PPC Update: 6 things to look out for in January

Enjoy Digital
By Enjoy Digital
5 minutes to read

Now we’ve entered 2017 it’s important to get a grip on the coming PPC changes, particularly those that will make the most impact.

Consumer activity is still heavy this time of year with January sales and you don’t want to be missing any opportunities to drive traffic to your website or footfall to your shop. Below is a list of a few updates and changes that can help kick off your 2017 in the right way.

Expanded ad switch-over

Google have done a good job of promoting this change so it’s a fair assumption everyone is clued in. But you can’t write an article on January 2017 PPC updates without including the biggest change of the lot.

It’s an easy enough job to switch all your text ads to expanded ads if you find yourself pushed for time. Simply highlight all your text ads within Adwords Editor and right click. This will then produce a spreadsheet with a blank Headline 2 column in which you can make tweaks and additions and re-upload to the editor. Easy!

The deadline (31st January) only applies to creation and editing of existing standard ads. Google haven’t provided a deadline for standard ads no longer being served.

Localised phone numbers 

This one caught our attention as a lot of our clients have local call centres using local phone numbers. However, in some instances, we only have one tracked number for all ads in all locations. From January 19th, this will become a bit of an issue.

For those using location and call extensions together, Google will split test call extensions with a local retail phone number. This will inevitably cause issues with tracking and it will also create a poor user experience. For example, if someone searches locally they will then have to confirm their local area because they’ve been directed to the central call centre. Your options? You can either not use third party call tracking or you can totally opt out of this feature. For more information see here.

Amazon exploring PLA’s 

Most advertisers in the retail industry will be familiar with the sight of Amazon in their Auction Insight reports. Whilst Amazon certainly don't aggressively bid on everything, they certainly have the spending power. They've been noticeably missing from Product Listing Ads that is until December 2016. This could be a sign of things to come so it's definitely worth keeping an eye on impression shares of your shopping campaigns this year. Find out more here.

Negative shared library 

For those using an MCC this is just a quick bit of help. You can now apply a list of negative keywords across all your accounts at once. So, if you’ve got a specific list of keywords/profanity that you’re definitely not targeting, then this will save you creating one list per account. I've given myself a pat on the back for resisting the urge to reel out some example terms...

Swipeable price extensions 

For those who haven’t used them, price extensions simply listed the prices of products below your ad for mobile browsers. And it was just that, a static list. Now Google are looking to get more interaction out of them by making the listings swipeable. If your customers start getting more use out of this, you can filter out any unnecessary clicks and cost by better informing them on whether they’re willing to make a purchase. Find out more here.

Affiliate location extensions 

Affiliate location extensions will allow manufacturers to direct customers to the nearest store selling their product, based on user's location. I’m a fan of this one from a consumer point of view because I usually find it quite difficult to find where I can physically buy a specific product. This usually results in me buying online so retailers that rely heavily on footfall may find this a very useful update.

We love all that networking and connection making, but let’s face it, you can’t beat a good old-fashioned chat over a cuppa. Just give us a call, we’ll put the kettle on.

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