Articles written in November, 2011

November 29 2011

Spotted: Google AdWords Mega Ad Sitelinks Experiment


Google AdWords has been rolling out new ways for advertisers to use Ad Extensions — from its recent launch of Social Extensions from Google+, to tried and true Sitelinks that give advertisers more innovative ways to link to their website from their AdWords ads.

Most recently, I have seen ads that Google is calling a “Mega Ad Sitelinks Experiment”. It looks like there are three ads, but all three ads are tied to one advertiser:

Google AdWords Mega Ad Sitelinks Experiment

Google says that Mega Ad Sitelinks is currently in beta and will only appear when there is only one top ad. Google adds that it is happening to current ads that have Sitelinks already implemented and is predicted to increase click-through rate (CTR).

The Mega Ad Sitelinks ad takes up a majority of real estate on the search engine results page (SERP) and also gives searchers more detailed and specific links. In the example above, the top ad includes information on generic jeep parts, whereas the bottom two ads include ad copy that is specific to jeep softtops and tire carriers for jeeps.

Google AdWords currently also offers the following Sitelinks options: Location, Call and Product Extensions. For more information on AdWords Sitelinks, visit the AdWords Help Center.

November 17 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – How Will You Compete?


Both online retailers and shoppers wait with great anticipation for these sacred two days to roll around, and for very good reason; Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest online shopping days of the year and as a retailer, you do not want to disappoint!  On the flip side, as a shopper, you do not want to be disappointed! The expectations are huge. What kind of promotions have you got up your sleeve? How will you compete with all of the retailers who will be aggressively marketing their websites? The answer is really simple: By advertising offers that are too good to pass up! Below are just a few of the most popular tried and true offers that statistically perform well year after year.

HINT: Be sure to include coupon codes in your ad copy. They work wonders in terms of tracking which ads/offers performed best.

Exclusive Time Sensitive Promos. Sort of like an “early bird gets the worm” deal. For example: 6 am to noon special savings. Most retailers make these the biggest offers of the day. Be sure to specify time zones.

Free Shipping. This one is a biggie, perhaps the biggest and shoppers have come to expect it. If you do not offer it year round you should definitely do so for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales will likely be lost otherwise.

Site Wide Discounts. Also a big one and very common. It gives your shoppers the freedom to purchase whatever they want and receive a nice savings.

Free Gift with Purchase. A great incentive – especially around the holidays. Shoppers are getting another gift they can either keep for themselves (if they are greedy, ha ha) or give to someone else.

Free Gift Wrap. Shoppers love this. Gift wrapping can be tedious and cumbersome and many wait until the night before to get it all done. This way — they get their gift shipped and wrapped. What could be better?

Take advantage of these two huge shopping days and capitalize on the increase in traffic and sales. Happy Holidays!

November 16 2011

Google Gives Searchers Ad Choices


Google is constantly making changes to improve people’s experience on their search engine. One of Google’s latest changes will affect businesses of all sizes that are running or plan to run paid search campaign. It’s called the Ads Preferences Manager and it’s worth paying attention too.

Google is giving searchers a choice of what types of ads they want to see and even giving them the ability to block ads. When a searcher does a search on Google, there is a little note that appears near the paid ads that says, “Why this Ad?” or “Why These Ads?”

Google Gives Searchers Ad Choices

After clicking on these words, a box pops up that gives them the option to learn more about the Ad Preferences Manager. Once they click on the link they are asked to sign in to access their ad preferences. They are then given the option to block ads from advertisers whose ads displayed on their most recent search. An advertiser can be blocked or unblocked with a simple click of the mouse.

Google Gives Searchers Ad Choices

According to Google they want to personalize a user’s search experience. In fact on the Ad Preference page it says, “With personalized ads, we can improve your ad experience by showing you ads related to websites you visit, recent searches and clicks, or information from your Gmail inbox.” In all fairness, Google even allows users to block Google ads. (I tried it and it works).  Google also gives the searcher the option to opt out of these personalized ads.

This new option presents a whole new element to paid search ads. For advertisers, not only do ads, keywords, and landing pages have to be relevant, now users have to like them so they don’t get blocked.  This is all the more reason to run relevant campaigns that display ads which are associated to a user’s keyword search, and leads them to a relevant landing page.

It’s a little early to tell if users will adopt this new option and begin using it. However, businesses should keep in mind that at any given moment their ads can be blocked from showing to a specific user. It’s a somber thought, but it is the new reality.

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