Google AdWords Updates are not as frequent as Facebook or Instagram, but this doesn’t mean they are less important.
Since the new AdWords UI was launched at the end of 2017, Google has introduced a few improvements to make your advertising more fruitful.
That now includes ways to save you time and increase your reach.
In fact, two of the latest updates focus on growing your reach with Outstream Video Ads and Affiliate Location Extension for YouTube.
There’s more, though. Let’s discover what’s new on Google AdWords.
Here’s a quick list of the latest AdWords updates we’re going to cover:
- Google AdWords Ad Suggestions: how to use the new feature to write fewer ads
- What new GDPR regulations mean for AdWords Advertisers (and how to comply)
- Google AdWords’ new Outstream Video Ads: all you need to know to get started
- New message reporting features for Click-To-Message Ads
- Affiliate Location Extensions For YouTube to sell more products
And now let’s dive in!
Writing ads on AdWords is one of the most time-consuming tasks there is. Fitting your entire value proposition, keywords and calls to action into an 80 character limit takes skill.
And if writing more than a few doesn’t drive you crazy, I don’t know what will.
But writing high-quality ads is the backbone of AdWords. Of actually getting people to click on your site over your competitor.
Writing better ads should be a top priority in any given campaign. After all, if you can’t drive the clicks, you can’t compel them to sign up.
Thankfully, AdWords has now added a feature to the new AdWords experience: ad suggestions:
So, what exactly are they and why did AdWords add them?
Essentially, ad suggestions are automated ads written by AdWords for your ad groups. AdWords does this to help advertisers find better success on their platform, keeping them around for longer.
Research has shown that ad groups with 3 or more high-quality ads can get up to 5% to 15% more clicks or conversions than ad groups with only 1 ad, provided ad rotation has been optimized. The more ads you provide, the more options you’ll have to show the ideal message for each user search.”
Ad suggestions are meant to help users save time with excellent automated ads. When you don’t have multiple ads in each ad group, AdWords will automatically generate more for you!
And writing more ads leads to big increases in CTR and conversions.
These ad suggestions can be found under “Ads & Extensions” on the Recommendations page of your account:
Simply view and accept recommendations and AdWords will add them directly to the given ad group.
Latest data shows that automated ad suggestions actually are producing 10% higher click-through rates than manually written ads.
Take advantage of ad suggestions today to save time and increase your campaign performance.
In April 2016, the European Parliament adopted the new GDPR regulations, requiring the protection of private personal data on citizens during transactions.
GDPR, otherwise known as General Data Protection Regulation, basically requires businesses that engage with data on European citizens to comply with stricter rules and privacy measures. Meaning if you are targeting any segment of potential customers in Europe, new, stricter regulations could have big impacts on the way you use and collect data.
One report found that 66% of companies in the United States will be impacted by it. Anyway, if you only target users in the United States or Canada, you don’t have to worry.
So, what data are we talking about here?
Customer data on everything from name, identity, health data, race, politics, sexual orientation, geolocation, IPs and even cookies.
Taking full effect on May 25, 2018, marketers targeting the EU are spinning into a frenzy. Especially when it comes to advertising and data usage for audiences.
If you currently (or want to) target this segment, here are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure that you comply with GDPR:
According to AdWords, you must always get consent to use data. Here’s what they ask you to do:
According to eConsultancy, your policy should address the following questions:
- What information are you collecting? Who is collecting it, why and how?
- How will data be used and shared?
- Can the user opt-out and revoke consent easily?
At the moment, as a general rule, there are three more key factors that you have to check to make sure to comply with the new rules:
- On your website, users should always have the ability to withdraw consent to use data.
- Ask users if they want to opt-out of cookie tracking.
- Link back to GDPR and state a clear commitment to GDPR practices
Just recently AdWords announced the addition of Google TrueView. But they didn’t stop there:
On April 17th of 2018, they announced a new feature for video advertising: Outstream Video Ads.
This new format allows advertisers to extend the reach of their video ads beyond just YouTube.
Outstream is built exclusively for mobile targeting, allowing advertisers to reach users anywhere that video can be displayed. For instance, on mobile applications.
Outstream ads drive incremental, cost-efficient and viewable reach beyond YouTube.”
Ads will be displayed on Google partner sites or applications.
