December 29th, 2015

Cut To The Chase [Volume 6]: PPC News From The Desk of Jeff Allen

Jeff Allen | President at Hanapin Marketing | @JeffAllenUT

By Jeff Allen (@JeffAllenUT)

2015 Search Trends give us some uncomfortable facts about our world. For example, we cared 43x more about Adele then we did about finding flowing water on Mars. And we cared 10x more about The World Series than we did the Pope coming to America. Nothing actionable on Google’s tribute to 2015, but an interesting, if not depressing, look at Search. Read More>>

Smart Goals is a new alternative to conversion pixels in AdWords. It’s intended to help advertisers who can’t place pixels and don’t have goals in Analytics they can import. More or less, Smart Goals aggregate anonymous data and identify users that are most likely to convert and count that as a conversion. It’s a Beta in Analytics, and you can set it up, then check against your gut/actual conversion tracking, and eventually import that info into AdWords. I can’t think of a situation where I’d use the feature, as I think the data is more likely to over report then underreport, and thus would likely lead to bad decisions. However, if you absolutely cannot set up conversion tracking or goals, it may be worth looking into (but seriously, I wouldn’t). Read More>>

A new interactive ad format for app installs through Search was rolled out in December. These new ads allow folks to engage with your app before downloading it, which Google is doing because 1 in 4 downloaded apps are never opened. The new format allows users to engage with the app for 60 seconds before downloading it. The bad news is that a lot less folks will likely download your app, but the good news is that those that do *may* be more likely to use the app. Read More>>

As programmatic becomes the 2015-2016 buzzword, Ad Blocking has become the antagonist. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and others, are pushing for agencies and advertisers to become members of the Trustworthy Accountability Group (worst name, ever?), which aims to create a trusted network of publishers and advertisers. Others are saying that the core issue isn’t ads, it is the invasive nature of collecting or inferring personal information about users and then following them through every step of their journey. The solution to this, folks claim, is to be more like traditional Madison Avenue advertisers, and focus on brand, message and target market, versus specific users.

If I had to place a bet today, I’d say this issue doesn’t get resolved in 2016. I think it ultimately gets resolved when the public loses interest in ad blockers due to an increase in the number of ads being allowed through their filters. As Ad Blockers begin to get more and more advertisers to pay their fee to sneak through these filters, users will become increasingly frustrated.

Intent beats identity. That’s Google’s claim, anyway. They say that folks doing mobile ads are missing 70% of potential converters if they only focus on demographics (instead of intent). This is great news for Paid Search advertisers, who should always be focusing on harvesting demand through intent-based campaigns. The moral of the story is that if you focus on demographics, you miss people outside that demographic that are making purchases for friends and family. Read More>>

Facebook Pixel was rolled out several months ago. Many advertisers that upgraded to it saw a decline in performance followed by shorter shelf life for creative. In late 2016, Facebook will remove the conversion specific pixel. Read More>>

GA Audience Insights is a cool new tool that allows you to see total audience size and indexed audience size by In-Market Segments and Affinity Categories. This helps answer some questions about how relevant a category or audience is that we are or will be targeting as well as how much we could spend. Read More>>