Google Performance Summit 2016 Summary
Last week Google hosted a Performance Summit livestream event where they shared key updates and coming changes to Google AdWords. Mobile was the focus of most of the event, and Google revealed that they now handle at least 2 trillion searches per year, and more than half of those occur on mobile devices. As Google continues to see growth in this area, they are rolling out updates to help advertisers better target and optimize their campaigns.
For advertisers, 5 of these changes will have a major impact on our work. Some of these changes are things advertisers have requested for a long time while others are brand new ideas.
New Bid Adjustment Options
For years, advertisers have been requesting the ability to adjust their bids by device type, a functionality that was available briefly, but was later removed. Currently, advertisers can bid up or down on mobile by adjusting their bid modifier by up to 300%, but that ability is not available for tablet traffic. Google revealed yesterday that advertisers will soon be able to bid up or down for mobile, tablet, and desktop independently. This means that advertisers would set a default bid, then raise or lower that for each type of device using their modifiers, instead of the current method of only modifying bids based off your current desktop bid.
This new ability to modify or exclude devices by type will greatly enable AdWords users to allocate their money more effectively.
Demographics for Search Ads
Currently advertisers have the ability to target by gender and age range for display ads only, but Google revealed that Demographics for Search Ads is currently in beta, and will allow AdWords users to modify their bids for both gender and age group. This is an eagerly awaited feature, especially when combined with increased flexibility for bid adjustments, as advertisers will now be able to spend more appropriately on genders and age ranges that have signified a higher purchase intent.
Advertising on Google Maps
Continuing the emphasis on mobile, search queries containing terminology like, “near me” have risen astronomically, and Google is responding with advertising pins in Google Maps. Advertisers will now be able to place their location pin and ad within Google Maps by keyword and location. This functionality will be available for accounts with eligible Google My Business listings and location extensions within AdWords.
Expanded Text Ads
Expanded text ads will soon be available across all devices. Previously all ads featured a 25-35-35 layout where the Headline had a 25-character limit and Description lines 1 &2 were limited to 35. The new extended ads will feature two 30 character headlines and one 80-character description line. Furthermore, Display URLs will be automatically generated instead of advertisers being able to write their own URL. Google suggested that advertisers begin preparing for this change now, hinting that this could possibly roll out soon.
Redesigned AdWords Interface
And finally, we will be seeing a redesigned AdWords interface by the end of this year. Screenshots of a still-in-development interface were displayed on Tuesday, and visually seem to compare with the most recent AdWords app. From these screenshots, reporting seems to be at a forefront, with many attractive charts and graphs on display.
These new improvements will likely result in immediate changes in AdWords account performance, and represent another step from Google forcing businesses to get mobile or get lost.