And these ads work uniquely in comparison to TrueView ads on YouTube:
When ads first come live on a users screen, they begin with no sound. A user can tap the video screen to enable sound and listen to the ad or even start from the beginning.
Thankfully, you only pay for viewable CPM, meaning your video has to be on screen and directly viewable in the window to be charged.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board has already used Outstream video ads to generate a 30% incremental reach with an 85% lower CPM than traditional video ad options.
To get started with an Outstream campaign, head to your AdWords dashboard and create a new campaign with “Video” as the campaign type:
From here, select the “Brand awareness and reach” goal from the list:
Lastly, choose “Outstream” as your campaign subtype:
And the rest is up to you!
Now you can create and optimize your video, bidding, and audience targeting to start reaching users in different mediums than just YouTube.
In 2016, Google introduced a new format of ads: click-to-message.
These ads allowed businesses to engage directly with users via text messaging instead of online forms:
For example, to schedule an appointment, a searcher could simply text the given business number.
And according to Google, they work:
65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to complete tasks like getting information about a product or service or scheduling an in-person appointment.”
With click-to-message ads being around for a few years now, Google has finally updated their reporting to give advertisers better metrics on this somewhat complicated ad format.
In your dashboard, you will now see the following three metrics added:
- Chat rate: essentially a soft-conversion rate/click-through rate. How often a searcher starts a chat after seeing a message ad.
- Chat start time: timestamps for when a user starts the conversation. This could be helpful in specific industries to find popular engagement times as well as internal audits of how well sales staff are responding.
- Messages: the total amount of messages sent in any given chat.
With more metrics to begin analyzing, click-to-message ads are becoming more popular.
Affiliate location extensions have been around for a while now.
If you’ve ever searched on Google for a product that can be purchased in a local area, for example, a television, you have no doubt come across these extensions:
As of March 21st, 2018, advertisers on YouTube now have direct access to these affiliate location extensions, making it easier than ever before to drive tangible sales on YouTube.
These extensions can now be enabled for video advertisers on YouTube for your campaigns by clicking on the extensions tab and selecting “Affiliate location extension:”
You can select retail locations in a given location radius to pinpoint exact stores where your merchandise is sold:
Google recently found that 30% of mobile searches are location based.
Their study also found that 76% of users who engage with searches or local products on their phones will visit that store within a single business day and 28% of them will make a purchase.
Now is the time to take advantage of affiliate location extensions in your video ads.
But that’s not all that AdWords has done in 2018.
In the next two sections, we’ll detail more critical updates to the AdWords experience as well as three key tips for finding better results on AdWords in 2018.
Keep on reading then, and don’t forget that now AdEspresso supports AdWords too! To discover the details just click here!
What do you think? Are there any new AdWords features we did not mention? Is there something you want us to cover in next issue? Just let us know in the comments!
AdWords Updates You Can Not Miss (March 2018)
Two of the biggest AdWords updates in 2018 focus on the expansion of Landing Pages Report and the increased accuracy of Customer Match Options. And there’s more. Let’s discover what’s new on Google AdWords.
Here’s a quick list of the AdWords updates we are going to cover:
- Google introduces more specific custom columns
- AdWords has expanded Landing Pages Report
- Make sales easy with Promotion Extension
- A/B Test Faster with Ad Variations
- Customer Match Options gets more accurate
- Maximize your results with custom Intent Audiences
Ready to dive in?
Since 2014, advertisers on Google AdWords have been able to develop and measure custom metrics at the campaign and ad group level.
But just recently in 2018, Google announced an update allowing users to do this at the keyword and ad level for better specificity.
To get started with custom columns, head to your ads or keyword section and click on the column modification button:
From here, click on the “Custom columns” tab:
This will bring up the new-and-improved custom column creator right inside your keywords and ads tabs:
You can customize metrics based on any type of performance or conversion elements:
This new addition will prove very useful to further analyze how specific keywords are doing and select ads, rather than overall ad group or campaign level performance.
For example, you can directly analyze how ads perform with mobile users by adding a mobile CTR metric to your columns or gauge keyword success based on mobile conversions.
The options are now virtually limitless and almost infinitely customizable to your goals as deep as the keyword and ad levels.
On top of new customization options and custom columns, the landing pages report got a fresh overhaul.
