Google’s annual marketing conference, Google Marketing Next 2017, brings together digital marketing leaders from around the world to explore the future of Google Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick.
Similarly to last year’s event, Google unveiled some major updates to its suite that could potentially disrupt the way marketers optimize and report marketing efforts. The announcements – for improvements in planning, targeting, testing and reporting – aim to help marketers strategically allocating marketing dollars and better connect the dots on marketing performance. Check out the top 12 announcements from this year’s global event and how it could affect your marketing.
TOP 12 UPDATES FROM GOOGLE MARKETING NEXT 2017
- AMP Pages from Search Ads
- Location Extensions and Store Visits for YouTube
- Consumer Patterns and Life Events audiences (available for Gmail later this year)
- In-Market Audiences for Search
- Google Attribution and Google Attribution 360 to link with Adwords, Analytics, and DoubleClick
- Unique Reach and Frequency reporting for Adwords and DoubleClick
- Universal rollout of new Adwords interface by December
- Landing Page tab in new Adwords interface
- AdWords integration with Google Optimize
- Planning in DoubleClick Bid Manager
- Adwords integration with Surveys 360
- Local Inventory featured on Google Assistant
1. AMP Pages from Search Ads
Marketers will now be able to sign up for a new AdWords beta that lets you use fast-loading AMP (accelerated mobile) pages as the landing page for search ads.
What does it mean for marketers? Speed is extremely important on mobile – Google reports a 40% higher bounce rate on mobile vs. desktop. By increasing the speed of your search landing pages, bounce rates will drop and subsequently conversions will increase. The median page load time for an AMP page is 0.5 second. This is a huge benefit for advertisers looking to bring consumers the fast mobile web experience they’ve come to expect.
2. Location Extensions and Store Visits for YouTube
With more users turning to their smartphones to do research before purchasing, Google is rolling out new local-focused features to help consumers decide where to go, and help marketers deliver a better local ad experience. Google has introduced location extensions and store visits for YouTube video ads and will be rolling out store sales measurement to attribute in-store revenue delivered by search and shopping ads.
What does it mean for marketers? Store sales measurement will give marketers a more holistic view of their campaign ROI. The sales measurement data will match transactions back to Google ads in a secure and privacy-safe way – only reporting on aggregated and anonymized store sales to protect customer data.
3. Consumer Patterns and Life Events Audiences (Coming To Gmail Later This Year)
Consumer Patterns targeting taps into users’ consumption habits and reaches audiences who frequently shop, dine out, visit salons, or attend concerts and sporting events. Life event targeting allows you to reach audiences at key transition points in their lives – like before or after they graduate, move, or get married.
What does it mean for marketers? In order to deliver a relevant ad to the right person at the right time, marketers need to understand their consumer and what is important to them. While these types of targeting are not new, later this year they will become available within Gmail advertising for the first time. The ability to target across channels and platforms allows marketers to stay on that journey with consumers as they conduct searches, watch YouTube videos, and check emails.
4. In-Market Audiences for Search
In-Market audiences for search uses purchase intent signals to find users who are in the market for your product. By understanding the types of content users are consuming as well as the types of research they are conducting, in-market audience-targeting provides a broader reach of users who are most likely to convert.
What does it mean for marketers? In-Market audience targeting has been available through the Google Display Network and YouTube, and will be coming to search this year as another way to target consumers across channels. Advertisers are already seeing, on average, a 10% increase in conversion rates for in-market audiences for search.
5. Google Attribution and Google Attribution 360 to Link with AdWords, Analytics, and DoubleClick
Google Attribution and Attribution 360 integrate with AdWords, Google Analytics, and DoubleClick to prove effectiveness of ad dollars across different channels and devices. Google Attribution also makes it easy to switch to data-driven attribution to attribute conversions to the campaigns, keywords, and ads that have the greatest impact on business goals.
What does it mean for marketers? With Google Attribution, marketers will be able to understand how all of their digital marketing efforts (display, search, social, video, etc.) work together, at no additional cost. With immediate results available for reporting, marketers will be able to take fast action to optimize campaigns across channels.
