2018 has been a crazy year in the world of PPC Marketing. Advertisers have seen new tools, drastic interface changes, and a complete re-branding of Google’s paid program (RIP AdWords). Just like the holiday season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the ever changing PPC world.
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, it’s a perfect time to get in the mood of being grateful. In this post, let’s look back and reflect on 8 new changes and classic paid search tactics we are thankful for this year.
1. Keyword Planner
This classic keyword tool provided by Google is essential to any advertiser, and we couldn’t be more thankful for the overhaul it received this year. New features that were added to the Keyword Planner include:
- A Cleaner Interface
- Device and Location Projection Breakdown
- Editing Keyword Match Types in Bulk
Finding brand new keywords and projecting budgets has never been easier thanks to this tool.
2. New Search Competition Metrics
Who doesn’t love impression share metrics? They are a stat that can tell what percentage of the time an ad is seen, giving advertisers insight on areas where quality score can be improved. Earlier this month, Google announced that they would be adding even more detailed data on this metric. This includes:
- Impression Share for just the 1st Position
- Impression Share for Above Organic Search
With these new stats, advertisers now have the ability to not only see what percentage of the time an ad shows, but how often it is in the 1st to 3rd position, instead of the bottom of the screen.
3. Search Query Reports
Search Query Reports (SQR) are a classic Google Ads feature that is endlessly important to making sure keywords are running as effectively as possible. While the feature remained unchanged this year, finding what your audience is specifically searching for gives advertisers the ability to find keywords, both negative and new, to add to the account. What’s not to be thankful for?
4. Audience Targeting
In 2018, Google continues to state the importance of Audiences for all campaigns. Advertisers are thankful for the ability to target beyond just keywords and find users based on their actions. These targeting methods include specific user interests, past website visitors, or a customer match list.
This year, Google further improved their audience targeting ability by adding In-Marketing Audiences. With this feature, advertisers can target users who have searched for a specific keyword in the past.
5. Automated Rules
Another old school tool that advertisers are thankful for are Automated Rules. With accounts that can span tens to hundreds of campaigns, with thousands of keywords, the thought of keeping up and optimizing everything can be a daunting.
With Automated Rules, advertisers can take some of the manual work out of the process. If a certain criteria is met, a rule can be set for a change to automatically happen. For example, if a keyword’s average position increases to 3 or above, and advertiser can set a rule for the CPC bid will automatically go up $1.
6. Extended Text Ads
Back in August, Google gave advertisers the ability to create ads that were 92% bigger. The character limit went from 140 to 270, with an additional description and headline being available for all text ads.
With this increase, advertisers are now able to experiment with new call to actions and product features that were previously difficult to add with the limited space.
7. Google Sheets Integration
Reporting tools are essential to any paid search advertiser, which is why this Google Sheet’s ability to link with Google Ads is a welcome addition to be thankful for.
As of last July, advertisers can create Google Sheet tables that pull data directly from Google Ads. This results in a seamless process that removes the manual side of the creating a report.
8. The New Google Ads Interface
Lastly, it is important to give thanks to the biggest shake up in the paid search world this year: Google’s new interface. Considering this is where most advertisers spend their time, it was essential that this experience be flawless. Like any change, it took time to get used to, but it was worth it in the end.
Thankfully, advertisers received a cleaner, faster Google Ads interface with a slew of new features. Some of these new features include:
- Ability to Create Extended and Responsive Ads
- Easier Accessible Reports (such as Landing Page Reports)
- Additional Data Points
With the year coming to a close, now is the time to look back and reflect on 2018. Whether it’s a new paid search tool that made life easier, or personal goals that were achieved, it’s important to see where we have been, and how we can improve next year.
Here’s to a fantastic 2019, full of new adventures and experiences to be thankful for!