This week’s roundup is filled to the brim with exciting updates and enhanced functionality from both Google and Bing, mostly aimed at improving the mobile experience and, ultimately, making you (and the search giants) more money from mobile ads.

Google’s unveiling a pretty fantastic option that will get your product listing ads in front of more targeted eyeballs, and Bing is opening the doors to some fabulous diagnostic tools that will help you make sure your ads are being displayed.

If you’re looking for bang for your buck, there’s literally no time like the present to get in on the action of PPC. With so many tools and technologies at your fingertips, you might say it’s a fail-proof operation. It’s entirely possible to completely screw it up, though, especially if you’re not savvy about all these analytics, tools, and dashboards, so make sure you have the right guidance if you’re just starting out.

We’ve got lots to talk about today, so let’s get to the juicy stuff and start making you some money.

 

Hey, Google, what’s happening?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could extend the reach of your product listing ads to more qualified buyers? Well, duh. Good news from Google-ville: now you can, thanks to the ability to opt your Shopping Campaigns into Google’s search partners. That means you can showcase your products when your target buyers are searching for or browsing products on retail and e-commerce sites within the Google Search Network, within a relevant context.

It’s all part of AdSense for Shopping, a new initiative by Google to help retailers like Walmart.com monetize their site traffic. The incentives for publishers are multi-fold:

  • Monetize all site traffic, including mobile.
  • Give users the products they’re looking for, which keeps them returning to the site.
  • Enhance the user experience with contextually relevant, rich product ads.

The AdSense for Shopping program is only open to select retailers and e-commerce sites, but will be open to other interested publishers in the future. But for advertisers like you, it still spells big opportunity with retailers like Walmart.com already in the mix – not to mention, merely showcasing your products to a broader audience can generate more sales. Get the details on the AdWords Blog.

When it comes to mobile search ads, every single character counts. Think about it: You’re working with a screen size of maybe four inches in some cases, yet you’re still tasked with providing the user with all the details they need to make the decision to click or convert. It’s a lofty goal, and Google is trying to help you reach it with an improved look to mobile ads.

Beginning October 15th, your ad extensions might show instead of the second line of ad text (description line 2). Description line 2 might show. Or it might not. It all depends on how well it’s expected to perform. Google expects advertisers to see improved ad performance because you’ll now be able to do cool stuff such as:

  • Using callouts to highlight featured products and services.
  • Using location extensions to provide relevant and timely local info.
  • Using sitelinks to take users to important pages on your site, such as sales or promotions.

What this does, essentially, is give customers an additional point of engagement, such as a Google Maps marker or whatever information is provided with an ad extension. What do you need to do to make sure these changes give you the most bang for your buck?

  • Make sure all the most important deets are in line one of your description. You’ve got 35 characters; get it done.
  • Enable all the relevant extensions to provide customers with extra ways to engage with your business and provide more helpful, actionable information.
  • Use mobile-optimized creatives to make sure your ads are relevant, useful, and easy to take action on for busy customers on the go.

For more details about this upcoming change and how to ensure your mobile ads are optimized for the best possible results, check out the full article at the AdWords Blog.

 

Can Bing top that? Let’s see…

Are your product ads not showing up? Do you wonder whether your ads will appear on mobile devices? This info is no longer a mystery, thanks to Bing’s Ad Preview and Diagnostics tool. Check out the tool here. With a few simple clicks, you can see how your ads are appearing and even your delivered ads.

But that’s not all. You can diagnose reasons why your product ads aren’t showing up for specific keywords and get actionable advice to rectify it. Great features, no doubt about it. Get the scoop at the Bing Ads Blog.

Do you depend on radius targeting? You’ve probably been aching for some deeper local insights to improve your concentrated ad efforts, and Bing is delivering. You can now access local data, such as:

  • How many impressions and clicks you’re getting in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, or Timbuktu. Well, not really. This data is currently only available in the U.S., so Timbuktu is out. Sorry.
  • Click-through rates in Portland, Miami, or Chicago. Or anywhere.
  • Searchers in any city of your choice, anywhere in the U.S.

And there’s more: You can compare data, city-to-city, for a holistic view of your geographical data. Want it? Just download the Market Sizing Dashboard from the Agency Hub and then choose from seven different reports. For a full breakdown of this fantastic tool and the beautiful reports you can generate (because you know you’re a charts-and-graphs geek like me), check out the full synopsis from Bing.

Did you miss all the great stuff emerging from Bing over the summer? Stuff like improvements to speed, efficiency, and performance, all aimed at getting you even better results from your Bing ad campaigns? Not to worry, Bing has summed it all up right here.

And last but not least, did you miss Bing’s holiday webinar this week? Tsk, tsk. Lucky for you, Bing is hosting yet another free webinar in conjunction with Kenshoo and BevyUp, Key Insights for Your 2014 Holiday Search and Social Plan, happening on September 24th. Head here for details and here to sign up.

 

Let’s check in on the wider world of the web…

Have you ever considered dipping a toe into the LinkedIn PPC ads pool? PPCHero offers up a step-by-step guide to getting started, or just testing out the LinkedIn waters. Get it here.

Google’s updates to its AdWords ad policy center are rolling out this month, including some clarification on the types of things that are and are not permitted to be advertised on its network. The changes are unlikely to impact most advertisers, but Search Engine Land analyzes the changes in-depth to clear up confusion about what to expect and how you might be affected. Read more here.

If you haven’t implemented callout extensions yet, this article from PPCHero is likely to convince you. How does a 221% boost in CTR sound? That’s what I thought. Get the scoop here, and thank me later.

Google Analytics, Google AdWords…so much data, different dashboards, yet you’re looking at the same campaigns in some cases. Yes, it can get confusing. But comparing your data between AdWords and Analytics isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, according to 3Q Digital. Find out how to reconcile your data in this informative post.

We’ve done a lot of talking about improving ads, diagnosing ads, and generally making sure your ads are kicking ass and taking names later. So, let’s round out this week by addressing a critically important part of the equation: landing pages.

Seriously, you can have the most kick-ass ads in the world, but if your landing pages suck, visitors will not convert. Mark my words. So, to make sure I’m giving you a well-rounded dose of useful info that will most certainly result in the plumping up of your wallet, I direct you to this excellent, actionable guide from Wordstream. Get the secret weapon for great landing page copy here.

And with that, my friends, I leave you to your mission of creating ads that rock and landing pages that convert to cash. Enjoy!