What is Adwords Flexible bid strategies?

Bidding strategies are a very important part of managing any PPC campaign.  Given that we want to maximize returns by bidding for good positions for the most effective keywords and reducing bids for the less effective ones.

These are our experiences of the various bidding options:

  • Auto: Adwords automatically set bids, but this is sub optimal when budgets are too much for the traffic (hence Adwords will automatically bid most keywords up) and also Adwords does not bid for the best performing keywords.
  • Conversion optimization:  This seems to us to require 100s or 1000s of conversions in order to perform well (as opposed to the 30 Google states)
  • Manual:  Gives the most control and you can manage bids at keyword level and bid according to cost per conversion, however is very time consuming
  • PPC management tools:  Acquisio has recently recently BBM which we tried, however it seems it requires significant amount of conversions/clicks to work well.  It also has target position bidding in its standard platform like rules and algorithms, however again it requires sufficient data to crunch on otherwise these doesnt run when applied.  When it does have the required conversions/clicks however, it works really well and adjusts bids every 30minutes!  We had improvements for customers from 30% to 50% in cost per conversion, just by activating.
  • Adwords automated rules: For accounts with smaller amount of traffic, we see this works as stated.  If average position is at stated level, it will perfom the required bidding up/down unlike those in Acquisio.

Flexible bid strategies is a feature that Google has enabled for Adwords users to automatically set bids which could ultimately optimize for the performance goals across specific campaigns, ad groups and keywords.

When the strategy is created, it is stored in your shared library for performance tracking and centralized management. This enables automated bidding across multiple campaigns as well as within a single part of a specific campaign.

Several types of flexible bid strategies are available that are tailored for different types of Adwords management campaigns. These bids can be set depending your objective either you want to improve on the clicks, impressions or conversions where you can determine the strategy that you require.

The flexible bid strategies are

  • maximize clicks
  • target search page location
  • target cost-per-acquisition (CPA)
  • Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)
  • target return on ad spend (ROAS)

Maximize clicks are a more flexible version of automatic bidding which enables to assist you in getting the maximum amount of clicks within the choice of your budget. This feature is applicable when visits to your website are the primary objective.

Target search page location is a new bidding strategy which automatically adjusts bids that helps your ads to be visible at the top of the page or at the first page of search results through Adwords management. Therefore, this can be used when you want higher visibility on the first page of search results. Target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is a conversion optimizer which automatically sets bids in order to convert as many conversions as possible while reaching the average cost-per-acquisition goal.

Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) is another flexible version that can be used in Adwords management which could automatically adjust your manual bid either higher or lower based on the possibility of converting clicks into conversions. This option is perfect when you want to have control over your keyword bids while at the same time converting clicks into conversions is the main objective.

Target return on ad spend (ROAS) is a new bid strategy that automatically sets bids that maximize your conversion value while trying to achieve an average return on the ad expenditure.


Setting it up in your campaign

To create a bid strategy you can sign in to your Adwords account and click on

“Campaigns” -> “Shared library View” (Bid Strategies section).

Then you have the option of
· Creating
· Editing
· Deleting

However, before choosing to delete a bid strategy, you will need to remove keywords, ad groups or campaigns from the shared library.

Flexible bid strategies are sure to save your time and effort and create a more arranged Adwords management campaign and you will be supported with better bid optimization more strategically to all campaigns, precise ad groups and keywords of your choice.

Whats your favourite Adwords bid strategies?

How to delete Adwords account

Google Adwords is an effective online advertising option which is utilized by numerous organizations to drive applicable online traffic to their business or website. However, in the event that you are not pleased with the performance of your adwords campaign, Google provides the option of conveniently delete adwords account any time you desire.

Cancelling adwords will stop all campaigns within 24 hours but you may need to settle any accumulated costs in your account.  If there is remaining money in your account, it will automatically be refunded as a form of payment but it typically takes about four weeks for the process.

To delete adwords management account,
·    First sign in to your adwords account
·    Go to My Account menu -> Preferences
·    Go to Account Cancellation at the foot of the page and Click on “Cancel this Account” (This option will be invisible in case you do not possess administrative access.

In case if you require opening up or getting an alternate Adwords account later on, you ought to change the email address that is connected with your Adwords account before cancelling your account. It’s not accepted by Google to possess two Adwords management accounts with the same email address, although one of the adwords account is cancelled.

Google does not facilitate completely delete adwords account. Instead you have the option of cancelling the adwords account or permanently deleting the email account that is associated with the adwords account. You also have the alternative of changing the email address that is connected with your account by clicking on the gear icon and picking “Account settings -> Preferences” and edit your email account.

