To win over users who are choosing which video to watch, we built TrueView discovery ads (formerly known as TrueView in-display) – a format tailored specifically to helping users discover your brand content. And today we’re not just changing the name – we’re supercharging TrueView discovery ads with more relevant ads on search results pages and full inventory coverage across the YouTube app. This means that for the first time ever, TrueView discovery ads will appear on mobile search results. And thanks to our changes to search ad relevance, our experiments show an aggregate 11% increase in CTR.
TrueView discovery ads are such a powerful format because they deliver high engagement – when viewers click on your video, that’s a strong signal that they’re interested in your brand. It’s why on average, users view one additional video from your brand within 24 hours of watching your TrueView discovery ad.1 This format is built for winning over your audience, and guiding them to your content when they’re searching for something great to watch.
Since TrueView discovery ads capture your audience when they’re leaning forward, we see on average TrueView discovery ads drive over 5x more clicks on advertiser-provided calls to action than TrueView in-stream. They’re also great for promoting your longer form content.
Advertisers like Benefit Cosmetics are using TrueView discovery ads to amplify their branded content. In a recent campaign, they used the format to reach viewers as they searched and browsed the latest brow trends. “We wanted to insert ourselves in a way that felt natural and really drove our brand and DNA, but also be incredibly useful to the customer when they’re looking for us,” said Nicole Frusci, Benefit’s vice president of brand and digital marketing. By serving up relevant content on YouTube search results and on related video watch pages, Benefit was able to boost subscriptions to their channel by 20% and drive an additional 663,000 earned views on top of their 1.2M paid views.
But why read all about what makes TrueView discovery ads so great when you can watch a video instead? Take it away Josh:
These changes will roll out in the next few weeks – keep an eye out in Adwords or DoubleClick Bid Manager – so you can start engaging your most qualified audience at key moments of discovery across YouTube.
Posted by Nicky Rettke, Group Product Manager, YouTube Ads
1. Google internal data, global, analysis based on channels with at least 10,000 organic and ad-driven views, Jan-Feb 2015.
Even though calls are a major source of conversions for many businesses, it can be challenging to measure a consumer journey that starts online from a search ad and ends with an offline conversation. Today, we’re announcing imported call conversions to help advertisers attribute revenue from phone calls back to their AdWords campaigns more accurately. This will roll out to all advertisers over the next few weeks.
Know which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable calls
Previously, advertisers have been able to measure call conversions using call length. For example, a travel advertiser may identify that calls resulting in new bookings typically last for at least one minute and set that as the minimum duration required to count a call as a conversion.
Imported call conversions now allows you to go a step beyond call length and measure the true conversion value of paid calls from mobile click-to-call ads or your website. You can also distinguish between various types of customer actions that you may value differently. For example, the travel advertiser might assign revenue amounts to different call types like new bookings, rate requests, service calls, and customer upsells to a larger trip package. With insights gathered from imported call conversions, they can then automatically optimize keyword bids to drive more valuable calls using Target ROAS automated bidding.
Companies like Nationwide and ShoppersChoice.com are already using imported call conversions to better measure and optimize for valuable calls:
“As Nationwide’s agency partners, driving qualified insurance prospects to its call center is a priority to effectively convert new customers. Until now, we haven't been able to maximize Nationwide’s presence in search because we couldn’t tie call revenue back to individual clicks. Imported call conversions takes AdWords measurement to the next level and we can now import actual policy sales driven by calls directly into AdWords. With this data, we can make better decisions about where to spend marketing budget, keyword bids & positioning, and campaign optimization. Even though it's still early, since including imported call conversions into campaign optimization, we’ve been able to increase spend on top-performing, call-driving terms by nearly 3x. This has even helped us identify new keyword expansion opportunities from search queries we wouldn’t have otherwise found without increasing our investment backed by imported calls data.” -- Jordan Jones, Associate Director of Performance Digital, UM
"Many customers have questions about our product selection or want to place an order directly with a sales rep, so we make it easy for them to call us from our ads and website. Imported call conversions brings our AdWords calls measurement a big step closer to fully closing the loop between our offline call center data and our online metrics. We have a better understanding of how calls from AdWords ads are driving revenue, and will be able to use these insights to make more informed decisions when it comes to budget allocation and campaign optimization." -- Jeff Loquist, Search Marketing Manager at ShoppersChoice.com
What you need to successfully import call conversions
You only need to collect three pieces of information to import call conversion data into AdWords:
- Caller phone number (Caller ID)
- Call start time
- Call length
This data will remain secure and privacy-safe for your customers, and serve as the key to match conversions back to the AdWords calls that drove them. Conversions will be attributed down to the keyword-level to help you determine which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable call conversions and where you should be investing your ad spend.
