We all have that friend - the one who somehow knows the latest brands, the season’s must-have products, and where to find the best deals at the snap of a finger. In years past, this friend was an enigma, making us wonder how does he (she?) do it?
Today, we can all be that friend. With the ability to instantly discover, research, and purchase, shoppers around the world are more informed and more efficient than ever before - they’ve transformed into supershoppers seemingly overnight.
But what defines supershoppers? And what does this mean for retailers trying to win them over this holiday season? Let’s find out.
They Keep Their Options Open
Last year, more than 50% of holiday shoppers said they were open to purchasing from new retailers1. This is especially true online. More than three-quarters of smartphone shoppers who usually go to the same physical stores when they shop for products are very open to new retailers and brands online2. Why? Mobile makes it easy to explore all of your options no matter when or where you’re shopping. In fact, after searching on Google, 76% of mobile shoppers have changed their mind about which retailer or brand to purchase3.
Mobile is Their Muse
It used to be that shoppers would thumb through catalogues or stare longingly at the holiday window displays, but mobile is now the super shopper’s go-to source for inspiration. Sixty-four percent of smartphone shoppers turn to mobile search for ideas about what to buy before heading into store4. And 1 in 4 mobile video viewers in the U.S. have visited YouTube for help with a purchase decision while they were at a store or visiting a store's website5.
But shoppers aren’t only making purchase decisions, they’re discovering new brands and products along the way: more than half of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product when conducting a search on their phones6.
They Want the Best - Not the Cheapest
In July we learned that shoppers are on the quest for the best - and this still rings true more than ever today. Last holiday, mobile searches related to “best gift” grew 70% year over year while mobile searches related to cheap or inexpensive gifts grew about 35%7. They’re also willing to do the research to the make the best decision: on YouTube, mobile watch time for product review videos has grown 60% year over year8.
But supershoppers don’t only want the best - they want personalized, unique, cool gifts. Mobile searches related to “unique gifts” grew more than 65% while mobile searches related to “cool gifts” grew a whopping 80%9.
Mobile is Their Door to the Store
Although more and more people are willing to buy on mobile, we know that mobile is still used predominantly as a door to the store. In fact, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase10.
Once they’re inside your store, they expect the experience to be a seamless one: more than 40% of smartphone shoppers want retailers to automatically surface relevant information such as the location of the item in the store, a special deal or related products11.
They Shop ‘Til they Drop
Supershoppers live up to their name as the holiday season progresses. From November through mid-December we see online conversion rates increase across devices. Last year, on mobile alone, they jumped 30% on Black Friday and 50% on Cyber Monday when compared to November 112.
Here Are a Few Tips to Reach Today’s Supershopper
- Get your holiday campaigns in shape: Use a combination of search and video ads to reach shoppers across all their digital touchpoints. Ensure your products stand out by reading our list of optimization do’s and don’ts as well as our best practices for TrueView video ads.
- Be Present on Mobile: use mobile bid adjustments to ensure your brand is present no matter when people are shopping. For search campaigns, you can send mobile users to the right pages on your site by using mobile URLs in expanded text ads.
- Manage Your Bids Efficiently and Effectively: Use Smart Bidding in AdWords or DoubleClick Search to maximize your performance. Improve your bidding for sales and promotions by using Business Events in DoubleClick Search.
- Bring your Brand into the Consideration Set: as shoppers are more open to new brands online, help shoppers discover your brand and products through category keywords and audience targeting formats like TrueView for shopping. You can use TrueView video discovery ads to target YouTube search pages relevant for your brand.
- Don’t Miss Out on People Who are Willing to Buy Your Products: Monitor your budgets and review your click-share daily to make sure you’re not losing out on shoppers ready to buy. Increase bids and budgets as conversion rates rise, and don’t forget to keep the lights on even after the holiday season ends! Finally, don't forget to use store visits or store sales to make sure offline sales are accounted for.
