EsheleD Marketing & Technology

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11Sep/140

Making every character count in your mobile search ads

People expect information right at their fingertips, whether it’s locating the nearest burger joint or booking a flight. And they’re searching for all this information on small screens -- sometimes as narrow as 4 inches. This means that mobile ads must make every character count.

Today, we are announcing an improvement to the way ads look on smartphones to make it easier and faster for consumers to find things they are searching for, while on the go.  Starting on October 15, 2014, your ad extensions may show instead of the second line of ad text (description line 2) on your mobile search ads. Description line 2 may or may not show, depending on how well it’s expected to perform. These improvements are designed to show more relevant and useful information to your customers. Many advertisers have already optimized their ad text in a way that’s updated for longer headlines in keeping with our ads best practices, so no action is required in many cases.

Highlighting the information that matters most to your mobile customers

By showing ad extensions in this more prominent location, consumers will have easier access to information about your business, like your location and product offerings.  Advertisers will see improved ad performance because you’ll be able to:

  • Highlight featured products and services in a more pronounced way using callouts
  • Provide useful and timely local information with location extensions
  • Take customers to relevant pages on your site, like to the sale or promotion page, with sitelinks

What this looks like

Let’s take a look at an example business, Flowers Forever, to see how this update will work.  Before the update, people who searched for “flowers” on Google.com saw the ad on the left which shows the business’ website URL, two lines of general information and a link to place orders.

After the update, potential customers may see a Google Maps marker that shows the location of the flower shop, in addition to the website URL, ad creative and online order form -- all within one ad.

By eliminating the second line of ad text, we give businesses another point of engagement with customers in their ads -- in this case, it’s the additional location extension.  With just a single click on their smartphones, consumers can now directly engage with Flowers Forever in three ways: they can visit the mobile website, place an order, or get directions to visit the store.

Getting the most out of your mobile ads
While no specific action is required for these improvements, it’s always a good idea to keep these mobile ads best practices in mind:

  • Ensure that your most important information is in the first line of ad text (description line 1) to address customer needs right away.  Remember to keep this text within the 35 character limit.
  • Enable all relevant extensions to help consumers find information faster and increase clickthrough rates (CTR).
  • Use mobile preferred creatives to help consumers quickly and easily take action while on the go. You’ll also get better results when your ads are more relevant to mobile searchers.

We’re constantly adapting our products to better meet consumer needs and help businesses connect with customers.  While we believe that these new updates will provide improved performance for your mobile ads, you may opt out of this offering when it becomes available in October via a form on this Help Center article.

Posted by Senthil Hariramasamy, Product Manager, AdWords

10Sep/140

Extend the reach of your Product Listing Ads to qualified shoppers

With the growth of product queries across the web, advertisers are looking for new ways to connect their products to interested shoppers.

By opting your Shopping Campaigns into Google’s search partners, you can now reach users as they search or browse for products on retail and commerce sites in the Google Search Network. These retailers, such as Walmart.com, are part of AdSense for Shopping, our latest product to help monetize site traffic.

Extending your Shopping Campaigns to these sites helps you reach qualified users beyond google.com and Google Shopping. Your Product Listing Ads show alongside contextually relevant results, determined by the user’s search, the product category or the product name. For example, if you sell tailgating grills on Google Shopping and a user searches tailgating grill on a retail partner's site, your Product Listing Ads may be eligible to appear.

Product Listing Ads on Walmart.com

Similar to text ads, opting your Product Listing Ads into search partners won’t affect your quality score on google.com.

AdSense for Shopping is currently limited to a small set of retail and commerce publishers. As we release the product to more publishers, we expect advertisers with Product Listing Ads opted into search partners to see increased traffic to their sites. If you’re a retailer and you’re interested in monetizing your site through AdSense for Shopping, please complete this interest form.

To learn more about showing your Product Listing Ads on search partners and evaluating your performance, please visit our AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Jesse Adkins, Product Manager, Google Search Ads

4Sep/140

Call out what matters most to your customers

Whether it’s free shipping on all laptops or a price match guarantee on smartphones, the more information people have, the better purchase decisions they can make online. That’s why we’re introducing callout extensions: additional text that shows with your Google search ads, highlighting specific information about your products and services. Callouts will start rolling out today, with full availability to all advertisers in the next few weeks.
Example text ad highlighting callout extensions

Strengthen your message

Callouts show valuable information to potential customers before they click your ad; while also being a factor in Ad Rank. Use them to draw attention to important product details and benefits. Or highlight what makes your business different from your competitors.

