Real-time in retail: Why acting quickly matters in search

Monday, July 21, 2014 |

When consumers act, they act fast. Retailers can get a leg up in the marketplace by responding to consumers’ needs as they surface. While some events, such as holidays and championship games, can be anticipated, others, such as weather-related issues, cannot. Using real-time technologies in search, brands can dynamically adjust their reach, competitiveness and relevancy with their target audiences at the most critical times.

In a new Think Insights article, Casandra Jones, Account Director at iProspect, tells us the benefits of adopting SEM tools that act in real time to achieve search success as these important events and conversations occur.

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Check out Casandra’s article on the Think Insights page here, and let us know what you think on Twitter or our Google+ page.

DS features in June

Monday, July 14, 2014 |

In June, we added the following features to DoubleClick Search (DS):
  • Public launch of Yahoo! JAPAN accounts in DS
    We’re excited to announce the full launch of support for Yahoo! JAPAN campaigns in DS. You can create, manage, report on, and optimize Yahoo! JAPAN search campaigns in DS. To get started, you’ll first need to create a DS engine account for a Yahoo! JAPAN Listing Ads account. Once that’s set up, you can create and manage your campaigns under the account.
  • Report on AdWords estimated conversions
    Estimated conversions is an AdWords feature that provides a holistic view of all conversions driven by your Google search advertising. This includes conversions starting on one device or browser and completing on another, or that start online and finish with a phone call. (The feature requires you to enable AdWords conversion tracking in your AdWords account.) You can now include the number of estimated total conversions and cross-device conversions in your DS reports. Learn more.
  • Executive Reporting: new web-view mode
    You can now view executive reports online via a web-view mode without needing to download them. Learn more.

We also made the following feature updates:
  • New options for segmenting reports
    DS now supports several new report segmentation options, such as segmenting reports on labels and applying date segments to the reports that you view in DS and that you download. In addition, in most reports you can now specify multiple segments, such as Floodlight activity and device. Learn more.
  • Updated time-range options for reporting tables
    DS now supports new time-range options in reports, such as including data from the current day, selecting the start day for weekly ranges, and selecting your own custom range, such as the last 15 days or the 37 days. Learn more.
  • Shopping campaigns: Use the Dimensions tab instead of the Products tab
    To analyze Shopping campaign performance based on product attributes, such as Category and Brand, you now use the Dimensions tab instead of the Products tab. Learn more.
  • New authorization process for Bing Ads accounts
    Bing Ads is changing its sign-in process from username-password authentication to Microsoft Account authentication and authorization. If you’re changing the settings of an existing Bing Ads engine account in DS, you'll need to follow the new authorization process before you can save your changes. You do not need to update engine accounts yet if you aren’t making other changes. Learn more.
  • "Campaign target network" is now required when creating AdWords campaigns via bulksheet The "Campaign target network" column in a bulksheet specifies the advertising network (search, display, partner, and so on) that an AdWords campaign targets. Previously this column was optional, but as part of supporting the new AdWords “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns, DS now requires you to specify a value for AdWords campaigns. For details, download the "Campaign" or "All" upload template (XLSX format) and rest the mouse pointer on the "Campaign target network" column heading.

Watch the recorded webinar for June features to see these updates in action.

Posted by the DoubleClick Search team

DS features in May

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 |

In May, we added the following features to DoubleClick Search (DS):

  • Public launch of Shopping campaigns in DS
    You can create and manage AdWords Shopping campaigns in DS, a feature that we initially rolled out in beta in March. Shopping campaigns are a new campaign type for AdWords Product Listing Ads that streamline how you manage and bid on your products, report on the performance of your ads, and find opportunities to grow your traffic from Google. Learn more.

  • Specify and report on sitelinks for ad groups
    Sitelinks are an ad extension available in AdWords engine accounts. They appear beneath the text of your ads (and in addition to the main landing page), link to specific pages on your website, and help customers find what they're looking for on your site with just one click. By default, all ads inherit sitelinks from the campaign, but now you can add different sitelinks for each ad group or prevent an ad group from displaying sitelinks. Learn more.

  • Include custom dimensions and metrics in DS reports
    If you use Floodlight activities to track conversions, you can add details to your DS reports that are customized to your business needs, such as the genre of a movie that a user purchases, the zip code to which an item is shipped, shipping costs, and so on. Learn more.

  • Upgrade to the new AdWords “Search Network with Display Select” campaigns
    AdWords will soon be replacing “Search & Display Networks” campaigns with a new campaign type, “Search Network with Display Select”, that offers 35% better Google Display Network performance than your current “Search & Display Networks” campaigns. You can upgrade your “Search only" and “Search & Display Networks" campaigns one at a time from AdWords, or use DS bulksheets to upgrade multiple campaigns with a single upload. Learn more.

