There’s a lot to love about Google in 2018. Although privacy is still not high on their list of priorities, they are unleashing lots of cool new features and upgrading existing ones to the AdWords platform. The new AdWords interface may take some getting used to, like that time your parents brought home your adopted brother, but you’ll eventually come around.
Yet, family dynamics are not the only thing that’s shifting in 2018. Google has found itself in a wrestling match with Amazon over product advertising. This year, AdWords has stepped up to the plate with some cool new features for e-commerce businesses.
Whether you’re managing a digital store or a B2B company, these five AdWords tools are must-haves for 2018. Now, let’s dig in!
First, AdWords new user interface (UI) is the cool kid on the block these days. By 2019, the old version will be completely phased out. Like it or not, it’s time to trade in your ‘Dimensions’ for ‘Predefined Reports.’
Here’s a look at five of the top AdWords Features you should be using in 2018:
1. AdWords New Interface
The new UI takes some getting used to, but I assure everyone, it will eventually win you over. Imagine a world where you could bid on call extensions, limit your targeting by household income, review landing page performance or even use extensions to promote discounts. Then imagine no more! The new UI makes all this possible.
Simply put, AdWords provided more control in the new UI and unlocked more useful data. Personally, my favorite upgrade is with the call details reporting. In the old UI, we could only get as granular as the AdGroup level, now we can see exactly which keywords and ads produce the longest call duration.
The new UI has a sexy new dashboard that highlights trends visually, so you know exactly which rabbit hole to jump into. With the new advanced bid adjustments, audience dashboard, campaign goals and actionable insights, you should be in and out of optimizations in no time.
2. Promotion Extensions
Today’s digital ocean is being dominated by big fish. Last year, more than 200 billion dollars was spent on digital ad space. With Facebook and Google getting fat off the lion’s share, naturally Amazon, the Moby Dick of digital sales, is ready for a bite of the action.
Amazon is the only digital platform that’s garnered enough loyalty for users to bypass search engines altogether and start their shopping right on the website or app. In fact, more product searches have started on Amazon in the past few years than any other search engine.
What does this have to do with promotion extensions? For e-commerce stores, promotion extensions are a major upgrade and a real chance to push more products out the door. It’s well documented that extensions raise click-through rates. With an extension that speaks directly to a holiday sale, a one-time promotion, a special discount, etc. Advertisers are likely to engage even more users. Expect more cool features like promotion extensions for your e-commerce platform. Google is going to do everything it can to keep you spending in AdWords and not Amazon. Take advantage of these strategies to maximize your advertising dollars.
3. Message Extensions
Even if your landing page is as well written as this masterpiece, chances are they’d rather find an easier way to contact you before reading through it. Insert ‘Message Extension’ here.
Message extensions are unique and offer your prospect an opportunity to chat with you directly on the search results page as opposed to reading through your landing page. Convenience sells, and message extension is the definition of convenience.
This is not just an opinion. On mobile devices alone, Wordstream found an increase click-through rate of better than 50% for some of their customers. Yet, even better than the added engagement is the new learning.
In a standard text ad, your user clicks through and may or may not interact with you. With a message extension, even if you don’t turn that lead into an opportunity, you’ve had a chance to speak with them and learn a little more about their pain points. That information is priceless.
4. Call Only Ads
Call only ads are only run on phone enabled devices. They’re optimized for phone call clicks and lead straight to auto dial on a touch screen. There is no headline, just a number description and URL, so a simple call-to-action can go a long way.
Google AdWords unlocks more than enough data for you to run a successful campaign with call only ads. With call only ads, you can see:
- How many users clicked through without initiating the call
- How many calls were made
- Length of each call
- Where the call came from
- Which ad was clicked and which keyword produced the call
Don’t believe me? We have the numbers to back it up. In the beginning of 2018, we launched a call only effort for a substantial client here at Vertical Measures. Within two months, our conversion rates for non-brand increased from 9.80% to 21.91%.
5. Shopping Campaigns
Did I mention that Google, Facebook and Amazon are slugging it out for ad spend right now? Good, then you’ve probably assumed that e-commerce is still trending way up for 2018.
From a pure eyeball test, you can see why shopping ads would be so successful. A simple search for your favorite product will produce plenty of results right there on the front page with a media asset, review, pricing, etc. The statistics back up the power of shopping ads as well.
According to a report from Adthena, “The Rise of Google Shopping,” US retailers now spend more than 76% of their search budget on Google Shopping Ads, and about 40% of that is on mobile.
For online retailers, more than 85% of clicks come from shopping ads, with a measly 15% left over for text ads. Yet, what I find most interesting is that 66% of Google Shopping ads are for non-brand keywords. Meaning, your competitors are out there bidding on an audience still in the consideration stage of their customer journey (users who know what they want but haven’t picked a brand).
AdWords has upped its game in 2018. Hopefully, while some of these tools are not new items, the insights and explanation will inspire a fresh approach to your Paid Media efforts. If you’re struggling to make headway, or this information is too overwhelming, schedule an audit with a trained professional and bring your AdWords Account up to speed.
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