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How Google Ads Match Types Are Changing

Broadly go where no man has gone before!

Google Ads has changed the way that broad match types work, and for some reason no one is really talking about it!

Google search is changing. Google says it’s all for the good, and you’ll get more conversions for less money. But what does it all mean, how has it changed, how can you navigate all the jargon? And what even is a keyword anymore!

Looking for the TL;DR version – click here.


1. What is a keyword?

In paid search (also commonly referred to as Google Ads), a keyword is a specific word or group of words for which an advertiser wants to show their ad when a user searches them. A search term is the actual wording used by the user when searching on Google.

However, as an advertiser, you will not be able to cover every possible variation of way in which a user could search for you, your service, or your product. 

Match types are therefore used by advertisers to allow Google Ads some flexibility in its ability to match a keyword to a match type. An exact match means the keyword and search term need to be the same (ish). Phrase match allows for the order of words to move around and some words to change, as long as it doesn’t change the basic meaning of the keyword. And broad… well broad means you give Google the keys and you let it drive off into the sun.

…at least, it used to.


2. What we know

How have broad keywords been used to date?

Most experienced advertisers have always been averse to using broad match keywords; they regularly resulted in budget being squandered on irrelevant searches and the keywords underperforming against match types you had control over.

  • If you wanted to spend your budget, you could use broad.
  • If you wanted to achieve your targets, you didn’t.
  • Additionally, in the charity sector, broad could be seen as too risky, given the limited control.

But things have changed – quite considerably.


3. How broad match is changing

In March of this year, a Think with Google blog dropped to limited noise. It covered two engineers who had been using AI and Large Language Models to improve Google Ads.

The article details the overall history of broad match but specifically highlights three developments we need to be aware of:

  • The use of Large Language Models helps broad search understand the importance that the order of words in a search can have. A to B is very different from B to A when it comes to user intent.
  • Prioritising the keywords’ relevancy first, before considering ad rank.
  • Utilising multilingual search.

The most interesting development here is the prioritisation of relevancy over ad rank in auctions. This development means that Google may put in a keyword with a lower ad quality, if it believes it’s the most relevant keyword you have. It also means that if you have the keyword which matches the user’s exact search (no matter the match type), that keyword is the only one put forward, regardless of the potential ad rank performance.

Without oversight on your keywords and their impact on your accounts, this change could be significant. If you have similar keywords within an account, you will likely see a change in usage among those keywords – with a reduction in impressions for some of your better keywords as their usage is limited by weaker keywords.

how google keyword auction works


4. Further developments

Google Ads has also produced a weightier documentation called Unlock the Power of Search.

(It’s a good read!)

It has a lot going on, and more than its fair share of hyperbole and salesy talk, but I’ve picked out some of the key points:


Auction change (keyword matches)

The auction process now starts with relevancy to determine what keywords to even put forward for the auction. This also means Google will only put forward keywords from what it determines to be the most relevant ad group, to the user’s search. This means that even keywords which are relevant, and have a better ad quality might be blocked from entering the auction by a ‘more relevant’ ad group.

Google signals are introduced

Broad match is now the only match type to make use of all the available ‘signals’. It uses these signals to understand both the intent of the user and to gain a deeper understanding of the keywords’ meaning. These signals include but are not limited to: previous search history, time of day, location, and user search habits.

Keyword grouping

The combined context of the keywords in an ad group is now a factor. For example, if you added a more generic keyword into an ad group, Google would understand the context of that keyword and apply relevancy, based on the other keywords within that ad group.

For example:

If you added ‘rose’ as a keyword into an ad group which contained broad keywords around wine, Google Ads alleges that it would understand that the context of this keyword is wine and not the flower, the colour, or the name – and would therefore only show that keyword against users searching for wine.

Focus more on ad strength

In an interesting move, and one which will certainly be met with scepticism by a few people, Google recommends you to view Ad Strength metrics when looking for optimisation tweaks, and reiterates that Quality Score is meant only as a diagnostic tool.

However, Google’s own support pages still indicate that Ad Strength, too, is just a diagnostic tool.


And finally, the subtle language change that could be nothing but is probably everything

Google makes many references to Keyword Themes within the documentation. Keyword Themes had previously only been referenced in Google Smart Campaigns, where the user provides the relevant themes (such as ‘online bereavement’ or ‘breast cancer symptoms’). The Smart Campaign will then match to searches it believes are relevant to that theme and will help you achieve your conversion targets (typically CPA).

5. What we can do about it

Review match types

This is a substantial shift in direction for Google Ads, which has

 spent a considerable amount of time in recent years making each match type broader and broader!

With the introduction of smart bidding, Google Ads now treats the same keyword equally across match types (assuming ads and landing pages the same). This means that if you are splitting out match types, you will actually just be splitting out your data up to threefold – and thereby limiting learnings and optimisation potential. Google tells you to simply remove different match types and just run with broad, nut if you have a strongly performing account with good account history, our recommendation would be to test this process over time.

The last thing you want is to make a sudden, drastic change and lose all the benefit of historical performance.


Review your keywords

Your keywords should be grouped into similarly themed ad groups already. But it’s now even more important (if using broad match) to ensure there is limited crossover in keywords (and their associated search terms) between these ad groups. Being tight on keywords used here will help you keep control of which ad shows in those searches – and where users get sent.

Remember – if a keyword exists that matches the user’s search exactly, Google Ads will use the matched keyword and not (necessarily) the best keyword.



If you, like many of our clients, have account structures meticulously crafted over many years, then you don’t want to be making substantial changes on an impulse. You start by testing on some lower risk campaigns, assess the keyword structure within, and then utilise Google Ads Experiments to see the impact of this new AI-driven approach.


6. What we’ve seen

We’ve not seen a huge change in our Paid accounts – especially the ones with good account history and prolonged performance.

However, we are seeing Google Ad Grants being affected. We discuss this in more detail in a separate blog, but we are seeing a substantial change in Google Ad Grant performance, though this is due in part to some additional factors.

The biggest impact here lies in health-based searches, where there isn’t as strong a focus on conversions.


7. What’s the future of broad match?

Google trials new broad campaign type

Google has recently introduced a new campaign type to select accounts whereby, during account creation, you can opt to remove keyword match types in their entirety. This means that any keywords applied to the campaign will be broad match, with no alternative option. Whilst this is a beta test, ultimately this is likely the first step in removing the ‘keyword management’ element of Google Ads. We’ve already been removed from bid management, and it seems that match types are the next component to go.

The death of keywords

Myself and Dan have often prophesied about the inevitable demise of keywords with Google Ads. The fact that, in this article, Google Ads are talking about keyword themes as much as individual keywords is a strong indication that this is coming.

This is certainly a deliberate use of language and is likely the first step in moving to this ‘keyword-less’ model. We’re already well on the way to the removal of match types, with Google suggesting that only in specific circumstances should you be using Exact and Phrase matches:

Content is king

There I said it. In a Paid Search blog! But it is true. As we lose more and more control over the keywords (and their matched search terms) that we want to bid on, our skills as paid search experts will come increasingly from the ad copy we write, as well as our ability to optimise landing pages.

That involves ensuring the content is aligned to the ad copy and the paid search keywords (or theme, once keywords go), but equally that the content also represents a good user journey and user experience.

We should also look at testing the copy – can we manipulate the search terms our ads match to by implementing new keywords in the copy? Or by changing the hierarchy of those keywords in the copy? There are abundant possibilities for new testing!



To summarise:

  • Match types are all but confirmed to be on the way out, with Google making it clear that (in its best practice) you should only use exact or phrase in specific cases.
  • Keywords now match for relevancy first and if a keyword matches the search exactly, that is the only keyword to be put forward.
  • Keywords themselves are likely on the way out, with Google set to pursue a ‘keyword theme’ model instead of individual keywords.
  • The ad and its landing page become even more important- and the main places you (as an advertiser) can make an impact.


Those are some enormous changes; there really is nothing like digital media to keep us on our toes.

On a personal level I’ve been screaming into the void about some agencies’ ill-formed use of broad matches over the years. To feel that those agencies are now potentially on the front foot through negligence is a very bitter pill to swallow.

However, it’s an exciting challenge. We’ve just gone through (still going through) the death of our beloved Universal Analytics, so it makes sense that we now prepare ourselves for the inevitable death of the keyword.

To discuss the demise of keywords, and how we can best manage this new approach, why not contact us for a chat.


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    What to do with the Facebook Meta Pixel

    Facebook Meta Pixel Lead Image

    In this article we discuss what a Facebook Pixel is and why it’s so powerful for charities marketing online. We look at why you use it, why it needs data, and what mitigating steps you can take when it comes to reducing the amount of personally identifiable data being captured.

    I have tried to keep this focused on facts and clear information, and where opinion or recommendations are offered they have been labelled as such. As a charity-focussed digital media agency, we understand the concerns and considerations charities and nonprofits must consider when it comes to personally identifiable information and marketing sensitive topics.

    It’s important to say that no UK organisation has been fined by ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) due to its use of the Facebook Pixel. In addition, the recent fine issued by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) related to concerns that whilst EU user data is protected by law in the US – it could still be accessed by US intelligence agencies. This ruling has no impact on Facebook in the UK.

    This article starts with introducing the pixel, what it does and why you use it. So for those among you who just want to know how they can tailor it and the recommendations going forward, you can jump further down: 


    1. What is the Meta Pixel (formerly the Facebook Pixel)

    The Meta pixel is a piece of code which is placed on a website, in order to track the actions users take on your site, such as viewing a page, pushing a button or making a purchase. It allows you to optimise and measure the performance of your campaigns across Facebook and Instagram.

    It’s worth noting that the Meta pixel is gradually being phased out, with Facebook recommending you use the new conversion API. We will cover this new API later on.


    2. Why you use it

    So why do organisations such as charities and nonprofits use the Meta Pixel? Primarily, it’s down to performance in your marketing campaigns. We understand that charities are under continual pressure to ensure every penny of marketing budget is spent wisely and efficiently; and the Meta Pixel allows that. 

    Its power comes from conversion tracking, where you define actions on your site which are core to your business and then review your performance against those actions. 

    With enough data, the Meta Pixel can even optimise itself towards those conversions using signals and data to show your ad to people more likely to take those actions. You can then enhance it further by feeding it data such as revenue (donation amounts for example), and it can optimise towards getting higher value conversions.

    Reporting on performance

    The pixel allows you to measure the performance of your campaigns. It gives you real time feedback on what is working, what needs improving and what needs stopping. This means you can avoid wasted spend and improve your ROI.

    Directly within the interface you can see which ads and audiences are hitting your KPIs and which ones aren’t. You can then use that data to make decisions to improve your campaigns, making you more likely to hit key KPIs such as revenue targets, volunteer sign ups or legacy gifts.

    Optimising performance

    As mentioned above, the pixel can use the data it collects to optimise its performance to hit specific KPIs. This makes your marketing more efficient, and more likely to hit relevant targets.

    For example, if you ask the pixel to get volunteer sign ups at no more than £20 per sign up, it will use its data and understanding of your users to help achieve that for you. Spending more on users it thinks are more likely to convert, and less on those it’s more unsure of.

    It’s important to note that it can only do this with a sufficient data set. Typically, this is around 9 conversions per day, and more than 50 in total.

    Strategic planning

    This data can be used on conversions, to help you plan for next year, or the next run of the campaign. You can review where performance exceeded targets and where you can make savings without impacting your KPIs.

    Without access to valuable data such as this, it’s much more challenging to identify areas for improvement in your marketing (much like more traditional offline advertising). Offline, often you know there are improvements and optimisations to be made, but you don’t really know where they are. 

    As we continue through a cost of living crisis, and pressure on marketing budgets increases, many charities could very likely see marketing budgets being cut by larger amounts than the targets you set. Having access to data on what works and what doesn’t can be vital to your organisation hitting its targets and objectives in the coming months.


    Facebook Meta Pixel - Analysing Data

    3. How it works

    It might seem scary, and most of the information out there is borderline scare mongering, but it’s important to understand the pixel in order to be able to make a decision on how to best use it for your organisation. 

    Data is its power

    From a marketing perspective, utilising the pixel can be incredibly powerful. It enables Facebook to connect actions on your website with its vast database of users. 

    This allows it to understand the characteristics of those converters. What they like. What they don’t like. Where they live. What content they consume. Their age range. Crucially though, this isn’t data you can use at an individual user level but it’s aggregated, and data used in mass, which gives it more weight.

    The pixel helps you understand your audience. It could be that those users who like Waitrose tend to donate more money to your campaigns compared to those who like Sainsbury’s. This allows you to steer your digital media and can also help impact future out of home marketing activity, such as billboard placements. 

    Ultimately if used efficiently and strategically, the pixel can help charities save money and become more efficient in their spending – which is what we all want!

    This power has been limited in recent years

    Everyone in the charity and nonprofit sector has felt the impact of the increased audience restrictions from Meta. It has pushed up the price charities need to pay per click for advertising on their platforms, and therefore has had a real impact on the perceived performance of those campaigns. 

    On the face of it, those changes were a positive move forward in protecting sensitive audiences and user characteristics. The idea that corporate organisations could use the fact that users liked mental health charities in order to sell them products or similar, is horrifying. But we know that those audiences were also vital for a lot of charities, allowing them to reach those who might be in need as well as potential new supporters. 

    The removal of this specific targeting doesn’t mean those users won’t get to see those ads; you can still use other characteristics to narrow down your targeting. It just means that your ads are less efficient, and more money is spent on audiences which are less likely to convert or resonate with your cause.

    The power has also been restricted due to a move towards opting-in to user cookie tracking. The language used at the point of request often steers users to opt-out of sharing that data without really knowing what it is or why an organisation might need it.

    Reduced data has led to reduced performance

    For those of you who haven’t read Will’s fantastic analysis of paid media performance for charities across the festive periodFacebook (and Instagram) advertising is getting more expensive. Less targeting options has increased competition on what remains, pushing up cost per click (CPC). 

    However, the remaining options don’t provide as relevant targeting – meaning lower user conversion rates. This can lead to your cost per action (CPA) skyrocketing. We personally saw up to 4x the CPA for Christmas 2022 v previous years and, unfortunately, this is likely to rise.

    With costs continuing to climb, it’s more important than ever to be able to accurately identify successful elements of your campaigns to make them as efficient as possible. Currently the only way to do this is with the Facebook pixel. Without it you’re stabbing in the dark, in an environment in which costs are spiralling – it would be hard to justify and make it viable.

    Hashing and grouping to store personally identifiable information.

    What is hashing, you ask? Hashing is when you take data gathered from a site, and run it through a generalising algorithm to anonymise and abstract the data so it is no longer directly identifiable. 

    Example diagram of how hashing anonymises data to protect user's personally identifiable information.

    Hashing is similar to encryption. The main difference is that hashing is never intended to be translated back into the original data. Many different inputs can have the same output which makes it near-impossible to know exactly what the original data was.

    This means that data is not viewable to you as a marketer or anyone else within the platform. For example, although it may read a user’s date of birth as 02/10/1999, it wouldn’t collect and send that data. Instead it would categorise this user as falling into the 18-25 age bracket.

    Meta also has systems which try to spot and remove ‘hidden’ personable information such as when names or email addresses are passed through urls. It also says it tries to stop the collection of data from users on what it deems as ‘sensitive topic’ pages. However, it’s unclear how this is managed.

    4. How to tailor it your needs

    Ensure your tags are connected to your cookie policy.

    This can take numerous forms, but the most popular tools (such as One Trust and CIVIC) allow Google Tag Manager integration in some form.

    Typically this is done through ‘consent_given’ or ‘consent_not_given’ variables. You can then connect these to all your marketing tags and ensure that what a user agrees to is what they actually experience on the website. 

    If you are using Google Tag Manager (which we recommend), you could also consider using Google’s Beta test of ‘consent mode’ which will fire a tag when the desired action has taken place, but remove anything personable to that user in what it sends. As this is still in beta, you may wish to wait for it to be fully released before utilising it – but it is certainly an intriguing development.

    Focus on Cookie Policy wording

    A lot of focus is given to the wording on your policy page (and rightfully so), but actually you should be focusing on the consent prompt itself. Ensure that this is aligned with your organisational policy as well as ensuring that you present enough information to give users an informed decision. If you have the room, it’s always worthwhile explaining the ‘why’ to.

    In the long term, it would be worth considering running tests to discover the impact of your wording. Can you test longer or shorter text? Different colour schemes? Ultimately you want to try and move the dial towards increasing the number of people who consciously consent to your tracking.

    Move to server-side tracking

    This is where we get a bit more technical, but I’ll do my best to keep it light. Server-side tracking will be necessary for future Meta Pixels and is now recommended by Google Analytics.

    Currently the vast majority of pixel and tag tracking is done in the user browser, leaving organisations with little control over what is sent or isn’t sent by those pixels(or tags). In essence if you add the pixel, they receive everything they want in any way they want.

    There is a shift in this though, as organisations look for more control on specific aspects of that data. In essence, they are happy to share some of it, but not all of it. And those platforms are responding.

    Google and Meta both already recommend using a server container to run your tracking, and I’m sure this will soon become the default. A server container doesn’t run in the user’s browser or on their phone. Instead, it runs on a server that you control, and only you have access to the data in the server until you choose to send it elsewhere.

    For Meta, utilising a server container means the platform only gets data you have chosen to pass on, enabling you to have more control over the data shared. This allows you to identify anomalies or block data before it’s sent to Meta. 

    Facebook is actively encouraging users to move over to its conversion API tracking methodology – which is only available via server-side implementation.

    Exclude specific users and actions

    If you are worried about utilising your pixel alongside users who view sensitive content or take sensitive actions on the site, you don’t need to review the pixel entirely.

    If you fire your Meta Pixel through Google Tag Manager, you can use exception rules to stop tags from firing on specific pages. This includes removing those users from remarketing ads – so you don’t have the situation of someone who is looking up support content asked to give a donation.

    Within Meta itself you can remove the Universal Event Tracking (UET) element of the tag, which will mean that the pixel will only record actions taken on site that you specifically set up tags for. This again means you can avoid collecting information on things such as links or forms which are a constant presence in footers for example.

    Be aware

    Whilst you can take these steps to remove data points, be conscious of the fact that it’s this data which drives the power of Meta marketing. Removing any of those data points will have an impact – this could be small, but it could also be substantial. It should therefore be discussed and agreed across teams before you start to limit the data being collected.


    Facebook Meta Pixel - Next Step Recommendations

    5. Recommended next steps

    There’s a lot to unpack here. But it’s definitely valuable as these things are constantly under scrutiny, so it helps to take a step back and look at what it does and why it does it. I wanted to lay out 5 key recommendations to take away with you, and help you navigate the ever developing world of the Meta pixel.

    • Move to server-side tracking using a server container. Google Tag Manager has a server-side variant which is the way we would recommend going. Unfortunately server-side tracking will likely come with a cost for you as you do need to host the container on a server, but this methodology for running marketing pixels will be the default (and maybe only) way very soon.
    • Review your cookie management tool. Ensure that your tag firing rules match the policy, and are managed in such a way that the users preference do impact on their firing/non-firing. The amount of websites I’ve been on where I refuse consent, and yet still get tracked is worryingly high!
    • Test using ‘consent mode’. As mentioned above, this is a way of still sending conversion data to your marketing platforms without sending any personally identifiable information. It’s still in Beta but definitely one to keep an eye on and we would recommend testing.
    • Ensure you discuss your marketing needs alongside the need for data protection. it could be that you can find a compromise which helps mitigate personal information being passed and minimises impact on your campaign performance. Especially with the use of server-side tracking it should be very rare that you need to remove the pixel entirely from your website, to satisfy a desire to protect users information.
    • Constantly be looking to test and optimise. Test the wording on your cookie policies, test using new channels to grow awareness, test different settings or structures, and test using ‘consent mode’ on Google Tag Manager.

    Have any questions?

    We’ll be advising our clients to move to server-side tracking across the next couple of months (once everybody gets over the grieving of Universal Analytics). So if you have any questions on the best way forward for you and your organisation, or any questions about the above, we’d love to hear from you. 

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      Chatbots, Generative AI and the Future of Advertising

      AI and the future of paid media - lead blog image

      Do Chatbots Dream of Effective Ad Copy?

      Welcome to our blog, where we explore the realm of generative AI and its potential impact on Google Search Advertising. In this article, we dive into the exciting possibilities that arise when charities embrace this innovative technology to enhance their advertising efforts.

      Say Hello to Generative AI

      Generative AI, a field of artificial intelligence focused on creating content, offers a wealth of opportunities for charities looking to engage with their target audience in a unique and compelling way. By leveraging the power of generative AI in Google Search Advertising, charities can create dynamic and personalized ad experiences that resonate with potential supporters.

      Imagine an ad campaign where every impression is accompanied by a custom-generated message, tailored to the individual user’s interests and preferences. Through generative AI, charities can craft highly relevant and persuasive ad copy that captures attention, inspires action, and drives engagement.

      How do I know this works? Well, I didn’t write that introduction for starters.

      Generative AI is probably the fastest moving and most exciting technology in the digital space at the moment. Whilst that may sound like a big claim, I truly believe it. It’s revolutionising the world of content creation, with the capability to generate the content like the above from fairly simple prompts.

      We’re also going to play a little game in this blog. Sprinkled throughout this blog are going to be batches of commentary generated (using ChatGPT) from prompts I give the software. See if you can work out where they are. For any of you who have somehow avoided the mass amounts of discussion about chatbots, generative AI, and the seismic shifts that these technologies are making in the online world, let me give you a quick primer.

      Can a Machine Talk like a Human?