Julie Krueger, Retail Managing Director, Google
1. Google/ Ipsos, Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study - Total Shoppers Report, Jan 2016, Base: US Holiday Shoppers, n=1,500
2. Google/Euromonitor International, Micro-Moments Survey, US, July 2016, Smartphone shoppers = 1000, Same store shoppers = 801
3. Google/Euromonitor International, Micro-Moments Survey, US, July 2016, Smartphone shoppers = 1000
4. Google/Euromonitor International, Micro-Moments Survey, US, July 2016, Smartphone shoppers = 1000
5. Google-commissioned Ipsos Brand Building on Mobile Survey, U.S., December 2015 n=1000, 18-54 year olds
6. Google/Ipsos, "Consumers in the Micro-Moment," Wave 3, U.S., n=1291 online smartphone users 18+, August 2015.
7. Source: Google Search Data, Apparel, Home & garden, Beauty & personal care, Computers & electronics, Gifts, Toys & games, Photo & video, Nov-Dec 2014 vs Nov-Dec 2015, United States.
8. YouTube data, U.S., Classification as a “Product Review" video was based on public data such as headlines and tags, and may not account for every such video available on YouTube, Nov - Dec 2014 and Nov - Dec 2015
9. Google Search Data, Apparel, Home & garden, Beauty & personal care, Computers & electronics, Gifts, Toys & games, Photo & video, Nov-Dec 2014 vs Nov-Dec 2015, United States.
10. Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016, Representative sample of US Smartphone users = 1000. Local searchers = 634, Purchases = 1,140
11. Google/Euromonitor International, Micro-Moments Survey, US, July 2016, Smartphone shoppers = 1000
12. Google Analytics Shopping category data, Nov 1, 2015–December 14, 2015, United States
If you’re inviting a friend to dinner or asking them about the best hotels in New York City, you’re probably doing it through mobile messaging. Nearly two thirds of smartphone owners use messaging more than five times a day to communicate with others.1 And people aren’t limiting their use of messaging to social communications - 65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service, or to schedule an in-person appointment.2
In the coming weeks, we’re introducing click-to-message ads to bring the efficiency and effectiveness of messaging to search ads. By setting up a message extension, you’ll give users an easy way to text you to start a conversation and continue it whenever is most convenient for them.
Tapping on the texting option launches a user’s SMS app with a pre-written message tailored to the product or service they’re interested in. For example, if you’re a travel advertiser and someone messages you after searching for New York City hotels, they can send or edit your pre-written message text, “I’m interested in a reservation. Please text me back with more information.”
Many advertisers are already using click-to-message ads to take advantage of a new and faster way to connect with consumers on mobile to increase conversion rates:
"Click-to-message ads have proven to be a great way to help prequalified customers start the hotel reservation process in a way that is convenient and easy for them. They can text an agent to get questions answered, continue the conversation on their own timetable, and trade booking information before completing the final checkout over the phone or on our website. It's a seamless and streamlined process that helps increase brand trust. The conversion rate on message extensions is 41% higher compared to other ad extensions. Paired with customer support software, they’ve also allowed our agents to respond to requests in a more efficient and cost-effective way. ”
- Gabe Thayn, Director of Search Marketing, TravelPASS Group
"Click-to-message is a useful tool that allows consumers to engage with our business in a way that’s comfortable and efficient for them. They could be on their commute or in a rush, so they can text us quickly through click-to-message. It’s also a good medium to get questions answered that aren’t addressed on our website, or to reach us during hours when our office is closed. Our main performance objective is to help customers as much as possible - when we take care of their questions and needs in a helpful, relevant way, that leads to better business results."
- Gavin Chan, Digital Marketing Manager, AnyVan
"The results from click-to-message have been phenomenal and we've seen a 80% higher conversion rate when compared to other similar channels. We can now tap into an important consumer base that prefers to use SMS to learn more about our insurance products. Besides giving users a new way to get in touch with us, we feel this is by far the fastest and most cost-effective way to connect with them."