Posted by: Amit Agarwal, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Search Ads
1. BIA/Kelsey, 2015
Automatically counting cross-device conversions for a more accurate and complete view of performance
Your cross-device conversions will soon be included in the Conversions column automatically to give you the most complete view of performance possible and help you measure the full value of mobile. This will begin rolling out to advertisers starting September 6, 2016. The setting to manually include cross-device conversions in the Conversions column will no longer be available. After August 16, 2016, new AdWords accounts will include cross-device conversions in the Conversions column as the default.
Advertisers across the world and in different industries have measured up to 16% more conversions on average by using cross-device insights to get a more accurate and comprehensive view of performance. Here are stories from advertisers who have improved performance by accounting for cross-device conversions:
Lighting New York, a residential and commercial lighting retailer, has included cross-device conversions as a critical metric for their campaigns and automated bidding. Says Aaron Covaleski, Director of Search Marketing, “Cross-device conversions allows us to fully value mobile traffic and deliver a more aggressive marketing strategy. Armed with this data, we drove 50% year over year growth during our busiest Black Friday and Cyber Monday periods last year. We also strengthened awareness for our brand, and this was reflected in branded searches doubling across mobile and desktop.”
HomeClick, an online retailer of home improvement products, has measured 7% incremental conversions when including cross-device data. As a result, they’ve increased their mobile presence and included mobile clicks in attribution modeling to optimize against a more holistic view of the consumer journey. They’ve also integrated cross-device conversions into their automated bidding. Together, these changes have helped generate 60-70% growth in revenue. According to Matthew Hardgrove, Director of Marketing, "Cross-device conversions helps us understand the greater impact of mobile on our website performance. It provides us with information that has allowed us to open up new opportunities and gain market share from our competitors on a segment of traffic we previously undervalued."
For Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, its target audience typically converts on desktop, but they also see multiple touch points before then with billboards, radio, TV and most importantly, mobile. “Without cross-device measurement, it’s hard for us to really understand the full customer journey,” says Sam Gomez, VP of digital marketing at Feld Entertainment, Ringling Bros.’ parent company. It used cross-device tracking in AdWords to prove that mobile is a major contributor to driving conversions, and justify doubling down on their mobile strategy. This increased investment has resulted in a 262% uplift in cross-device conversions, 30% rise in ticket sales and a return-on-ad-spend of 1,132%.
U.S. Polo Assn., a clothing and accessories retailer, uses cross-device measurement to help capture the full value of mobile. Working with their agency partners at Elite SEM, it has seen mobile conversions increase over 2x year-over-year alongside a 128% increase in mobile traffic. Says Matt Debnar, VP Ecommerce at U.S. Polo Assn., “Analyzing cross-device conversions produced a major mobile aha-moment. We discovered that mobile was driving 9% more conversions than we initially thought, and improving ROAS by 12%.” U.S. Polo Assn. is now updating their overall marketing strategy to allocate additional budget to mobile. “We know our customers are getting more comfortable shopping on mobile, so these numbers will only continue to rise. Cross-device conversions gives us a more complete picture of search performance and helps us prove the value of our mobile investment.”
Tal Akabas, Product Manager, AdWords Conversions
Wilfred Yeung, Senior Product Manager, AdWords Bidding
1. Google / Ipsos Connect, March 2016, GPS Omnibus, n=2,013 US online respondents 18+
Drive qualified clicks
Price extensions show as multiple rows, providing valuable information to your prospective customers before they click on your ad. Each row features a type of product or service, its description and price, and a link to a relevant landing page. This structured way of highlighting information makes it easier for people to compare their options and decide if they’re interested in your products or services — right from the mobile search results page.
Price extensions can also co-trigger and be used effectively in combination with other ad formats, except sitelinks. For example, if you’re already using call extensions to help drive customers to your hair salon, you might create a price extension for your most popular services, like “Women's haircut,” “Men’s haircut,” and “Kid’s haircut.” Highlighting the price of each service might convince people to call and make an appointment, without needing to visit your website.