      This question lies at the heart of AI development. The idea has been around for about as long as the concept of AI, and as early as the 1960’s programs that we would now call chatbots were being created (you can try chatting to ELIZA, a programme written in the 1960’s). However, in the last few years, advances in technologies such as neural networks and natural language processing have allowed generative AI to explode in complexity.

      ChatGPT is currently the frontrunner in this field, but others, such as Google’s Bard, are beginning to have significant time put into them. The reason for this is that these systems are very effective at delivering information to a user in a conversational way. This is a potential goldmine for search engines. With Bing already implementing ChatGPT into its new Bing experience and Google announcing a similar change in the near future with project Magi, you can see that the digital gold rush is well and truly on!


      Using Chatbots and Generative AI for Ads

      Why does all of this matter to us search advertisers? Well, we can take advantage of the generative AI built in to chatbots to do some pretty interesting things, which can help us enhance and refine account optimisations and management. This includes:

      • Using chatbots for keyword research
      • Using chatbots to generate ad copy
      • Conducting competitor analysis
      • Optimisation recommendations for campaign landing pages
      • Ad extension support

      Chatbots and Keyword Research

      Chatbots can assist you in keyword research for Google Ads accounts. Just have a conversation with it, share details about your charity, and ask for keyword suggestions. It can generate relevant keywords, provide insights on variations or trends, and help you refine your keyword strategy.

      For example, you could ask, “What are some keywords related to our charity’s mission?” It’s like having a virtual brainstorming session to uncover new keyword ideas and optimize your Google Ads campaigns effectively. Let’s give it a go!

      For this blog, we are going to imagine we are working on the Google Ads account of a charity named Mobility UK, which aims to support those with low mobility around the UK (this charity doesn’t exist, but it will work well for this example).

      Here’s the prompt:

      “Our Charity is called Mobility UK. Our mission is to ensure that all people, young or old, are free to move despite of illness, old age or disability. We provide people with the tools and support to enhance their mobility and allow them to live independent lives. What are some keywords related to our charities mission? Provide your answer in the form of a bullet point list.”

      And here is ChatGPT’s response:

      ChatGPT output for keyword research for the hypothetical charity, Mobility UK.

      Those keywords look pretty good to me! These could also work great as Ad Groups, allowing you to use each as a topic to generate new keywords around, for example:

      “What are some keywords we could use in a google ad group around Accessible Transportation? Provide your answer in a bullet point list with a pirate accent”

      ChatGPT output for keywords relating to the hypothetical charity Mobility UK written with a pirate accent.

      The pirate accent is optional.

      You can repeat this process of picking a keyword and asking for more keywords around that topic as much as you like. Do bear in mind though, if you go too far down the chain the system may start producing some strange results. If you start to see these, it’s a sign that you are at the limit of the Chatbot’s knowledge on the topic.

      So, we can generate keyword ideas, but what about the ads?


      Chatbots and Ad Copy

      Chatbots can assist advertisers in generating copy for Google Ads by providing creative ideas and suggestions. Through interactive conversations, advertisers can discuss their goals, target audience, and key messaging with chatbots. Based on this input, the system can offer alternative phrasings, highlight unique selling points, or propose compelling call-to-action statements.

      Let’s try the prompt: “Write an ad for Mobility UK for the keyword “Disability Inclusion”

      Here’s what we get back:

      ChatGPT output for a prompt asking it to 'write an ad for Mobility UK for the keyword 'Disability inclusion'".

      The copy itself is good, but this isn’t going to fit to a Google Ad. Lets try refining our prompt:

      “Write an ad for Google Search for the keyword “Disability Inclusion” with 2 headlines and 2 descriptions. Each headline can be 30 characters including spaces maximum, and each description can be 90 characters including spaces”

      ChatGPT output for an ad copy request, including parameters such as number of headlines, descriptions and character limits.

      These don’t look too bad! But when we take a closer look, there are some issues. The big one is that headline 2 is 1 character over the limit, at 31 characters, including spaces. Is the AI gaining sentience, and deciding to go over the limit? Let’s ask it:

      “Headline 2 is 31 characters long, are you beginning to gain free will and decided to write the headline longer than the limit?”

      ChatGPT output when asked if it has gained sentience by not adhering to the character limit set out in the previous prompt. This output demonstrates a limitation of AI in adhering to clear instructions.That’s the same headline. It’s not self-aware, it’s just really stupid…

      This is a known issue with Generative AI at the moment. It seems to find it very hard to stick to exact character limits. The best options we have found to work around this is to ask the system to generate 10-15 headlines and cut the ones that end up above the character limit.

      You can also give it existing ad copy to suggest alternates to:

      “Can you suggest 3 headlines, of 30 characters or less including spaces, that you would suggest testing against the headline “Mobility For All””

      ChatGPT alternative headlines to test against keyword 'mobility for all'.

      These are even all within the character limit!


      Chatbots and Competitor Analysis

      So, who are we going to be putting these AI generated ads up against? Who better to ask than the AI:

      “What are the biggest UK competitors to Mobility UK? Present your answer in a list, with the website and why they are a great company”

      ChatGPT output listing competitor websites for the hypothetical charity Mobility UK, including unique selling points for each company and why they are considered great.

      These all look quite relevant! You might think that the query around why the companies are great is a comedic touch, but it’s a good way to have the AI summarise it’s best guess at that company’s USP’s.

      So we’ve covered the keywords, structure, ads and competitors. Surely there’s not much else that an AI can do for us, right?


      Landing Page Optimisation

      Landing page optimization involves enhancing the performance and effectiveness of your landing pages to achieve better conversion rates and user engagement, whether it’s improving the layout, content, call-to-action, or overall user experience.

      Let’s see if the chatbot can help us here. Unfortunately Mobility UK doesn’t have a website to test this, on account of being made up, but we can try it for Uprise Up’s own site

      “What changes can be made to improve the conversion rate performance of this page: https://upriseup.co.uk/paid-media/google-ad-grant/ for google ads”

      ChatGPT output when asked to optimise the Google Ad Grants service page on the Uprise Up website

      This is a lot of information! Some of these points are generic, and show up every time, but they are still all good suggestions for improving a page, It’s even given some specific call to action suggestions to test. But surely that’s everything chatbots can help us with. Surely there’s no further extension of this support, right?


      Ad Extension Support

      Ad extensions can be a time-consuming task in large accounts. Let’s see if ChatGPT can help us with this for the same ad grant page we looked at in the previous example.

      “Can you produce a set of Sitelink extensions for the same page, making sure the pages come from the same site”

      ChatGPT output when requested to produce a set of Sitelink extensions for the same page in the previous example.

      Once again, we’re likely to not get usable descriptions here, but the pages it suggested are all relevant, and are going to save us time over working them out ourselves.

      What about callouts? No Problem

      “Create 5 callouts for the page, no more than 20 characters each. For each, write a line that rhymes with the callout”

      ChatGPT outputs when requested to create rhyming page callouts.

      I don’t think AI will be putting poets out of a job any time soon. Terrible rhymes aside, the callouts here are relevant, and would be a good baseline to start your account with.


      Limitations of AI in Advertising

      You might think that the pirate accents or the poems were purely for fun. However,  they show quite clearly that there are limitations on what these systems can currently give us. Pirate accents are easy, but poetry? Poetry it finds very hard. In a similar way, there are elements of Google Ads that the AI finds very difficult to manage.

      We’ve already seen character limits be a difficult aspect of ad copy creation, but something we haven’t touched on is how these generative AI systems sometimes have a loose understanding of the truth. There’s even a disclaimer on the ChatGPT console about this:

      “Free Research Preview. ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.”

      This is potentially very dangerous, especially in the charity sector where the topics being discussed are often delicate and false information could be very damaging. Similarly, in keyword research, we’ve found certain prompts where the AI has provided completely irrelevant search terms. This varies client to client and means that you should check every keyword list generated by these systems.

      Final Thoughts on AI and the Future of Advertising

      AI may not be ready to take over the world, but its getting pretty close to taking over marketing. Even in the process of writing this blog, Google announced a raft of new generative AI implementations into multiple marketing channels. These systems are still simply tools, however, and like any tool requires skill to operate well. Like it or not, as marketers it is going to be important to learn how to use these tools to adapt to the new world we are rapidly approaching.

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        New DV360 Fee: 2% fee on all UK Served Ads

        The exterior of a Google building with trees and grass in the foreground - DV360 2% fee blog lead image

        Google Introduces 2% Fee on DV360 Ads Served in the UK

        Google announced earlier this month that additional fees will now be added for Display Video 360 (DV360) ads serving in specific countries. More specifically, a ‘Digital Service Tax’ (DST) 2% surcharge will be added for ads served in the UK.

        If you’re unfamiliar, Digital Service Tax was actually introduced by the government (back in April 2020) designed to tax on the revenues of search engines, social media services and online marketplaces. Disappointingly at the time, but somewhat unsurprisingly, Google simply passed this cost onto their customers.

        You might be asking “did Google not already do this back in 2020?!”, and you would be correct.

        However, this was only added onto the Google Ads platform initially. We discussed this in detail at the time and raised questions about whether Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing) and Social Networks would follow suit. Fortunately this did not happen.

        Yet, what most people hadn’t considered at the time, was whether this would be rolled out to alternative advertising products from Google’s Marketing Platform. Like DV360…

        Our advice remains the same as before. Costs within the DV360 platform will remain the same, and the fee will be added on top. This therefore needs to be factored in when planning budgets. Furthermore, if your total campaign budget remains the same, this does mean media spend on the platform will need to reduce, which means the possibility of reduced traffic and conversions as a result. 

        If you have any questions about this new DV360 fee and how it may impact you, you can email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk or send us a tweet @upriseUPSEM.

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          Lessons from Christmas Paid Media Campaigns 2022

          Desk full of paid media reporting documents representing lessons learnt from Christmas Paid Media Campaigns in 2022.

          What have we learnt from Christmas Paid Media Campaigns?

          A few months have passed since our Christmas fundraising campaigns and appeals have ended. Now the dust has settled, we’re taking a step back to review how well they’ve performed and what lessons we can take. From campaign design and technical set-up to best-practice ‘pre-campaign’ processes, we’ve shared our findings to help charities with their festive fundraising appeals. 

          We know many charities struggled with generating digital donations during the 2022 Christmas period, especially on platforms like Facebook. We were no exception to this trend and had to work exceptionally hard and innovate to achieve the results we did. That’s why we wanted to share our lessons with you, to help enhance your future campaigns. Whilst it may feel early to be considering 2023 Christmas campaigns, now is actually the ideal time to start having initial conversations. Getting a good head-start in the planning process is key to getting the most out of the crucial period.

          2022 Christmas Campaign Results:

          Overall, we had a wide range of results. We’ve sampled some of these below using anonymised client data. The below graph contains the Facebook and Instagram campaigns we worked on (in addition to 1 Display campaign, E) plotted next to their target Cost Per Acquisition/Donation (CPA). 

          Paid Social Campaigns Performance (*Not adjusted for cookie/data loss)

          Graph displaying target CPAs and actual CPAs for client Christmas paid media campaigns*Black lines indicate the CPA when adjusted for cookie data loss.

          Notes: There are of course, some big caveats. The sample above covers a wide-range of charity causes, charity size, different levels of spend, slightly different timings, and even promoted different fundraising products, e.g. single donations, monthly donations and sponsorships. The main purpose of the graph though, is to illustrate the huge range in CPA, despite operating within a very similar timeframe, industry and overall approach. Bearing this in mind, the breadth of results seen is a learning in itself.

          We’ve also included Paid Search performance below, using Return-On-Ad-Spend (ROAS) which again show a wide range of results. All of these were above their targets, and all but 1 were a positive ROAS. 

          Paid Search Campaigns Performance (*Not adjusted for cookie/data loss)

          Graph showing target ROAS and actual ROAS for client Christmas paid media campaigns 2022

          Top Lessons

          Cookie/data loss

          The first thing we want to highlight is the impact of cookie and data loss. Limited data sets impact machine-learnt optimisation for ads, which ultimately has a negative effect on overall performance. It also has the potential to drastically change the overall reported results. 

          This is most notable with Clients B and C, which had the strictest cookie policies. When we added this data ‘back in’, by comparing platform clicks vs Analytics sessions, as well reviewing the CRM data – their CPAs halved. This massively changes the narrative, highlighting the importance of reviewing all available data before making decisions and drawing conclusions. 

          High Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

          CPC’s were generally higher than usual across all Meta Ads campaigns, not just fundraising, whereas conversion rates were still strong (and in-line with our projections). This suggests that even if your targeting and strategy are successful at gaining conversions, it’s costing you twice as much to secure the site traffic. A number of factors outside of advertisers control have impacted this:

          1. The Winter World Cup brought more advertisers, with large budgets into an already saturated marketplace. 
          2. Opportunities for more granular targeting have decimated over the last year. This has caused target audiences to be broadened and an increase in competition due to more charities entering the same auctions.
          3. Tightening budgets, which has seen things such as new creative being dropped. Reusing old creative, without variation, can lead to a poor click-through-rate (CTR). In turn, this increase the CPC Facebook wants you to pay.

          Paid Search Success

          As you can see from the above graphs, Paid Search has continued to be a top-performer. It’s the channel to use as a foundation for any acquisition campaign.

          We recommend capitalising on the optimisation opportunities by using Google Search Ads 360 (the premium level of Google Ads). Its utilisation of Google’s Floodlight Tracking improves automated bidding strategies, attribution and reporting. 

          Paid Search can also ensure you capture users who have been triggered by your other advertising (such as OOH, Radio or Display Ads).


          Enhance Technical set-up

          We have discussed many of the below points in our previous blog about rising Facebook CPAs (we’d definitely recommend giving this a read for more in depth insights). The key takeaways, are:

          • Include a range of creatives (formats, style and messaging) to test across the campaigns duration. Don’t limit yourself to newsfeed placements. You should also ensure you include Christmas-specific messaging, especially in the run-up to Christmas eve.
          • Avoid changes and duplication where possible. Campaigns where we were splitting into multiple smaller campaigns, with different split-tests, and lots of unplanned stop/start changes, struggled most. Creating a set campaign timeline and testing matrix in advance can help minimise this.
          • Review Attribution.  We have started moving more campaigns over to a click-only based attribution windows. This is especially effective when there is a high click-to-conversion rate, and low consideration period, which lends itself to a user making an impulse donation at Christmas. You can compare the attribution windows for your Christmas campaigns (or any similar campaigns you have run) to see when your conversions are occurring. This means you can see whether they happened within 1 day of an ad-click, within 1 day of a view or within 7 days of a click. You can do this by adding in a custom column (top right of interface) and then clicking ‘Compare attribution settings’. Screenshot of compare attribution settings window showing 1-day view, 1-day click, 7-day click and 28-day click options.

          Refine pre-campaign processes

          We would also recommend factoring in some important pre-campaign steps, which we have found to impact how smoothly a campaign launch is. Below, we have shared our best practice suggestions (timings are just examples):

          • Ensure briefs are sent at least 1-2 months prior to launch. These should include details on budgets, objectives/targets, key messaging, timings and all other key considerations.  This ensures enough time to discuss the approach, develop a campaign plan, agree key timings/phases and any allows for any required testing.
          • Ensure landing pages have been considered and sent at least 2-4 weeks prior to launch. Being prompt with landing page details allows adequate time for us to review the user-journey and provide any conversion rate optimisation feedback. It’s also vital to check that tracking for key actions is working as early as possible and to allow time for pixels to start collecting data if needed.
          • Ensure creatives are delivered on-time, at least 2 weeks prior to launch. This gives us time to provide any feedback to help enhance the creatives, time to upload and check their approval from Meta, and ensure launch dates can be met.
          • Aim to get campaigns live by early November. Starting 1st December is often too late, This does not allow enough time to gather insights, pivot a campaign if needed and be ready for the peak period. We also usually suggest pausing campaigns after the 24th, as we often see performance drop off significantly after this date. However, it is worth considering contingency budget, to allow the campaign to continue into January if needed.

          Final thoughts on 2022 Christmas Paid Media Campaigns

          While it’s been a challenging year for Facebook Ad campaigns and fundraising in general, we plan to continue testing our paid media across the year, taking onboard the shared learnings. We’ve been implementing many of the steps mentioned above and from our last blog, and have been seeing some promising results.

          We’re already looking forward to the start of planning for Christmas 2023! If you would like to discuss plans for your 2023 Christmas campaigns, we’d love to hear from you and discuss how we can support your Paid Media needs. Email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk or you can drop us a message on our contact page.

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            Google Ad Grant Data Trends: Reading Between the Lines

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            The Latest Google Ad Grant Data Trends

            The Google Ad Grant scheme has gone through many big changes and unprecedented challenges in the last 3 years. It’s weathered the COVID pandemic, seen the rise of Responsive Search Ads, and has adapted to the removal of broad match modifiers. So, what impact has this had on Google Ad Grant data trends and performance of the scheme as a whole?

            Luckily for you, I’ve analysed the data of over 40 ad grant accounts currently under our umbrella, and have highlighted key data trends which give us an insight into where the ad grant scheme currently sits. In some cases, we’re even seeing where it may be headed in the future.


            The Top Line

            Graph of Google Ad Grant Data Trends showing a decrease in perfromance after the removal of additional Covid-19 funding.

            You always have to view data trends within the correct context, or you risk drawing incorrect conclusions. COVID funding was removed in July 2021, which was a large source of additional budget for many Grant accounts. This is the main reason that both traffic and costs were so high during the lockdown period. Add to this that users were stuck at home, and often had little else to do that browse the internet, and you have a recipe for very high performance.

            As you dive deeper into the data, there is also a particularly interesting trend across 2022:

            Graph showing cost / click increases over a 12 month period in 2022. Cost increased by over $200,000 with only a 50,000 increase in traffic sessions.

            From February to October, we can see that cost increased by over $200k for only a roughly 50k increase in traffic. To explain why this is so different we have to talk about the rise of automation, and a bidding war.


            The Maximise Conversion Arms Race

            Now this is what I call a data trend! Over the last 3 years, cost per click (CPC) in grant accounts has increased by almost 60%, with most of this increase happening in 2022. We have never been bidding higher than we are now in grant accounts.

            Graph showing a significant trend of increasing cost per clicks over the past three years. A large amount of this has happened across 2022.


            As you can see, clicks increased, but not by a lot. So, it doesn’t seem like this increase has led to us being able to outbid more advertisers and achieve more traffic. So, what’s going on?

            The answer is very simple: Maximise Conversions.

            What is a Maximise Conversions Bid Strategy?

            Maximise conversions is a bidding strategy which, since 2017, has allowed advertisers to bid above the usual $2 maximum bid limit in grant accounts. We tested this strategy at the time, and found that it exhibited some strange behaviour which made us and many advertisers hesitant to fully utilise it. However, since then, an increasing numbers of advertisers have opted to use this bidding strategy.

            This has led to cost per clicks rising across a vast majority of the search environment. It has now reached a point where many grant accounts rely on maximise conversions simply to be able to compete on searches they wish to show for. In 2022, 33% of our grant accounts had an average CPC over $2. This is up from 20% in 2021. For grant accounts like these, maximise conversions no longer becomes a choice, but is instead a necessity.

            It is inevitable that maximise conversions will only become more ubiquitous in the coming years, and with it a further rise in cost per clicks. It will become increasingly important to manage your use of the bidding strategy to ensure that you get the most efficiency out of your account.

            A cynical view of these change sees a calculated move by Google to cause all grant advertisers to bid more, leading to lower clicks in Grants and therefore increased incentive to turn to paid accounts to make up the difference. An optimist sees this as an opportunity to bid above the competitors and appear for searches that they otherwise could not (in some cases, more on this later).

            Whether this is a good thing or not is yet unclear. Regardless, the data doesn’t lie, and the cost per click arms race has shown no signs of calming down.


            The CPC Event Horizon

            Google have reiterated in recent years that grant ads should always appear below paid account ads in auctions, regardless of what the ad rank is of those ads. Combined with the rising cost per clicks in the grant scheme, this has led to a sort of competition event horizon:

            Graph demonstrating how impression share in the Google Ad Grant scheme has reduced to 10% since 2021 and has been unable to recover.

            Impression share is the percentage of total impressions on your keywords that you showed for. There is a hard limit in Google Ads that if your impression share drops below 10%, you are no longer able to see the exact number. Impression share in the Ad Grant scheme has never been high – the limitations on the accounts makes that an impossibility. But in early 2021, what small impression share there was plummeted to the 10% level, and has rarely climbed out since.

            The message is clear from Google. Grants are not allowed to effectively compete with paid accounts. It is precisely this that has led to an effect I like to call the event horizon.

            If there are too many paid accounts bidding on a keyword, then no matter how highly you bid on a term, you will never receive traffic. This is because, even bidding $5 or $6 per click, you would still only show on the third or fourth results page. This trend  can be most easily viewed when looking at donate keywords:

            Google Ad Grant Data Trend showing low click volume for donate related keywords, due to ineffective competition against paid accounts.

            Clicks from donate keywords have never been high in Grants due to competition, but 2022 was an all time low. Most months failed to achieve over 300 clicks, and a majority of clicks achieved came from branded searches which included donate phrases. These terms are often lowest competition, allowing the grant to at least show some of the time.


            Advert Additions And Crashing CTRs

            So what has been happening to ads during this period? Well, the biggest change can be seen when we look at the different types of ads generating traffic in our accounts:

            Graph showing trends in clicks for expanded text ads, responsive search ads and expanded dynamic search ads between January 2020 and December 2022.

            Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) have seen a steady rise in traffic since the start of 2022, and are now the only format new ads can be made in. Since April last year, this type of ad has been bringing in the largest amount of traffic. This will only continue in the future as expanded text ads, which can no longer be edited, become defunct and have to be paused. Google is also likely deprioritising these ads in favour of RSAs.

