2014 Pay Per Click Wishlist

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We’re well beyond the 2013 holidays and it’s time to look ahead to what 2014 will bring. Will we see another Enhanced Campaigns bombshell? Possibly. Yahoo! has already announced a change to their advertising that they claim will consolidate the fragmented online advertising world. Will Bing/Yahoo! merge with Google to form a super search engine? Not likely. Can Google shock the world and actually take Google Nose out of BETA? I’m on the fence on that one.

Personally, I’d like additional insight and more control over my pay per click (PPC) campaigns. There are simple changes or additions that I think would make a huge difference in management and optimizations. We’re lucky to have the insight and tools that we have, which has made it a lot of fun to come up with new and effective strategies. So what do you get the search marketer that has everything? You develop improvements on what they already have. By the 2014 holidays I hope a magical PPC Genie will grant me the following wishes: 

Campaign Status Button

Bing needs an easier way to switch between active, paused, and all campaigns. Their filter gets the job done but it’s not as convenient as Google’s status button. Google’s button doesn’t offer the paused only option either. I wouldn’t need to look at that very often, but it would be nice to have when I do. This request goes for the ad groups, ad and keyword view too.

Segment

The segment button is a nice feature in the AdWords interface that breaks out data to compare desktop against mobile against tablets, for example. If you have campaigns that are targeting all devices this is handy in quickly identifying the performance in each.

The network segment has helped me make the decision when it’s time to turn search partners off in several campaigns. Other segments include time (day, week, month, etc.), click type, and a few others. Step it up, Bing.

Networks

Speaking of networks, Google’s only two options are the Google Search Network with search partners and Google Search Network only. While it’s not the norm, search partners have performed better than Google search in some cases. It would be helpful to choose search partners only, have separate bids or the ability to manage individual search partners in AdWords.

Time of Day

Bing’s time of day controls are broken up by “part of the day” with only six options. PPC genie, I wish I could control bidding by all hours of the day in Bing…

Geo-Targeting

Google’s geo-targeting isn’t bad at all. We have a client that needs zip code level targeting because their customer demographics are that specific. Google has this capability, so it works out great, except that they don’t allow you to target enough zip codes. Their limit is 10,000 included and excluded geos per campaign. This has filled up in the past, which leaves us to find a different solution.

Bing is incredibly restrictive when it comes to their targeting. They only allow 255 total targets for each ad group and targets include geographic, day of week, hours of day, demographic and device. This forces advertisers to have very different strategies in Google and Bing if they need more than 255 targets.

Multiple Graph Dimensions

I really love how Google’s graphs allow you to compare two metrics in the interface. I often turn to these graphs first when I’m troubleshooting an issue. Having a visual timeline of performance makes it easy to spot trends and an exact date of when performance turned one way or another.

Bing’s graphs only show one metric at a time and the options are very limited. I’m not confident they even change if I put a filter on for a unique view. They do put other metrics in their own smaller graphs off to the side, but overlapping graphs are much easier to read. The line in the graph also changes from daily to monthly if your date range is longer than two months. This helps no one.

Mobile Only Campaigns

In my opinion, Google’s glaring weakness is the inability to have mobile only campaigns. In a previous post I wrote about how important mobile was to one of my clients. I’m sure I’m not the only one that would want more from mobile without having to spend more in my desktop/tablet campaigns as well. If you’re in a situation where your budget is limited then Enhanced Campaigns aren’t doing you any favors. Please, Google, give me back campaign by device!

I’ll stop there to keep from sounding like a whiny brat that never gets what he wants (too late?). Google and Bing/Yahoo! have come a long way in the six years I’ve been in search marketing. No longer can you see competitor bids and one up them to get a higher position. Now, any bit of insight is important in analyzing the past and present to make decisions for the future. This industry is old enough that advertisers are putting together very sophisticated strategies. With lines starting to get blurred, search marketers must use any and all tools available to them. Here’s hoping these tech giants continue to build off a great 2013!

photo credit: tuneful87 via photopin cc

 

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