Originally released in early 2017, the page has been updated and modified to reflect new diverse metrics such as clicks, cost, conversion rates and any metric labeled under conversions, performance, and viewability.
With the new report, all landing pages that you use for ads will show up, giving you actionable data like mobile-friendly clicks, AMP clicks, conversions and more:
Gauging the performance of your landing page is critical to better quality scores. And now, it’s never been easier.
You can easily access this report from the sidebar on your dashboard:
Customize your metrics and columns based on your KPIs, and you can start to analyze what landing pages are performing best (or worst).
Writing new ads on AdWords sucks.
You have tons of information that you need to communicate to potential buyers, yet Google only gives you 30 characters for the headline and 80 for the description.
Meaning you can’t share everything you need to share to convince cold traffic to buy from you.
And more often than not, it leaves you with boring, promotional headlines that people ignore.
Headlines that focus too much on their discounts and not a compelling value proposition.
Thankfully, in the latest updates, AdWords has added promotion extensions:
Promotion extensions allow you to add another tab of information to your ads, showcasing specific products (or product groups) on sale.
These are meant to take advantage of holiday seasons like Black Friday or Christmas.
As with all extensions, you can control when they are shown and on what devices, meaning you can customize offers based on device, too.
For instance, want to run a mobile holiday sale? Set the extensions to mobile only.
According to Google, companies using them are seeing 20-30% conversion rate lifts.
With these new extensions, you don’t have to worry about wasting copy in your headlines or descriptions. You can keep existing value propositions and CTAs but add promotions on products for any time of the year.
A/B testing ads, copy and creative are key to success on AdWords.
But before the recent updates in 2017 and 2018, A/B testing wasn’t that easy.
It usually involved creating multiple campaigns or ad groups and launching new tests.
But with the new AdWords experience and Ad Variations, you can quickly AZ/B test search network ads at scale.
For instance, if you want to test specific copy, you can apply it to thousands of ads with the click of a button, scaling your test faster than any method available prior to the update.
And the best part?
AdWords only shows you results if they are statistically significant. That’s a huge plus considering the fact that most aren’t.
To find this new feature, head to the Drafts & Experiments section on your dashboard:
From here, create a new ad variation. You can begin to quickly adjust ad text at scale using AdWords’ new find and replace tool:
Doing so will create secondary variations of any ads you select to modify, keeping your existing ones untouched.
No more creating new campaigns, ad groups and ads over and over and over to test.
Google released customer matching options to the public in March of 2015.
Customer matching allowed AdWords advertisers to upload files of customer data to match their existing customers to a targeted audience, making remarketing easier than ever before.
And it’s safe to say that they exploded. People absolutely loved them, and for a good reason:
So, what’s new?
As of late 2017, you can now upload files on existing customers with phone numbers and mailing addresses to better match to real users.
According to WordStream, Google’s customer matching process is already outperforming the likes of Facebook and Twitter:
In the audience manager, you can now create new custom audiences for existing customers based on these two new parameters for more accurate matching.
Ready to run some remarketing campaigns? Now is the time.
When AdWords made the UX and UI overhaul, they brought brand new features like better audience management and demographic targeting.
But with the latest updates, they’ve beefed up targeting options specifically for display network ads.
And these new features are game-changing.
Just recently, AdWords announced the addition of Custom Intent audiences, designed to help you create better custom audiences beyond affinity and demographic targeting.
While these features are currently only for the Display Network, I wouldn’t rule out the potential of a Search Network carryover in the future.
So, how exactly do they work?
You can either (1) input data like keywords, topics and URLs to tell Google what intent related searches or pages showcase buying behavior or (2) let AdWords auto-create an intent audience for you based on machine learning.
Custom intent audiences can help you break through the vague groupings you find on platforms like AdWords and Facebook and focus on specific information pertaining to customers who are actually showing intent to buy similar products.
You can find these customization options under the Audiences section when editing a Display Network campaign:
Editing your audiences for a selected display campaign will pull up intent options, helping you to create custom or auto-created audiences:
If you are struggling to find great results even with deep and diverse interest and affinity targeting, these audience factors won’t disappoint.
And that’s all for now!
But if you want to make sure you’re really using AdWords Experience at its full potential, just keep on reading.
In our previous post, that you’ll find below, we suggest a few smart tips&tricks to maximize your Adwords Experience!