- Gavin Parker, Paid Search Manager, Auto & General
“We started testing click-to-message as soon as we heard about it. Text messaging is a popular medium of communication among young professionals and the opportunity to engage them through SMS is very exciting. We sell industrial equipment and supplies, which can be very technical. Sometimes customers don’t have time to talk over a web chat or phone conversation, but still need more information. Messaging helps simplify these exchanges and the customer response has been very positive since they can post a question and follow up in their own time."
- Ashar Mairaj, VP of Marketing, Global Industrial
Mobile users have more flexibility than ever to choose how they want to connect with businesses. Through messaging, you can initiate valuable conversations with them by tapping into one of their most preferred modes of communication. Learn more about click-to-message ads by visiting the Help Center. Also read our new best practices to learn how to use click-to-message ads to build a faster consumer experience on mobile and deliver useful information that gets customers closer to purchasing.
Posted by Amit Agarwal, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Search Ads
1. Google Consumer Surveys, US, Canada, UK, Australia, October 2016, Base: Respondents who own a smartphone and use it to access the Internet (n = 1,262 in US, n = 1,222 in UK, n = 567 in Canada, n = 563 in Australia)
2. Google Consumer Surveys, US, Canada, UK, Australia, October 2016, Base: Respondents who own a smartphone and use it to access the Internet (n = 1,036 in US, n = 1,032 in UK, n = 489 in Canada, n = 485 in Australia)
Google Shopping partners with ecommerce platforms to make selling online easier than ever this holiday season
When it comes to attracting customers over the busy holiday season, showcasing your products online can help you get in front of more people, and many retailers already use ecommerce platforms to upload and promote their products online. Today, we’re excited to announce partnerships with three major ecommerce platforms -- BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento -- to make it easier than ever before to get started on Google Shopping for the holidays, and beyond. If you’re using any one of these platforms (or if you’re thinking of using one of these platforms), our new partnerships let you easily submit your product information to Google Shopping and quickly reach millions of new customers searching for what you sell.
Get up and running on Google in just a few clicks
With this direct integration, you can save time and extra work by using your existing BigCommerce, Prestashop, or Magento account to easily submit your product data to fuel a new Google Shopping campaign.
With just a few clicks, your product information is populated in your Merchant Center account, helping you reach new shoppers on Google.com and other Google properties. This integration lets you:
- Find new customers, right where they’re searching. Connect your products to the customers who matter most -- the ones searching for what you sell.
- Easily display your rich product imagery and details. Put your product images, price, and other differentiators front and center, so that searching shoppers can easily find you.
- Get up and running quickly, minimizing your holiday workload. Use the product information you’ve already entered in your ecommerce platform without needing to submit this information separately to Google.
- Showcase your newest inventory. Roll out new products to Google Shopping, simply by adding products to your ecommerce store.
We’ve been testing this technical integration with our ecommerce platform partners, and have already seen impressive results from small businesses, brand new to Google Shopping.
Peter Baseio, founder and CEO of baby product company Organic Munchkin, connected his BigCommerce account to Google Shopping to reach new customers with rich, visual ads. “Google Shopping allows our products to be listed in a visual format, increasing brand awareness for our niche market, as well as revenue,” said Baseio. “It has tripled our revenue stream, bringing in customers we never knew we had access to."
Sam Gong, co-founder of Man Crates, used the integration to help tens of thousands of new customers find their unique assortment of gifts. "Google Shopping is an incredibly cost-effective way for us to reach new customers on long-tail search terms and recapture visitors that have found Man Crates through one of our primary marketing campaigns,” said Gong. “It's well integrated with BigCommerce, incredibly easy to setup, and easy to measure and manage on an ongoing basis. It’s an absolute no-brainer for just about any ecommerce business."
Ready to get started?
