Monthly:May 2013

Bidding Best Practices (Part 4): Setting your bid adjustment for time

Today’s post will provide guidance on using time bid adjustments.  It is the fourth post in a bidding best practices series. Previous posts covered optimization strategies for setting location and mobile bid adjustments as well as prioritization.

In our constantly connected world, people are searching on multiple devices throughout the day for places to go, things to buy, and ways to stay entertained. People often use similar search results in different ways depending on the time of day that they search. For example, if someone is searching for “Hawaii vacations” during the workday, she may just be doing research for an upcoming trip.  When she returns home and conducts the same search in the evening, she may be more likely to have all the info she needs to book the flights and hotels.

With this constant connectivity, search marketers can now receive web traffic from across the globe and around the clock. Most businesses can still identify peak days and times when they see better ROI and lower costs.  At other times, customer activity might be slower and some businesses may wish to drive additional visits even if the cost is a bit higher.

If your business sees regular cycles of customer behavior and AdWords performance during the week, then using the time bid adjustment feature in AdWords enhanced campaigns may make sense for you.  This feature can help you improve results by allowing you to increase or decrease bids by day of the week or time of day.

Getting started with time bid adjustments
Before making any adjustments, it’s important to choose the right level of granularity for analysis.  For example, will you adjust bids by day of the week, eight hour increments, or down to the hour?  While you may be tempted to optimize down to the hour, it’s important to ensure that you have sufficient data to make decisions for each time period.  A general rule would be to have 1,000 clicks and 30 conversions for each time period you’re looking to optimize.

Calculating your time bid adjustments
Once you decide that using time bid adjustments are right for your business, compare the performance of your ads at varying times to your overall performance goal.  This will allow you to easily determine the right bid adjustment for each time period.

If you are setting a goal using a cost per action target, your bid adjustment can be calculated as follows:

Time bid adjustment = 100%* (( Campaign Goal  ÷ Actual Performance) – 1)

For example, let’s say you are an online retailer who sees better traffic and performance on weekdays as opposed to weekends. You would like to target a $30 cost per acquisition overall, but you are experiencing a $25 cost per acquisition on weekdays and a $40 cost per acquisition on weekends.  To meet your performance goal and maximize efficiency you can use a time bid adjustment.  Simply adjust your bids on weekdays by +20%, and on weekends by -25%.  This allows you to optimize for your goal by bidding more aggressively on weekdays when conversions are more cost effective, and less aggressively on weekends when performance is lower.

Test and Learn
Constant iteration is a key part of the optimization process. To ensure you are optimized over time, check the performance for each time adjustment regularly on the Time subtab in your campaign settings. Raise your bid adjustment where your performance exceeds your goal and lower your bid adjustment where your performance falls short of your goal. This will allow you to optimize your bids and adjust to changing consumer behavior.

You should also take this opportunity to study your internal data to understand when you have peak activity in terms of conversion rates, order size, and overall volume.  If you have a physical store or run a call center, you may consider using those hours of operation as guideposts for setting your time bid adjustment.  Studying the volume of activity during the times you are open can give you a good sense of when you may wish to raise or lower your bids.  For example, if your call center is closed during the night, you may wish to decrease bids during this time to avoid sending customers to unsupported lines.  By the same token, if you operate a physical store and see lulls in traffic during certain hours, you may wish to increase bids during this time and run ads with promotional offers to drive more people to your business.

Time bid adjustments are a key part of enhanced campaigns.  To use time bid adjustments alongside location and mobile bid adjustments, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns.  Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin automatically upgrading all campaigns to enhanced campaigns.

Later this week, we’ll dive deeper into ways you can use tools like flexible bid strategies to automate your bid settings based on specific business goals like cost per acquisition.

Posted by Ting Zhang, Global Search Solutions

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Bidding Best Practices (Part 3) – Calculating mobile bid adjustments

Today’s post about calculating mobile bid adjustments is the third in a bidding best practices series. The previous post covered improving your results with location bid adjustments.

People are now constantly connected and switching seamlessly between devices. In fact, more than 38% of our daily media interactions occur on mobile1. This presents advertisers with new opportunities to reach customers anytime, anyplace, on any device. At Google, we want to help you capitalize on these opportunities and develop new strategies for your business to win on mobile.

Mobile bid adjustments in AdWords enhanced campaigns give advertisers the power to optimize bids across devices — all from a single campaign. In today’s post, we’ll help you understand how to calculate a mobile bid adjustment that accounts for the total conversion value your mobile ads drive for your business.

