By Peter Semetis and Daniel Olduck
Performance Summit 2016 is Google’s annual event in which the company unveils new ad products and outlines how advertisers can best capitalize on the latest online behavioral trends.
Unsurprisingly, Google’s announcements were primarily focused on helping advertisers improve mobile performance, as mobile search is outpacing desktop/laptop globally.
Announcement 1: Local Ads Across Maps Products
Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are now location-based queries. On mobile devices, location-based queries are growing 50% faster than other mobile queries.
There are over 1 billion users of Google Maps. Using new Local Ads, advertisers can claim their brand pin on Google Maps and add promotional messaging. Google also encourages advertisers to use online-to-offline conversion tracking, to help measure the impact of ads for users who enter physical business locations.
Announcement 2: Expanded Paid Text Ads On The SERP
In the first major change to AdWords’ text ad specifications in over a decade, Google will be expanding the number of characters allowed. Google has found that two 30-character headlines, and one long 80-character description line, are much more palpable to the mobile user. In fact, in Google’s initial testing, the new format has helped mobile CTR increase by 20%.
This change will be rolling out later this year, requiring a full refresh of all ad copy across all AdWords accounts. The new ad format has been optimized for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones. This change comes just months after the SERP layout makeover, which also made paid search ads more effective on mobile devices.
Note: Changes to the SERP layout and the ad format take effect on all devices, not just mobile.
Acronym had already been working with our clients on this upcoming change prior to this formal announcement, but status and timing of this change has evolved over the last few weeks. This will be a large initiative to migrate over to new ad formats, but a good opportunity to refresh ad copy and deliver more relevant creative.
Announcement 3: Device Bidding 2.0
A welcome announcement for paid search advertisers, Google will be providing advertisers options to better manage cost based on device. In 2013, Google enticed advertisers to the mobile ad space with the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, which coupled many device targeting settings. With today’s announcement, advertisers will be allowed to set a base bid for each device again. In theory, advertisers could create campaigns to separate mobile, desktop, and tablet performance – though it is not recommended by Google to do so, as the company prefers that advertisers manage all device bids within one campaign.
With these announcements, and the right-hand rail recent changes, we expect to see a rise in PPC distribution of search volume by year’s end as spaces become increasingly monetized. However the sophistication of the newer ad formats, and the precision allowed by new settings, should provide advertisers with improvements in efficiency if these new items are leveraged appropriately.
For Google’s official news release, please visit:
Peter Semetis is PPC Director and Daniel Olduck is EVP of Global Strategy at digital and search marketing agency Acronym.