Organic Decline Part 2: Increased Effort for Google SERP Monetization

One of the most influential pieces in the battle of paid versus organic is the increased effort for search engine results page (SERP) monetization by Google and other competing search engines. This monetization is led by enhanced perception of ad nativity, increased ad space on SERP, new paid search placements across Google products, and the decline in viewable organic results.

Digital advertising disclosures have been an issue with Google and numerous other online ad markets for a long time. In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a response to a complaint that numerous web companies offer advertisements “without clear and conspicuous disclosure that the ads are ads,” and that this “concealment may mislead search engine users to believe that search results are based on relevancy alone, not marketing ploys.”

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Organic Decline Part 1: Organic Search Traffic is in Decline

Each quarter, Merkle LLC, the largest privately held performance marketing agency, releases the Digital Marketing Report, which is a review of some of the major trends in digital advertising. Reviewing data from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and other digital advertising mediums, the report helps marketers gauge where the industry has been and potentially where it is going.

The past year or more has been an interesting time for organic search traffic across the web. While overall traffic to websites has continued to increase, the share of traffic from organic search sources continues to decrease.

organic search traffic decline

Source: Q3 2016 Digital Marketing Report. Merkle Inc., 2016.

The Q3 2016 report shares the stark reality of organic search visits being down 5% year-over-year. This represents a fourth straight quarter of organic search visit declines, which began as the first decline in the history of the report back in the Q4 2015 edition. The only device type to show a year-over-year increase in that four-quarter decline was mobile, which will be reviewed in a forthcoming section of this six part organic decline research blog series.

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Targeting in Google AdWords has Never Been More Effective

Jumping into the various types of targeting in Google AdWords can be a daunting task, which is why we put together a list to highlight some examples of the most common types of targeting and why to use each. You can also download the full infographic.



Let’s start with the Google Search Network:

The Google Search Network is a gathering of related sites where your advertisements can show up. When you use on the Google Search Network, your ads can appear along with organic search results when somebody looks with terms identified with one of your types of targeting.


Choose words or phrases relevant to your product or service so your ads appear when customers search for those terms on Google or search-partner sites.

By showing ads to users that searched with keywords relating to your dealership, vehicle brands, and models, you’ll know the placement of the text ad is aligned with the goal of the searcher.

Language and Location

Choose the language and geographic locations—such as a country, region or city— where your customers are located.

Customizing ad text and landing pages for the device and language can lead to higher conversion rates.

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Google AdWords Customer Match Targeting

Email List Targeting for Google AdWords

Searching for a product or service on Google is about to get a bit more creepy – err, relevant. With an announcement earlier this year, Google is now letting advertisers upload lists of customer email addresses to use as a targeting method for Google AdWords. The lists can be used as a target or a target and bid option across the search network, YouTube, and Gmail ads; and eventually GDN audiences with similar characteristics.


The customer match capability comes to the cheers of digital marketers but is not at all groundbreaking. Facebook’s ‘Custom Audiences’ alongside Twitter’s ‘Tailored Audiences’ have beat Google to the punch. Nonetheless, the addition of Google now creates a proverbial three-headed marketing spear to find and advertise to the most relevant consumers.

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To Infinity & Beyond! Google Introduces New Price and Message Ad Extensions

Google wants people to click your ad, they really do. That’s why they’re constantly making changes and additions to ads, because they’re doing their best to get searchers to engage. The latest updates include the addition of two new Ad Extensions: Price Extensions and Message Extensions. Let’s get acclimated with the new members of the growing Ad Extension family and see how they can help you (and Google) get people to click your ads.


Price Extensions – For Free!

There’s no point beating around the bush – people want to know what something costs, and you’d do better to give them that information up front than to send them on a wild-goose chase. You know that, and Google knows that, and now they’re here to help with Price Extensions. Like other extensions, Price Extensions are additional nuggets of information that accompany your ad, showcasing your products and services, along with associated prices. And like most extensions, there’s no added cost – you simply pay the same as the CPC for your ad.


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Better Together: How To Best Pair Google AdWords and Analytics

While both Google Analytics and AdWords give you a plethora of reporting capabilities and insights that you can use to optimize your campaigns and website, it’s even better when you pair the already stellar tools. Link up your accounts and optimize them for more insight on your bidding strategy, campaign performance, and more. Here are some quick tips to get you started; for more information, check out Google’s handy guides on sharing metrics and analyzing your performance.


Linking Analytics and AdWords

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AdWords Update: Bid Strategy Changes

AdWords Update: Bid Strategy Changes

If you’ve created any new campaigns in AdWords recently, you may have noticed some changes to your Bid Strategy options. Google recently rolled out a revamp to their workflow, making it easier to setup automated bidding, something you may have heard about recently. On top of that, the new workflow should allow advertisers to quickly identify their goals and set up their bidding in accordance.


Updates, Changes, and New Features

Above is a picture of the old setup, which could sometimes be confusing for advertisers, with a few pictures of the new setup below. You’ll see that you are now presented with options, with focuses ranging from page location to clicks and more. With each selected option, the additional details change to reflect the selection.