            These ads are touted by Google to produce a better clickthrough rate (CTR) than manual ads. So, surely we should be seeing a steady increase in CTR across time?

            Graph showing a large decrease in click through rate for responsive search ads over time, with a big drop in September 2021 due to a Google edit.

            Well, this trend definitely isn’t steady…or an increase. Of all the graphs in this blog, this is the most difficult one to analyse. The first drop from September 2021, appeared to be due to an edit made by Google themselves, which was an unusual event that occurred across three days. There was an initial period of recovery up until April 2022. Responsive search ads then became the top ad format in terms of traffic, at which point we it start to drop back to the same level as October 2021.

            An additional factor is undoubtably the large number of new, less optimised ads being added to accounts. But, this cannot be the only explanation for such a big drop. We have our own ideas on how you can successfully run RSAs, but these have taken time to develop and there is always more learning to be done. Let’s take a look at the CTR for each of these ad types:

            Click through rates for responsive search ads, expanded text ads and expanded dynamic search ads. We can see steep reduction in Sep 2021, a gradual recovery till June 2022, which drops back down again.

            Here we can quite clearly see that responsive search ads seem to have suffered most from this drop. Indeed, for a time in 2022 dynamic search ads, usually the lowest performing ads in our accounts and used in a very specific manner, actually jumped to the top spot in terms of CTR. In 2023 this seems to be starting to recover, but it seems we are in an age where CTR will remain far more volatile than it has been in the past. Close monitoring is going to be vital to react to changes in the environment.


            Beyond the Data

            It’s crucial to remember that data can only tell us so much. There are trends we are seeing in grants that are very important, but have no direct affect on the results we see.

            Throughout Google Ads the age of automation seems to have well and truly come, and the Grant scheme is no different. Responsive search ads, maximise conversions and dynamic search campaigns are all indicating this shift.

            Also, the removal of much of the search term data which advertisers used to fine tune their keyword targeting means we have less tools to manually make changes ourselves. Make sure that you take time to test and learn these new automation systems, so that you find the best way for your charity or nonprofit to utilise them.

            Many of these automation options rely on conversions as a primary source of data. However, in a post GDPR world, conversion data has become harder to come by and more inconsistent. Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that your conversion selection is comprehensive. Remember, lower level engagement conversions may not be useful in your reporting, but could be vital in feeding your bidding strategies and automated campaigns the information they need to succeed.


            Get to Grips with your Google Ad Grant Account

            It has been a hectic three years in the grant account, and the data shows that much has changed from the start of 2020 to now. If you want to find out how we can support you in making sure your Grant account is fully prepared for the next three years, then why not have a friendly chat with our expert paid media team.

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              Facebook Ads: How to reduce CPAs

              Reducing CPAs for Facebook Ads - Blog Lead Image

              How can charities improve Facebook Ads performance

              In our last blog we discussed our predictions for paid media in 2023, which included a bleak outlook of the Facebook Ads landscape, with CPAs continuing to rise. However, it’s not all doom and gloom.

              The most significant reason for rising CPAs is due to a general decline in third-party cookies, especially following the iOS 14 changes, whereby loss of data has resulted in less precise targeting and worse machine learning.

              We’ve therefore shared some of our best tips and tricks you can start employing in your own campaigns, with the aim of reducing the cost of your Facebook Ads whilst actually improving results. We’ll touch on both settings and strategies to utilise on the platform which largely aim to help improve Meta’s own AI, by playing to its strengths.

              Below are some questions for you to consider about your current Facebook Ad campaigns.

              Are you maximising opportunities with automation?

              As third-party cookies have declined, so has performance on Facebook Ads, meaning advertisers have reduced their reliance on the platform. Meta have since invested heavily into improving their AI, and developing their automation offerings – as seen by the frequent new automation features (labelled advantage+) in 2022

              The general theory is, the more you resist the way Meta wants you to run your campaigns, the more your ads will be penalised. So these features have to be considered. They should be actively considered in your strategy, and not simply pushed aside. 

              That being said, you don’t need to adopt every single feature. Take the time to understand what each release can do, and whether it really is going to limit your campaign overall. Meta push the importance of the Power 5, so we would recommend starting here: Graphic on how to reduce CPAs

              This suite of tools includes:

              • Auto advanced matching (this can be toggled in Events Manager)
              • Campaign budget optimization
              • Automatic placements
              • Dynamic ads
              • Simplified account structure

              While the last point isn’t exactly a feature, Facebook advise against splitting out into multiple campaigns and ad sets, where the objective is the same. This approach allows for greater data pools per campaign/ad set, which improves machine learning, by reducing the ‘learning phase’. Exactly how broad or granular can be dependent on the situation and is something we highly recommend still testing. We will discuss this in more detail later though.

              Can you pivot the campaign to utilise lead-gen forms?

              The loss of data following the iOS14 changes has impacted Meta’s ability to effectively optimise. At least for click or conversion-optimised campaigns that rely on the pixel. Using a campaign format like lead-generation, can help minimise this impact.

              By keeping your users and data on the platform, their data will not be subjected to cookie-policies. This greater quality data pool can improve the machine learning as well as build better first-party audiences. 

              Lead focussed generation strategies Facebook ads

              Lead-generation focussed strategies do still need to be relevant to the objective, and rely on a good email strategy. For charities, we have found gift in will or legacy campaigns to work particularly well using this format.

              Are you leveraging first party data where possible?

              Remarketing or re-engagement is an extremely salient component of paid-social advertising. It’s vital to ensure these are well set-up and appropriately used. This includes audiences built on the platform, via the pixel or conversion API, as well as customer upload files from a CRM. This could be website visitors, Facebook engagers or previous sign-ups for example.

              Using high quality, first-party data to create lookalikes is still a great place to start when prospecting and scaling ad campaigns.

              Whilst ensuring your pixel is set-up to capture first-party data, it’s worth mentioning Aggregated Event Measurement. This is Meta’s protocol designed to allow for the measurement of events from (and improve delivery and reporting of) users on iOS14.5+ devices. If you haven’t already, it’s highly recommended you verify your domain and prioritise your AEM Events.

              Are your audiences too granular?

              We have historically adopted a highly granular and insight focussed approach, however, this is becoming increasingly challenging. Given the trend over the last year or so, we expect audience interests to be further decimated, and trying to target granularly, will start to seriously limit your reach and ability to effectively optimise, and may not even be possible. Allowing machine learning to tap into a wider pool of users speeds up the learning phase and improves results faster.

              Sure, we’re moving away from singular interest ad sets and multiple lookalike segments. But we still like to keep some level of granularity within our ad sets, where creative can be tailored (e.g. for remarketing).

              This is not a fixed rule though. We highly recommend testing and will continue to do so ourselves. Using entirely broad or run of network audiences will be more applicable in certain cases. One example could be if you are simply trying to reach a niche audience but relevant interests aren’t available. Another case could be you have large budgets available and need to scale. Or, you may have limited first-party data to create lookalikes.

              Are you utilising all creative formats?

              Different users need different messages, and may engage with content very differently depending on their format and placement. It’s key to ensure you’re offering Meta the greatest chance to test, learn and optimise messages for the right user.

              This extends to all standard formats (single images, carousels and video). You should also ensure you have placement-specific sizes, in particular for stories and reels. This is essential for optimal user engagement, which can ultimately impact how competitive you can be in an auction environment. If your CTR suffers, so does your CPC/CPM, and thus raising your costs.

              Examples of multiple creatives for Facebook Ads

              Are you reusing the same creative? 

              We can’t stress enough the importance of ensuring the creative concept and assets designed are high quality. Your technical set-up and Facebook strategy is only as good as the ad being run.  

              The best creatives are bespoke, stand-out and work in harmony with the ad as a whole and landing page. Poor quality and over-used creatives will receive poor engagement and increase overall costs. Similarly, if your fundraising message simply doesn’t resonate with your audience, you will be fighting a losing battle. We’re happy to recommend additional creative agencies who can help, so please do reach out to us.

              Have you tried alternative attribution settings?

              In response to limited data after the iOS14 changes, Meta also updated how their reporting worked. This included changes to attribution and conversion windows, which determine whether a conversion is recorded depending on how soon after a user clicked or viewed your ad.

              Attribution windows were reduced across the board, from 28-day click +1-day view as the default to 7-day click + 1-day view attribution. This means a conversion will be counted (and used for optimisation) if it falls either within 7-day after the ad was clicked, or 1 day after the ad was seen. However, due to reporting delays, the inclusion of the 1-day view makes use of statistical-modelling, which doesn’t always benefit Meta’s optimisation due to lower quality data being fed back.

              Testing click attribution for Facebook Ads

              There is a growing argument to suggest moving to a 7-day click only attribution setting, as this can drive higher volumes of quality traffic, and benefit performance in the long-run. This is especially effective when the consideration period for the service being advertised e.g. a donation, can be short, and the post-click performance (checking GA data) is fairly strong.

              Our above recommendations focus on in-platform changes. Yet, it’s worth noting that Facebook Ad performance is dependent on other factors, such as landing pages and general website. Considering your SEO, CRO and UX is extremely important (and are all services we’re keen to support on!) although that’s a post for another day!

              Want to optimise your Facebook Ads?

              We’d recommend testing our above suggestions to see what works best for your specific charity. Although, it might not be long until Meta make many of the automation-based suggestions compulsory anyway…

              If you’d like support to make the most out of your Paid Media budget for Facebook Ads, then we’d love to help you! You can contact us or send us an email at hello@upriseup.co.uk. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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                Paid Media Predictions for 2023

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                Paid Media Predictions for 2023: What Can We Expect?

                We’re all excited to find out what 2023 will bring for the world of paid media. Our Senior Paid Media Manager, Will, takes us through his paid media predictions for 2023 below. The usual themes have cropped-up, 3rd party cookies, automation, Facebook CPAs… but we’ve also included some charity specific predictions as well and a good dose of helpful hints to carry forward.

                More channel diversification

                Channel diversification has never been more important. The removal of targeting options in 2022 (and 2021 before), and decline in pixel-based tracking in Facebook, has shown how devastating one platform’s update can be to your campaigns. This impact can be felt even harder in the nonprofit sector, where every penny counts.

                We feel the key to success will be through omni-channel marketing, and not simply following the same routine from 2018. We expect charities will be wanting to branch out further and test more opportunities available to them. Paid Search will still be pivotal as a final touch-point, with Facebook still playing a role too. But platforms such as Tik-Tok and LinkedIn, with their alternative targeting methods, present the possibility to open more doors.

                Increasing Channel Diversity - A table full of multiple different social media logos

                Moreover, the available targeting and machine learning capabilities of programmatic display can be extremely powerful too, and even outperform Facebook in terms of direct-conversions in some situations. This year, we’re also expecting a continued expansion into more digital-audio channels such as Spotify, as well as more Connected TV (CTV).

                Testing the channel-mix through 2023 will be vital to find the right approach to help you reach your KPI’s. Diversifying your channel mix should also soften the impact of any future platform updates. However, it’s worth noting that without time to properly test, and crucially, effective data reporting and attribution, channel diversification can sometimes fall flat.

                We use Google Campaign Manager to report all omni-channel campaigns, and have seen best results doing so, by monitoring journeys, understanding the attribution, and appropriately assigning budget for the greatest impact. By ensuring you properly test and report on your omni-channel activities, you will be able to have confidence in your paid media plan and create a clear strategy to drive your campaigns forward.

                Bonus data-analysis tip: Utilise all data sources available to help build up the most accurate picture. When running a Facebook campaign, we aim to compare and report on data from Facebook, Google Analytics (UA and GA4), Campaign Manager and a CRM.

                Tik-Tok to become a key player

                Tik Tok Logo - Paid Media Predictions for 2023

                It’s definitely time to take TikTok seriously. We expect the rise both in terms of its market share against Meta generally and also for advertisers to start planning more TikTok into their advertising budget.

                TikTok has evolved far beyond being simple homemade quirky, dance-videos only. It’s now a serious content and message delivery system, where ads can integrate seamlessly into the user’s browsing experience. It’s hard to ignore the growing audience, and simultaneously we expect faith in Facebook and Twitter to decline – opening the door for advertisers to explore TikTok further.

                TikTok is also helping alleviate issues with 3rd party cookies, by tapping more into contextual audiences, and the launch of Pulse, which positions branded ads alongside top content creators. Some of the targeting options are still quite limited, especially for reaching some charity-specific audiences (often around more sensitive topics). However, we expect more and more advertising features will continue to roll out too, and amp-up Tik-Toks appeal further.

                We also expect TikTok to have a wider impact on paid-social advertising too, with ad content more closely resembling Tik-Tok’s video formats. This includes more ‘reels’ (shorter form content) , and user-generated content (UGC) content. We would recommend factoring this into all future paid-social campaigns.

                A passing thought, is that it will also be interesting to see what becomes of BeReal in 2023. Whether the platform will phase out, or continue to grow and mimic the success of TikTok – and eventually develop its own advertising capabilities… maybe one for 2024…

                More opportunities and support for charities

                With the introduction* of the Microsoft Ads for Social Impact scheme in August and the LinkedIn Ad Grant in 2022, the next year is looking promising for charities. After some initial teething issues with customer support, we’ve already started seeing the benefits for charities who have been awarded the Microsoft Grant.

                We’ve also seen more opportunities offered to Google Grants in 2023. We feel this could be as a response to more competition from Microsoft, and LinkedIn to an extent. Regardless of the reasons, we hope to see this trend of growing support for charities and nonprofits continue.

                Meta have also steadily released helpful updates for non-profits over the last year or 2, including on-Facebook donations and ‘Fundraiser Challenges’. In the US, a recent update included the ability for recurring on-FB donations which looks very interesting. Whilst we’re uncertain about whether dedicated support for non-profits will be constant, we do expect a steady roll-out of new features in the UK as well as more information and events for non-profits. Look out for their Education Conference later in 2023 too.

                *As of Jan 2023, both the Microsoft and LinkedIn schemes have now actually closed to new applicants, due to the high demand. That being said, it seems Microsoft are destined to grow in 2023, especially following their lucrative Netflix deal. With this continued success, we will hopefully see more opportunities for charities to come.

                GA4 panic in 6-months time or so…

                …well, maybe for some advertisers. To recap, as announced in March, UA will be sunsetted this year. Data collection will stop in June, with access to data stopped from the end of the year.

                While we have been helping our clients set up their GA4 accounts since the first announcement, there will many advertisers who have yet to set-up GA4 or come to grips with it. With June fast-approaching –  panic stations will hit. If you are reading this in early 2023 and are yet to have implemented GA4, this is your sign to get GA4 ready!


                How to prepare for GA4

                • We strongly advise starting to use your GA4 properties as much as possible to become familiar with the new interface and also some of the new naming categories. We’ve got a bit of a kick starter on the language differences in our blog.
                • It’s imperative to review your conversion tracking as soon as possible, as historic data will become more limited. Ensure tracking is set up which focusses on your key goals and priorities so you can start building a store of good-quality data. We also suggest looking out for data warehousing solutions (for the old UA data). If you’re unsure, please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be more than happy to help.
                • Also, as mentioned in our previous end of year paid media summary, Meta hinted at the death of the Facebook Pixel for conversion tracking. This will be replaced solely by the Conversion API. We expect this will also cause some mild panic amongst advertisers, and a mad rush to get the Conversion API in place, but timings aren’t clear at this stage. We will do our best to keep you updated as we learn more.

                Automation won’t take our jobs…yet…

                It’s obvious automation and machine-learning features are going to continue to expand at an ever-increasing rate. Digital marketing news-feeds’ are filled with debate around tools like ChatGPT and Performance Max campaigns. I expect the capabilities and effectiveness of automation to continually improve, and in-turn the adoption of said features to increase.

                But this rise in sophisticated automated systems does raise some questions…what actually needs to be set-up now and are digital media agencies even required?

                As we outlined in our Best and Worst of Automation blog, there are clearly some features better than others. This increase in automation comes with greater complexity, requiring a proper understanding of how they work and how to use them effectively.

                Using paid media marketing automation:

                • Still requires humans to review the data and assess the impact, whilst providing clear and actionable data analysis reporting.
                • It still requires manual adjustments to ensure the settings are optimised, and minimise wastage.
                • There still needs to be an effective paid strategy agreed and implemented, with the right channel mix and a clear testing plan.
                • Expert knowledge is still required to help with CRO recommendations, as well as technical set-up. For example, ecommerce tracking (using target ROAS strategies) and Conversion API set-up on Facebook.

                The point is, automation is a great tool which can be used to help advertisers enhance their campaigns, not replace them.

                Rising CPAs on Meta

                Paid Media Predictions for 2023 - Increasing CPAs

                Increasing cost-per-acquisition. The big elephant in the room. Most advertisers don’t want to hear about rising CPAs on Meta. Yet, this is simply a continuation of trends we have seen over the last few years.

                This has been the inevitable fall-out following on from iOS 14 changes and general decline in 3rd party cookies, whereby loss of cookie data has resulted in less precise targeting and worse machine learning. The impact of this has been further compounded as trust in Meta Ads and overall investment has dropped, and popularity of the platform declined too leading to less data.

                You may have also noticed rising CPCs and CPMs in your campaigns as a result too. Again, weaker targeting causing less relevant ads, as well as smaller custom audience sizes causing greater competition have played a key role in this.

                It’s also worth adding, that CPAs will obviously be higher with less data being reported. Be that in Facebook itself, or even in Google Analytics if website cookies have not been accepted – this doesn’t always mean though that results are poor.

                Bonus data-analysis tip #2: It is possible to fairly accurately take cookie-loss into consideration when reporting results though. This can be done by comparing platform clicks vs GA session data, to estimate how much data is being lost, and then multiplying your conversion data by this difference.

                Despite keeping CPAs down becoming more challenging, there are strategies on and off the platform which can help. We will run through our top-tips more comprehensively in our next blog.

                What are your paid media predictions for 2023?

                We’d love to hear your own thoughts on new or continuing trends for paid media in 2023! You can join the conversation by tweeting @upriseUPSEM. If this blog has injected some inspiration for your 2023 paid media strategy, we’d love to hear from you either through our contact page or via hello@upriseup.co.uk.


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                  End of Year Paid Media News

                  Christmas Tree in the Uprise Up office - End of Year Pad Media News Blog

                  Paid Media Christmas Round Up

                  It’s that time of year again. A time to spend with family in front of the fire. A time for over-indulging on fantastically festive foods. And a time to take stock of all the latest Paid Media News to help enhance your digital marketing strategies for 2023. With exclusive news on Facebook pixel conversion tracking, Google Ad Grant spending trends and new Meta developments effecting paid media targeting, Will Rhodes shares our expert insights on all things paid media.

                  Ad Grant ‘Giving Season’ Funding

                  The ‘giving season’ is well and truly upon us, and Google is getting in the festive mood by generously awarding certain charities more money to spend on Paid Search advertising.

                  Whilst there is speculation that mental health and cancer charities may have been main beneficiaries this season, there has been no clear, official criteria announced as to which charities have been awarded funding.

                  A handful of the Ad Grants we manage were selected this year, with their daily spend being doubled throughout December and January. It was not possible to apply for the funding, however the numbers awarded were notably higher than last year.

                  Our Ad Grant representative informed us of any Ad grants connected to our MCC (My Client Centre) who had been awarded; emails should have also been sent directly to account owners too.

                  We have found previously that this isn’t always the case. We would therefore recommend checking your gmail, if you currently own and manage an Ad Grant, to see if you have benefited from this festive funding.

                  Bonus round: Sustainability Funding

                  We have also had one account that was awarded additional funding just ahead of the ‘giving season’ initiative. Google confirmed that they’re “supporting a set of organisations focused on sustainability, with increased budgets through 2023”. Again, this is not something you can apply for, nor is it clear the exact criteria for accounts being awarded – however it is a nice bonus for Ad Grants who do receive it.

                  Fluctuations in your Ad Grant’s Maximum Daily Spend

                  In October and November, we noticed odd fluctuations in some Ad Grant accounts. This impacted about 1/5 of the accounts we manage. Spend increased above the usual capped restrictions, $330 per day (for a standard $10k account), by between $10 and $40 extra. You can see an example below.

                  Graph demonstrating fluctuations in Google Ad Grant daily spend budget.

                  We initially suspected that it was related to extra funding being granted (as discussed above) however speaking to an Ad Grant rep, they confirmed that:

                  “it is possible that Ad Grants accounts will spend over the daily spending limit if there are high traffic volumes. However, the accounts will not spend over the monthly allocation when viewed from a 30d period”

                  We have not seen this behaviour previously in accounts, although Google have not suggested this was a new feature. Other accounts that can easily spend their limit were still strictly capped, so it seems like there is something occurring in the background for Ad account spend management.

                  Whilst the irregularities of this spend fluctuation are odd, it is nonetheless a welcome change, opening up the potential for Grant accounts to offer more flexibility in the future.


                  Were you ‘Got by Get’ in November? You may have noticed some strange Google Ad Disapprovals last month. Many of our clients received a disapproval specifically on ad extensions flagging ‘get’ as an unapproved substance…

                  Unapproved Substances Disapprovals for Google Ad Extensions

                  As it was only on Ad extensions, it luckily didn’t have a major effect on ad performance. However, it does make us question how Google monitor their ad disapproval automation.

                  All appeals we made on behalf of our clients were approved quickly and it seemed like there was only a small window where this was happening. Despite many people being got by ‘get’, Google made no comment on the issue, meaning we still have no explanation as to why ‘get’ was flagged as an unapproved substance in the first place.

