So, Labor Day weekend is finally (or already) upon us, and that spells the official end of the summer season for many. Labor Day, in case you don’t know, is a day created to honor working people – you know, like you and me. So that means that it’s perfectly acceptable to be unabashedly lazy and obnoxious as you celebrate this weekend. (I take no responsibility for spousal discord arising from your choices, however).

But, as always on Fridays, it’s time to take stock of the latest news and happenings in the world of PPC. Because if you’re like me, the only time you really have to study up is on the weekend, so it’s perfect timing. So, before you set off on your adventures for the three-day weekend, it’s time to do your homework.

Let’s see what’s new this week in PPC.

 

Let’s check in with Google…

Multi-channel advertisers will be happy to know that they can now take advantage of new reporting columns in the AdWords dashboard. This is yet another enhancement that adds to the ability to manage reporting for specific campaign types, by filtering to view only data for one type of campaign.

So the newest addition to the lineup is TrueView, which joins Search, Shopping and Display campaigns within the core AdWords interface (see this post for more details on this merger-of-sorts). And, there are three new reporting columns to make it easier to report across all of these campaign types, including:

  • Interactions – The main action people take with your ad format (e.g., clicks for text or views for video ads, etc.)
  • Interaction Rate – A measure of how frequently people interact with your ad (e.g., clicks divided by impressions for text ads, views divided by impressions for video ads)
  • Average Cost – The average amount you’ve paid for your ads divided by the total interactions (e.g., clicks or views divided by total cost)

These columns provide a uniform and quick way to measure and compare campaign performance metrics. Get more details in this post.

And, that’s not all…native Gmail ads are now available in AdWords for all advertisers. Of course, before making this opportunity available to the masses, Google did some testing to find out what works and what doesn’t, so that you can get maximum results from native Gmail ads with your campaigns. All you need to do is set up a Display Network Campaign and create a Gmail ads format in the Ad Gallery. These ads consist of two parts:

  • The collapsed ad, which is what users see initially. It’s designed to resemble the look and feel of the Gmail inbox.
  • The expanded unit, triggered by a click on the collapsed ad. It’s a full-page native ad that “recreates the informational and visual richness of a landing page” – and all subsequent clicks on the content within are free.

Of course, there are custom Gmail ads templates you can use, as well as advanced display targeting, and other helpful features. Get all the details in this post.

Structured snippet extensions are another new feature that allows you to highlight a specific aspect of your products or services. Dynamic structured snippets were introduced a few months back, an automated ad extension that gives users a better sense of the content on your website before they click. But to give advertisers more control over the content that appears in these snippets, you can now create custom structured snippet extensions that appear with your text ads. Learn more here.

HTML5 is becoming the go-to language for building display ads, so to support the transition to the IAB’s updated Display Creative Guidelines, Google has been pivoting its products to function better in an HTML5-first world. Check out this post on the DoubleClick blog for more info.

Google has declared September Social Media Month, and to celebrate, they’re running a few free informational webinars with leading experts to help you harness the power of social for your business. Check out the lineup, and be sure to tune in each Friday for the latest expert insights on the leading social networks:

 

Bing, what’s happening?

There’s been much discussion about it, and now it’s here: Bing Ads for Android. That means all you Android users can now manage your Bing Ads campaigns on the go just as easily as the loyal iPhone crowd. Features and functionality match that of the iOS app, including:

  • View performance of your accounts, campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords
  • Monitor multiple performance metrics at the same time
  • Edit budgets and bids
  • Pause and enable campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords
  • Receive critical alerts, such as notice of an expiring credit card

This post has all the details, or you can learn more by visiting the Bing Ads app page.

Have you heard about Bing Ads Connect? “Bing Ads Connect events are workshop-like meet ups designed to help online marketers learn best practices and optimization strategies to get the best possible return on their Bing Ads investments.” If you’re interested in attending a Connect event, the time to register for an event coming to a city near you is now, because space is limited. In this post, you’ll see a list of upcoming cities like Los Angeles, Boston, and Toronto, and you can easily register online.

Trademark law is complicated, and for advertisers, it’s even more difficult to figure out when you might be crossing the line – or when someone else might be stepping on your brand’s toes. In this post, Bing talks about the trademark variations between markets, as well as when it’s okay for a company to bid on a different company’s brand terms. Check it out.

 

And a stroll around the web…

Does Google AdWords drive you crazy? Not to worry, you’re not alone. In fact, Google AdWords pretty much drives every PPC manager crazy – and PPC Hero reveals 12 reasons why in this post.

On the never-ending quest for the perfect keyword? Here’s a tip: it doesn’t exist. Jacob Fairclough explains why and what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on when researching and selecting keywords. Read it here.

What’s ad blocking, how can it hurt you, and what do you need to know about it as an advertiser? 3Q Digital hashes it all out, dispels all the myths, and outlines what you need to be concerned about in this post.

Clix Marketing is dishing out lots of helpful tips this week. In this post, they talk about how to generate handy PPC reports from AdWords’ Dimensions Tab. And in this post, they discuss the usefulness of ad extensions and the paradox of choice.

Check out these three URL tweaks to get more out of the Google Search Console UI, from Merkle|RKG.

Also, if you haven’t heard, Google recently changed the placement of the local pack, and it’s causing a steep decline in organic brand CTR. Check out this post from Merkle|RKG for more details.

WordStream shares its 10 best-ever landing page tips and tricks in this post – a must-read for your weekend.

And last but not least, you should read this post from WordStream revealing 10 alarming signs that you might need some expert help with PPC.

 

Ready to enjoy the three-day Labor Day weekend? Me too. Enjoy it everyone!