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21Jan/150

Google Trusted Stores: Now it’s even easier to help shoppers buy online with confidence

There's nothing like shopping online knowing that you'll get great customer service, on-time delivery and free purchase protection. And because we want this experience to be everyone's, today we’re rolling out a set of improvements that will make it even easier for merchants to join Google Trusted Stores, our program that has helped thousands of merchants gain their customers’ confidence.

Win the trust of new shoppers

Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program to highlight that you offer a consistently great shopping experience. Once qualified, your store will be recognized with a badge that is displayed on your site and on Google Shopping. Your customers will be offered free purchase protection by Google after making a purchase on your site, covering eligible orders up to $1,000.

Applying to become a Trusted Store is now simpler than ever. You only need to create an account and add two snippets of code to your website. You no longer need to submit shipment and cancellations feeds, and you’re now able to specify a custom position for the Trusted Stores badge on your site and display it on HTTPS pages.  

New Google Trusted Stores badge showing seller ratings and purchase protection

Highlight your Trusted Stores status in AdWords and qualify for seller ratings

Reviews collected through Google Trusted Stores help you qualify for seller ratings, which show on your AdWords text ads and Google Shopping. This integration provides shoppers with helpful information, while giving you a free way to earn the rating you deserve.

You can also enrich your AdWords ads by displaying your Google Trusted Stores status through a review extension. Review extensions are displayed on a separate line in your AdWords ads and may increase their clickthrough rates.

Show your seller ratings and add a review extension to your AdWords ads

Many partners are already enjoying the benefits of participating in the Trusted Stores program. For example, John Fitzgerald, Director Digital Marketing at Beau-Coup, told us "Our participation in the Google Trusted Stores program has resulted in increased traffic to Beau-coup.com as well as higher sales. The Trusted Stores review extension highlights our status in AdWords, bringing more customers to the site, and the Trusted Stores badge gives shoppers confidence resulting in higher conversion rate overall."

Get started with Trusted Stores

We made these changes available internationally in the UK, Germany, France, Australia and Japan a few months ago and hundreds of merchants have become Trusted Stores in these countries already.

The Google Trusted Stores program is free and easy to set up, making it ideal for any merchant, large or small, interested in boosting shopper confidence. If you want to join the Google Trusted Stores Program, apply here.

Posted by Michaela Feller, Product Manager, Google Shopping

16Jan/150

Five resolutions for Shopping success in 2015

We know that retailers are always looking for the best ways to promote their products and reach shoppers online in the exact moment they’re looking to buy. Our mission with Google Shopping is to help you do that. In 2014, we introduced Shopping campaigns to all Product Listing Ad (PLA) advertisers to offer a more streamlined, retail-centric advertising experience. This year, we want to continue to help you make the most of your PLA investment.

In the spirit of self-betterment, we invite you to join us in resolving to make 2015 your best year yet. But instead of making resolutions you know you may not keep, how about trying our countdown of suggested resolutions to improve your product data and boost your PLA success? Just think of it — all the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals, and no wasted gym memberships. Kick off the new year by checking out a few ideas below:

