history of sour representation given David Fincher’s powerful 2010 drama and congressional hearing that sprouted several unflattering memes. Yet in an inspiring move, they have announced their intention to absorb the new tax so that it’s not passed onto sellers.

We’re seeing a rare glimpse of ethical responsibility coming from Facebook in a bold act that will surely improve their image.

A Controversial September

This September is one that advertisers may hope to forget. Despite Google bringing some practical updates, they’ve also included some revisions which are arguably more detrimental to the ads platform. Amazon continues to be frugal and Facebook is taking an unexpected moral high ground, though we’re yet to hear any official word from Microsoft.

Unlike the last two months showering us with utility updates, this month hasn’t been half as fruitful.

For more information on Mabo and their paid advertising management services, please visit Mabo.co.uk.

Paid Advertising Roundup from Mabo: July 2020

The paid advertising industry is a continuous train ride of updates that, if you don’t keep up with, you’ll eventually get left behind. We’ve seen some major acceleration come with automation, how responsive ads & smart bidding are redefining our roles in the field.

To master these changes is to understand how to utilize them to their fullest.

Each month, we’ll break down the latest digest from the industry, giving you the head start you need to stay on track and the knowledge that you’re one step ahead.

New Features For Responsive Search Ads

Google have already shown us just how effective Responsive Search Ads were when they came about but now they’re taking them to the next level. To further enhance just how dynamic these ads can be, you can now insert locations and use custom countdowns.

It’s good to see updates on their latest products to include these already powerful features.

To quote Google, “Over 80% of digital marketers’ time is spent on manual tasks like reporting, while only 20% is spent on strategy.” We can find ourselves utilizing valuable time just getting the right data into the right place.

Thankfully they have our back with asset reporting, adding performance ratings & including descriptions, allowing you to analyze the ad copy that’s performing best — a very useful area for consolidating performance across your ads, which later becomes helpful for AB testing.

To learn more about these new Responsive Search Ads features, click here.

A New Look For Responsive Display Ads

Google have recently brought new additions to their Responsive Display Ads, focusing on customer engagement, with new designs & automated video. Three new ad layouts have been added to the mix, designed for engagement but with a crisp aesthetic in mind.

Also, you can now automatically create video ads just by using the images and ad copy available, using animations to switch between the assets to create an engaging experience for the user. The is a great resource for those smaller firms who might not have the funding or capacity to create custom video ads.

To find out more about the new looks for responsive display ads, click here.

Buy On Google Goes Commission-Free

Image courtesy of Google.com

We can all appreciate a seamless checkout experience with Amazon leading in that area. To fight back, Google released their own checkout service ‘Buy on Google’ but unfortunately for merchants, it came with a fee. Not anymore.

Starting in the US, the checkout service has zero commissions granting retailers free access to this payment system, dealing a major blow to Amazon. As we see our audiences shifting more towards this purchase option, it can only mean more weight being added to paid ads.

To find out more about this, click here.

Microsoft Ads

Discover Powerful New Keywords With Keyword Planner

In true Microsoft style, features we know and love from Google Ads are continually being added to Microsoft’s platform with the latest update bringing the Keyword Planner. Some accounts may not have the ability to import existing data so having this tool to help expand new campaigns is another step forward.

To find out more about this new tool, click here.

Facebook Ads

Facebook’s Shops: A Revolution In Social Media Shopping

Facebook have released some exciting and much-needed changes pushing their shopping presence into an impressive new direction. Facebook Shops allows users to buy products straight from their account, through a ‘catalogue’ of regularly updated stock, essentially their version of a shopping feed.

Users can add their payment information to their account, alongside other information such as size, resulting in a shop’s page dynamically showing the products available with a system to purchase without having to venture through their website.

This is huge for social media advertisers, where Analytics and a convoluted sales funnel was one of the main ways to gauge performance. The ability to have direct attribution coming straight from the Shops platform for metrics such as revenue & ROAS will be priceless for advertisers.

Advertisers can check stock, upload inventory, check insights and more through the Commerce Manager, the centralized hub for Facebook Shops. Granted that their platform already has over 2 billion monthly active users, the potential here is mind-blowing.

UK businesses will have to hold on though, with this service only being available in the US to start with unless they can get hold of an American bank account.

It doesn’t stop there though as with the Facebook Shops platform, you can create augmented reality ads, which allows users to envision how that particular product might look in their living room or if that shirt they like goes with their favorite pair of jeans.

To find out more about Facebook Shops, click here and to find out more about Commerce Manager, click here.

Facebook’s Roadmap

Building on their 10-year roadmap, Mark Zuckerberg’s recent talks have continued talking about how to combine their services, Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp. They have announced plans to merge the chats of these services into one.

