Engagement Ads go Multi-Screen
“We want consumers to have the same experience with our brand, whether they're connecting with us from their laptop at work or their tablet from home,” says Kim Kyaw at Jaguar Land Rover North America. “Being able to run a consistent campaign across devices is essential, and we've found the cost-per-engagement pricing to be very effective.”
Lisa Brewer, Director of Audience Development, PEOPLE Digital, agrees. “We were able to strategically showcase our content in a format designed for cross-platform engagement, ensuring we delivered content wherever our users wanted to consume it, helping us have our most streamed Sexiest Man Alive reveal to date.”
Engagement Ads go Shoppable
Tis the season for shopping, and the “collection lightbox” format lets marketers showcase a number of items that shoppers can click and purchase, right from within the ad unit.
Engagement Ads go Easy
We’ve also made it easier than ever to set up and run a new Engagement Ads campaign, with a simple workflow and user interface. The new self-service feature gives you the chance to take more control of your ad campaign, so you can get started telling your brand’s story right away.
Set yourself up for a jolly 2014 by learning more about Engagement Ads.
Posted by James Beser, Group Product Manager
We compiled a few of the bigger changes in marketing and digital advertising in 2013, to see how far the industry has come along. View the full infographic here or see a brief summary below.
New creative formats took center stage in 2013. Marketers invested more in social media and TrueView skippable video ad formats continued to grow on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
The new 360 media plan cannot overlook digital and the sheer number of screens people interact with. In 2012, Google released some research indicating that people use 3 screen combinations a day. In 2013, this manifested itself in the form of increased investments in multi-screen campaigns.
New(Up)fronts. Programmatic. 2013 changed the way digital media spend is committed.18 digital media companies presented at the Digital Content NewFronts. And programmatic buying gained significant traction with an expected ~74% growth, according to eMarketer. As brands took to programmatic and with the growth of programmatic video, CPMs on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange increased, and Preferred Deal impressions grew 250%. DoubleClick Bid Manager powered social media ads, joined FBX.
Earlier this year, AdAge released some research indicating that 50% of display ads are not viewed, making advertising viewability a hot industry topic. Google’s viewability measurement solution, ActiveView, got MRC-accredited. Last week, Google announced that it would enable viewability-based buys on the Google Display Network. Engagement Rate was another hot metric in 2013, with Cost per Engagement pay models enabled for ad formats like Engagement Ads on the Google Display Network.
View the full infographic here.
Posted by Yamini Gupta, Product Marketing Team
Today, we’re taking an important step towards this goal by making it possible to buy based on viewability — in real time — across the more than two million sites in the Google Display Network. Viewability was already available for reservations buys on the Google Display Network, now this solution is available in the auction on a CPM basis globally as well, across desktop, mobile and tablet. In other words, you can now choose to pay for ONLY those impressions where your ad has a chance to be seen.
This new buying option is based on Active View, our MRC-accredited viewability measurement solution. Through an algorithmic review of publisher sites, our systems will show ads only in ad slots most likely to be viewable, and you only pay for the ones measured as viewable according to the IAB/3MS standard: 50% of the ad visible on the page for one second or longer. You will also see a report of how many viewable impressions you received for any given campaign, which can help make future campaigns even more effective.
As we’ve said before, making viewability a basis for buying, selling and measuring media can help transform the digital marketplace. With access to more meaningful metrics, brand advertisers can unleash their most creative campaigns, knowing they’ll have a chance to shine. And publishers will be able to more fairly value all of their inventory, not just those spots considered “above-the-fold.” We’ll continue to work with our partners in the months to come to make this a reality, and to ensure that every ad has a chance for its holiday wish to come true.
For more information, check out the help center to get started.
Posted by James Beser, Group Product Manager
Since these earned views are a major benefit of advertising on YouTube and the Google Display Network, we’re bringing new capabilities to AdWords for video to help you better measure viewer actions following your video ads. Formerly known as Follow-on Actions, these new reporting columns will show your Earned views, Earned view rate, Earned subscribers, Earned playlist additions, Earned likes and Earned shares, with additional columns rolling out over the next few weeks. So if you're an advertiser, you can see how many people stayed on your channel to watch more videos, subscribed to your channel, added your video to a playlist, or shared your video with a friend after watching a TrueView ad.
