PPC blog images (300 × 300px)

PMax Vs. Shopping Campaigns: Which Is Right For You?

PMax Vs. Shopping Campaigns

Performance Max has been a buzzword among digital marketers since its release. It is Google’s newest advertising solution that utilises machine learning to optimise ad performance across multiple Google networks. 


Many advertisers have claimed that Performance Max campaigns have delivered significant results, but is it always the best solution for every scenario – what happens when the latest and greatest technology fails to deliver the desired results? That’s what we recently experienced with a client who was going through a rough patch of low search volume and low purchase intent. Despite the sophisticated algorithms in Performance Max, the campaigns were struggling to deliver results. Daily budgets were not being hit, CPCs were rising, and revenue was not being generated at the required volume.


After much frustration, we made a bold move and switched back to traditional shopping campaigns. After just a few days of optimization, we saw a substantial increase in volume, leading to a remarkable 184% increase in revenue compared to the previous period. The return on ad spend also increased, so they weren’t sacrificing profitability for volume.


The experience was a reminder that sometimes the latest and greatest technology isn’t always the best solution for every scenario. It’s important to stay flexible and adaptable in our approach to advertising and be willing to switch back to tried and true methods when the situation calls for it.


While Performance Max campaigns are undoubtedly effective at delivering results, they can sometimes lack the human understanding of the need to drive volume, especially in times of low intent. Standard shopping campaigns, on the other hand, are designed to capture users who are actively searching for products, regardless of their level of intent. By targeting these users with a more volume-driven approach, the agency was able to generate impressive results despite the challenging search environment.


So while Performance Max campaigns can be a great tool for certain situations, it’s important to recognize their limitations and be willing to experiment with other approaches when the situation demands it. Sometimes, the best ideas are the ones that go against the grain. Being willing to challenge the status quo, experiment with new ideas, and take calculated risks in our advertising campaigns is key to unlocking untapped potential.


With this in mind, let’s dig into the pros and cons of each campaign type to help you decide what would work best for your accounts.

Performance Max


➡️ Advanced targeting capabilities: Performance Max leverages machine learning algorithms to automatically target relevant audiences across multiple channels and platforms, making it easier to reach potential customers.

➡️ Increased efficiency: Performance Max automates many of the tedious tasks involved in managing advertising campaigns, such as bid adjustments, ad placements, and audience targeting, freeing up time for marketers to focus on higher-level strategic initiatives.

➡️ Enhanced visibility: Performance Max allows advertisers to show their ads across a variety of Google networks, including search, display, and YouTube, providing greater visibility and exposure to potential customers.



➡️ Limited control over ad placement: While Performance Max automates many aspects of campaign management, it also limits control over where ads are placed and how they are displayed, which can be problematic for some advertisers.

➡️ High minimum spend requirements: Performance Max campaigns often have high minimum spend requirements, which can be a barrier to entry for smaller businesses and advertisers with limited budgets.

➡️ Limited transparency and insights: Performance Max provides limited visibility into the performance of individual ads, which can make it difficult for advertisers to identify and address issues or optimise their campaigns.

Standard Shopping


➡️ More granular campaign management: With Standard Shopping campaigns, advertisers have more granular control over the campaign structure, including the ability to create specific product groups, set bids at the product level, and tailor ad copy and landing pages to individual products or categories.

➡️ Easy to get started: Standard Shopping campaigns are relatively easy to set up and manage, making them a good option for advertisers who are new to Google Ads or who don’t have a lot of experience with advanced targeting capabilities.

➡️ Better suited for specific goals: Standard Shopping campaigns may be better suited for specific advertising goals, such as driving sales of a specific product or category, while Performance Max campaigns may be better suited for broader awareness campaigns.



➡️ Limited automation: Standard Shopping campaigns offer limited automation capabilities compared to Performance Max, which can make campaign management more time-consuming and labour-intensive.

➡️ More limited targeting capabilities: Standard Shopping campaigns do not offer the same advanced targeting capabilities as Performance Max, which can make it more challenging to reach specific audiences or optimise campaigns for specific goals.

➡️ Limited visibility across multiple platforms: Standard Shopping campaigns are typically limited to Google’s Shopping network, which may limit visibility and exposure compared to Performance Max campaigns, which can show ads across multiple platforms and networks.

Key Takeaways

So, what can we learn from this experience? Here are some takeaways:

💡Be flexible and adaptable in your approach to advertising. Just because a particular campaign type or technology is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for every situation.

💡Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and take calculated risks. You never know what might work until you try it.