AdWords Experience – All You Need To Know
While the new Google AdWords Experience may sound great, it also presents a major problem: the platform is going to take some getting used to.
Finding the standard elements that you used to use isn’t as easy. Features aren’t in the same location. And even some of the metrics are different, and you can quickly get lost in the shuffle trying to keep up with this new update.
But there’s also an upside.
Actually, there are multiple, major upsides with newly-added features. These features are game-changing for delivering your ads to the right audience.
Just keep on reading and you’ll see!
How To Navigate Google AdWords Latest Update (Or Change It Back)
The new Google AdWords Experience is here, and it’s available for anyone using the platform. Here’s how Experience currently looks like when you navigate to your account dashboard:
Pretty snazzy, huh? (Do people still say that?)
Compared to the old account dashboard, this is a big functionality and usability change.
Updates like this are often a mixed bag when it comes to reception from the public.
Some love it and have been dying for a refresh. But that also means many die-hard users are going to have to spend extra time getting used to it. Uncovering the same features will take some getting used to.
If you don’t want a change, you can always revert back to the old AdWords for now.
To do so, click the three-dot drop-down menu in the top right corner of your AdWords dashboard and then select “Return to previous AdWords”:
This will instantly take you back to the old platform, allowing you to reminisce about the glory days.
But if you want to get accustomed to the new platform, which is probably a good idea, I’ll walk you through the basics and show you how to find the most important sections that you use daily.
To get started, if you run multiple accounts, you can see them all on the left-hand side of your dashboard:
This is now called the manager account dashboard:
Meaning you can see all of the data for all of the accounts that you manage. You can even get a detailed analysis of performance right from the dashboard.
To pair with this, Google AdWords instituted the dynamic insights tab into the dashboard section, giving you detailed insights on campaign performance that would normally require a bit of analysis on your own:
Now, instead of the annoying notifications that you used to get about “opportunities,” AdWords has an entire, detailed section dedicated to it:
These suggestions are much more actionable and give you exact steps for implementing them too.
Once you’ve selected a specific account, things start to look pretty similar. They just have a different structure.
For example, you can navigate to all of your most-clicked buttons on the left-hand sidebar now instead of above your data:
Similarly, you can manage and create all of your ad extensions in the same space with a consolidated view:
Another new addition is the three-button drop-down menu:
You can access all of the most-used tools here, like the keyword planner, negative keyword lists, conversion tracking, and more.
It’s similarly structured to Facebook’s platform now where everything is grouped under specific sections like “Shared Library” and “Bulk Actions.”
Now, your reporting data can be accessed from the top menu bar as well:
From here you can click the blue “+” button to create and generate diverse reports.
You can even create custom dashboards to get access to your most important data, just like you can do in Google Analytics:
This will be a big, time-saving feature that allows you to see the data you want to focus on first.
The new platform can seem strange at first, as it’s a pretty large overhaul in design and structure.
Getting used to it will take some time, but in the end, it’s worth it.
Why? For the new features that are going to take AdWords to the next level.
Here they are.
Three New, Game-Changing Features
Google was smart enough to not just give us a new UI experience.
They knew that simply overhauling the system to make it pretty wasn’t going to turn any heads or convert any skeptics.
With the new interface update, we’ve also received some critical updates in the form of game-changing features.
Here are the top new features and how to use them ASAP.
1. The audience management section
Just when you thought that Facebook was the only place to dominate custom audiences, Google stepped in and proved us all wrong.
Now there is an entire section in AdWords dedicated to audience management.
Here you can target different custom audiences and create new bids based on audiences as well.
To navigate to it, click your three-button menu drop-down and click on the audience manager tab:
You can manage all of your audiences in this one place, as well as generate audience insights:
When you click the blue “+” button you can choose between a few different custom remarketing options:
Creating audiences on AdWords has never been this easy, and now it’s all located in one dashboard, making it even easier to manage.
2. Promotion ad extensions
AdWords just recently rolled out a new addition in their latest update to the ad extensions list.
Unless you’ve got select beta access to this feature in the old version of Google AdWords, you’ll need to perform the update to use it.
Meaning these features are exclusive.
Promotion extensions are new, ad-based extensions that allow you to show, advertise, and link to specific promotional-based offers in your search network ads.