A healthier option rather than delete Adwords account would be to simply pause all campaigns in your Adwords account. This is an appropriate alternative as if you delete the Adwords account permanently; not only will you lose any account history but also lose all information connected with the Adwords account completely. Therefore it is recommended that you cancel your adwords account than deleting it.

In the event that you need to delete adwords account on the grounds that you feel the adwords performance is not up to your expectations, it is worthwhile to consider having professionals to have a look at your adwords management.

Use Adwords In-Market Audiences to find ready buyers

Lets say you are a florist, and currently use image ads on Google Display network targeting users who might want to buy flowers on Valentine’s Day e.g. sites with keywords valentines’ day.  Now Google provides an even more accurate way of reaching users who ARE looking to buy flowers, maybe because they have searched for “buy flowers” on Google search etc.

This feature is introduced on the Google Display Network in AdWords management named as In-Market Audiences.

Advertising has constantly depended upon broad communications to scatter data that attracts individuals to buy. As an advertiser it is essential to make visitors comfortable to purchase your item. Although it may sound peculiar, it has just got easier to target users who are ready to buy your product through suitable Adwords management.

In market buyers feature is currently available only to campaigns that are targeted in

Languages: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Japanese languages

Audiences: Autos and vehicles, baby and children’s products, computers and peripherals, consumer electronics, consumer software, education, financial services, home and garden, real estate, telecom, travel, apparel and accessories, weddings and employment.

Google recommends on CPA bidding as an effective strategy on “In-market audiences” and CPC bidding is possible to be used as well but CPM bidding is not available at the moment in Google adwords management. The objective of using CPA bidding option is to get a client to click your advertisement and make an action on your site, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. In any case you pay for every click, yet Adwords will consequently set your offers to help you get more conversions, sparing you effort and time with this type of bidding.  Of course this is only possible if conversion tracking is already set up.

However, in order to improve the efficiency of the in-market audience promotion, you may need to avoid including other targeted methods that would limit your access to these types of audiences. Setting bidding adjustments accordingly when the in-market audience matches a certain topic or setting bids on consumers who are within a particular age range or gender will bring more results in this adwords management campaign.

This feature is enabled in the Google display network as an audience solutions option where you can find Targeting > Interests & remarketing > Interest categories > In-market buyers. Purchasers who visit a site regularly are commonly not considered as in-market buyers. For instance, Google has discovered that a client who visits a site habitually is not likely considering a purchase within a brief span of time. Based on a pattern Google distinguishes that In-Market Buyer campaign targets the guests who are frequenting certain sites less regularly.

Please feel free to add in the comments how would you use this powerful new feature.

Calculating CPC in Google Adwords Management

Google AdWords is an advertising service enabled online to educate online users about a service or product of a website owner which can help to increase traffic. Google displays these ads for a particular search query and places the advertising copy at the top, bottom or beside on the result page.

Actual cost per click is the final amount that is charged for a click which is the amount that you pay every time a user actually clicks your Adwords ad. CPC bidding allows the option of manual bidding where you can choose your own bidding amount and automatic bidding where Adwords management is automatically sets to get many clicks as possible according to the overall budget. However there is no limit on spending requirement where the amount you pay is all up to you to decide and you have the option of changing your CPC anytime you wish.

When you are setting your Adwords management budget, it is important to estimate and decide the value of a click that would be directed to your website. For example if you select $0.15 as max. CPC, you will be paying an amount less than or equal to $0.15 when a person reads your ad and clicks on it. This means that if you are expecting 100 clicks per day your max cost for the day is,

$0.15 x 100 = $15 per day (Cost-per-click x Clicks per day = Daily budget)

You have the option of calculating your monthly budget by multiplying your budget per day by 30.4 (365 divided by 12) which would be in this case,

$15 x 30.4 = $ 456

You can also calculate your cost per click based on your monthly advertising budget where you can calculate your budget per day by simply dividing the monthly budget by 30.4. For example if your monthly budget for CPC is $304, you can calculate your daily budget by

$ 304 / 30.4= $10 (Monthly budget / Average number of days per month = Daily budget)

Although you can set the budget on a monthly basis on Adwords management, you will only be charged when someone clicks on the ad and visits your website and you will not be charged more than your max CPC bid. For example if you created a text ad with a max. CPC bid of $0.25 and if 10 users click the ad among 100 users who saw your ad, you will only be charged maximum $0.25 x 10 which is $ 2.50 which is the actual cost.


How do you reduce your cost per click?

