The World of Pay Per Click in 2013

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Aside from Enhanced Campaigns, what do you believe was the biggest PPC story of 2013? Why?

  • Google Shopping changes”¦ because PLAs are taking over e-com SERPs and you need to know how to advertise successfully with them. – Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
  • I believe the continued shift to audience based PPC vs. keyword targeting. PPC is evolving and we need to adjust. – Matt Umbro
  • Social PPC coming of age. (beyond FB). Twitter and LikedIn are now viable and Google+ is beta testing posts. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • PLAs and Google Shopping. – Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
  • Growth of mobile. We knew it was coming, but it’s still huge, impactful, and more growth coming. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • Mobile and its ever growing piece of the pie. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Text ads are nowhere near as impactful as they used to be…much more about PLAs & display. – Matt Umbro
  • It was a massive year! Social ads took a huge step forward and eat up budget. PLAs launched previously, but grew a ton! – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • PLAs are huge, but I’d put that more of a 2012 change. – Jeremy Brown
    • Keep in mind, PLAs made the shift in October of 2012, but they really only took charge this year. – Nate Knox
  • Let’s not forget all of the extension madness either! – Julie Bacchini
  • Ad extensions had a huge year, along with corresponding tracking. Phone conversions were an awesome change, despite being EC. – Nate Knox
  • Google turned nasty. Enhanced campaigns was step 1 of a company forcing unwanted inventory on advertisers. More to come. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • The increasing importance of PPC specific landing pages & conversion testing. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • Google’s shift in focus on giving more complete conversion tracking. Started in 2013, and will have a big impact in 2014, IMO. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • lots of changes to local ppc today, specifically the way you target. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)

Q2: How did you fare with your 2013 PPC predictions?

  • If you said the word Mobile at all in predictions, you were right. High fives all around. – Nate Knox
  • “Better results for clients than I earned for them last year. As well as fame and fortune.” Still working on the 2nd part. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Good except AdWords effed with my “Mobile Only Clients” perdiction. – James Svoboda
  • We defintely saw improvements/enhancements 🙂 with PLAs and ad group level sitelinks! – Matt Umbro
    • Still determining how much of an improvement those ad group level sitelinks are though.- Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)
      • Juice has to be worth the squeeze. Likely only worth it for high-volume ad groups. – Jeremy Brown
      • IMO, a nice to have, but ultimately not a game changer. – Matt Umbro
  • It’s interesting how mobile got lumped in w desktop in EC now, because at some point mobile will be primary w desktop lumped in. – Julie Bacchini

Q3: What do believe was the most overrated PPC change/update of 2013? Why?

  • Ad group level sitelinks. Neat, but haven’t used them once. – Michelle Morgan
    • Check that, I think I tried them once but not not impressed enough to mess with again. – Kirk Williams
  • Descriptions in sitelinks, ended up only showing for select brand searches. Remember Google blog making a big deal. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Not really a change, but the “In Market” targeting reps keep pushing are very overrated. – Sean Burrows (@BurrowsPPC)
  • “Enhanced” campaigns. Some solid benefits, but grouped with some steps backward. Overrated by Google. – Jeremy Brown
  • The new interface. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • Most overrated update was sitelinks descriptions…they only show for branded queries! – Matt Umbro
  • The “Benefits” of Enhanced Campaigns. – James Svoboda
  • Bid modifiers. Touted as greater control – reality? Headache inducing & hard to get right. Needs extra mgmt. – Julie Bacchini
    • Agreed, have used extensively but so complex it’s difficult to actually measure how well they’ve helped. – Timothy Jensen
  • Gotta go with mobile bid adjustments. – Tyler Purcell
  • No one has mentioned yet, but how about the new and improved “Keyword Planner” – Matt Umbro
    • Couldn’t agree more – KW planner and also Opportunities Tab now SUCK. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
    • Boo to the new Keyword Planner. Does anyone like that? – Jeremy Brown
      • I’m actually more of a fan than ever before of the Opportunities Tab…not great, but better. – Matt Umbro
        • Interesting. I find it to be a big time-waster now, where it used to be helpful. – Melissa Mackey
          • Not as much recently…I think it’s providing better (still not great) recommendations. – Matt Umbro
    • I do find Bing’s actually more useful for kw suggestions, still w careful review. – Timothy Jensen
      • Bing’s Opportunities tab doesn’t dedupe across ad groups/campaigns. Also a time suck. – Melissa Mackey
      • Bing has come a long way, but the interface and Desktop editor still are lagging in usability. – Matt Umbro
  • The ability to make all of the monies with a pizza client using Enhanced Campaigns. I still don’t have a pizza client! – Nate Knox
  • Improved Display Builder. Not really that great IMO. Why would I want my ads to look like everyone elses? – Andrew Bethel
    • Agreed, always use custom designs whenever possible. – Timothy Jensen
  • A championed “60% increase in mobile queries.” Well, a 60% increase from nothing is still nothing. – Nathan Kilen (@nathankilen)
  • Google Shopping campaign “upgrade”. Basically an updated PLA campaign view with reduced optimization capabilities. – Kirk Williams
    • Yes, hope they fix these new Shopping campaigns before they roll out of beta. Again, taking away control. – Jeremy Brown
      • I was told by rep that Shopping Campaigns are supposed to be used WITH PLA campaigns”¦ but I think the dupe is unnecessary. – Kirk Williams
        • I think they mean test with both. Unlikely they will have both long-term. So we need to push to upgrade new one. – Jeremy Brown
          • Well, I specifically asked this and the rep said both were here to stay. You can see why I was skeptical as well. – Kirk Williams
            • I take everything a Google rep says with a huge grain of salt. I’ve heard any number of incorrect things before. – Jeremy Brown

Q4: What do you believe was the most underrated PPC change/update of 2013? Why?