  1. I will be on time. Keeping track of all your meetings, appointments, and social events is crucial to making sure you get the most out of your day. But while you’re managing your personal tasks, don’t forget to plan ahead when updating your product data -- it’s key to ensuring your products show on Google. Make sure to check the Google Shopping policies and act quickly in response to any notifications or warnings you may receive; you can even put a reminder on calendar and list out steps to resolve a warning before the specified deadline. With time to spare, rest easy knowing that you’re in tip-top shape to take full advantage of every opportunity to reach more shoppers, when it counts. 
  2. I will get organized and eliminate clutter. You’ve just made it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays -- and your home, nerves, and work are probably still reflecting it. Relax -- it’s a new year, and it’s time to get things back under control. Part of reaching that “zen” state is making sure your product data is up-to-date. With the help of automatic item updates in Google Merchant Center, dynamically update product price and availability shown on PLAs if there’s a difference between your data feed and your website’s microdata. This will help you seamlessly update your ads and avoid disapproval from mis-matched information; in fact, merchants who have opted in to this feature have seen a 50% reduction in price-related item disapprovals.
  3. I will try something new. Did 2014 have you feeling like you were stuck in a rut? This year, break free from your standard routine and get inspired. Learn a new language, pick up a paintbrush -- or try out new Google Shopping features to help you reach even more customers across screens this year. As consumers are turning more and more to their mobile devices to shop on-the-go, the new Auction Insights report can help you better understand your mobile impression share and see how you stack up against the competition. On Black Friday of 2014, we saw a 3.5x increase of people searching for products on mobile year-over-year. By analyzing your performance on mobile, you can optimize your mobile bid modifier as necessary to reach your shoppers, wherever they’re searching.
  4. I will be a better listener. No texting during dinner. No talking over others. And no more ignoring key Shopping insights. Just as listening to your friends and colleagues can mean more opportunities to develop better personal relationships, listening to your campaigns can help you nurture better results to sell more of your products. Check out a handful of tools we have for you to stay in tune with the health and performance of your campaigns, including the Diagnostics tab in Google Merchant Center to ensure that your data is free of issues, or the Search Terms report to help you identify new opportunities to optimize your titles and descriptions, based on how consumers are searching for your product.
  5. I will be a better communicator. Just as listening can be an important part of developing stronger relationships, so can communicating. Regardless of the type of relationship, from friendship to family to job-related, the better you are at communicating, the more successful that relationship is likely to be. Foster an open dialogue with us by double-checking your contact information in your Google Merchant Center account; this will ensure we continue to send updates and alerts to email aliases that are actively monitored, so you don’t miss out on important details.

Here’s to Shopping success in 2015!

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager for Google Shopping

19Dec/140

A Year in Review: Celebrating our Customers’ Successes

It’s been a busy year for our customers. We’ve been inspired to learn from all of you -- advertisers from around the world, large and small, across so many industries. Thank you for the feedback you have given on our products as well as the insights you’ve shared. As we come to the end of 2014, we want to share some customer stories that we hope inspire you as much as they have inspired us.

L’Oréal Paris builds brand love with search.
L’Oréal Paris uses Search insights to get ahead of beauty trends and develops product and messaging to respond to consumer interests. The brand rejuvenated the home hair care color category and brought 50% new consumers to their Feria Ombré product. Learn more.

Sephora creates engaging mobile experiences for shoppers online and in stores.
Sephora uses the smartphone to showcase their beauty products with local inventory ads, which drive consumers to buy on Sephora’s website or in-store. In addition, Sephora engages their in-store shoppers with an app that allows them to scan products for more information. Learn more.

Hyatt drives engagement across the web with rich media.
Hyatt creates iconic video creative to attract female business travelers to book a room at a Hyatt hotel. The brand ran Lightbox Ads across the Google Display Network and TrueView video ads on YouTube. The result gave the brand exposure to 17M business travelers with a 26% lower cost per engagement than the campaign average. Learn more.

Extra Space Storage uses new innovations to reach customers in the most relevant and engaging way.
Extra Space Storage develops ads in real time with the newly launched ads customizers to make sure they are reaching their customer with the most relevant message. In a recent campaign, these ads led to a 113% increase in CTR. Learn more.

1-800 Flowers unlocks full customer value.
1-800 Flowers wanted to understand the full value of AdWords search ads - including the impact of click-to-call ads. They tracked estimated cross-device conversions to better understand how their customers interact across devices. They uncovered a 7% increase in overall conversions, and 8% to 10% of their overall AdWords revenue came from click-to-call. Learn more.

Point It implements automated bidding to save time and increase efficiency.
Point It, a Seattle-based search marketing agency, wanted to save their account managers time so they could focus on more strategic initiatives. The agency added automated bidding, and client performance boomed. The agency saw a 47% increase in ROAS, with CPAs that were 4% lower and revenues were 8% higher. Learn more.

We look forward to the year ahead - when we’ll share more product innovations, best practices and customer stories.

From our AdWords family to yours -  happy holidays, and we’ll see you in 2015.

Posted by Jenna Sandoval & Perla Campos, Product Marketing Managers, Performance Ads

19Dec/140

Measure more: improving Estimated Total Conversions with store visit insights

People are living their lives online, using multiple devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained. This constant connectivity means customers are engaging with your business in new ways after seeing your online ad -- they might call your business, download your app or go to your store. Last year, we introduced Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) to give you a more complete picture of how AdWords drives these new conversion types. Since then, we’ve been steadily improving ETC to measure phone calls, in-store purchases and cross device conversions.