6. Unique Reach and Frequency Reporting in AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager
Released earlier this year for YouTube campaigns, Google will now be rolling out unique reach and frequency reporting for display campaigns in AdWords and for video and display ads for DoubleClick. Unique reach is a powerful metric that measures the number of unique users and average impressions per user across video and display. Metrics are automatically de-duplicated across devices, campaigns, inventory, and ad format in order to see how many users were truly reached and how often.
What does it mean for marketers: Reach and frequency are key metrics when measuring the impact of video and display campaigns. However, getting a reliable number that incorporates impressions across campaigns, ad formats and devices is difficult. Marketers can now see, within AdWords and DoubleClick, how often they are reaching users, helping them ensure that they are not over-saturating and annoying an audience.
7. Universal Rollout of New AdWords Interface by December 2017
Expect Google’s universal rollout of the new AdWords user interface (UI) by December this year. This new AdWords experience is designed to be more visual and streamlined for easier campaign management.
What does it mean for marketers: Some accounts have been granted beta access in advance of the universal rollout, and Google is continuing to expand the number of accounts with early access. If you see a notification at the bottom right of your account screen like the one below, you can click on it to experience the new interface. There’s also the ability to switch back and forth between the existing and new interface, which is useful to do as Google continues to add more features to the new interface. Some new features include new demographic targeting options, promotion extensions and more visual reports.
8. Landing Page Tab in New AdWords Interface
Google is adding a new report that will provide the bounce rates and conversion rates of your landing pages, as well as telling you how mobile friendly they are.
What does this mean for marketers? Landing page experience has a great impact on conversion rate. This report will benefit marketers’ conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts, helping them hone in on the pages that need the most attention.
9. AdWords Integration with Google Optimize
The integration of Google Optimize was possibly the most exciting announcement for people who spend a lot of time in AdWords. Google Optimize allows marketers to A/B test landing pages associated with AdWords ads, without the need of a web developer.
“With the Optimize and AdWords integration, you can quickly and easily create new versions of your landing pages and then apply them to any combination of AdWords campaigns, ad groups, and keywords – no coding or webmaster required.”
What does this mean for marketers? Available globally to all advertisers at no cost, Optimize helps marketers test and deliver custom site experiences to improve performance. Marketers can test images and keywords to find the perfect landing page design (no web developer or coding is required) to improve conversion rate.
This integration will be rolling out to all Optimize accounts in a few weeks and, together with the new Quality Score reporting, it’s a game-changer for landing page optimizations.
10. Planning in DoubleClick Bid Manager
The new planning tool for DoubleClick Bid Manager uses machine learning to recommend new audiences and targeting options for display campaigns. DoubleClick analyzes past performance in order to understand what has worked well in the past and uses those insights to build recommendations. The new workflow is meant to streamline the campaign building process while tailoring inventory and targeting suggestions based on the business and objective.
What does it mean for marketers: This new feature aims to cut down on the planning and setup time required for display campaigns, giving marketers more time to optimize and analyze performance. With one click, advertisers can review audience recommendations, modify targeting parameters, and launch a display campaign.
11. AdWords Integration with Surveys 360
AdWords will be integrated with Google Surveys 360, a paid, enterprise-level survey tool that’s part of the Analytics 360 suite.
What does this mean for marketers? The AdWords integration with Surveys 360 means marketers will be able to target surveys to audience lists to learn more about consumer response to ads and landing pages. Google has built up a panel of 10 million online respondents with one million surveys fielded weekly, providing enterprise marketers the ability to get more consumer data and insights. While there is a free version of Google Surveys, this integration is only for the paid version.
12. Local Inventory Featured on Google Assistant
The last announcement of the day related to voice search, smart-assistants, and mobile consumption. Retailers will now be able to integrate local inventory data so that Google Assistant can tell if a product is available in a store nearby.
What does this mean for marketers? Voice search is now accounting for 20% of searches, according to Google; not only because of the increased use of mobile devices, but also the rise of smart devices like Siri, Amazon Echo, Google Assistant/Google Home. People use multiple devices, up to 5 in a day, influencing off-line activity.
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