Post by Dan Malachowski, Marketing Director with insights from Leo Dalakos, VP of Digital Strategy
At this year’s AdWords Livestream, Google unleashed a number of search and display innovations aimed at aiding advertisers in engaging consumers, in-the-moment, based on intent and immediacy. Catering to searchers during micro-moments—especially on mobile—was a key theme for Google this year. Innovations fell into three categories: (1) Ad Experiences, (2) Automation and (3) Measurement.
Google’s new (and evolving) ad experiences are focused on helping searchers “know,” “go” and “buy.” The common threads between the new experiences are (1) mobile/local and (2) vertical specialization—both major themes in performance marketing in recent years. More people in the U.S. are now searching from mobile devices than desktops (Google, 2015). Furthermore, vertical specialization in search fosters relevancy; Google is becoming a niche engine based on searcher need. Google has recently “verticalized” its results pages for categories like shopping and flights, and it’s now turning attention to auto, finance (car insurance, credit cards, mortgages) and hotels:
Highlights (in beta) include:
Our past prediction about the prevalence of niche search experiences is definitely occurring at this point. Google is creating micro-search experiences vertical by vertical. The expansion that occurred in retail and PLAs will occur in every major vertical—one by one. In the midst of this vertical specialization, all advertisers must evaluate the new ad units available for their categories. Local optimization is often closely tied to this, as advertisers must ensure that their local outlet information (directions, phone, ratings, reviews, etc.) is properly distributed and optimized for the new experiences.
Furthermore, many of these new ad experiences are focused on conversions (e.g. book a hotel, call a dealership)—more so than in the past. Direct response B2C advertisers should take advantage of these new opportunities. However, as the focus is on B2C, it will be interesting how B2B advertisers will aim to use these features.
Google is continuing to automate optimization processes within AdWords that would normally be part of third-party search management platforms. Automation includes:
Lastly, Google is extending its attribution and measurement capabilities, particularly through Google Estimated Total Conversions (ETC), which will now extend to apps. Advertisers will be able to measure conversions that started on the web and finished on an app. ETC will also integrate with Automated Bidding. AdWords attribution for search will also now feature six data-driven models to choose from.
These advancements enable advertisers to bid differently, based on assist keywords or channels, not just the last click. Innovations like these give advertisers more opportunity to shift away from last-click ROI, as well as answer questions like:
By investing in keywords and channels (e.g. apps) with direct and assist value, marketers can increase performance while decreasing media costs.
For more opportunities to leverage Google’s new ad formats, automation or measurement tools, please contact your performance account team today.