Review your current desktop and mobile performance
Before calculating your mobile bid adjustment, you can run an AdWords report to review your current desktop and mobile performance. While online conversions, app downloads, and calls are easy to track in AdWords, other conversions such as in-store visits may be harder to attribute directly to your ads. For those conversions, you may need to estimate their value. The closer you can estimate the value of these conversions, the more optimized your bid will be on mobile.

Calculate your mobile bid adjustment
The key to optimizing your mobile bid adjustment is to identify the ratio of mobile vs desktop (and tablet) conversion value. This is calculated by dividing your value per click on mobile by your value per click on desktop.

We’ll illustrate this calculation using the table below. Let’s say this data belongs to a national retailer with mobile and desktop websites as well as physical stores. In the past month, this retailer saw 10,000 clicks from her mobile ads and 10,000 clicks from her desktop and tablet ads.  Her mobile ads drove $900 of revenue from phone calls to her stores, $5,000 from online sales and $5,000 from in-store visits for a total of $10,900. During this same month, her desktop and tablet ads drove $100 of revenue from calls, $10,000 from online sales, and $2,000 from in-store visits for a total of $12,100.

With this information, the retailer calculates the value per click (for mobile and desktop) by dividing the total value (i.e., the total revenue from all conversion types) by the total number of clicks, respectively. In this case, the mobile value per click is $1.09 and the desktop value per click is $1.21.

The retailer’s mobile bid adjustment is the ratio of these two values: she divides the value per click on mobile by the value per click on desktop and then subtracts 1. In this case we have (1.09/1.21) – 1, or a -10% mobile bid adjustment that can be entered into AdWords.

Iterate and test
As with all online marketing techniques, mobile bid adjustments aren’t something you should just “set and forget.” Frequent iteration and testing will help you account for changes in seasonality or business operations.  Due to varying screen sizes on mobile, we also recommend that you keep a close eye on your mobile impression share so that your ads show in the top positions.

Learn more
To learn more about mobile bid adjustments, visit the AdWords Help Center or watch this recording of this hangout on air, “Enhanced Campaigns: Optimizing Mobile Strategy.

To use mobile bid adjustments, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns to enhanced campaigns. Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin automatically upgrading all campaigns.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into ways you can use tools like conversion optimizer and eCPC to automate your bid settings based on specific business goals like ROI.

Posted by Andy Miller, Head of Mobile Search Solutions


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Explore the future of digital marketing at thinkDoubleClick, June 4th

What’s the future of digital media and marketing? How are CMOs thinking about leveraging digital to reach and engage audiences? What marketing channels are proving most effective in building brands digitally – paid, owned or earned?

These are some of the questions executives from across the digital marketing ecosystem will address at thinkDoubleClick, Google’s annual discussion on the state of digital.

Register now to join the event livestream on June 4th, 9:00 AM – Noon Pacific. Registration enables you to participate in the conversation, and ask speakers and panelists your questions with #thinkDCLK.

thinkDoubleClick 2013 speakers include:

We look forward to seeing you on June 4th!

Missed last year’s event? It’s not too late to catch up with the videos below.

Posted by Scott Brown, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick

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‘Hill Climb Racing’ grows from an app into a business, using AdMob

Toni Fingerroos, a games developer in Finland, became inspired to create a mobile app. He devoted 3 months to building it, often working 16 hour days. That idea became the hugely popular Hill Climb Racing, and the game has grown to be part of a successful app business called Fingersoft.

Hill Climb Racing has been downloaded in over 145 countries on both iOS and Android. AdMob consistently generates nearly 100% ad fill rates and enables Toni to monetize the game on a global scale. He uses AdMob house ads to promote his app too.

“Hill Climb Racing has over 60 million downloads. About 40% [of the revenue] comes from advertisements, and AdMob is our cornerstone,” says Toni. Hear more about Toni’s story in the video below.

Download the PDF version of the case study here.

Posted by Mike Schipper, Product Marketing Manager, AdMob

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Bidding best practices (part 2): Improving results with location bid adjustments

Today’s post about improving results with location bid adjustments is the second in a bidding best practices series. The series began with prioritizing and iterating on your bid adjustments.

Your advertising performance almost always varies by location, no matter what kind of business you run. The good news is that if you optimize your bids for different locations, you can increase your sales and ROI.

Optimizing bids for better performance by location
With enhanced campaigns, it’s now much easier to boost bids in locations where your performance is stronger and reduce bids where performance is weaker. Before enhanced campaigns, you’d have to set up and manage an identical campaign for every location where you wanted unique bids. Since this was hard, the most common approach to location optimization has been to cut out underperforming locations using targeting exclusions. But in the long run, this approach can limit your growth and reduce your business competitiveness. So we recommend using bid adjustments rather than location exclusions.