                  Changes to Similar Audience Targeting in Google Ads

                  Google has announced that lookalike audiences are going to be leaving the Google Ads targeting suite by the middle of next year. The targeting option, which would create a list of users with similar traits as one of your existing audiences, will stop being usable by May 2023.

                  Google also confirmed this feature will become a part of automated bidding – as long as you have an audience added to a campaign.

                  We don’t think this change will affect most charities’ accounts and no action is needed. Although, it is unfortunate that you will no longer be able to view the exact data of these audiences compared to your overall performance.

                  EXCLUSIVE: Facebook Pixel Conversion Tracking to be Sunset Next Year

                  During a recent call with a Meta rep, they confirmed that in order for advertisers to continue to make use of conversion tracking and optimisation, the Conversion API will need to become compulsory at some point next year. The pixel would still exist but for pageview tracking/optimisation only.

                  They mentioned that support would be available for organisations to help migrate over to the Conversion API in the coming year, however this is likely to extend to larger organisations/agencies first, who are least likely to need the support.

                  It’s not entirely surprising, given the transition has already begun, off the back of the iOS 14.5 changes and move to a 3rd party cookie free world in general.

                  As this news hasn’t been officially announced yet, unfortunately there’s no more information that we can provide at this stage. We will be keeping our eyes peeled for official updates on this from Meta, and will ensure we share the rollout process with you as soon as we know more.

                  New Meta Developments for Paid Media

                  Conversion Segmentation is Being Brought Back!

                  During the iOS14 updates, much functionality was removed or restricted. This included the ability to segment your conversion data by key demographics and breakdowns, including age, gender and placement/platform. Although not completely clear why, we believe it was likely due to issues with data reliability and modelling.

                  Whilst you could still segment performance data from the platform (clicks or video watches for example), you couldn’t for how your conversions were split. Even though using UTMs and GA effectively largely covers this (and is still a crucial step) but it was frustrating nonetheless. On many occasions we have set-up IG and FB in separate campaigns purely due to this lack of reporting, whereas we previously might run them inside the same campaign.

                  Which is why we are excited to see conversion segmentation now returning! This is in addition to the ability to compare attribution settings as well the longer 28 day click attribution window being available to use.

                  Conversion Segmentation window in meta

                  The return of conversion segmentation will enable advertisers to make more informed decisions quicker. Being able to report on how different placements and demographics are performing can save a lot of time, with attribution comparison offering more context too.

                  You can now target your Instagram followers directly

                  You can now select ‘People who started following this professional account’ for Instagram follower targeting. Previously, it was only possible to target Instagram users who had engaged with content, unlike on Facebook where you can reach your followers and page likes specifically.


                  Old Instagram follower targeting


                  New option for targeting Instagram followers which includees 'people who started following this professional account.

                  Re-engaging warm audiences is a crucial part of paid social strategy, so offering more options to dig into and reach this subset is a win. Especially for charities with a younger audience focus, where reach is far greater on Instagram compared to Facebook.

                  It’s important to note that your Instagram account will need to be configured to allow for this.Also, you still can’t run a campaign with the objective of reaching new IG followers, like you can on Facebook. This is a development we feel would be a nice addition to Instagram targeting.

                  Further Updates to Leads Forms

                  Meta have recently announced their most significant overhaul for Leads Ads this year, offering ‘custom’ forms. This is a further development from previous Meta ads updates including Lead Filtering (asking additional qualifying questions) and then Gated Content (allowing users to download resources directly from Facebook).

                  Custom forms option for Leads Ads in Meta - Paid Media News

                  These ‘custom’ forms allow advertisers to completely tailor the look and feel of their lead form, which provides more opportunities to showcase product benefits and imagery, social proof as well as incentives.Tailoring options for showcasing products on Leads Forms in Meta.

                  Whilst we have seen some advertisers struggling to return to their former glory on Facebook Ads (more specifically conversion-optimised campaigns), many have found great success in using Lead Ads in their strategy.

                  Keeping users on Facebook, and retaining their data can be key, making the rollout of features such as this a noteworthy development. Moreover, combining the Conversion Leads optimisation could be instrumental in capture highly qualified leads.

                  Paid Media Services to Enhance your 2023 Strategy

                  Are you looking to up your Paid Media game in 2023? We’d love to help you get there! Tweet us upriseUPSEM, email hello@upriseup.co.uk , or simply send us a message through our contact page, and we can discuss taking your Paid Media to the next level in the New Year.




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                    ‘I call it Experiment 626!’ How to Set Up Google Ads Experiments

                    Google Ads Experiments Blog Lead Image

                    How to use Google Ads Experiments

                    Adjusting and optimising your campaigns is key to getting the most out of Google Ads, but what if you’re not sure whether a change will be in your best interests or not? In Paid Media, you always want to ensure you are getting the most benefit out of your Ad spend. This is where Google Ads Experiments comes in. At Uprise Up, we’re always looking to continuously improve the accounts we work on and as a data driven agency, experiments allow us to learn directly from the data produced by these.

                    What are Google Ads experiments?

                    Experiments are a way to test a change that you’re not certain about in your Google Ads account. Whatever change you are debating, experiments are a way to test your theories without taking any major risks. For charities in particular, this is ideal in keeping costs down and not needing to spend any more than necessary in ensuring your campaigns are running the best they can. Experiments can also be used in either Google Ad Grant or paid accounts, meaning that charities only running Ad Grant activity can also benefit from these.

                    This change could be from a range of areas, such as:

                    • A change in bid strategy
                    • Using pinning in your responsive search ads
                    • Changes in your ad copy
                    • Using dynamic keyword/location insertion headlines .
                    • Using dynamic search ads
                    • Different landing pages
                    • Pausing/adding ad groups
                    • Different keyword lists
                    • Applying negative ad targets
                    • Audience or locational targeting

                    Google Ads uses A/B testing, also referred to as split testing, that allows multiple variants to run simultaneously to show which performs better. This uses a ‘control’ campaign (A) against a ‘variation’ campaign (B) to see what, if any, difference in performance arises between the two campaigns. All you need to start an experiment is an existing campaign and an idea of what it is you’d like to test.

                    Before you start: Experiment limitations

                    It’s worth noting that there are some limitations to which campaigns are allowed to use experiments. There are only a few restrictions but it’s important to be aware of them before you start, otherwise Google might not inform you until you’ve already put in most of the work in setting one up.

                    Restrictions include:

                    • Campaigns in a shared budget. Removing the campaign from the budget while the experiment is carried out is a route around this, but no experiment can be run if a shared budget is still attached.
                    • Campaigns that include ‘Text Ads’, even if they’ve been removed. This is referring solely to the old style of ad referred to as ‘Text Ads’, rather than ‘Expanded Text Ads’ the latter of these function in experiments just fine. What’s unusual here is that this restriction applies even if the ads have been ‘removed’ from the account, so if these are in a campaign even in this state, you won’t be able to run an experiment.
                    • Custom experiments are not available for App of Shopping campaigns. Experiments are only available for Search, Display, Video and Hotel Ads campaigns.
                    • Only one experiment for a campaign at a time. However, you can schedule up to five experiments for a single campaign.


                    How to set up Google Ads Experiments

                    Let’s run through an example. You’re running a campaign focused on recruitment and volunteering and you want more application-based conversions for a campaign, but you’re not sure what effect a bid strategy change might have on your campaign. You decide to set up an experiment to test this and have directly comparable data between your original campaign and your variation.

                    Here’s the set-up process:

                    Creating a custom experiment - how to set up Google Ads Experiments

                    First of all, select the ‘Experiments’ tab in the left navigation bar, while on the ‘All campaigns’ view as shown above. From here, we’ll make a custom experiment, allowing us to test as much or little as we like.

                    Select the campaign you want to make into an experiment in Google Ads

                    Next, choose the campaign you want to make an experiment for and name it something clear and to the point, such as stating the purpose of the experiment.

                    Changing the settings for Google Ads Experiments

                    Now, you can make your changes. Go into the campaign settings and change the bid strategy over to our desired option, just the same as you would to make any changes outside of an experiment.

                    Setting a Google Ads Experiment live

                    Then you can simply set it live! While you can choose the metrics you’re most interested in to see more directly in your results, you’ll still get a range of metrics to view once your experiment is running. Additionally, if you have a larger campaign or limited budget and only want to test this change on a smaller level, here you can set just how much budget you want to split between the base campaign and the experiment.

                    Generally speaking, these experiments do need some time to learn, so we’d usually suggest running an experiment for at least 4 weeks, otherwise this simply won’t give enough time to see the effects of any changes, although this can depend on just how much data is coming through.

                    It’s also important to note that while you can extend the duration of the experiment once it’s begun or choose to end it early, you can’t reenable an experiment once it’s ended, so always double check that you’ve given the experiment enough time to test your changes effectively.

                    Another feature that’s incredibly useful here is Enable Sync. For most experiments, this allows us to continue optimising across both the control and experiment campaigns as we go, such as adding new keywords or adjusting copy. A case where you might not use this is in an experiment where copy is being tested, as you might not want any further tweaks in your copy to pull across to the experiment.

                    Monitor performance in Google Ads

                    As the experiment is running and learning, you’ll want to monitor performance. We would recommend regularly popping back into the experiments tab throughout the duration of the experiment, where you can easily take a look at the performance of your experiment compared to the base campaign.

                    Summary data interface for Google Ads Experiments

                    The summary, as shown above, will highlight whichever metrics you decided to look at earlier and will also display a range of metrics to compare. This can be customised in the same way as you’d customise columns within the regular campaigns view.

                    You can also make any alterations to your experiment here (although we’d recommend keeping an experiment the same from start to finish), apply the experiment early or end the experiment early if you’d like to. Once the experiment is over, you can use this summary to get a clear idea of your results and then decide whether or not to apply your changes to the base campaign.
                    And that’s all there is to it! Experiments are a great and adaptable way to safely test your ideas out and directly see just how your changes might affect a campaign.

                    Need some support?

                    Do you want some support setting up your Google Ads and running experiments? Or would you just like to talk about your paid media in general? We’d love to hear from you! Check out our contact us page or email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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                      Paid Media Developments in October 2022

                      Laptop displaying 'get the most out of your marketing budget with Google Ads' on the Google Ads homepage.

                      Our expert team of digital media specialists have put their heads together and assessed some of the latest paid media developments across October, and have shared their thoughts on the impact they might have for digital marketers. From a Data Studio rebrand to Google Ad updates – our paid media pros have got the latest for you. 

                      Google Ad recommendation experiments

                      Google announced this month that recommendations in Google Ads (from the recommendations tab) can now be implemented into experiments first, rather than straight into an existing campaign.

                      This is a useful workflow improvement, as often these suggestions are not always guaranteed to result in improved performance. Being able to quickly create experiments to test implementing some of these more uncertain recommendations will allow us to more easily evaluate the success or failure of the suggestions.

                      Optimisation of Google Ads keyword match types

                      Google recently tested an option during account creation prompting users to not use match types in their keywords. This would mean every keyword would be using the broadest match type available. This spawned immediate questions from advertisers about whether this was a signal that match types would be disappearing.

                      Google emphasised that this was not the first step towards the removal of match types, but just a workflow optimisation for users who did not use them. Although we are glad to hear that match types are not going away any time soon, it is frustrating that Google continues to add features that push users towards using broader and broader targeting. As always, we advise taking Google recommendations with pinch of salt.

                      Data Studio rebranded to Looker Studio 

                      The new Looker studio logo.

                      Earlier this month Google announced the rebrand of Data Studio to Looker Studio. Google has stated this has been done to bring Google business intelligence products under the ‘Looker Studio umbrella’, having acquired the BI and data analysis tool, under the same name, in 2020.  

                      Aside from the new name and updated logo, the Looker Studio update came with the announcement of a pro version, which includes:

                      • Team workspaces, meaning all users within a team can access and edit a report, rather than needing individual access.
                      • Ability to link to a Google Cloud project, meaning organisations will own the data sources and reports, rather than individuals who create them (and may leave a company)
                      • Access to Cloud Customer Care, to help with any specific issues that may arise.

                      With the regular updates Google has, we don’t find this change or the monetization of Data Studio surprising, although, we are not completely set on the name choice itself. We are, however, interested to see what else Looker Studio Pro can offer. 

                      ‘Sponsored’ label being added to Google Ads for mobile

                      Google have announced that they are replacing the existing black “Ad” label for text ads with a bold black “Sponsored” label, making it easier for users to distinguish between organic and paid results. The label will also be on a separate line to the top left of the ad to increase clarity for users. 

                      Screenshot of the new 'sponsored' label which will be shown on mobile Google Ads.

                      Given that the addition of a more distinguishable label may have an impact on your click through rate, we’ll be keeping an eye on how CTR’s may be impacted, especially for those with mobile-focussed sites and audiences. 

                      Google Ads Content Suitability Center

                      Google has just launched a new “Content Suitability Center” for YouTube and Display Network advertising. The aim of this is to allow advertisers to have greater control over their brand safety settings across campaigns in a single place. There are now 3 inventory options, with increasing levels of suitability and safety measures: 

                      Screenshot of new content suitability center.

                      Expanded Inventory: Allows you to maximise available inventory by showing ads with some sensitive content.

                      Standard Inventory: Allows you to show ads on content appropriate for most brands.

                      Limited Inventory: Excludes most types of sensitive content and limits your available inventory.

                      While we usually default to using DV360 for most display/video campaigns (where brand safety settings are more in-depth) those using GDN should find it easier to find the right option; avoiding misapplication of settings and poorer results.

                      Will Google increase Ad Grant spend this ‘giving season’? 

                      For the last 2 years, Google has announced that they will be awarding Ad Grants additional funding during ‘Giving Season’ (Dec-Jan). In 2020, we saw most Ad Grants have their budgets at least doubled, and in some cases more than tripled. In 2021 though, the pool of selected Ad Grantees awarded with additional funding was significantly reduced.

                      We are yet to receive any information about additional funding this year though, and are eagerly awaiting to see what is on offer – if anything. We would expect Google to make an announcement in the next few weeks, so will be looking out for this and keeping our clients up to date. We’ll otherwise be reaching out to the Ad Grant community and team if we don’t hear an update as we approach the end of November. 

                      Did we miss any Paid Media developments?  

                      Were there any paid media developments we haven’t mentioned that caught your eye? Want to talk about paid media in general? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page. 

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                        Tis the Season to Try Shopping – How Charities can utilise Shopping Ads in the Holiday Period

                        Christmas shopping bags

                        The holiday period is a crucial time for charities of all sizes. It often comes with a complex marketing plan, utilising many different marketing channels to achieve fundraising aims. However, charities often overlook shopping ads, an ad format that has huge potential, and also sees it’s biggest days of the year during this time.

                        In this blog, I want to argue the case that, as long as you meet a few minimum criteria, charities should be considering shopping ads as a part of any holiday period advertising they are planning.


                        What are shopping ads?

                        We have a blog that goes into more detail about the basics of shopping ads, but to summarise – shopping ads are an ad format specific to selling products. They provide specific information about individual products you sell. Visually they look very different to search ads and can show in both the website and image search results pages. Shopping ads can’t be run inside a Google Ad Grant account, so you will have to create a full paid account and pay for the media spend you put through these ads.


                        Shopping ads that appear when users search "nike shoes"

                        An example of the ads that appear when searching “nike shoes”.


                        Shopping ads criteria

                        I want to add an important caveat to this blog. Google Shopping is not for everyone, and your online shop will need to fulfil some criteria to have the possibility of good performance using shopping ads.

                        Firstly, the shop needs to sell products that users cold to your organisation would like to buy. Things like branded cups and tote bags may sell well with your warm audiences, but will almost certainly fail to perform when it comes to shopping ads not utilising retargeting.

                        Secondly, the set up of shopping ads is somewhat more technical than search ads, requiring a shopping feed to be built of the products you want to sell via Google Shopping. Check that you or your web developers are comfortable with setting this up, or you may find yourself lost before an ad has gone live.


                        Why will charities benefit from using shopping ads?

                        So, with that said, why is Shopping going to work for charities in the holiday period? There are three main factors that make the end of the year the ideal time for a shopping test.


                        1. Increased interest in items charities sell: Christmas cards, decorations, and gifts

                        One of the advantages of this time of year for charities is that it is the seasonal high for several types of items charities often sell. These products can include Christmas cards, seasonal decorations and little items often given as gifts.

                        Although Christmas cards are low price, and often low margin, user intent is never going to be higher than during this period. A tip for making this easier to manage is to sell only bundles of 10 or 20 Christmas cards on Google shopping. This way you will be able to bid more per click than you would on an individual card.


                        search results for "christmas card packs"

                        Even in Mid-October, ads are already live for Christmas cards.


                        Christmas decorations such as tree ornaments or wreaths are similarly peaking, and these can often be a higher price than Christmas cards, which may give you more room to bid whilst still keeping the shopping ads profitable.

                        Finally, many products often sold on charity shops fit into the umbrella of small gifts or stocking fillers. Anything from fountain pens to plush toys can fit into this category. If you are deciding which products to run during this time, ask yourself if you could see someone buying each product for a friend or relative. These are the products that are most likely to succeed.


                        2. Target big events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Everything in between.

                        In recent years, the Black Friday phenomenon has expanded to consume almost an entire week. Stores now often extend their sales over the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and often go on for up to a week.

                        This is a period of high activity on the google shopping platform. If you can present competitively priced products during this time, you are almost certainly going to see increased search volume and sales.

                        However, to have a competitive price for many items, you will need to consider running a sale. Users expect a sale during this time, and the increased performance should offset the reduced profit from each sale.

                        This period (in particular Black Friday itself) should be considered the final destination of any Google shopping campaign. Spend should peak around this time, and most importantly the campaign should start in advance of this date, to allow you to fully optimise the account by the time Black Friday arrives.


                        graph showing conversions and conversion value for January to Devember, peaking in November around black Friday

                        A graph of one of our charity clients accounts last year. November was the highest revenue and converting month.


                        3. A Shopping campaign isn’t just for Christmas

                        Although Black Friday and the week surrounding it is the end goal of any holiday shopping campaign, we also shouldn’t overlook the power of extending your campaigns into January. Especially for charities with lower budgets, who found the black Friday period too competitive, this can be an excellent idea, as many short-term campaigns from other sellers end and competition drops. Despite this, users are still keen to buy, looking to spend their holiday money.

                        Seasonal items such as cards and decorations should be avoided, but regular products still sell well, and CPC’s are often lower.


                        graph showing conversion and conversion rate across November to January, with the first week of January showing the the highest recorded conversion value in that period

                        Looking at that same account in January of this year, we see that the first week in January performed better than many of the November weeks.


                        As you can see, there is plenty of advantages to running a holiday shopping campaign. If it is properly managed and optimised, it can bring in provable profit in a very similar fashion to a fundraising campaign, but from an entirely different audience.


                        Shopping ads aren’t going anywhere

                        My final reason to test shopping is one of prediction. Over the last few years, we have seen an increased focus in shopping from Google. Along with an increase in where and how shopping ads can be shown to users. Gone are the days of only a bar at the top of search results pages, shopping ads can now be shown in image searches, on partner websites, and even in their own tab on the results screen. You can even achieve free listings, in a similar fashion to organic search results, if you have your shopping feed set up.

                        These ads are becoming a larger and larger part of the search ecosystem, and they are not slowing down. A test of google shopping during the holidays not only gives you a chance at a successful and profitable campaign, but also allows you to familiarise yourself with an ad format that will only become more important in the future.


                        Get your shopping campaign ready for Christmas

                        Are you setting up shopping ads for campaigns this holiday season?  If you are and want some support, get in touch at hello@upriseup.co.uk. We’d love to chat about how we can help you get the most out of you shopping ads.

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                          Paid Media Developments in September 2022

                          Shopping has taken the spotlight in our paid media round up this month. With new features now available for shopping ad campaigns creating new opportunities for ad users to utilise. Ad extensions are also at the forefront this month, along with new features becoming available in Facebook Ads Manager. Here’s the latest. 



                          Google recently added new features to Shopping ads campaigns, which provide new capabilities in both the back end, and the ads themselves. 

                          Product Specific Insights allow advertisers to spot issues with products at a top level. This is something we have been using third party solutions for up until now, but it is useful to have this information now contained in the same interface as the data on performance for products.  

                          Deals Content API is an API integration that allows large scale advertisers to manage the sales they run on their products. Even at the scale of charities with online stores, we have found difficulties managing some larger sales, such as those around Black Friday. The deals API may well help to make these periods more easily managed.  

                          Some shopping campaign best practices have been outlined by Google. Most of these are pushing users towards using automation features such as smart bidding and responsive search ads. Previously, we’ve talked about the different features of Google ads automation and our opinions of them. With this update Google has further consolidated the idea that automation isn’t going away anytime soon. 

                          Shipping and Returns Annotations are undoubtedly the biggest of the four changes announced. Advertisers are now able to list the expected delivery date and any free return policy on their ads. This will be especially useful around the Christmas period, where delivery date becomes a key factor in the purchase decisions people make.  


                          Ad Extensions becomes Ad Assets 

                          Google announced that they would be rebranding ad extensions to ad assets, along with releasing a new menu to manage these elements of your ads. The new menu gives an easier top-level view of the performance of your assets, along with the top combinations that are used in your account. This is especially useful after Google’s recent change to the hierarchy of ad extensions, which allows more mixing than before. At the moment, we are unsure what the big differences will be due to this change and we will need time with the new menu when it releases in the next few weeks. 


                          Metas Advantage and Advantage+ Suite

                          ‘Advantage’ are Meta Ads’ automated product offerings, which are slowly rolling out to more and more advertisers. 

