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!

Google Tag Manager – Track clicks & Engagement on your web pages

Google Analytics is excellent for tracking activity between pages. What happens if you want to track activity ON your pages? Here are some cases:

1. track clicks to external sites
2. track downloads of your ebook
3. track clicks of buttons used for a form submit
4. track engagement on a single page micro site

Case (4) is a particular case because Google Analytics only track activity across pages. So if your ads land on a single page micro site, in Google Analytics, you will see zero duration on pages and you will not be able to guage how engaged your visitors are on the page.

Google Tag manager allows you to do all the above, even install Google Analytics by just a single installation of Google Tag manager codes. This is so useful because by just asking the website development team to install once, we can manage all the tags ourselves. This becomes especially important when the development team is either external vendor (hence needs to pay) or isnt exactly responsive (delay marketing timelines).

Heres what you need to do to set up Google Tag manager:

1)  Sign up for Google Tag manager account

Go to to sign up for an account. similar to Google Analytics, you will need to put the codes on the website before you can use Google Tag manager.

Typically for an agency, you will be managing multiple websites. You can create several website accounts in one Google Tag manager account. It is recommended to use the website as the container (contain tags) name.

setup google tag manager account

setup google tag manager account


2) Ask Google Tag manager to listen to clicks

Create a tag of type “Event listener” to ask Google Tag manager to listen for clicks, of the following:
- Link clicks (to external sites)
- Forms submits
- All clicks

Event listeners in Google tag manager

Event listeners in Google tag manager

For the above, a Google Tag manager event ( will be generated when a click occurs:
Link clicks: gtm.linkClick
Form submits: gtm.formSubmit
All click:

3) Create a rule to fire the above tag

Now we want to filter all irrelevant clicks and only fire the existing tag when conditions are met. If there is only 1 submit button for form on the page, we can simply listen for gtm.formSubmit (described above) by specifying “Form submit listener” in the step above.

However if it is a javascript function, Google tag manager cannot identify that is a form and gtm.formSubmit is not generated.  In this case, we have to listen to the clicks only from the submit button id e.g. contactSubmit

Google Tag Manager, Specify a rule element id to fire on

Google Tag Manager, Specify a rule element id to fire on

This will mean the tag in step 2 will fire only when there is a click on the submit button.  Do remember to specify the click event too.


4) Create a Google Analytics event

Now we want Google Tag manager to fire a standard Google Analytics event when it finds a click that satisfies the rules above.

Here you will need to find your Google Analytics Property ID to let Google Tag manager know where to fire this event to.

Google tag manager fire Google Analytics event

Google tag manager fire Google Analytics event

The above shows how to create a tag and specifying the kind of event parameters we see in Google Analytics. This helps us to segregate the different types of events when analyzing in Google Analytics Events tabs.

For case 4 “track engagement on a single page micro site” above, we need Google Tag manager to create Google Analytics events so that Google Analytics will track time on page (remember Google Analytics only tracks time BETWEEN one page to another).  More of this in another article.


5) Create a version and publish!

Whew! Now that was tough, these are the easy bits. Simply create a version for the above and publish it!

Google tag manager create version and publish

Google tag manager create version and publish


Now you can happily track the metrices you need, be it clicks to external sites or engagement, without having to contact your IT team, hurray!

Please share your experience on using Google Tag manager, I will be glad to learn from what other uses you have of this wonderful tool!

How to do Google Adwords remarketing well, Part 2

This is part 2 on how to target audiences with Google Adwords remarketing.  Read about part 1 here, which focuses on the executional part of remarketing.  Part 2 goes deeper into segmenting audiences and delivering more relevant ads.

To recap, remarketing enables marketers to deliver more relevant ads to visitors who have visited their website before e.g. a customer who dropped out of a purchase funnel can be shown ads which offer a discount code as they browse through the web.

Google Adwords remarketing is undoubtably a powerful technique that allows marketers to reach out to customers with custom messages.  Here are some further points:

  1. Abandoned checkout
    • Target customers who abandoned checkout by enticing them with an ad showing a discount.
  2. Up or cross sell
    • For customers who just bought a children’s book, show ads of related products or authors
  3. Seasonal sales
    • Customers who bought flowers last year during Valentines day could be shown relevant ads again this year.  This requires “Membership duration” i.e. cookies to be valid and not cleared for at least a year
  4. Targeting customers on Facebook
    • Google announced in Oct last year that Facebook Exchange (FBX) will be available via DoubleClick in a few months time.  FBX though is currently still not available through Google Adwords.
    • Facebook announced in Oct 2013 that marketers will be able to remarket to customers using email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs or app user IDs.  The easiest way to use this will be uploading the emails from emailing list via e.g. MailChimp.  This though does not have the ability to target various segments unless the existing email list is already broken down in segments e.g. customers who bought shoes/books etc.
    • Marketers could however work the other way round and instead target Facebook’s massive user base using interest based targeting e.g. people interested in backpacking, and subsequently use Google Adwords remarketing to show relevant ads



We have explored the various ways Google Adwords remarketing can be used to show relevant ads to customers who came through various channels like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Twitter etc and shown various interest level or interest in various products.