If you’re not using an ecommerce platform today, find out how to sign up for one by checking out the BigCommerce, PrestaShop, or Magento website. If you’re already using one of these platforms, visit our Help Center or the BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento help pages to learn more.
Posted by James Summerfield, Senior Software Engineer, Google Shopping
The shift to mobile has happened. And as marketers on the frontline, you need tools that help you build mobile-first experiences at scale. AdWords Editor is here to help -- and just in time for the holidays. The latest version (11.6) includes support for universal app campaigns, Gmail ad templates, and much more.
Universal app campaigns
Developers and marketers know it’s not just about driving app installs, it’s about delivering valuable actions within your apps. AdWords Editor now supports universal app campaigns (UAC), which help you find the customers that matter most to you, based on your defined business goals. With UAC, you can find valuable users for your app across Google Search, Play, YouTube, and within apps and mobile websites on the Display Network. Create and edit universal app campaigns in AdWords Editor today.
Gmail ad templates
With Gmail ads, you can reach the 1B+ Gmail users around the world. Gmail ads provide a relevant way for you to connect with them as they're browsing promotional emails. AdWords Editor now supports Gmail image templates and Gmail single promotion templates so you can easily create, manage, and edit your Gmail ads, in bulk, alongside the rest of your ads.
Expanded text ads
As a reminder, support for expanded text ads is also available in AdWords Editor. Expanded text ads provide more ad space so you can showcase additional details about your brand, products, and services. Check out our best practices guide for tips and tricks on writing compelling ads.
Responsive ads adapt to the increasingly diverse mix of content types and screen sizes across the Google Display Network. You can now create and edit responsive ads in AdWord Editor.
The latest version of AdWords Editor also includes:
- Device bid adjustments allow you to maintain the efficiency of managing a consolidated campaign that reaches consumers across devices, while giving you more control to set individual bid adjustments for each device type.
- Enhancements to advanced search, including an easier way to create filters.
- Scheduled downloads to help you stay on top of recent changes and performance statistics
RLSA gets even better
RLSA makes it easy to connect with customers who are already familiar with your business by allowing you to adjust your search ads, bids, and keywords based on their past activity on your website. Starting today, we’re introducing improvements to RLSA to give you more flexibility and help drive better performance:
- Reach your customers across devices. If someone visits your website on their laptop or tablet, you can now reach them with more relevant ads when they search on their phone.
- Keep site visitors in your list for 540 days. This longer membership duration makes it easier for businesses with seasonality or high consideration products to reach their customers.
- Add your remarketing lists at the campaign level later this year, making it faster and easier to use RLSA. This will work for Customer Match too.
Customer Match delivers results, especially when used with RLSA
Customer Match helps you reach your highest-value customers across Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail. We’ve found that advertisers using Customer Match and RLSA in combination are seeing strong performance.
At SMX East I shared this insight that we learned from many advertisers who are seeing great results. Wine Enthusiast, a retailer for all things wine, combined RLSA with Customer Match and saw a 3x increase in ROI compared to search campaigns that used keyword targeting alone.
Demographics for search ads
Demographics for search ads (DFSA) has started rolling out to all advertisers globally. DFSA lets you adjust bids for ages and genders, and even exclude them, to help you reach specific groups of customers, as well as report on how they impact your campaigns. Learn more.
Let’s say you’re a clothing retailer, and the majority of your customers are millennials — DFSA can help you to reach this audience more effectively. For example, you might increase your bids for users ages 18 to 34 to drive more sales from this valuable group of consumers.