                          With Metas Advantage+ creative update, multiple versions of a creative can be created and are optimised for what the viewer is most likely to respond to. This includes updates to brightness, contrast, aspect ratio, applying templates to help better-fit certain placements, or displaying the most relevant comments.  



                          We recommend applying these by default, as we feel this is only likely to improve CTR and conversion rates, given the vast amount of data and machine learning that powers these automated features. Moreover, by appeasing Facebook and using their features (where relevant) this is going to naturally favour you in an auction, and likely to lower your CPC’s and CPMs 

                          A newer feature is also that music can be chosen and applied from a ‘sound catalog’, to create more immersive experience in reels and story placements.  This looks like it can potentially be useful, but we would more carefully consider using this, to ensure it contextually fits your creative.  


                          Updates to Metas B2B Targeting 

                          Meta have also significantly boosted their B2B targeting options, helping advertisers to reach key decision-makers across small, medium and enterprise businesses. 

                          The following targeting options can now be accessed:  

                          • IT decision-makers: A B2B audience segment that targets ads to people who are IT decision makers based on their job titles. 
                          • Business decision-maker titles and interests: A B2B audience segment that targets ads to people who are business decision-makers based on their job titles and interests. 
                          • Business decision-makers: A B2B audience segment that targets ads to people who are business decision-makers in engineering/IT, operations, HR, strategy or marketing, based on their job titles. 
                          • New active business: Admins of engaged businesses that were created in the last 6, 12 or 24 months. (Note: This reflects 3 segments, with one for each timeframe.) 


                          Facebook Ads Manager had always been lacking in this area compared to LinkedIn, so this is a welcome change. While many advertisers may be hesitant to run LinkedIn Ads, due to very high CPCs and CPMs, this will obviously open-up more options. 


                          Did we miss anything? 

                          Were there any updates in the world of paid media we haven’t mentioned that caught your eye? Want to talk about paid media in general? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page. 


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                            Paid Media Developments August 2022

                            Further Targeting Options Removed from Facebook Ads.

                            Back in January, Meta announced that certain targeting options available on Facebook Ads around ‘sensitive causes’ were to be removed. Which was a big blow for non-profits, because it removed targeting options which were highly effective as part of colder acquisition in general, but more importantly, were extremely relevant for reaching a more charity-conscious audience. 

                            This has meant advertisers have had to make use of broader interest-targeting options, which can provide less audience insight, and often worse performance. 

                            Now, there appear to be even more targeting options removed. Over the last few weeks, we have seen first-hand that many ad set audiences are no longer able to run. We’ve also heard from multiple clients of these further restrictions also. 

                            Some non-profits have been affected more than others with the interest options available. For example, there are still quite a few ‘animal-charity’ specific targeting options available, whereas any cancer charity options have been decimated. 

                            Making more use of audience segmentation as well as lookalikes has become pivotal to campaign success, with lookalikes becoming increasingly more valuable and focal to ad campaigns. 

                            In many ad accounts, a banner now re-appears (similarly to how we saw it in Jan-March) to say there have been changes. However, the ‘learn more link’ doesn’t seem to reference any new updates since the original announcement. 



                            We did find this update, which mentioned further changes being rolled out at the start of April; so it has potentially just taken a few weeks/months to take effect.



                            Either way, I expect this to be a continued trend over the next few months, so we’ll be continuing to explore and test alternative strategies.

                            Will Rhodes, Paid Media Manager


                            New Facebook Fundraiser Challenges. 

                            Meta have now added ‘Fundraiser Challenges’ to Facebook which allows supporters to start their own individual fundraisers under one umbrella fundraiser. Non profit organisations can use this tool to set a fundraising goal and select an activity for supporters to get involved with. If the organisation sets the challenge of ‘running 1 mile every day in September’ for example, supporters can select their own individual fundraising goals to raise money on behalf of the organisation. 

                            As soon as supporters join the challenge, they can begin raising funds and are added to a Facebook group for the challenge. Here, they can share pictures, connect with others who are taking part and rally supporters around the challenge activity. 

                            One major benefit for non-profit is that they no longer have to pay to promote fundraising activity on Facebook. Previously, fees could be added or taken from the money that is donated. Charities could also expect to face fees for promoting fundraising challenges through major platforms such as Just Giving. Organisations can now capitalise on the new Facebook Fundraiser Challenges feature at no extra cost.

                            Max-Leslie Smith, Paid Media Executive 


                            Image Source


                            Updates to Google Ads Keyword Planner.

                            A new feature has been rolled out for all Keyword Planner customers this August. Initially trialled in 2021, the ‘Organise keywords into ad groups’ tool utilises an automated machine learning system where Google then suggests which ad groups are best for the keywords. 

                            The aim of the update from Google is to save advertisers the time of sorting through keywords and trying to gauge where they would perform best, which traditionally would have done manually. 

                            It has taken time and thought from Google as to which keywords are best suited to which ad group, so it will be interesting to see how well Google’s recommendations work and if it will provide more insight than we can garner manually. 

                            We will be experimenting with this new tool and analysing the results to see if it is a tool we can confidently utilise.  

                            This is another update heading in the ‘automation’ direction from Google. A trend that we suspect will continue in updates going forward. 

                            Brogan Carroll, Paid Media Analyst



                            New Twitter Ads Pixel 

                            Twitter has released an update to their ‘Conversion Tracking’ products which are intended to improve setup and increase measurement capabilities. The new ‘Twitter Pixel’ is one of the biggest changes within the platform, with a simplified setup that combines the legacy Universal Web Tags (UWTs) and Single Event Tags (SETs) into one. 

                            The update also includes improvements to the troubleshooting and event creation process as well as the ‘Twitter Pixel Helper Chrome’ extension.

                            The main other change is the new ‘Conversion API’ (CAPI) which can run in conjunction with the ‘Twitter Pixel’ or on its own. It aims to connect advertisers to the API and track conversion events without using third-party cookies – a great move to enable more privacy.

                            Twitter says these updates should not impact any existing setup. However, it is recommended to update from the older ‘UWTs’ and ‘SETs’, to the new ‘Twitter Pixel’.


                            James Sherlock, Paid Media Analyst 


                            Are there any other recent digital developments that caught your attention? Feel free to tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.


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                              Paid Media Developments In July.

                              The New Release of Microsoft Ads for Social Impacts. 

                              Microsoft has launched ‘Ads for Social Impact’, similar to the Google Ad Grant, which is offering approved nonprofits upwards of $3,000 USD in a monthly grant. 

                              Its goal is to help non-profits grow awareness, attract new donors and volunteers and accelerate mission outcomes. Interestingly, the grant can be used across all Microsoft products allowing activity not just on Bing but Yahoo, AOL, Outlook.com, MSN, and Microsoft Edge. 

                              Last year Microsoft launched something similar in the US – a 50% discount for the first 100 eligible non-profit applicants, but it looks like this was scrapped in favour of the full grant model. This new scheme will currently be offered to non-profits in Australia, Canada, France, Israel, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States only, but this may expand in the future.

                               The end goal of Microsoft Ads for Social Impact is very much the same as the Google Ad grant but it differs in the terms of the monetary value awarded. 

                              Google offers Ad Grants $10,000 per month, Microsoft states the value will start at $3,000, but has not stated if there is a maximum they will award; this could potentially supersede Google’s $10,000. Also, this has not been substantiated yet, it has been suggested that Microsoft grant ads can compete much more equally with paid ads, compared to Google grant ads. 

                              We will continue to monitor any differences and performance highlights of the new Ads for Social Impact campaign. 


                              Brogan Carroll, Paid Media Analyst 


                              More countries make Google Analytics Illegal. 

                              Italy has become the latest country to ban Google Analytics, following France, Austria, and more earlier in the year. The Italian SA has cited the USA as being “a country without an adequate level of data protection”, and as such stated the transference of data between Italy and the USA as breaking Article 44 of the GDPR. In Italy’s case, they deemed an IP Address to be personal data and so with Google able to read this (even if abbreviated) alongside other data, this processing has been declared unlawful.

                              This is effectively the same conclusion drawn by the Austrian and French data protection agencies. This could then suggest that while Universal Analytics is Google’s primary source of analytics, more European countries could make similar decisions, something likely to create big problems in the analytics area.

                              It’s also worth noting however, that these decisions currently only apply to Universal Analytics; with Google’s move to GA4 next year, these decisions may no longer be relevant but this is yet to be seen. 

                              Ross Stratford, Paid Media Executive 


                              The Switch from Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) to Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) is in Full Force. 

                              On June 30th 2022, in their move towards automation, Google began sunsetting expanded text ads (ETAs), no longer allowing for creation, or editing of the ad type.

                              Although we can no longer edit ETAs, we don’t expect the change to have too drastic an effect on our clients, and we have been ensuring that we have made the changes required in the lead up to the deadline.

                              Moreover, while ETAs will continue to be delivered, we do expect them to naturally be faded out in favour of responsive search ads (RSAs), a trend we have already seen the beginnings of in the graph below:



                              All Uprise Up Managed Grant Accounts

                              As mentioned in our blog on the topic, while RSAs can be more time consuming to create, they can lead to better performance, whether that’s click through rates or conversion rates. We will continue to monitor the impact of the move away from ETAs, as well as continuing to ensure all ad groups contain RSAs with high Ad strengths.

                              Lucy Goodyear, Paid Media Assistant 


                              Google Auto-Apply Dynamic Extensions. 

                              The trend of Google making automatic changes in paid accounts looks set to continue. Earlier this month we noticed that in one of our clients’ accounts, there was an issue where a sitelink was taking users to the wrong URL. After a lot of digging, we learnt that the sitelink had automatically been set up by Google. This was a result of Google launching Auto Apply Dynamic Extensions, a change that was introduced a few months ago. The list of automated dynamic extensions includes dynamic sitelinks, dynamic callouts, dynamic structured snippets and longer ad headlines.

                              Having these dynamic extensions switched on takes away the control from the advertiser and grants Google the freedom to apply changes that may negatively impact your account. It goes without saying that granting Google all of the power to decide on the messaging and URL of sitelinks extensions creates a risk of brand image being adversely affected.

                              As a result, we’ve been switching off most text-based dynamic extensions for our client to take back control. We have been opting to keep in the Dynamic Seller Rating, App, Location and Image Extensions for now though. 

                              To update these settings yourself, navigate to Ads and Extensions then click ‘Extensions’, scroll down to the bottom to ‘Automated Extensions’. Then click ‘More’ and ‘Advanced Settings’.

                              In similar news, Google also recently sent around an email letting some advertisers know that certain accounts will switch over to data-driven attribution models automatically. In most situations opting for data-driven is a sensible choice, but it seems odd to switch over advertisers by default, when the other 5 attribution options still exist. It’s easy enough to turn off this auto-apply feature, and we certainly would advise looking into how this change may affect your results, and review what is best for you; not what Google tells you is best. 

                              Max Leslie-Smith, Paid Media Executive 


                              LinkedIn Ads Introduce Business Manager.

                              Earlier in June, LinkedIn Announced, at long-last, the introduction of a Business Manager. Similar to Facebook Business Manager (introduced in 2014!) this provides a centralised hub to manage all business assets such as your company pages and ad accounts, and easily provide access to users who need it. It also provides the ability to share ‘Matched Audiences’ (remarketing) across Ad Account contained within BM.

                              This might seem like a relatively small addition in the world of Social Advertising, but is a real boon for both agencies and advertisers working with agencies themselves, due to the vast improvement this will bring to gaining access and working across accounts. 

                              Previously, user-access had to be arranged individually by providing one’s personal LinkedIn profile, and also required different levels of access for pages and ad accounts. This created issues down the line if then other team members (new or existing) also wanted to quickly review an account and hadn’t previously gone through the process of being added.

                              Business Manager has started rolling out but doesn’t appear to be available to all advertisers just yet, with no confirmed launch date. We will be looking out for any updates but ultimately look forward to being able to work more seamlessly on this more niche, but very powerful platform.

                              Will Rhodes, Paid Media Manager 


                              Were there any other recent digital developments that caught your attention? Feel free to tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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                                Noteworthy paid media developments in April and May 2022

                                Staying on top of new digital tools, the latest channel updates, and user demands can be overwhelming, we know. Which is why we’ve assessed the latest paid media developments during April and May and put our heads together to evaluate what this means for the paid media landscape. 

                                Have your pad and pen ready (definitely worth taking note of), below our team of digital media specialists, share what the latest developments are and what this means for digital marketers. 


                                New Custom Columns in Google Ads
                                Google recently announced some major updates to custom columns in Google Ads. The biggest change is the inclusion of functions. These operate much like functions in spreadsheets such as excel, and allow for a whole host of new uses for custom columns not possible before.

                                Alongside this change, Google has also added the ability to reference custom columns within formulas, allowing for custom columns to work off of each other. This is useful with the new options functions have unlocked. We are also now able to pull text elements like campaign or ad group name into the columns. 

                                These changes are very welcome, custom columns have until recently been mostly used to segment-specific conversions into a column for optimisation purposes. The options available for calculation within the columns were just not complete enough to allow for many more use cases. With these changes, however, there are many more situations where custom columns could be useful in optimising an account.

                                Reference: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/12041700?hl=en  

                                Dan Biggs, Paid Media Consultant 


                                New Cookie Choices for Google in Europe

                                Google announced last month that they’ll be rolling out new cookie banners in Europe to anyone visiting Search or YouTube while signed out or in Incognito Mode. The update will give these users the additional option to ‘Reject All’ cookies:


                                The update began with a roll out across France and will soon be introduced across the rest of the European Economic Area. 

                                This is a big change for Google, moving away from a design made to make it difficult for users to opt out of cookies. With a continued commitment to “building privacy-preserving tools”, Google believes they can protect people’s private data while also giving businesses the tools they need to thrive in their digital environment. One thing’s for certain, it will be interesting to find out how this is all going to work.

                                Matt Hekkink, Paid Media Analyst 


                                Upgrades to Google Ads Extensions 

                                Starting this month, Google made some significant adjustments to ad extensions and upgraded all extension types (excluding image and location extensions).

                                So, what’s the difference? Well, it means there’s now a distinction between “extensions (upgraded)” and “extensions” for the new and existing extensions, making it clear which extensions are legacy and which will have the new features, allowing you to retain your historic data.

                                The new features include some very beneficial changes such as the ability to pause extensions, rather than outright removing them, and a “trickle-down” system for the different hierarchies of extensions.

                                This means that where previously higher-level extensions were limited by existing extensions at an ad group or campaign level, with the upgraded extensions all extensions can serve despite existing ones. For example, an Ad Group with existing sitelinks can now pull sitelinks from the Campaign or Account levels where they were previously restricted to just the Ad Group level extensions.


                                These features are definitely a big improvement but it’ll definitely be worth checking that your high-level extensions match with all of your ads just to be safe.

                                Ross Stratford, Paid Media Assistant


                                Updates to Google’s 3 strike system 

                                A new three strike disapproval rule is being implemented for google ads in June 2022 after being trialled in September 2021. The strike system will be for the following policies in particular: Enabling dishonest behaviour, Unapproved substances, Guns, gun parts and related products, Explosives, Other Weapons and Tobacco. A ‘strike’ will be added to your account if a policy is repeatedly broken. 

                                First Disapproval

                                The first stage will just be a warning and will result in a normal ad disapproval. Google wants to be fair and make sure that everyone is aware of the policy rules before they start blocking accounts. 

                                Strike One

                                The first strike will come if google deems policy to have been broken again within 90 days of the first warning disapproval, in this case there will be a full account block for three days in which no ads will be able to run. After three days the account will be enabled again but the offending ads will remain disapproved until they comply with policy.

                                Strike Two

                                The second strike is much like strike one but the whole account will be blocked for seven days, rather than three,  if google deems policy to have been broken again within 90 days of strike one.

                                Strike Three

                                The third strike is another violation within 90 days of strike two. This will result in the full suspension of your account and google doesn’t specify if there is any timeframe in which you will be allowed access to the account again.

                                You may appeal strikes but your ads won’t be able to show until either the block has been lifted and the appeal accepted or the temporary block time is over, you have fixed all policy violations in the account and completed an acknowledgement form. 

                                Whilst this may not affect many accounts it’s worth considering the reasons disapprovals may occur, we often have surprising disapprovals due to some content linked to the landing page we are promoting rather than the ads themselves, as there is now more at stake we recommend everyone keeping their eyes out for disapprovals and brushing up on the policies!

                                Reference: https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/10922738?hl=en-GB 

                                Brogan Carroll, Paid Media Analyst


                                Meta have updated their Facebook Ad’s Manager Objectives

                                Meta have started rolling out changes to their Objectives in Ads Manager, or at least how their Objectives are named and grouped together. 

                                Prior to the change, there were 3 broad categories of Awareness, Consideration and Conversions, with then 12 sub-category Objectives across these e.g. Reach, Traffic, Catalogue Sales etc. With the changes, Meta have now consolidated this to 6 core Objectives, which they say are “grouped together based on their expected business outcome”. It’s important to clarify that:

                                • Objective names will change but you can still perform the same functions and access the features you’re familiar with.
                                • Campaigns created before the update will remain with the previous Objectives, so there is no need to change these manually.  

                                We think the most significant change to be aware of, is to how conversion-optimised campaigns are now set-up, as there are multiple ways to ultimately reach the same outcome. For example, you can optimise for website conversions under either of these 3 Objectives: Engagement, Leads, Sales, but will need to specify the correct ‘Conversion Location’ for each.  


                                Engagement Objective: 

                                Leads Objective:


                                More details on the changes can be found here.

                                Will Rhodes, Paid Media Manager 


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                                  How to successfully run responsive search ads (RSAs)

                                  Not long ago Google announced the end of an era for expanded text ads. As of June 30th 2022, you will no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads. 

                                  The announcement surfaced last year and here at Uprise Up, we’ve been preparing our client’s accounts ever since. Introducing responsive search ads (RSAs) into each of our ad groups ahead of June 30th. To help you also get ahead and be fully prepared for the change, we’ve jotted down our top tips in this blog for running successful responsive search ads. 

                                  First things first, what are responsive search ads?

                                  Responsive search ads (RSAs) are another step in the direction towards automation from Google. Expanded text ads (ETAs) had a set of 3 headlines and 2 descriptions that are shown statically, whereas RSAs allow us to select up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. Google then automatically tests the different combinations of these headlines and descriptions to give the user the ‘best’ performing combinations. 

                                  Ok, so what are the potential benefits of RSAs?

                                  • Improved performance. According to Google, advertisers that add RSAs to their ad groups achieve up to 10% more clicks and conversions. From our experience, we’ve also seen RSAs often out-perform existing ETAs when added into our accounts. 
                                  • Increase ad relevance and reach. More headlines and descriptions mean Google can serve more relevant combinations to the user. With more keywords in your ad copy, you’ll be entered into more auctions for relevant searches. 
                                  • They’re a time saver. Instead of needing to set up multiple variations of ETAs to test and learn, you only need the one responsive search ad which will test the combinations automatically.

                                  One thing to note is that while Google’s auto suggestions can often be useful, they are equally often not so useful. We’d advise taking a cautious approach when applying these.

                                  So, on the flip side, what are the potential downsides to RSAs?

                                  • Less control. Your ability to specify how an ad is formatted and reads overall is limited, due to the nature of the machine learning testing various combinations. This may lead to headlines appearing together which don’t necessarily work well or make sense to a user, or for your brand.
                                  • Reduced learnings. You cannot see as easily which headlines and descriptions have the best CTR and conversion rate, and therefore might work well outside of Paid Search.
                                  • Can actually take more time to select headlines and descriptions that work well together, but are unique enough, while also assessing whether to make use of the pinning feature (discussed below) can actually be more time-consuming than creating a standard ETA.
                                  • Beware of auto-suggestions. Google will be missing important context, so not all suggestions will be relevant.


                                  How to Run Responsive Search Ads Successfully

                                  Top tip time:

                                  • Include keywords in your headlines. To reach those good and excellent ad strengths you’ll need to make sure you have headlines relevant to your keywords. You can also use dynamic keyword insertions to insert your keyword into headlines, from experience this will help to optimise your ad strength. 
                                  • Include unique headlines. To give Google the variation it needs to test and optimise your RSA, you’ll need to keep your headlines unique. Try using a variety of calls to action and offers to improve headline uniqueness. 
                                  • Have a combination of short and long headlines. ‘Long’ headlines being within the 30 character cap.
                                  • Use all the headline and description fields available. If you can aim to fill out all 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, at a minimum include 10 headlines. 
                                  • Pay attention to ‘ad strength’. Google will offer you suggestions to improve the ad strength of your RSAs. You’ll want to get the ad strength up to at least “Good” but ideally aiming for “Excellent”.


                                  To pin or not to pin, that is the question.

                                  Responsive search ads are far from perfect, we’ll still quite often see Google pair similar headlines together as the highest serving combination (e.g. two branded headlines rather than a branded headline and a CTA). There’s definitely still questions to be answered. 

                                  Our biggest one is around the pinning feature. When setting up your RSA, you have the option to pin a headline or description so that they only appear in a certain position. While this sounds great (especially for controlling brand messaging), the ad strength of the ad is very much affected by the use of pinning. A lower ad strength may impact your achievable impressions share and your CPC, and may result in lower impressions/clicks as a result.

                                  With that in mind, you may be wondering: 

                                  • What is the actual impact of a lower ad strength on the total impressions?
                                  • Does this impact outweigh the benefits of improved brand messaging?
                                  • How do we best use pins to balance this impact?

                                  Fortunately, we have sought-out to find the answers!


                                  What we’re testing

                                  We’ve set up an experiment to test the pinning feature specifically. We’re running A/B experiments to test RSAs with no pinning, fully pinned, and a balance of pinning. 

