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ICYMI in September: Paid Media & social roundup

New this month, in case you missed it.

GOOGLE ADS: *NEW* Optimisation options for CPC

Is this the first sign that manual CPC is being sunsetted?

Two new optimisation options for manual CPC have been quietly released. This looks to me like a clever way to get the old school manual CPC users to switch to smart bidding while having manual selected as a bidding strategy.

It was spotted recently by my Spanish PPC contacts (thanks for the heads up, guys) but this is the first time I have seen it in English in my account.

Highlighting the new CPC feature

The two new OPTIONAL manual CPC options are:

  • Optimise for conversions
  • Optimise for conversion value

So , it looks as if the best practise start for a new account be manual CPC > ECPC > ECPC (with 2 new options) > TCPA.

Google suggests the enhanced cost per click (ECPC) can help you get more conversions from manual bidding. It works by:

  • Raising your maximum CPC bids for clicks that seem more likely to lead to conversions
  • Lowering your maximum CPC bids for clicks that seem less likely to convert

In theory, this feature can help increase conversions and get more value from your budget. 

One of my followers noted that good tracking is essential to making the most of this feature. I quite agree – I’ve started using conversion action sets, which has really helped.




GOOGLE Academy for Ads / Skillshop: *UPDATE* New exams

The exams are supposed to be harder…

How long till the “dodgy AdSense heavy sites” SEO agencies crack the questions and give you answers when you type the question in Google? It would be funny (and ironic) if they used rich snippets to display the answers to the question.

Exclusive email detailing the relaunch of Academy for Ads

So anyway, I think they have updated the exams to make them harder. However, someone told me yesterday they failed because the wording to the questions is very vague. Luckily I don’t need to re-take until April next year.

Skillshop is the one-stop shop for product training for everyone who uses Google’s professional tools and solutions. Google Ads courses have been added to help us “grow … proficiency in managing and measuring Search, Display, Video and Shopping campaigns”.




GOOGLE DYNAMIC ADS: *New* Add categories

This simple addition should allow you to rule out the annoying restricted keywords for good!

In Dynamic Ads, you can now add “Categories” as a new rule to target specific web pages. NO NEED FOR THOSE PESKY RESTRICTED KEYWORDS ANYMORE!

Google Dynamic Ads new category in the dashboard

This is only a small Google change but will come in very useful for me and opens a whole new world of testing some very targeted traffic. Google support doesn’t mention this new change so it looks like I am on my own to test and get working… easy peasy (let’s get them layers added!).

The wider conversation on LinkedIn when I posted this update included people who hadn’t yet tried Dynamic Ads out. I love Dynamic Ads – once you figure out how they work and know what things to exclude and what things to layer. They aren’t suitable for all clients, but if their website is structured well with good meta data and product descriptions then it’s great. The categories are Google’s very experienced version of SEO, so you know it’s going to be half decent.


We’ve curated and updated the best snippets. To engage in the debate, see Steven’s profile on LinkedIn and follow #door4 so you don’t miss any updates.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash.

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