You can manage, schedule, and report on price extensions from the Ad extensions tab. Since price extensions can be added at the account, campaign, or ad group level, you can provide more general information about your products and services at the account or campaign level, and more detailed information at the ad group level.
In this salon example, you could add price extensions for “Haircut,” “Hair Coloring,” and “Treatment” to campaigns containing more general keywords like hair salon or hair stylist. Or add price extensions for specific services at the ad group level to support more specific keywords like men’s haircuts or balayage salon.
For time-sensitive offers like promotions and sporting events, you can create multiple price extensions with corresponding start and end dates to ensure your prices remain accurate. However you plan to use price extensions, make sure the information is relevant to your keywords and consistent with the types of products or services you’re advertising. Keep in mind you must include a minimum of three entries for each extension, up to a maximum of eight. We recommend adding as many as are relevant to your business.
Price extensions will be rolling out to all AdWords accounts over the coming days. Please note this extension can only be created in English and will only show with mobile text ads in position 1 at this time. You can learn more about price extensions in the AdWords Help Center.
Posted by Senthil Hariramasamy, Senior Product Manager, AdWords
- New alerts that immediately flag bidding issues
- Bid strategy statuses that appear directly in your campaign and ad group status columns
- Rich performance reporting for standard bid strategies set at the campaign-level
New bidding alerts help you troubleshoot issues
New alerts are now available specific to automated bidding to help you identify and resolve issues as quickly as possible. We’ve started with alerts that flag when your conversion tracking settings are “misconfigured” and will roll out additional alert types in the future. For example, you may see the “Misconfigured” alert if you use a bid strategy like Target CPA that optimizes for conversions, but have your conversion tracking turned off or haven’t added a conversion action to your primary Conversions column.
Bidding statuses get integrated with campaign and ad group statuses
In the coming weeks, we’re also introducing bid strategy statuses to the main campaign and ad group status columns to increase their visibility in your day-to-day workflows. For example, if you have bid limits that are preventing your bids from being fully optimized, you’ll see the “Eligible (Limited)” status right in your main status columns.
Eligible (Budget limited)
Renaming the current “Limited by budget” status to be more consistent with other status types
New status type for automated bidding
New status type for automated bidding
New status type for automated bidding
Rich performance reporting arrives for standard bid strategies
We’re also expanding reporting capabilities available for portfolio bid strategies to standard bid strategies set at the campaign-level. These reports are rolling out over the next few weeks, and you can access them from the “Bid strategy” dropdown menu in the Campaigns tab to track how changes in your bidding status and targets impact performance over time.
Visit the Help Center and check out our best practices to learn more about automated bidding. For more details on how auction-time bidding technology works in conversion-based bid strategies, read this full guide.
Posted by: Jonathan Wang, Product Manager, AdWords Bidding
While most of us are busy making the most of the summer sunshine, marketers are already beginning to think about the coldest (and busiest) months of the year--the holidays. October through December are traditionally the biggest months for both travel and shopping, and this year we expect mobile to play its biggest role ever. In fact, mobile travel and shopping searches are already up nearly 30% year-over-year.
To help marketers and on-the-go shoppers alike, we’re introducing a number of new features to make travel planning and mobile shopping easier ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
Finding the Perfect Hotel and Flight for Your Trip
Mobile is a big part of how people plan travel. Visits to mobile travel sites made up 40% of total travel web traffic in the first quarter of this year.1 At the same time, individual travel web sessions are becoming shorter and travel mobile conversion rates have grown 10% as users are increasingly ready to book on mobile.2
To help with planning and booking travel ahead of the busy holiday season, we're making it easier for people to find the right flight or the right hotel, in their price range, and in turn, help connect our partners with potential customers.
- Hotel Smart Filters: We’ll now give people the option to filter Hotel search results based on specific needs. For example, travelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their phones. We’ll make it easy to search for exactly what people want, like “Pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200” to find the perfect hotel for them. This feature is available in the US and will roll out globally later this year.
When it comes to booking their trip, 69% of leisure travelers worry that they're not finding the best price or making the best decision. To help users feel more confident about making a booking, we're working on making it easier for people to filter to find the right flight or the right hotel -- at the right price -- using our technology and real-time analysis:
- Hotel Deals: Everyone loves a good deal. When searching for a hotel, you may now see a "Deal" label calling out when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing or when there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. These deals are automatically identified by our algorithms when we see a significant reduction in price. In our early tests, we've seen that hotels marked as deals receive about twice as many bookings as other hotels.
