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Google Ads Updates – Here’s What You Need to Know Now

We were there, and we can guarantee you that we did not expect all the Google Ads Updates revealed during Google Marketing Live 2019

We’re not even halfway through 2019 yet, but Google has already announced pretty much every critical update they will bring to the platform this year.

At the giant ads and marketing platform focused event, they not only spoke about privacy and the way forward for Google but announced 10 huge new features that are relevant to any marketer on the platform.

In this post, we will introduce them in order, based on how important they probably will be to an average Google Ads advertiser.

What we’ll cover:

  • New Discovery Ads Format & Ads in the Google Discovery Feed
  • Gallery Ads Bring images to Search (But Only in The #1 Spot on Mobile)
  • Bumper Machine Automatically Creates 6-Second Video Ads Out of Longer Videos
  • Google Shopping Was Reinvented, And Showcase Ads Got Increased Reach
  • Joint Budgets With Retail Partners For Google Shopping Ads
  • Link to And Track Conversions In Apps With Deep Linking
  • New Smart Bidding Controls Finally Allow the Human Touch to Work Together With AI.

New Discovery Ads Format & Ads in the Google Discovery Feed

Last year Google introduced the feed into its basic mobile app. Why? It was likely a tactical move trying to get a piece of the feed-based pattern of content consumption currently monopolized by Facebook.

For the first year, this feed didn’t have any ads at all. But that has just changed with the announcement (and private beta initiation) of the “Discovery Ad” unit.

In the news release for the ad format, Google says they’ve developed it because 76% of consumers enjoy making unexpected discoveries when shopping.

According to Google:

Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services.”

The new format is made up of 4 main elements, a large, high-quality image(Google will not accept stock photos, low-quality photos, watermarks or layover text), a 40 character headline, a 90-character description and a call to action button.

The format will use machine learning to mix and match the creative to the audience so you can enter up to 5 different images, headlines, and descriptions.

The ad unit is currently in private beta and will be released to advertisers at large later in 2019.

Gallery Ads Bring Images to Search (But Only for The #1 Spot on Mobile)

Since the first ad was introduced to the search results with Google Adwords, search ads have been text only. (Except for a small experiment with automakers back in 2016.)

But now it’s finally time to roll out ads featuring visual creative in the search results for every advertiser.

Not only will the ad feature an image and a swipeable gallery in the SERPs, but it also opens into a full-screen experience a la Facebook’s Instant Experience ad unit.

Looks amazing, doesn’t it? According to Google:

By combining search intent with a more interactive visual format, gallery ads make it easier for you to communicate what your brand has to offer.”

This unit will undoubtedly be sought after in industries where visual communication is key. One small caveat is that the ad will only show on mobile for the #1 search result.

The new format includes 4 to 8 pictures (1.91 x 1 aspect ratio), 5 MB max size, a unique image tagline for each one of up to 70 characters, and 1-3 30 character headlines.

Bumper Machine Automatically Creates 6-Second Video Ads out of Longer Videos

Google has finally decided to use their machine learning expertise to venture into video. But instead of learning how to displace a face or voice, they’ve taught a machine how to make interesting 6-second video ads out of a single up to 90-second one.

Here’s how Google describes it:

Bumper Machine relies on machine learning models that are trained to identify interesting, well-structured moments in a longer video, like those that contain product or brand information, human faces, motion or contrast. It organizes these moments and brings them together to generate several different six-second ad variations for you to pick from, all in a matter of minutes.“

This is an example of a bumper ad created with the Bumper Machine:

And that’s just one of multiple variations that the algorithm will have pumped out in minutes without human input.

After it is done with the cutting, you can finish up the video using some light editing features in-browser. You can change visual settings like saturation and colors as well as the soundtrack and other things.

Google Shopping was Reinvented, And Showcase Ads got Increased Reach

For the longest time, Google Shopping was just a way to search for (and market) products through the main Google search function.

No more.

Google has merged it with Google Express and created a completely new shopping experience with a homepage with personal recommendations as well as ads.

This year we’re unveiling a redesigned Google Shopping experience with new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores. When they’re ready to buy, they can choose to purchase online, in a nearby store and now directly on Google.”

You can of course also search(after all, it is a Google product), and you will not only see aggregated ratings from all over the web but unboxing videos and even local stores that carry the product.

They also expanded the reach for their Showcase Shopping Ads, allowing placements in the Google Feed and YouTube.

If you haven’t started with Shopping Ads yet, check out our guide which helps you go from A-Z.

Joint Budgets With Retail Partners for Google Shopping Ads

And more big Google Shopping news was announced.

In 2019, it’s possible for brands to collaborate with retail partners inside the Google Ads platform directly. For example, if you’ve noticed problematic areas with a certain product launch not taking off, you can immediately contact your local partners and pump up their Google Shopping budgets.

As the retail partner, you get to select the ad groups, or even single products that the budget you allocate will be spent on.

This change means that you no longer have to do hefty long-term planning and lots of collaboration meetings just to make a local impact on a product launch or sale.

The beta is open to public applications, but not yet open to all Google Shopping advertisers.

Link To and Track Conversions in Apps with Deep Linking

App Deep Linking is finally supported at large in Google Ads campaigns.

