Now that we’ve all emerged from our candy comas (or for some of us, still working on reducing the kids’ stash to a reasonable level…sacrifices, you know), retailers have removed all traces of Halloween and replaced them with – not Thanksgiving – but Christmas. Yes, the official kickoff to the holiday season is now, seemingly, November 1st. So much for Black Friday, huh?

At any rate, for PPC advertisers, the time is now to get your holiday shopping campaigns in order. If you’re proactive and organized, you probably have everything lined up already. If not, well, time’s a wastin’.

But before you rush off to set up your 2015 holiday shopping campaigns, let’s see what’s new and exciting in PPC this week.

 

Google, what’s happening?

New viewability options are now available on YouTube. According to the Agency Blog, Google has been making investments in “a broad set of measurement solutions for brands,” through both product innovations and strategic partnerships. Viewability, of course, has been a focus for some time, with the option to buy only viewable impressions on the Google Display Network launched way back in December 2013 (crazy how long ago that was, isn’t it?). “Active View now works seamlessly across video, display, mobile web and mobile apps (on YouTube and for publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers), and has been adopted by over 80% of advertisers using the DoubleClick platform.”

But Google has been taking steps to move beyond the industry standard to measure individual viewability objectives. This is being achieved through supplementary metrics in Active View, such as average viewable time, and soon, when an ad is 100% in view for any length of time.

Now, Google is broadening the options for advertisers measuring viewability on YouTube. Along with Active View, advertisers will now be able to choose from third-party vendors. A select set of third-party vendors have been approved to report ad viewability on YouTube, beginning with Moat in early 2016. More details on this news and your new measurement options in this post.

Bing Shopping Campaigns are now a part of the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite. According to the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog, “The holidays are a critical time of year for search marketers, as consumers increasingly research and complete their holiday shopping online. To help you win the moments that matter this holiday season, we recently announced several new features and the DoubleClick Search Guide to the Holidays.”

But in the giving spirit of the holiday season, DoubleClick continues to help you make 2015 your best holiday shopping season yet with the addition of Bing Shopping Campaigns. That means you can now more easily extend the reach of your product-focused advertising with the ability to “manage, automate, and measure Bing Shopping Campaigns using the full range of DoubleClick Search tools, the Performance Bidding Suite, Adaptive Shopping campaigns, and Purchase Detail reports.” Get the scoop in this post.

Did you know that window shopping starts online? It’s true, and that means that photos can go a long way in helping you boost your holiday sales this year. The Google and Your Business Blog reveals that the average user looks at 12 or more photos before making a decision, and online business listings that include photos get 42% more requests for directions and 35% more clicks than their photo-less counterparts. So, time to fire up the camera.

Oh, and to help small businesses make the most out of the busiest shopping season of the year, Google and Your Business has launched a special holiday portal, Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map, with tips, tricks, and tutorials for improving your business listing and generating more buzz this holiday season. Check out this post for more details.

 

How’s it going, Bing?

The first episode of the #AskBingAds series is now live, covering some helpful topics such as:

  • How to set up your Bing Merchant Center
  • Where to find tips and advice for small businesses
  • Whether recently announced extensions will transfer via Google Import
  • How to get started with remarketing

You can watch the first episode here.

Bing is introducing the Bing Ads Academy, a new program consisting of in-person and online training resources for premium customers working for agencies, channel partners, and tool providers. The primary content focus is on topics relevant to sellers, who pitch Bing Ads as a media buy to clients, and do-ers, or those who work within the Bing Ads platform on a daily basis. From basic 101-level courses to advanced 301-level instruction, the Bing Ads Academy aims to reach everyone where they are.

Meet the Bing Ads Academy trainers and learn more about Bing Ads Academy in this post.

In April, Bing renewed its search partnership with Yahoo, and in July, Bing’s integration into Microsoft services increased with the launch of Windows 10. Bing is becoming a core component to its success, and has since transitioned thousands of clients from Yahoo and recruited an entire sales force to serve them. Check out this post for updates on Bing’s partnership and commitment to serving its clients.

 

Let’s check in with the PPC thought leaders…

Are your match types functioning the way you think they are? PPC Hero takes a look at how to analyze how your match types are functioning, measure performance, and how to identify and fill gaps in your exact match keyword coverage in this post.

What about that new Google Shopping Insights tool – is it a treasure or a time-waster? Find out in this post from PPC Hero.

Facebook has introduced a few new features to its advertising program, just in time for the holiday shopping season. Find out about what’s available and how to use it to your advantage in this post from 3Q Digital.

Clix Marketing is also weighing in on the new features available in Google Shopping. Read about some of the latest feature releases and how they can make your dreams come true here.

Merkle|RKG discusses Bing’s move to show product ads on mobile and what impact the move will have on advertisers – if any – in this post.

WordStream never fails to impress, and this week is no exception with a few gems that are definitely worth a read: Learn three game-changing ways to think like a content marketer in PPC in this post, find out how small businesses can compete with the big guys in PPC here, and last but not least, you should absolutely read this ultimate guide on how to use AdWords’ Customer Match.

 

Alright, time to put down the candy and get to work finalizing your PPC campaigns for the holiday shopping season which is, literally, right around the corner now. Until next week, my faithful PPC readers!