Pairing insights like this with your search strategy can help you be there for your customers with the most relevant ad experience possible. Here are some advertisers who’ve seen success:
"DFSA was clearly a product we wanted to implement on our top campaigns. Since applying bids based on age, we've seen big gains in efficiency and engagement: searchers that DFSA identifies as over the age of 45 have shown a 65% higher CTR and a 15% lower CPA." — Rene Rios, Director of Membership Development at AARP
“With DFSA, we can concentrate our marketing dollars on the audiences most important to us. By employing bid modifiers for women ages 25 to 44, we saw CPA decreases of 25% in our campaigns compared to normal search.” — Ya-Yung Cheng, Sr. Director of Digital Marketing & CRM at Sylvan Learning
Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords
Mobile phones have created new ways for consumers to engage with brands, often blurring the physical and digital worlds. People research products online and go into a store to buy. They see a brand on TV and then go online to learn more. Or they watch mobile videos on their commutes that inspire them to book a trip when they’re back home on their laptops.
However your audience engages, only Google has the scale and the tools to help you reach people in the moments that truly matter and measure impact across devices and channels.
I look forward to sharing several new innovations with you on Monday morning at Advertising Week’s Times Center Stage -- all of which are designed to help you close the loop between television and digital, online and offline, and mobile and desktop.
Close the loop between TV and digital with Brand Lift
For the last several years, we’ve been investing in our Brand Lift product to show marketers how YouTube campaigns impact brand metrics like awareness and purchase intent -- throughout the entire consumer journey.
Today, we’re extending the capabilities of Brand Lift to TV campaigns to show marketers how TV ads increase Google and YouTube searches for your brand compared to YouTube campaigns. From early tests, we've seen that YouTube generates almost 2x searches per impression than TV generates.1
Brand Lift for TV requires very little set-up – you don’t even need to provide your media schedule. As long as you’re running Brand Lift on both a TV campaign and a YouTube campaign, we’ll be able to report the incremental searches for your brand.
"We are excited to see the work Google is doing to better understand the impact of video. Brand Lift now presents us with a way to specifically, credibly, and scientifically compare the effectiveness of cross media campaigns. This is interesting to Volkswagen as we move closer to measuring TV and digital platforms (like YouTube) on even ground." - Paige Parrent, Digital Media Manager, Volkswagen Marketing
Close the loop between online ads and offline sales
In addition to the interaction between TV, YouTube and online search, there is now a real connection between online ads and offline visits to stores: 30% of smartphone users who visit a website or app on their phones buy something in a store within 24 hours.2
That’s why we’re introducing location extensions and store visits measurement for the Google Display Network -- to help marketers close the loop between online ads and offline sales. As consumers browse their favorite websites or interact with their favorite apps, you can reach them with ads that show your business address, Google Maps directions and photos. It’s a high-impact, immediate way to increase foot traffic to your store.
For The Home Depot, location extensions for display ads reached consumers actively browsing their phones near the brand’s most popular stores, delivering an 8X in-store ROI. “Mobile location extensions for display really proved their worth very quickly,” says Umut Dincer, Director of Online Marketing for The Home Depot. “We're able to reach DIYers who are close to our stores and make a 'just-in-time' connection that brings them the information they really want in their I-want-to-buy-it moments.” [Full story]
So how do marketers measure the impact of these online ads? Store visits for display measures the impact of your Display Network ads on actual visits to your store, hotel, auto dealership or restaurant. With the power of Google Maps technology, we have access to the exact dimensions of over 200 million stores globally to deliver 99% accuracy in reported visits.3 Only Google can deliver this level of precision and scale. [Learn more]
Close the loop across devices
The final loop to close is the one across all the devices people use -- phones, tablets, laptops and everything in between. Today, we’re introducing cross-device remarketing for Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager to help you reach the same user across devices, apps, and sites. You can now tell a single story to your audience and decide how frequently they see your ad across devices.
Let’s say you’re a retailer and want to build a customized Halloween campaign. With cross-device remarketing, you can reach your customers with an “It’s almost Halloween” ad on their phone during the morning commute. Later in the day, you can follow up with a limited time offer on decorations and recipes when they’re browsing a tablet at home.
All of these innovations will be rolling out over the course of the next few months.