The use of callout extensions has meant we’ve been able to let our customers know how much more our hotels have to offer than just rooms. Spas, restaurants and meeting facilities are just a few of the attractive options our hotels have to offer, which may not be seen through a traditional revenue driving campaign. In just one month after implementing callout extensions, we’ve seen a 9% increase in conversion rate.” - James Harrower, Senior Search Manager, Hilton Worldwide

Callouts can also be used effectively in combination with other ad formats. For example, if you’re already using sitelinks for “Women’s Clothing” and “Back to School,” create a callout for “20% off entire site” to encourage people to click through and make a purchase. Or if you’re using call extensions, highlight “24/7 customer support” so your customers know they can call your business for help. However you plan to use callouts, make sure to keep them focused and relevant.

Create your first callout

You can manage, schedule, and report on your callouts from the Ad extensions tab. Since callouts 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.

For example, add callouts for “Special discounts” or “Free shipping” to campaigns containing more general keywords like cheap flights or shoes respectively. Or add callouts for product details at the ad group level to support more specific keywords like men’s running shoes or 12 cup coffee makers.

Keep in mind callouts are limited to 25 characters each and up to four can show with your ad. They can also co-trigger with all other ad formats in the auction.

Learn More

To learn more about creating and managing callouts, see our AdWords Help Center article.

Posted by Senthil Hariramasamy, Product Manager, AdWords

28Aug/140

Making it easier to build rich and engaging mobile ads for the Google Display Network

We recently added the ability for AdWords advertisers to upload HTML5 ads built with Google Web Designer into Google Display Network campaigns. Below is an overview of how you can use this integration to build HTML5 ads for your GDN campaigns. 

People are now constantly connected and using mobile devices to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, 25% of global pageviews occur on smartphones and tablets.1 Further, there are now more consumers using the web in HTML5-compatible environments than in Flash-compatible environments.2 In order to reach as large an audience as possible, advertisers should build their rich media ads in HTML5.

AdWords already supports HTML5 ad units that are made using the built-in templates in AdWords Ad Gallery. AdWords can convert uploaded Flash files into identical HTML5 ads, which can run in places where Flash isn’t supported.

But what if you are looking to design a more customized ad experience, using interactive rich media ads? Now you can upload HTML5 ads built in Google Web Designer to your Google Display Network campaigns.*

Google Web Designer is a free, professional-grade HTML5 authoring tool that lets you build interactive and animated HTML5 ad units, no coding necessary! Create interactive ad units in Google Web Designer, publish them locally as an .html file, and then upload that file as a new image creative in your display campaign. This way, you can run custom, engaging ad units across smartphones, tablets and desktops, engaging consumers in more places with clever and interactive ad experiences.

Want to learn more? Visit our website and download Google Web Designer for free. Then, learn how to create engaging, rich media ads in our Help Center.

Posted by Sean Kranzberg, Engineering Manager, and Tony Mowatt, Lead Product Manager for Google Web Designer



*Note: Adwords only supports .html file uploads from Google Web Designer. No other HTML5 authoring tools are supported at this time.

1 KPCB Internet Trends - Mary Meeker,  May 2014
2 DoubleClick Mobile Survey and report, “Unlocking the HTML5 Opportunity: What’s the Hold-up?” July 2013

26Aug/140

A Guide to the New Profit-Driven Marketing Movement

A new breed of marketers have made the shift to “profit-driven marketing,” which is about tackling traditional marketing challenges with unconventional approaches.  For example, they understand that in order to make more money, they have to strategically invest more money first.

One company employing this new strategy is Airbnb. The popular global accommodations company creates models to understand the value that every new customer brings over his or her lifetime.  Then, equipped with flexible budgets, their digital marketing team is able to reach all the right customers at the right time. Check out the full story here.

Being a profit-driven marketer means challenging traditional methods in order to reach new levels of success (and profits). We’ve launched a practical guide, where you’ll learn how to strategically bid up CPAs and flex ROI limits to grow your digital campaigns, just as Airbnb and others have done. Find the full guide on Think with Google.

