In this week’s PPC roundup, we’re talking technology – specifically, the rapid evolution of the way we communicate and consume media. From shifting search trends leading consumers to search-and-call from their smartphones to the evolution of television viewing, the world is changing before our eyes.

It’s pretty astounding when you think about the advancement of technology over what’s really a short period of time. Televisions have gone from huge, bulky boxes to slim, sleek designs seemingly overnight, and now we’re watching shows on laptops and tablets and consuming digital media on television screens. It’s craziness. But what’s even crazier is that all of those advancements have had – and continue to have – substantial impacts on PPC and digital advertising as a whole. Heck, the whole marketing and advertising industry has pretty much been turned on its head over the past few decades.

Speaking of all that, it’s a pretty different world today than it was when our grandparents were kids, ya know? So that said, have you ever thought about how you’d explain something like SEO or PPC to your grandmother? There’s a good reason why you might want to give it some thought. Read on through today’s PPC update and I’ll explain why.

 

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

Digital marketing is increasingly going mobile as consumers search with their smartphones – and often make calls immediately upon finding what they’re looking for. In fact, Google says that 70 percent of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results.

To accommodate this growing trend, Google is introducing call-only campaigns, “a new and easy way for businesses to reach potential customers by prominently showing your phone number, business description and call button — right when people are searching.”

These ads are designed to show only on devices capable of making calls, and they cater to businesses that value phone calls over website clicks. With this single call-to-action, you can design a bidding strategy based specifically on your CPA or ROAS goal for calls, maximizing the value of every phone call your business receives from search results. More details in this post.

Oscar night was last Sunday, but this post from the Adwords Agency Blog talks about how to stay relevant in search through awards season. Even if you missed out on the Oscars search frenzy this year, there’s always next year.

We’ve talked about the fact that the television experience is transforming rapidly, shifting to delivery over the internet as opposed to the traditional tube-viewing you and I grew up with. By the time the young generation of today has kids, viewing television shows at pre-programmed times will be, like, so ancient. Anyway, Google’s running a series on the Evolution of TV, and this post talks about reaching fragmented audiences across a variety of screens and devices. Fascinating stuff.

DoubleClick is exploring audience signals in search marketing, and they’ve asked some industry thought leaders to share their insights on what the opportunity is. “According to these industry leaders, audience insights enable advertisers to go beyond simple keywords and use other signals to inform their search marketing. They can make smarter bidding decisions, but more than that, advertisers can improve the message they’re presenting to their audience, making their search ads even more relevant and compelling. And of course, as search strategies become sharper, ads perform better.” Click here for more insights and a video.

DoubleClick now supports remarketing lists for search ads. Check out this post for tips on measuring your ROI.

 

Checking in with Bing…

What can you find in the Bing Ads Agency Hub? Tools, insights, training, and more. In this post, Tina Kelleher talks about the resources available in the Hub and why you should be taking advantage.

Tired of the data scavenger hunt? Who isn’t? Good news: Bing is making the scavenger hunt obsolete with its Top Movers Report. What does it do? It helps to identify and diagnose performance variations with ease. “Basically, it’s a one-stop-shop to see how account spend, clicks, and conversions are faring over time.” Awesome, right? More on this here, as part of the Bing Ads Power Tools Series.

If you’re hiring someone to do SEO, there are lots of things you might want to ask. As in, what metrics will be used to measure success, what’s the workflow, asking for examples of SEO work they’ve done in the past, their thoughts on the most important SEO factors for increasing rank, their thoughts on the SEO space in general…and much, much more.

Bing has published a comprehensive list of questions to ask before hiring someone to do SEO, covering virtually every aspect of everything you’d possibly want to know, including how they’d explain SEO to their grandmother. (Remember earlier when I asked if you’ve ever given thought to how you’d explain SEO or PPC to grandma? Yeah, this is why.) Check it out.

 

Let’s take a stroll around the web…

Have you heard of people-based targeting? If you haven’t, now’s the time to brush up. Why? Because PPC Hero says moving towards people-based targeting is essential for PPC practitioners. Hint: People-based targeting is the process of targeting ads to users deemed of interest by the advertiser. For more details, read this post.

Check out these four Google Analytics hacks to boost your ROI, also from the one-and-only PPC Hero.

SEO and SEM, as you know, are two different animals that often overlap slightly or impact one another in some way. But just how much value does SEM add to existing SEO efforts? 3Q Digital delves into how to measure the value-add. Check it out.

Even if you don’t love Scandal (say WHAT?), you must have heard of Olivia Pope. Who doesn’t want to read the Olivia Pope Guide to Fixing PPC Issues? Because, you know, Olivia Pope can fix anything. Including PPC. Good read from Clix Marketing right here.

How do you figure out what the best paid search landing page is? News flash: It might not be the obvious one. Merkle|RKG reveals how to determine when category pages or other landing pages might result in better performance over the obvious solutions. Read it here.

Bing is making its mark on the search world, and everybody’s taking notice. WordStream reveals seven ways Bing Ads beats Google AdWords. Check it out.

 

Okay, people. These weeks fly by in the blink of an eye, so I’m left with just four words for you: IS IT SPRING YET? Until next week, my friends – stay warm!