You have the opportunity to lessen the cost by improving your quality score. The quality score is an assessment that Google use to determine the relevancy of your ad, keyword and the landing page to the user that the ad is visible. Each of your keywords includes a quality score that ranges from a scale of 1 to 10 which effects on the ad position of the page. Ad position is the order that your ad is shown up on a page and an ad in the number 1 position is the first ad that appears on a page which will be more visible to customers. The ad position is determined by the ad rank in the auction which is a score based on your cost per click bid and the quality score.

An ad rank is a score that is used to figure out where your ad will be shown on a page. For simplicity, we will exclude the impact of ad extensions which Google recently added to the calculation of Quality Score.

Assume you have a maximum bid of $4 and your quality score is 4 where your ad rank would be 16 ($4 x 4) and if your competitor has a maximum bid of $2 with a quality score of 10, his ad rank would be 20 ($2 x 10) where ultimately his ad would appear on a position above you on the page with a higher ad rank. This way Google determines your actual cost per click by

The ad rank of the competitor below you/ your quality score + $0.01

Therefore it is important that you focus on your quality score to increase the ad position and reduce cost as well. The quality score can be determined on how often a keyword attracted clicks to your ad, how often you received clicks to your display URL, the history of your account, quality of the landing page of the ad, relevancy of the keywords and the searches of the customer, relevancy of the keywords in the ad, geographic targeting and ad’s performance. Hence, it is important to carefully analyze your Adwords management campaign and set a quality ad and achieve a quality score and be entitled to cost effective rates.

Bing Ads show wrong date

I must admit I am not a fan of Bing Ads overall, and especially of its interface.  Google Adwords web interface is really fast as compared to Bing, and Adwords always keeps adding new features.  Also in Adwords you can get things done quickly, while a similar operation will take you several clicks in Bing Ads.  Something that frustrates us is the billing gives different invoices when different payment methods are chosen, a monthly summary for prepay while a ongoing costs for postpaid mode.

Now the following case is really quite bad.  Bing Ads show wrong date for an account when using the “Entire time” date range.  Below shows the settings in the account set to Singapore:

Account time zone in Bing ads

Account time zone in Bing ads


Here you will see the time period when “Entire time” is selected in Bing Ads

Wrong date period Bing Ads

Wrong date period Bing Ads


I certainly hope the Bing Ads team can do better than that?


How to write correct Adwords text ads, its restrictions

google paid ads

google paid ads


Google adwords is a perfect alternative of advertising to attract visitors to your website today. This can be achieved by simply preparing a Adwords text ads and submitting it on Google Adwords. However, it is important to be aware of Adwords management and accepted standards before creating an Adwords text ad. Google Adwords apply restrictions for ads that include unnecessary punctuation, letters, numbers, capitalization, symbols as well as text ads with incorrect grammar or spellings and inappropriate spacing in between words which would seem gimmicky or unstandardized.

There are a number of areas to be concerned in Adwords management with relate to the punctuations and symbols that we would like to use in a text ad. It is important to avoid using exclamation marks on the ad’s headline as well as repeated punctuation marks or symbols contained on the ad while preventing bullet points and ellipses included in it.

Capitalization is a common problem among the community who are interested in creating an Adwords ad. Google allows full capitalization or intercapitalization extra spacing for trademarks, brand names, product names where it appears similarly and consistently throughout the website. Although common abbreviations, acronyms and coupon codes are permitted to be used with full capitalization in an ad, intercapitalization within the words and unaccepted capitalization in words or phrases that include all capitals are forbidden. You may also need to be concerned of the missing or excessive spacing within words which is prohibited in Google Adwords text ad.

It is important that Adwords management is done skillfully so that your text ad will not be disapproved by Google. In general, Google reviews ads within one business day where your text ad would be under “Under review” or “Eligible” state until it is approved. However ads with “Eligible” status are permitted to be run on certain pages before they are approved while ads with “Under review” status will not be able to run on any page until it is approved by Google.

In the event of a dis approved text ad, you may need to learn the reason for it. If the reason for disapproval is mentioned as “Editorial Standards”, it means that your ad has violated the policy of using non-standardized, unnecessary numbers, letters, punctuations, symbols, capitalization or use of incorrect grammar and spellings or either inappropriate spacing between words or punctuation is being used. However in Adwords management you have the option of making the necessary changes and resubmitting your ad for review.

It is important to confirm that the violations are fixed before resubmitting your ad for review as repeated disapproval may result in total suspension of your Adwords account. Therefore, being thoroughly knowledgeable in Adwords management before submitting a text ad for approval will give expected results for you.

Calculator and unit converter on Google Search

If you need quick answers on maths equations or conversions, just type it in Google Search.  Some common conversions you might have already done before would be “10 mph to kph“.  However do you know you can plot graphs on Google Search?  Below is a screen shot:

Plot graphs on google

Plot graphs on google

Now what if you are lazy to calculate the sides of a triangle using pythagoras theorem?  This is how:

Simple maths on Google Search

Simple maths on Google Search

These are all features of the various types of Google search results, categorized under “Calculator and unit converter on Google Search”.

