School’s already back in session in some areas of the U.S., while others have another precious week or two to enjoy the summer break. Parents everywhere are counting the days until they get some peace between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., while teachers, on the other hand, can’t believe the summer has passed so quickly. Whatever group you fall into, things are about to change as another school year begins (or has already just begun).

But the start of a new school year isn’t the only thing bringing about change. There are lots of changes, updates, and new features being launched by both Google AdWords and Bing Ads, all aimed at making your life easier and your PPC campaigns more manageable. Oh, and of course, Google is now Alphabet – or something like that. Read today’s update for insights on the big Alphabet news from 3Q Digital.

So study up, all – you’re gonna need the extra time to help your kid with his algebra homework.

 

What’s new with Google?

Google has unveiled a suite of automated bidding solutions for Google Shopping campaigns. “These enable you to go beyond manual max CPC bidding to deliver specific bids for each auction, tailored to people’s context.” Bidding strategies include:

  • Maximize clicks: For when you’re trying to generate as much traffic as possible with your budget.
  • Enhanced CPC: If you prefer to manage your own bids or use a third-party bidding platform.
  • Target ROAS: For those of you who are revenue-driven but don’t have time to manage your bids manually, the Target Return-on-Ad-Spend bidding strategy is for you. “With target ROAS, you choose your desired ROAS and it’ll dynamically bid so products that’ll drive more revenue will get higher bids.”

Read this post on the AdWords Blog for more details on the new bidding solutions available to Google Shopping advertisers.

It’s been a while since we’ve discussed a Best Practices guide, but Google’s latest will not disappoint. This newly released guide, Special Reports, provides insights and best practices for getting the most out of your AdWords reporting, and it just so happens to come right on the heels of the release of the new Report Editor last week.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Frame analyses around your specific success metrics
  • Give analyses within the appropriate context
  • Tell stories that translate reports into action
  • Tailor and customize reports so that they meet your unique needs

Check out this post for more info.

We’ve talked about the AdWords App, and Google is making it even better thanks to your feedback. Starting last week, advertisers now have more options for more comprehensive campaign management right from their smartphones, including:

  • A new billing summary
  • Additional columns
  • Updates to your performance labels

Get the scoop, and download the app if you haven’t done so already, here.

In the modern, fragmented media landscape, it’s critical for advertisers to understand how their ads impact brand metrics like awareness and consideration, and it all begins with viewability. In this post from the AdWords Agency Blog, Google talks about viewability and how it relates to brand metrics for video ads.

And from the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog, this post from last week looks at how Google is making investments to improve buying on YouTube.

 

Let’s check in with Bing…

Bing is making some big improvements in accounts and billing, in effort to comply with advertisers’ requests for a simpler, more convenient, and faster way to manage their accounts and billing. In the latest release of Bing Ads Accounts & Billing, you’ll find:

  • Consistent account navigation on every tab
  • Flexible payment options to easily switch between pre-pay and post-pay
  • The ability to create and manage IOs (insertion orders) in bulk across your accounts, get instant approvals, edit existing IOs, and track your IO change history
  • A one-stop billing shop in the billing tab for better summaries and granular data

More details on what’s new in Bing Ads Accounts & Billing in this post.

Accounts & Billing isn’t the only thing undergoing change; the Bing Merchant Center is getting its own share of improvements, as well. From changes to the BMC feed format to enhanced BMC functionality, the Merchant Center is getting bigger and better to make it easier than ever to manage the data for Shopping and Product campaigns in Bing Ads. Get all the juicy details here.

And in case you missed all the exciting changes and launches announced during the month of July, Bing sums up all the fantastic improvements from last month in this post.

 

And moving on to the rest of the web…

PPCHero gathered an entire year’s worth of hourly PPC data from eight different e-commerce accounts. In this post, they highlight key findings from this analysis and what it means for you.

Also from PPCHero, this post discusses how to use Bing Ads Marketplace Trends to outmaneuver your competition. Check it out here.

Okay, now to address the elephant in the room, and that’s this whole Alphabet situation. What exactly is going on with Google, and what does it have to do with the Alphabet? Well, Google is going through some major organizational changes, including becoming a subsidiary of a newly formed parent company, Alphabet, Inc. 3Q Digital talks about the big change and what the “new Google” means for the future of digital marketing in this post.

Brad Geddes, founder of Certified Knowledge, recently did an AMA on Reddit (for those of you not up on your Reddit lingo, that means “Ask Me Anything”), sharing his thoughts on all the latest happenings in PPC. It’s worth checking out, and you can find it here.

This week’s update isn’t as social advertising-focused as last week, but here’s a little social advertising tidbit for those of you who are interested in getting in on the social PPC game: This post from Clix Marketing reveals three competitor campaigns you should be running on Twitter Ads. Check it out.

Merkle | RKG breaks some big news: Amazon is set to discontinue product ads, instead launching a text ad rival to Google. What will come of this battle between two giants? Check out this post for the scoop.

Want to make a high-quality AdWords report in just 15 minutes? Heck yeah you do. This template from WordStream will save you heaps of valuable time.

And, finally, how about increasing your CTR? It’s a goal most of us PPC-ers share, and lucky for us, WordStream chimes in with three tricks that are so simple they’re stupid for increasing CTR. Read it here.

 

So, what’s up for your weekend? A little studying up on PPC, brushing up on your algebra skills so your kid can’t outsmart you in a few weeks, or enjoying the last weekend (or two) before it’s all back-to-school craziness routines? Whatever you have in store for the next few days, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere only a weekend can provide.