Calculating location bid adjustments
Start by downloading a location performance report. Here’s how, using the AdWords interface:

  1. Set the date range to the past 30 days (longer if your campaign is on the smaller side).
  2. Click on the “Location details” button and select “What triggered your ad.”
  3. Click the View button and select Region.
  4. Click Download.

To maximize orders or leads at a particular CPA or ROI level, a common best practice for setting bid adjustments is to equalize your target metrics across all locations. As a math formula, it looks like this:

Location bid adjustment = 100% * ( ( Campaign goal ÷ Actual performance ) – 1 )

Here’s an example from a campaign with a cost-per-action goal.

Example of calculating your location bid adjustment
Location Conversions Cost CPA CPA Goal Location bid adjustment
Florida 100 $800 $8 $10 100% * [(10÷8) – 1] = +25%
New York 120 $1080 $9 $10 100% * [(10÷9) – 1] = +11%
Ohio 70 $1050 $15 $10 100% * [(10÷15) – 1] = -33%
Pennsylvania 85 $850 $10 $10 100% * [(10÷10) – 1] = 0%

You can implement your bid adjustments in the AdWords interface (directions) or using the AdWords Editor (directions).

Businesses with local stores or service areas
Closer customers are often more likely to buy from you and less costly to serve. So if your business has local stores or service areas, you should consider optimizing your bids based on customer proximity. For example, you can easily set one location target for customers within 2 miles of your business locations, and a second target for customers within 20 miles of your business locations (directions). Then use the approach described above to calculate your optimum bid adjustment for your two location extension targets.

Tips and reminders

  • Maintain a broad location target to cover your entire potential market. Targeting too narrowly can limit your reach, clicks and conversions.
  • It’s OK to set overlapping location targets with bid adjustments. We’ll only apply the most specific location bid adjustment. For example, say you have a +10% bid adjustment for Canada and a +20% bid adjustment for Montreal. When someone searches in Montreal, your bid will be increased by 20%. And you’ll see distinct performance stats for Montreal and all of Canada except Montreal on the Locations subtab on the campaign Settings main tab.
  • Be careful when you don’t have much data. Otherwise your calculated bid adjustments could end up being too high or too low, and you could end up with worse results instead of better. If you don’t have statistical expertise on hand, we recommend not adjusting bids in locations with fewer than 1000 clicks and 30 conversions, as a general rule of thumb. Lengthening the date range for your reports to the past 90 days or more can help.
  • Periodically check performance and increment your bid adjustments. From time to time, check your performance for each location target on the Locations subtab. Incrementally raise your bid adjustment where your performance is above your goal, and lower your bid adjustment where your performance is below your goal. This will allow you to optimize your bids over time and adjust to changing consumer behavior.

Posted by John Sullivan, Global Search Solutions

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Upcoming Learn with Google webinar: Driving deeper engagement with your app users

With over 85 billion app downloads across the Google Play and Apple App stores, advertisers need to know how to promote their apps as efficiently as possible. They need to understand what channels drive the most engaged users and find ways to increase user engagement within their apps. With AdWords, advertisers can accomplish these goals by attributing app downloads to the right channels, measuring in-app activity, optimizing media spend towards the most valuable channels and reaching existing users with targeted messages.

Join Google on Tuesday, May 21st (10am PT/1pm ET) for a webinar about how you can drive deeper engagement with your app users. The webinar will walk you through Google’s basic app promotion tools and introduce new features.

Sign up for our webinar today by registering here.

We look forward to seeing you on May 21st!

Posted by Cameron Grace, Display Product Launch Lead

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Introducing a new AdMob: Improved tools to help app developers build their business

We’re committed to helping app developers with discovery, distribution and monetization on all platforms so they can continue doing what they do best: creating awesome apps.  Last year, we integrated our AdMob inventory into the AdWords system, giving mobile app developers access to many more new advertisers. And we’ve continued to invest in tools to help app developers succeed.  

Today at I/O, we’re announcing that we’ve rebuilt AdMob, incorporating the best technology from our other ad platforms, like AdSense. It’s a particularly great tool to help small mobile app developers grow their business.

Starting today, we’ll begin rolling out the new AdMob to our developers. We expect it to be available for all of our developers globally in the coming months. If you’re an AdMob developer, you’ll see a notice in your account asking you to upgrade to the new AdMob.

