Call extensions for mobile devices have been with us for quite a while now. But this week, Google introduced a new version that is designed to target the desktop and tablet users – which will be rolled out to all advertisers over the next few weeks. 

So, if you’re an advertiser that enjoys healthy conversion rates from users phoning your business, you may wish to pay more for a phone lead than an online enquiry. Equally, if you’re an advertiser interested in online conversions – there are benefits for you too. 

How does it work? 

Currently the position of your advert in the Google rankings is influenced by your Ad Rank – which is your Quality Score multiplied by your maximum cost-per-click. With bid-per-call enabled, this will carry its own Quality Score and can directly impact on your overall Ad Rank. Which means you could improve your overall ad positions and generate more clicks and calls. 

Want to give it a try?

Go to the ad extensions tab and:

- Select the call extensions option.

- Select the option for a Google forwarding number. 

- Enter your max CPP

If you are already using call extensions for mobile, just enter a max CPP for the extension to show on desktops, laptops & tablets. 

What is really exciting about this type of targeting is the reporting. Not only will you see the basic dimensions, like phone-through-rate and cost-per-call. You’ll get extra metrics like call time, duration, and caller area code – which will be available from the dimensions tab.

 

If you want to learn how Pay Per Click advertising works and see what makes Google AdWords one of the most popular advertising platforms in the world then join us at our latest joint training course with Marketing Tom Media.

On the 3rd and 4th November in the ESIS conference centre in South Wales, Gareth Morgan, Managing Director of Liberty and Alun John of Marketing Tom Media, will be teaming up to offer another 2-day Pay Per Click Masterclass.

The course will look at everything from the history of search engine advertising and the theory behind Pay Per Click, to advanced AdWords uses, such as the display network and ad extensions. Attendees will be shown how to choose keywords, structure an account, write adverts, pick keywords, manage bids, and a whole lot more!

This training will benefit those new to AdWords as well as existing advertisers that want a refresher or a look at additional options.

Full details and a booking form can be found here. We hope to see you there!

AdWords advertisers are being targeted by scammers with a new phishing email that is being sent out a lot. In the past 24 hours, we've seen a few dozen of these emails target various inboxes belonging to Liberty and its clients.

Whilst phishing emails have been doing the rounds for years, and AdWords ones aren't a new thing either, these ones are different because they are written by someone who can actually spell. Even though previous emails were filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, they caught a lot of people out, so these will probably do quite well.

With the title "Google AdWords: Please Update Your Payment Information", the plain text email reads:

------------------------
This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not accept incoming email.
Please do not reply to this message.
If you have any questions, please our Help Center to find answers to frequently asked questions.
------------------------

Hello,
Please update your primary and backup payment information, even if you plan to use the same information.
Please follow the steps below to update your information and trigger our billing system to process your
next payment.

1. Log in to your account at http://www.google-mnc.com/Select/login
2. Enter your new or updated payment information.
3. Click 'Save Changes' when you are finished.

To update your backup credit card:
1. Visit the 'Billing Preferences' page, as described above.
2. In the Backup Credit Card section, click 'Edit'.
3. Re-enter your backup credit card details.
4. Click 'Save'.

To update your bank account:
1. Visit the 'Billing Preferences' page, as described above.
2. In the Bank Account section, click 'Edit'.
3. Re-enter your bank account details.
4. Click 'Save'.

Thank you for advertising with Google AdWords.
Sincerely,
The Google AdWords Team

What started out as a small beta test one year ago has been rolled out to all Adwords advertisers.  The new interest categories allow advertisers to target their audience, based on interests and demographics. 

So, how does it work?

When a user visits a website, Google’s system looks at the page type and frequency of visits, then associates the user’s browser with the relevant interest categories. Provided the sites they visit have AdSense, you will be able to show adverts to your audience wherever they are surfing on the web – it is no longer limited to contextual or topically relevant content or themes. With over 1,000 categories & 500 million interested users, there is bound to be an option for your business. 

If you are interested in giving it try, it couldn’t be easier. Go to the Audiences tab and you will be presented with a list of interest categories to choose from along with the estimated amount of searchers by category: 

As always, you only pay for clicks or impressions at auction prices.

Google have provided a best practices guide to help you get started.