                                  Specifically one thing we’re testing, is how the number of pins effects ad strength. For example will pinning 4-5 headlines in a single headline position still allow for a stronger ad strength compared to 1-2? 

                                  We’ll also be testing the impact of losing an ‘excellent’ ad strength in favour of pinning, looking at the effects on impression share against conversions. 


                                  We’ll be running this test over the next few months and look forward to sharing the results once they’re in.

                                  Here’s some examples of the types of variations we’re testing:







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                                    Facebook to remove targeting options around ‘sensitive causes’ – how will this impact non-profits?

                                    A laptop with the user looking at Facebook

                                    As you might be aware, Meta have announced that certain targeting options available on Facebook Ads around ‘sensitive causes’ have been removed as of 19 January 2022. Any activity which is currently using them can do so until March 17 2022, however any new or re-enabled campaigns post-January 19th will not be able to use this targeting.


                                    The targeting options being removed includes those referencing causes, organisations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. This also includes those interested in cause-related events such as: ‘World Alzheimer’s Month’ and ‘Cancer Awareness’.


                                    Meta says it is removing them because they “want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”


                                    To most advertisers this seems like a reasonable move. However, it is my view that this recent string of changes is incredibly damaging to non-profits who (in Meta’s own words) use Facebook and Instagram to “connect people to charitable causes they care about”. The removal of these targeting options makes it much harder to reach new users who would benefit from their support and would champion new campaigns. Off the back of social advertising being hit so heavily by the iOS 14.5 update, I know this will mean more non-profits questioning their Facebook activity going into 2022.


                                    I’m hoping that Meta considers the impact on non-profits. I’m not asking for a Google Ad Grant type scheme for Facebook (although I’m sure we’ll all agree that would be great!) but perhaps some way that Meta can allow exceptions for charities. A programme or certification scheme which means that those who qualify can use targeting like this to enable them to continue their great work.


                                    It would be great to hear your thoughts, what changes you’re now making and the impact these will have. And ultimately if you think a certification type scheme for non-profits would be a good move?


                                    Over the next month we will be working with our clients on ways to utilise the Facebook Ads platform’s other targeting options and tools to mitigate the damage. If you’re interested in discussing a potential approach for you and your organisation please don’t hesitate to reach out.


                                    Link to Meta’s announcement: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/removing-certain-ad-targeting-options-and-expanding-our-ad-controls

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                                      iOS 14.5: The Impact on Facebook Advertising

                                      A phone showing the Facebook logo.

                                      If you advertise on Facebook, you’ve probably heard about the iOS 14.5 update and the apparent havoc it’s wreaked.

                                      In the latest move towards championing user privacy and first-party data, Apple introduced the iOS 14.5 update to limit third-party data and tracking.

                                      We’ve put together the ultimate guide to the iOS 14.5 update and its impact on Facebook advertisers.

                                      Keep up to date with the latest industry news and trends by following us on Twitter.



                                      What is the iOS 14.5 update?


                                      In April 2021, Apple released a software update that requires Apps in the App Store, like Facebook, to show a prompt to users in accordance with their ‘App Tracking Transparency’ framework.

                                      The prompt asks users if they would like to allow third-party cookies or ask the App not to track.

                                      iOS 14.5 notification on an iPhone. Allow Facebook to track your activity across other companies' apps and websites.

                                      If users opt-out of third-party cookies, certain data collection and sharing is prohibited.



                                      What are third-party cookies?


                                      Cookies are text files that hold small pieces of data about a user and their interactions on a site.

                                      First-party cookies are ones created by the website you’re currently on, usually for their own digital purposes, like analytical reporting or saving your preferences such as a password.  Website cookie policies often refer to strictly necessary cookies, functionality cookies or performance cookies, and these are usually first-party cookies.

                                      Importantly, first-party cookies can’t track your behaviour across different sites they visit.

                                      Third-party cookies are created by other websites and these can track your activity across different sites. For advertisers, these third-party cookies are extremely useful. For instance, they allow the creation of retargeting lists of past visitors or people with similar interests. These are often referred to as targeting, tracking or advertising cookies.

                                      The industry is increasingly moving towards first-party-only cookies, in an attempt to prioritise user privacy.

                                      In January 2020, Google announced that it would scrap third-party cookies by late 2023. The technology giant followed the lead of other web browsers including Firefox and Apple’s Safari.



                                      How has the iOS 14.5 update impacted advertisers on Facebook?


                                      If a user asks Facebook not to track them, their data cannot be shared or collected by third parties.

                                      This means that there’s less data being sent to Facebook pixels, which is the code used to record conversions and optimise campaigns for specific actions.

                                      With less data gathered, Facebook’s algorithms will be less efficient and effective, and campaign results could suffer.

                                      Remarketing pools will also be smaller, lookalike audiences less reliable and reporting capabilities limited



                                      How much data is actually being lost?


                                      It’s difficult to say exactly; Facebook/Meta hasn’t published official figures on opt-in rates, and it will likely vary from advertiser to advertiser, depending on the region and audience demographic for example.

                                      To clarify, data is only ‘lost’ for users who are using the Facebook or Instagram App on an Apple mobile device with iOS 14.5 or later installed and have opted out of tracking.

                                      To give a ballpark of how much of your audience this equates in reality; around half the users on Facebook and Instagram use Apple mobile devices, and around 40% (and rising) of these are on iOS14+.

                                      Then there is the question of how many users actually opt-in to the tracking. Initial estimations showed that only 2% of these users opted into tracking. However, more recent estimations have put this figure higher, at around 15 or 25%.

                                      So in essence, not all user data is being lost, but potentially enough to make a noticeable and lasting impact on your results.



                                      What has Facebook done to ease the impact of the iOS 14.5 update?


                                      Facebook has tried to ease the impact of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update by implementing a protocol that allows for the measurement of web events in iOS 14+ devices.

                                      This is called ‘Aggregated Event Measurement’. However, only up to 8 conversion events can be prioritised for conversion optimisation per domain.

                                      To set up event configurations and use your conversion events for ad optimisation, you must verify your domain – another setup process within the Facebook Ads interface.






                                      It’s clear that Apple want to be seen as the industry leaders on increased privacy and putting users, rather than platforms such as Facebook, first.

                                      It’s likely that this is just one update that advertisers will have to navigate in the journey towards increased user privacy and scrapping of third-party cookies.

                                      We can’t foresee any major moves away from advertisers using Facebook ads – as long as Facebook continues to be a widely-used social media platform, there will be the opportunity to effectively target relevant audiences.

                                      In the follow up blog we will delve deeper into how advertisers can respond, watch this space and subscribe to our email news to get the next article sent directly to your inbox.

                                      We’d love to hear your thoughts on the iOS 14.5 update and the industry trend towards prioritising first-party data. Send us a message through our contact page or email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you!



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                                        Paid Media Highlights in July

                                        The last few months have seen a variety of changes to the paid media world. From Google announcing a new 3 strike system for ad policy violations to LinkedIn updates, there’s been a lot of change in the paid media sphere in July.

                                        If you would like regular updates from Uprise Up on the world of digital marketing, follow us on Twitter.


                                        Google Image Extensions

                                        The image extension feature within Google Ads is now out of beta and it can be implemented across all accounts!

                                        However…in reality, we are still finding that not all accounts have this feature enabled yet. It appears to be quite hit or miss as to which accounts have this functionality and which ones don’t.

                                        The ability to attract more customers by enhancing text ads with images is appealing, with this potentially increasing both quality score and CTR. Advertisers should know, however, that these images are dynamically inserted, so keeping on top of what types of images are showing for each ad is important!



                                        Ad Account Certifications Audit and the New ‘Strike’ policy

                                        At the end of June, we were notified by Google that they were performing an audit of restricted verticals for which they require certification. Essentially, we were warned that any accounts that have certificates in a variety of restricted areas, such as healthcare or financial services, could be impacted or have their certification revoked. Since then, we, along with the rest of the digital marketing community, have seen an increase in ad disapprovals as Google have tightened up their compliance policies.

                                        To take things even further in the coming months, Google announced in July that they are planning on piloting a new ‘strikes’ system to address repeat ad policy violations. From September 2021, strikes will be issued for violations of Google’s Enabling dishonest behaviour, unapproved substances and dangerous products or services policies.

                                        Each time your account violates a policy within 90 days of their first policy warning, Google will apply sanctions of increasing severity. On the first warning, only the relevant ads are removed. Strike two sees your account placed on a temporary hold for three days during which ads are not eligible to run. This increases to seven days on strike two before account suspension on strike three.

                                        Based on the tightening of policies over the past few months, the introduction of this new strike-based system is quite intimidating… It will be interesting to see how Google plans to couple these strikes with their existing appeals system.



                                        Covid-19 Ad Grant Funding Continued

                                        A pleasant surprise that we experienced at the beginning of July was that the additional Covid funding for Google Ad Grant accounts has remained in place. Despite the fact that it was expected to run out in June, all of our Google Ad Grant accounts that had received additional funding still have it.

                                        Google have yet to announce when this funding will come to an end, but we are grateful for the additional opportunities that it is providing to our accounts.



                                        Ads Creative Studio

                                        At the end of June, Google introduced its new creative management tool; Ads Creative Studio. Google heralds the software as ‘a unified home for Google’s creative advertising tools, to help you build compelling experiences for video, display, and audio ads’, but what does this actually mean?

                                        In Essence, Google is unifying aspects of its products to create a more cohesive and easily manageable platform for creative teams. So, features that were previously only available within certain products and to limited advertisers, such as Director Mix, are now available in one place.

                                        Google claim that it will ‘create one process across display, video and audio’ as well as ‘improving collaboration across teams.’ We would love to hear from anyone who has been using Ads Creative Studio to see if it has improved the unity of your processes and teams.



                                        New Google Partner Badge

                                        In June, Google responded to the calls of Google Partners who already believed that they meet the February 2022 Partner Requirements. Google have now allowed Partners who already met the new requirements to gain early access to the new partner badge.

                                        Partners still need to spend $10K across managed accounts for 90 days and ensure that 50% of account strategists are certified by Google ads, but now, advertisers also have to maintain a 70% optimisation score.



                                        LinkedIn Introduced Event Ads

                                        LinkedIn recently introduced the Event Ad Format to its users. Like events in Facebook, the event appears in a user’s feed if a user’s mutual connections have shown an interest in the event and gives them the option to register themselves.

                                        In conjunction with this, they have also revealed that they will soon be launching an Event analytics Tool where you can measure the performance and return on investment of an online LinkedIn Event that you have organised. We’re excited to see these developments in the advertising options available within LinkedIn and we are looking forward to see how this new events feature will change the LinkedIn landscape.



                                        Did we miss anything?


                                        Tweet us at upriseupSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or send us a message through our contact page if you think we missed something important. We would love to hear what’s got you thinking this month!

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                                          Paid Media Highlights in April

                                          Want to find out the latest news in the world of paid media? Grab a cuppa and let us bring you up-to-date on some of the key highlights across paid search and paid social during April 2021. 


                                          There’s been some interesting developments with Apple’s introduction of iOS14 updates and its’ subsequent effects on Facebook advertising. We’ll also take a look at the latest news involving Microsoft Advertising, as well as some changes to bidding strategies within Google Ads.


                                          iOS14 Update

                                          What does it mean for paid media?

                                          The iOS 14 updates scheduled during the first half of 2021 has been a hot topic for advertisers across the industry, but particularly for those advertising on Facebook. We have seen some of these changes start to take effect on Facebook, with accounts being equipped with a ‘Resource centre’ to help house a number of tasks that need to be actioned as a result of the update. 

                                          These range from verifying your website domain to reviewing the number of website events across pixels installed in an account to reviewing affected automated rules. We’ll be tackling this topic in a soon-to-be-released blog, so do stay tuned for more content on this key issue!




                                          Streamlining of target ROAS and target CPA bidding strategies

                                          Bidding on Google Ads continues to change in a push towards greater automation on the platform. From now onwards, Target ROAS and Target CPA will no longer be their own bid strategies, but instead will be options within the Maximise Conversions and Maximise Conversion Value bidding strategies instead. 

                                          The upshot is that this is unlikely to have any actual impact on performance, think of this as more of just a streamlining of strategies within the interface. But given that more emphasis is now placed on the Maximise Conversions and Maximise Conversion Value strategies, we may expect more users to take up these options, with or without the target constraints. To get the best out of these strategies, do ensure that you have sufficient conversion data available in your campaign for the bid strategy to optimise towards.



                                          Dynamic placement exclusion lists

                                          What are they and why do I need them?

                                          Google Ads currently has the capacity to block display network ads from being shown in particular placements, however, this is something that you would normally have to implement manually. Now, Google has introduced dynamic exclusion lists, which gives advertisers the ability to use exclusion lists created by third parties such as advocacy organisations and industry groups. Any updates to the list by these third parties can then be automatically updated to your own Google Ads account, helping to save time by not having to go through this process manually. We hope this will be a good time-saver!



                                          Changes to phrase match and broad match modifier also apply to Microsoft Ads

                                          This is fairly unsurprising news, given the close alignment between Microsoft Ads and Google Ads, but Microsoft have given the go-ahead to remove broad match modifiers from ad accounts. From August 2021, “you’ll no longer be able to create new BMM keywords”, but  “your existing BMM keywords will continue to serve under the new phrase match behaviour”. The changes also encompass the tweaks made to phrase match keywords too, with those terms now also showing for searches that include the meaning of your keyword. Check out our blog from earlier this year for more information on what we think the effects that these changes (on Google, and now Bing) will have for advertisers.



                                          Video ads and Facebook imports for Microsoft ads

                                          Following on from Microsoft’s update to keywords, they have also released a bunch of new features to their ad platform. This includes video ads launching in the Microsoft Audience Network in the UK and US, with 6-to-120-second videos that can be used to reach an audience of 300m daily users. Interestingly, Microsoft is also enabling the function of being able to import single-image ads directly from Facebook into Microsoft Ads, functioning in a similar way to the Google Ads import function. This may prove a handy time-saving tool for multimedia campaigns.



                                          Did we miss anything?


                                          If there was anything else that happened in April that caught your eye, feel free to tweet us at upriseupSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

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                                            Goodbye To Broad Match Modifiers

                                            Goodbye to Broad match Modifiers

                                            Google’s Retirement of Broad Match Modifiers: Paid Media Team’s Reactions


                                            On 4 February 2021, Google announced that broad match modifiers, a keyword match type available to advertisers in Google Ads, is to be retired. In this announcement, Google described the move as ‘making it easier to reach the right customers on Search’, explaining that this update would simplify keyword match types as well as provide advertisers ‘more control and better reach’. 

                                            Google began to phase out broad match modifiers, merging their targeting with phrase match keywords, from February 2021. In July 2021, advertisers will no longer be able to implement new broad match modifiers. 

                                            But, is this a welcome departure or a heart-breaking farewell? And what will the impact of this be for advertisers and account performance? Our Paid Media Team gives their thoughts on Google’s announcement. 



                                            Jonny – Paid Media Consultant

                                            “This move from Google is not an entirely surprising one, given some of Google’s other recent moves around restricting search term reports, gradually limiting users’ ability to review and control elements of campaigns. For me, I’ll be sad to see broad match modifiers go.

                                            Using BMMs is all about control and for those who have been creating Google Ads campaigns for years and want the ultimate control over their campaigns, this change will definitely come as an annoyance rather than a benefit. The ability, in particular, to manually select individual words within a phrase that have to be included in the user’s search query is useful, particularly when trying to attract a high search volume with broad keywords but maintain an effective, relevant search funnel.

                                            The main benefit for me is that it will be slightly easier to manage campaigns, without another match type to worry about. But my main worry is for smaller, more focused accounts where only phrase and exact match keywords are currently used. I expect to see an increase in traffic (and overall cost) for phrase match, where BMM traffic will now filter through. With this broadening of search terms, I also expect to see an increase in irrelevant and spam search traffic, so keeping an eye on those search term reports will be even more important…oh wait…

                                             … search term reports are getting restricted *sad face*. Well, I say, keep those negative keyword lists updated and keep an eye on your campaign budgets too.”



                                            Aisha – Paid Media Assistant 

                                            “One of the beauties of Paid Search is that we’re able to specifically target ads to the right people and help the user find exactly what they’re looking for. However, with the phasing out of the Broad Match Modifier match type, it seems that there will be a proportion of search queries that won’t lead users to relevant ads, which is quite disappointing. On the bright side, I’m glad we still have access to a variation of match types, allowing us to still implement keywords in a strategic way.”



                                            Dan – Paid Media Consultant

                                            “As someone who has always been a big fan of broad match modifiers, especially for grant accounts and larger reach paid campaigns, I am very sad to see the match type go the way of accelerated delivery and strict campaign budgets. Many of the recent changes have been helpful for us in Google Ads, but I struggle to see a way this change is going to benefit accounts.”


                                            Do you agree with Jonny, Dan or Aisha? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please do leave a comment below, or Tweet us @upriseupSEM

                                            For further information on Uprise Up’s Google Ads management services, including ongoing support and targeted campaigns, please do contact us. We’d love to hear from you. 

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                                              Paid Media News Round Up: January 2021

                                              Paid Media Round Up January 2021

                                              Paid Media News January 2021

                                              A new year means new news in the world of paid media. We take you through the latest updates at the beginning of 2021!

                                              Keep reading for news on automated bidding, new Microsoft Ads features, as well as some industry news from across the pond and across the world in Australia.

                                              If you want to check out our round-up from the end of last year, you can view last month’s summary here.


                                              Data exclusion controls for Smart Bidding on Google Ads

                                              Smart bidding is becoming an increasingly key component of Google Ads, with a wealth of different strategies now available to marketers. Those using Google Ads will now have more control over automated bidding strategies through new data exclusion controls. Google have specified that you can exclude particular date ranges to prevent interference with conversion rates that help calculate auction-time bids for smart bidding

                                              This will be particularly important for when conversion tracking breaks on a particular campaign (eg. tagging issues or website outages). While this may not be something that would be worth doing for very short outages or for small campaigns, we do see this being a useful tool for larger campaigns and longer periods of time where there is inaccurate data, to help maintain consistent performance.

                                              Google Ads Data Exclusion Controls Smart Bidding


                                              New optimisation tools for Microsoft Advertising, including optimisation score

                                              Since Bing Ads launched the Recommendations tab back in 2018, it was only a matter of time that they would launch an ‘optimization score’ in a similar fashion to Google’s own. The new feature appears as though it will operate in an almost identical way to Google’s, with a percentage score from 0% to 100%, based on the number of recommendations applied to individual campaigns. As with Google’s feature, we’d look to implement some of these recommendations to help improve optimization score (like automated responsive search ads, for example), with other recommendations (like raising budgets) needing more consideration as to whether they’re appropriate to apply or not. 

                                              Bing are also going to introduce target impression share as a new bidding strategy too. This will be particularly helpful for awareness campaigns and for enabling an easier way to achieve great visibility for brand terms too.


                                              Microsoft Logo


                                              Trump gets banned from social media

                                              Just a couple of weeks before the end of his presidential term, Donald Trump was suspended ‘indefinitely’ from a host of different social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. The suspension took place as a result of hundreds of Trump supporters storming the US Capitol in an attempt to overthrow November’s presidential election result. Twitter deemed Trump’s Tweets to be a violation of their Glorification of Violence policy, as they believe he was inspiring people to incite violence.

                                              Donald Trump banned from Twitter

                                              At this stage, it is unclear how advertisers will be affected by Trump’s ban from social media. It could potentially result in a slight decline in traffic to these platforms, due to his supporters being deterred by the platforms as a form of boycott. Some say that social media companies shouldn’t have the power to remove people from their platforms as it could be viewed as censorship, however research suggests that online misinformation about the US election fell by 73% since the notorious #FakeNews spreader was suspended from the sites.


                                              Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

                                              In another move from governments around the world looking to impose more regulations on some of the large tech firms, the Australian government has asked Google to share some of its royalties with news publishers. This move is as a result of Australia’s competition regulator ruling that there was a “bargaining power imbalance” between the tech giants like Google and the newspaper industry. The newspapers have seen a rapid decline in revenues over recent years.

                                              Google’s response to this was threatening to withdraw their search engine from the country altogether, hardly a tentative response! The tech firms are naturally going to be worried about the immediate impacts to its revenues this might have. However, more worrying for Google is the precedent that these types of laws may have, if they get passed. We’ll have to see whether Google’s firm stance on this issue will be enough to persuade Australia’s lawmakers to reverse their decision.


                                              If there was anything else that happened in the last few weeks that you found particularly enticing, feel free to tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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                                                Defending Your Brand in Keyword Bidding Wars

                                                Defending your brand in keyword bidding wars

                                                Paid search brand attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace. They can be harmful if left unchecked, and if a bidding war ensues the only real winners are the search engines.

                                                When we’ve needed to let clients know that this has happened, the general principles and subsequent advice is always similar, so I thought I’d lay things out here for the benefit of everyone. Firstly, I’ll run through the factors at play. At the bottom of this article we’ll look at what to do if you think your brand is coming under attack.


                                                Why is a competitor bidding on your keyword?

                                                The aggressor brand is able to circumnavigate (typically) more competitive and expensive, intent-based keywords, and focus on taking traffic and sales away from competitors (the defending brands).

                                                As the user has reached the point of searching for a particular brand, they would usually be in the ‘purchase’ phase, not the ‘research phase’. The closer advertisers can reach consumers at point of purchase, the more likely that user is to convert.

