As the holiday season quickly approaches, businesses and advertisers alike know that it’s a good time to get ahead of the game. Many already have or are actively planning their advertising strategies. However, for many businesses Google was throwing a wrench into their Adwords advertising strategies with their ad policy review.
In past years, Google’s ad policy review was proving to be a challenge to advertisers when it came to banner ads. Per Google, it takes one to three business days to get banner ads approved, but here’s the catch, the banner ads had to be active. Do you see the dilemma? When an advertiser uploaded active banner ads, their status would change to pending approval and once it was approved the ads would start running (meaning it could now be shown to searchers). Many advertisers would upload banner ads early in order to get approval, and be ahead of sales and holiday time crunches. However, their banner ads could get displayed before their intended time, depending on when the banner ads were approved. Plus, Google didn’t send an alert to let advertisers know their banner ads were approved; they just had to check on their banner ads’ status periodically. If an advertiser waited until the day before or the day of to upload their banner ads, those banner ads might not get approved for three days and then their banner ads would be late to show. Imagine doing banners ads for each one of the 12 days before Christmas, it could prove to be quite challenging, some of your ads could show beforehand and some could end up behind schedule. But as I mentioned, those were days past.
Google started approving paused ads at the beginning of September. This is a huge benefit to advertisers and businesses alike, especially for those who like to plan ahead. This means that banner ads can be uploaded in paused status, approved and then those banner ads stay paused and can be activated on the day they are intended to run. No more showing ads ahead of time because they’re approved and slipping out into the display world before they can be paused, and no more ads being displayed after their scheduled launch date because they’re still waiting on approval. Advertisers should truly be grateful, especially since this change comes right before the holiday season.
So this year, feel free to upload your paused banner ads early and enjoy the fact that no one will know about your surprise sale or product until its time.
There have been whisperings in the air and at meetings about a particular merger. Some held their breath, while others thought it would never happen. Well, it’s official. Yahoo and MSN/Bing are merging their search efforts to form a union known as the Search Alliance.
Search Alliance is the name that Yahoo and MSN/Bing are using for the search merger. However, at the same time they are still competitors. Although Yahoo and MSN/Bing have joined forces in the search arena, they will still remain competitors in the display market. If a company is running display campaigns with either of the engines, they will be unaffected by the merger in regard to through which engine their display ads will be managed.
The Search Alliance merger will allow Yahoo results to be powered by MSN/Bing. When the transition is complete advertisers will be managing their paid search campaigns in MSN/Bing AdCenter. Any advertiser who has been advertising in both Yahoo and MSN/Bing for search will only need to focus on optimizing the MSN/Bing campaigns because their Yahoo campaigns will be turned off. For advertisers who are only advertising in Yahoo, they will need to make sure that they get a MSN/Bing account set up.
The Search Alliance should prove interesting. Many questions arise such as will cpc’s go up? What search partner sites will I show up on? One of the most daunting questions is how will the merger affect my traffic and my ROI? There is one answer for all of these questions. The answer is only time will tell.
In the world of Google search ads, advertisers know the drill. Twenty-five characters for a headline, and thirty-five characters for description lines 1 and 2, as well as the display url. It seems like a very limited amount of space for a company to get their message across, until now. Google has recently opened up Ad Sitelinks to all advertisers.
According to Google, “Ad Sitelinks allow you to extend the value of your existing AdWords ads by providing additional links to specific, relevant content deeper within your sitemap.” Ad Sitelinks give companies the power to share more about their business and what it has to offer. In the examples below, 1-800-Flowers is able to show searchers that they offer birthday flowers & gifts, gift baskets and even Martha Stewart flowers & gifts. These are all options that might not have been promoted without Ad Sitelinks.
There are two format options for Ad Sitelinks. There is a one line format and a two line format. Google determines how your sitelinks will appear based on ad relevancy and other factors. Let’s take a look at how site links show with a search ad. Example 1 shows a one line format and Example 2 shows a two line format.
In both examples the Ad Sitelinks appear in blue below the paid search ad. Keep in mind advertisers have to rank between positions 1-3 and be in the light peach colored box above the organic listings in order for Ad Sitelinks to be eligible to show.
Ad Sitelinks empowers advertisers to set themselves apart from the competition by letting them present more services and options to searchers within a search ad. Plus, it gives more real estate on the page and most advertisers will gladly take it.