💡Measure and analyse your results regardless of what approach you take. It’s important to measure and analyse your results to identify what’s working and what’s not based on what you are trying to achieve.

Untitled (250 × 250px)

A Guide To Advantage+ Campaigns

.Facebook’s Advantage+ campaigns were first rolled out in August 2022, so by now, you’ve probably had a chance to check them out. If you haven’t, don’t stress, I’m here to give you the lowdown on what it is and how it works.

What is Advantage+?

Advantage+ campaigns are designed to be the most efficient solution to drive sales, using machine-learning algorithms to target your ads to the right people. Meta offers a simplified setup process that takes care of many of the more manual tasks, such as audience targeting and creative options. These automated shopping campaigns can give you more opportunities to reach people interested in your product, whether you are new to Meta ads or have more experience.

What are the benefits?

Some of the key benefits that Advantage+ offers include:

  1. Simplified set-up: Advantage+ has streamlined the campaign setup process to make it super easy for you to do and reduce the manual work involved, such as bid strategy and ad optimisation.
  2. Machine-learning: Advantage+ uses machine learning to identify the highest-value audience across all Meta platforms to target your ads. This increases your opportunity to reach people that are more likely to convert.
  3. Streamlined performance goals: This helps you optimise to achieve the best outcome for your business.

However, the major drawback of these automated campaigns is that you have less control over the audience you are targeting. Additionally, the lack of freedom when optimising the campaign can impact your goals and objectives, meaning, these campaigns are not for everyone.

How to set up an Advantage+ campaign?

Go to Ads Manager and create a new campaign 

Select ‘Sales’ as the new campaign objective

Choose the Advantage+ shopping campaign option

Manually input your campaign settings;

  1. Rename your campaign 
  2. Select ‘Conversion Location’
  3. Choose the correct Pixel and conversion event
  4. Select the audience location
  5. Set a daily budget and ad schedule 
  6. Choose the attribution setting for the campaign

Then you will move on to the ad settings;

  1. Rename your ad
  2. Select your Facebook page and Instagram account
  3. Create a new ad or use an existing post and follow the instructions for ad setup and ad creative
  4. Ensure your website destination is correct
  5. Make sure your tracking is added

Once you’re happy with your new campaign, then review your edits and publish

What next?

If you are giving these campaigns a try, make sure that you have all tracking set up correctly with appropriate UTMs. Give your campaign time to go through the learning phase to allow it the best chance of success; try not to change the ad too drastically, otherwise, it will delay this period. And finally, once your campaign is active, be sure to regularly check its performance against KPIs to see if this is the right campaign style for you.

To conclude, Advantage+ campaigns are a simplified approach to getting the most out of your advertising budget. They are similar to Google’s Performance Max campaigns by using machine learning to optimise your campaigns. It’s great for all advertisers whether you’re a beginner or more experienced. If you haven’t already I would definitely recommend that you give these automated Advantage+ campaigns a try and see how they perform for your business. AI is on the rise in the marketing world, so it looks like these campaigns are here to stay.

Blog Image Template (1)

Cedarwood Nominated For Three UK Paid Media Awards!

2023 has got off to a busy start for our Paid Media team and we are delighted to have been nominated for three awards at the UK Paid Media Awards.

The UK Paid Media Awards recognise the contribution that paid advertising delivers to engagement, clicks, leads sales and ultimately profit, shining a light on the work being undertaken by paid media agencies which is best in class.

We’ve been nominated in the following categories:

📢 Shopping Ads Campaign Of The Year with Hayes Garden World

📢 Best Use Of Data with Patient Claim Line

📢 Best Small Paid Media Agency

The award nominations top off a busy month with January being our busiest month ever for new business and we welcomed five new clients into the fold at the start of February.

The new clients come off the back of our wins at the European Paid Media Awards where we took home:

📢 Retail Campaign Of The Year with Hayes Garden World

📢 Best Small Paid Media Agency

Look forward to seeing everyone at the awards night in London on March 15th and you can see the full list of nominations here

Untitled design (44)

Using the Page Feed Feature with Dynamic Search Ads

If you work for an ecommerce business that has thousands of products to advertise, you might think, “where do I even start?”

Obviously, Google Shopping is the go-to for ecommerce but how can we enable growth through text ads without spending time making hundreds of ads for each product? You could use expensive software that does this for you but most businesses would rather save money. So what’s the solution?

The answer is in Dynamic Search Ads and their Page Feed feature. 

What are Dynamic Search Ads and how do they work?

