It’s time for pumpkin smashing and late-night mischief – um, I mean trick or treating. Can’t do all that crazy stuff these days like we used to do without getting into major hot water. But that’s okay, candy makes it all good, right?

After Halloween immediately begins the big rush to Thanksgiving, followed by the busiest shopping season of the year. To be totally straight with you all, I honestly have no idea where 2015 has gone. Weren’t we just cheering the New Year, like, last week?

Anyway, time’s a wastin’, so we better get to this week’s PPC update before we blink and it’s 2019. Let’s see what tricks and treats Google, Bing, and the PPC thought leaders are passing out this week…

 

How’s it going, Google?

Google AdWords celebrated its 15th birthday this week. Launched in 2000 as a self-service advertising program, AdWords has undergone a tremendous transformation in the 15 years since it’s been launched, including advances in technology with new formats and capabilities that allow advertisers to reach consumers in the moments that matter with relevant answers.

Take a look at this post for a detailed infographic highlighting the evolution of AdWords over the past 15 years.

Cross-device data is now included in the Conversions column in the AdWords dashboard, as well as integrated with automated bidding. That means you can make every conversion count, using cross-device insights to measure up to 16 percent more conversions.

Cross-device conversions have already begun rolling out at the keyword level and can be included in the primary Conversions tab that includes website sales, app downloads, and phone calls. This, of course, provides deeper insights into the ways consumers are engaging with your business. And, you can take immediate action by enabling automated bidding to optimize the conversions that matter.

More on this and how to activate cross-device conversions in automated bidding in this post.

All aboard the holiday shopping train! Google has some best practice videos that will help you reach more shoppers for the holiday season. Google for Retail, launched earlier this year, is a central hub to help businesses of all sizes get started with Google Shopping campaigns. But beyond that, Google has created three new best practices videos to highlight three useful tactics for turning clicks into customers just in time for the 2015 holiday shopping season:

  • Manage your Shopping campaign: How to make sure you’re setting your goals, bids, and budgets for success. This video walks you through setting up realistic budgets and targets to maximize your reach on Google.
  • Get more of your products online: Advertisers often run into challenges when setting up their first data feeds that may prevent their products from showing up in Google Shopping. This video helps you navigate these potential hiccups and get your data feed in the best shape to maximize your visibility and get your products in front of more shoppers.
  • Optimize your Shopping campaigns: After your campaigns are set up, it’s time to think about how you can optimize your ads for the best ROI. This video covers optimization fundamentals, including how to drive traffic to your site and optimize that traffic to boost ROI.

You can watch the latest best practices videos in this post.

And, just in case you missed it last week, don’t forget to check out the DoubleClick Search Guide to the Holidays, which outlines five tips for turning searchers into customers this holiday season.

Another useful tidbit from last week, Google and Your Business offers up some valuable tips on winning mobile moments this autumn season, including:

  • Be there
  • Be useful
  • Be quick

If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Finally, before we move on to Bing, there are a couple of posts from Think with Google worthy of your valuable time, including Speed is Key: Optimize Your Mobile Performance and Inside Google Marketing: Applying a Research Mentality to Measurement. Great insights to be had from both of these posts, so be sure to check them out.

 

What’s up, Bing?

Viswa Rathinavelu shares a detailed walk-through of everything that’s new with Bing Ads API v.10 on the MSDN Bing Ads API Blog. If a quick overview is more your style, this post on the Bing Ads Blog sums it up nicely. Here are just a few of the new of the improvements you’ll learn about:

  • More efficient API Operations
  • Faster and easier URL management and tracking
  • Improved overall API performance
  • Streamlined Ad Insight service
  • Updated Bulk Service
  • Updated client libraries with new features supported

The Bing Ads Agency Holiday Kit and contest have arrived for the 2015 holiday season. The Bing Ads Holiday Agency Kit is packed with valuable insights and information, such as data on holiday market spend and search trends, templates and strategies for boosting holiday sales and make the best use of your time, and helpful tips on how to best connect with holiday shoppers. In addition, Bing has put together a few regional kits with regional-specific insights relevant to specific locations.

Finally, From October 26 through December 31, 2015, grow the revenue of your existing Bing Ads accounts or onboard new client accounts to Bing Ads, and you could be eligible to win a trip for two to Maui. You don’t even need to enter, all you have to do is do what you do. Check out the official rules here. Get more details about the holiday kit here or download your copy right here.

By the way, it’s been around for a couple of weeks now, but if you haven’t yet done so be sure to bookmark the Bing Ads Platform Health Blog. Should you ever encounter an issue, you can instantly check the status of the Bing Ads Platform, ask questions in the forum, send feedback, and get help from support directly from this page.

 

Let’s see what the PPC thought leadership camp has to say…

PPC Hero has released this year’s State of PPC Report, and this post highlights some of this year’s most intriguing findings. For instance, 70 percent of advertisers reported increases to their PPC budgets in 2015, and 48 percent plan to increase their budgets in 2016. Check out the post for more highlights and to download the full report.

Another valuable post from PPC Hero, this post discusses the new AdWords Customer Match feature that allows you to market to your email database, offering some ideas and more potential uses for the Customer Match feature. Check it out here.

And, this Resource Guide to Learning PPC is an absolute must-read, especially if you’re a newbie in the PPC game. In this guide, JD Prater highlights some of his favorite training resources on learning PPC from around the web. Get it here.

3Q Digital just ran a three-part series on cutting through the analytics clutter, and it’s worth a read if you have the time. Part 1 reveals why standard reporting isn’t built for diagnostics, Part 2 walks you through the art of creating custom reports, and Part 3 explains why segmentation is your superpower and how to use it to your advantage.

Clix Marketing offers a handy guide for holiday and year-end planning for lead gen PPC. Check it out here and start planning to end 2015 with a bang and kick off 2016 on a high note.

WordStream offers some advice to help you avoid killing your PPC account with a PR stunt. Big publicity events can be a tremendous boost for your business, but they can also wreak havoc on an otherwise immaculate PPC campaign. However, it’s critically important to understand how this PR exposure will impact the various facets of your business to avoid risk. This post explains how.

Margot de Cunha attended a Bing Ads Connect event in Cambridge, MA, and she shares five of the most fascinating insights she learned about paid search marketing in this post on the WordStream blog.

 

Until next week, my friends. Enjoy the ghoulishly fantastic weekend ahead!