With the new AdMob, some of the features available are:
  • Smarter app promotion: Conversion Optimizer helps many AdWords advertisers increase conversions while decreasing cost per acquisition. We’re now bringing Conversion Optimizer to app developers using AdMob to promote their apps, so they can get the best possible number of installs for their budget.  Choose a target cost per acquisition for each download, and Conversion Optimizer will show ads when they are most likely to lead to an install.
  • Robust ad filters: Ensuring that your app is showing quality, relevant ads is important for app developers. Now, developers will have more control over which ads appear in their apps, by blocking sensitive categories,  so they can increase relevancy and protect their brand.
  • Maximized earnings: If developers want to show ads in their apps from more than one ad network, they can use AdMob Mediation with a new, simplified setup.
  • Local payments: We’re introducing local currency payments, so developers don’t need to spend time calculating currency conversions and organizing money transfers.
  • Intelligent reports: The new reporting interface enables app developers to slice the data in many ways with multi-dimensional reports that help them identify opportunities to grow. They can break down their reports over time by app or ad unit, platform, country, bid type, and more.
If a developer is just starting out, AdMob can connect them to more than a million advertisers globally, providing a consistent source of advertising revenue which can grow as their downloads take off.

We want AdMob to open up opportunities for many more app developers worldwide to help them build successful businesses. Join us at Google I/O at 11:15 AM PST today or watch a livestream of our talk: Build a Great App Business with AdMob, and see new demos.

Posted by Vishay Nihalani, Product Manager, AdMob

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Cross-Device Single Sign-On

We recognize that users aren’t just using one device to interact with your app. They switch between laptops, tablets, and mobile devices daily. We’re focused on making desktop and mobile work better together so users have a seamless experience between platforms and devices. And today, we are launching another step in this direction — cross-device single sign-on (SSO).

Cross-device SSO lets you stay connected to users and more easily keep them engaged across devices, removing the friction of consent and authentication. Now, when a user signs in with Google on one device, they grant consent once and can continue their experience seamlessly between web and Android devices. For example, if a user signs in with Google on the web and adds items to their cart but doesn’t get around to completing the purchase, if they switch to your app on their Android device, Google+ Sign-In will automatically authenticate the user, so they can be taken directly to the same state and resume their purchase.

We are rolling out this feature on the web and via the new release of Google Play services v3.1 on Android over the coming days. It will be automatically enabled if you integrate Google+ Sign-In.

Get started and learn more at

Google+ platform at I/O:
With Google I/O underway today, we have a lot in store for developers. In addition to over 15 exciting sessions and code labs, we have a packed sandbox with over 50 partners showing off integrations with Google+ Sign-In, mobile recommendations, and Hangout apps.

Posted by Francis Ma, Product Manager, Google+Read More

Top 10 YouTube Ads for April

The Top 10 YouTube Ads for April have been published on
This month’s Leaderboard shows us how brands can engage a global audience from both sides of the atlantic. 

The Evian Babies ad is a huge hit at number 1 on our leaderboards in the UK, France, Germany, Italy & Spain and has also ranked highly in the US. Carrying on the trend is the internationally successful Dove Sketches ad, which has captured the imagination of the UK audience and comes in at number 2.

Irn Bru ranks well for the second month in a row and is a great example of how a brand is building episodic content, delighting impassioned fans despite geographical borders. Similarly, KLM’s ad takes advantage of YouTube’s global reach to launch their worldwide competition. 

Check out the full list here

Posted by Ali Turhan, Industry Analyst – Agency Strategy

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Meet the Mobile Champs: Introducing a new series of video interviews with mobile thought leaders

What is top of mind for mobile leaders in the agency community?  How are agencies helping their clients win with mobile?  In an effort to better understand the challenges that agencies face when it comes to mobile, and to strengthen our efforts to help them tackle and overcome these challenges, we decided to bring together a group of mobile evangelists from the agency world.  At a recent event in New York City, we asked a few of these mobile leaders what excites them – and what challenges them – about mobile today.  Today, we are excited to share these interviews with you on Think Insights, Google’s hub for marketing insights and inspiration for advertisers and agencies. 

One of the topics that we found to be top of mind for everyone is the challenge of mobile measurement in a multi-screen world.  “We need to get beyond the old metrics of the Internet, television and print, and define what the new metrics are for mobile engagement,” shared Jeffery Hinz, Managing Partner & US Digital Director at MediaCom.  Zach Morrison, VP & Director of SEM at Elite SEM, outlines the so-called “holy grail” of understanding consumer behavior across multiple devices to see the full customer journey.  As Morrison says, “The first thing people do in the morning is wake up and grab their phones and the last thing they do at night is do something on their tablet – I think the next biggest thing is tying it all together.”

We also spoke with our mobile champs about topics ranging from brand building strategies to showrooming to where they think mobile is headed next.  Be sure to check out the full interviews on Think Insights.  We hope you will find what these mobile thought leaders had to say as interesting and thought-provoking as we did.

Posted by: Samantha Podos Nowak, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads

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