Dynamic Search Ads have been around for a long time now. They step away from the traditional ‘keyword’ targeting of text ads and use the website’s content to return ads for relevant search queries. This helps advertisers find longer-tail keywords and search terms that they may not have previously considered, and that users are actively searching for in real time. Google scans the information on your webpage, understands the content and then matches this to relevant user searches, giving more visibility across a wider range of terms. You can set these up in different ways, either by using all webpages on your site, specific pages or ‘categories’ that Google thinks your website is related to. It then automatically chooses a relevant landing page and a dynamically generated headline to match the user’s query the best it can.

How does the page feed feature work?

The page feed feature allows you to upload a feed of data, full of different URLs, and tells Google to only use these URLs within Dynamic Search Ads. For example, uploading your shopping feed will supply Google with a list of product specific URLs all in one go, ensuring that users are only sent to these landing pages. This then gives Google the opportunity to understand each product and match it to relevant queries dynamically. In essence, this means that Google can automatically create ads related to each product you upload and return relevant ads for said product, without you having to manually create and adjust bids for each one.

How do I set up Dynamic Search Ads with Page Feed?

Setting this up is really simple. Firstly, you need to upload a page feed with the products you want to include, their URLs and any custom labels attached to them. 

You then need to go into campaign view and set up a standard DSA campaign. Once you get to the Dynamic Search Ad part of settings you want to select ‘Use only URLs from page feeds,’ and click the feed you want to use. It’s as easy as that!

Best results

For best results, there are a few things to consider when setting up a DSA with page feed. Firstly, you want to make sure that the product pages have as much information about the product as possible. Google is using this to find relevant search queries, so, the better the content, the better quality searches they will appear for. Secondly, as the descriptions will appear for all products, you want to make this as generic as possible so that it makes sense across all ranges. Think generic USPs like delivery and returns information, any warranties and current offers, or even just company information. Finally, there are many ways to set up DSAs with page feeds and you can make more than one at any time. Therefore, you may want to consider splitting these out across different brands or different product types for better segmentation and reporting. 

All in all, using Dynamic Search Ads with page feeds is a great way to advertise a huge number of products quickly and effectively. Like anything, there will always need to be time for learning and optimisation to ensure any irrelevant terms are excluded and to make sure that things are running efficiently, but this should be a quick way to get extra visibility for your store.

If you’re looking to ramp up your Google Shopping ads and campaigns, get in touch with us today.

Untitled design (45)

Applying Offline Conversions to Drive Value

Google Ads is great for lead generation, allowing us to track certain actions that could lead to an offline sale through phone calls and form submissions. However, as industries get more competitive and users browse around more before committing, how can we ever really understand the true value of advertising when these leads may or may not turn into actual qualified leads that have high deal closure? 

Here, I  explain how utilising Offline Conversions within your Google Ads account can drive real monetary value for your business and spending budget, on leads that actually turn into sales.

What are offline conversions?

We all know that just because someone fills in a form on a website, it doesn’t necessarily equate to custom or income for your business. A lot of the time it simply indicates interest from a user without the commitment to buy. Yet when we are tracking conversions in Google Ads, measuring this commitment to buy is likely one of your goals, and so, although it’s great that we are able to attract users who are engaging with the site, this doesn’t generate monetary value. 

So how can we start to bring in and track users who are actually generating revenue and completing the sales at the end of the conversion journey? With basic Google Ad accounts, the tracking stops at the form fill – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Offline conversions allows you to track that form fill right to the end of the sales funnel even though this isn’t being tracked online.

How do I set up offline conversions?

In Google Ads, we need to set up new conversion actions for each of the offline actions we want to track. This can be pulled from Salesforce or other data sources and CRMs.

Using the Google Click ID (GCLID) and the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), we can follow each conversion to see whether they ended up making a purchase with your business. When a user fills in a form on your site, you can capture the GCLID which stays in the CRM with each open lead. As the user works their way through the sales process, we can track each stage up until the deal is closed. We can then upload these clicks and the ‘offline conversions’ that they completed. 

How do offline conversions work?

Completing the set up as above allows Google to take the GCLID and map it back to the click that converted. This will add in these extra offline conversions and you will be able to see in the interface which of the campaigns are driving leads that generate actual value. You can then take this a step further by looking at each step of the conversion journey and applying different CPAs to each stage of the funnel. This will give a new level of data to Google, highlighting how much you are willing to spend for each type of conversion.

