Google's Box of Tricks: What's New In AdWords?
Last Friday I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend Google’s Box of Tricks presentation in London. The event was put on for a selection of the UK’s finest agencies and we, the masterminds at Noisy Little Monkey, were invited.
I leapt at the opportunity to represent our awesomeness despite looking like a bit of a nerd with my enthusiasm. In fact, I enjoyed the event so much that I want to shout about what I learnt.
This is the first in a series of posts outlining the main topics covered at Google’s Box of Tricks 2012. I’ll begin this series by highlighting some of the key features that are coming soon in Google AdWords for 2013 as this is one of my own areas of interest at Noisy Little Monkey.
Improving Planning Tools
Google has promised that creating new AdWords campaigns will be easier and more straightforward than ever before in 2013. One of the most recent tools that has been launched is the Ad Group Suggestions via the Keyword Tool. Google now organises ad group ideas for you in a list of suggestions based on your initial keyword ideas and/or website content which you can import with the click-of-a-button if you desire.
Although this feature has been around for a short while already, Google has hinted at further improvements both online and in AdWords Editor. This is good news for the layman, however seasoned AdWords professionals will probably still want to put their own spin on Google’s suggestions to avoid following the crowd too much. I'm yet to be convinced about how helpful these suggestions will be for those of us that cast more than a glance at a campaign during set up. Don't get me wrong, it's great to use these as a guide for additional research you'll want to conduct, but in my view it doesn't necessarily make my job easier.
Additional planning tools to assist with AdWords campaign creation was alluded to, although there were no further specifics explained. Watch this space.
AdWords Campaigns Without Keywords.
Google has been doing this for some time already, although you might not have noticed. The concept of creating AdWords campaigns without using keywords would have left most of us scratching our heads a few years ago, but it’s now easily done. Some examples include:
- Display campaigns, which include targeting image ads and text ads by topics, keywords and specific websites.
- Remarketing campaigns, which allow you to target people who have been on your website previously. If you’re not familiar with remarketing, see my remarketing blog post. Admittedly, things are moving so fast at Google that some of my original points in my previous post are already outdated.
- And the newest revelation: Dynamic Search Ads. Dynamic search ads automatically show ads based on the content of a website by using Google’s organic search index. This launched in beta mode about a year ago, but it’s only just started surfacing and being promoted in AdWords in the last couple of months. I spoke a professional Googler about it briefly on Friday as I had been concerned that this would compete against some of our existing campaigns but he reassured me that it wouldn’t.
Online Shopping Improvements
eCommerce expectations are changing so fast that if you snooze, you lose. In addition to having an awesome website that's optimised to deliver sweet conversions, make note of these changes Google told us about:
- From February 2013, all Google Shopping placements in the UK will be paid only and organic listings from Google’s Merchant Centre will no longer appear on the SERPs. This happened a couple of months ago in the US and it will be rolling out here in February. In other words, all merchants who wish to have their products displayed as shopping results will have to run a CPC Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaign. Google claims that by doing this there will be less clutter and repetition on the SERPs and users will receive more relevant product suggestions.
- Google Trusted Shops is a free badging program that can improve your conversion rate and average order size by reassuring potential customers that you offer a great shopping experience. This will be introduced in the UK in 2013 and is already running successfully in the US (called Google Trusted Stores).
- 3D imagery. Although Google was a bit vague about what they will have to do with this, it is going to become the norm in the future, with customers expecting to view all angles of a product on demand. I expect that in the future merchants who offer product images with 3D capability will see some sort of benefit over those that don’t – either via higher quality scores, higher ranking in Google Shopping or in some other way that may potentially affect performance.
- Speed of Delivery: When talking about things that change the way we shop, Google mentioned how important delivery time is in the overall realm of customer experience. So much so that a cool new company called Shutl has recently launched to help with our demand for instant gratification. Shutl is still a work in progress, but their main USP is the ablilty to deliver products within the next hour! Talk about demanding customers.
New Search Ad Extensions For 2013
Google has been offering extensions on paid search ads for some time now, including sitelinks, call extensions and product extensions among others. AdWords extensions were created to enhance the performance of pay-per-click ads by giving users more relevant information about your business, which means more links to click (and ultimately earning Google more money). Although it is free to add the extensions to your existing AdWords campaigns, you are still charged a cost-per-click if someone clicks on your ad. Below are some of the new extensions (and updates to existing ones) that will become available in 2013.
- Customer Support Extension: Expected to provide the ability to offer customer support in the SERPs via live chat, phone numbers, customer support email addresses. This is expected to run alongside your ad, which means customers may never need to click in to the site if their simply interested in getting in touch.
- Email Extensions: These extensions will supposedly offer the ability to drive email signups via search. For instance, search listings could show a field where customers can subscribe to emails right from the SERP.
- Improved call metrics. These improvements to the existing call extension is expected to dynamically insert a Google Voice number will allow you to track call metrics better than ever
- New and improved Social Extensions and +1 options, making it even more important to maintain quality Google+ pages for your business.
Although the opportunity to reach people that have been on your website previously has been around for a little while now, Google promises some improvements to remarketing campaigns in 2013, including:
- Improved ability to re-engage with users after they’ve visited your website. Although we weren't privy to specific details. I suspect this has to do with improved tag management and overall targeting capability.
- The ability to publish new campaigns in minutes with Google Tag Manager. This tool makes it easier than ever before to manage multiple tags on websites. If you’ve ever had to work with a developer (or anyone else for that matter) to ensure the right tags are in the right place at the right time for proper tracking, this tool promises to make your life much, much easier.
Display Marketing With Video Ads
Video advertising is becoming more and more popular, and it’s an easy way for small companies to create a demand for their products at a relatively low cost. Whether on the standard display network or on You Tube, one of the most exciting changes taking place involves the ability to pay only for those ads that people actively choose to view.
Google has recently begun offering advertisers the ability to pay for engagement on the display network. This is the first time that advertisers have been able to pay for video ads and reach only those customers who are truly interested in watching the ad. Previously, advertisers would have had to pay based on impressions, or most likely CPM. At present, only 20% of all people who are presented video ads choose to watch them until the end, which means that advertisers don’t have to pay for the other 80% that don't.
And last, but most certainly not least:
Mobile Will Become PIVOTAL In 2013 (Google's exact words)
- There will be universal tools in Google Analytics which provides more detailed reporting on mobile devices
- Google will be improving tools that allow us to give credit to all the different marketing channels that deliver results via Mobile Attribution
- 2013 will be the year of Semantic Targeting. In Nov 2012 Google has just launched a test in the US targeting 350 airports, which will be included in the geo-targeting options in the future.
So there you have it. Loads of stuff going on to improve AdWords in 2013. Phew. Stay tuned for the next installment, as soon as I’ve soaked up all of these great AdWords changes and had a chance to rest my head.
Oh, and while you're waiting for the next blog post, check out the (other) love in my life sporting Google's Winter Schwag Collection. Hot. I can't wait for the first family sledging outing this winter!