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Google AdWords Checklist for 2017

  • Expanded Text Ads – all AdWords advertisers should have the new expanded text ad format in place by the end of January, which is when Google has said they will stop supporting the old format ads, and so no further edits can be made to these (although they will continue to be shown if still used). It’s possible that Google may extend the deadline again, but it’s also advisable to get the new expanded text ads running for a period alongside the old ads, which can then eventually be removed and the newer format ads will become the default option. Read more here.
  • Ad Extensions – Google added a number of new ad extensions over the past year, so check which ones are being used with your campaigns and make sure you have all the key ones in places, such as sitelinks, callouts and call extensions. Use the structured snippets and location extensions as well, if possible, and consider some new extensions such as text messages or price extensions for mobiles. Read more here.
  • RLSAs – this acronym stands for ‘remarketing lists for search ads’ and allows you to extend your remarketing activity to Google search results, so that your previous site visitors will get your search ads boosted in the results, and can encourage return visits and conversions at a better rate than new visitors. Use this at the same bid level initially and then raise or lower the bids based on results. Read more here.
  • DFSAs – similar to the above option, the Audiences tab in a search campaign now includes ‘demographic targeting for search ads’ with data automatically displayed, where available, so that you can focus your bids on the core customer groups by age or gender that match your target audience. The information is dependent on Google being able to match the searcher with known or assumed information, but this can provide some great insights on conversion rates and offer bid control around the best or worst converting groups. Read more here.
  • Responsive Ads – this new format for display ads in AdWords has been around for the past 6 months and provides the flexibility to create ads for multiple screen sizes and formats. It’s good to set one or more of these up to test the reach and performance of these, particularly if mobile is a core part of your target audience. Read more here.