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What’s New With AdWords – Fall 2015

If you’re anything like us, the recent time change has left you in a funk. With shorter days and long, long nights, the seasonal disorientation makes it hard to keep track of much of anything, let alone the constant AdWords updates and new features. Luckily for you, we’ve been keeping tracking of everything new to AdWords and we’ve got your fall round-up for you right here. Check it all out below and follow the links to learn more about how you can use these features to boost your performance and streamline your results.


Analyze Your Customer More with Report Editor

The still relatively new report editor lets you slice and dice your data in awesome ways. Generate custom charts with a simple drag and drop interface, creating eye-catching reports with ease. Multi-segment analysis and advanced filtering and sorting allow you to focus on the data that matters most to you. Gone are the days of exploring your data in an old-school Excel file; the Report Editor has everything you need to propel your business forward and do it in style.

Update Your Ads in Real-Time with Ad Customizers

Imagine if you could update your ad based on a potential customer’s search query, device, location, or even the date, time of day, or day of the week! Now you can with real-time Ad Customizers. With customized ads, your tailored messaging and time-sensitive calls to action will boost your ad’s performance. With customizers, a single ad can have hundreds of variations, showing only the most relevant info to each potential customer.

Get Your App Out There

Got a new app on the Android marketplace? Universal App campaigns allow you to get your app in front of your customers’ eyes, all you have to do is write a few lines of text and set a bid and ads are ready to go. With just one click of these install-optimized ads, search engine users will be able to install your app on their phone. You can also promote your app right from Google Play. It’s never been simpler to launch an app.

Show Ads to Your Customers with Customer Match Lists

You’ve probably got a huge list of customer emails sitting in your database somewhere. Are you doing anything with that info other that barraging their email accounts with endless emails? Probably not. Luckily, AdWords Customer Match lists will breathe new life into your endless list of emails. Upload your list, create a Search Network only campaign targeting said list, and you’re ready to show ads to your customers when they’ve signed into Google Search, Youtube, or Gmail. 

Fighting For That Elusive Top Spot?

What good is an ad if no one sees it? Unfortunately, not that good. In the past, though, it could be hard to determine what you should be bidding. Bid too high and you could blow through your budget without even knowing it. Bid too low and your ad could fall short, or not even show at all. To make things easier, AdWords will now give you estimates for first page, top of page, and first position bids. On top of that, you can easily raise your bids to these positions with one simple click. Move into the right position and sit back to watch the clicks roll in.

Get Your Ad on Top Content with Enhanced Bid Adjustments

You know those viral videos that get millions of views? Wouldn’t it be nice to get your ad showing before those? Well, now you can. Though bid adjustments are nothing new, you can now adjust your bids for top content. With these new, advanced bid adjustments, you can raise your bid for popular content on YouTube and the Google Display Network. Stay ahead of the times and you could get your ad in front of the eyes of millions.

Gain Some Insight with the Mobile Bid Adjustment Simulator

Ever wonder exactly how much impact your mobile bid adjustment will have on your weekly Search Network traffic? Wonder no more. With the Mobile Bid Adjustment Simulator, you can compare the potential impact of various mobile bid adjustments and easily adjust your budget for mobile traffic to boot.

With the winter month’s coming, you’ll have plenty of time to bundle up and huddle down on your AdWords campaigns and with these new/upgraded features, you definitely have enough to keep your hands full. If you need help with any of your Paid Search efforts, don’t forget that we’re PPC gurus here at OppMax, and we’re always willing to help.



5 Big Things Happening In Paid Search In 2015

Paid search continues to grow every year, especially when it comes to mobile. Opportunity Max is here to keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings and what you can expect to improve in the digital world. Take a look at some top improvements in paid search so far this year:


  1. Automated Rules for Managing Your Bing Ads Account

With Bing coming more involved in the PPC game, it has decided to up its game. Bing released the Automated Rules feature that allows you the capability to schedule and automate your campaigns effectively and competitively without having to spend countless hours manually doing it yourself.

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Google AdWords New Report Editor

In case you haven’t heard the big news, Google AdWords new Report Editor is just months away from rolling out. To say the least, digital marketing professionals and PPC experts are extremely excited for the release. The new tool will allow for deep exploration of account data, with never-before-seen functionality, right in your browser. It’s going to be huge, guys.

See Data in Brand New Light with AdWords Report Editor

Aside from the extremely intuitive and simple interface, the new Report Editor allows for the creation of custom graphs, tables, and charts that can be easily segmented, sorted, and filtered. This new addition is paramount for determining key campaign insights and taking data from addressed to actionable.

The best part about the new graphing feature? It’s completely customizable. Maybe the pie chart you just created doesn’t knock your socks off in the way you hoped it would – no problem. All it takes is a simple click to switch to a different chart, table, or graph. For the ultimate convenience, you’ll even be able to setup regular reporting and share your charts, graphs, and tables with others. Click here for a step-by-step guide to creating custom charts, graphs, and pivot tables within your account.

In addition to the advanced charting and graphing features, the new Report Editor offers other monumental data analysis capabilities as well:

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