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Google AdWords Improvements

Written by Alun John

Alun founded Marketing Tom and delivers some of its courses.

May 8, 2012

It seems that every time I go into my AdWords account there is always some notification of an improvement to the AdWords interface. For those AdWords clients, students and agencies I thought I’d point out a few of the latest ones.

Google Campaign Optimizer now lets you optimise your Google Display Network campaigns down to keyword level. Display Campaign Optimizer was launched in beta in 201o but is now open to everyone. Here is an overview:

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Google has also introduced an improvement to its advanced location targeting. This is what your advanced targeting screen used to look like

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and this is what it now looks like:

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And in the words of Google, this is what it means to you:

Let’s say you are an airline using physical location targeting to reach customers in Atlanta, GA looking to fly to Hawaii. You have the keyword “flights to hawaii” in your ad group. Previously, your ad wouldn’t appear for any prospective customers in Atlanta that were searching for “flights to hawaii” because the search term indicated that they were interested in Hawaii. With the new setting “People in my targeted location,” the airline can now reach the customers in Atlanta searching for “flights to hawaii.”

We have also seen a change in the way that phrase and exact match works. Consider the following two rows of search terms:

1. waterproof sunblock         buy bollard cover          single serving coffee maker
2. waterpoof sunblock          buy bollard covers        single serve coffee maker

Previously, a search for words in the second row would have been possible for the keywords that you input into Google (indicated in row 1). From now on, that won’t be possible. Again, according to Google:

Starting in mid-May, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents and abbreviations.

Here’s a change to ad rotation. For those who have set upp their ads to rotate evenly (and infinitely), this will change in mid-May. Any ads that have ad rotation set up will automatically move over to optimize for clicks after 30 days.

And finally, Google has announced changes to the keyword tool and traffic estimator. The keyword tool has been improved to group keyword ideas by themes. In terms of the traffic estimator, Google has done the following:

Graph your performance estimates: We’ve introduced a graph to the Traffic Estimator to make it easier to gauge traffic and bid estimates and develop an effective bidding strategy.
Structure your keywords into ad groups: You can now create draft ad groups within the Traffic Estimator and easily view traffic and bid estimates for each of your draft ad groups.
Add campaigns to your account: When you’re satisfied with your campaign structure, you can add the draft campaign directly to your account.

Related Articles
Display Campaign Optimizer Available to All
More clarity and control with location targeting improvements
New matching behavior for phrase and exact match keywords
New Changes to Ad Rotation
Making campaign planning and build-out faster and more accurate


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