One last point to mention is, do use frequency capping to limit the number of times a visitor is shown retargeted ads.  We certainly do not want customers to feel fatigue to our ads or even upset feeling they are being “chased” around the web.  To do this in Google Adwords remarketing, go to the Advanced settings in campaigns settings and limit the number of times users are shown.  As to what to limit to, do test and reference your “reach and frequency” dimension report to see when the click through rates drop off and set a limit accordingly.

frequency capping on Google Adwords

frequency capping on Google Adwords

reach and frequency dimension report in Google Adwords

reach and frequency dimension report in Google Adwords

Google Partner in Singapore

iConversing is now also a certified Google Partner in Singapore.

Google launched the new Google Partners program on Oct 2nd and will replace the Google certification program on 13th Nov 2013.

This was the old certification logo:

Google Certified partner logo

And this is the new Google Partner program logo:

Google Partners logo


These are what Google posted as requirements for joining this program:

“Google Partner requirements

Achieving Partner status is not supposed to be easy. It takes advanced AdWords knowledge (Certifications), a track record of high-quality results (Best practices), and a healthy amount of activity (Spend) across your managed accounts”

and we are glad to be able to meet their requirements.  Our customers can rest assured their accounts are in good hands.  Cheers!

Adwords Enhanced campaigns, 22nd July 2013 deadline

As 22nd July 2013 deadline approaches for upgrading legacy Google Adwords campaigns to “Enhanced”, here are some quick checks on the most important aspects that should be acted upon.

The main driving force behind Enhanced campaigns is the rapidly rising importance of mobile advertising as consumers do more and more activities on their mobiles. With Google’s purchase of Admob back in 2010, Adwords has continued to maintain its relevance in advertising, unlike Facebook which was a little off footed by the rapid rise in mobile usage.

Back to the topic, the two main aspects of “Enhanced” campaigns are
- Bid adjustments
- Mobile optimized ads

Bid adjustments

Adwords’s enhanced campaigns enable bid adjustments on 3 levels
- Devices (campaign and ad group level)
- Locations (campaign level only)
- Time of day (campaign level only, based on time zone when creating account)

The most important part when upgrading is adjusting the mobile devices bid.  Desktop and tablets now cannot be seperately bidded on, possibly Google saw it from its vast data points that behavior in these two devices are converging.

adwords enhanced campaigns, mobile device bid adjustments

Bids adjustments are multiplied together i.e.
- Location (+20%)
- Mobile (-50%)
- Resultant is 1.2 * 0.5 = 0.6

Do note that for the same kind of bid adjustment, e.g. location bids on France (campaign) and Paris (ad group) level, the ad group level is used.

Mobile optimized ads

Now it is much easier to cater ads to be optimized for the mobile.  Previously, we will have to create a seperate campaign to target mobile.

Adwords Enhanced campaigns allow specifying which ads are preferred to show on mobile for e.g. mobile specific discounts or optimized display URL.

In addition, the following ad extensions can also be mobile optimized, including ability to schedule when they are shown (ad scheduling)
- Sitelink extensions: Choose sitelink that are context specific
- Call extensions:  Only show call extensions when store is open
- App extensions: Only show click to download when user is on mobile

adwords enhanced campaigns, sitelink extensions

adwords enhanced campaigns, call extensions

To top all these, reporting is now available for individual extension as opposed to legacy campaigns when only performance statistics of thethe entire type is available.

Google partners Yahoo! to display ads

Yahoo has signed a global, non-exclusive agreement with Google to display ads on various Yahoo! properties and certain co-branded sites using Google’s AdSense for Content and Google’s AdMob services.

This means text/image ads set up on Google Adwords now can be displayed on various Yahoo! properties too!

Yahoo gets additional revenue for unused ad slots. This can possibly lead to higher ad revenue compared with its current ads because of Google’s powerful contextual targeting capabilities which bring more relevant ads that people might click on.

For Google, its Display network gets even larger given the size of Yahoo!’s online properties.

For Search Engine marketing firms like us, we will of course be happy to inform our Adwords customers that their ads can now appear on Yahoo! properties too!