Google has been busy, busy lately, changing up brands and releasing new features to its products. And, my oh my, there’s a bunch of them. If you’ve been using Google Ads for your online advertising, you’re going to want to sit down and read these updates (okay, you don’t have to; we have a video on this topic, too). There have been some major changes in the last month! The number one change has to do with its name.
Adwords becomes Google Ads
First up, a new name for AdWords!
After 18 years of AdWords and DoubleClick, Google has announced a new brand change they say will make it easier for people to connect online with businesses. Google’s new solutions for their advertising products will be called Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager.
This is to simplify for a new mobile-focused world with increasingly complex methods to reach consumers.
Google Ads will represent the full range of advertising capabilities, including on Google.com and other properties, partner sites, and apps. For small businesses, Google is launching a new campaign type, which will help people get started with their online advertising. The new smart campaigns will allow business owners to create ads in minutes that drive real results—Google says these real results can include making your phone ring, sending leads to your website, or bringing customers to your store.
Google is also working to create a stronger collaboration for enterprise marketing by combining the DoubleClick advertiser products and the Google Analytics 360 Suite under a single name: Google Marketing Platform.
Google Marketing Platform will be helping marketers achieve their goals by integrating the Google Analytics 360 Suite and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, to see analytics and respond accordingly with ads.
Lastly, Google Ad Manager is bringing DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange together into one programmatic platform that will help publishers to manage their businesses better. Google says this new platform will allow them to do more for their partners.
New local search ads will appear on Google Maps
As more and more people are using Google Maps, Google is working on a way to drive traffic from the maps app to local businesses. As they try to accomplish that goal, we are going to start seeing new advertising formats on the Google Maps app, including brand logos and offers directly on the surface of the map. For example, in the Google Map listing for Walgreens, you could potentially see an offer for $3 off contact solution.
Google will also be revamping local business pages to make two changes: to allow advertisers to highlight in-store promotions and to allow users to search local inventory.
Lead ads are coming to Youtube
Finally, lead ads on YouTube! Facebook leads ads have worked really well right for a lot of advertisers, and now we will have the opportunity to use these types of ads on YouTube.
YouTube is the world’s most popular video platform, and lead ads will give the opportunity to target robust audiences and capture the contact information of prospects without making them go all the way to your website.
Gigantic responsive search ads are coming to a SERP near you
Yay! Responsive search ads are giving us the ability to create up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. And, with the new expanded text ads, headlines are about to get much bigger. You will be able to have 30-character headlines, up from a single headline of just 25 characters. Google said they found this change dramatically increased click-through-rate, by as much as 25 percent. That’s good news for us!
Speed testing added directly in Google Ads!
Users don’t like a slow experience on the web. Most people will bounce after just a few seconds of loading. So, Google has added a helpful Mobile Landing Page Speed Score to help advertisers know whether their landing pages are loading fast or not. The test will score on a 10-point scale system from “very slow” to “extremely fast.”
Better measurement of in-store conversions
In totally not creepy at all news, Google is looking at phone location history to be able to tell when Google Ads are converting and leading people to walk into a physical location. While personally, it feels a little violating, this is great news for advertisers who want to know that their ads are working. That is especially important when you consider 90 percent of sales will happen in the store, as opposed to online.
Cross-device reporting comes to Google Analytics
After much too long, cross-device reporting is coming to Google Analytics. It will live in the Audience section of Google Analytics and will be broken up into three sub-reports: device overlap, device paths, and acquisition device.
- Device overlap will allow you to see what type and how many devices are used to access your content
- Device paths will let you discover the last five devices used before conversion
- Acquisition device will let you see the relationship between acquisitions and conversations.
These new reports will give you the ability to compare segments, visualize data, and distinguish usage across desktop, mobile, and tablet at every stage of your purchasing funnel.
Smart campaigns will be a cool new solution for small businesses
As part of the new Google Ads, there will be a new “default ad experience” called smart campaigns, which are made specifically to help small businesses. The goal is for small business owners to set their campaigns in just a few minutes without needing a lot of experience.
Think of these new smart campaigns similar to AdWords Express (though it’s not exactly the same). If you’re looking for something that will help you get ads up asap for not a lot of cash, smart campaigns may be the thing for you.
Auto-optimized landing pages will help businesses who don’t have a website
It’s 2018, you would think basically 99 percent of businesses would have some sort of website by now. But, shockingly, almost half of all small business owners in the U.S. don’t have any sort of website. These people are unlikely to have the time or experience needed to create websites and landing page that are optimized for search ads.
Well, Google has come to the rescue! They are testing out auto-optimized landing pages for people to use. They will live within the smart campaign function and aim to give business owners an easy, efficient alternative to creating a whole website.
Using machine learning, these landing pages will pull info about products and services right from the ad, and match it to your on-page creative. You’ll also get conversion tracking and reporting, too.
Google Shopping gets some new features
Online shopping is one of America’s favorite pastimes: in a 48-hour period, 80 percent of Americans are shopping online. That’s why Google decided to implement smart shopping into its shopping experience to bring machine learning into yet another avenue at Google.
Google says early tests have shown about a 20 percent increase in conversion value. Not only can it enhance conversion value, it can give advertisers the option to select store visits and new customers as goals. Then the machine kicks in. It can make bid adjustments, optimize advertisement placement, and optimize which products are featured. It can do this based on a wide range of factors, everything from seasonal demand to pricing.
Automated feeds, which will be launched soon, will expand on this and let advertisers make comprehensive product feeds super easily. Google Ads will put all the products from the website into it’s UI. It’ll be integrated with leading e-commerce platforms like Shopify.
You can opt-out of ad personalization
Users can now opt out of advertisement personalization. This stops advertisers from tailoring the individual experience for those who don’t want it. Bummer for those who want audience specific targeting. But, bonus, it helps keep Google out of trouble, unlike Facebook (womp, womp), and helps keep Google known as a somewhat trustworthy organization.
Alright, that’s quite the list of updates! Do you use Google Ads? What new implementations are you looking forward to the most? We have a feeling the smart campaigns will be a big hit with a lot of our clients.
No time to read? Would you rather listen while you work? Check out our live stream. Our special guest this week was Zana Mahmood from Iraqi Kurdistan, founder of Enlightors Digital Agency in Erbil.