Compare Dates Comes to Google AdWords

As an online marketer it is essential to be able to easily compare your data between two date ranges. Knowing if your campaign experiment or test has improved results or not and having a clear understanding of account performance between two date ranges is often critical when making educated decisions with regards to campaign optimisation.

Google Analytics always had date range comparison options

Unlike Analytics, Google AdWords has previously only ever allowed advertisers to select a set group of possible dates (this month, last month, last 7 days etc) with only one customisable option. Today, we noticed that Google has finally added a “Compare Dates” feature to the date range options in AdWords. Now allowing advertisers to choose/compare two custom date ranges and data is also displayed in your AdWords performance graphs. Now you can see at a glance the stats between two date ranges, instead of switching back and forth or exporting and arranging the data. Custom date ranges seem to remain saved when switching between accounts in your MCC.

Now available in Google AdWords
Performance Graph illustrates data between date ranges

Well done Google AdWords, we take our hats off to you on this one. Been waiting ages for it.

Welcoming Google Tag Manager

This is really just an extension from a previous article published on these pages, Container Tags Can Save You Time and Resources, but now has an official home among Google’s products. Google has officially launched Tag Manager, a one-stop-shop for managing all your marketing tracking scripts/codes. This is a massive step forward for marketers that will dramatically simplify and speed up the process of inserting tracking code on a website, because traditionally you would be required to generate a unique tracking script and deploy for each property you wanted to track/measure. Now, using Google Tag Manager, you can generate one script, have it implemented once and then customise it as you go, all from one interface on the agency side. This works for all AdWords conversion scripts, Analytics and remarketing scripts. Watch the video for an introduction of how you would set up a container and add tracking scripts.

“Google Tag Manager took one big chunk of time out of the tagging process. What took 2 weeks now takes less than a day—sometimes just hours. We, the campaign managers, now make the call on which tags to use, and we can implement the tags ourselves.”

“Google Tag Manager just makes business sense. Why would we want to manually add hundreds of tags for our pages?” 

source

Container Tags Can Save Time and Resources

It is a well-known issue for digital advertising agencies and expert PPC and analytics agencies in particular – tracking and tagging the right events and conversions on a client’s site by implementing the right scripts to accurately measure the success of marketing initiatives, page traffic and site usage. The problem I am referring to that can arise is not the actual tracking software, but the correct setup on the client side.

If you provide paid search marketing, you will often require your client to implement the AdWords conversion code somewhere on their site to track how many leads or sales have been generated by your campaigns. So far so good – you will contact your client, who will forward the request to their IT, who will implement the script for you and ideally it will work as intented. If the script has not been correctly placed, you will have to repeat this procedure. The larger a client, the longer it can take to forward your request through all the necessary instances. Now you also want to remarket certain sections of the site by placing individual scripts on pages of these sections and showing users who have looked at washing mashines different ads than users who have demonstrated interest in high-end gaming PCs. You will have to explain your exact requirements to the client again, who will have to execute the implementation of the needed scripts for you. This costs both you and the client time, resources, and therefore money. If you are offering web analytics advice and implementation, the list goes on .. events want to be tracked, user behaviour measured, e-commerce scripts enabled and tracking scripts amended. Every time a change is needed a new communication process will have to be initiated.

Container tags can take care of this issue for you. A number of different vendors with varying service and pricing models have come up over the last year. These so-called tag management solutions provide you with a JavaScript tag similar to any other tag you would use for Google AdWords or Analytics. However, this tag can contain numerous other tags which you can specify and edit at any given time using a web interface. So you would simply ask your client to implement one single tag across their whole site, and you can take care of the rest. You can include AdWords, Analytics and any other scripts you need in this tag – it empowers you to immediately make changes when needed and to always stay on top of tracking traffic and conversions in the correct way. I think that all of these systems provide you with the possibility to only place certain tags on certain pages you define, and many allow you to pull data from the HTML of a page (or, better, data layers – see reference below for more on this topic) and amend your tracking accordingly (great for instance if you are using Google Analytics e-commerce tracking).

There are of course also downsides to using container tags for your tracking. If you would like to read up on these and find out more about tag management, I highly recommend Google’s Justin Cutroni’s concise and highly informative article on the state and possible implementations of tag management here: http://cutroni.com/blog/2012/05/14/make-analytics-better-with-tag-management-and-a-data-layer/

Does Google's +1 Button Affect Advertisers?

Google is finally making a social move in the right direction. Past experiments (Wave and Buzz) left a sour taste in many people’s mouths as the value was questionable. It is no secret that users are more influenced by other humans rather than an algorithm, so adding social signals to search results makes complete sense. The plus one button will be added to organic and paid search results. The +1 buttons will not change the way Google calculate quality score, however users may be more inclinded to click on ads due to personalised annotations that increase user interaction with the ad (similar to ad extensions), therefore increasing click through rates, which will directly influence quality scores.

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Ad with+1 button
Does Google's +1 Button Affect Advertisers_2
Ad that has been +1'ed

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Google mentions that it plans to make the +1 button available for publishers too. This means people can reccommend your web pages for Google search results without leaving your website. Sign up to add the +1 button to your website.

The new and socially attractive +1 buttons will be rolling out on Google.com and only in English to start with. The +1 buttons will not be visible on Internet Explorer 7 or earlier versions of IE. The button will also not be visible to people that are not signed into a Google account, although there is talk that Google will consider allowing access via a Twitter log-in. Google say there is no need to make any changes to campaign strategy for the +1 button and that advertisers should, “Think of +1 buttons as an enhancement that can help already successful search campaigns perform even better.”

We look forward to seeing the +1 buttons in South Africa. Learn More.

Image source.

Joke: Apparently you will not be able to +1 chucknorris.com, because he can’t get any more awesome!