Search engine marketers are rejoicing over the fact that both Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter have updated their advertising platforms to create a simplified interface for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.
The new look of Google AdWords is much cleaner than in the past and simplifies the interface with newly designed menus, tabs, navigation and buttons so that performance data stands out. The goal of the new design and layout of the AdWords interface is to make it easier for advertisers to create effective paid search campaigns. Google says that they integrated the latest technologies to make the AdWords interface more visually appealing and scalable.
Microsoft adCenter updated the look-and-feel of their interface as well to a clean, white and easier-to-use design which was intended to improve user experience within the platform. In addition, adCenter moved the settings for both campaigns and ad groups into a separate tab. Now when you click the name of a campaign on the Campaigns tab, you will see the new Settings tab where they can change the campaign’s setting. In addition, when you click the name of an ad group on the Ad Groups tab, you can use the new Settings tab to update the settings of the specific ad group. In addition, Microsoft has made it simpler to navigate from campaign to campaign within the platform.
All of these updates will make it easier and more efficient for search engine marketers to navigate through the online advertising platforms and implement changes throughout the interfaces in order to better optimize paid search campaigns.
Google recently announced that its Merchant program will be transitioning to a new commercial model, called Google Shopping. With Google Shopping, merchants set up Product Listing Ads (PLA) within AdWords in order bid on listings for products within a datafeed. Merchants have the option to use either cost-per-click (CPC) bidding or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) percentage bidding. With a CPA model, merchants pay AdWords on a commission basis and only when an AdWords click leads to a transaction on a merchant’s website.
With CPA bidding, merchants can focus on conversions by setting a cap as to how much the merchant is willing to pay. The merchant will only pay AdWords when the product is purchased by an online shopper; in addition, the merchant will pay AdWords a percentage of the product’s price. In a CPC model, the merchant pays AdWords for each click incurred, regardless of whether the online shopper made a purchase on the merchant’s website.
To implement CPA bidding, conversion tracking must be enabled for your PLA campaign. In order for the CPA model to work, it must correctly track sales and pricing for specific products targeted by your campaign. In the “Conversions” tab of AdWords, select a transaction/purchase conversion and under the Advanced options, select “Applicable for CPA% commission campaigns” and click save. Next, the conversion code must be implemented on your site.
CPA bidding is a great alternative to CPC bidding, especially for ecommerce sites that are focused on their return on advertising spend as well as for merchants who have different cost per conversion goals across a variety of product lines.
Google has opened its Trusted Stores program to all U.S. merchants; previously, merchants had to apply through their Beta program. By participating in Google Trusted Stores, ecommerce sites can tell online shoppers that their site is a safe and secure place to shop. Participants with a track record of fast shipping and excellent customer service are awarded a Google Trusted Store badge. Below is what the Google Trusted Store badge looks like.
Visitors of a site with a Google Trusted Store badge can hover over the badge to see the web site’s report card with respect to shipping and customer service.
Google said that retailers who have participated in their Beta launch have observed increases in website conversion rate measured by A/B testing with and with and without the Google Trusted Stores badge appearing on the site.
In addition, if you are a Google Trusted Store as well as an AdWords advertiser, the Google Trusted Stores logo will appear within your ad on google.com. Below is a screen shot of an AdWords ad with the Google Trusted Store logo.
With the upcoming migration from Google Merchant to Shopping, ecommerce sites can leverage this new feature from Google to show online shoppers that they have a legitimate and reputable website. Merchants can apply for the Google Trusted Stores program here.