EsheleD Marketing & Technology

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30Sep/140

Building the next generation of display ads for a multi-screen world

It’s true that mobile devices offer a new canvas for advertisers to connect with consumers, but painting on this canvas has not always been easy. Many marketers started out by shrinking down their existing display ads for mobile, but this didn’t always make for a great consumer experience. They also discovered that frequently their existing display ads were not able to run on mobile devices or on mobile browsers. But now, a new generation of display ads is changing how advertisers engage with consumers on mobile devices.

Today, we’re excited to announce that over the coming months we will launch several mobile display ad formats and tools across the Google Display Network, the AdMob Network and DoubleClick that will make it easier for advertisers to build successful ads that work across screens.

Display ads built for mobile
The new display ad formats that will be rolling out in the coming months are designed specifically for mobile environments:

  • Big brand ads, built for mobile and resized for every screen:  Mobile lightbox Engagement Ads use your existing brand assets to automatically create engaging rich media ads in HTML5 that run seamlessly across devices and screens. The ads will dynamically resize to fit any ad size, making them quick-to-create, and you only pay when users engage. We built a demo of this new format for Kate Spade's upcoming holiday campaign. These will soon be available in the AdWords Ad Gallery. 
Invitation State
Expanded State

  • Video ads for the AdMob network that people can choose to watch: TrueView ads have already been running across gaming apps in the AdMob network. In the coming months, they will roll out broadly across more apps in AdMob. With TrueView, your ads can reach consumers while they engage with their favorite apps. Plus, you only pay when a user chooses not to skip your ad.
  • Ads that stay put even while a person scrolls down the page: The anchor ad format is a mobile web ad unit that sits at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device. As a user scrolls down the page, the ad remains “anchored” to the bottom of the screen. The user can dismiss the ad at any time.
  • Magazine glossiness for your existing text ads: The magazine style text ad format (previously launched for mobile websites) has now been extended as an interstitial in-app format for the AdMob network, bringing the glossiness of print magazine ads to the ease and practicality of a text ad. Google Display Network text ads automatically become eligible to serve in this new ad space.
Anchor Ad Format and Magazine Style Text Ad Format

Tools to help make your existing ads mobile-ready:
These next generation mobile formats will make it easier for advertisers to build beautiful and engaging mobile ads that work across screens, but we also wanted to make it easier to do more with your existing ads designed for desktop. We've developed three new tools, that will be available in the coming months, to convert your existing ads into versions that will work across screens and devices.

  • Automatic mobile sizes for your image ads: The auto-resizing tool for the Google Display Network will automatically create new sizes of image ads, including mobile-specific ad sizes.
  • Interactive HTML5 backups when Flash isn’t supported: The Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools for the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Campaign Manager will automatically create an HTML5 version of your Flash ads. When these ads are served on a device or browser that doesn’t support Flash, the system can show the interactive HTML5 ad instead of a static image backup.
  • HTML5 and in-app rich media ads built in minutes: There are now 29 HTML5 and in-app formats available in DoubleClick Studio Layouts, a tool that let’s you upload your existing creative assets into a pre-built rich media ad template to quickly create rich ads that work on smartphones and tablets.

With these new tools and formats, we’re making it easier for advertisers to develop beautiful display ads that just work, regardless of screen or device, ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands.

Posted by Jonathan Alferness, Director of Product Management for Mobile Display Ads at Google

26Sep/140

Customized Creatives at Scale

Earlier this year, we announced our commitment to build tools specific to the needs of advertisers with large scale campaigns. We call these “Tools for the Power User,” and they’re designed to help our most sophisticated advertisers reach customers at scale, reduce account complexity, and act on data and insights.

Over the next few months, we’ll be rolling out a number of these new tools. The first of these is ad customizers, which fits this month’s theme of optimizing creatives at scale.

Real-time creatives at scale

For advertisers with thousands, or even millions of products, showing tailored messages for each product and promotion you’re offering can be a time-consuming and difficult process. Ad customizers let you show highly relevant ads to your customers, in real-time, even when you have thousands (and sometimes millions) of products, services, and promotions—all changing by the day.

For example, ad customizers allowed Extra Space Storage to deliver a relevant, dynamic ad to each of their customers, and scale their ad creation at an incredible rate.  Extra Space Storage says: "By using ad customizers to dynamically insert details about price and timing on promotions into our ad text we saw a 113% increase in CTR over our control. Google gave us a solution to the growing need of delivering the right message to the right customer."

