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.
Remarketing allows you to show banner ads to previous visitors of your website as they browse other sites throughout the Web. How it works: you add a tracking pixel to your website which will allow your ad to be shown to visitors once they are no longer on your website. The websites must be within the Google Display Network for your ad to be displayed; some site examples are AOL.com, YouTube, Business.com, NYT.com and many more.
You can set up different tracking pixels to remarket to different types of visitors to your site. A few examples are: tracking customers who get to your homepage and leave immediately, visitors who add items to a shopping cart on your site, but do not complete an order, or visitors viewing specific pages on your site, among others.
You can also create separate messaging for each type of visitor to your site. For instance, if a visitor viewed a product page containing gift baskets and didn’t complete an order, you can create a banner ad with specific messaging related to gift baskets to be shown to this visitor on other websites. You can even set up a tracking pixel to target customers who have made a purchase on your site and your banner ad can invite them to make another purchase with a special discount or promotion.
Think that your ads may be a little too intrusive? No problem, you can set daily frequency caps so as to not bombard visitors. Keep in mind that it takes a user approximately seven views to take action on an ad.
Remarketing allows you to reach more qualified potential customers because these visitors have already shown an interest in your product or service. Most websites that have implemented Remarketing ads have seen an increase in overall conversions and increased brand exposure.
The campaigns are easy to set up and work like other Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, where you only pay for ads when a customer clicks on them. Because Remarketing is a PPC model, you can see conversions when a customer only views your ad and returns via organic search or direct traffic, at no added cost to you!
One of the basic best practices in online marketing is to ensure that your ad copy matches your target audience. In the most obvious of cases, you wouldn’t want your sneakers ads being displayed for search terms related to computers. One of the benefits of Pay-per-Click (PPC) marketing is that you can write ads which speak directly to the people who are searching for your type of product or service. However, when creating a banner campaign, your main goal may be to build brand awareness regardless of where the target audience may be online. Even in this situation, you need to make sure there is a strong connection between the audience viewing your banner ad and the message within that ad.
I was recently online reading an article about U.S. automakers and the gains they have made in generating interest among young, first time car buyers. Being in the marketing industry, I always get drawn to the advertising on the page to see what other companies are doing to market their business. I was drawn to a banner ad from large, well known national bank and immediately thought I was seeing a remarketing ad since I am a customer of this bank and visit their site frequently. While it is not uncommon to see this type of advertising, I was surprised to see that the ad was in Spanish. Living in South Florida, it is common to see billboards or the occasional local cable TV commercial targeting Spanish speakers. But with the targeting options available to online marketers, I should not have been served this ad. Just like you wouldn’t want a sneaker ad displayed when someone is searching for computers, you shouldn’t serve a Spanish written ad to a person who cannot speak that language.
When setting up a Google AdWords campaign, regardless of the type of campaign (search, banner/display network, or remarketing campaign), you have the option to target by language. In the “Settings” tab under any campaign you can drill down to not just a geographic location, but also select which language you want to target. Google even provides a “help bubble” that explains the language targeting option and how it works. Specifically it states, “When determining where to show your ads, the AdWords system looks at a user’s Google interface language setting to see if it matches one of the languages that your campaign targets. For example, only users whose Google interface language is Spanish will see ads in a campaign targeted to Spanish.” Obviously, this targeting option was not used properly in the aforementioned bank’s banner ad campaign. The result of this oversight leads to a Spanish written ad being delivered to someone who cannot speak or read Spanish. No matter how compelling the offer may have been, it was not targeted to me properly, I couldn’t understand it and therefore would never have clicked on it. The campaign is wasting impressions and the overall effectiveness of that ad copy is nullified by poor targeting.