It’s a privilege to build products that help brands close the loop for measurement, reach and engagement. We’re excited to share more details about these innovations with you throughout Advertising Week, and I look forward to your feedback as we continue this journey together.
Join the conversation at #GoogleAW2016.
Posted by Brad Bender, Vice President of Display and Video Advertising
1. Google Internal meta-analysis of 1188 U.S. studies, August 2015 - April 2016.
2. Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016, Representative sample of US smartphone users = 1000, Visited a Website or App = 721.
3. Store visits are calculated using conservative data thresholds with 99% certainty that reported visits are less than or equal to actual visits.
Today, our industry is adjusting to another revolution, and it’s all thanks to the tiny device we carry with us everywhere we go – our phones. Throughout the day, when we want to go somewhere, watch something, or buy something, we reach for our mobile devices for help, whether it’s to find the best hotel deal or buy the perfect car. And billions of times a day, we find what we want on Google, YouTube, Maps, and Play. This morning at dmexco, a digital conference in Cologne, Germany, I announced two ad innovations that will help you be there in those moments, connecting the right consumers with what they want, when they want it.
Go beyond the install and find your most valuable customers
Apps are ubiquitous with mobile and are an increasingly important touchpoint for consumers. To date, AdWords has delivered more than 3 billion app downloads to developers and advertisers.1 And I meet with many of you from around the world to learn about the creative ways you’re connecting with your users – it’s the best part of my job. One insight I keep hearing is that users who engage with your app are the users that matter the most to your business. It’s not just about driving installs, it’s about delivering valuable actions within your apps – whether it’s reaching a specific level in a game or completing a purchase. We set out to solve this challenge.
At dmexco this morning, I announced the next generation of Universal App Campaigns, available globally to all advertisers. Across Google Search, Play, YouTube, and the millions of sites and apps in the Google Display Network, Universal App Campaigns can now help you find the customers that matter most to you, based on your defined business goals.
trivago, a popular hotel search app, was one of the first to test this new version of Universal App Campaigns. The brand cares deeply about helping travelers find the perfect hotel room and knows that users who tap on a deal are more likely to take the next step: book a stay.
Like trivago, you get to choose the in-app activity you want to optimize for, whether that’s tapping into a deal or reaching level 10, and can use third-party measurement partners or Google’s app measurement solutions like Firebase Analytics to measure those activities. Once your in-app activities are defined within AdWords, you’ve plugged in your analytics solution, and set your cost-per-install, Google will put our machine learning algorithm to work. Universal App Campaigns evaluate countless signals in real time to continuously refine your ads so you can reach your most valuable users at the right price across Google’s largest properties. As people start to engage with your ads, we learn where you’re finding the highest value users. For example, we may learn that the users who tap into the most hotel deals are those who watch travel vlogs on YouTube. So, we'll show more of your ads on those types of YouTube channels.
For trivago, Universal App Campaigns was able to find users who were more likely to click on hotel deals in app to book a room. As a result, the travel brand acquired customers who were 20% more valuable to its business across both Android and iOS.
This is a major shift in how Google can help you grow your app business. We’re listening, and we’re no longer just focusing on the install. Our goal with Universal App Campaigns is to deliver user engagement and value for the apps you worked so hard to build.
Turn consideration into action with TrueView for action
The mobile revolution hasn’t just changed how we search or interact with apps, it's also changed the way we interact with almost every kind of media. Nowhere is this more evident than the way people watch video. We see this every day on YouTube.
In a recent study, we found that 47% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 say YouTube helps them at least once a month when making a decision about buying something – that’s an estimated 70 million people going to YouTube every month for help with a purchase.2 These intent-rich moments are opportunities for brands to connect with consumers when it matters, so we took on the challenge of making it easier for consumers to move from consideration to purchase.