Today Google has introduced a new feature of Ad Sitelinks - embedded ad sitelinks - which brings targeted links to within the advert itself. e.g...

How does it work? There are no additional lines available for the ad text. Alternatively, text in your advert that exactly matches one or more of your existing sitelink extensions in that campaign will automatically be linked with that sitelink’s URL. Allowing potential visitors to pick part of the advert that applies to their interest and visit the most specific page. 

As always, there are restrictions on when and where these extensions can be shown. First of all, you must have active sitelinks within your chosen campaign and your advert must appear above the search results. However, the embedded sitelinks will only appear for adverts that do not meet one or more of the requirements for the traditional set up – details here.

As Liberty is on the Google Engage for Agencies programme, on Wednesday, our Pay Per Click advertising manager Chris had the pleasure of attending an event at their UK HQ.

The main focus of the event was to understand how best to improve the visibility of small businesses online.

There were some very interesting topics discussed and some great insight into search trends. Here are the highlights from Chris’s notes on what Google was saying:

Changes to AdWords

There are quite a few changes in AdWords ad extensions this week. You will soon be charged for clicks on your location extensions, such as people using your advert to find directions to your premises. Google realises these are useful and lead to more interaction with your business, so want you to pay for it.

Video extensions will be the next big thing for AdWords extensions, where videos will be playable from within the sponsored ads section of the search results. This is currently a beta test and only rolled out to major film companies for the time being.

Google is removing the £5 activation fee for new AdWords accounts. This is great news for small businesses, providing less of a sticking point – it’s even better if you have an AdWords voucher, meaning you really can now try it for free!

The Google Checkout button is being removed from the ads, though it will still be seen within the Google Products shopping results.

Getting British Business Online

This is a big focus area for Google and Getting British Business Online is something they want online marketing agencies to help them push. In the UK last year, 17pence in every £1 was spent online – which highlights why a new or small business without a website needs to seriously consider an online presence. For one-man-bands or those dipping their toes into the web, the great part is that after a simple registration process, you will get the following from Google:

- Free. co.uk domain for 1 year
- Free easy-to-update website for 1 year
- Free email address @yourdomain
- Free support

If you or any small businesses you know want to take advantage of this then let us know and we will happily point you in the right direction.

How big brands are being innovative

Using Google AdWords with other Google tools - like Trends & Insights - can help you find and attract cheap traffic that your competitors aren’t targeting. See this great example from Converse.

Is YouTube the next major destination for online shopping? Check out how fashion retailer French Connection turn videos into ecommerce opportunities via links within product videos.

Other interesting facts

The number of people making decisions in stores has halved, which is mainly down to product reviews online. Your potential customers have the ability to browse the web almost everywhere – via pc, laptop, mobile and tablet. The key message on the day was make sure you and your products can be seen and make sure you manage your reputation online.

Also, 1 in every 3 Tweets now has a YouTube connection.

Something we noticed this morning is Google AdWords showing a URL in the headline of an advert:

It looks like Google is:

1. Only adding the URL to the headings of the top 3 adverts
2. Not adding the URL if the advert is taking advantage of the recent 'top ad' layout (where the first line of the body becomes the second half of the heading)
3. Not taking space or characters away from the headline to add the URL

This is definitely in testing phase right now as doing the same search a few seconds later did not show these results.

On the 17th and 18th May in South Wales, Liberty Marketing Managing Director, Gareth Morgan, and Alun John of Marketing Tom Media, will be teaming up to offer a Pay Per Click Masterclass.

Full details and a booking form can be found here, though here are a few reasons why new and existing Pay Per Click advertisers should attend:

1. Gareth and Alun have a combined 20+ years experience in search engine marketing and working with Pay Per Click systems

2. Between them, they have worked with and advised hundreds of businesses on how to get the most from Google AdWords

3. This is a pilot event, so it has been priced at around 50% of similar AdWords training courses

4. The course will include a lot more than just theory - practical tasks and one-to-one advice will take place throughout the two days

5. One of Liberty's Google AdWords Qualified Advertisers will also be on hand to answer any specific questions each day

We hope to see you there.

A recommendation made by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) could lead to restrictions on bidding on competitors' brand names and trademarks in Google AdWords.