From looking at the last six months, we’ve seen over 6,000 campaigns generate at least one earned view as a result of every two paid views. And we know the YouTube audience isn’t shy about sharing brand content: 3 in 4 YouTube users agree “If there is a brand I love, I tend to tell everyone about it.” (Source: YouTube Insights Oct 2013)
Check out this video to see how Earned Action reporting helps you better understand the impact of your video advertising:
We have also simplified the Account Linking flow to make it easier to join an AdWords for video account with a YouTube channel and see the effect of TrueView advertising on growing your audience, through Earned subscribers and Earned shares.
So link your AdWords for video account with your YouTube channel, and take advantage of these new reporting columns today.
Posted by Luke Segars, Product Manager, YouTube Ad Effectiveness
These insights are particularly important to understand because consumers are now constantly connected, using multiple devices throughout the day. In the next few weeks, this will be even more pronounced as people shop for holiday gifts. A recent holiday study shows that 84% of consumers who are likely to use a mobile or tablet device while shopping this holiday season, will start shopping on one device and finish on another.
We’re making it easier for advertisers to understand these consumer behaviors with new insights that are part of Estimated Total Conversions, a new column in AdWords.
Estimated Total Conversions includes cross-device conversions, which are also shown in a separate column to highlight their importance.
3 ways to use Estimated Total Conversions to improve business results
1. Take another look at your desktop/tablet bid. Once you see more conversions that can be attributed to AdWords, your total ROI from AdWords will change. Re-calculate your desktop/tablet cost-per-acquisition (CPA) based on these cross-device conversions. If your CPA has improved using this measure, you might want to look for opportunities where you may be able to increase position and volume by increasing your bids.
2. Capture the full value of mobile. Many experienced search marketers are already using this data to make business decisions, by starting a test on campaigns that previously did not show on mobile. Within a few weeks of showing ads on mobile devices, these advertisers started to see conversions they could not before -- those that started on a mobile phone and ended on another device. These insights led to important business decisions like adjusting mobile bids or shifting budget to reflect the new ROI of their keywords.
Amber Yeray, Digital Marketing Manager at EXPRESS, a national fashion retailer, has been working with her agency partner, RKG, to understand the new insights offered by Estimated Total Conversions.
“Cross-device conversions have shown that total estimated conversions are up 7%, with a 17% lift from mobile-initiated conversions. EXPRESS and search marketing agency partner, RKG, are now able to increase mobile bids for areas of the account that show the most impact from mobile -- driving more volume while remaining efficient.”
3. Spend only the most profitable dollar. The total value of your AdWords investment might change once you’re able to see more conversions. Whether it’s AdWords, other digital channels or offline media, think about investing your dollar into the most profitable channel possible.
Estimated Total Conversions provides new insights that may help you optimize bids and budgets to improve performance. Amit Shah, Vice President of Online, Mobile & Social at 1-800-Flowers, used the new insights that he gained to make more informed budget allocation decisions.
“After measuring cross-device conversions that began on a mobile device, we saw a 4% increase in total conversions measured in AdWords. With the full view offered by Estimated Total Conversions, we can correctly understand attribution across channels and make better decisions on achieving marginal spend optimization.”
These are just a few of the tips that we will continue to share as we hear feedback from you. Check out these best practices along with a walkthrough of Estimated Total Conversions in a recent webinar we hosted.
Posted by Jason Spero, Director of Global Performance Solutions
Choose strategic moments to remove your worse performing ads and apply the lessons that you’ve learned. There are times, such as the holiday shopping season when user search interest reaches its peak, when it’s in your best interest to run with your best performing creative.
Testing sacrifices some short term efficiency to ultimately improve your account in the long run. For that reason, there is an opportunity cost to leaving your tests running longer than they need to. Take a look at this example:
Ad A and Ad B have minor differences in performance, but Ad A still generates two more leads at a cheaper rate. Here’s what the account would look like running Ad A all by itself:
Even with the small differences in the example, there is a tangible benefit to reallocating your impressions to the absolute best creative. Imagine what could happen if all of those impressions in your account (where the differences in CPC, CTR and conversion rate might be much bigger than this example) are going to the best possible creative.