We also made the following feature updates:

  • Executive reporting: Filter data sources in charts
    By default, charts display metrics from all data sources that are in a report. If you want a chart to display metrics only from specific campaigns, devices, or even keywords of a particular match type, you can add a filter to the chart. The chart will contain data only for items that match the filter.

  • Support for the AdWords "Rotate indefinitely" and "Conversion optimize" settings
    DS now supports the “Rotate indefinitely” and “Conversion optimize” settings for AdWords campaigns in addition to the “Rotate evenly” and “Optimize for clicks” settings that were available previously. Learn more.

Watch the recorded webinar for May features to see these updates in action.

Posted by the DoubleClick Search team

Making the most of Shopping campaigns in DoubleClick Search: Tips and best practices

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 |

Since announcing support for Shopping campaigns in DoubleClick Search a few weeks ago, we've seen strong momentum with clients taking advantage of this new way to manage, bid, and report on Product Listing Ads. In fact, over half of DoubleClick Search retail clients have already tested Shopping campaigns, and we see this number rising on a daily basis.

As Justin Johnson, Paid Search Program Manager at Cabela's notes, "DoubleClick Search was quick to provide complete support for Shopping campaigns -- mirroring the ease of setup and product-centric management and letting us be a first-mover to adopt Shopping campaigns.  We are eager to continue using these new tools to help us get the best performance out of Shopping campaigns."

With regular PLA campaign types retiring in late August 2014, we know that Shopping campaigns continue to be top-of-mind for retail search marketers. Today, we wanted to share a few best practices to those of you just getting started with Shopping campaigns.

Tip #1: Scale bid management of product groups with automated rules. Unsure what to bid on your new product groups? Let automated rules for Shopping Campaign product groups lead the way. Set up automated if/then rules to change product group bids based on performance. If you want even more control over your product group bids, try using bulksheets. DS bulksheet allow you to download your Shopping Campaigns, assess their performance, and upload new bids, whether you’re managing 10 product groups or 1000 product groups at a time.

How to take control over your product group bids: Because DS has easy bulksheet reporting for both legacy PLA campaigns and your new Shopping Campaigns, it’s easy to use historic data from PLA campaigns to inform bids for your new Shopping Campaigns. Talk to your DS support team for more information and tips on how to migrate CPCs from old campaigns to Shopping campaigns.

Tip #2: Know how to subdivide a product group. Product groups can be subdivided at any time into more refined groupings so that you can bid more granularly on any part of your business, e.g. breaking out Product Type Level 1 = Electronics product group into three product groups subdivided by Product Type Level 2: Computers, Video, or Phones, with a high max CPC on Phones, with lower CPCs on Computers and Video. This makes it easy to continually adapt the product group tree to your business structure, especially if you find that different products within the same product group require different max CPCs.

How to best subdivide a new product group: When we subdivide a product group, that product group’s bid, landing page, and status are passed on to the new subdivisions. For example, if we just broke out Electronics (below) into Computers, Video, and Everything else, the bid and landing page URL we set for Electronics will be passed onto the three subdivisions. But, this also means that if we try to delete that Electronics row, the three subdivisions beneath it (Computers, Video, Everything Else) will also be deleted! As you create new subdivisions, you should take the opportunity to update the bid and landing page to the right value, specific to the newly created group.

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Tip #3: Experiment with PLA reporting. Take Shopping Campaigns as an opportunity to experiment with how you report and think about PLAs! Shopping Campaigns makes it easy to structure your campaigns and product groups around a certain set of attributes (maybe splitting out products by Product Type or Category), but slice performance data by different fields, including custom labels or product IDs

How to try it out: Custom labels are a great way to experiment. We’ve seen advertisers use custom labels 0-4 to mark products as high or low margin, seasonal or year-round, etc., and add additional information like parent SKU.. Segmenting by custom label in the Products tab allows you  to report and take action on these custom metrics, without necessarily committing to that organizational structure. More insights for all!

Can’t get enough of Shopping campaigns? Check out our webinar from April or our help center and keep an eye out on our blog and our feature releases page for more updates to Shopping campaigns.

Q&A with Neal Mohan: A Sneak Peek at the DoubleClick Live Stream

Friday, May 30, 2014 |

DoubleClick’s annual digital advertising summit is just around the corner, streaming live on YouTube on Wednesday, June 4th. (Sign up here to watch.) We caught up with Neal Mohan, Google’s Vice President of Display and Video Advertising Products, to hear what’s on his mind as we get ready for the event.