The adviser recommended that the ECJ should rule against Marks & Spencer for bidding on keywords such as "interflora" as well as variations including misspellings of the trademark and phrase versions including "interflora flowers."

Interflora, who started taking legal action against Marks & Spencer over two years ago, has been unhappy that M&S were paying Google to appear in the Sponsored Links section of the search engine results for its own name. They argued that as M&S' adverts bore no relevance to Interflora, they were taking an "unfair advantage of [their] brand, in breach of trade mark law."

Evidently, the Advocate General agrees, stating that a brand should be allowed to stop a competitor from advertising on its own name as a keyword "in the case where that ad does not enable an average internet user, or enables the said user only with difficulty, to ascertain whether the goods or services referred to in the ad originate from the proprietor of the trademark or an undertaking economically connected to it or from a third party." In other words, if an advert could be confusing and has nothing to do with the brand keyword being searched, then they should not be targeting that particular keyword. After all, a searcher may think that M&S' advert appears when they've searched for Interflora because they're associated with each other or working together.

The potential ruling's implications


The Advocate General's ruling may be non-binding, but it is a signal that the ECJ is likely to lean in that direction and rule in favour of Interflora and against M&S. If so, this landmark case could affect online advertisers throughout Europe when it comes to competing with their competitors' names on Google AdWords.

Bidding on competitor brand terms is not new. In addition to being a practice where one brand might attempt to sway potential customers from another brand, the number of impressions a keyword receives can also provide a valuable insight into the strength and popularity of a brand on a day-by-day basis. For example, as this is typed, Confused.com, Gocompare.com and Comparethemarket.com are all bidding on each other's names:

Brand term bidding

Bidding by accident?


Perhaps the biggest implication is the ruling's effect on accidental brand term bidding. This will be an issue for phrase term brand searches (e.g. "interflora flowers," "confused.com car insurance," etc.) or if a brand's name contains or is made up of a generic product/service keyword.

For example, if M&S' advert appears for the keyword "interflora" then it is obvious that they are bidding directly on their competitor's name. However, if the advert appears for "interflora flowers," is it because they are bidding on that keyword or because they are bidding on just the keyword "flowers" on broad or phrase match? What about companies that have keywords in their name, such as flowersdirect or Flying Flowers?

Interflora's ad showing for a competitor search

The above screenshot shows Interflora's ad showing for a search for "flying flowers," probably because they bid on the keyword "flowers."

Admittedly, Flying Flowers may not be trademarked, but what if it were? Will advertisers be expected to add every single trademarked competitor to their negative keyword list, or only bid on exact match and therefore require an extensive exact match keyword list? Will Google step in and automatically discount popular brand and trademark names and variations? Would it even be able to, without the need to acquire a mammoth list of trademark names?

The impact on Google


Speaking of Google, the ruling will have implications for them as well.

Any restrictions on keywords will result in less money being spent by advertisers, and a restriction on this scale could make a significant dent in the amount they earn from AdWords. If advertisers stick more to exact match keywords, if they are worried about bidding on trademarks via broad and phrase match, they could see even more of a drop-off in the amount of keywords that advertisers bid on.

Is it wrong to bid on competitor brand terms?


Obviously Interflora is pleased by the Advocate General's recommendation, wanting "to protect [their brand] for our customers, florists and the future." But what do others think of the recommendation? Patrick Altoft of BlogStorm argues that it's "a win for common sense. Loads of people bid on competitors trademarks but nobody in the industry really likes it." As mentioned previously however, bidding on a competitor is more than just stealing their traffic: it can give real, accurate data on how many people search for a brand, so this information will be lost as well, with marketers having to rely on Google's Keyword Tool and Google Insights instead.

Evidently it will come down to this: those who benefitted greatly from bidding on their competitors will be unhappy with the recommendation, while those who were taken advantage of (such as Interflora) will consider the potential ruling to be fair and will help them to get the clicks that they feel they deserve.

Either way, it will certainly change the landscape for PPC advertising in the UK and Europe.

It seems no matter what you search on, including the latest single from one of your favourite bands, you will see Ask.com bidding on the search term. But what is going on with this one?

"Birthday Find. Search for Birthday Find Find Birthday Find"

Jeeves, we'd love to know if this strategy is working for you. If it isn't and you want someone to help with your Pay Per Click ads, then all you need do is Ask (sorry!)