There are a number of different processes that you can follow (depending on your rotation settings) to get your best ads to show for those valuable holiday impressions.
If your campaign is using auto-optimization, we’ll automatically bias impressions toward the ads that are statistically likely to perform better. While poorly performing ads are already being shown infrequently, it might also be time to cut out the fat.
Starting with your highest volume ad groups, identify the worst performing ads and delete them. You’ll be able to spot them quickly based on relatively poor performance and low impressions compared to the top performers in their ad group.
If your ads are set to rotate evenly (or indefinitely), start with high volume ad groups where ads have had enough impressions with which you can confidently make a decision.
When manually optimizing, you’ll have to decide which metric is most important to you. Consider creating your own metrics, such as conversions/thousand impressions or revenue/thousand impressions.
As your tests are concluded, don’t restart them during your heavy season. Let your top ads shine throughout your peak season, but keep track of ad groups that are no longer testing (via labels) so that you can easily restart your tests once things settle down.
Two things to remember for either of these processes:
- Make sure to look at your mobile-preferred ads separately from your desktop ads, as these will likely perform differently than their desktop counterparts.
- It's possible that certain keywords within an ad group perform best with ads other than the top performer. This might happen in an ad group comprised of disparately themed keywords (check your new-and-improved opportunities tab for places this may be happening in your account). You can see the performance of each ad against each keyword by segmenting your ad report by keyword. One solution might be to separate such keywords into their own ad group, so they can serve against the ad with which they perform the best.
What if your ad tests don’t have enough data?
This happens all the time, particularly with smaller ad groups and campaigns. You’ll have three options to end these tests:
Directional: Pick the ad that is in the lead at this moment. It couldn’t pass through any peer-reviewed scientific journals, but you’re still basing your decision on recent performance.
Referential: Look for trends in messaging within your high volume ad groups. If it’s the same basic test across both ad groups (i.e. one main benefit against another), you can reasonably infer that the ads will perform similarly. Ensure that whatever significant tests you refer to are similar enough to make sense. You wouldn’t want your successful messaging about shoes to decide how you’ll sell vacation plans. Boots, however, could potentially apply the lessons from shoe ads.
Indeterminate: Continue to wait until your tests get more information, possibly enabling auto-optimization for your ads. Not acting is a defensible decision, but it won’t improve your performance immediately. Low volume ad groups are almost always going to continue being low volume, so the sooner you get comfortable making decisions with limited information on those ad groups, the sooner you could start to see performance improve.
Whichever route you decide to take, you should still end up with two ads in each of your ad groups - one for desktop and one for mobile-preferred.
If you’re merely pausing your ads (since you don’t have enough traffic yet), make sure that you’re labelling them intelligently and clearly so that tests can be resumed once the time is right.
Ending tests doesn’t mean you’re against testing. Testing is a great thing that leads to a healthy account and a well-informed, data-driven advertiser. Ending a test is a little like pushing your car into the red - you do it when you need to, but if you do it all the time you’re going to eventually stall out.
This holiday season, treat your account right by cleaning out your low performing ad copy. Then, when things slow down and you have a nice, clean account to work with, you can restart your testing with something new from our Creatives That Clicks whitepaper.
Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing
Google Partners replaces Agency Edge, Google Certification Program, and Engage for Agencies by taking the best they had to offer and adding a new suite of powerful resources – all in a cleaner, simpler interface. And it allows you to build a closer relationship with your clients.
With Google Partners, you can:
- Earn leads: Connect with potential clients through Google Partner Search
- Get certified: Take certification exams – for free – on an improved, more intuitive platform
- Learn and develop: Gain insights tailored to your agency and its needs
- Use offers: Receive offers that you can use to introduce clients to AdWords
- Demonstrate credibility: Distinguish yourself in the marketplace by earning the Google Partner badge
Google Partners isn’t simply a new platform – it’s a better platform.
And it’s one that rewards your hard work by helping your business grow. By demonstrating that you’ve mastered best practices, you can earn the Google Partner badge – proof that we trust you and your clients should, too. We’ll provide you with customized tips every step of the way, so your company can get the badge and both you and your clients can shine. Because that’s how true partnership works.
