Five useful AdWords features to use during the peak booking season

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With the peak holiday booking season almost upon us, advertisers need to be aware of the AdWords features that can help a campaign succeed.

NB: This is a viewpoint by Amo Sokhi, account director at Polaris.

Here are five features of AdWords that need attention:

1. Audience retargeting

Making a holiday purchase is an action seldom completed in one visit. Buyers will visit a destination site and check packages and prices available, log off and have a think.

When the buyer next goes online and again starts their journey at a search engine, it’s very useful for an advertiser to be able to retarget previous site visitors to drive them back through to completion.

This can be done through the audience’s tab within the AdWords interface, where by you can select to retarget people that have visited the website and increase your bid by a percentage suitable to your campaign.

2. Structured snippets

Structured snippets are a useful addition to any AdWords campaign as this feature can really help an advertiser provide more information regarding their product or services.

Take an example from outside travel.  A plumber may wish to show the brands of boilers that he/she is authorised to install.

Using structured snippets, the plumber could list a number of brands so that potential customers can read the list and recognise the brand of the boiler they currently have or wish to have.

This is another powerful way of increasing the amount of space an advertiser’s ad takes within the results whilst also offering another piece of information that could engage potential customers.

3. Offline conversion tracking

Particularly useful for advertisers whose sales process continues once the website user has finished their journey through the website.

An example would be a travel agent’s website. A potential customer might fill out an enquiry form on the advertiser website for a particular holiday or destination. As filling in the form is the desired onsite action, the actual sales process then moves offline with the process now part of the internal CRM system.

This is where offline conversion tracking comes in from AdWords.

By passing a unique identifier on paid URLs, an advertiser’s CRM system can log all enquiries generated through PPC.Once the enquiries have been handled and updated as closed or won, the records can be extracted from the CRM system, uploaded into the AdWords account, thereby reconciling performance data against campaigns and ad groups.

The result of this is showing the actual sale performance of an advertisers’ campaigns based on actual revenues.  Offline conversion tracking can often be challenging to integrate; it may be worth considering the help of an SEO agency.

4. Ad scheduling

Learning the behaviour of your customers is critical to any marketing campaign, not just search marketing.

With regards to PPC advertising, understanding the peak times that your audience will be searching for your products and services will allow you to more effectively manage your budget on a per hour, day, and monthly basis.

Holiday goers tend to search during lunch breaks at work and evenings and weekends when at leisure. Look at the data you have available for your target audiences’ habits and attribute your budgets accordingly for maximum market penetration.

5. Call tracking

It’s quite typical that users will use a form of communication or “Call To Action” that suits their needs, be it an online purchase, email form fill (see above) or telephone call. Online actions such as purchases and form fills can be tracked through CMS systems and analytics. But for a full rounded picture all events must be tracked and reported on to show a true depiction of return on investment for spend.

Google AdWords now offer an integrated call tracking solution which allows advertisers to track the number of calls being generated and attribute them to ad campaigns accordingly. This is a great feature for advertisers that want to report on calls but do not wish to integrate a third-party call tracking system.

NB: This is a viewpoint by Amo Sokhi, account director at Polaris.

NB2: Image by IRStone/Big Stock.

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