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
AdWords provides powerful tools to help advertisers grow their business. For example, if you’re about to launch a new holiday campaign, you can use TrueView ads on YouTube along with banner ads on the Google Display Network to drive brand awareness and more holiday sales. To make it easier for you to track and forecast the performance of these campaigns against your advertising goals, we’re introducing campaign groups and performance targets.
Create a campaign group
You can now package AdWords campaigns (including Video, Display, Search, and Shopping campaigns) into a single campaign group. For our holiday example, set up your YouTube and Display campaigns, select “campaign groups” from the left menu, and group those two campaigns together to create a campaign group called “Holiday Launch”.
Set a performance target
Performance targets make it easier to monitor and reach your performance goals for each campaign group. Tell us how many clicks or conversions you want to receive, how much you want to spend, and what average CPC or CPA you wish to maintain. We'll then automatically show you a single view of how your campaign group is performing against those goals, and what we think you'll likely achieve by the end of the campaign period.
Here’s an early success story for campaign groups and performance targets:
“Previously I needed to export all my campaigns into a spreadsheet, group them together, and create a pivot table simply to see how they are performing. With campaign groups & performance targets, we can much more easily see how our groups are performing relative to our goals, all from within the AdWords interface."
- Oleg Monakhov, Senior Lead Generation Manager at Wrike
Note that creating performance targets does not change how we serve your ads or optimize your campaigns. Instead, use it to evaluate whether or not your campaigns are working together toward your broader goals.
To learn more about campaign groups and performance targets, please visit our Help Center.
Posted by Jon Diorio, Product Manager, AdWords
Last week, we launched a unique Fashion Week experiment which enables people to explore the world of fashion and shop products directly from curated, inspirational images on google.com. This week we are rolling out a new apparel and home decor experience for our retail advertisers called shop the look.
How it works:
Let’s say you’re looking for a new outfit to wear to a wedding. If you search for “cocktail attire”, you could see an image of a popular fashion blogger wearing a black cocktail dress, heels and sunglasses. You can shop those exact (or visually similar) products featured in the image by tapping through and exploring the relevant products shown in the form of Shopping ads. As with standard Shopping ads, retailers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis, and all impressions and clicks will be reported within existing Shopping campaigns.
The featured images that power the shop the look experience come from brands, bloggers, retailers and publishers, which are sourced from trusted partners such as LIKEtoKNOW.it., Polyvore and Curalate.
We're currently testing the shop the look experience in the US on mobile devices. If you’re a retailer and interested in showing your products within the shop the look experience, create a Shopping campaign and ensure you optimize your bids to show on mobile.
Posted by Melissa Hsieh Nikolic, Senior Product Manager, Google Shopping
1 Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, Google/Ipsos, U.S., August 2015, n=1291 online smartphone users 18+
2 AdWeek, Why Influencer Marketing is the New Content King, April, 2015
Navigate the new Merchant Center
With updates to Merchant Center, you’ll see a fast, responsive new interface, aligned with the modern look and feel of the rest of Google’s products. We’ve changed Merchant Center navigation by bundling common tasks and actions. For example, you can use the new Home page to view recent announcements and dashboard data for your account, and you can find consolidated product feed and product data quality information under the Products page. For more information on navigating the new UI, visit the Help Center.
Explore and enable Shopping programs in Merchant Center
Merchant Center now lets you discover new ways to apply your data to promote and sell your products. Use Merchant Center to explore additional Google programs for your products, including Local Inventory Ads, Merchant Promotions, Product Ratings and more, while continuing to manage and configure your product data for Shopping ads.
You can access the Merchant Center Programs page under the 3-dot icon. Continue exploring the various programs by selecting the Learn More option in each card, and express your interest in participating in a program by selecting Get Started.
Updates to existing features: Feed Rules, Diagnostics, and Currency Conversions
In addition to the user interface changes, we’ve updated some of our most-used Merchant Center features to improve speed and functionality, helping you get your products online more quickly:
- Feed Rules. In response to feedback we’ve heard from you, we’re updating Feed Rules to more closely align with how we see retailers commonly using the tool today.
- Change or update specific values. For example, you can update specific values of the color attribute while keeping other existing color values intact.
- Create new values by combining static values and/or values from different attributes in your feed. For example, you can add size type values to your product title values.
- Extract values from other attribute values. For example, you can populate a color value by searching in the description attribute for pre-selected values (blue, green, red, yellow) that will be suitable for the color attribute.
Check out the new Merchant Center and feature updates by logging into your account at merchants.google.com.
Posted by Sven Herschel, Product Manager for Google Shopping
Ask an Expert
One of the most valuable resources you’ll find on the Community is the experts who frequent the forum on a daily (or even hourly) basis. These experts, part of Google’s Top Contributor program, have years of professional experience with AdWords and a passion for helping fellow Community members succeed.
Most of our Top Contributors have an area of expertise. If you ask a question on the AdWords Community about account automation, you will probably meet Jon Gritton. Jon hails from the UK and runs his own AdWords agency. He is also one of our most tenured AdWords Top Contributors (he’s been answering questions on the forum since 2006!) and our resident AdWords Scripts expert. He has solved well over 800 questions in his time on the AdWords Community.
An Improved Look and Feel
We also wanted to improve the look and feel of the Community.
- Using Material Design, the Community now offers the same modern and intuitive experience that’s at the core of our favorite Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail.
- Managing your advertising isn’t something you only do at your desk, which is why we’re re-designing AdWords for marketing in a mobile-first world. The redesigned Community is also responsive and mobile-friendly—perfect for browsing and resolving questions on-the-go.
Go Beyond AdWords
Finally, we know that AdWords isn’t the only way to promote your business with Google. You can get information about other important Google products on the Community: Google Analytics, Google My Business, Google Partners and Google Small Business.
Anyone can join the Advertiser Community, post questions and find answers. Visit today to connect with other advertisers.
Julian Chu, Director of Customer Engagement