The always-anticipated SXSW festival took place last week, and if news reports and attendee-generated content are any indication, this year was no disappointment. In this week’s roundup, Google talks about how you can experience SXSW without even being there. Of course, if you’re being doused with rain right about now or facing a freezing-cold spring weekend, there are probably few things that sound more appealing than a trip to the South.

Instead, you can check out some of the uploaded videos from this year’s festival, rock out by yourself in your living room, and it’s like the next best thing to actually being there. (Just make sure to close your blinds and lock the doors…otherwise, you’ll be the next unsuspecting-nerd-dancing going viral on YouTube.)

Before you start jamming, though, you’ll want to read this week’s PPC update. Much more than SXSW to discuss today, so let’s get to it.

 

Let’s check in with Google…

Product ratings on Google Shopping are now helping shoppers in the U.K., France, and Germany make smarter shopping decisions. Last year, product ratings were introduced on Product Listing Ads in the U.S., and now Google is expanding the feature to a few additional countries.

Product ratings appear as stars and review counts on Product Listing Ads on Google.com and Google Shopping (or their equivalents in the U.K., France, and Germany). The five-star rating system reflects aggregated data from a multitude of review sources, such as merchants, third-party aggregators, editorial sites, and users. For more details and to find out how to enable product ratings on your Product Listing Ads in the U.S., U.K., France or Germany, check out this post.

It’s the year of the omni-channel shopper. Well, maybe not officially, but nonetheless, if you have a retail store you should be devising strategies for reaching omni-channel shoppers. Companies like Macy’s are making new strides, and instead of competing against their online and offline selves, they’re embracing the multi-channel approach and seeing things that were once viewed as potential losses (such as a consumer jumping channels mid-way through a sale) as opportunities. Find out how Macy’s and other retails are embracing the omni-channel consumer trend here.

What impact do YouTube ads have on brand metrics? Traditionally, these types of insights were difficult to measure. But now, Google Brand Lift helps advertisers gather brand metrics about YouTube ads in mere days. Advertisers spanning a multitude of verticals are now using this tool to test and optimize their online video content. Check out this post on the AdWords Agency Blog for more.

So…have you heard of a little something called South by Southwest? You might see it more commonly referred to as SXSW. It’s a festival the biggest music fans would kill to attend, but even if you don’t make it there in-person, you can still partake in the experience online. Find out how music fans everywhere engaged with SXSW online in 2013 and 2014 here.

In the final post exploring the value of audience insights in search marketing, the DoubleClick blog explores the path to success for employing audience insights in your own campaigns. Read it here.

 

Let’s see what’s up with Bing this week…

Another in the Bing Ads Power Tools series, this post talks about projecting performance with the Bid Landscape tool. Basically, the Bid Landscape shows you how your ads would have performed with different estimated bids over the past seven days. At each bid level, you’ll see:

  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Cost
  • Top-of-page impressions

Armed with this information, you can determine if a traffic increase would be worth a higher CPC. Many more insights on how to use this tool to your advantage (such as calculating how much you should pay) at the Bing Ads Blog.

Check out this case study-of-sorts on MaternaLIFT, a company that specializes in improving pregnant women’s comfort throughout their pregnancy which joined the Bing Ads program in November 2014 and saw an increase in both sales and brand awareness. In this post, Ping Jen, MSFT, reveals some tips and tricks learned in developing MaternaLIFT’s campaigns.

Hey, did you know that the onus of ensuring your ads don’t infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property is on your shoulders? Yep, and such is the focus of a recent post on the Bing Ads Blog. Here’s the thing: This even applies if you’re using dynamic ads text. For instance, you might be able to bid on other companies’ trademarked terms (in some markets, at least) – but using those terms in ad copy is taboo. Sometimes, this may mean using static ads to ensure dynamic ad content doesn’t place trademarked terms in your ad copy. More details on figuring out the ins and outs of trademarks and IP as it relates to dynamic ad text here.

We’ve had several discussions about unified device targeting in recent weeks. But how does that impact reporting? Good news: Bing Ads comes through once again with an informative post revealing precisely how to segment your data by device type in reports. Read it here.

 

And on to the rest of the web…

Since we’re on the subject of shopping this week, it’s rather appropriate that PPC Hero happens to weigh in with the nitty-gritty on how Bing really stacks up to Google in terms of shopping campaigns. Read it here.

Want to increase your Quality Score? Easier said than done, at times, when it seems no matter what you do, Google insists on keeping your score lower than you’d like. Check out this post from PPC Hero to find out how to use historical Quality Score to diagnose your account.

Finally: An easy set-up guide to track Bing and Yahoo ads, brought to you by 3Q Digital. Read it here.

It’s all about the multi-channel experience these days. In part two of Clix Marketing’s multi-channel series, find out how to combine online and offline elements of your marketing campaign in perfect harmony.

Are you following the right PPC experts on Twitter? WordStream names the top 15 PPC experts you should be following on Twitter in this post.

AdWords website call conversions are fantastic – until they’re not. Even the greatest things in life can go awry, and call conversions are no exception to that unfortunate rule. WordStream reveals precisely where AdWords website call conversions can go wrong, and what to do about it, in this post.

 

Another weekend is ready and waiting for you to enjoy it. Oh, and if you want to be a YouTube sensation, methinks gaining insights from Google Brand Lift to optimize your online video content is probably a safer bet than becoming the next unsuspecting-nerd-dancing. Make your weekend a great one!