For example, you could use them to highlight a specific sale during the holidays.
Or maybe you’ve got an eBook for sale for a limited time.
The options are limitless.
Now you don’t have to waste all of your tiny ad copy section talking about it. You have another chance to promote more products with a single ad.
You can even use it to do the opposite and double down on the promotion.
Some users are seeing average CTRs near 10% using these new extensions and, in general, they are driving the highest click-through rate out of any extension available.
Getting started with these new promotion extensions is easy, too.
Head to your campaign dashboard, click on the ads and extensions tab, and select the promotion extension:
Next, you can customize everything about your promotion extension, including the occasion, discount type, and date ranges:
For the occasion section, you can choose between tons of different holidays to target. If it’s not for any specific occasion, you can always leave it blank, and it will show up as a non-holiday promotion.
When you select one from the list, you’ll see that in bold on your new ads to help users know exactly what they are getting when they click:
Customize your final URL landing page, and you’ll be driving promotional sales traffic in no time.
All you’ve gotta do is add some new extensions to your ads, and you can start to promote tons of new deals for any occasion.
3. Incredible demographic targeting options
Facebook and Twitter were and (somewhat) still are the kings of audience targeting.
Each platform has incredible features that allow you to create super remarketing lists where you can target income, job seniority, and more.
Even LinkedIn jumped aboard. They’re starting to add these in-depth features.
Thankfully, Google has finally added some new, diverse targeting options in the form of demographic data.
The first set of demographics that they’ve added is household income targeting in the search network.
This was a feature on the old interface, but it only applied to highly specific, local-based ads.
But now, it’s for all ads within the search network.
To access the data, simply select the demographics tab and click the household income option:
Now, you can get a clear picture of the household income data from your search network ads.
This has big implications for the way that PPC marketers use the search network to advertise.
For example, you can target ads to different audiences with different price points.
Meaning you no longer have to worry about attracting traffic that won’t be able to purchase or downselling to traffic that wants a high-end product.
On top of this addition, now the parental status targeting options are available for the search network rather than just the display network.
To access these, select the new parental status tab on your dashboard:
Parental status targeting for the search network is a big deal.
This can have a huge impact on success for brands that sell products catered to parents, like toys and games.
This new search network feature could play an important role in campaigns dedicated to the holidays and major shopping events.
Although we don’t have data on most of them yet, these new search network features are going to be a big hit with advertisers looking for more customization.
Google AdWords Has More Updates On The Way
Those are three of the most game-changing features that AdWords has installed on the new platform.
They have vastly improved the search network with new targeting options, extensions, and audience management.
But that’s not all. Google still has a few critical updates in the works according to Search Engine Land.
We can expect the following features soon:
- Landing page performance grading: This new feature will give advertisers insight into how their landing page performs in relation to their ad.
Instead of just the quality score to go off of, advertisers will be able to get insight on optimization and improvements to lower costs and drive more conversions.
- Customizable in-market audiences: These new audiences are coming to the search network soon. They will allow a given advertiser to tailor audiences based on performance, website, and business goals.
- Attribution: Google’s new attribution will no longer just be for search funnels. This attribution tool will help PPC advertisers see upper and mid-funnel conversion credit rather than just last-touch.
On top of that, it’s designed to give informed decisions for bidding optimization.
- Store sales management: Lastly, this new stores measurement and management feature will allow retailers to import important store transactions into AdWords via third-party services.
AdWords is already making some big changes in the coming months.
The new AdWords experience is vastly superior.
The UI experience and features have both received massive upgrades.
We can now target users with the same specificity and detail that we can on Facebook.
Custom audiences aren’t the only form of detailed targeting that works anymore.
The new experience is open and ready for any advertiser to take advantage of on Google.
If you don’t like it, or if you’re a scrooge and love the ‘good old days,’ you can always switch back.
The new experience might take some time to get used to, but the new features are here to stay and will only increase and improve with time.
Try taking advantage of these demographics and extensions to start bringing in new visitors and closing more sales.
These features are currently exclusive to the new experience, so if you want to get started with them, you need to update.
Thankfully, it’s free and easy to do for anyone using the platform today.
What do you think? Are there any new AdWords features we did not mention? Is there something you want us to cover in next issue? Just let us know in the comments!