  • Hero Conf moving to Austin. The warm weather was awesome when coming from snowy MN! – James Svoboda
  • Maybe not the most underrated, but I love the comparison charts/function in Adwords. Super helpful. – Melissa Mackey
  • Location bid modifiers. Very helpful for different states and different countries where performance varies. – Jeremy Brown
  • I am still trying to figure out if the Organic + Paid Report is worth a damn. It is an intriguing notion though. – Julie Bacchini
    • It’s sometimes useful for certain queries. Used it for a ‘coupon’ terms analysis for 1 client. – Jeremy Brown
  • Dynamic Remarketing in AdWords…I’ve seen incredible results from this feature, yet it isn’t toted/discussed a lot. – Matt Umbro
    • Are you able to get that set up most of the time? Seems to be large number of hoops. – Jeremy Brown
      • I am…I stress to client the importance and make sure they understand what it will mean for revenue and conversions. – Matt Umbro
  • Labels. – Mark Kennedy
  • Enhanced campaigns. Not because they’re good, but because they tell us what the relationship between G and advertisers now is. – Steve Gibson
  • Not sure I’d call it underrated, but Dynamic Retargeting is a crazy-good idea. – Nate Knox
  • Remarketing opening up on Facebook through other providers. – James Svoboda
  • Improved filters and ability to add queries as negatives. Small changes but nice to have. – Tyler Purcell
  • As an aside, I know many people loathe Dynamic Search Ads, but I see great results from them. My rule – if at least 75% of products/categories are covered in text ad campaigns the account is right for DSAs. – Matt Umbro
    • More so for niche products? – Mark Kennedy
      • No, all sorts of products. Though clients who sell more niche products you have to be a lot more liberal with negatives. – Matt Umbro
    • So the clients are setting up Dynamic Remarketing? You aren’t creating rules in Google Tag Manager, etc.? – Jeremy Brown
      • Not creating rules, I send clients instructions directly from Google. – Matt Umbro
        • Similar to what we do. Some clients can’t implement. – Jeremy Brown
          • When that’s the case I try and get development help (if applicable). – Matt Umbro
  • AG level sitelinks. Fits strategy where campaign level never could. – Nathan Kilen
  • Somewhat unrelated, offering the examines for free has opened things up a lot. Yay or nay, it was a smart move. – Nate Knox
  • There is definitely more demarcation between product ads and non-products ads now – both in features available & actual ads. – Julie Bacchini

Q5: What was the most important tip/tactic you learned in PPCChat in 2013?

  • Have client implement Google Tag manager then you can makechanges without getting dev involved. – Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
  • Might have to be Google Tab Manager for me as well. Got so much–it’s hard to pick one! – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • That there is SO much more I could be doing with Excel for PPC management. Hoping to improve my skills in 2014! – Julie Bacchini
  • Gave more clarity about enhanced campaigns when they first launched. Big help during that time. – Mark Kennedy
  • I’d say the little things like ad delivery and other settings that I’ve incorporated into my process. – Matt Umbro
  • What I love about #ppcchat is that there is always someone who knows the answer to my question and I get an answer in 5 minutes or less. My team now comes to me and says “Ask #ppcchat if they know how to do X.” – Melissa Mackey
  • Not a specific tactic or tip, but love being able to put a question out there & benefit from everyone’s experience & expertise. – Julie Bacchini
  • I learned a TON about RLSA campaigns from PPCChat. – Matt Umbro
  • And just the reassurance that I am not alone in being bewildered sometimes. The chance to learn from you guys is invaluable. – Theresa Zook
  • Continuing to get stronger at fundamentals. Learned a lot about better ad serving, better use of match types, negatives, etc. – Kirk Williams
  • Input from various sources that ID targets for PLAs aren’t always effective. We saw that too, but good to confirm. – Jeremy Brown
  • Lots of things, it helps to talk about it to get a better picture! Plus all the tactics of PPC’ers. – Christina Hall
  • I’ve had Google respond faster to my #ppcchat complaints than through my dedicated rep. Sometimes complaining does work! – Andrew Bethel

Q6: What updates and/or improvements can be made to make PPCChat better in 2014?

  • I’d say make it a 3-hr session (I have that much I need to learn) but I think my brain would explode. – Theresa Zook
  • The only thing I can think of is that 10 AM is rough for me and my team for. – Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
    • For the record this time is perfect for me. Eating lunch with friends every Tuesday! – Melissa Mackey
  • Using it as a way to organize resistance to bad Google changes (disappearing Display category data, anyone?). – Jeremy Brown
  • I’m new to this but what about an impromptu PPCChat if something comes up throughout the week and needs more discussion? – John Holland
    • We do that already! Chime in any time. – Melissa Mackey

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCChat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kirk Williams (@KECreate)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Nathan Kilen (@nathankilen)
• Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
• Rory Witt (@Rory_Witt)
• Sean Burrows (@BurrowsPPC)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyler Purcell (@tylerpurcell)

The World of Streamcaps in 2013 Provided By

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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