This week in PPC, as we’re all finally settling in from post-holiday madness, brings some new features and developments to the world of PPC along with some additional insights about where things are headed in 2015.

Bing has some news on enhanced sitelinks and its Bid Landscape Tool, while Google is making it easier to become a Google Trusted Store. In other words, opportunities abound for paid search advertisers, and it’s only getting better.

Ready to ramp up your PPC game? Read on.


Hey, Google, what’s happening?

Google is making it simpler for online retailers to join Google Trusted Stores, a free certification program designed to facilitate consumer trust. It’s a badge of honor, of sorts, appearing on retail sites that provide consistently excellent customer experiences. Hey, that’s you, right? Good news: It’s now easier than ever to become a Google Trusted Store. The changes:

  • You only need to create an account and add two snippets of code to your website.
  • You no longer need to submit shipment and cancellations feeds.
  • You’re now able to specify a custom position for the Trusted Stores badge on your site and display it on HTTPS pages.

Check out this post for more details.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas is one of the biggest tech events of the year, and one that many an innovation-lover looks forward to every January. But it’s more than just tech. In fact, Think with Google gets some insights from from industry experts at CES on the top tech trends marketers should be paying attention to in 2015. Check out this post (and video) for the scoop from experts like:

  • Shawn DuBravac, chief economist and director of research at the Consumer Electronics Association
  • Ryan Barnett, partner technology manager on Android Wear
  • Henry Newton-Dunn, designer on Android
  • Avinash Kaushik, Google digital marketing evangelist.

What trends are we talking about? Cool stuff like:

  • How the “Internet of Things” is officially a thing.
  • How mobile is shaping the “Internet of Me.”
  • Personalization is imperative in the modern marketing landscape.

January is that time of year when everyone joins the gym and then stops going on January 3rd. Or is it? “Physical fitness” searches peak in Google Search in January every year, particularly on mobile devices these days, but the way people go about getting in shape isn’t always the way you may think. This infographic from Think with Google highlights where, when, and how we’re working out.


What’s up, Bing?

Bing details how to use regular expressions to better track your UET (Universal Event Tracking) conversions in Bing Ads. Universal Event Tracking, if you recall, is a newer feature unveiled by Bing back in October that allows you to track conversions and other site activity, found in the Campaigns Page in the Bing Ads interface.

Regular expressions are a special text string used to find a search pattern, often used in Bing Ads to track more sophisticated conversion goals. Now, regular expressions are available within your UET toolbox to enable the tracking of goals beyond the standard goals listed. More on this here.

Enhanced sitelinks were made available to U.S. advertisers in September 2014, but they’re now globally available in all markets. Bing is also launching device preference for Sitelinks, meaning you can specify which Sitelinks should have preference on mobile traffic. Enhanced Sitelinks allow you to add two lines of customizable, descriptive text to your Sitelink Extension, which Bing’s research shows makes visitors more likely to click and more likely to stick around on your landing pages a little longer. Get the scoop by checking out this post.

You can now preview the result of a bid change on your text ads in real-time. Using the Bid Landscape Tool, you can project the impact of a bid change to ensure that your bid is still competitive, but not too high. So now, when your ads aren’t being served for a search query, you can diagnose why and see the impact of a bid change instantly. More on this update here.


Checking in with the PPC thought leaders…

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is going to be all the rage in 2015, according to PPC Hero’s State of Paid Search report. Actually, the focus on CRO is expected to increase by 79 percent in 2015. From testing and reporting to making one change at a time, PPC Hero outlines some best practices for CRO in this post.

Um, what’s wrong with your data? Or maybe you think there’s nothing wrong with your data, but you’re so, so wrong. And that’s a really bad thing, because we all know what relying on inaccurate data can do. 3Q Digital reveals five red flags that are sure-fire indicators something isn’t quite right with your data. Check it out.

A good portion of the life of a search marketer is inevitably spent poring through Excel spreadsheets. Check out 3Q Digital’s tips for mastering the mighty Excel here.

Merkle/RKG has released its Q4 2014 Digital Marketing Report. Check out a summary of the Q4 stats on paid search, organic search, social, and mobile, and download the full report from this post.

Are you hurting your PPC campaigns with call tracking mistakes? WordStream reveals five mistakes you could be making that are hurting your paid search campaigns. Read it here.


And that’s it, another week, another PPC update in the bag. Until next week, my loyal PPC-ers. Make it a fantastic weekend, all!