Are you ready for Facebook’s new campaign structure?

Between March 4, 2014 and March 30, 2014, Facebook will be migrating existing campaigns to a new structure.  You’ll see ad sets added to your campaigns and ads in the ads create tool, Ads Manager and Power Editor.

So what are ad sets?  Essentially it is similar to what has been present in Google Adwords all along, i.e. Ad groups.  Generally most clients have no difficulty handling Facebook ads on their own but definitely not Google Adwords.  That is because Google Adwords contain many more powerful ways to manage settings.  Facebook must have realized its platform is too simple to meet the needs of most marketers wanting to optimize ad spending, so this is a definite welcomed step.

FB new campaign structure

FB new campaign structure

The key difference is in the “Ad set”.  Facebook recommends all ads in one set should target one audience, and each campaign one objective.  This will make it easier for Facebook to optimize on the ad serving.

Some important differences to Google Adwords Ad groups is Facebook “Ad sets” can

  • optimize ad rotation at this level
  • have its own budget
  • have its own ad schedule

This is good, given that different audiences (Facebook recommendation at Ad set level) will have different behavior and should be given its own budget and schedule.  Google Adwords though can until recently achieve this via flexible bidding strategy.

A note from Facebook:

“Keep in mind that we’ll be removing the ability to create ads with old ad types in April 2014, so we recommend that you migrate your ads to objectives before that time.”

Google Partners meeting

iconversing google partner's meeting at google singapore

iconversing google partner’s meeting at google singapore

Today we were invited as Google Partners to Google Singapore office for a meet up.

It was a really nice office spanning 3 floors, with nice cafes (free food for Googlers!) and meeting places.

Topics for discussion included how our assigned Agency account Strategist will work with us on campaign analysis and optimization, information provided to agencies to help win deals, Google product updates and what difficulties agencies face.

We certainly look forward to working closely with Google to achieve best results for our clients!


Getty Images releases Embedded Viewer to share millions of images

Getty Images today announced a way for everyone to use, on their blogs or share on social media, a selection of its huge collection of premium images FREE for non-commercial purposes via its embedded viewer.

Above is how an embedded image will look like, essentially an iframe in your post, which I must say are still quality images though my initial searches on the site show many real life pictures.  The Getty Images logo is clearly shown and readers can also easily share the image via twitter/facebook or embed it again by getting the embed code via clicking the </> at the bottom right.

“Images are the communication medium of today and imagery has become the world’s most spoken language,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and CEO of Getty Images. “Whether via a blog, website or social media, everyone is a publisher and increasingly visually literate… Innovation and disruption are the foundation of Getty Images, and we are excited to open up our vast and growing image collection for easy, legal sharing in a new way that benefits our content contributors and partners, and advances our core mission to enable a more visually-rich world.”

This is what the “Terms of use” states:

“Embedded Viewer
Where enabled, you may embed Getty Images Content on a website, blog or social media platform using the embedded viewer (the “Embedded Viewer”). Not all Getty Images Content will be available for embedded use, and availability may change without notice. Getty Images reserves the right in its sole discretion to remove Getty Images Content from the Embedded Viewer. Upon request, you agree to take prompt action to stop using the Embedded Viewer and/or Getty Images Content. You may only use embedded Getty Images Content for editorial purposes (meaning relating to events that are newsworthy or of public interest). Embedded Getty Images Content may not be used: (a) for any commercial purpose (for example, in advertising, promotions or merchandising) or to suggest endorsement or sponsorship; (b) in violation of any stated restriction; (c) in a defamatory, pornographic or otherwise unlawful manner; or (d) outside of the context of the Embedded Viewer.

Getty Images (or third parties acting on its behalf) may collect data related to use of the Embedded Viewer and embedded Getty Images Content, and reserves the right to place advertisements in the Embedded Viewer or otherwise monetise its use without any compensation to you.”

Very clever, in the likes of Youtube Embedded videos.  This will enable Getty Images to:

  • Build even more links for SEO purposes, bloggers and content marketers wont mind if we can easily and most importantly legally use
  • Collect data of what the image is used for.  E.g. if the image is used in a page where the title is “social media”, that will allow its to tag its images on Getty Images too
  • Show Advertisements on Getty images, similar to what Youtube does

Should Getty images also allow Embedded Videos, they will also be able to collect data on the increasing popular use of videos and animated GIFs now made popular by likes of Vine etc.

Great work Getty Images!