Posted by Antony Ho, Product Marketing Manager

22Aug/140

Are your Product Listing Ads ready for August 31st?

Earlier this month, we introduced an upgrade tool for advertisers to upgrade to Shopping campaigns quickly and easily. If you’ve already upgraded, then you’re all set. If you haven’t upgraded yet and don’t do it by the end of this month, the following is what will happen to your regular Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns come September.
  • Phase 1: Limited functionality of all regular PLA campaigns - Starting September 2nd, you will not be able to edit your product targeting, max. CPC bids, promotional text and destination URLs anymore. Campaign statuses and budgets will remain editable so you can manage your spend until your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded to Shopping campaigns.
  • Phase 2: Auto-upgrade to Shopping campaigns - Throughout September, regular PLA campaigns that received impressions in the preceding few weeks will be auto-upgraded to a new Shopping campaign with a similar campaign structure. Some regular PLA campaigns, settings and bids might not carry over to your new Shopping campaign due to technical limitations. Once your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded, you’ll receive an email notification and your regular PLA campaigns will stop serving PLAs. Further details on the auto-upgrade are in the AdWords Help Center.


    Don’t wait to upgrade
    As a final reminder, upgrade your campaigns before September to ensure they are set up as you’d like. We recommend using the upgrade tool as it walks you through the upgrade process step by step.

    For more information, visit this help center article on the retirement of regular PLA campaigns and the automatic upgrade to Shopping campaigns. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

    Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

    21Aug/140

    Using Google Search and YouTube to Promote Your App

    Earlier this year, we announced our next generation of app promotion ads across Google Search, the Google Display Network and YouTube. The features on the Display Network launched in June as part of Google I/O. Today, I’m excited to announce the global availability of the search ads and YouTube offerings.
    Google Search for App Install and Re-Engagement
    There are over 100 billion searches per month on Google.com. People search here for places to visit, movies to watch or music to listen to. Sometimes this content lives on a website, sometimes it’s in an app. Now with just 3 easy steps, you can get your app into an ad by using a new, simplified campaign set-up flow that promotes your app on Google.com. Search ads created with this new flow are only shown to people who don’t already have your app -- so every click is from a potential new user, saving you time and money. 
    Retale, an app for finding great deals in your city, is already seeing strong performance. Christoph Hoyer, Retale’s head of mobile marketing shared that “The results have exceeded our expectations, Google search ads provide high-volume quality traffic for Retale’s app with a cost per install around $2.
    Click here to get started.

    How do you select the best keywords so your ad shows to consumers most likely to download your app? Use the keyword suggestion tool for app ads on search. This tool suggests keywords to include in your campaign based on top queries used for finding your app on Google Play and Google Search. FarFaria, a leading children’s e-book app, expanded their Google search ads keyword lists by using this tool and was able to unlock 30% more app downloads while maintaining a click through rate of 3% and a cost per install that was 50% below other mobile networks. 

    Once you have a large base of users who’ve installed your app, how do you keep them engaged? Since 80% of downloaded apps are downloaded and used only once,1 it’s more important than ever to help users remember your app when searching for relevant content that you can provide. Starting today, you can deep link users directly from Google Search into specific pages of apps they’ve already installed by signing up for the beta here. Customers like LINE, Zoopla and Booking.com are already testing deep-linking with their apps. Here’s how it works: let’s say someone has the Booking.com app installed on their phone and searches for “San Francisco Hotels” on Google.com; now they can go directly to the specific page in the Booking.com app that shows listings for hotels in San Francisco.