Google will firstly try to drive as many ‘Closed Deals’ as it can, before moving down to ‘Sales Qualified Leads,’ then down to ‘Marketing Qualified Leads.’ Finally, if it can’t find any of the above, Google will try to drive ‘Lead.’ This means that Google is now using this data to push for as many of the higher quality conversions as possible.

What are the next steps for growth? 

By importing offline conversions you will hopefully be able to analyse the data more effectively. Alongside the actual sales data this should then help to drive better quality leads for your account. But how can we use this to grow? The next step to help drive growth and give Google as much information as possible is to attach revenue figures to the leads. This means that Google can take each conversion and the value it generated to understand the different types of users, their search behaviour, and buying signals, to effectively target more users and drive higher revenue. You can then start to utilise more monetary based bidding, maximise conversion value or Target ROAS to drive as many high value leads as possible.

Yes, I know it may sound weird using ‘e-commerce’ targets for lead generation but, at the end of the day, you want to drive value for the business, not just pretty digital metrics that end up falling off in the conversion funnel.

Final thoughts about Offline conversions

Offline conversion tracking is the next big thing in Google Ads; your competitors are probably doing it so you should definitely make a start. Try to implement it sooner rather than later to generate better quality data within your Google Ads account and start to drive better conversions. You can then showcase the true value of your PPC campaigns, not only driving leads but driving leads that actually matter.

Contact us to find out how we apply a range of Google Shopping practises to drive real value for your business

Untitled design (47)

What Is A CSS Provider And Do I Need One?

Comparison Shopping Services (CSS) have been around for a while now, allowing ecommerce retailers to showcase ads on Google Shopping. This came about in 2017 when Google was hit with a record fine of 2.42€ for promoting its own shopping comparison service within the SERPS. Off the back of this ruling, Google decided to allow other companies to promote products via their own comparison shopping services to compete alongside Google. 

What are the benefits of a CSS provider?

The main benefits of choosing a CSS provider is the financial discount that you, as an advertiser, can gain. A CSS provider receives a 20% discount in CPC in order to compete against Google’s own service. An advertiser can expect to see this discount directly in their ad’s accounts, through a reduction in CPC that is needed to match the position of a listing from Google. For example, if a product using Google’s CSS costs £1.00 per click then a competitor CSS provider could expect to see the same impression share for just £0.80. This can have a huge impact if media spend is high & these discounts start to add up.

CSS providers are only available for products being sold in the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Norway
  • Czech Republic
  • Poland
  • Denmark
  • Portugal
  • Finland
  • Romania
  • France
  • Slovakia
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Sweden
  • Hungary
  • Switzerland
  • Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy

What do I need to do?

In order to get set up with a CSS provider, you just need to make sure that you have a Merchant Centre account set up that only includes the allowed countries as above. This can then be switched over to the CSS provider & their implementation team should be able to take the reins from there. After this process, you should be good to go with your campaigns in Google Ads.

How do I know which CSS provider to pick? 

There are multiple CSS providers that you can choose offering a range of different benefits, from experience and service models to their own way of billing. The main thing to think about is what you want to get from the CSS provider; if it is solely to manage the shopping ads & get a discount then the primary factors to consider are:

  • The name of the CSS provider – this will appear alongside your ads so there will be a semblance of association between the two brands
  • The billing strategy of the provider – some providers have a monthly subscription fee, some use a percentage of spend, and some base it on CPA so only charge when you actually make a sale.

As online retail continues to grow there’s never been a better time to make savings in such a competitive market. Making the change now means that even the smallest of savings can start building up & be reapportioned into ad spend, thus increasing growth opportunities & market share. If you’re interested in making the jump, Google has provided a tool to get you started which shows all of the available CSS providers & their specialisms to help you pick the right one for your business.

We can also guide you towards the right shopping ads for your campaign. Speak to us today

Untitled design (50)

Combining Supplemental Feeds and Scripts for Better Performing Campaigns

In today’s world of automation, it can be hard to know the best ways to optimise campaigns when Google gives us less and less data each day. With the launch of Performance Max with no search term, channel split or ads data, it can feel frustrating as an advertiser trying to understand performance. 

With PMax, as with Smart Shopping previously, there is a lack of control in that we can’t push specific products, we just have to let the algorithm take the lead. For ecommerce businesses with a lot of SKUs this can seem counterintuitive, as we may need to ensure visibility of certain products or ensure that the best sellers aren’t taking all of the budget. Now you could split these out into separate campaigns, but what if we want to segment this out due to performance – something that can change on a regular basis? It would take so much time looking through thousands of products pulling them out of one campaign and adding them back into another multiple times a week. If only there was a way to do this automatically…


By using a script, we can automatically apply custom labels within a Google Sheet to products that don’t meet certain criteria, whether that be an amount of clicks, impressions or conversions. This will allow us to segment out products that aren’t getting as much visibility as we would like through the use of custom labels. Once that specific product surpasses this threshold, the custom label is removed so that it can once again run in the primary campaign now that Google has more data on it.

