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
Consider this: 6 in 10 internet users in the US start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one.1 To help advertisers measure these customer paths that start on one device but convert on another, we rolled out cross-device conversions over three years ago. Using that same technology, we’re introducing three new reports in the Attribution section of AdWords to provide deeper insight into device usage along the full search conversion path.
- Devices -- see how much cross-device activity is happening in your AdWords account
- Assisting Devices -- inform your device bid adjustments by learning how often different devices assisted conversions on other devices
- Device Paths -- examine the top conversion paths for your customers using two or more devices
Advertisers in many industries around the world have already seen the impact of cross-device activity on last-click conversions. Today, we’re excited to share new search benchmarks that show the influence of cross-device activity across the full search conversion path.
|Source: Google AdWords Internal Data 2016|
There are two main ways to take action on these new cross-device insights:
- Select a different attribution model beyond last click. You can select one of six different attribution models for each of your conversion types: last click, first click, linear, time decay, position-based, or data-driven. These attribution models apply to your search ads and take cross-device behavior into account. When you pick a new model, credit will be reassigned across the conversion path and your conversion stats will change moving forward. Check out our recent best practices guide for additional information.
- Update your device bid adjustments. The new Assisting Devices report can tell you how many conversions were assisted by clicks or impressions from different devices. The Mobile Assist Ratio shows how many conversions were assisted by mobile devices compared to the number of final conversions on mobile devices. For example, if your Mobile Assist Ratio for a campaign is 3.72, that means that for every conversion on a mobile device, 3.72 conversions on other devices were assisted by mobile devices. With this information, you can update your mobile bid adjustments.
In the coming weeks, you'll find the new reports in Attribution under the Tools tab. We hope these new reports and benchmarks will help you measure the moments that matter on any device.
Posted by: Joan Arensman, Product Manager
1. Google / Ipsos Connect, March 2016, GPS Omnibus, n=2,013 US online respondents 18+
Expanded text ads
AdWords Editor 11.5 provides full support for expanded text ads. Expanded text ads offer nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services before people even click into your ad. It’s important to take advantage of expanded text ads as soon as possible because after October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. AdWords Editor lets you create and edit expanded text ads at scale so you can easily migrate all of your standard text ads before this date. To help you get started, check out our best practices guide.
Mobile app engagement ads
Mobile app engagement ads are a great choice if you want to help existing app users take action in your app. You can now create and edit mobile app engagement ads in AdWords Editor, making it easier to reach more of the right app users with the right message.
Import, export, and posting for multiple accounts
We’re always looking for new ways to make managing accounts easier and more efficient. With this latest version of AdWords Editor, you can post changes to multiple accounts at the same time, import a CSV file into multiple accounts, and export more than one account into a single CSV file.
Structured snippet extensions
Structured snippets let you highlight features of a specific product or describe the range of products or services your business offers. AdWords Editor now allows you to create and edit structured snippets at scale.
and much more...
AdWords Editor 11.5 also provides support for filtering by type when downloading campaigns, aggressive targeting optimization for mobile app installs campaigns, multi-column sorting, and enhancements to advanced search. You can learn more about these updates in the AdWords Editor Help Center or download AdWords Editor 11.5 here.
Posted by: Blake Reese, Senior Product Manager, AdWords Editor
Starting today, these innovations will begin rolling out in AdWords to all advertisers around the world.
Get started with expanded text ads
Earlier this year, we removed right-hand side ads to improve the search experience and make it consistent across mobile, desktop, and tablet. This helped pave the way for the biggest update to our ad creative since we introduced AdWords more than 15 years ago.
Expanded text ads are optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smartphones and feature two headlines, each with 30 characters, and one long 80-character description line. That’s nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services.
|Standard text ad||Expanded text ad|
Our research shows longer ad headlines are more useful to mobile users because they provide additional information about your business before they click your ad. In fact, here are some early success stories from advertisers who have started using expanded text ads:
It’s important for advertisers to take advantage of expanded text ads as soon as possible, especially with back to school and the holiday season right around the corner. To help you get started, we’ve published a best practices guide that walks through tips and tricks for creating and optimizing expanded text ads. Specifically:
AdWords Editor and the AdWords API also support expanded text ads, which means you can create and edit your ads in bulk to help save time. If you use leading 3rd-party tools to manage your ads, DoubleClick Search, Kenshoo, and Marin Software all support expanded text ads as well.
