Google Launches Major AdWords Redesign for a “Mobile First” World

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce, laid the numbers out plainly at the 2016 Google Performance Summit. More than half of all AdWords searches are now performed on mobile devices. A third of those are searches fo local stores, coffee shops, and gas stations.

“The shift to mobile,” Ramaswamy said, “is no longer something that will happen, or is happening. The shift’s happened.”

To account for this reality, which Google calls a “mobile first” world, the company has rolled out new changes to AdWords that will provide us with even more power to serve our clients.

Micro Moment Optimization on Google Maps:

Google emphasized how important it is to reach customers in the right place, at the right time. For example, it’s not particularly advantageous to reach customers while they’re catching up with their friends on social media channels. That sort of marketing creates a counterproductive interruption that actually drives customers further from your brand.

Instead, the idea is to capitalize on the “micro moments” during which customers actually do want to hear from brands. Google calls moments “I want to know”, “I want to go” and “I want to buy”.

Thus, Adwords now display on Google Maps, allowing you to create targeted, relevant special offers based on the customer’s location and search. Advertisers can also take advantage of “promoted pins,” alerting customers to other opportunities and offers that are close to them. You might, for example, entice customers to stop and have coffee after their errands by running a 10% off coffee promotion on a promoted map pin.

Since most customers start online and then make their way physically to a location to buy (buying online, directly, is less popular than most imagine) this is a great way to create a seamless experience that draws customers right to our client’s doors.

Expanded Ad Sizes:

Google has determined that longer headlines are more useful to mobile users. A longer headline provides more information before the user is forced to make a decision about whether or not they should continue to interact with the ad.

Thus, Google now allows two 30 character headlines and a full 80 character description.

This shift in the way creatives are set-up is kind of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you do have far more room in which to construct a compelling message.

On the other, quality scores will be more important than ever. Lower ad positions are going to become even less relevant. We’ll have to do everything we can to keep our clients in positions 1,2, and 3.

More Powerful Display Ads:

Ads on Google’s display network will be responsive not only to the device they’re on, but the websites they’re being displayed upon. Google handles all of this on the back end. You only have to write the ad.

Ads will then match their look and feel to the websites they’re being displayed upon automatically, allowing users to enjoy a seamless experience.

Powerful New Bidding Options:

Google has added several new bidding options that make it easier for us to adjust ad campaigns based on what’s most successful for our clients.

For example, one new bidding option allows us to set bid by device type. Some of our clients still do better on traditional PCs, for example, while others get most of their traffic on mobile phones, or tablets. This will allow us to send money only where it has the highest conversion rate.

Demographics are another option, allowing us to market to people based on age, gender, or other factors. AARP uses this to great success, according to Google, achieving a 65% click through rate because they now have the power to make sure their ads are only being shown to senior citizens.

Better Analytics:

Speaking of analytics, Google has announced that they are working on new platforms, making it easier to act on insights delivered via analytics accounts. You’ll be able to see what time of day our clients get the most conversions. You’ll get more insight into device types.

You’ll even be able to ask plain English questions of the platform such as, “What was XYZ client’s best-selling product?”

Google will also be delivering collaborative report-building power to analytics which is very similar to what we now see with Google Docs.

We can’t wait to take advantage of these changes!

By understanding these changes early we’ll be able to start putting them to work for our clients right away. Google has announced that they’ve been able to increase CTR rates by 20% during several live tests with existing customers. It will be very exciting to see if we can meet or exceed those results for our own clients!


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