One week from today, the moment will have arrived: all the buildup of the past four to six weeks (or, you know, since July for those of you who start shopping early) will be unwrapped in approximately 2.5 seconds, at approximately 4:30 a.m. (if you have young kids). For those of you who don’t have young kids, you’ll probably still be nursing a hangover at about 1:30 p.m. (Hey, we’ve all been there.)

Don’t forget that next week, I’ll be checking in with your Weekly PPC Update on Thursday instead of Friday. (I’m still a bit offended at the thought that you all might have better things to do than rush to your laptop to read my PPC update next Friday morning, BTW.)

In the meantime, there’s still much to be done. Such as moving the cat off your wrapping paper no less than 4,500 times in order to wrap a single gift. So with that in mind, we should probably see what’s new in PPC this week.

 

What’s up, Google? 

Advertising smart means measuring smart, and that means setting smart goals. You’ve heard of those, right? Well, now Google is helping you with Smart Goals, a new feature to help you identify the highest-quality visits to your website and optimize for those visits in AdWords.

Smart Goals applies machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have chosen to share anonymized conversion data, distilling dozens of key factors correlated with likelihood to convert. Smart Goals, in other words, reflects your website visits that are most likely to convert, as determined by Google’s model.

Learn more about Smart Goals and how to activate this feature in Google Analytics by reading this post.

Did you vote for the best YouTube ad of 2015? Winners have been revealed in categories ranging from the best YouTube ad that restores your faith in humanity to the best ad that gets you going, gives you feels, ad that you wish you were in (duh, ALL of them), and more. Find out who leads the pack in each category, and which category has Bieber Fever (hint: The Beebs starred in an underwear ad for Calvin Klein), in this post.

All the time, some company out there is getting freaking amazing results with Google AdWords. Netshoes is just the latest in a long line of success stories, with Netshoes boosting conversions by five-fold through DoubleClick Bid Manager. Netshoes, if you’re not familiar with the brand, is actually the world’s largest sports retailer. The company sells everything from basketball shoes to fitness gear. The reason you may not have heard of them is that they sell their products throughout Latin America – and still, the company has realized astonishing success using one of Google’s many brilliant opportunities to reach and engage customers. Read the case study here.

Got questions about the new domain name endings? Google and Your Business has answers. Check out this post for the scoop.

Wanna know what’s more powerful than demographics? Consumer intent. Read this post from Think with Google to learn more.

 

Hey Bing, what’s new? 

So, Bing is always ahead of the curve when it comes to looking ahead, so it should come as no surprise that they’re already thinking about ways companies in different verticals can get more from their advertising dollars in 2016. In this post, Bing takes a look at how education advertisers can make the grade in 2016.

Still feel like you’re sort of stumbling your way around the Bing Ads interface? Now you can get a guided tour, showing you where to find important features and how to make cool stuff happen, such as:

  • How to create a remarketing list
  • How to add and edit keywords
  • How to set your budget, targeting, ad scheduling, and exclusions
  • How to create and manage rules that run based on your pre-determined criteria

You’ll also be happy to hear that Bing has introduced two new features in its iOS and Android mobile apps to help you stay on top of your campaigns anytime, anywhere: favorites and push notifications for Automated Rules. Favorites are the new best way to monitor your most important campaigns, while push notifications for Automated Rules will make sure that you get alerts about important goings-on with your campaigns. Check out this post for all the details.

Oh yeah…so it turns out that Valentine’s Day is coming soon. Don’t shoot the messenger. Bing’s already on it, with some intriguing stats about Valentine’s Day 2015 and what you can expect – and how to capitalize on the big spending trend – in 2016. Read it here.

 

Thought leaders, how’s it going? 

Have you planned your 2016 paid search budget yet? If not (or even if you have), you should definitely check out this post from PPC Hero which talks metrics, deliverables, and other essentials for hitting your PPC goals in 2016.

Your PPC ads are often your first impression on a potential customer. And you know what they say about first impressions. So with that in mind, check out PPC Hero’s post on making a killer first impression with your PPC ads.

If retargeting is part of your advertising plan, 3Q Digital offers up a fantastic checklist for getting your campaign settings right. Read it here.

Clix Marketing examines Google’s Smart Goals and whether Smart Goals are really that smart in this post.

At the Merkle|RKG Blog, this post discusses five key takeaways from Google’s search quality guidelines and what they mean for SEO.

Are you spying on your AdWords competitors? You should be. WordStream reveals three reasons why in this post.

How can you make people want what you’re selling? WordStream’s comprehensive guide to product marketing tells you everything you need to know to make your products irresistible. Read it here.

 

Can you believe it’s officially just one week until Christmas? Don’t forget, check in with me here next Thursday (not Friday) for your weekly dose of PPC. In the meantime, I know you all have cats to move – or, gifts to wrap, rather – so it’s time to get cracking. Enjoy your weekend, all!