Google has once again managed to generate a significant amount of buzz, this time with a series of announcements made during the Google Marketing Live event on Tuesday July 10th. The keynote presentation brought up various buzzwords including machine learning, but also brought attention to innovations being made across all of Google’s advertising products, and Google’s focus on three core concepts: value, trust, and transparency.
Machine learning has caught people ‘s imagination at the moment and is the concept powering all of Google’s new initiatives which seek to reach a new level of automation.
At first glance, it is easy to be underwhelmed by all the talk of artificial intelligence and machine learning. After all, for the past year or even more, we have been hearing about machine learning in relation to virtually every new product or feature release from Google Ads (which is the new name for AdWords).
But while machine learning may now be an overly-familiar term, we re now moving into a phase of greater automation.
Previously, automation had been limited to certain aspects of your campaign, such as dynamic headlines and bidding. Going forward, all facets of the campaign can be automated, including targeting, bidding, and creative aspects. All that will be required is a small amount of input.
With Googles rebranding, several properties have all come together, including YouTube, Search, Apps, Maps, and Display. The new campaign types, including Local Campaigns and Responsive search ads, can be delivered across them all.
Here are all the announcements that were made during the event:
Many articles and blog posts have been written about the changes to search that are arising due to the growing popularity of Voice Search, among other things.
During his introduction, Google’s head of ads, Sridar Ramaswamy, pointed to the phrase “open near me tonight” and how it now appears in 10 times the number of searches as it previously did, indicating a greater desire for information more pertinent to the user’s physical location.
Responding to this need, Google now has Local campaigns, the intent of which is to help drive store visits. Within a user-specified budget, ads are automatically generated based on creative elements from the advertiser, as well as location extensions. Ad delivery is then automatically optimized by Google across Search, YouTube, and apps and websites in the ad network.
While this process of machine learning and automated delivery is similar to the Smart Campaigns that was introduced for small businesses a few weeks ago, it has a different purpose. While the Smart Campaigns are designed specifically for SMB, Local campaigns are designed with the express purpose of driving traffic to stores from the ads, and report on store visits through data collected via Google users who have signed in and turned on local history.
Previously, store visit measurement had only been available to the largest brick-and-mortar chains. Now, however, this information is becoming more widely available as Google expands their mapping measurement capability.
Given that nearly 90% of purchases are still occurring offline, and, according to another impressive statistic, 80% of Americans are shopping within any given 48-hour period, many advertisers want to be able to measure this information.
Responsive Search Ads
According to Google, this new ad type will be available to all advertisers within the next few months, which will allow for the automation of ad testing, and for those who are willing to turn the testing over to Google’s algorithm, will provide more advertising space.
Google has been trying to entice advertisers to stop manual A/B testing for some time and has been making it more difficult to avoid automated ad rotation, but studies have indicated that advertisers have been slow to respond and make the effort to create more ads per ad group, or they may wish to continue manually testing.
As an incentive to try responsive search ads, advertisers are offered more characters– up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, with as many as 90 characters as opposed to the usual 80.
In the search results, responsive ads are able to show up to three headlines and up to 90-character descriptions, over the standard two headlines/ 80 characters.
Google analyzes the user’s search and provides what they deem to be the most appropriate result. By providing greater variety to the inputs, the advertiser’s ad groups have more opportunities to enter related auctions.
Maximize Lift is a new Smart Bidding strategy that advertisers are able to set in order to optimize delivery to those potential customers that are most likely to respond to a brand’s video ad. It will be available later in the year.
Last year, YouTube saw a 150% growth in ad conversions, and more than 70 of these ads resulted in a sizable increase in in-store sales, according to Nicky Retke, YouTube’s product manager for monetization.
Smart Shopping Campaigns and Shopify
Back in May, Google announced what is now called Smart Shopping campaigns, which are Shopping campaigns that automatically optimize ad delivery across Google’s various properties and ad networks in order to reach the advertisers conversion goal value, such as return on as spend (ROAS) or revenue.
Google has now announced that advertisers will also be able to select new customers or store visits as their goal, with bids and delivery adjusted automatically according to what Google determines to be the likelihood of an ad click resulting in the advertiser’s goal.
Google Analytics Cross-device Reporting
Perhaps the biggest reaction from the audience at the event was in response to the announcement that advertisers will not be able to see cross-device reporting in Google Analytics.
This means that for the first time, advertisers will be able to build cross-device remarketing audiences for use in Google ads.
About Marwick Marketing
Marwick Internet Marketing is a Premier Google Partner Agency specializing in Search Marketing (SEO, Google Ads, PPC & CRO). With offices in Vancouver, Victoria and Squamish, Canada.