Over the last two years, many of us at Rise Interactive have been part of a Google focus group, helping the search engine redesign AdWords and the digital marketing experience it provides agencies and customers. Recently, we were able to watch Google’s annual AdWords News and Innovation livestream, and saw that much of our feedback and several of our ideas had been integrated into the AdWords redesign.
We’re particularly thrilled for the new platform as many of the upcoming enhancements revolve around a mobile-first approach to marketing. Over the years we’ve seen a steady increase in mobile presence across all markets and are excited to use these new tools to bring our clients an even better AdWords experience. A few of the most significant announcements that were made in the livestream are below.
Changes to Search Ads
I recently wrote a blog about Google’s removal of ads from the right-hand side of its search results page and the potential impact for digital marketers. Just three months later, Google has taken another step to change the search engine results page (SERP), announcing that it will release expanded text ads across all devices later this year, filling the newly vacated space and providing a consistent look across all devices.
The expanded text ads will allow for two 30-character headlines instead of the current standard of one 25-character headline. The 70-character description line has expanded to 80 characters. Ads in the top positions will continue to see an increase in click-through-rate (CTR) and potentially push down organic listings.
Changes to Bidding
Enhanced Campaigns debuted three years ago and since then, there have been little to no changes to AdWords bidding. Digital marketers have continuously reached out to Google and requested the ability to bid differently on desktop, mobile, and tablet -- previously, these devices were grouped together in Google’s bidding process, despite delivering different user experiences.
Google has listened to these requests, and announced that separate bid modifiers can now be applied to different devices. This gives advertisers more flexibility and the ability to deliver an enhanced experience that accounts for different intents and conversion rates.
Expanded RLSA Abilities
Google has also expanded its remarketing capabilities. Its initial focus was within the Google Display Network (GDN) and over the last two years, this focus has shifted to the Search Network, specifically Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs).
One of the most exciting announcements made in the livestream is the ability to use Similar Audiences in search. This additional targeting layer takes RLSAs a step further by allowing advertisers to remarket to users who demonstrate behaviors that are similar to current customers, but who have not yet visited their site. Similar Audiences enables you to leverage look-alike targeting, playing an important role in building a new customer base for a lower cost.
Integrating Online-to-Offline Traffic Measurement
Google shared that while 90% of sales still occur in-store, mobile searches are playing a large role in driving those sales. With one-third of mobile searches relating to local queries, being able to measure in-store conversions coming from search ads is critical to understanding success.
Moving forward, Google will be more extensively using Bluetooth beacon technology which uses real-time geolocation data to determine whether the person who searched and clicked on your ad ended up walking into the store. Google will also focus on Local Search Ads which will allow for ads to appear in local results on Google Search and Google Maps. These features further prove that Google’s focal point is on improving its mobile user experience.
We’re excited to see these updates roll out over the next few months. For more about Google’s announcements, visit the AdWords blog. To learn how to make sure your paid search campaigns are optimized for these changes, reach out to Rise.