05 Jan 2016

5 Google AdWords Features You Should Be Using In 2016

Google released several new features for AdWords in 2015, which means there are some new ways for paid advertisers to beef up their campaigns in the new year. Each new product or update has its own benefits and can help improve your campaign performance in different ways.

Here is a look at five of the AdWords features you should be using in 2016:

1. Call-Only Campaigns

In February 2015, Google released Call-Only campaigns to capitalize on the increasing number of people who search for a business on their phone and call right away. While this type of campaign isn’t right for every business, it’s a great option for those who value phone calls over website visits, such as dentists or car repair shops whose main goal is scheduling appointments.

Along with highlighting a business description, call-only ads essentially replace the headline of your ad with your phone number and include a “Call” button, making it easy for searchers to call you just by clicking on the ad. These ads only show on mobile devices that are capable of making phone calls, which makes it easy for you to come up with a bidding strategy based on how much each phone call is worth to you.


2. Video Campaign Updates (TrueView)

The next big product updates came in April and May, when Google released TrueView Cards and TrueView for shopping. Both features are meant to make video ads more interactive and engaging for viewers.

TrueView Cards allows you to include more information about your business and brand, as well as direct people to your website directly from the ad. It also gives you the option to recommend related videos and playlists. In addition to traditional formats, TrueView Cards can be shown on mobile devices and smart TVs, so advertisers can run one ad across all devices, making the viewing experience more streamlined.


Google also released TrueView for shopping as part of its Cards offering. This allows advertisers to promote specific product details and images, and allows users to purchase from your website, all within your video ad. In addition, you can connect your Google Merchant Center account to dynamically add products to videos.

Along with the updates to TrueView video, Google also made it possible for advertisers to optimize for viewer actions. This means you’re able to count when someone simply watches your ad as well as when someone interacts with your ad by clicking on a card.

3. New Ad Extensions

Earlier this year, Google released dynamic structured snippets, which automatically pull information about your business and products and show that information along with your ad. They updated this feature in August, allowing advertisers to choose the information that they want to show in addition to their ad. By using structured snippet extensions, you can highlight everything from amenities and brands to styles and types of products.

structured snippet

Since ad extensions play a role in determining your ad rank, this new ad extension is likely to benefit just about any type of business. Google even created custom “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” structured snippets that allowed businesses to showcase the special deals they were offering over the holiday shopping season.

4. GMail Ads

In September, Google made it possible for all advertisers to run native GMail ads directly from AdWords. These ads are considered part of the Display Network and feature a great variety of rich and colorful ads that allow businesses to showcase specific products, deals, or services.

Ads can feature a single image, an image along with a promotion, or multiple products at once – all while enticing the user to click on a call-to-action button. There’s even a custom HTML option so you can create your own unique ad. GMail ads mainly use the same targeting options as other display network ads, meaning you can target users based on keywords, audience, demographics, or topics.

gmail ads

5. Shopping Remarketing Lists

The latest big product update – which was timed perfectly with the holiday shopping season – came in October when Google released Shopping Remarketing Lists. Although remarketing lists are already an option for search and display campaigns, they are brand new to the shopping campaign type.

In essence, remarketing lists allow you to specifically target users that are considered to be valuable. For instance, if someone visits your site but doesn’t make a purchase, you can continue showing them your ads when they perform a similar search on Google.

Along with the Shopping remarketing lists, Google also released two new tools – the Shopping Insights Tool and the Assortment Report. The Shopping Insights Tool identifies products that people are looking for online and provides in-depth information about search behavior. The Assortment Report uses the Google Merchant Center to identify products that shoppers are searching for that you don’t currently offer.

Looking Ahead

Although each of these AdWords features serves a different purpose, they are all beneficial if you’re looking for a new way to improve your campaign performance and target your customers more efficiently in the coming year. Whether you’re hoping to schedule more appointments or sell more inventory, these new AdWords features can help.

Looking ahead, experts are predicting that 2016 will be another big year for pay-per-click advertising, with even more improvements to everything from ad targeting and cost-per-click strategies to social media and mobile ads.

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