Q: What topics should we expect to hear about this year? 
A: I don’t think it will come as a surprise that our team has been very focused on how to make digital work for brands and premium publishers. You can expect to hear a lot more about that. Also, since this event marks Google’s annual conversation on the future of digital advertising, we’ll discuss how digital is redefining consumer behavior, content development, and the ways that advertisers and publishers reach their customers.

Q: Will the live stream include any special guests? 
A: I’ll be joined by Nikesh Arora, our Chief Business Officer at Google, and Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO and Co-Founder of DreamWorks Animation. I’m looking forward to hearing Jeffrey talk about how technology has changed content creation.

Q: What consumer trends are impacting the way brands and publishers think about digital? 
A: When we started this DoubleClick event 14 years ago, going online was a deliberate act that required going to a computer and “logging-in”. The days of going online are coming to an end. Today’s digital experience is one that is always-on and always with us. As a result, digital has become far more personal, and one of the most personal forms of communication - video - is playing a more central role in our online lives. All these factors have major implications for brands and publishers, which we’ll discuss at the event.

Q: So...any scoops you can give us?
A: As I mentioned, video has been very much on my mind lately. Getting video right is something that is essential to our brand, agency, and publisher partners...expect to hear more about what we have planned to help make that happen.

We hope you can join us on Wednesday, June 4th at 9:30 am PDT / 12:30 pm EDT. Register to watch the live stream or to receive the recording. -The DoubleClick Team

Join us for a conversation on the future of digital advertising

Thursday, May 8, 2014 |

Digital is no longer just another marketing channel. It’s a medium that’s changing the art of storytelling and reinventing the way companies connect with consumers.

How will digital advertising evolve next? You’re invited to tune in live as industry leaders tackle the question at DoubleClick’s annual event on digital trends.

Speakers include:
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation
  • Nikesh Arora, Chief Business Officer at Google
  • Neal Mohan, VP of Display Advertising at Google

Wednesday, June 4
9:30 am PDT - 10:45 am PDT / 12:30 pm EDT - 1:45 pm EDT

Time not convenient? When you register you’ll receive a link to watch the recording on demand.

We hope you can join!

Here’s footage from last year’s event to give you a taste of the 2014 live stream:


DS features in April

Monday, May 5, 2014 |

In April, we added the following features to DoubleClick Search:

  • Bid strategies that can recommend and optimize mobile bid adjustments
    Bid strategies that target conversions or revenue can now optimize AdWords mobile bid adjustments based on the bid strategy’s goal. If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can set your bid strategy to recommend mobile bid adjustments. Learn more.

  • Use keyword parameters in ads
    You can customize your Google AdWords and Bing Ads ads by using dynamic text parameters in DoubleClick Search (DS). A customized ad is more likely to appeal to potential customers because it's more relevant to their search queries. Ad parameters also allow updates to ads without having to go through the engine’s validation and approval process. This feature works with both manual campaigns and inventory campaigns. Learn more.

We also made the following feature updates:

  • Bid strategies for PLA campaigns
    To optimize bidding on Product Listing Ads, you can now apply a return-on-investment (ROI) bid strategy to product targets, an ad group with product targets, or an entire campaign. You can even use the same bid strategy to manage bidding for both keywords and product targets and let DS determine the ideal bids for reaching your ROI goals. Learn more.


  • Use formula columns that contain Google Analytics goals in bid strategies
    If you need greater control over how conversions are combined and weighted in your bid strategy, you can create a formula column that defines your own key performance indicators (KPIs), and then add a bid strategy that optimizes to the formula column. Now, formula columns that include data from Google Analytics conversion or revenue columns can be used in a bid strategy.


  • New reporting resource in the DS API
    DS has added a new resource type to its API that contains the list of all columns an advertiser has created, such as Floodlight columns, Google Analytics columns, or formula columns. Once you retrieve the list of columns, you can request reports for the metrics that the columns contain. Learn more about working with saved columns from the DS API.

  • Saved views include segmentation selection
    When you save a report view that is segmented, DS now saves the segmentation selection as well. This only applies to new views that you create going forward. Existing views cannot save the segmentation selection.

  • Fresh, new look
    We’ve added more space and softer colors to make DoubleClick Search easier on the eyes. This is the same look in many of the other Google products you know and love.

We also want to let you know about a change in product functionality:

  • Fewer AdWords search queries available in the search query report
    Google now removes the search query from the referrer on ad clicks that originate from SSL searches on Google.com. Learn more about this change. The search query report in DS won’t be able to display search queries for these clicks. Instead, you’ll see Other queries. Learn more about how encrypted searches affect the DS search query report.

    The AdWords search terms report lets you see search queries that generated ad clicks along with key performance data. And the Search Queries report available in Google Webmaster Tools provides aggregate information about the top 2000 queries, each day, that generated organic clicks.

Posted by the DoubleClick Search team