Well, this is it folks…it’s the last Weekly PPC Update before the official kickoff to the holiday shopping season. By this time next week, you’ll be idly clicking around your AdWords dashboard to see if your ads are getting clicks and converting while you shamelessly partake in opportunity after opportunity to induce another leftover-Thanksgiving-dinner-stupor.

It’s all good. I don’t judge.

Given that we’re just one short week away from the beginning of the madness, I have a few tidbits that I think you’ll appreciate today. In the spirit of the holiday season, Google’s in a generous mood, unleashing feature and capability after feature and capability to make sure that advertisers emerge from the 2015 holiday shopping season with a few shreds of sanity intact.

Let’s find out what’s new, shall we?

 

Gobble, Gobble, Google…

Viewability has been a big concern for years, and it’s still a problem: 56% of all display ads and 46% of all video ads aren’t seen because they’re below the fold, scrolled outside of the user’s view, or in a background tab.

Google, of course, is on it, working continuously to improve these issues for advertisers. This week, Google announced three major improvements that will help to combat viewability issues:

  • All CPM campaigns are being upgraded to viewable CPM campaigns – meaning advertisers only pay for display and video impressions meeting the MRC defined standard for viewability.
  • New viewability frequency capping – meaning you can control how many times your ads appear to the same person.
  • Supplementary reporting metrics built on the viewability standard, including metrics such as the total impressions that were viewable, percentage of impressions that were viewable, and the percentage of viewable ads that were clicked.

Get more details on these improvements for boosting viewability in this post.

Want more holiday traffic? Well, yeah. Fortunately, you’re in luck. This week Google announced a new feature called click share that enables advertisers to identify when they’re missing out on traffic. This new metric shows the percentage of total possible clicks received by your Shopping ads – and it’s here just in time for the holiday shopping season. Learn more and find out how to put click share to work for your campaigns to capture more holiday shoppers this season in this post.

Speaking of the holidays, Google has also released two new checklists to help you make sure your campaigns are ready and on-point to maximize your results during the busiest shopping season of the year:

  • The Holiday Shopping Readiness checklist walks you through key steps such as readying your budget, speeding up mobile checkout, enabling real-time bidding, and other key steps that will maximize your campaigns.
  • The Holiday Shopping Survival checklist is just what you need to cope with seemingly never-ending campaign optimization tasks that – while they can make you want to pull your hair out – will inevitably be necessary to adapt to subtle shifts and consumer demands this season. This checklist covers key steps such as optimizing your campaigns to reach buyers during the holiday shopping journey and how to make sure your campaigns are capable of reaching consumers on the go.

Video is a powerful marketing tool for your holiday shopping campaign arsenal. According to Google, “Across a wide range of brands and categories, we’re seeing the power of TrueView video for driving consumer intent in addition to driving awareness. In a recent analysis of TrueView campaigns, 57% of campaigns saw lift in consideration and 24% saw a lift in favorability. Plus, 35% of campaigns saw a lift in purchase intent.” Now, Google has made some powerful YouTube tools that help advertisers connect the dots between inspiration and purchase available through AdWords. Here’s a look at what you can now do through AdWords to capitalize on the power of video:

  • A new campaign set up helps you create campaigns that are tailored to your marketing objectives from the start.
  • Target cost-per-acquisition bidding helps you to drive app downloads at your set price.
  • Two powerful, performance-oriented formats are now available to all advertisers, with both TrueView for Shopping and Shopping ads on YouTube Now available in AdWords.

Get the scoop on these new opportunities to create even more streamlined campaigns that capitalize on the power of video to boost your holiday sales and end 2015 with a bang in this post.

And if you missed this tidbit from AdWords last week, manager accounts are getting two new enhancements: Google Analytics account linking, and remarketing tag and list sharing. Get the details here.

 

Hey Bing, what’s cookin’?

Few things could be more devastating than having your Bing Ads account closed over the holiday shopping season, right? Well, the good news is account closure is almost always avoidable. You know, if you’re not a spammer or intentionally trying to dupe your visitors into handing over their hard-earned cash for something that’s not at all what they think it is. And, you know, viruses – trying to spread those isn’t good.

Obviously, most of you are in the free and clear when it comes to potential account closures. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to get a little refresher on the kinds of things that can cause Bing to shut down an account to protect the safety of its users. Still, there are a few things advertisers can do inadvertently without ill intent that can lead to potential issues. For a list of risky activities that could earn you a scolding or a shutdown, check out this post.

Everyone wants their ads to grab attention and generate clicks. Now, your Bing Ads could be a little bit more effective thanks to Bing’s new image extensions. In fact, you can upload up to six images alongside your ad copy and other extensions, giving users a clear incentive to click for more info and a stellar visual first impression of your products. Learn more and find out how to get started with image extensions in this post.

We talked about this last week, but it’s so kickass that it’s worth mentioning again for those of you who (gasp) may not have read last week’s PPC Update: You must check out this Bing Ads 2015 holiday calendar. It’s an interactive calendar that is sure to prove indispensable to your advertising and marketing campaigns this season.

 

And on to the PPC thought leaders…

Lead quality is a legitimate concern for PPC advertisers. After all, in most cases you’re paying for the click, so a so-so lead means money down the drain. PPC Hero offers some valuable tips for fixing lead quality issues to get more bang for your buck. Check it out.

For those of you considering new and exciting ways to reach holiday shoppers with your deals and promotions, check out PPC Hero’s post on Google AdWords’ new text message promotional notifications here.

LinkedIn is among the social networks offering advertising options, but it’s not the best fit for all advertisers. And for those who do want to advertise on LinkedIn, the options can be tough to navigate. 3Q Digital offers this handy breakdown of the advertising options on LinkedIn, including tips for targeting, building ads, reporting, limitations, and best practices.

Speaking of social, this post from 3Q Digital provides all the need-to-know details for creating fabulous creative perfect for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The holiday shopping season, we all know far too well, can be anything but jolly for PPC advertisers who are stressing over campaign details every moment of the day (and night) and obsessively making minute adjustments in hopes of capturing just a few more clicks. Not to worry: Clix Marketing has some fantastic advice to help you maintain your sanity by making your workload more seamless and your life generally more pleasurable as a result this holiday season. Read it here.

On the theme of social media and, more specifically, Facebook, WordStream’s “The Ridiculously Awesome Guide to Facebook Remarketing” is a must-read.

And last but not least, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s now that time of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to write (and consume) as many x-most-amazing-things-in-2015 lists and, of course, x-mind-blowing-things-that-will-happen-in-2016 lists. Really, it’s free reign all the way through, eh, March or so of 2016, I’d say. WordStream kicks it off with this post on ten of the most life-changing marketing stats they’ve heard this year.

 

So, what’s up for the weekend? My guess is you’re either furiously finalizing your PPC campaigns for the holiday season, or you’re chomping at the bit to implement some of those tips to maintain your sanity from PPC Hero. Or, you know, both.

Enjoy your holiday – next Friday, I’ll be here with bells on!