- Hotel Tips: Tips are another way we're using real-time analysis to help users find the best hotels for their needs. Tips provide just the right information at the right moments when users are searching for hotels. We may show Tips to people when they could save money or find better availability by moving their dates slightly. For example, you may see a Tip like, “Save $105 if you stay Wed, Jul 13 - Fri, Jul 15”. We’ll be rolling Hotel Deals and Tips out globally beginning now and over the coming months.
- Flights price tracking: To help price-conscious travelers stay on top of changing flight fares, we’re making it easier to track flight prices in Google Flights. Instead of having to continually check prices, people can now opt in to track fare changes for a date and route combination or track specific flights being considered. When prices either increase or decrease significantly, people will be notified by email and Google Now cards. This is rolling out over the course of the next few weeks in all 26 countries where Google Flights is available.
Helping Shoppers Discover and Explore
We've always been focused on helping people find the exact product they're searching for when they have a good sense of what they want. But over 40% of shopping related searches on Google are for broad terms like "women's athletic clothing" or "living room furniture." For these less defined searches, what we've often shown are specific product ads -- say, a teal sofa -- and that may not be the most useful experience for the person who isn't sure what they want to buy.
Showcase Shopping ads help people further explore and discover what they want to buy and where they want to buy it. For example, if a shopper searches ‘summer dresses,’ ASOS, a global apparel retailer, can now showcase its collection of dresses in a visually rich experience.
To start, all merchants running Shopping Campaigns in the US, UK, and Australia will be eligible to have their products automatically appear in Showcase ads in the coming weeks. And for merchants who would like to customize how their brand and products appear, we're experimenting with a premium version that allows merchants to curate the experience.
Making it Easier to Shop on YouTube
People often turn to YouTube to help them research purchases. In fact, almost half of the U.S. population, 47%, says that YouTube helps them when making a decision about something to buy at least once a month.3
Last Spring, we introduced TrueView for shopping to make it easy for viewers to get more information about your products and click to buy while watching video ads. We've seen great results so far. The number of advertisers using the product is up 50% since January and in recent weeks, about 1/3 of them are using it every week.
To help give retailers even more control over branding, we're introducing two new features:
- Companion banner: We’re adding a new interactive banner appearing next to the video that lets viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to it. The banner also shows viewers the most up-to-date product information.
- Product picker: Our new feature lets advertisers easily choose and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign. This optional feature lets advertisers show specific products for specific campaigns, or they can still let the format dynamically feature products from their Merchant Center.
We’ll roll out these updates globally beginning now where TrueView for shopping is available. For additional resources on TrueView ads visit our best practices page.
Enabling Shopping Across Borders
These days, shopping is truly global. To make shopping more efficient for shoppers and merchants alike, we’re currently testing a tool to perform currency conversions in Australia, Switzerland, Canada, and the UK. This feature allows you to convert the currency in your product data locally. This conversion makes your ads more understandable to users in other countries, while allowing you to continue using your existing website and landing pages without change. For example, a person shopping in the UK can see products sold by a US retailer, listed in British pounds. We’ll be rolling out currency conversions more broadly over the coming weeks.
And to get the latest consumer trends, research and advertiser strategies -- from brands like Best Buy, William's Sonoma, Swarovski, La Quinta and Booking.com -- to help you with your year end campaigns, we’re releasing a new Retail Micro-Moments Guide and Travel Micro-Moments Guide.
We wish everyone a summer full of great memories, and we wish marketers success in their planning for the seasons ahead!
Posted by Jonathan Alferness, VP, Product Management
1. Google Analytics aggregated data, April 2016, Travel vertical, mobile devices include smartphones and tablets. US
2. Google Analytics aggregated data, Q1 2016 quarter-on-quarter, Travel vertical, US
3. Google / Ipsos Connect, YouTube Sports Viewers Study, March 2016 (18-54 year olds onliners n=1,500)
If you think people make purchase decisions quickly, think again. Today’s consumers visit websites at least 6 times, on average, in the purchase process.1 And for those who abandon a shopping cart, 75% say they intend on returning to a company’s website to make a purchase.2
We’ve created a new best practices guide, Tailor Your Ads with Dynamic Remarketing, to help advertisers win those crucial “ready-to-buy” moments with dynamic remarketing and relevant ads. As business data feeds are crucial to dynamic remarketing campaigns, this guide focuses on how to create and optimize your feeds. It covers topics such as:
- Setting up high-quality business data feeds
- Providing complete product data
- Keeping your business data feed fresh
- Activating dynamic remarketing ads
Check out these dynamic remarketing best practices to drive more relevant ads and improved performance.