With the holiday season upon us, it’s clear that the majority of sales for many industries still happen in person - in fact, roughly 95% of retail sales take place in physical stores.1 And online activities are influencing offline transactions more than ever, bringing together the digital and physical worlds. Thirty-two percent of consumers say that location-based search ads have led them to visit a store or make a purchase,2 so it's more important than ever for businesses to understand the impact that search ads have in driving visits to your physical locations, whether that’s a store, hotel, auto dealership or restaurant.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out store visit measurement to eligible advertisers in the U.S. as the latest enhancement to ETC. Learn more.

New paths to purchase increase consumer expectations, compelling businesses to re-think experiences and measurement

Constant connectivity brings with it an epic shift in the way businesses build experiences for their customers. Consumers are demanding more touchpoints with businesses -- more than 70% of consumers who have used ad features such as directions or the call button say it's important to have location information in ads,3 74% of shoppers want to see how much inventory there is for a product at a nearby store.4 Getting better insight into these new, complex purchase paths can can help you optimize your online marketing programs, design better experiences for your customers and allocate budget more effectively. Store visit measurement is key to unlocking these insights. Here are a few ways that businesses are seeing value so far.

PetSmart, the nation's largest specialty retailer of pet supplies, uses store visits data to improve its customer shopping experience -- today, this often starts with people researching online and then visiting a store. Based on the insight that 10-18% of clicks on search ads lead to a store visit, PetSmart is now investing more in ads that reach customers across screens. For example, PetSmart has increased use of location extensions in their ads to show maps and directions to help people find nearby stores when they are searching for products like puppy treats or aquariums.

Office Depot, Inc., formed as part of the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, is a leading global provider of products, services and solutions for every workplace -- whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car. The company uses insights from store visits data to understand which products, such as laptops, printers or backpacks, are driving people to visit one of its 2,000 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations. These insights help Office Depot, Inc., decide which products to include in its local inventory ads. These ads show whether or not a product is available in a nearby store and where the nearest store is located. This makes it simple for customers to discover what products are in stock as they’re shopping and researching online. Christine Buscarino, VP of E-Commerce Marketing at Office Depot, Inc., says her team is now able to provide "contextually relevant information, where and when customers need it."

This feature has been carefully designed to keep data private and secure.  We never provide anyone’s actual location to advertisers. Instead, store visits are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have turned on Location History. This data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can start using store visits in ETC, contact your AdWords account representative for more information.

Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Mobile Search Ads


eMarketer: Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth, April 2014
Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
4 Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, October 2014

16Dec/140

Use ad customizers to gear up for your holiday promotions

A few months ago, we introduced ad customizers, a new AdWords tool that lets you show highly relevant text ads to your customers, in real-time, even when you have thousands of products, services, and promotions—all changing by the day. Check out this video to see how you can put ad customizers to work in your accounts.

Use ad customizers to boost performance this holiday season

As the holiday season continues, there’s no better time than now to use ad customizers to connect with your customers at scale with the products and promotions they’re searching for, in real-time. Cameron Urry, Senior Interactive Acquisition Manager at Extra Space Storage, says: “We loved the ability to use the same ad template across multiple ad groups, while still being able to share a unique and relevant message to our potential customers.” To learn how Extra Space Storage used ad customizers to dynamically insert their daily inventory details, and increased their CTR by 113%, check out their story on Think with Google.

Elite SEM, a performance driven digital marketing agency, also implemented ad customizers for their client, Clarks USA, to help them dynamically count down the number of days left in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, influencing customers to convert on their site. Kylie Beals, eCommerce Marketing Manager at Clarks Americas, says: "When using countdown ads over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, we noticed a 32% uplift in CTR. The ads proved effective at driving urgency once the consumer was onsite because conversion rates increased 3% over static ads."

Introducing the new countdown widget

And, to make it even easier to dynamically count down to important events like promotions in your ads, we are rolling out the new countdown widget to AdWords over the next few weeks. Now, you can easily set up a countdown to an event just by typing “{=” into any line of ad text as you’re creating text ads in the ‘Ads’ tab. You can also preview what the countdown will look like in your ads before setting them live.