    YouTube for App Promotion

    The power of sight, sound and motion makes YouTube users more than 2X more likely to download apps.2 Starting today, you can showcase your app when people are watching their favorite videos using a new enhancement to TrueView ads.  With TrueView, advertisers can reach potential customers based on their interests, previously-watched videos and demographics. Deepak Gupta, chief revenue officer at MachineZone, a leading mobile game developer, noted that by "Using YouTube we didn't just find more customers, we found more of the ‘right’ customers. We know video platforms in general deliver valuable users, but we found that users who download our app from YouTube are 15% more valuable than those from any other video platform."
    Start promoting your app on YouTube by simply linking your app’s ID to your TrueView campaigns. Learn more
    Better Measurement = Better Campaigns
    To attract the right customers and keep them engaged, it's important to have robust insights into how people interact with your app and tools to fine-tune your bids for app ads. Check out these 3 new search ads offerings that help you do just that:
    • Measure app download conversions: App installs show up as conversions automatically in AdWords without any additional setup, for Android apps on Google Play.  Learn more
    • Integrate your analytics data: If you’re using third party tracking systems, import information about your apps, directly into AdWords. Learn more
    • Automate your bids: Use Target CPA when creating your app campaign to automatically find the optimal bid for your ad each time its eligible for an auction, without waiting for conversion history to accumulate. This lets you immediately maximize the total number of installs at your target CPA.  Learn more
    Over the coming weeks we’ll dive into these new features with tips and best practices on the Inside AdWords blog and on our Google+ page. We also invite you to register for our “Promoting Your App on Search” Google Hangout On Air on 9/18. 
    Posted by Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management, AdWords

    1Source: Digital Trends, 2013
    2Source: YouTube Global Audience Study, IPSOS 2013 

    19Aug/140

    Introducing Website Call Conversions

    Seventy percent of all mobile searchers have called a business directly from search ads. AdWords click-to-call ads, call metrics, and calls as conversions help you connect with these customers and gain insight about those calls. However, many customers also call your business after clicking through a Google ad and learning more about the products and services you offer on your website. That’s why today we’re launching website call conversions, a powerful way for you to identify and measure calls from your website that occur after an ad click.

    Clicks that lead to calls

    Let’s say your Google search ads send people to your website where they research and learn more about your business. Website call conversions dynamically inserts a Google forwarding number on your website that measures the calls made by these customers. Whether they click on the number or dial it directly from their phone, you can attribute the call conversion and conversion value back to the keyword and ad that drove the customer. You can learn more about setting up website call conversions here.

    Below are a few success stories advertisers have shared with us so far:

    We rely on phone calls to connect directly with our customers and help them purchase the products they need. Though we’ve always known clicks on our search ads result in calls from our website, we haven't been able to easily measure and tie them back to our AdWords campaigns. After implementing website call conversions, we discovered that AdWords was not only driving over twice as many calls than previously thought, but that our customers also talk to us for over five minutes on calls originating from our site. Insights like these are helping shape our web strategy and the way we serve our customers.” - Jeremy Foster, Director of Marketing, 1000Bulbs.com

    Prior to website call conversions, we didn’t have the ability to track ROI when prospects clicked through our ads and called our sales center. Website call conversions has enabled us to better attribute lead and sales activity to the correct AdWords campaign after seeing a 79% increase in the total calls attributed to AdWords.” - Elan Hasson, Digital Marketing and Information Manager, People's Trust Insurance

    "I’m so pleased and impressed with the results we’ve received with our Google website call conversions. The exceptional support of Google, along with the actual product, has proven measurable results. Our AdWords call volume increased by 147%! The directions, along with the implementation, were simple and easy to follow." - Paige Polatas, B2B Marketer, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems


    Maximize call value and volume

    With website call conversions, you can understand which keywords and ads are driving the most phone calls from your website and which are resulting in more valuable calls. You can also assign different values to calls originating from different pages of your website. For example, a local car dealership might assign more value to calls from their test drive page and less value to calls from their homepage.

    You can also automatically optimize your keyword bids to drive more calls or more valuable calls by using Target CPA or Target ROAS respectively. These flexible bid strategies factor in signals like device, location, and time of day to make auction-time bid adjustments that maximize website call conversions and conversion value respectively, while reaching your business goals.

    Numbers that work for you

    To start measuring these website calls, place the snippet of code on your desktop or mobile website and a unique Google forwarding number will be generated for each AdWords ad click. These numbers will continue to display for up to 90 days to capture future call conversions. To ensure this experience is seamless, you can customize the look and feel of these numbers to match your website, including: color, font, and size.

    Learn more

    Website call conversions is available in countries where Google forwarding numbers are available*. They work with AdWords click-to-call ads and can be used alongside other call tracking solutions. Reporting on website call conversions is available in Call Details and through standard conversion reporting.

    You can learn more about website call conversions and how to set it up, here.