Over the last few years, we’ve evolved our TrueView format to change the way video delivers value for performance marketers. TrueView for app promotion and TrueView for shopping make it incredibly easy for brands to drive downloads and purchases directly from YouTube. But what about brands with other types of conversions, like requesting a quote, booking a hotel, signing up for a newsletter, or scheduling a test drive?
Today I’m excited to introduce TrueView for action: a new format that encourages users to take any online action that’s meaningful for your business.
TrueView for action makes your video ad more actionable by displaying a tailored call-to-action during and after your video. This call-to-action can be adapted to your specific use case, like “Get a quote,” “Book now” or “Sign up.” Since this is an easy add-on to your video, you can drive performance on top of all the benefits of showing your video to an engaged audience. This is especially advantageous for brands that offer products or services with high consideration, like financial services, automotive, or travel. TrueView for action can help you move your customers along the path to purchase by encouraging actions like scheduling an appointment or requesting more information. We’re excited to start testing this new format with advertisers throughout the rest of this year.
As consumers live their lives in a mobile-first world, it’s increasingly important for brands to build transformational mobile experiences. We know it’s not always easy, and Google is here to help. It’s been so inspiring to see so many of you deliver extraordinary experiences for your customers, and I think dmexco embodies this shared passion and innovative spirit for connecting brands with consumers. I look forward to meeting with more of you and continuing along this amazing journey.
Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce
1. Google Internal Data, Global
2. Google / Ipsos Connect, YouTube Sports Viewers Survey, U.S., March 2016 (n=1500, 18-54 year olds)
To make sure you have ample time to test and iterate your expanded text ads for the holidays, we are giving advertisers more time to upgrade your creatives.
You now have until January 31, 2017, to make the transition to expanded text ads (instead of the original date of October 26, 2016). This means starting on January 31, 2017, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.
Expanded text ads can deliver great results, particularly for those who have invested in writing and testing new creatives. Please use this additional time to experiment with new expanded text ads of your own.
Focus on quality through testing
Over the last few months, we reviewed a lot of text ads data. It confirmed what we already know to be true: the quality of your ads matters. Extra characters don’t solve any performance problems on their own. It’s very important to be thoughtful and compelling with your additional headline and characters.
To that end, consider these best practices as you move forward with expanded text ad optimization:
- Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads. Try different approaches with the new space your ads now have. Shoot for 3-5 new ads per ad group. Advertisers who test multiple creatives see better performance.
- Focus your testing on headlines. Headlines are the most important parts of your ads, and you now have an extra line to experiment with.
- Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads. For example, if you mention pricing or use keyword insertion in a successful standard text ad, carry those over to expanded text ads.
- Consider shorter headlines on brand terms. Sometimes “Your Company’s Name - Official Site” might be all you need. You aren’t required to use all of your available characters. Test shorter ad copy, especially on terms where someone might not need a lot of additional info.
- Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them. An expanded text ad isn’t guaranteed to be a winner simply because you have more characters. Leave your top performing ads running, regardless of their length.
- Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines. Consider promoting description line 1 in a standard text ad to you new headline 2, especially if that ad performed well in the past.
Making a smooth transition to expanded text ads
In addition to those tips, here are a couple of things that you should avoid:
- Don’t implement the same expanded text ad across many different ad groups. Your ads should be tailored to users’ searches.
- Don’t blindly insert a new second headline without changing the rest of the ad. Add content that is relevant to the query and fits well with the rest of the creative.
- Don’t write expanded text ads that lose their relevance to a user’s query. Remember that user query in your text.
Example query: articles about college financing
- Don’t leave out specific benefits or attributes of your product that had proven to be enticing in the past. Test all of your benefits to find what works in the new format.
Mobile has forever changed the way people shop. A shopper's smartphone is there for them anytime, anywhere in countless micro-moments. The question for retailers is: are you prepared to meet these shoppers in the moments that matter most?
Learn how best in class retailers are looking to be there and be useful to shoppers no matter where they’re discovering, researching or purchasing.