Supplemental Feed

By using a supplemental feed you can add new information in an overlaid feed to the one that gets uploaded. This makes it easier for segmentation purposes, using custom labels or changing product attributes without having to alter the actual feed that is pulled into the Merchant Centre. We can then use Google Sheets, provided by the Script, to upload into a new Supplemental Feed which will override the primary feed data, populating those custom label fields with the updated version. From here you can launch ‘low clicks,’ ‘low impressions’ or ‘low conversions’ campaigns by segmenting the products out by these new labels.

And there you have it; easy segmentation based on actual performance within your Google Ads account ensuring that all products get as much visibility as possible.

If you’re interested in finding out how this could work for your campaigns, get in touch with us.

Untitled design (52)

Custom Labels – the most underrated Google Ads tool?

When it comes to ecommerce, Google Shopping is a great way to get your products in front of the right people at the right time. At some point however, this can become ineffective so how can you use Google and its tools to grow the volume of sales in a way which works for your business?

Google Shopping allows you to advertise hundreds of thousands of products matching users’ search queries to product attributes within the feed. When dealing with this amount of products, it’s easy to get lost in the structure of shopping campaigns and how to segment them out effectively, especially as Google’s standard subdivisions only really include “Brand” and “Product Category.” Whilst these are great from a top level, they don’t offer the amount of detail or internal insights required to create an effective shopping strategy.

Custom Labels

Custom Labels allow you to group together products in ways which aren’t covered by Google’s own attributes. It provides greater flexibility in subdividing products and setting up the campaigns to work in your favour, based on different scenarios within your business. To do this you have 5 different “custom label” attributes to use, which means that you can mix and match different ones together to be really granular in your targeting. This can be set up in your existing shopping feed by adding the additional fields with the relevant information. 

There are multiple ways that you can segment custom labels out, but here I will touch on five that have worked well in my experience.

1. Stock/Shipping

Many ecommerce businesses will have faced stock and shipping issues, especially during Covid, the aftermath of which could hurt both sales and cash flow. By applying custom labels you can easily split products up into different categories based on their availability and delivery times. You’re then able to increase bids and visibility for products that are in stock and ready to be delivered within that week, and decrease visibility for those that have shipping delays or issues. In addition you can alter ad copy to highlight product availability. This is a great way of maintaining cost effectiveness, whilst also ensuring that customers are happy and aware of stock status.

2. Best Sellers/Worst Sellers

With Performance Max, and previously Smart Shopping, a lot of Google’s algorithms favour the products that sell well and pull back on those that don’t. This is great in the sense that we are getting visibility for best sellers. However, it doesn’t help to grow sales for those that are getting less visibility. By using custom labels you can highlight which are the best selling products and isolate them into their own campaign. This allows the under-serving products to generate more visibility as they are not having to compete against products with higher search volumes. This can be really effective in helping to grow sales within an ecommerce account, as it isn’t always about just pushing the products that you already know sell. 

3. Margins

Margins are crucial to the profitability of a business and it isn’t always the highest priced products that have the best margins. Yet Google will be bidding based on product value which isn’t always the most effective thing to bid towards. Therefore, grouping your products by margins allows you to adjust the ROAS (return on ad spend) of each segment in different campaigns, ensuring your spending is as cost-effective as possible for the business. That means you can have a higher ROAS for lower margin products and lower ROAS for higher margin products, giving the best profitability potential. 

Source: Google Ads

4. Value

If your product range is pretty consistent margin wise, you can group products by value instead. This allows you to really push the higher value products in their own campaign, rather than competing against potentially better selling but lower value products. The result of this can be increased visibility, driving volume and growth of both higher and lower value products.

5. Product Types

If your store has a huge product catalogue, you may want to push one type of product due to weather, seasonality or trends, which can be difficult to do if all of your products are in an automated shopping campaign. Therefore, some businesses could find it beneficial to use custom labels to split products out by product type. This means that the algorithms can learn specific user behaviours and search queries for different products, rather than all products being grouped together which might have completely different user journeys.

