If you’ve tried to use your RSS reader to stay up to date with innovations on the Google AdWords platform, you probably have some unread posts, as you’re likely subscribed to some combination of the sea of official Google blogs (I didn’t even realize there were that many until I went to grab the link for all their advertising-related blogs: 18 different blogs all dedicated to Google advertising!).
You probably also subscribe to untold other pay-per-click related blogs. If you’re trying to keep up with the above, some things have probably fallen through the cracks; and if you’re not, you’ve missed a lot of new Google features (as evidenced by the need for so many blogs!). We’ll try to recap five of the highest impact recent AdWords changes:
AdWords Campaign Experiments
This can really be a killer feature for an advertiser. Basically AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) allows you to split test various elements of your campaigns. Split testing landing pages and ad text are basically old hat at this point (and there are certainly plenty of things to test around ad text and landing page optimization), but the ability to create tests for things like modified broad match, campaign structures, and ad groups with and without specific keywords is very, very powerful. One of my favorite tests to create with this option is to take campaigns with liberal use of broad or phrase match and give modified broad match a try. Joe Kershbaum at Search Engine Watch had some other great ideas, and as usual Brad Geddes had a really interesting idea to try out.
AdWords Automated Rules
This one is still in beta but has the capacity to be just as powerful and interesting as AdWords Campaign Experiments. Check out the video below to learn more, and stay tuned or shoot your AdWords rep a note to see if and when the feature is rolled out to your AdWords account:
AdWords Call Metrics
Tracking phone calls via AdWords has long been a pain point (so much so that companies like Mongoose Metrics have built a whole product and business around it), and AdWords is making a concerted push to figure out local search. A big piece of that is giving advertisers more visibility into how phone leads are being driven through AdWords. Call metrics offers a really interesting option for local businesses and anyone who drives phone calls via ad text to get better granularity into how AdWords is affecting your business:
New Product Listing Ads
work with an advertiser’s Google Merchant Center account to serve highly targeted ads that include richer product information directly in the ad itself – including product image, price, and merchant name. Starting today, U.S. users searching on Google.com may begin to see Product Listing Ads more frequently on their shopping related queries.
This is a really interesting and potentially powerful feature for e-tailers.
AdWords Enhanced CPC
The final recent enhancement we’ll cover here is AdWords Enhanced CPC. This feature leverages some of Google’s proprietary data and your own historical data to better manipulate your bids. This can be a pretty powerful option when used in conjunction with bid management tools, but as with any Google run bidding option use it sparingly and keep an eye on its impact on results:
What Else Is New?
With the rapid pace of innovation from the folks on the AdWords product team, I’m sure I missed some important new features and options: What other AdWords updates have you found success with?