Digital Marketing | Opinion

The Google AdWords Innovation Keynote

We report on the changes Google is making to AdWords and how it's going to affect your business.

25 May 2016 ( words)
Henry France Henry France

Google hosted a keynote last night in which they outlined their plans for AdWords in a mobile-first world

Google held their AdWords and Analytics innovations keynote last night. The keynote draws in advertisers from all over the world to hear what the most powerful force in the digital marketing world has planned for this year.

Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy (pictured), introduced this year’s focus: Mobile. This came as no surprise.

Of course, Google have the data to back this up. As of last year, more Google searches happened on a smart phone than on desktop. Further to this, 50% of all traffic being recorded on Google Analytics is coming from mobile devices. 

Ramaswamy emphasised that this shift to mobile is no longer happening, it’s happened. He outlined the importance of recognising the difference between mobile first and designing for mobile and suggested that businesses need to recognise this difference and act upon it in order to stay relevant to customers. 

This can be achieved by businesses by ensuring they’re right there when the customer wants them – Businesses need to be there when the consumer is ready to buy, when they want advice and when they’re doing their research. Being in the right place, at the right time is invaluable and luckily Google has the data to help advertisers ensure that they are there for all those moments.

Google coined the term Micro-moments to describe these scenarios that occur on mobile. Those moments which are rich with intent – “I want to buy”, “I want to do”, “I want to watch”. These are the moments when you can help your consumers.  The commute to work for example is now the perfect time to book a weekend away and waiting in a queue at the bank, a perfect time to research those running shoes you’ve been planning on buying. Businesses need to respond to their customers' wants at exactly the right moment in order to be successful. 

With the above in mind, Google will be releasing some major changes to help businesses reach people in the mobile first world in which we live: 

Rebuilding AdWords for Mobile First

Changes to Text Ads

Following on from the news that Google have removed the right hand side ads to create a more unified Google experience across devices. Text ads are to undergo a similar overhaul.

Advertisers will no longer be confined by the 4 lines of description as they were previously. In order to make ads a better, more informative experience for mobile users longer headlines will now be permitted and used across devices. 

Once this change is rolled out, Ads should be written with one 80 character long description. Google argue that by providing more information, the user is more engaged and during testing, they have seen an increase in click through rate. As long as your copy is well written, I think this new tactic will work really well. 

Businesses will need to act quickly to take advantage of this change in layout and start benefiting from showing users more information straight away. 

Changes to Display Ads

Display ads will now be dynamically created for each device when you provide Google with a headline, a description, an image and a URL. This will improve the experience for any consumer irrelevant of their device. 

google responsive display ads

This makes for a better experience for advertisers and consumers alike. For advertisers, it puts our mind at ease, that ads will always look great across devices. 

Individual Bid Adjustments dependant on the device

Google will now be allowing for individual bid adjustments for each device. Since most consumer journeys start on a phone, this needs to be accounted for in advertising. 

This is a huge development and something that marketers have been hoping for, for a while! As before, you set a base bid for the keyword but make adjustments for desktop, mobile and tablet so you can target specifically the device traffic that’s most important to you. 

Promoted Pins in maps

Jerry Dischler, VP of search ads, emphasised the close connection between online and offline activity and how this shouldn’t be underestimated. 

1/3 of mobile searches are related to a location, and so these user searches are a huge opportunity for businesses to advertise to relevant people. As a result of this, Google are introducing promoted pins within directions in Google maps, so if a consumer is going to pass by your business, you can let them know about key promotions you're running in order to encourage them to visit the store. 

google adwords promoted pins

Google did a study and found that the number of resulting store visits driven by online ads outperformed the number of online conversions which only highlights the impact that online advertising has on the success of the business as a whole. 

This is a very interesting addition to AdWords and I think due to the real life proximity involved, this could be extremely effective. 

New audiences

Brad Bender, VP of Display and Video Ads then announced, one of (in my opinion!) the most exciting developments. 

Google will be extending the reach of the Google Display Network by introducing similar audiences for search. This audience will be those who are outlined as having similar interests and characteristics to your customers but have never visited your website. This is a brand new opportunity to introduce yourself to customers’ right when they need you. 

This extended reach is going to impact brand awareness campaigns and will help you to grow your audience in a way that Google has never previously allowed. 

AdWords Redesign

This announcement wouldn’t be complete without a redesign of the AdWords interface. Long overdue, AdWords are introducing a dashboard landing page, where advertisers will be able to see at a glance how campaigns are performing.

All the changes should be rolled out in the coming months – and really, I can’t wait!

It’s a very exciting time to be a Digital Marketer and an AdWords Advertiser. It’s likely that these changes will have a positive impact for a lot of businesses, providing that they keep up to date with the changes and react accordingly.

If you would like to watch the whole keynote from last night, you can find it here or alternatively, if you want to talk about your own PPC activity, drop us a line and speak to one of our AdWords specialists.

Henry France

Author: Henry France