In case you haven’t heard, Google is in the process of releasing several new features in the coming months to help you take your AdWords account performance to the next level. During their Performance Summit in May, the company announced a slew of exciting new updates, including everything from expanded text ads to the ability to make bid modifications on tablet devices.
We’ve put together a roundup of the top 5 Google AdWords features you should be on the lookout for in the coming months, including some industry experts’ thoughts on the changes.
Tablet Bid Adjustments
Perhaps the biggest announcement to come out of the Performance Summit is that Google will soon allow advertisers to bid separately on tablet devices. This is a huge relief to many advertisers who have long struggled with the lack of ability to optimize among mobile, tablet, and desktop bids.
In 2013, Google released its Enhanced Campaigns feature, which effectively created the ability to bid separately on mobile phones, but to the chagrin of many advertisers, they also lumped desktop and tablet bids together. As it stands now, if your ads are performing really well or really poorly on tablet devices, you cannot modify bids to improve performance without also affecting desktop bids.
The new feature from Google will not only allow advertisers to set separate bids for tablet, mobile, and desktop devices, but will also allow you to pick an anchor bid. Currently the desktop/tablet bid serves as your anchor bid, meaning if you want to make adjustments, you have to increase or decrease mobile bids. The new feature will allow you to choose any of the three devices as your anchor and make adjustments to the other two devices as needed. This could be particularly useful for companies that focus more on a mobile-device experience.
This feature has not been released yet, but is expected to roll out before the end of the year.
“As more and more people switch to using tablets and mobile devices, it is critical that advertisers optimize for those current segments. Tablet bid adjustments allow advertisers to increase cost effectiveness and take advantage of opportunities that they previously didn’t have the option to.”
– Keegan Brown, Digital Advertising Analyst at Vertical Measures
Expanded Text Ads
It had been rumored for some time that in addition to removing all right-side text ads, Google was also testing a new ad format altogether. This rumor was confirmed during the Performance Summit when Google announced it would be releasing expanded text ads. These ads will allow advertisers to create ads with a longer, double headline, an 80 character description, and two additional “paths” added to the Display URL. The expanded text ads feature is currently in beta and is expected to be available to everyone later this year.
“This is a very big deal. As keyword selection, bid management, sitelinks and other features of AdWords are being automated away to some degree, the area of most leverage for marketers is in the ad copy. Having so much more space will greatly help businesses describe what makes them so special and why you should choose them.”
Larry Kim, Founder of Wordstream
Similar Audiences for Search Ads
Using similar audiences – a feature that’s currently only available for Display Network or Customer Match audiences – will soon be available for search campaigns as well. The feature allows advertisers to create new audiences based off of their existing audiences. This is a great way to find new potential customers.
Larry Kim: “This is actually the biggest of the announcements made last month, yet it was buried in a line in the presentation! We’re having great success with customer match and RLSA for search, but these campaigns all suffer due to low impression volumes due to small audience sizes. Similar audiences could help improve those issues.”
Shopping Ads on YouTube
Although YouTube Shopping ads have been in beta for some time now, Google plans to roll out this feature to all advertisers very soon. With the new rollout will also come the ability to place shopping ads on videos not owned by the advertiser – this will create a huge opportunity to advertise your products on all kinds of relevant videos seen by millions of people.
Keegan Brown: “Shopping ads allows searcher’s to have a unique shopping experience online, giving them an easy way to price and view the product. On the flip side, Shopping ads allow advertisers to optimize their campaigns more granularly by categories, brands and even down to the product itself, giving advertisers an ROI on each individual product they sell online.”
Promoted Pins in Google Maps
This feature, which is essentially search ads within Google Maps, will provide great opportunities for business that get a lot of local foot traffic. Companies will be able to customize and brand their pins on Google Maps and users will be able to see relevant pins nearby. There will also be new local pages that allow advertisers to include helpful content such as products that are available in the store and current discounts.
As you can see, there are no shortage of new AdWords features rolling out in the very near future. Each new feature will give advertisers an additional way to optimize their campaigns and improve performance.