Welcome to the first Weekly PPC Update of October 2014. Just think, you’re going to blink and be reading a super-enthusiastic Happy New Year post from me…while you sit sullenly, exhausted, and possibly still hungover from your New Year’s celebrations. 2015 is literally right around the corner.

And, yes, that means it’s time to get serious about holiday advertising campaigns. But don’t take my word for it: Google’s all over it, offering up some holiday tips for retailers, and it’s becoming the topic-du-jour among all your favorite PPC thought leaders (including, ahem, myself).

And in other PPC news, Facebook just made a major move that competes with Google, but it’s flown rather low under the media radar. Also in store for you this week: a couple valuable webinars you should totally attend, and the usual unveiling-of-new-features across both major ad platforms.

Getting on with it…

 

What’s up, Google?

Google backs me up this week, pointing out that as the first week of October is upon us, holiday shopping season is literally weeks away. That means you’re running out of time to get your holiday advertising campaigns in gear for the best holiday season E-V-E-R.

If you’re still stewing about my audacity of pointing out the fast-approaching holiday shopping season, consider this: 29% of shoppers intend to start their holiday shopping before Halloween, according to Google’s recent research, summarized at Think with Google. Yeah, I said BEFORE Halloween. Yeah, these people are nuts, I’m 100% with ya on that – but nearly one-third of holiday shoppers is a big chunk of the pie you don’t want to miss out on. So, accommodate these crazy peeps we must, and we do so with fabulous PPC ads and holiday promotions.

So, Google has put together some tools to help you capitalize on early holiday shoppers and all-season-holiday-shoppers, too. Check out this blog post at the AdWords Blog for some highlights, then be sure to save this Holiday Shopping Checklist, also from Google, with 9 tips for improving your search and shopping campaigns for the holiday season.

We talked about Dynamic Remarketing a couple weeks ago, but it’s now a feature available to advertisers across all verticals. Score! This includes:

  • Hotels
  • Flights
  • Real estate
  • Classifieds
  • Jobs
  • Auto
  • Finance
  • Education

In case you missed our first announcement about this new feature, Dynamic Remarketing ads basically show custom-tailored ads to your audience based on their specific behavior, such as the products they’ve viewed on your website. It’s a spin on the remarketing concept that takes it to a whole new level of customization, putting the most critical and compelling information in front of your target prospects at the right moment. Brilliance, in a bottle. Or an advertising platform.

In Beta testing, advertisers experienced a “2X increase in conversions and a 60% reduction in CPA.” Um, who wouldn’t sign up to get some of that? More from the AdWords Blog.

How about cross-device conversion metrics for search and display? Sure, coming right up. Well, Estimated Total Conversions has been around for almost a year to the day now, and this included cross-device for search ads. So the big change here is really that cross-device conversions are now available on display, as well.

This new feature is designed to show you the complete picture of your advertising effectiveness in the multi-device world in which we live, now on the Display Network, too. From the Google Powers-That-Be:

“Here’s how it works: say someone’s browsing bicycle reviews on her phone, and clicks on a Display Network ad that takes her to a bike shop’s website. Later, when she gets home, she pulls up the shop’s site on her computer to buy the red cruiser she’s been eyeing. This is an example of a cross-device conversion from a display ad that advertisers can now measure.”

Cool stuff, huh? All the details here.

 

Is Bing still hitting it out of the park after the Getty Images snafu?

Why yes, yes Bing is still hitting it out of the park, despite that little Getty Images lawsuit I told you about a couple weeks ago.

First up, a few webinars you might be interested in:

  • Free Digital Advertising Webinar: Bing’s first with the Microsoft Partner Network. And it comes with a free Bing Ads trial for Network members. When? Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Be there, or be square. Oh, and if you’re not already a Network member, you can join for free. Love freebies. Details here.
  • Free Holiday Webinar – Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Beyond: This one talks planning your online advertising budget, how to effectively reach your local audience, and the Bing Ads features that can help you boost your biz results this holiday season. When? Thursday, October 2, 2014. Uh, yeah, that was yesterday. Not to worry, you can catch a replay here. As of the particular moment I write this, the replay is in processing, but Bing gives its word that it will be available soon.

No time to mess with webinar replays? Catch some holiday advertising tips via the written word here on the Bing Ads Blog. Top gift items this season?

  • Clothing and accessories
  • Gift cards and gift certificates
  • Media: books, CDs, DVDs, videos and video games
  • Toys. Of course. We all want toys!

And last but not least from Bing this week, U.S. advertisers now have access to Enhanced Sitelinks. What is it? “Enhanced Sitelinks is a new format of Sitelink Extensions that allows you to add up to two lines of customizable, descriptive text to your Sitelink Extension.  The result is a larger, more relevant and descriptive ad, and a more captivating ad format by which to attract your target audience.” More from the Bing blog.

 

Is the rest of the web holiday-crazy too? We shall see…

PPCHero reports on the mobile-focused display ads coming down the line from Google AdWords. Check it out.

Are you making use of the AdWords Shared Library? PPCHero weighs in with tips on capitalizing on every section – all seven of them. Get it here.

How about a little bit of organic SEO in the mix this week? 3Q Digital offers insights on one of your most burning questions: Is Google really downplaying the impact of Google+ in the SERPs? After some testing, Colin Guidi concludes that the search giant is still investigating its options and determining exactly how its social network will weave in with the SERPs. The full story at 3Q Digital.

Oh, hey, did ya hear about Facebook’s rather-significant expansion of its advertising network? It’s called Atlas, and it’s, surprisingly, gotten much less media attention than I’d expect. Of course, Atlas really isn’t new – it was acquired by Facebook in 2013 – but Facebook has revamped t to rival Google’s Doubleclick stack. Michelle Alfano has you covered at the Rimm Kaufman blog with all the details.

Want to make faster PPC decisions? Uh, yeah, who doesn’t? WordStream reveals three reports to speed your decision-making process. The full story here.

Head on out with your bad self. It’s your weekend, live it up.