This holiday season, don’t forget to use ad customizers to dynamically show your customers:

  • the number of days, hours, or minutes left to ship their holiday presents in time
  • daily discounts or promotions for your hottest deals
  • most-up-to date inventory availability on your products, or even the number of flights left to make it home in time for the holidays

To learn how you can set up ad customizers in your account, visit our AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Karen Yao, Group Product Manager, AdWords

12Dec/140

Video Analytics Page in AdWords for Video launches today, helping marketers make ads people choose to watch

In AdWords for video, you add targeting and budgets to YouTube videos to make video ad campaigns. Until now, advertisers looking for info on how their videos performed outside of when they appeared as ads would need to jump over to YouTube Analytics for that data. Today we’re excited to announce a revamp of Videos reporting to offer more YouTube Analytics-style performance metrics right in AWV, bringing a greater focus on video creative to campaign management and optimization.

As you can see in the above chart, the new Video Analytics page prominently features a visualization of your video’s views, split by paid and non-paid to give a holistic sense of how your video is doing. The page also brings the powerful audience retention graph to AWV (formerly only available in YouTube Analytics) – with this you can fine-tune your creative by visualizing when audience interest waxes and wanes. For example, are you seeing a steep viewer drop-off at a certain point? This alerts you to an opportunity to re-cut your video to hold their interest longer.

This new reporting page also offers a panel that provides a sense of a video’s contribution to overall account performance, letting you see which videos are over or underperforming across all your campaigns, and more fully depicts how your video creative is helping to build your audience on YouTube.

For more information please check out the Help Center article here. We hope this new feature provides more context for your video ad creative, and helps you make ads people choose to watch.

Posted by Avi Fein, Product Manager, AdWords for video

12Dec/140

Drive Downloads and Re-Engagement for Your Mobile App

There are millions of mobile apps with more introduced every day. But as we talked about during our livestream yesterday, how do you get people to find your mobile app?  And once they do, how do you keep them coming back? We’ve created best practice guides to help you do both.

The first guide, Tapping into Mobile App Installs, and its one-page checklist will show you how to drive installs of your app and grow a valuable user base. You’ll find out how to:

  • Estimate the value of a user for your mobile app
  • Attract potential users with compelling ads and app store pages
  • Track and optimize the app downloads acquired through display, search, and video

The second guide, Tapping into Mobile App Engagement, and its one-page checklist will show you how to keep users coming back into your app for more. You’ll find out how to:

  • Track what happens after users install your mobile app
  • Create enticing ads that will re-engage users and deep link them to the most relevant parts of your app
  • Drive engagement with your app by reconnecting with users through display and search

Building an app is only the first step. If you want it to be found and used often, download these guides today.

Check out these and other Google Best Practices over at g.co/GoogleBP.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

11Dec/140

Introducing the new AdWords Editor, turned up to 11

Over the past two months, we’ve rolled out a series of tools built for AdWords power users. Designed with our most sophisticated advertisers in mind, these tools help simplify your workflow and reduce the time spent on campaign management. And as announced today on our global livestream, we’ve launched an exciting update to one of our most popular tools: AdWords Editor.

AdWords Editor 11.0 represents the biggest update to the application since we released it in 2006. It’s been redesigned from the ground up: we’ve enhanced all of the features you know and love while adding new ones to help you do more in less time. With a brand new visual design and faster interface, AdWords Editor 11.0 is built to make you more efficient as you view and make changes across your accounts and campaigns.

Manage accounts and items side by side

In AdWords Editor 11.0, you can open multiple windows to view different parts of your account at the same time. For instance, you can now open a new window to view your keyword list while creating your ads. You can also easily manage multiple accounts at once by opening as many account windows as you like. Arrange them side by side and even copy and paste or drag-and-drop items between them. You can also add and manage all of your accounts, download data, and monitor status in the new accounts manager.

Find what you’re looking for faster

As your accounts grow, so does the need to find the things you’re looking for. In AdWords Editor 11.0, we’ve introduced a new panel for selecting type lists. This feature removes the need to navigate using tabs, so you can quickly perform common tasks while instantly accessing your campaigns, advanced features, and settings.

Type Lists

If you’re looking for something specific, use the improved, advanced search bar. You can now apply multiple search criteria and filters, and even save popular searches for future use. And once you’ve found what you’re looking for, it’s easy to navigate and make changes using simple keyboard shortcuts (Mac, Windows). Jump to an ad group and create a new set of keywords in seconds. You can also quickly access your favorite bulk editing tools from any view -- find and replace ad text with just a few clicks or change capitalization across multiple keywords.

