Alistair Dent

About Alistair Dent

How Google knows what we’re thinking: enhanced campaigns and session-based search

The way we search for things is changing. We don’t use keywords on their own anymore; we ask questions of Google in a more conversational way.

Google is getting better at understanding the context of what we’re looking for, and developments like Knowledge Graph and enhanced campaigns are a direct result of that contextual understanding. 

As a result, what advertisers do in AdWords is changing too. 

The new paid Google Shopping: pros and cons

We’re six weeks or so into the migration of retailers’ product listings on Google to the new Google Shopping.

Retailers now have to pay for Product Listing Ads (PLAs) to appear in Google’s Shopping section (they appear either on the right hand side of the page, or just below the ads, above the natural results).

As before, these ads are linked to the retailer’s product feed on its website.

Why YouTube advertising is worth another look

YouTube is the most social of Google’s channels. `if you’re targeting niche markets, it can work well to drive targeted traffic to your site, for fairly low cost.

So much has changed on YouTube in recent months that it’s really worth another look for PPC.

It’s also fairly straightforward: the hardest part is creating the video. Even that can be simpler than you think. You don’t always need a professional videographer, or a huge budget.

If you choose the right format and targeting method, simple things like customer testimonials, information and instruction videos can work really well.

Using Google’s AdWords Scripts to set rules on your campaign

By adding a simple JavaScript program, you can link your own data to AdWords, to create rules for your campaigns, or customise reports. 

For example, if you’re a retailer, you can link your inventory data to AdWords, to change bidding on a campaign, or stop/start keywords as items go out of stock. Or you can automatically change keywords or bidding on AdWords, based on data trends. 

You can pretty much do anything you want, in fact. We’ve created a sample script to set up an alert on an AdWords campaign, which we’re happy to share.

The big lie of AdWords average position

I’m going to tell you a story. A story about a metric in AdWords that people trusted.

People grew to love this metric, they told their bosses how it was doing, they made changes to their campaigns based on it, and they judged their performance on whether it went up or down.

But those people didn’t see below the surface. Lurking under the superficially obvious meaning of the metric was a hidden dark truth: the metric wasn’t just pointless, it was lying to them. 

That metric is Average Position, and I’m sure quite a few of you are guilty (if unintentionally) of taking it at face value.