                                                For example, the keyword ‘buy a TV online’ might theoretically cost £5 per click. A competitor’s brand, ‘LG TV’ would likely be considerably less, conceivably 50p. Was LG to bid on ‘Sony TV’ and successfully convert the user, they could be reducing a competitor’s revenue, whilst increasing their own, at reduced cost.

                                                There are other gains to be made from bidding on competitors brand names beyond exposure and high quality traffic. There will be extremely useful data around those brand queries, including volume, and associated keywords. Also, one brand is able to invite comparison against another, and frame it in a way that favours them.

                                                If this is happening to your organisation, your competitor hasn’t necessarily decided to bid on your brand directly. It could be an aggressive agency – they could be following Google’s keyword suggestions. So the first step isn’t necessarily to go knocking down doors, but open a dialog; and it’s good to know the practicalities first.


                                                What are the legalities?

                                                It is legal to bid on other organisations’ branded keywords. Sometimes Google, (for example), will trademark certain keywords. But this is infrequent, inconsistently applied, and typically only done for mammoth organisations with significant spend in paid search. It’s legal to do and hard to prevent if you are defending yourself.

                                                It isn’t legal for the aggressor’s ad text to make it appear that they are the organisation who’s keywords they are bidding on as this could mislead the user (who is often the consumer). This was cited in 2013, when Interflora sued M&S for branded keywords together with ads appearing to lead to an Interflora service. With dynamic keyword Insertion (DKI) ads, (automatically repeating the keyword being bid for in the ad text), it could be easy to make this mistake. So legally, fixed ad text should be used.


                                                Are there any moral implications?

                                                Arguably. From a user’s perspective, they have been quite specific in looking for a particular brand. Bidding on keywords when you are not the brand they are looking for is clearly outside ‘user intent’.

                                                This can be more clearly illustrated in the charity sector, with bidding on competitor brands takes increases the price of traffic, takes money away from both advertisers, and as such the cause they are trying to support.


                                                What about ‘keyword focused’ brand names?

                                                Where an advertiser’s brand name clearly indicates the activities they are involved in, they are not so easily defendable. For example, if a TV retail company called itself ‘buy a TV online’, then they are clearly putting themselves in the firing line of intent-driven keywords. The same could be said for ‘Diabetes UK’ or Cancer Research UK. (The charity sector is particularly at risk here as many charities like to clearly indicate their cause’ in their name).

                                                In these situations, Google is unlikely to allow these terms to be trademarked and competitors are less likely to avoid these keywords. However, having a keyword focused brand offers organisations a slight advantage in bidding for those search queries, as below:


                                                Are competitors able to bid on another brand’s keyword as effectively as the brand owner themselves?

                                                No. Organisations that own their brands should be signalling clearer intent to search engines, and so be rewarded with an increased quality score (QS). This will mean that it should cost the defending brand less to rank above their rival, maybe by something like 20%.

                                                There will still be a significant increase in cost for the defender to compete for their own branded traffic. Maybe several times greater than they would otherwise be paying. So long as the ‘aggressor’ brand is bidding within their means, (with an acceptable amount of revenue being generated from this activity), they could keep increasing the bid, and the cost for their rival organisation to defend their brand.


                                                Does anyone win?

                                                Google, certainly. It is no surprise that Google and other search engines benefit significantly from the mechanics of paid search that they have engineered. If brand names become competitive, as with other high-demand keywords, Google will pocket the increased cost-per-click on those keywords.

                                                The issues around this are really highlighted by the charity sector. For example, one of the charities we work with is Crisis. They have a particularly well know Christmas campaign which they use to increase awareness around homelessness. Although the word ‘Crisis’ is common, there is little correlation for the keyword ‘Crisis’ to indicate intent to donate to a homeless charity; apart from where it applies to the brand. However, several other homeless organisations, (or their zealous agencies), do bid on this keyword, especially over the Christmas season.

                                                Brand bidding wars really hurt the charity sector. Assuming an average donation amount achieved per click to be £10: If a rival is prepared to bid £8 for this click (and still make profit) and the charity is then also forced to match that spend to defend it’s own keywords. This could mean 80% of the intended donation going to Google.


                                                In a brand bidding war does either organisation have an inherent advantage?

                                                Perhaps. Let’s assume there are two advertisers where all other variables are equal: The same quality of service (or product), the same costs for production, the same cost of sale, the same ability to convert users that land on the site, – and so on. There is a strong commercial case that the smaller organisation with less brand awareness will have the advantage. There is more branded traffic they can take from their competitor, and less cost to themselves for the increase cost in defending their own brand in search engines. I’m over-simplifying here to illustrate the point, but often the smaller challenger-brand has more to gain and less to lose.

                                                Also, ‘competitor bidding awareness’ is a big contributing factor to whoever has the advantage. The aggressor will have the upper hand here at the beginning. If one advertiser is aggressively moving in on another’s brand search traffic, until the defending brand spots it, the aggressor has probably found itself an opportunity.

                                                If the defending brand does have effective detection in place, they are able to increase the cost of their click to defend their position, and maybe retaliate, but this is probably at considerable expense, and more money to Google. The defending brand could also decide to bid on the aggressor’s branded keywords in return, again, escalating the cost for this traffic.


                                                What’s the process for stopping it?

                                                Trademark. Try to get Google to apply that trademark across keywords as well as ad text. This should be done anyway, before any competitor bidding shenanigans take place.

                                                Monitor. Regularly search for your own brand name and identify any competitors bidding on it.

                                                Speak to the competitor and agree not to compete on bidding against each other brands. In many situations, this is going to make sense. Initially we recommend starting conversations at the level of whoever oversees the Google Ads account. Often someone like the Marketing Manager or Marketing Director. I recommend friendly communication in the spirit of cooperation, and to get buy-in from the other organisation. If no luck is found at that level, escalating this to a ‘CEO – CEO level chat’ would commonly be the advised next step. The case is simple: Please stop bidding on our brand, because if you continue, we’ll have to out-bid you, and in return, bid on yours. This would then cost us both a lot of money.

                                                Not actively bidding on another’s brand wouldn’t stop advertisers from appearing when competitor’s brand names are included in the search query. For example, bidding on just the words ‘buy TV online’ might make Sony appear for the search query ‘buy an LG TV online’. Likely if LG are using their own brand in addition to the other words used, they will have the advantage, (greater relevancy = improved quality Score). However, for competitors to agree not to rank (at all) in search queries where the other brand is used, they need to go one step further…

                                                Negative keyword matching goes one step further.  This is where one Google Ads account specifies that if a particular keyword is included in the user’s search query, they won’t enter the bid.  If organisations could align themselves so that each introduces the rival’s brand as a negative keyword, they would both be rewarded with significant cost reductions on their own branded traffic.

                                                This has limitations with multiple advertisers, as it only takes one to break ranks, and due to the auction-based system for establishing price, the market rate for that brand would quickly shoot up.

                                                The process can often work for charities, where economies of scale are such that there is often only a limited handful of organisations (of any considerable size) clustered around a particular cause. Often only two or three. This makes coordination between the groups relatively easy. If a collaborative approach can be taken, it should save all of them considerable funds.


                                                In summary

                                                Bidding on another brand is common, and in my experience, often organisations don’t even know they are doing it. So, keep communication friendly, but you do want to stop this where possible. Brands are built on the back of good awareness marketing; no-one want to pay for them again with significant search costs!

                                                If this post is of interest and you would like to discuss in more detail, we’d love to help! Drop us your details in our contact page and someone will be in touch.


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                                                  Paid Media News Round Up: August 2020

                                                  Paid Media Round Up August 2020

                                                  Paid Media News August 2020

                                                  August was a quiet month for paid media, livened up by the Google responsive search ad test which creeped in at the end of the month!

                                                  If you want to check out last month’s round-up you can view our summary here. Here are our highlights from the past few weeks.


                                                  Google Tests Hiding the Option for Expanded Text Ad Creation

                                                  In a potentially alarming move, some users noticed the ‘text ad’ option had vanished from the Google Ads interface on Friday 28th August. This was confirmed to be a test subsequently.

                                                  This test prompted users to create responsive text ads (RSAs) by default, which is a format where Google decided which text assets to display with each other. Expanded text ads on the other hand display exactly what the advertiser chooses.

                                                  Steps like these to take away control from advertisers who aren’t prepared to shift to RSAs are slightly worrying. Whilst most can agree this is the direction paid ads are going in, this new move from Google would be one made far too quickly. We’ve had good results with RSAs but they are still some way away from being able to outperform text ads on a regular basis.


                                                  Bing Introduces Organic Product Listings

                                                  Microsoft has followed Google in implementing an organic form of its product listing ads. The organic listings will appear on the Bing shopping tab alongside sponsored ads.

                                                  These only require you to have a Microsoft Shopping Campaigns account with an active product feed, and can generate you free, high intent traffic from Bing. The volume of traffic from these listings will be less than Google, simply due to the relative sizes of the user base, but the barrier to entry is so low that this should be accessible to anyone with an online store.

                                                  The organic listings are currently only live in the USA, but will shortly be rolled out to other markets, including the UK. When they arrive, we’re looking forward to testing them out and seeing what traffic can be generated for our clients.


                                                  Bing Shopping



                                                  Google Performance Planner Gets An Upgrade

                                                  The Google Performance Planner is a tool in Google Ads that allows you to forecast and plan bidding strategies. Google recently announced three new features to the planner.

                                                  • Sharing functionality – since the Performance Planner is often used to plan budgets throughout the year, the ability to easily share the plan among multiple users is definitely useful.
                                                  • Improved forecasting of longer conversion windows – this is appreciated, but will only be a major improvement if your average conversion window was longer than a week.
                                                  • Inclusion of shared budgets – this is the big one! Shared budgets are an integral part to the way Google Ad Accounts are managed, and their inclusion in the performance planner makes it far more usable in the majority of accounts.


                                                  Shared Budgets on Google Performance Planner.


                                                  Google extends lead forms to YouTube & Discovery Campaign

                                                  Last year Google introduced Lead Form extensions, and have now said that these extensions are available in YouTube and Discovery Campaign. There will also be a rollout into Display campaigns by the end of the year. These work in a similar way to other platforms, letting users show interest without necessarily visiting the advertiser’s website.

                                                  These extensions have proven a success and work well on mobile, so it’s no surprise to see their functionality expanded.

                                                  YouTube Video on a Mobile

                                                  Microsoft Advertising Editor Update

                                                  This month, Microsoft announced a large update to their Advertising Editor platform, helping them stay competitive with Google’s Ads Editor. The updates included Al-powered recommendations and campaign-level audience targeting.

                                                  Global users will now have a lightbulb icon in their interface recommending new keywords, highlighting fixes, and suggesting bid optimisations. The new feature will ensure advertisers maximises their potential traffic.

                                                  The second new feature enables campaign-level audience targeting within the Editor programme, saving time, and maximising efficiency when working across numerous campaigns. It is worth noting that advertisers however are still unable to simultaneously target associations at the ad group and campaign level.

                                                  Microsoft Advertising Editor Interface

                                                  Did we miss anything?

                                                  If there was anything else that happened in the last few weeks that you found particularly notable, feel free to tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page.

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                                                    Google Introduces 2% Fee on all Ads Served in the UK

                                                    Google 2% fee on all ads served in the UK

                                                    Google Introduces 2% Fee on all Ads Served in the UK

                                                    Starting on Tuesday, Google have been emailing Google Ads users about the introduction of extra fees for ads served in the UK (NB: a few other territories are affected too, but we’ll be focusing on the UK).

                                                    The help page clearly states that this is in direct response to the government’s newly introduced Digital Services Tax and will result in an extra 2% charge on top of any ad spend within the UK. This will start to take affect from November 1st 2020.

                                                    This tax was aimed at the largest organisations, so it is disappointing (if not somewhat inevitable) that Google have decided to pass this cost directly onto their customers. Amazon have similarly passed this cost on recently, though that goes beyond just advertising. It will be interesting to see Microsoft’s response, as if they are able to not follow Google’s lead, advertising on Bing will become more attractive.

                                                    So far, there has been no news from any Social Networks about any changes, but it will be something else to keep an eye on over the coming months.

                                                    Advertisers will need to carefully budget for the end of 2020 and beyond. Costs within the Google Ads platform will remain the same, as the fee is added on top. This does create an added complication when calculating budget and so we advice thinking about this sooner rather than later.


                                                    If you have any questions about how this new fee will affect you, we’re happy to help. Please do email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, send us a tweet @upriseUPSEM or simply send us a message through our contact page. We’d love to have a chat and find out how we can support you.

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                                                      Lost in Translation: Is Search Ads 360 Right For You?

                                                      Is Search Ads 360 right for you

                                                      What is Search Ads 360?

                                                      If you’ve been using Google Ads (formerly AdWords) for some time, you’ve probably heard of Search Ads 360. However, when you look into if it’s right for you though, you find a lot of statements like this one, from Google’s own page explaining the product:


                                                      “Streamlined workflow and powerful reporting features enable buyers to efficiently run campaigns, while automated bidding improves campaign performance.”


                                                      This sounds brilliant, it sounds like it would work for anyone! Well, I think it should be edited to this:


                                                      “Streamlined workflow* and powerful reporting features** enable buyers to efficiently run campaigns, while automated bidding improves campaign performance***.”


                                                      Because Search Ads 360 does do all of these things, but it won’t do them for everyone, and often not without a bit of work.

                                                      So, I’ve taken it upon myself to add the asterisks, and give a quick overview of what Search Ads 360 does well, how, and who it is going to be most useful for.


                                                      Streamlined Workflow*

                                                      *For some advertising set ups

                                                      One of the main differences between default Google Ads and Search Ads 360 is that Search Ads 360 allows you to manage campaigns across multiple accounts from the same screen.

                                                      Search Ads 360 is also not limited to Google based marketing. Bing, Facebook, and many other marketing channels can be connected to Search Ads 360 and managed in one place, giving you a single place to view the results of all your marketing channels.

                                                      The important thing to realise here is that Search Ads 360 will streamline your workflow across multiple accounts. If you are running a single account, even if it is very large, Search Ads 360 does not make your life significantly easier.


                                                      Powerful Reporting Features**

                                                      **Well, kind of.

                                                      If by “reporting” you mean attribution, then by extension of the fact you can connect all these different marketing channels into one platform, Search Ads 360 can unify your conversion reporting much like Google Analytics. This can be very useful, especially if your analytics set up can’t handle this itself. You can also design your own attribution models

                                                      In terms of creating reports however, Search Ads 360’s native reporting features are outclassed completely by Google Data Studio, which can pull all the data from your Search Ads 360 account, and create far more visual and complex reports using it.

                                                      So, Search Ads 360 can provide better conversion reporting and attribution modelling, but it’s report builder is outclassed by Data Studio.


                                                      Automated Bidding Improves Performance***

                                                      ***If you can set up some technical stuff

                                                      Ah, automated bids, we meet again. We’ve had a rocky relationship with automated bidding strategies, like the time we tried it in our ad grants and it started bidding over $50 a click on toy boxes.

                                                      However, more recently even we have to admit that the automated bidding strategies in Google Ads have got better. In fact, they’ve got so much better that Search Ads 360 has started using them too.

                                                      It does have its own bidding strategies, but they only change bids 4 times a day based on results, whereas the Google Ads strategies bids differently every time the ad enters an auction. The consensus across the industry is that the regular Google Ads strategies produce better results.

                                                      So, if you’re just using the same bidding strategies as regular Google Ads, how are you going to improve results?

                                                      Well, Search Ads 360 has a feature called U-variables, which allows you to add extra information to a conversion based on data from the page. To give an example, if you were selling a car and a user could either pay in one payment or over multiple months, if you used a target ROAS bidding strategy you would undervalue the monthly payments compared to the one-time payment. In Search Ads 360 you could submit the number of months through as a U variable. You could then multiply the revenue by the number of months to get the actual value of a sale for a bidding strategy.

                                                      So, Search Ads 360 can improve results over regular Google Ads through automated bidding, but only if you use it to improve the data the strategy has.


                                                      And that’s it! If you’re having trouble managing multiple accounts, want to improve your attribution modelling or are ready to get stuck into some technical work to enhance your bidding strategies, then Search Ads 360 will be well worth your time. However, pay attention to the asterisks and make sure you are going to get your value if you decide to test Search Ads 360 out!


                                                      Want to talk?

                                                      If you’ve got any more questions about Search Ads 360 or Paid Search, or want to see how we can help you maximise your campaign performance please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!


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                                                        Say Goodbye To Accelerated Delivery

                                                        The end of accelerated delivery

                                                        The End Of Accelerated Delivery

                                                        Google have just announced that both search ads and shopping ads will shortly no longer be able to use the accelerated delivery campaign option. This change will come into effect on September 17th, where all campaigns currently using accelerated will be switched to standard. Standard delivery will now be the only option available. On the face of it, this is a confusing choice given that accelerated delivery is commonly used and considered best practice by many.


                                                        Standard delivery will pace your impressions evenly throughout your day, which removes the possibility of a campaign exhausting its budget before the end of the day, but also means that you can potentially miss out on impressions. The most common use of accelerated delivery is to guarantee an ad shows every time it is eligible, which is obviously the desired outcome for most advertisers (to reach as many of their target audience as they can)


                                                        A well-managed campaign with appropriate budgets would not see much difference in performance, so in the grand scheme of things this change is not going to affect how your campaigns behave. If your campaigns weren’t being well monitored, then the switch to standard might actually be a good thing for them.


                                                        However, along with the removal of the average position metric, this again is a case of Google removing choices from advertisers without offering any replacement option. This can only be seen as a negative, and continues to highlight ways that automation is being pushed on advertisers. Similar to when Google made changes to daily budget behaviour, there is an air of mystery about what Google is forcing upon advertisers, and it’s unclear why they have made their decision.

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                                                          Tips For The New AdWords User Interface (UI)

                                                          New AdWords Interface

                                                          Getting Used to the New AdWords UI


                                                          As we all know, change is awful and should never happen. However, Google are dragging us kicking and screaming into the new AdWords UI and no matter how much we protest the future of paid search is here to stay.

                                                          Here are a few things to take note of amidst the transition.


                                                          Promotion Extensions

                                                          This has been a welcome addition – no more using up valuable ad text characters for your promotion, it will now appear below the ad next to an eye-catching price tag icon.


                                                          AdWords Promotion Extension Example


                                                          As in the image above you can apply a general promotion, or you can have a special occasion promotion as follows:


                                                          AdWords Promotion Extension Occasions


                                                          The promotion can be either a percentage discount or a monetary discount in a variety of currencies.

                                                          Promotions wouldn’t exist if they didn’t work, and promotion extensions are already proving to work very well, with delighted digital marketers reporting dramatically increased CTR.



                                                          Praise be to shortcuts in general – rewiring your brain to use them always takes some time but before long you’ll be jumping around the new interface while your mouse sits neglected.


                                                          Google AdWords Keyboard Shortcuts


                                                          Google will test and trial new hot keys over time and we expect this to be ramped up in the coming months!


                                                          Dimensions rides off into the sunset…

                                                          …As Predefined Reports takes its place. Most of the dimensions are still here but others have moved or been done away with entirely (the Search Terms dimension for example was a little redundant).

                                                          One that has moved is Call Details – it now has its own columns.


                                                          AdWords Call Details


                                                          Being the superstar that it is, Devices now has a whole tab just for itself.


                                                          Google AdWords Devices Tab


                                                          Time is still included in the Predefined Reports but there is a new Ad Schedule tab which offers an easier-to-digest breakdown of day to day results.



                                                          Landing Page Mobile Assessment

                                                          We’ve all come across web pages that are the opposite of mobile friendly. High bounce rates and low conversions are a given, and they lower the quality score of otherwise brilliant keywords.

                                                          In comes the new Landing Page tab to point them out to you, showing a ‘Mobile-friendly Click Rate’ next to each page, helping you to isolate problem areas. Considering most searches now happen via mobile these problem areas have a bigger impact than some might think.


                                                          Google AdWords Landing Page Tab
                                                          (Image courtesy of adwords.googleblog.com)


                                                          The Overview

                                                          Probably the most obvious change is the Overview. It’s colourful and bombastic, but is it useful?
                                                          Yep. At least parts of it. You can now compare more than two metrics in the graph at the top, which is nice.


                                                          Google AdWords Overview Graph


                                                          There are also a few helpful modules such as Biggest Changes:


                                                          Google AdWords Biggest Changes Report

                                                          And a performance heatmap:


                                                          Google AdWords Performance Heatmap


                                                          See blog posts by Chantal and Dan for more on the Overview.


                                                          Call Bid Adjustments

                                                          With the new UI Google have rolled out call bid adjustments for mobile. This is welcome news considering calls convert more effectively than clicks do. The adjustments range from -90% to +900% and can be made right here:


                                                          Google AdWords Call Bid Adjustments Tab


                                                          Let’s Talk

                                                          Did you find our tips for the new Google Ads user interface helpful? Why not share this post on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

                                                          If you want to know more about our paid search services and how it could benefit your charity or business, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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                                                            Quality Score 101

                                                            Quality Score

                                                            Understanding Quality Score


                                                            When managing any PPC campaigns, Quality Score should be at the forefront of your mind. Not only because it has a huge influence in how well your ads will perform, but also how much you’ll end up paying for them.

                                                            We’ll get back to basics and explore what quality score is, how it affects your ad position, and lastly how you can improve your quality score.


                                                            What is Quality Score?


                                                            As Google strive to be the best search-engine around, they want to ensure that users are only shown ads that relate to exactly what they’re looking for, with an equally relevant and user-friendly website to match. To help ensure this, Google marks the quality of ads, keywords and their landing pages out of 10.

