The Google Performance Summit: What You Need to Know
Google held its annual Performance Summit on May 24th, where experts in the Google AdWords and Google Analytics products present new updates and enhancements for advertisers to run better, more effective Online Advertising programs.
It comes as no surprise that the focus of the summit was the mobile-first world. Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Advertising and Commerce at Google, stated, “The shift to mobile is no longer something that will happen or is happening. It has happened.” People around the world depend on their smart phones every day for many different reasons. There are trillions – yes trillions! – of searches performed on Google each year and half of those are done on mobile devices.
Below are the key takeaways and what you need to know about Google’s latest updates and what they mean for your brand.
Expanded Text Ads
One of the most notable updates from the Summit was the announcement of Expanded Text Ads; a new text ad format with over 50% more ad text. Early tests done internally by Google showed improvements in clickthrough rates of over 20%. This seems to be in response to the removal of right side ads, which happened earlier this year. Select advertisers – like us! – can expect the beta to open later this year.
Bid Adjustments by Device
The announcement of bid adjustments across all devices – including tablets – caused a round of applause heard around the world. Okay – maybe not exactly, but it was a pretty exciting announcement! This update gives advertisers even more control over bids across devices, which is becoming more and more important as consumers use multiple devices during the buying process. Many joked that this change should be called "unenhanced campaigns" since essentially this is reverting all of the changes that came along with "enhanced campaigns" in 2013.
Similar Audiences and Demographics for the Search Network
A new feature for the Search Network, Similar Audiences for Search, gives advertisers the ability to create new audiences based off of existing ones in their account. This can already be done on the Display Network, so it’s a welcome added feature to the Search Network.
Demographics are also being added to the Search Network. This feature is currently still in beta, but advertisers will be able to make bid adjustments based on gender and age for their Search Network programs in the near future.
Responsive Ads for Display
This new feature automatically adapts Display ads across more than two million publisher sites and apps on the Google Display Network. Instead of having to create each individual image ad for the different size options, responsive ads for Display will do it for you.
Local Search Ads on Google and Google Maps
Advertisers using location extensions will be able to showcase a variety of different features of their business including store hours, locations, phone number, etc. A fully customizable business page will open up to show these different features.
Google says that nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are related to location and that 1/4 of searchers choose not to visit a store because they’re not sure if that location carries a certain product. That’s why Google created an inventory search feature for these Local Search Ads, giving searchers the information they’re looking for and brands the customers they want.
In addition to these changes, Google Maps will be providing a more customized experience for searchers. Google is testing several ad formats that make it easier for users to find businesses and products they’re looking for in their area. According to Google, “Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route.”
This new feature will be added to all Display Network Remarketing campaigns and allows advertisers to reach additional apps and websites around the world with the same precise high quality traffic that the Display Network already brings.
A Brand New AdWords Interface
With all of these updates and a push towards the mobile-first world, Google realized their product for their own clients – advertisers – was not the best it could be. That’s why they have completely redesigned and updated Google AdWords to help advertisers create and manage better programs. The new interface will start to roll out in late 2016.
Google Analytics 360 Suite
Recently Google announced the Google Analytics 360 Suite for marketers, which consists of six products to help marketers better understand their website traffic and how all of their online efforts are contributing to their bottom line. The new suite of products is now being rolled out to all Google Analytics Premium and Adometry customers. These products were designed based on customer feedback and will be better integrated, encourage collaboration, and provide the intelligence and data needed for marketers to understand their audiences.
All of these announcements are exciting for advertisers and brands alike. We are thrilled to see Google taking charge with mobile and looking forward to implementing some of these changes for our clients in the coming months. What do you think about these updates and implementing them into your Online Advertising strategy? Not sure where to start? Contact one of our Online Advertising experts today!