How it works 

Ad customizers use a number of inputs, such as information about your business, to generate extremely relevant and timely ads. To get started, you’d simply provide business details like product, price, and timing on promotions, and which campaigns, ad groups or keywords they’re relevant for, through a spreadsheet. This information goes into the new Business data section of the Shared library in AdWords, where it can be stored and then accessed when we use it to show an ad.

Then, you create your ad with customizers which are parameters that tell us what information from your spreadsheet you want inserted into your ads. AdWords will dynamically take the product information that is most relevant to what each customer is searching for and insert it into your ad text. This saves you time, and lets you deliver a powerful, customized ad experience to each of your customers, every time.

Driving success

There are a number of different ways to drive success using these highly customizable text ads. With ad customizers, you can

  • Connect with customers at scale - create a single text ad with hundreds of variations so you can show the most relevant ad to each potential customer

  • Show real-time calls-to-action - inform consumers when time’s running out on a promotion, in real-time
  • Optimize workflow - spend less time developing ad copy and re-submitting ads because AdWords will create relevant ads for you

We’re already seeing many advertisers use ad customizers to effectively reach their audience—and their performance goals.

Ben Arabov from the agency Elite SEM, says: “When Elite SEM first learned about ad customizers, we jumped at the opportunity. We believed this feature would incentivize valuable clicks, and our hypothesis was right. Clients saw KPIs improve dramatically—sometimes as much as 2x. This has enabled us to drive incremental performance not only during promotions, but for the long term as well.”

HomeAdvisor.com, a free online tool for finding trusted home service professionals, says: “With the new ability to serve highly customized text ads that highlight our latest offerings, we’ve seen significant search performance improvement and considerable lift in CTR.” 

And the agency, Merkle | IMPAQT, used ad customizers to effectively countdown the days to their seasonal promotions, and drive better performance for their customers: “We used the countdown feature to countdown the days until Thanksgiving and holiday deals began. We discovered the click and impression assisted conversions for this ad copy performed at a significantly higher rate than other copy. We also saw higher conversions associated with this copy on Thanksgiving and for about a week after as a result. We'll continue to use ad customizers for seasonal and on going promotions moving forward.”

Getting started

With ad customizers, advertisers get to save time while showing fresher and more relevant ads, and customers see ads with pertinent, up-to-date information that’s closely tied to their search. This is a better user experience for your customers, and helps you drive better performance on your text ads.

This feature will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks. For more information on how to get started, visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Karen Yao, Group Product Manager, AdWords

26Sep/140

The Google Best Practices Checklist for Mobile Success

Effective mobile advertising in AdWords involves more than adjusting your bid modifier.  There are a number of specific actions to take in your accounts to successfully engage mobile users.

We’ve put together a checklist, Smart Phone Tips, that covers everything you should be doing to win at mobile.  The list addresses key questions you may have when it comes to mobile campaigns, such as:

  • How should your mobile-preferred ads be tailored to mobile users?
  • What extensions are must-haves for your mobile efforts?
  • What types of targeting could you be overlooking on mobile?
  • Are you capturing all mobile conversion types in your reporting?

Download Smart Phone Tips and be confident that you’re covered on the mobile PPC necessities.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

24Sep/140

Local inventory ads expand to more countries and formats

More and more people turn to search to plan their local shopping trips. In fact, 83% of shoppers would be more likely to visit a store if they could check the availability of an item online beforehand.1 Since we launched local inventory ads in the US last fall, many savvy retailers have taken advantage of the opportunity to promote their store items to nearby shoppers on Google.2 Now, we’re excited to make these ads available in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia.


Promote store-only products on desktop
We have also expanded support for store-only products and campaigns to desktop devices, enabling retailers to promote stores to the right customers at the right time. For example, you can prioritize showing local products to get shoppers in your doors during the weeks and days leading up to the holidays. As items go out of stock online and last-minute shipping costs increase, retailers who can provide cost-effective, quick in-store purchase options stand out in the crowd.

Get started with local inventory ads
Local inventory ads help retailers drive foot traffic and sales by showing local product availability, price and store information to shoppers in the area. If you’re a retailer with physical stores and are interested in getting started with local inventory ads, visit the program overview and fill out the interest form.

Posted by Christina Ilvento, Product Manager, Google Shopping

1 Research background: Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, March-May 2014. Survey conducted among 6,000 smartphone users aged 18-54 who have influence in the purchase decision making process of Retail, CPG or Tech products and have used the Internet to look for shopping-related information.
2 Local inventory ads were formerly called Local Product Listing Ads.

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

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