New AdWords Data, Hot Social Trends, and Other Top Stories from September

I spent entirely too much time deciding on how to open this post. Should I try to cram a Dune gag about pumpkin spice in there somewhere? A little dated, maybe. How about a poetic observation of autumn’s natural beauty? Probably not. Maybe something about the highly civilized, not-at-all-distasteful U.S. presidential election?

Hell no.

 Best of the WordStream Blog: September 2016

I’m sure I’m not alone in my shock that it’s nearly October already. While September may have flown by in the blink of a proverbial eye, it was a very busy month here at the WordStream blog. Today, for your reading pleasure, we’ll be taking a look at the top stories from September, so kick back, sip your pumpkin spice latte (sorry), and enjoy the most popular posts of the month.

1. NEW in AdWords: Demographic Targeting for Search Campaigns

When Google announced that the kind of demographic targeting options that display advertisers have enjoyed for some time would be coming to search campaigns in AdWords, marketers were understandably excited. Check out everything you need to know about these awesome new targeting options in our most popular post of September, courtesy of Mark Irvine.

2. 5 Insights from Analyzing Half a Billion Dollars in Ad Spend [New Data]

Half a billion dollars is a lot of money. So much, in fact, that you could buy New York City’s most expensive condo – a four-floor, 11,000 square-foot quadruplex at 220 Central Park South worth $250 million – twice.

 CTR distribution statistics

Half a billion dollars is also how much advertising spend WordStream has analyzed with its AdWords Performance Grader (which recently celebrated its 1 millionth report!), so Larry Kim dove deep into the data to find out exactly what that ad spend could tell us.

Packed with original data, visuals, and research, this is essential reading for AdWords advertisers.

3. 10 Dos and Don’ts for Sitelink Extensions

In Erin’s words, sitelink extensions are “the king of all AdWords extensions.” They’re so powerful, that in Google’s estimation, they can lift click-through rates by as much as 10-20% – and even as much as 50% on branded searches.

However, as powerful and versatile as sitelink extensions can be, there are several things that you, the advertiser, have to do in order to see that kind of improvement. Find out exactly what you should – and shouldn’t – be doing with sitelink extensions in this post by Erin.

4. The Complete, Digestible Guide to AdWords Budgets

AdWords budgeting certainly isn’t the sexiest topic in PPC, but it’s among the most important. The more effectively you plan and execute upon your AdWords budget, the greater the potential return. However, knowing precisely where and how to get started with AdWords budgeting can be intimidating.

 Traffic intent Venn diagram

Fear not, loyal reader, as Allen Finn has got your back. In this comprehensive but accessible guide, Allen walks you through everything you need to know about how to plan and maintain a solid AdWords budget.

5. 5 Big New Social Media Marketing Trends

Keeping up with what’s going on in social media can be a full-time job, and even experienced digital marketers often find themselves overwhelmed trying to keep up. This can result in missed opportunities to engage with your audiences in new ways, and in our fifth-most popular post of September, Margot examines five of the latest and hottest trends in social media.

6. 7 Things I Still Hate About LinkedIn Ads

We all had a good giggle when, shortly after writing about how much he hated LinkedIn Ads more than a year ago, Larry received an invitation to visit LinkedIn to chat. Despite suspecting the ominous undertones of the invitation (not really), Larry did indeed visit LinkedIn to talk about the social network’s ad platform.

Larry Kim LinkedIn Ads office visit tweet 

Unfortunately, Larry still doesn’t like LinkedIn Ads. In this follow-up post, Larry explains exactly what he thinks about the service and highlights the persistent shortcomings of LinkedIn Ads as an ad platform – shortcomings that could be transformed into lucrative opportunities if they were implemented.

Presumably Larry will be heading off to beautiful Mountain View, California, again at some point in the near future.

7. 7 PPC Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2016 & Beyond

It’s never too soon to start thinking about how the (frequent, constant, overwhelming) changes in PPC could affect your campaigns, especially as we move into fall. In this guest post, Nancy Kapoor explores seven PPC trends you should be aware of to keep up with the competition for the rest of this year and into 2017.

8. Bing Expanded Text Ads: 5 Things You Need to Know

As many PPC experts predicted, Bing Ads announced that Expanded Text Ads would be coming to Bing in the coming months. While this is great news for Bing Ads advertisers, it’s also an opportunity to get started on the right foot and use Expanded Text Ads in Bing correctly.

 Expanded Text Ads Bing

In this post, Erin highlights five crucial elements of Bing Ads’ ETAs, and how their introduction could affect your campaigns.

9. AdWords Extends Timeline for Transition to Expanded Text Ads

By now, it’s clear that Expanded Text Ads are among the most powerful tools at advertisers’ disposal to dramatically lift click-through rates and improve the performance of their ads. That said, many advertisers are confused about what the transition to this exciting new ad format could mean for existing campaigns. To put your mind at ease, Mark explains exactly what the extension of the transition to ETAs in AdWords means for you, as well as what you can expect during the rollout.

10. Mobile Advertising Statistics & Trends [Infographic]

Did you know that clicks from mobile devices account for more than half of all ad clicks? In our final post of this month’s round-up, Mary offers up a fascinating infographic about the current state of mobile advertising, packed with juicy stats and figures that prove – in case you hadn’t heard by now – mobile is the way forward in PPC. 

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