Perform more actions in bulk and at scale

Making large-scale changes is even easier in AdWords Editor 11.0. Advanced multi-select functionality makes viewing and updating specific parts of your account simple. Select any combination of campaigns and ad groups to view their ads or keywords, and paste them into multiple campaigns and ad groups at once.

Manage your Shared Library to assign bid strategies and sitelinks across multiple campaigns and ad groups. The “Make multiple changes” tool now automatically organizes your text into rows and columns as you add, update, or remove multiple items on the fly. And a detailed history of your recent changes is now just a click away, along with the option to quickly undo or redo multiple changes in sequence or in bulk.

Upgrade to AdWords Editor 11.0

The latest version of AdWords Editor is now available globally for Mac and Windows -- upgrade today! You can learn more about AdWords Editor 11.0 in the AdWords Help Center.

Support for previous versions of AdWords Editor will continue for four months to allow you time to upgrade. To ensure uninterrupted use of AdWords Editor, you will need to upgrade to 11.0 by April 10, 2015.

Posted by Geoff Menegay, Product Manager, AdWords Editor

11Dec/140

Click through AdWords in 2014

Welcome to the Inside AdWords livestream! Today, Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, explores our most innovative products of 2014, shares customer stories and best practices, and wraps up the year with an announcement you won’t want to miss. Tune in to the livestream on YouTube or watch below.

10Dec/140

Making mobile easier: Lightbox ads now available across screens

Creating ads that can run -- and look beautiful -- across the ever-expanding universe of the world’s more than 2 billion smart phones and tablets1 is complex to say the least. Last month, we announced that we'd be bringing our popular Lightbox format to mobile devices. Today we're happy to share that these reinvented Lightbox ads are now available for all AdWords advertisers globally.

Bringing Lightbox Ads Across Screens

With Lightbox ads, it's easy to use existing creative assets to create beautiful, engaging ads that look great on any screen size. These ads pull assets from your YouTube channel, can use uploaded images, or your Google Maps listings to build full screen experiences within a standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ad size. The ability to integrate content from other Google products - like Shopping listings, G+ pages -  is coming soon. Because these ads are built in HTML5, using responsive design, the assets dynamically fill the publisher site, mobile app, screen, or device -- desktop and mobile.

Lightbox ads are great at driving brand consideration because they’re billed on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis. This helps your digital display dollars go further because your brand’s experience automatically finds a qualified audience -- and you don’t pay if people don’t expand and engage with the creative experience. This expansion happens when people hover over your ad for two seconds to expand it on a desktop, or tap to expand it on a mobile phone or tablet. Plus, the optimization engine behind Lightbox ads learns over time so your campaigns get better at reaching the audience most likely to engage with your message as your campaign runs. Like all of Google's display ad offerings, Lightbox ads work seamlessly with our audience solutions and can be measured using Brand Lift reporting.

See how seamless it is to build Lightbox ads with images, videos, and maps, by watching the video below.

Testing Lightboxes with Important Purchases

For 12 years, Universal McCann and Sony have been working together to tell the stories of everything from the newest box office releases to cutting edge consumer technology. They joined our beta test for Lightbox ads to market both.

Sony Electronics is using Lightbox ads to advertise their 4K Ultra TV, their Xperia smartphone, their Playstation, their soundbar, and more. Sony Pictures is offering people the preview of their new movie, Annie, in theaters on December 19th, featuring the trailer as well as an awesome emoji inspired sing-along video.

"We chose to use Lightbox ads for our Q4 campaigns because we needed our content to achieve scale across the web. Our clients spend a lot of time, money and energy creating video assets and making sure they get seen by the most qualified, engaged users is our top priority. Google’s new Lightbox ads help us make sure that happens." said Deborah Gaudette, Senior Vice President, Digital, Universal McCann.

Kate Spade, Ford Italy, Boots UK, Jabong India and Pepsi Australia are also running successful Lightbox campaigns.

By launching this update to Lightbox ads, our goal is to free brand marketers to spend less time dealing with mobile  complexity, so you can do what you do best -- engage users with a compelling brand story. We’ll be adding more functionality to this format over the course of 2015. Stay tuned for more enhancements to Lightbox ads in the near future!

Learn more about building your own Lightbox ads in the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by James Beser, Group Product Manager, Display Ads


1http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-Users-Worldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536

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