Whether that’s just the technical infrastructure of the app itself hasn’t fully been confirmed but with ads now present in Messenger, this potential merge could introduce more opportunities, or frustration, to these social media networks.

What does this mean for the future?

July brings a step forward for PPC providers chasing in the footsteps of the giant that is Google, who themselves are further emphasizing the future that is dynamic advertising.

We’re seeing Microsoft establishing themselves as a top player adding more enticing features to their platform and rumors that Smart Shopping is on the horizon.

The e-commerce experience is drastically improving with Google & Facebook retaliating against Amazon giving retailers & consumers more options to buy directly.

Our creativity is progressing at an incredible level, where we can utilize the vast amount of user data available to create ads tailored to the individual. The industry is rapidly evolving and it’s our job to keep up.

For more information on Mabo and their paid advertising management services, please visit Mabo.co.uk.

PPC Mastered! Art Meets Science at SMX West

On the heels of great sessions and networking at this year’s two Friends of Search events in Amsterdam, Optmyzr is gearing up for back-to-back SMX sessions you won’t want to miss in February.

SMX West always draws a great crowd of search marketers from around the country. We celebrate all skill levels and those of us fortunate to host SMX sessions learn as much as we give. 

This year, Optmyzr will present two high-impact sessions focusing on essential skills for mid- to advanced search marketing pros hoping to separate from the pack as a PPC rockstar.

Both Optmyzr presentations happen Wednesday, February 19 at the San Jose Convention Center. We present amid a great lineup of presenters on the full agenda, but for those craving in-depth learning about SEM/PPC in 2020, I encourage you to check out our sessions. 

Following our SMX sessions, our team will also host an Optmyzr workshop at the WeWork office just down the road of the convention center. You can register for our workshop here: https://forms.gle/rHu56nZy3oAboDys7.

Here’s a look at what we’ll cover at SMX West: 

The Art of Structuring Search and Shopping Campaigns

Over the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen huge advancements in search marketers’ abilities to craft and manage high performing search and shopping campaigns. The tools in Google and Bing have become much more immersive for users as both platforms are offering many more features and functionality. At the same time, platform automations take much of the guesswork out of core search and shopping campaigns. 

We’ll go deeper during our first SMX session (Wednesday, February 19 at 11:30 AM). 

While it’s become pretty easy and fail-safe to do the basics well, we’ll dive into the art to using the tools to their potential. We’ll explore what’s good and not-so-good about popular structures such as alpha/beta, single keyword ad groups, and GriP (groups of individual products). 

This session will also show you how to easily deploy free automations in the platforms in ways that maintain target structures in a dynamic environment. We’ll dig into other free tools within Google and Bing that you might not be using to analyze data in ways that are better aligned with your unique business needs. 

Perhaps most powerful, though, we’ll bring clarity to how campaign structures work alongside Smart Bidding and other automations. AND we’ll go beyond the platform-level automations to help marketers see how third-party PPC management tools can elevate their role from marketing tactician to genius-level, groundbreaking PPC superstar.

And speaking of “genius level”…

Genius-Level Microsoft Ads, Google Ads Optimizations

Our second SMX session on the 19th is a natural extension of the earlier discussion about search and shopping ads. Entitled “Genius Level Microsoft Ads, Google Ads Optimizations,” our 2:30 PM session will explore ways to optimize across Microsoft Ads AND Google Ads in tandem. 

Using automation layering via Optmyzr, we’ll showcase ways to tackle critical tasks and manage platform automations that will give the PPC pro greater control over his or her search marketing programs. Let’s face it, the PPC pie is getting much bigger. While Google remains king, Bing is continuing to carve out its place as the other big player in search. It’s essential to know how to work in both platforms – essentially working together.

I’ll present alongside Mark Irvine, Senior Data Scientist from Wordstream. Together, we’ll help learn to build a unique PPC game plan for your business, along with a scalable, executable strategy. 

Working in both platforms, you’ll also need to know and understand the important, and often subtle, differences between the two big search engines. Master the automations and gain genius-level status to optimize in both universes. 

SMX West is always a great event for our team, and it’s right in Optmyzr’s backyard. Check out the agenda for this year’s event and be sure to check out our sessions in the SEM/PPC track. If you spot me in the hallways or after a session, just yell “Fred!” I’d love to connect with you. If time allows, maybe even grab a cup of coffee. 

And don’t forget to tell us if you’d like to join our free workshop from 4:30pm – 5:45pm in San Jose on February 19th, right after our sessions at SMX.

See you in San Jose!