Your app users will be taken directly from your Search, Display and Shopping ads directly to the relevant page in your mobile app if they have your app already installed. That means your customers will be able to complete their desired action—buy something, book a trip or order food delivery—in a way that’s optimized for the destination that drives the highest value for your brand.”

The links will be smart enough to only send users to the app if they already have it installed. The ads will support both Universal Links(iOS) and App Links(Android), and use the one that matches the user’s phone and operating system.

And this won’t only be relevant for direct sales either. You can prompt people to send seasonal greetings in an app, or run unique campaigns to bump up user engagement at critical times.

At the same time, Google Analytics for Firebase works with these links and will make it easy for you to track and share conversion data with Google Ads.

According to the press release, deep linking will be live to all advertisers “over the next few weeks”.

New Smart Bidding Controls Finally Allow The Human Touch to Work With AI

There are three new upcoming smart bidding controls/tools which will let advertisers use their own expertise to help guide the smart-bidding algorithms.

This will lead to better performance during periods where historical data doesn’t accurately forecast click and conversion rates, like an unprecedented sale.

The most important new tool is the seasonality adjustment. It will allow advertisers to let the algorithm know when a sale or other notable event is coming up.

All you need to do is select a date range, the scope of the adjustment, and how much you estimate the CVR will be impacted by the change.

You can pinpoint what area of your campaigns will be affected, either selecting specific campaigns or even singling out devices.

This tool is great for retail advertisers who run a sale-heavy strategy, or smaller businesses that rely on pop-up shops and events.

The second tool is called “Data Exclusions.”

From the very same tab as seasonality adjustments, you can choose past historic periods to exclude from the algorithm data. Again, you’d most likely use this tool to exclude data from sales and special events, to allow the algorithm to bid with a realistic conversion rate in mind.

These two tools will be available in the “Tools > Bid Strategies > Advanced” section after they go live.

Finally, you will also be able to set Campaign Level Conversions.

For an advertiser that bids manually, it doesn’t matter that the campaign counts every kind of conversion. In fact, you’re probably happy that it does.

But when you’re using smart bids, you might not want the algorithm to optimize for all of the different conversions, but just one.

In 2019, you will finally have the option to tell Google exactly which conversions you want to focus on for each campaign.

Local Campaigns Get Expanded Reach, Store Visit Conversions (and Will Be Rolled Out to Public in 2019)

Google also announced that local campaigns will get expanded reach, with ads now appearing in the Google Maps search suggestions (based on user’s search history, keywords, and other signals), and while a user is using Google Maps for directions, traveling from one destination to another.

This update means that no longer do people have to search for keywords directly related to your business for you to pop up.

Your local ad can show up as a user that is highly likely to become a customer is traveling nearby, or looking for recommendations of things to do.

Wrapping it up

We saw some big Google Ads updates last year. And the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping this year.

One thing was clear from the July 2018 branding shift and message change:

They want to make it easier than ever before to run ads and be successful with Google ads.

And they are delivering on that goal.

What do you think of all these changes and announcements? Did you start using AdWords Campaign Creation in AdEspresso yet? Leave us a comment and let us know!


Google Ads Updates You Can’t Miss (March 2019)

Even if we’re only two months into 2019, we already have a bunch of cool Google Ads updates to unpack in this post. Our experts selected the top news on extension ads, TrueView, display ads, and much more.

Ready to dig in?

Here’s a quick list of what we’ll cover:

  • Click share coming to the search network
  • New CTA extension for video ads
  • Pay for conversions display bidding type
  • New audience expansion settings for display campaigns
  • Optimization score improvements
  • Smart Bidding for TrueView
  • Mobile page speed updates to landing pages tab
  • Pre-defined reporting updates
  • Three new responsive display ad updates
  • Expanded call-only ad text

Let’s dive in.

Google’s Click Share Enters the Search Network

Click share is defined as:

The estimated share of all achievable clicks that you have received. For example, if you received 60 clicks, and your click share is 60%, then it’s estimated that there were another 40 clicks that you could have received if you had more extensions, higher bids, higher budgets or, in the case of Shopping campaigns, if you showed more products for search queries. ”

To keep it simple:

Click share is a metric that will be available for your campaigns in the next few days (if you don’t have it yet), it gives you insight into the opportunity you have to capture more clicks for a given campaign.

This metric will be available for search campaigns under:

  • Keywords
  • Ad groups
  • campaigns

So, what’s the difference between click share and click-through rates? Aren’t they essentially the same thing? Not really. While small in difference, CTR is the % of clicks you drive upon ad impressions. Click share is about the potential your ad has to drive clicks.

While click share has been on the Shopping network for four years, it’s finally coming to the search network! Still in beta testing, according to Google, it will be rolling out over the course of the next few weeks to months.

So, how do you capitalize on this metric and increase your click share?

First, this starts with impression share. You want to maximize the ad positions you currently hold to improve your impressions. This means potentially bidding more, optimizing for a higher quality score, and generally looking to improve your ad position to the top page.

Then, start to beef up your ads using targeted ad extensions, like this:

This will help you appeal to a wider array of search intent for the same keyword, improving your chances of driving clicks and therefore improving your click share!

Stay tuned for more details on click share in the coming weeks.

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