Custom Labels Conclusion

All in all, custom labels are a great way to not only segment out products and enable them to serve more effectively, but also to be able to see much more detailed data within the interface. We can now understand and analyse product performance with an extra layer of internal data, using the background information to help guide optimisations and strategy, thereby improving efficiency for both us and our client accounts.

Ask how we can make your shopping ads work harder for you today.

Untitled design (53)

How Important Is Audience Targeting In Display Advertising?

Display advertising is an amazing way of getting brand exposure on the internet for a very low price. Ads can be shown on over 2 million websites online, meaning that the reach is massive. Not only that, it’s global. This is an incredible opportunity to generate awareness and drive traffic to your website for a huge amount of users, but how much is too much?

Having this much reach is great in theory but, realistically, how many of these users are going to be engaged with your ads and how many have no relevance to your business whatsoever? This is where audience targeting can come in handy to help make things a lot more granular. 

Types of Audiences

There are many different types of audiences you can use in Google Ads, which can help to hone in on specific users that are most relevant to your business. These include:

Which you use depends on what you’re trying to advertise/achieve. It could be that there are themes the target audiences are interested in, or it could be an age-related product or service. This criteria would then make the decision a lot easier to make. 

Why is this beneficial?

Choosing your audience type allows you to take a chunk of users who are more relevant to your brand and advertise only to these. The result is that you gain a higher percentage of engaged users who are more likely to interact with your business and, therefore, produce a better ROI and a more efficient campaign. 

What are the drawbacks?

There are certain drawbacks to audience targeting. Sometimes human bias can influence the way in which we pick and choose the right audiences for a campaign. You may subconsciously select audiences that aren’t actually the most effective and end up missing out on another portion of potential customers. Additionally, what you think you may know about your audience may not actually be fully accurate, especially when it comes to demographics:

These people are completely different and will have completely different interests and purchasing behaviours, yet are still classed as the same with demographic targeting. So it’s important to take this into consideration.

The other factor to consider is that some segments may convert a lot higher than others but have absolutely no connection or relevance to your business. It’s potentially quite silly to just take this data and run with it, without a little bit of a reality check on whether this makes logical sense.

So what should I do?

The most effective approach would be to use in-market or custom intent, as these are more “intent” based ways of targeting your audiences. These audiences are actively searching for your product or service, giving a much higher level of engagement with the brand. This, again, does limit the potential exposure, so a mixture of display campaigns with different audiences can help to maximise success.

Audience targeting overall

Audience targeting can be great, if taken with a pinch of salt. Google’s algorithms can end up being a lot broader than anticipated and sometimes this data can be generalised. What may look like a solid trend could really just be a coincidence, with someone being categorised in a certain audience list entirely without merit.

My advice would be to not exclusively use specific audiences until actual data has been generated and analysed. The best way of doing this is to use observation targeting setting to gather relevant data on possible audiences, rather than taking the leap and bidding for only specific audiences. There is also a lot more that can go into a display campaign, including placements and topics to help to find the right audience looking at the same types of websites as your target audience. As with most paid ads strategies, do your due diligence and test test test!

We’re happy to talk through our paid advertising services, or any other digital marketing you’re after. Drop us an email today.
Untitled design (56)

Apps Or No Apps? Do They Work For Display Advertising?

Apps are a huge part of everyday life in the 21st century, whether it’s a game or your favourite retailer, everyone is getting on the app bandwagon. But, when it comes to PPC and display advertising, is having mobile application placements beneficial or not?

Display is a great way to generate visibility across millions of different websites and apps. It can boost brand awareness and help to drive leads and/or sales, but there is much debate as to where the best placements are, and what works & what doesn’t.


Websites are a great way to get visibility. You can get your ads on top quality publications for a very low cost, alongside advertisers who are paying high fees to earn an advertising spot in the same publication. This makes it a really good way of getting in front of your target audience, by choosing websites that they would likely visit whilst also keeping costs down. You can either target specific websites or let the algorithm place ads anywhere on the internet to see what performs best. Users will be passively seeing your ad as they are browsing the internet, which can be good for brand recall & for bringing users into the funnel when they are ready to convert or learn more about your business. The thing to be careful of here is making sure that the ad copy of your display ads is contextual. These ads can sometimes embed into articles and it’s important that the user doesn’t confuse the ad as being related to the article/website itself. There is also brand protection to think of too; if there are any inappropriate/controversial websites that you don’t want your brand to be associated with, make sure to exclude these from the start. 

