Google Announces Updates to AdWords

April 25, 2014

During a livestream event on Tuesday, April 22, Google unveiled updates and enhancements to AdWords that are set be rolled out in the coming months. The updates include new ad formats to support mobile apps, improved reporting capabilities and a new set of tools designed to streamline campaign management. These updates, which reflect a recent Google theme — “It’s not about devices. It’s about connecting with people.” — should provide better experiences for both end users and marketers.   

Additional Ad Formats

Because consumers are increasingly turning to mobile applications for entertainment and problem solving, Google’s new ad formats will incorporate a single integrated approach for mobile app promotion across search ads, the Google display network and YouTube. This approach will use valuable conversion data from Google Play to suggest keywords that will better resonate with potential users. Being able to target customers based on the types of apps they use, how often they use them and their history of in-app purchases should prove valuable to marketers looking to drive downloads. Google app ad

Re-engagement with app users has always been a concern of marketers. In fact, Google noted that 80% of downloaded mobile apps are used only once and then deleted. Now, ads will be able to incorporate “app deep linking” to drive searchers directly to the most relevant page within an app to encourage additional use. As a specific example, Google referenced the ability to link a searcher looking for “hotels in San Francisco” directly to the San Francisco hotels page within the HotelTonight app.

Google will also be rolling out greater conversion measurement tools to give marketers helpful insight across the entire lifecycle of an app, from conversions and re-engagement to in-app purchases.

Expanded Reporting Capabilities

Measuring conversions across multiple devices has always been a challenge for marketers. Last year, Google began addressing these concerns with its estimated total conversions tool, which allowed marketers to track sales that started on one device but were made on another. Google announced that it’s taking this approach to the next level by developing a solution to measure in-store conversions that originated from online advertising. With this information, marketers can improve their device-specific bidding strategies and reach customers considering in-store purchases with more targeted ads. Early pilot campaigns have shown return on ad spend increases from in-store purchases that are as high as 100%.    

New Campaign Management Tools

Another common complaint from marketers is that the AdWords interface is too complicated for making large-scale edits. People had turned to offline tools to make bulk campaign changes. In response, Google unveiled a bevy of new tools to improve campaign management, optimization and reporting at any scale. Specifically, the new bulk actions tool will now allow you to make large-scale edits directly in AdWords.

Google also announced two new automated bidding features that will allow advertisers to maximise the number of conversions or the value of conversions (revenue).

Finally, two new reporting features should give advertisers better control of and visibility into their campaign metrics. Enhanced reporting, Google’s new multidimensional analysis tool, has the look and feel of a traditional pivot table but adds advanced visual reporting in the form of charts and graphs that advertisers can use to best display their performance results.

And if an advertiser wants to test the effects of potential changes to a campaign before fully committing to them, Google’s new drafts and experiments tool will preview the impact of those edits in an alternative “draft mode.” Once optimised to the advertiser’s liking, the drafts can then be incorporated into the live campaign.

Next Steps

We’re closely following the latest announcements from Google and will keep you posted on any changes. If you have any questions about the latest updates to AdWords or would like to discuss how the updates will affect you, please give us a call at 866-264-8594 or email us at info@channeladvisor.com.

Blog post by Greg Ives, product marketing manager, digital marketing