For much of Best Buy’s 50-year history, what its customer really cared about was "Do you have the product and is it at the right price?" But today, customers want to know much more than that. They want to understand how products work together to make their lives better. For example, ‘how can I stream photos from my SLR camera onto my television?’
To reach shoppers as they’re researching, Best Buy added all of their product information into mobile buying guides. They also worked with Google to surface their local store inventory within search so that customers know exactly which products are available in-store.
Hear Greg Revelle, Best Buy’s Chief Marketing Officer, discuss how this mobile-first strategy helped Best Buy drive over one million store visits with Google last holiday season.
Lifestyle icon Williams-Sonoma Inc. has always been a visual brand. But the brand has had to rethink the way it tells its story. Its catalog used to be the cornerstone of its relationship with consumers, but mobile phones are increasingly the new starting point for kitchen connoisseurs (especially millennials).
In fact, the brand learned that 60% of millennials use their smartphone as a “sous-chef” for help in the kitchen, so Williams-Sonoma Inc. began creating videos to help customers’ in their most important cooking moments, such as ‘how to use a spiralizer.’
Hear how Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s Chief Marketing Officer, Felix Carbullido, has developed customer-first strategies to increase the company’s mobile sales by 70% year over year.
Swarovski has always been a go-to destination for holiday gift giving, but the brand learned through search data that there was a huge opportunity in connecting with consumers in more everyday moments when they're wondering what to wear on a date or how to accessorize an outfit for work.
Since 50% of Swarovski's site traffic comes from mobile, the brand focused on developing mobile content that's visually rich and easy to navigate. The company's fun and interactive Style Finder offers ideas for how to accessorize an outfit for work or that special date night. It also allows the customer to dial-up or dial-down a look, depending on her mood.
Since a large percentage of purchases still happen in-store, Swarovski uses Google’s local inventory ads to drive those inspired customers into their stores where they can try on a necklace or bracelet and complete the sale. In fact, local inventory ads are driving a 75% higher click-through rate than its standard Shopping ads.
Learn how Swarovski’s team is using mobile to inspire and draw customers in-store store.
As we head into the biggest shopping season of the year, are you ready to give your shoppers everything they'll be looking for in their mobile micro-moments?
- Read our Shopping Micro-Moments Guide, which has more stories of how all types of retailers and brands are reaching consumers with useful information in the moments that matter.
- Then, head to our official Holiday Planning Guide for tips on how to get your product data and campaigns in tip-top shape for the holiday season.
Posted by Emily Eberhard Pereira, Head of Shopping B2B Marketing
We introduced search ads on Google Play last year to improve app discovery and help developers reach users right when they’re looking for new apps to install. It’s one of several platforms, alongside YouTube, Google.com and the Google Display Network, where developers can introduce your apps to high quality users. Developers all around the world, like GrubHub, have seen tremendous success in terms of reach and install rates with Google’s app promo products. See full story. We’re building on this momentum by fine-tuning the ads experience on Google Play to deliver even more growth for the developer community.
First, for app-specific searches on Google Play, ads in their current form will not be shown at the top of the page. Instead, the organic result for the app will show at the top of the page, followed by additional organic results and possibly ads for other relevant apps. So when a user searches for “Google Express,” she will see the organic result for “Google Express” without an identical “Google Express” ad above it. This change is part of our ongoing commitment to improve user experience and advertiser performance. We encourage developers to monitor your campaigns as there may be some natural changes in performance metrics as we roll out these updates.
Second, a relevant, additional ad will start to show on Google Play for some queries like “music streaming app” and “exercise app.” This new ad spot gives developers an additional opportunity to promote the apps you’ve worked so hard to build.
Innovations like search ads on Google Play have proven to be a useful way to surface new apps for consumers and provide additional value for developers. We look forward to building on this momentum with new tools and best practices to bring even more success to the developer community.
Posted by Sissie Hsiao, Director, Product Management