Next week (Wednesday) is the Fall Equinox, and that means there’s no denying it any longer: Summer is dunzo. For those of you obsessed with pumpkin spice everything, it’s a glorious time of year. Those of you who despise bitter cold winters and snow are probably less than thrilled that those cold months will soon be upon us.

Regardless of what’s happening outside, though, there’s plenty of work to be done behind closed doors in preparation for seasonal changes in your PPC campaigns and, of course, the upcoming holiday shopping rush. So before I send you off to enjoy the last few blissful days of summer, let’s see what valuable tips and tidbits Google, Bing, and the PPC thought leaders have to share with us this week.

 

Checking in with Google…

Google forwarding numbers have arrived in Canada. (Wassup, Canada? Canada rocks. I digress…) Anyway, so 61% of mobile searchers say that it’s important for them to be able to actually call a business during the purchase process. And of course, as an advertiser, it’s important to be able to measure calls to fully understand the value of Google search ads and to make informed decisions about the best way to engage and acquire new customers.

So, this is the reason why Google forwarding numbers are now being made available in Canada, and the best part is they’ll have a local number where available, catering to the majority of consumers who prefer to call a local phone number.

Here’s what Google has to say about it: “When you use Google forwarding numbers with your call extensions and call-only campaigns, we’ll dynamically assign a unique phone number to your ad. When a customer calls that number, AdWords will route the call to your business phone number while providing you with useful information about the caller’s area code, call duration, and whether the call was answered.” Sounds good, right? Read this post for all the details.

Programmatic buying can help brands make the most of – and capitalize on – the micro-moments through which we now live our lives. With the purchase funnel now involving a myriad of screens, devices, and channels, it’s more complicated than ever to fit the pieces of the puzzle together in just the right way to influence your target audience to take the actions you want them to take most.

Programmatic can help alleviate this challenge, acting as a puzzle-master of sorts that strategically assembles these micro-moments in just the right way to create a comprehensive blueprint of consumer intent. Check out this post on the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog for more info on how programmatic buying is reshaping advertising for brands.

Over on the DoubleClick blog, this article shares four tips for using programmatic buying to win these micro-moments – and offers four case studies showcasing brands who are doing it right.

If you’re a human with a phone, you’ve been hounded by at least one relentless robo-caller. If you’re a small business owner, the odds are good that a fair portion of the many robocalls you likely receive are from companies claiming to be affiliated with Google, urging you to claim your Google listing or offering some guaranteed services to help you improve your rankings. Well, the good news is that these companies aren’t actually affiliated with Google. The bad news is it’s a really huge issue, and it’s not just the Google calls that are creating this nuisance for people everywhere.

To help combat annoying robo-callers, Google is offering some tips for what to do when you receive these calls, including:

  • Report callers to Google, and also the FTC or the FCC.
  • Hang up the phone. Do not press any key, even if the voice recording prompts you to in order to speak with a live person or to be taken off the call list.
  • Contact your phone company to see if they can block calls from any numbers.
  • Register your personal number with the National Do Not Call Registry at: https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx or call 1-888-382-1222.

Check out this post on the Google and Your Business Blog for more.

 

Let’s see what’s up with Bing…

Bing is partnering up with Savoo, which is relaunching its offering to become a free-to-use online fundraising platform. Every time you use Savoo’s search engine or deals, the U.K.-based site donates to your chosen charity on your behalf. Cool stuff, actually.

Bing Ads comes into play by facilitating the ads on the Savoo platform: “Search results on the new ‘Savoo Search, Save and Raise’ platform will be powered exclusively by Bing Ads through a search engine on the site’s homepage which, when used, will donate 1p per search to a charity of the consumer’s choice.” Get more details in this post, and start searching to support your favorite charity.

If you’re planning on heading to a Bing Ads Connect event, you’ll want to check out this post for rescheduled dates in the following cities:

  • San Francisco: Now on October 30, 2015
  • Los Angeles: Now on November 3, 2015
  • Chicago: Now on November 5, 2015

Why attend? Well, you’ll get all the latest insider info, hands-on demos of tools and reports available in Bing Ads, and more, not to mention some great networking.

 

And on to the PPC experts…

Why aren’t your visitors converting? It’s a frustrating scenario, but often very fixable. This article from PPCHero explains how lowering users’ risk can boost your conversions.

What about diminishing returns? Another frustrating situation we encounter in PPC from time to time, and PPCHero again has your back with this post explaining why you can’t always expect double the revenue from doubling your budget on an existing PPC campaign. Read it here.

Small banner ads: worth it, not worth it? Can they be effective? They sure can, and 3Q Digital offers up some best visual practices to maximize the value of your small banner ads. Check it out.

Now, here’s a useful post – another bit of helpful expertise from 3Q Digital. Ever wonder exactly how you’re supposed to make the best use of all the categories and tags on your blog? Finally, someone demystifies this for us. Read it here.

How about a PPC creativity and productivity jumpstart? That’s something we could all use from time to time (or, ahem, daily…). This post from Clix Marketing will share exactly how to give yourself a little creative-juices boost before diving into campaign planning for more effective – and innovative – campaigns.

What should you consider when planning your 2015 holiday advertising budget – and what about beyond the holiday season? In this post, Merkle|RKG shares top considerations for your paid search budget.

Ad targeting is the hot ticket these days for reaching your target audience with precision. In this post, WordStream reveals the 8 coolest ad targeting features in marketing right now – a must-read.

In retail? You’ll definitely want to check out this post from WordStream, offering money-making PPC tips for retail marketing.

And don’t forget to stay on top of the “7 Deadly Sins of PPC” series from WordStream. The latest posts in the series are Wrath and Lust. It’s a total spookfest that will have a timely conclusion right around Halloween.

 

After Wednesday, all bets are off. It’s all pumpkin spice lattes and muffins, and ghosts and goblins and such. So take some time and enjoy the last weekend of summer 2015, and I’ll catch you all next week!