5 KEY ADWORDS ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM GOOGLE’S PERFORMANCE SUMMIT

1. You will be able to bid separately for mobile, tablet and desktop (again)

Advertisers will soon be able to set bid adjustments for all three device types. Enhanced Campaigns ended this function when they launched in 2013 and grouped desktop and tablet bidding, and it’s a welcome change.

For Advertisers, this means far greater control of where ads are shown, and how aggressively. The process is to set a base bid for one device (any device), and then adjustments for the other devices.

There’s potential for impact on CPCs here – if advertisers were to shift budget away from tablet into desktop or mobile, for example; this would reduce competition on the former and increase it on the latter two. Regardless, it’s a great development.

2. Ads will be nearly 50% longer

Google has been testing extended ads for a few months and have announced a permanent rollout. The change includes two headlines, extended from 25 characters to 30 characters each; as well as a single description line of 80 characters, replacing the two 35 character lines.

At around 47% more characters, this is a huge change and a great opportunity for early adopters to own more real estate than the rest of the market.

Expanded Text Ads, AdWords

3. Responsive, native mobile ads are launching

Google is rolling out a responsive mobile ad format that utilises the design of the publisher’s site to appear native. This opens up the GDN to a significant amount of mobile inventory they were previously missing, and is a direct move against third party networks and the budget they’re taking from Google.

It also appears that Google is going to buy into some of those exchanges – potentially giving them near-full reach on display.

For an advertiser it means:

  • the increased inventory should reduce competition on existing mobile inventory, lowering CPCs.
  • the native design should positively impact CPCs.

Responsive GDN Ads, AdWords

4. ‘Promoted Pins’ to launch on Google Maps

AdWords have flirted with ads on Maps for some time, but have never really closed the gap on Google Places and AdWords.

‘Promoted Pins’ are now launching to take advantage of increased local and mobile searches. It’s essentially an in-maps ad promoting your business listing. Coupled with the improved geo-targeting that mobile traffic has allowed, this can be a very powerful product.

Places pages themselves are also getting a much-needed upgrade, with the ability to add:

  • promotions
  • vouchers / coupons
  • product inventory

5. You can now measure offline ‘Store Visits’

This has been in Beta for some time and will be available to a wider number of advertisers. It’s an offline conversion metric that triggers when a user that’s interacted with your ads ‘visits’ a store, determined by their mobile GPS location.

This is the first major development in closing the loop with offline conversions since Google’s native call tracking solution. It’s a significant step forward for advertisers with little visibility into the affect of AdWords on offline sales activity – retail stores, for example.

– MORRIS BRYANT

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