Microsoft Advertising Automation Roadmap for 2019/2020

Microsoft product teams shed some light on their automation roadmap for the coming year.

Automation features in beta

Automation features coming soon

What role will people play when it’s all automated?

I asked the Microsoft team their thoughts on Smart campaigns and whether these would compete with the services an agency might offer their clients.

Right now their sentiment is that Smart campaigns are intended to help small direct advertisers who don’t know much about PPC and who don’t have the help from an agency or a tool like Optmyzr. It’s a way to bring more advertisers onto the Microsoft Advertising platform and help them see success. Sophisticated advertisers will still want to continue using the traditional campaign types where they have more controls.

Are Smart Display and Smart Shopping coming?

The Smart campaigns that are on the roadmap are only for search right now. Microsoft did not announce a timeline for Smart Display and Smart Shopping campaigns.

Bing Ads is Now Microsoft Advertising: What’s with the New Name?

The role and relevance of PPC in the broader digital advertising mix just got a little bigger today (okay…maybe a LOT bigger). This week, Microsoft is unveiling a newly branded “Microsoft Advertising” and is shedding the more-limiting “Bing Ads” monniker. We’re already seeing this is more than just a name change.

Microsoft is rolling out the branding changes to its PPC advertising platform at this week’s Global Partner Summit in Redmond. The decision to rebrand the expanding presence of Bing Ads in the search landscape is clearly a move to demonstrate its broader capabilities and deeper connections to Microsoft’s overall engagement strategies.

Why is Microsoft doing this? Think back to July 2018 when Google did something similar, renaming AdWords to Google Ads. Clearly a move to demonstrate the platform had gone far beyond text ads, requiring a broader name.

Microsoft’s motivation is clearly rooted in some of the same notion. Pay-Per-Click advertising has moved way beyond matching up search terms and intent with advertising opportunities to drive action. Microsoft is aligning Microsoft Advertising (the platform formerly known as Bing Ads) with the broader aspects of search marketing. In its announcement today, Microsoft led with the notion about “making each connection feel one-to-one, at just the right time and place.”

By rebranding to Microsoft Advertising, the company can more readily connect what it’s doing in the PPC world with other marketing-specific products such as the Microsoft Audience Network. The company is also planning to develop a deeper connection to its partner program, which is now known as the “Microsoft Ads Partner Program.”

In tandem to the name change for Bing Ads, Microsoft is unveiling a new Sponsored Products offering. This new program brings innovative new alignment of marketing efforts between manufacturers (brands) and sellers (retailers). New reporting and optimization opportunities make it easier for brands and retailers to partner more directly for shared success.

Growth, Momentum, Direction

Google still holds the lion’s share of the market, particularly in the US, but Microsoft seems to be stepping on the gas more aggressively now. After 100 consecutive months of market share growth for Bing and it’s strategic push with Verizon Media, Microsoft can no longer have a perception that Bing Ads is a singular, in-the-corner PPC business. The platform and opportunities are expanding significantly, driven in large part by rapid advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Four must-know takeaways from today’s announcement:

  1. Bing (the search engine) is still Bing. Microsoft is not abandoning the consumer-recognized search platform’s brand at all (no need to mess with something that is gaining traction against Google). Bing users will still go to bing.com to launch their search journey. The branding change is all about the ad platform associated with Bing.

  2. Microsoft perhaps sees some of the biggest opportunity around the Sponsored Products offering. This is important because brand owners can gain greater visibility into how their products are performing through their retailers, driving much deeper insight. When a retailer and brand are both running products ads today, it’s not clear to the brand owner how their product is really faring in the market. They only see stats from their own campaigns.

With new sponsored products opportunities, the brand can get a more complete picture by seeing how their products perform when advertised through the retailers.  
  1. Retailers can benefit from these changes too because the door opens wider to forge agreements in which the brands themselves could pick up part of the advertising costs. Shared benefits = shared interests.

  2. We expect to see continued improvement in the consumer experience through the Bing search platform. Combined with a continuing trend of market share gains for Bing, we expect the changes to drive even more clicks to product ads, which is a category of ads that has been surging in volume for the last few years, in particular.

Bing and Google will undoubtedly continue to duke it out for search supremacy. It may be one of the best examples of healthy competition in the marketplace. With each move by the big players, they need to deliver greater value to the consumers and the advertisers who pay to engage with people in the moment.

Let’s not forget our friends at Amazon who continue to work their wizardry to capture shopping intent and drive conversion. The Optmyzr team is studying every move by these players and we’re working closely with them to ensure we can simplify the work you do in the trenches to be the PPC rockstar your clients demand.