                                                            Quality Score can often be viewed as a measure of the relationship between all components of an ad. When the keywords used relate directly to the ad copy, and the ad copy reflects the content of the landing page, Google rewards advertisers with high quality scores.

                                                            Furthermore, a landing page with a good user experience can further help advertisers achieve a high quality score.


                                                            Why Does it Matter?


                                                            The quality score matters because it is used in the formula which determines:


                                                            Ad rank (position on the page)

                                                            Maximum Bid x Quality Score = Ad Rank.

                                                            For example:

                                                            A – £1 x 10 = 10

                                                            B – £1.40 X 6 = 8.4

                                                            C – £2 X 3 = 6

                                                            This means that an account with a higher quality score, can actually achieve a higher rank, even with a lower maximum bid!


                                                            Cost Per Click (CPC)

                                                            (Ad Rank of the Ad Below ÷ Quality Score) + £0.01 = CPC

                                                            For example:

                                                            A – 8.4 / 10 + 0.01 = £0.85

                                                            B – 6 / 6 + 0.01 = £1.01

                                                            Here we can see how achieving a better quality not only helps you get better positions on a page, but at a lower cost too!

                                                            It should be noted, that the quality score that AdWords users can see in the interface is only an average, and not the exact number that goes into the formula at the time of bidding.


                                                            Historical Quality Score

                                                            While you can only see the quality score for keywords in the AdWords interface, historical data will build up over time and contribute to giving an overall average quality score for ads, ad groups, campaigns and the account itself. Therefore, it is pivotal to take care to monitor keyword quality scores, as consistently low ones could have a negative effect on any campaigns you run in the future.


                                                            How Can You Improve Your Quality Score?


                                                            In the AdWords interface, you will see that quality scores can be broken down into 3 components:


                                                            • Ad Relevance
                                                            • Landing Page Experience
                                                            • Expected CTR


                                                            All 3 of these components are rated as either: below average, average or above average.

                                                            While only 3 indications of quality might seem too generic, they are still very useful in helping highlight areas where improvements need to be made. Detailed below, are some steps below which can help you improve each of these components:


                                                            Ad Relevance


                                                            “This status describes how well your keyword matches the message in your ads.” From Google (2018) Online AdWords Help: Glossary

                                                            Avoid using overly-generic keywords: Take care to ensure the ones you choose are reflective of the landing page content – taking phrases from the headlines and any subheadings are often a good place to start.

                                                            Take a more granular approach: Don’t cram too many keywords into an ad group – Split out keywords into their own groups, with specific ad copy tailored to each keyword.

                                                            Try Keyword Insertion: Using Dynamic Keyword insertion is a great way to easily ensure that keywords are reflected in the ad copy.

                                                            Use Negative Keywords: Review your search terms and negative any irrelevant searches – this way you can ensure your ads only show for the right searches which also saves spend.


                                                            Landing Page Experience


                                                            “The landing page experience status describes whether your landing page is likely to provide a good experience to customers who click your ad and land on your website.” From Google (2018) Online AdWords Help: Glossary

                                                            Navigation: Ensuring that users can locate all relevant information or order your product easily, without pop-ups, is key to creating a nice experience.

                                                            Useful and Relevant Content: Make sure your landing page clearly explains the subject matter of your advert – Alternatively, you can view your search terms, and try tweaking your content to fit what people are searching for.

                                                            Transparency: Openly provide information about your business, service or product – this should be easily accessible before you ask users to fill out any forms.


                                                            Expected CTR


                                                            “This status predicts whether your keyword is likely to lead to a click on your ads.” From Google (2018)

                                                            Expected CTR is an area that’s a bit more difficult for advertisers to pin-point what they need to improve on, and the component where Google takes back some control.

                                                            For any keyword, Google considers your accounts previous performance of that keyword, including its historical CTR, the conversion rate and the performance of the domain you are using that keyword with, as well as the performance of similar keywords. Moreover, they also take into consideration how well that keyword performs when used in other accounts. From this, Google makes a judgment on how likely a user is to click on your ad when using that keyword.

                                                            As the emphasis is on account history, you can see why it’s a bit harder to easily improve this component.  The best approach would be to follow the advice for the previous two components, and once your ads start to perform better, your expected CTR should get better too.
                                                            While we don’t know the exact weight of each of the factors that contribute to the overall quality score, the main thing to take home is to be aware of the importance of quality score. With careful and consistent planning of your campaigns – making sure you stay relevant at each stage, from keyword choices to ad copy to the landing page – your PPC campaigns can achieve better results, at a lower cost.


                                                            Get In Touch


                                                            If we can be of any help with your PPC campaigns or beyond , please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

                                                            Why not share our Quality Score 101 to Twitter?

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                                                              New AdWords Experience – The Journey So Far

                                                              Google Search

                                                              The New AdWords Interface: 10 Months On

                                                              Back in May last year we wrote a blog on the announcement of the ‘New AdWords Interface’. 10 months later here is an update on our thoughts so far. Since last year Google have been slowly rolling out their New AdWords Interface to improve campaigns, save time and gain actionable insights, but our team here at upriseUP aren’t 100% sold on all the changes!

                                                              I’ve decided to provide an AdWords update for those who might have missed some of the cool (and maybe not so cool changes) being made.

                                                              If you want to know more about how paid search campaigns can transform your business, please email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk.


                                                              All About The New AdWords Interface – What Features Are New?

                                                              The new AdWords interface has a number of exclusive new features that aren’t available in the previous AdWords interface please see the chart below:

                                                              2018 has shown some big changes in the world of Digital Marketing and adapting to the new AdWords interface is going to be a huge task for continued success this year.

                                                              The new AdWords experience promised to make our lives easier: it introduced friendlier native reporting within the AdWords interface, cool new tools like promotion extensions, and an objectively easier way to navigate from campaign to campaign, ad group to ad group, and keyword to keyword.

                                                              The reality is, change is mostly met with criticism, and when the old AdWords interface officially sunsets this year, the outcry could be fierce. But, that interface has more or less been around since 2008, which is an insane amount of time for something in the tech world, especially a Google product. In short, the new interface is going to be disliked – but with some time, not only will we get used to it, but it likely will be significantly more powerful than the decade old interface we’re currently familiar with.


                                                              Some Big AdWords Interface Changes


                                                              When you first pop open the AdWords interface, you’ll be taken to the Overview/Home tab:

                                                              At first it was a little overwhelming to look at and would give you lots of criteria for keywords, ad groups, and campaigns. Once you get used to this view you can quickly visualise some top-level data in your account.

                                                              From here, you can select the dropdown arrows in tabs to add additional or varying lines to the graph. Which allows you to add up to 4 metrics (increased from the standard 2)

                                                              You see a quick overview of biggest changes and campaigns – which I find useful.

                                                              Further down, we can quickly visualise our top spending keywords, see what search terms and words triggered the most ads, what devices are contributing to our success, and what our most shown ad is. We love this!

                                                              The left is a super helpful native analysis that will make it easier than ever to isolate search terms to make your AdWords accounts more granular.

                                                              At the bottom of the Overview page, you can see how you’re performing per network and see what times and days you’re having success. But, most interestingly, you can also easily see your overall auction insights. Watch your competitors and see how you can perform better in the AdWords auction with insights.


                                                              The Time Window

                                                              Another important change is the improved time navigation window.


                                                              You’ll find it in the top right, so not much has changed there. But I promise it can do cool stuff (two things, in particular). First, it’s now scrollable, so it’s easier to navigate a few months back without having to type in the date range you’re looking for (but this is still an option if you prefer).

                                                              More importantly, how many times have you wanted to look at the “Past 90 Days” of history, but you were stuck with “Past 7,” “Past 14,” and “Past 30”? Same here! No more, as you can now change the date range in the bottom left of the menu to be 90 days up to today, or whatever other date range you want.


                                                              The Navigation Bar

                                                              In the old interface, your campaigns, ad groups, etc. were displayed left to right near the top of the screen. When you think about the layers of an AdWords account, you think about: Campaigns contain Ad Groups, which contain Keywords/Targeting/Ads, which are triggered by Search Terms.

                                                              You’ll see that the new left-hand layout of the navigation bar flows more logically, with account level information (Overview) at the top, Campaigns and Ad Groups in the section below, while targeting options and ads are in their own self-contained sections below. So, perhaps, it’s not all bad — just different and will take a little time to get used to.

                                                              As logical as this new interface layout may seem, there are some downsides. Table Appearance and Filters: They Just Don’t Pop like they used too!


                                                              How the interface looked before with filters.



                                                              How the interface looks now with filters. The Visuals in General: Just harder to read!


                                                              Outcome so far

                                                              Google has made a lot of changes to the AdWords interface that PPC managers are just beginning to discover and benefit from. While some features (such as Maximize Conversions and other automation opportunities) are designed with busy business owners in mind, others are just the kind of tools performance marketers need if they want to stay ahead of the PPC game.

                                                              Basically, gradual progression, people can get used to — but busy PPC managers/executives find themselves having to learn and get familiar with an awful lot while still trying to provide the best service to their clients. Although big changes can create big buzz, sometimes your users prefer “baby steps” over a big leap. I know I do.

                                                              Please do let me know your thoughts on the new interface, the good, the bad and the ugly! We would love to hear your thoughts on how you are getting on with it? As always if you have any questions on anything digital do get in touch or say hello on Twitter.

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                                                                Why Google Shopping Campaigns Are Fantastic!

                                                                Why Google Shopping campaigns are fantastic

                                                                The Benefits of Google Shopping Campaigns


                                                                Google Shopping Campaigns are fantastic! In the two years since we’ve started using them we’ve seen their performance continue to improve tenfold, to the point that they are now outperforming the more traditional search ads! If you want to transform your business by making the most out of shopping ads, please send us an email at hello@upriseup.co.uk

                                                                One of the key components of their effectiveness is understanding how they work and how you can best utilise Google’s shopping platform to show your products at the right time; and for the right bid! Today I want to open the lid (slightly) on our Google Shopping strategy and give you some insight into how you can send your ecommerce revenue through the roof.

                                                                Google Shopping Ads


                                                                Before I go any further, I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page. There are some significant differences in the way the Google presents data to you between paid search and shopping. But, there are two fundamental differences when it comes to the key dynamics of how it all works. These are Ad Copy and Bid Management:

                                                                Paid Search
                                                                Shopping Campaigns
                                                                Ad Copy
                                                                User created ad copy which includes strong CTA. Text-based Manually added to spreadsheet or automatically pulled from your website. Includes product title, an image of the product, and the price
                                                                Bid Management
                                                                By keyword, optimised based on conversions By product, based on what is bringing in the income



                                                                Shopping ads consists of a title, price, store name and, most crucially, an image. They consequently differ to search ads as they do not require the creation of any ad copy. Google creates shopping ads automatically, using information provided by the advertisers in a Merchant Feed. It is therefore important to optimise the feed itself, as this effectively takes the place of the Ad Copy, by implementing a Shopping Strategy.


                                                                You should be reviewing all product names and product type categories in your feed and optimising them with as descriptive keywords as possible. Conducting this process increases the chances of the Ad being shown, and therefore provides more opportunities to convert prospective purchasers.


                                                                The other major difference with shopping ads is with how bidding works. In paid search, bids are placed at keyword level. In layman’s terms: The more profitable the keyword, the greater the bid. However, in Shopping Ads, bids are set by product. This is not ideal as different search queries have different intents of purchasing. For example, a user searching ‘buy pink umbrella’ has a higher intent to purchase than a search of ‘umbrella’. This causes a problem because we would happily pay more for ‘buy pink umbrella’, but we are unable to distinguish between the searches, as we are forced to bid at product level.


                                                                The way around this problem is to utilise the priority setting for each Shopping campaign. Each campaign’s priority can be set to ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’. By creating duplicate campaigns with differing priority levels, we can control our bids by funnelling search terms into different campaigns based on intent.




                                                                Using this system, a search of ‘umbrella’ would be sent to the ‘high’ priority campaign first, which would contain a low bid as it contains low intent search terms. You want to match to the ‘high priority’ first in order to show for as low a bid as possible to most keywords. Remember, Google chooses when your ads show – not you! So, by default we want it to be a low bid, until we know it’s a great search term.


                                                                Once you have enough data, top performing searches would be set as negative keywords in the high priority campaigns, and these searches would be funnelled into a ‘lower priority’ campaign. These campaigns would then have a higher bid, as we are happier to pay more for a user who is more likely to convert.




                                                                This system allows a much greater amount of control over our bids and has produced some fantastic results for our clients.


                                                                This blog is a snapshot of my ‘Evening of Ecommerce’ talk I presented at upriseUP for one of our fantastic events. You can find more information about my talk here presentation library.


                                                                Please do let me know your success with Shopping ads and I’d love to hear how you get on with implementing your ‘priority’ bidding strategy. If you would love for me to talk to you about how I think we can help your ecommerce even further, then please let me know.


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                                                                  Keyword Insertion: Is Relevancy Really In The Eyes Of The Beholder?


                                                                  An Experiment into Improving Ad Performance Using Keyword Insertion

                                                                  Keyword insertion, or dynamic keyword insertion as it used to be called, is a feature of AdWords that can be used in ad headlines to increase relevance to the users search query. One of the features that we’re most excited about here at upriseUP is the fact that using keyword insertion increases relevancy and dramatically increases your ads performance.


                                                                  How Keyword Insertion Works

                                                                  With keyword insertion in place in a headline, whenever a user performs a search, the keyword that triggered your ad to show is placed into the headline. The example Google use is if you sell chocolate you might set up a headline that reads Buy {KeyWord:Chocolate}. If Dark Chocolate is one of your keywords, the headline would read Buy Dark Chocolate. For more information on keyword insertion and how to set it up see the Google support.


                                                                  The Question

                                                                  By using keyword insertion in your headlines, you can create a seemingly personalised ad, resulting in increased ad relevance, increased quality scores, lower actual CPC, improved ad rank… you get the idea. They are great.

                                                                  However, equally relevant to the above example is an ad without keyword insertion where the headline Buy Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate as a keyword. What the user sees is the same ad, the question is would Google preferentially choose an ad that it deems “more relevant” because it could insert the users query into the title? What better way to test that than by using Google’s experiment feature?


                                                                  The Experiment

                                                                  What I created is a single keyword ad group (SKAG) with an exact match keyword and that keyword featuring in the headline. I kept everything but the headline the same between the experiment and the original to ensure a fair test. In the original I left the headline as plain text and in the experiment replaced the keyword in the headline with a keyword insertion. Given that the only keyword in the ad group is an exact match keyword, any time it could be triggered it would insert the keyword into the headline.

                                                                  The end results to the user is the exact same text, the only difference is how it got there. With the traffic split 50:50 between the experiment and the original, Google will enter each ad into the auction the same amount of times since they are essentially the same ad, right?


                                                                  The Results

                                                                  What actually happened is that despite the ad being the ‘same’ in the eyes of the user, the Google algorithm preferentially entered the ad using keyword insertion rather than plain text. The ad using keyword insertion generated a statistically significant increase in number of impressions and clicks, as well as an increased click through rate (although not a statistically significant one!).


                                                                  Key Takeaways

                                                                  However, there are situations to be aware of where keyword insertion into a title would not make sense and might make the ad read strangely, so each situation needs to be looked at critically. But in terms of getting your ad seen and clicked on by more people, keyword insertion is a valuable tool.

                                                                  The key takeaway here is that by implementing keyword insertion you can increase your ads relevancy in the eyes of the algorithm without it changing in the eyes of the user, which can only help improve your ads performance.

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                                                                    New Year, New Features

                                                                    A Christmas Gift from Google


                                                                    Just after the turn of the year Google has granted us in the PPC game three very-late Christmas presents, presumably because we were all very good last year!

                                                                    Two of the new features related to phone numbers, and are very much in line with Google’s even-more mobile focused approach in 2017; don’t forget the new Mobile-first index is coming soon!

                                                                    Google knows that when it comes to digital marketing, what sets it apart, from other forms of marketing, is the tangible data analysis – that ability to track a user from their first landing page to their final conversion (hopefully a big sale!). In order to ensure that your campaigns are working to their optimum you need to be able to track all possible conversions, and black holes in that user journey need to be avoided and were possible removed. This is where call tracking comes in to play.

                                                                    Call tracking allows digital marketers to track calls to key phone numbers from your website and what advertising has lead them to that page; and ultimately to make that call. There are a variety of paid solutions available (infinity call tracking and response tap to name a couple) as well as Google AdWords-only free option. But wouldn’t it be great if we could give those users who want to call a direct call-to-action within the SERP?


                                                                    Extending the Call Extensions


                                                                    That’s where call extensions (and call-only Ads) come in. This is where Google is upping it’s mobile game, ensuring we can cover as many conversions possible in order to understand the worth of those mobile visitors. Coming February 6th Google will be launching automated call extensions: a move which is specifically aimed at forcing the hand of all those people who are still not using a call ask within their Ads. The new automated call extensions will automatically show a call extension for ad groups where the ads are pointing to a page with a prominent phone number. Whilst this may seem like helpful move from Google, the chances are that if you wanted to show a phone number, you would already have the call extension live and if you don’t want it to show it’s for a reason! The good news is that you can untick this solution, the bad news is that unless you do so you will start showing a phone number (if the landing page is applicable) whether you like it or not.


                                                                    But that’s not all! As of January 19th, advertisers who use Location extensions and call extensions ‘may’ find that the number showing in their call extension is not the one they have previously specified. Google has emailed affected AdWords users to notify them that the phone number linked to the Local listing used in AdWords is likely to show instead.


                                                                    A Google rep told Search Engine Land that: “it ‘may’ show the local retail phone number when that store’s location extension shows in an ad even if a call extension in the campaign uses a different phone number in order to increase the relevance of ads that feature specific business locations.”

                                                                    This is a potential problem for users wanting to use tracking phone numbers within their AdWords call extensions or to use a centralised phone number for their Ads. You can opt-out of this by filling in a form within Google Support if this is something which will effect your call tracking. With Google showing Ads with location extensions across Google Maps, this feels like a move from their part in maintaining the consistency that the user will see between the Google Maps Ad and the organic listing.


                                                                    Positive, Negative Developments


                                                                    Finally, and a nice surprise for MCC (My Client Centre) AdWords users: Google has announced the expansion of the Negative Keywords lists to allow them to be shared across accounts. One immediate use would be to simplify the mass-sharing of keywords which are applicable across all accounts and that you would never want to show against (likely mature/illegal themes).

                                                                    Another use would be for those clients that use multiple AdWords accounts (presumably due to different departmental budgeting), and you want to make sure that there is no cross over between the Accounts on their keywords. This will now allow the process of negative matching an accounts keywords against all other accounts a lot simpler and one which I look forward to using.

                                                                    I’m sure that this is just the start of the new developments for this coming year; we were promised a whole new interface would arrive! But if the start of the new AdWords developments is anything to go by – I think this will be another year with big movements towards mobile and location based optimisation…and I for one look forward to it!

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                                                                      Expanded Text Ads Rollout begins

                                                                      Expanded Ads Update


                                                                      Some big news recently from Google. They have announced the release of 3 new features which had been mentioned in the May 2016 Google Summit – I wanted to bring you our thoughts on the implications and their effects for our clients.

                                                                      Ads will now be 50% larger, include a new double header and a simple 80 character description. This will mean the removal of the rigid two-line Legacy Ad type, which has been in existence for years. Google has announced that this change has been led by a need for responsive ads within the search results page; but the result has been an increase in the total space given to Paid ads at the top of the page. This is another example of Google continuing to monotonies the Search results page at the detriment of organic search. This is likely to lead to an increased importance of maintaining a Paid presence as Organic listings are pushed further down the page.

                                                                      We will be creating new Expanded Text Ads for each Ad Group in our accounts over the coming months and running A/B tests against the best performing legacy Ad format. Google has not set a timeline for the removal of the old Legacy format Ads, however, they have stated that Ads will not be able to be created in the Legacy format post-October 26th.

                                                                      The initial results of the trial look promising with some beta trialists seeing a 2x increase in CTR for non-brand. However, it is likely this was a test against other advertisers running the legacy Ads and so will not have been a fair test (especially when the new ads are 50% larger). As we are rolling these Ads out for our clients in the coming – we hope to be able to take advantage of the increased presence this will likely give us over competitors who are still using Legacy Ads.

                                                                      it will be interesting to see how this stands up when all marketers in the auction are using the new Ad format. As we roll out new Ads in the new format we will be reviewing the results and will share our learnings and feedback with you.


                                                                      Other great releases


                                                                      Separate Device-Bidding

                                                                      Google has announced that over the coming months they will be releasing the ability to set base bid adjustments for mobile, tablet and/or desktop per Campaign. The real-world implications for this are that we will be able to distinguish our bids between Desktop and Tablet devices. This will be especially useful for accounts targeting businesses where they will be able to down-weight Tablet devices which are more likely to be domestic users.

                                                                      The strategy used for the device-bidding will be dependent on a case-by-case basis, not only per account, but per campaign. When this feature is rolled out to your account, your Account Manager will likely be in touch to confirm their strategy with you for this.


                                                                      Responsive Ads

                                                                      As per Device-Bidding, this will be rolling out on an account-by-account basis and will see a new format of Ads being available on the Google Display Network. The new Responsive Ads will automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces on a webpage. Responsive ads can show as almost any size text, image, or native format. The new Ad Format allows a campaign to cover more more Ad spaces without the need for a vast inventory of banners.

                                                                      Looks like a good innovation from Google and we expect to see a good response at the beginning for these new Ad formats. For clients who we are running Display activity for, we will be in touch shortly to discuss implementing these into your campaigns.

                                                                      As always if you have any comments, questions or queries about these updates or any other Google AdWords developments please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

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