Starting on October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — meaning you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format after this date. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.
Create responsive ads for display
In a mobile-first world, display ads need to fit seamlessly within the websites and apps people visit, while delivering a consistent experience across devices. We built responsive ads for display to help your ads adapt to the increasingly diverse mix of content types and screen sizes. Provide 25-character and 90-character headlines, a 90-character description, an image, and a URL, and Google designs ads that fit beautifully across more than two million apps and websites on the Google Display Network (GDN). Responsive ads also unlock new native inventory so you can engage consumers with ads that match the look and feel of the website or app they’re using.
Set device bid adjustments
As we re-imagine how ads look in a mobile-first world, it’s also important to have more flexible tools that help you optimize device-level performance. New 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 — mobile devices, computers, and tablets. Our updated best practices guide can help you evaluate your bidding strategy and set accurate performance targets that reflect the full value of mobile. You can also join us for a Hangout on Air at 9am PDT/12pm EDT on August 9th, 2016 for a live Q&A about device bid adjustments with Google product experts. Register here.
While device bid adjustments enable you to optimize with greater precision, you still need to factor in other signals which impact performance, like location, time of day, and audience. To optimize at scale across this wide range of contextual signals, you should take advantage of automated bidding. Smart Bidding utilizes the power of Google’s machine learning to set more informed bids and help you get the most out of your marketing budget. The latest Smart Bidding innovations are available in both AdWords and DoubleClick Search. In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to set device-specific CPA goals with Target CPA Smart Bidding in AdWords.
The way consumers use technology to connect with the world around them has changed. As a result, we’ve re-designed AdWords, from ad formats to bidding, to help you reach potential customers in more meaningful and relevant ways. We’re excited to undertake this journey with you and look forward to hearing your feedback.
Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce
Making bidding smarter for improved performance
Smart Bidding is built on Google’s deep experience using machine learning to power a wide range of products, including the Google assistant, automatic album creation in Google Photos, and AlphaGo, the first computer program to ever beat a professional player at the game of Go. Smart Bidding can factor in millions of signals to determine the optimal bid, and it continually refines models of your conversion performance at different bid levels to help you get more from your marketing budget.
Even when it encounters areas with lower conversion volume, Smart Bidding's learning capabilities quickly maximize the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail. It evaluates patterns in your campaign structure, landing pages, ad text, product information, keyword phrases and many more to identify more relevant similarities across bidding items to effectively borrow learnings between them.
On top of its machine learning capabilities, Smart Bidding is built on three pillars, inspired by feedback we’ve heard from you about what’s important in a bidding solution:
- Precise bid optimization tailored to a user’s context
- Flexible performance controls that factor in your unique business goals
- Transparent reporting that provides clear insight into how your bids are performing
In AdWords, we have several innovations coming soon across these areas. Get a full overview of AdWords Smart Bidding here.
New bidding signals that give you a richer view of user context
AdWords Smart Bidding tailors bids to each and every auction across Google properties - this is what we call “auction-time” bidding. It allows you to register the wide range of signals that make up a user’s context in a particular auction, and includes signals like device and location, which are available as manual bid adjustments, plus additional signals and signal combinations unique to AdWords such as browser and language. We’re continuously exploring new signals to add to our bidding models that are impactful predictors of performance. These include recent additions like location intent and similar product attributes, and others like seasonality and price competitiveness that are coming soon. Learn more.
Set device performance targets with Target CPA bidding
Device is a major dimension in campaign optimization and new Target CPA with device performance targets allows you to set separate CPA goals by device. For example, if you’re a telecom advertiser who drives better lead quality from mobile due to higher conversion rates from calls and store visits, you can now set a higher mobile target CPA compared to other devices to account for this offline data. This will become available to all advertisers over the next few weeks across Search and Display campaigns.
Bidding statuses and alerts brought to the forefront
Transparent reporting available with AdWords Smart Bidding shows you exactly how your bid strategies are performing and immediately flags issues that require your attention. This includes new bidding-specific alerts, which are available now, and rich performance reporting for campaign-level bid strategies that are currently rolling out. In the coming weeks, we are also integrating bidding statuses front and center into your primary campaign and ad group status columns. Learn more about these new reporting features.
