So, it seems like just yesterday that we were in the midst of the big holiday rush, getting our ad campaigns finalized for the 2014 holiday shopping season, watching shopping trends like hawks, and in the midst of all that trying to find time to get our own shopping done. Well, guess what? It’s that time of year again…but, if you heed my ever-so-knowledgeable advice and hop on board the holiday advertising bandwagon NOW, I can promise that you’ll find yourself with a few less gray hairs by the time January 2016 rolls around. Which, by the way, will be sooner than you ever think possible at this moment. (Mark my words…I’ll be reminding you how quickly it all came and went in my first Weekly PPC Update of January 2016. I’m not predictable or anything. *Grin*)

Really, though, Google and Bing are already on board, offering some valuable insights, tips, and new tools to help you navigate the busy holiday shopping season with rockstar campaigns that capitalize on the latest trends and boost your bottom line. Along with those goodies, this week’s PPC update has some valuable tips on running the best reports in the AdWords Report Editor, some insights on the value of YouTube advertising, and a look at a few of the things that are driving those of us in PPC-land crazy this week.

Much to be done and little time to do it, so let’s get to it, shall we?

 

What’s up, Google?

Are you using Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs)? If so, or even if you’re thinking about trying them out, Google has a new Best Practices checklist just for you.

In Beyond Keywords, you’ll find juicy tips and tidbits such as:

  • Why you should create targeting groups based on user behavior
  • How to exclude traffic you don’t want included in your stats
  • Which tactics best combine with DSA to improve results

Check out this post on the AdWords blog for more details.

Google’s new interactive travel dashboard is an incredibly valuable tool for advertisers who need to capture consumers on the go, whether planning trips, on the road, or booking travel arrangements. Each quarter, Google plans to update the tool to include the latest trends and stats on car rental, air, and hotel categories, so you can plan your upcoming campaigns based on the latest consumer habits. Read more in this post from the AdWords Agency Blog.

It’s really time to start thinking about your ad campaigns for the upcoming holiday season. And in 2015, there are a few key trends you’re going to want to pay attention to. This infographic from Think with Google highlights a few trends to watch for holiday season 2015.

We’ve talked at length about how people use their smartphones and mobile devices for pretty much everything, leading to Google dubbing the new buzzword “micro moments.” Well, Think with Google has published a “Micro-Moments Report Card” to evaluate how major brands are making the grade in the always-on, mobile world. Check it out here.

 

How’s it going, Bing?

Speaking of mobile, with the holidays approaching you can bet that the latest smartphones, tablets, and wearables will be topping wish lists this year. To help you prepare, Bing Ads is offering up a few tips to ready your device campaigns for the increasingly mobile world. Read them here.

Need to transition your Product Ad campaigns to the new Bing Shopping Campaigns? Bing is trying to make the transition easier, and to do so they’ve launched a new tool: Convert Product Ad campaigns. It’s an easy-to-use tool that you can find right under “Tools” in the header at the top of Bing Ads. More details in this post.

If you’re looking to improve your online audience reach (who isn’t?), you’ll want to check out the Bing Solutions page – especially as the holiday season keeps creeping up on us, and you need to stretch every dollar to the max. Bing Ads isn’t the only thing you’ll find there; Bing Solutions is packed with useful tools and goodies like Bing Webmaster Tools and Bing Places for Business, all of which will help you reach a broader audience online and gain more exposure for your business. Read this post on the Bing Ads Blog for more info.

 

Thought leaders, what’s happening?

If you haven’t yet considered or tried out advertising on YouTube, now’s the time to consider dipping a toe in. PPCHero makes the case for YouTube advertising in this post.

There are tons and tons of reports you can create in AdWords Report Editor. In fact, you could spend every waking moment in there generating a multitude of reports for analyzing your campaign data. It’s easy to get lost in the glorious sea of data and analytics. But there are a few reports that are definitely worth your time; PPCHero reveals seven must-have reports in this post.

Increasingly, SEO and PPC go hand-in-hand in the digital world. But you might be making a few grave mistakes that are destroying your SEO efforts. Find out if you’re making one of two big mistakes and if so, how to fix them, in this post from 3Q Digital.

If you’re down for some digital advertising humor with a splash of seriousness, you’re definitely going to want to check out John Lee’s post on the five things in digital advertising that are driving him crazy this week. (And as you know, there are plenty of things in digital advertising with the ability to drive us ALL bonkers on any given day.) Read it here from the Clix Marketing blog.

How ‘bout some content marketing tidbits? Here’s one to ponder: Semantic correlation in Google means that brands with the right strategies build better content. Say what? Find out what this means, exactly, and how to use it to your advantage in this post from Merkle|RKG.

Are you wasting your AdWords budget? WordStream shares three ways to stop throwing money away on your ad campaigns right now. Read it here.

And last but not least, in honor of Google’s name change (corporate restructuring, or whatever you want to label it…) to Alphabet, WordStream brings you “The ABCs of Google AdWords.” Enjoy it here.

What’s on tap for your weekend? Planning your holiday advertising campaigns, catching a football game, or enjoying some of the last warm rays of sunshine for 2015? Enjoy it all, and tune in next week for more insights on prepping for the 2015 holiday shopping season from yours truly.