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Taylor’s Top 5 PPC Developments Of 20164 min read

It would be very strange indeed for 365 days to pass and for there to be no developments in the weird and wonderful world of PPC. It is, however, the only year in which I have been involved in all things search terms, keywords and adtext, and I have witnessed a lot of changes since I first walked through the doors of Digital Gearbox.

As we close for Christmas today (I can almost taste the mince pies and mulled wine… going back to my parents’ house for food and festive fun couldn’t come soon enough!) and won’t be back in the office until 2017, it felt like the perfect opportunity to round up the 5 key PPC developments that have certainly made the team’s lives a lot easier and more enjoyable since they were rolled out.

AdWords’ Expanded Text Ads

How could I not start with my beloved ETAs? They were rolled out only a couple of weeks before I joined Digital Gearbox and at first I couldn’t understand the hype – but it’s like having an extra 50 characters for a tweet, more space to rant or describe your breakfast, or in AdWords’ case, more space to describe your product! After updating my fair share of text ads, I can truly see how much more breathing room ETAs give advertisers. Not only this but ETAs have helped improve CTR for our clients, and nobody can refute how much more polished and professional ETAs look in comparison to their predecessor.

The old text ads only allowed for one headline, and also for two boxes of text.
Before
The new ones have two headlines and a bigger, longer box for text. Makes much more sense!
After

See Ya Later, Converted Clicks!

You know what they say – less is more. Google got rid of converted clicks which seemed to take a bit of a weight off of every PPC advertiser’s shoulders; it frankly seemed a little bit unnecessary from our standpoints when we were usually just interested in the end goal of pure conversions. The back-and-forth from conversions to converted clicks to conversions and round and round and round until we were dizzy feels so inefficient in hindsight to what we have now. I don’t think we miss them over here at Digital Gearbox!

Date Comparisons In Bing

So, I know we’ve all been told never to compare two things to another as all things are unique and special, but this is PPC. That’s what we do. Kind of seems like a no-brainer to have the ability to compare two date ranges on every interface, but Bing didn’t have this until recently. Nothing hurt more than having to download report after report to compare and now it’s as easy as doing it in AdWords! Sorry, Bing… I know I said I shouldn’t compare but you’ve finally upped your comparison game. About time.

Device Bid Modifiers in AdWords

The ability to change bids according to whether you’re on a desktop or tablet or mobile has been helpful beyond words. Some products are simply better served on devices other than desktop and when the majority of your clicks are coming from a mobile, it makes no sense to chuck money to get clicks from a tablet! This one has been invaluable. Cheers, Google!

Message Extensions

Since the dawn of the printing press, we’ve all done things to avoid talking to other people. Before smartphones we had kindles, before kindles we had books and newspapers. Message extensions have only help continue this phenomena; instead of calling up a seller, customers can now use text messaging to arrange a viewing of a product or pencil in an appointment. Sure, there is debate surrounding the wider implications that being slightly antisocial has, but as Digital Gearbox’s resident introvert, I for one am quite happy that Google has decided to enable my love of being quiet.

Thank you Adwords, for letting me own my introversion.

What now, then?

Though you can argue that with 2016 being my first year of my voyage into PPC, I haven’t been fully immersed in all of the technology. To an extent, that is a valid point to make. But to see how many developments have been rolled out in that time and how they’ve changed the dynamics of online advertising so dramatically makes me incredibly excited to see what is to come in 2017. Until that rolls around though, I’m more than happy to ponder upon it over the aforementioned mince pies and mulled wine…

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