It has been an exciting summer in the Google AdWords world! Over the last several months advertisers have been faced with challenging new account structure changes, exciting new reporting features, and breakthroughs in conversion tracking capabilities. The PPC team at E-Power Marketing has been busy transitioning our client accounts and keeping up with all the changes, today we’re recapping some of the biggest Google AdWords changes of the summer:
- Enhanced Campaigns – We’d be crazy not to list Enhanced Campaigns as the biggest change of the summer. I’d venture to guess I could write this post in January 2014, recapping all of the 2013 changes, and Enhanced Campaigns would still take the top spot.
It has been over a month since all advertisers were required to upgrade their accounts to Enhanced Campaigns. With Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers manage bids and ads based on a user’s device type and location, within a single campaign. The upgrade groups tablets and desktops together as a single device type and no longer provides the option to create a mobile-only campaign. This came as huge adjustment for PPC managers who, for years, followed the best practice of creating multiple campaigns for each device type. If your account was part of the auto-upgrade in July, be sure to check out our post on why you shouldn’t stick with the auto-upgrade default settings.
- Tracking Offline Conversions – Last week a new Google AdWords feature was unveiled that allows you to upload your offline conversion data into AdWords to see how often clicks of your ads lead to sales made offline (i.e. via a sales rep). This feature is especially valuable for those running lead generation campaigns where a conversion counts only raw lead submissions rather than actual sales.
With a few adjustments to your website’s code, the new feature will save an AdWords click ID with the lead information that is captured with a form submission. Once the lead is followed up on, typically by a sales rep, information about the lead can be uploaded back into AdWords using the original click ID. You can set up multiple offline conversion types to match the sales cycle of your business, including qualified leads, closed sales, etc. This allows you to more accurately measure the profitably of your Google AdWords program at a key phrase level.
- Paid & Organic Report – In late August, Google announced a new report that allows you to analyze your website’s performance when you have an organic listing, a paid ad, or both appearing on the same search results page. This report is available to advertisers who have linked their Google AdWords and Webmaster Tools accounts.
The report provides click, impression, and average position data for search queries that trigger your paid ad, organic listing, or both. This allows you to easily analyze how organic and paid listings impact one another. As an Integrated Online Marketing Firm, this report is a valuable new tool that will allow us to make informed decisions about where adjustments need to be made in both paid and organic efforts so they can work together to create the strongest program possible.
- Retirement of the Google Keyword Tool – While the actual announcement came in the spring, the official retirement of the Google Keyword Tool occurred at the end of August. The Google Keyword Tool was replaced with the new Keyword Planner, a tool that combines the Google Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator to provide new key phrase ideas, cost per click estimates, search frequencies and much more.
The most notable difference between the Tool and the Planner is the difference in reported search volume averages. The Keyword Tool reported volumes for broad match key phrases by default, while the Planner reports search frequencies for exact match key phrases, which in turn results in much lower numbers. Since the switch to the new Planner, the E-Power team, along with many users, have noticed inaccurate search frequency numbers and glitches with the exporting capabilities. Google has addressed many of these issues and will likely continue to make adjustments and improvements to the Planner to provide users with an effective key phrase research tool.
- Cross-account Conversion Tracking – With the transition to Enhanced Campaigns, Google announced that they would be adding several new conversion tracking capabilities to help advertisers measure the conversion process across multiple devices and accounts. The launch of Cross-account Conversion Tracking allows advertisers who run multiple AdWords accounts for one business to track conversions across all accounts with one set of code. This ensures that conversions are counted only one time in the appropriate account, rather than attributing a single conversion to multiple accounts. To utilize Cross-account Conversion Tracking, all accounts for a single website need to be housed within the same My Client Center (MCC) account.
After implementing Cross-account Conversion Tracking, you’ll also be able to access Cross-account Search Funnel Reports within the MCC account. The Search Funnel Report shows how different combinations of phrases across multiple accounts interact to create a conversion.
This list just scratches the surface of all of the Google AdWords changes introduced over the last several months. The E-Power team continues to watch, learn and utilize the new features and tools Google launches to best serve our clients. Which new features are you most excited about? Which changes have been the most difficult to handle? Share with us in the comments below!