After last week’s jam-packed PPC update, you might expect a slow week in PPC news. But alas, this is not the case, as Bing continues its relentless pursuit of catching up to Google’s slew of features and opportunities for PPC advertisers.

And in the land of Google, a partnership with Forrester Research reveals some interesting insights about the importance of real-time data and analysis in the retail world, but surprisingly few retailers are taking advantage of the many readily-accessible tools that exist in the digital realm.

I know, I know, you’ve got places to go, things to do, people to see. So without further delay, I present your Weekly PPC Update.

 

Let’s see what’s going on with Google this week, shall we?

The AdWords Agency Blog weighs in with some insights on a Forrester Report regarding the importance of real-time data analysis and response in retail. Why? Because external factors can heavily impact campaign relevance, and thus performance. It’s not just about predictable shifts in consumer demand, such as Black Friday, but about uncontrollable and unpredictable influences like major snowstorms.

Google partnered up with Forrester to find out how retailers are accessing and using real-time tools to stay competitive in the digital world. Surprisingly, Forrester’s survey shows that just 20% of retail search marketers have access to real-time conversion data. Less than half can see conversions before the next business day. Get the details here, and head on over to Think with Google for the full research analysis.

The World Cup, as it turns out, is a pretty good barometer of how leading brands are capitalizing on digital technology to engage audiences. One recent example is Nike’s Phenomenal Shot campaign, a real-time campaign that makes use of technology in ways that weren’t possible just a few short years ago. Click here for the full story from the AdWords Agency Blog.

 

And now, checking in with Bing…

Bing is keeping its pace, unveiling new feature after new feature to help advertisers achieve success on its advertising network. Dynamic Sitelinks is the latest addition to the Bing Ads feature lineup, aiming to improve relevance and click-through rates for SMB advertisers.

They’re kind of like Ad Extensions, designed to provide customers with more relevant and targeted information about your website to encourage clicks and conversions. But rather than something else you need to configure, the dynamic nature of Dynamic Sitelinks means Bing identifies the content with the most potential and shows it to the right prospects at the perfect moment – all just to help you out. Nice, huh? Get the full scoop at the Bing Ads Blog.

That’s not all that’s new from Bing this week. The Bing-ster also unveiled its new Campaign Planner, providing you with the benchmarking and competitive data you need to drive success with your advertising campaigns.

What is the Campaign Planner, exactly? According to Bing, it’s “a unique new feature in the Bing Ads web interface (UI) that displays marketplace insights by vertical, product, and keyword.” You can use it to research all kinds of juicy data points like:

  • Search traffic trends and forecasting
  • Industry benchmarks
  • Competitor performance
  • Keyword suggestions

You get access to valuable marketplace metrics, such as:

  • Search volume
  • Search distribution by device
  • Average cost-per-click (CPC)

You can choose the industry and vertical you want to research with an intuitive menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard to explore what Bing has dubbed “Vertical Insights.” Gotta give them props for that one, it’s a pretty legit term if I do say so myself.

You can also dig up Product Insights, and the Competition tab lets you stalk – er, research – up to 10 advertisers at a time. All of this is organized in an intuitive, top-down taxonomy to streamline your researching process. Learn more about the plethora of data now at your fingertips here.

Additionally, device targeting is becoming simpler with Bing starting today. That means desktops and tablets are being combined into a single device targeting option in the Bing Ads web and Bing Ads Editor UI, and all campaign migrations are expected to be in the bag by October 3rd. More on that here.

There are also some significant improvements to location targeting and ad scheduling, with ad scheduling possible in 15-minute increments. Get the scoop.

I must say, Bing, I’m quite impressed with the recent opportunities you’re throwing down. Keep ‘em coming.

 

Moving on to the rest of the web…

According to Search Engine Land, Bing is also making some improvements to its image search that includes touch-friendly results pages that adapt to screen size and resolution. Check it out.

Google+ continues on its downward trend, with Google further decreasing its influence and prevalence in the SERPs. Search Engine Land reports that Google has “dropped the display of Google+ elements in its Knowledge Graph boxes that appear for some brands, for searchers aren’t logged into their Google accounts.” More on that here.

Wanna be the perfect PPC account manager? Of course you do. Clix Marketing has the guide to achieving perfection in the world of PPC account management. Get it here.

WordStream has a brilliant cheat sheet for Ad Extensions for Shopping Campaigns that’s definitely worth a read. Read it here.

And, of course, a zinger to end the week, and I couldn’t think of anything more perfect than a post that addresses a problem that, despite much increased awareness, is still far too prevalent among marketers. You’ve heard it before, but I’m gonna say it again: Everyone is not your target market. Actually, don’t take my word for it; take WordStream’s, and then read their fantastic guide that walks you through the steps of actually defining a real, legit target market.

And no, I’m not buying the argument that your product really is the one product in the universe that everyone needs. Nice try, though.

Ready to hit up the weekend? I know I am. Make it fabulous, like I know you will.