Want to stay on top of even more Best Practices? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.
Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing crew
1. Source: Google/Nielsen Study: Mobile Path to Purchase: Five Key Findings, November 2013
2. Source: BI Intelligence Study: Shopping Cart Abandonment Report, March 2015.
Video consumption has gone from primetime to ‘all-the-time.’ From teens to adults, people spend as much time watching online video as they do watching TV. 1
There have never been more opportunities for brands to connect with consumers through the power of video and YouTube. We’ve published a new guide, Press Play on TrueView Video Ads, to help you understand how to optimize TrueView ads to support your performance goals. It touches on topics such as:
- Understanding TrueView ads and how to measure success
- Capturing attention with compelling TrueView ads
- Reaching highly-qualified audiences with YouTube
- Tracking and optimizing video ads
Check out these TrueView video ads best practices to drive more leads or conversions for your business.
Want to stay on top of even more Best Practices? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.
Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing
Source: Millward Brown Study, Video Creative in a Digital World, 2015.
Since then, we received a number of requests from our Partners asking for a way to further differentiate themselves. Today, we’re excited to share the addition of Google Partner specializations.
The new feature is embedded into the Google Partner badge and designed to help businesses identify the right Partner for their specific business needs.
Partners can earn specializations in 5 areas of expertise:
To earn a specialization, badged Partners will need at least one certified individual and a history of consistent product performance.
“The changes to the Google Partner program are exciting for potential advertisers and our company,” says Neal Gann, CEO of Showroom Logic. “These new specializations show Google’s commitment to better serve their Partners and help us highlight what makes our technology and team so unique. It should also help prospective clients make a clear choice because it's now easier for them to find top Partners that are aligned with their immediate goals.”
Additionally, we’re introducing a new Premier Google Partner badge.
The new badge is designed to recognize Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers. Premier Partners will be required to maintain additional certification requirements and will receive increased support from Google.
"Google identifying and recognizing highly experienced agencies is a great step and a distinctive honor. We are thrilled to be a part of the new designation and look forward to displaying this badge," shares Joe Chura, CEO of Launch Digital Marketing.
We hope these updates will help businesses find the right Partner for their needs and allow our Partners to better differentiate themselves. Learn more at the new Google Partners homepage.
Posted by Allan Thygesen, VP Global Sales & Operations
Already available on Search, Gmail, and YouTube, we’re announcing the launch of Customer Match for Shopping ads. Customer Match for Shopping allows you to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way.
How it works
Customer Match can be used to increase the visibility of your brand and products to your highest value customers as they search. Say you’re a retailer that specializes in sporting goods and you have a rewards program for die-hard baseball fans. Since it’s baseball season you have a segment of customers who are likely thinking to make purchase soon. By using Customer Match, you can increase your bids for this segment. So the next time a fan searches for gear, you can meet him or her with the right product at the right time.
Customer Match for Shopping allows you to adjust bids across various segments of your known high-value customers. To start, upload a list of email addresses into AdWords, which can be securely and privately matched to signed-in users on Google. This offers the ability to create a remarketing list to reach these customers across your campaigns.
Charlotte Russe adjusts their audience strategy with Customer Match
Charlotte Russe, a fashion retailer for young women, used Customer Match for Shopping to expand the company’s strategy to meet high-value shoppers when they search. The team at Charlotte Russe focused on adjusting bids to meet their most loyal customers searching in their top categories. So when customers searched for apparel, Charlotte Russe made sure they were a part of the consideration set.
“We were really excited to try out Customer Match for Shopping. We created different lists to segment our customers resulting in significantly higher CTR (up to 60% higher) and conversion rates (up to 30% higher) for customers coming from Customer Match lists.”
- Stefanie Tong, Marketing Manager, Charlotte Russe
Customer Match for Shopping will be rolling out later this summer. You can sign up here if you’re interested in participating in the current beta.
Posted by Archana Kannan, Product Manager for Google Shopping