    Posted by Anurag Agrawal, Product Manager, AdWords


    * US, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia

    15Aug/140

    Close variant matching for all exact and phrase keywords

    People aren’t perfect spellers or typists. In fact, at least 7% of Google searches contain a misspelling. And the longer the query, the greater the likelihood of a typo. But even if what they’ve typed isn’t perfect, people still want to connect with the businesses, products, and services they’re trying to find.

    Whether it’s “kid scooters”, “kid’s scooter”, or “kids scooters”, people interested in buying a scooter for their child want to see the most relevant ads despite slight variations in their search query. That’s why starting in late September, we’re applying close variant keyword matching, an intuitive way to connect people with the businesses they’re searching for, to all exact and phrase match keywords.

    A successful match

    Since it was introduced in 2012, advertisers have seen strong results. In fact, a vast majority of you are already matching to close keyword variations, receiving an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with comparable clickthrough and conversion rates. In addition to increased keyword coverage, these incremental clicks represent valuable opportunities that are missed by "Low search volume" keywords, common for misspellings and abbreviations.

    Below are just a few success stories advertisers have shared with us:

    Shopify - "We’re passionate about achieving high efficiency, high impact, and high relevance with our customers. Having our keywords match to close variations allows us to do exactly that. Additional matches like "online shopping" to the keyword "online shop" resulted in a 100% increase in relevant clicks across exact and phrase match keywords--with cost per click remaining steady. What's more, we've gained valuable time savings since manually adding misspelled keywords to our campaigns is now unnecessary."

    Underground Elephant - “We’re always looking to increase the reach of our clients and ensure their customers can find them when searching online. So, expanding keywords to match close variants across our clients' accounts was a no-brainer. Since implementing this feature with one particular client, we’ve seen exact match keyword clicks in their account increase by 150%, with these additional clicks costing 10% less.”

    Stitch America - “In matching common stemming variants such as "custom hats" for "customized hats", we’ve seen five times as many clicks for exact and phrase match keywords. What's more impressive is that this additional traffic costs half as much.”

    Reach more customers

    Starting in late September, we’re applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Because close variant matching was already the default setting for campaigns, most of you won’t see a change in your keyword matching behavior. For advertisers that opted out, the option to disable close variants will be removed in September. Your exact and phrase match keywords will then begin matching to close keyword variations, allowing you to reach more of your potential customers with the right ad while aiming to lower cost per click and improve clickthrough rate.

    Control with less complexity

    With this update, you no longer have to build exhaustive lists of misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of your keywords to get the coverage you want. Instead, focus on adding negative keywords--including close variants you don’t want to match for--to shape traffic and reduce cost. This can improve your campaigns’ ROI and help deliver a better ad experience for your customers. You can learn more about the benefits of negative keywords in our new keyword white paper.

    Keep in mind that the AdWords system prefers to trigger ads using keywords that are identical to search queries, so you can still use misspelled, abbreviated, and other close variations of your keywords. If you find that performance varies significantly between close variants, you can add the better performing ones as separate keywords and adjust their bids accordingly.

    To learn more about keyword matching options, please see our Help Center article.

    Posted by Jen Huang, Product Manager, AdWords

    12Aug/140

    New Shopping Campaigns Upgrade Tool

    This is the final stretch. At the end of August, regular Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns will retire and be replaced by Shopping campaigns. A majority of you have started upgrading to Shopping campaigns, but if you’re one of the few who haven’t yet, we’re introducing a new upgrade tool that’ll help you upgrade in a matter of clicks.

    This tool creates a Shopping campaign from your regular PLA campaign, with a campaign structure and bids based on your regular PLA campaign and historical performance data.

    If you haven’t started your upgrade, we encourage you to use this tool as a jumping off point for your Shopping campaigns. Be sure to check your campaign budgets, settings and bids so they’re customized to your business needs.

    Note that not all campaigns are compatible with this upgrade tool. If, for example, you use AdWords labels or groupings in your product targeting or inventory filters, you must update your data feed with custom labels before you use the upgrade tool, unless you’re happy to use another attribute to subdivide your inventory in AdWords directly.

    You can access the upgrade tool, and check which of your campaigns are eligible, in the Settings tab of your existing Product Listing Ads campaigns. Learn more in the help center.

    We’re here to help
    We want to make sure you’ve thoughtfully upgraded and are ready for the holidays. Join us for a Learn With Google Hangout on Air on August 12 at 10:00am PST to walk through the new upgrade tool. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

    Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

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