Mobile Apps

Mobile app placements are slightly different in that they appear when a user is interacting with an app. As apps are typically used on smaller devices, it can mean that the ad takes over the whole of the user’s screen rather than just being passively visible. The result is ads that then interfere with the user’s experience, interrupt gameplay or distract them from what they are doing. This can be annoying for the user & cause negative connotations towards the brand. It can also mean they click the ad as a way to remove it from their screen, thereby costing you money for zero return. However, in some instances, this can actually be perceived in a good way. Advertising other apps on active apps may mean your user is more likely to engage. For example, if a user is playing a game and you are advertising another game, the user is a lot more likely to respond to that than they are to an unconnected website. That’s because you know that the user plays games on apps, and this is exactly your target market.


Like with websites, YouTube allows for passive reach across a wide range of users as they are browsing YouTube. The difference with YouTube is that there are different types of placements that can all be interpreted differently by users; some appear at the top of search results, some overlay the video & some appear down the side of a video. The ones in search results & down the side of the video may work much like website placements, creating brand visibility without interrupting the user’s experience. The one to watch out for is the overlay format, this may come across as intrusive by some users and, as I’m sure many of us can agree, ads when watching videos can get extremely irritating. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, there are positives and negatives to the different placements on the display network. It really is down to what you are advertising, and to understanding the best possible placements that will get your business in front of the most engaged users. As with everything in paid search, experiment, analyse the data & use that to help drive your decisions.

Contact us for more information or help setting up your in-app display ads  

Untitled design (57)

iOS 14.5 and the Effects on Meta Advertising.

Over a year has passed since the introduction of IOS14 & 14.5 which changed the landscape of Meta advertising. This blog will talk through the updates and the detrimental effects this ultimately had on paid social advertisers.

iOS 14 & 14.5 Update Changes – What is it?

Perhaps one of the most significant changes arising from the updates was that Apple limited the amount of data Meta could get from their users. Apple launched the App Transparency feature which asked the user for permission every time an app requested their IDFA (Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers). 

This prompt allows users to ask the app not to track and, if selected, prevents any user activity being tracked across company apps and websites.

Since Apple’s new privacy feature the rate of opt-in figures has, unsurprisingly, been low. According to Statista as of April 2022, the opt-in rate was at 25%.

What does this mean for Meta advertising?

With the majority of consumers choosing to opt out of data, there has been a significant impact on the amount of data marketers are now able to collect.

As a result of the update, Meta Pixel is now unable to track user’s activity properly, which is a big change to adjust to. Advertisers now report far fewer clicks on their advertisements as people choose to opt out of tracking. As a result, the conversions that are made cannot be reported on as granulary; for example, demographic data is no longer collected, meaning that advertisers can no longer use this information to personalise ads. Consequently, this has made it more difficult when optimising ads and caused a notable decrease in performance for all campaigns.

Another clear impact of the update is the lack of audience data that can be used for remarketing purposes. Meta audiences is one of the reasons that advertising through these platforms was so popular. Targeting users through lookalike, remarketing and custom audiences is now limited in its capabilities. To tackle this, campaigns should target a broader audience using interest marketing, this will allow Meta to use their own data to put your ads in front of people likely to convert. 

Aggregated Events Management

In addition to the reduction of user data that Meta can access, there is also no real-time reporting in Meta and results can take up to 3 days to appear. In response to this, Meta developed the aggravated events management system to help advertisers with reporting. This requires brands to limit their conversion events to 8 per domain. Meta Events Manager now only tracks the last single event made by the user, it’s therefore important to prioritise the order of conversion events. It’s also vital to have your domains verified in order to have this working effectively, so keep an eye out for the warning sign that will tell you if it’s not.

How can agencies respond to this new normal for Meta Ads? 

  1. Verify your domain: This tells Meta that you are a legitimate business and allows for the 8 conversion events to be assigned to that domain.
  1. Set up Aggregated Event Management: You can set up 8 conversion events. Meta will only track the last conversion event with the highest priority. 
  1. Target broad Audiences :Targeting large audiences with similar interests will allow Meta to put your ads in front of the right people. 

Summing up the IOS 14 & 14.5 Updates

The IOS 14 and 14.5 updates have had a huge impact on how advertisers utilise Meta for advertising. The updates mean it’s no longer as efficient as it has been before, but there are still things we can do to give our campaigns the best chance of succeeding. After all, advertisers are known for adapting to change and, as such, we must stay vigilant for any more updates in the paid social scene and run with these changes.

Find out how we work with the iOS changes and can help guide your social advertising
Untitled design (58)

Google Shopping Explained

Google Shopping is a great way to advertise your products and generate sales as an E-commerce store. It’s a shopping comparison service for searchers where retailers compete to get their products in front of users who are searching online for them.