Advertisers like AliExpress, SurveyMonkey and Capterra are already using AdWords Smart Bidding to drive better performance.
AliExpress is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group and a global e-commerce retailer. They’ve used campaigns drafts and experiments to test Target CPA head-to-head with their existing bidding solution. Says Jessy Sheng, Marketing Manager, “We wanted access to more diverse signals for our bidding to make it more dynamic and help raise online sales across multiple markets.” After only one month of testing Target CPA, they saw a 93% increase in conversions and 46% reduction in CPA. “With drafts and experiments, we can easily test new bid strategies quicker than ever before, which is important in our fast-paced business. Smart Bidding with Target CPA produced fantastic, actionable results and we’re excited to expand it to more campaigns.”
SurveyMonkey is an industry leader in web-based surveys. With strong competition on its keywords, leading-edge bid management is a priority for SurveyMonkey to maximize performance from their marketing budget. “We’re open to testing any feature that will get us more conversions and help us reach our CPA target,” says Brittany Bingham, Director of Online Marketing. “After only three weeks of testing AdWords Smart Bidding, we saw a 44% increase in conversions, which is incredible. We’re looking forward to scaling Smart Bidding with Target CPA across more campaigns.”
Capterra offers a smart way to find the right business software by providing buyers with comprehensive user reviews, product ratings and detailed infographics. With a large, complex campaign structure that spans over 1 million keywords, 400 software categories, and targets more than 30 countries, its advertising team was looking to move away from manual bidding so they could focus their time on other growth opportunities. Zachary Rippstein, Director of Advertising at Capterra, says, “We’ve gained so much efficiency by using AdWords Smart Bidding. More importantly, though, we’ve seen great improvement in performance and profit dollar growth. By leveraging Target CPA, we were able to drive 121% higher profit during our test period compared to the control period.”
To learn more about AdWords Smart Bidding, visit the Help Center and check out our best practices to maximize your success with automated bidding. If you are a DoubleClick advertiser or looking for bid and campaign management across multiple search engines, learn about DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding.
Anthony Chavez, Product Management Director, Search Ads, Google
In the 15 years since the introduction of conversion tracking, multiple improvements have been made to measuring and attributing conversions. Notably, the “Conversions” column family now offers the full picture of how many conversions AdWords drives for your business. In order to simplify things, ”Converted clicks” will soon be retired, with “Conversions” becoming the default way to measure valuable actions for your business.
“Conversions” is the ideal way to measure these valuable actions, and most advertisers already use “Conversions” as their primary reporting and bidding metric.
“Conversions” are capable of measuring behavior that spans multiple conversion events or multiple clicks. For example, “Conversions” can take advantage of non-last-click attribution models and different counting options. Additionally, they can measure important, mobile-centric actions like cross-device conversions and store visits. “Converted clicks,” on the other hand, can do none of that. For those reasons and plenty more, “Converted clicks” will not be supported past September 2016.
If you’re already using “Conversions” for reporting and bidding, no action is required. However, if you use Target CPA or Enhanced CPC and your primary bid metric is set to “Converted clicks” at the present time, you should plan to update to “Conversions” by September 21st. We’ve put together a simple migration tool if you’re automating your bidding based on “Converted clicks” which we will be sending via email to affected accounts. Of course, you can always update your settings manually.
If you rely on the “Converted clicks” reporting column to make bidding and budgeting decisions then you should also move to “Conversions.” This column can be configured to report similar numbers to your “Converted clicks” column, though you should review your setup to make sure you are counting the actions that matter most to your business. “Conversions” can give you everything “Converted clicks” does, along with much more.
If you’re in need of updating, there are a few considerations as you make the change:
- Choose which conversion actions that you measure should be included in the “Conversions” column. Other actions can still be measured in “All conversions”
- Determine whether to count multiple instances of a conversion after a click or only one
- Customize your conversion windows and values (if necessary)
- Review your cross-device conversion numbers, which will be included in the “Conversions” column starting in September
- Download any historical “Converted clicks” reporting stats that you want to keep
Proper conversion counting is important, and it’s something that’s imperative to get right as online behavior evolves. Please read our Help Center for further information about this upcoming change.
Posted by Tal Akabas and Frederik Kemner, Product Managers, AdWords Conversions
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