To join Google Partners, please visit www.google.com/partners
Posted by the Google Partners Team
|Download the Essential Paid Search Holiday Checklist|
Does your plan account for all of those little things that may get overlooked?
- Efficient communication with your team
- Driving performance with the right strategies and messaging
- Contingency plans if things don’t go as you imagined they would
Regardless of what your account and account team looks like, it’s never a bad idea to double check that the pieces to your master plan are all in place.
With every day during the holiday season being critically important, decisions can get magnified. So make the right decisions and amplify your success. Download the Essential Paid Search Holiday Checklist today. Your team (and your account) can thank you once things settle down after the Last Day to Ship Before Christmas has come and gone.
Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing
Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program to highlight retailers that offer a consistently great shopping experience. Qualifying merchants display a badge on their website, and Google stands behind these stores by offering $1,000 of free purchase protection. Since we introduced the program last year, we’ve been working hard to expand it, including launching a new integration with seller ratings on AdWords, updating the badge with more helpful information for shoppers, and broadening store participation around the world.
Shopper feedback powering seller ratings
Google Trusted Stores now helps to power seller ratings, which show on AdWords text ads as well as Product Listing Ads on Google Shopping. This integration provides shoppers with valuable information, while giving participating retailers a free and easy way to earn the ratings they deserve. Advertisers who display seller ratings on their ads typically see a boost in AdWords click-through rates, with higher ratings generally resulting in higher click-through rates.
Providing helpful information at shoppers’ fingertips
In the US, Google Trusted Stores now provides shoppers with an upgraded store performance summary that appears when they hover over the badge on a merchant’s website. The summary includes helpful returns, delivery, and customer support responsiveness metrics provided by StellaService, a company that objectively measures the customer service experience by shopping anonymously at online stores.
More confident shoppers fueling global expansion
Millions of people now see the Google Trusted Stores badge on retailer sites and in Google ads every day. In fact, we’ve more than tripled US store participation in the last year. Because shoppers value the badge, many of these stores are seeing sales growth. For instance, OnlineShoes measured a 4.2% sales increase from the Google Trusted Stores badge, and AutoAnything saw an increase of 5.2%.
Given the great shopper and retailer response in the US, we’ve started to expand Google Trusted Stores around the world. We recently introduced pilot programs in the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, each with a collection of excellent merchants such as Schuh (UK), Spartoo.com (France), PEARL (Germany), and Kogan (Australia). (Note - only shoppers located in a particular country will see the badge for that country.)
To learn more about the program, please visit our website. If you’re a US retailer, you can apply to become a Google Trusted Store. If you are a retailer outside the US, please let us know you’re interested here: UK, France, Germany, Australia.
Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!
Posted by Brian Marquardt, Group Product Manager, Google Shopping
A new shopping experience on desktop, tablet and mobile
It’s easier than ever for users to browse and hone in on items they want to buy like cameras, ski jackets, and ice cream makers. They can quickly preview details like sizes, colors, description, and even if it’s available at a nearby local store. “Visually similar” results give shoppers suggestions if they’ve found something that’s almost perfect but not quite. Make sure your products shine by following our holiday tips.
Get on people’s shortlists
Shortlists help people keep track of products that catch their eye, compare them at a glance, and share ideas with friends and family. Shortlists now also stay at the top of the page while someone is browsing Google Shopping, so she can cross off items on her shopping list as she goes. When people add products to their shortlists, photos, price and detailed information are automatically saved, too -- so make sure your product feed is up-to-date and has all the necessary information that makes it easy for them to choose your store when they’re ready to buy.
360° views for more products
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what an item actually looks like from the online picture. Now, for many items on Google Shopping, users can see a 360° view of the products. These interactive images bring users the in-store feeling of holding and touching a product. If you’re manufacturer or brand interested in displaying these rich images of your products on Google Shopping, please fill out this form.
We will continue to improve Google Shopping to help retailers of all sizes reach more customers not just during the holiday season, but all year long.
Posted by Karen Corby, Senior Product Manager, Google Shopping