Why use Google Shopping Ads?

Unlike Google’s main other campaign type – Search (AKA text ads), these ads include an image of your product as well as the title, price and shop name. Shopping Ads provide more information to the users who are searching for your products, which helps to bring in more qualified leads. Shopping Ads show up at the top of the Google SERP in a scrollable banner format above organic results, and even above text ads. This means they are the first thing a user will see when they’re searching for a product, making them very powerful for growing revenue.

Graphical user interface, text, website

Description automatically generated

How do Google Shopping Ads Work?

Shopping ads are created automatically by Google through your product feed, which is a file you upload to Google Merchant Centre containing all of your products and their information, such as price, description, delivery costs etc. So, unlike text ads, there is no need to write ad copy. Google will simply use the information you provide in the product feed to create the ad content. The ad will contain the product title, price and image, as well as extra information, if available, such as reviews. As the information that builds the ad comes from your product feed, the data inputted to the feed must be accurate and of high quality, to ensure it appears in searches. Once a user clicks on your ad, they will be directed straight to the product page on your website where they can ‘add to basket’ and complete the purchase.

Shopping ads also tend to have lower cost-per-click than text ads, which means they are a more cost-effective advertising platform, helping to generate more ROI. This makes Shopping ads extremely valuable to online shops as they bring in higher quality leads due to the extra information given to the user, and are cheaper when users do click. 

Step 1: Set Up Google Merchant Centre & Upload A Product Feed

This is the most time-consuming part of the process but, once done, your Shopping Ad campaigns will be much easier to manage than if you were to advertise the same items through Google Search Campaigns. In Google Merchant Centre, simply upload a product feed using either a Google Sheet or an XML file. Google has handy templates for you to use to help create the feed. 

Graphical user interface, text, application, email

Description automatically generated

Some e-commerce platform providers, such as Shopify or WooCommerce, have direct integrations with Google Merchant Centre, meaning you can manage both your website catalogue and Google product feed simultaneously. This makes this step a lot simpler. Check your e-commerce platform provider to see if yours will work with Google Merchant Centre.

Once done, link your Google Ads account to your Merchant Centre by heading to the gear icon at the top right, and heading to the linked accounts section.

After your product feed is uploaded, you will be moving to Google Ads to optimise your campaigns. One more thing to mention before moving over to Google Ads is the “Promotions” feature on Google Merchant Centre. Here, you can set up promotions such as monetary or percentage discounts, free gifts and free shipping, to reflect any sales or promotions you may be offering on your website. 

If you are running a promotion on a specific set of products, you can use the [promo_id] attribute within your product feed to mark products you want to include in sales; this way, only those with the correct promotion ID will be included. 

You can also create custom filters based on your product attributes within the promotion set up, allowing you to select products for your promotion by the attributes you’ve set them in the feed.

Step 2: Create your campaign(s)

Now you can move to Google Ads and start to set up your shopping campaigns. On the campaign tab, press the blue “+” button to set up a new campaign. Select your campaign goal as “Sales” and campaign type as “Shopping”.  Make sure you have conversion tracking set up in order to properly measure the performance of your campaigns and product sales through Google Ads.

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

Before continuing to the next step, make sure you switch to the “Standard Shopping campaign” selection – this will give you manual control over bid levels which is useful for new users when getting to grips with Google Ads.

Graphical user interface, text, application

Description automatically generated

On the next page you will be able to set the daily budget and bid levels to your desired amounts, as well as targeting options such as locations and devices.

Step 3: Segment your products by attributes

Now, in your newly created campaign(s), you can segment your products by the attributes you set in the feed. A standard segmentation used by a lot of advertisers is to separate their products by Brand, but this may not be the best approach for everyone. By splitting out products in the product groups, you can bid different amounts on different brands, product categories, and even down to product specific bids. You can also exclude products from your campaigns if you do not wish to advertise them.

Step 4: Optimise

Once your campaign is live, you will be able to see how much your products are spending, how much revenue they are generating and other helpful data such as Search Impression Share (the percentage of times your ad showed when eligible). Use this to gauge the performance of your products and adjust your bids and budgets in accordance with your marketing goals.


Google Shopping is a really effective tool for both advertisers and shoppers. By using Google Shopping, advertisers can showcase their products in a very visual way to potential customers. It’s therefore a great way to boost website traffic and sales. It’s also much more cost effective than other text-heavy advertising options, so if you haven’t tried it yet this could be an ideal tool for your business.