Google Marketing Live 2018: What’s New With Google Ads?

jason's picture
| 25th July 2018
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SilverDisc’s Managing Director Alan Perkins flew out to San Jose earlier in July to attend Google Marketing Live, an annual event that brings together the world’s leading digital marketers. Alan was able to see Google’s Product Roadmap for the coming months as well as gain insights from Google’s industry leaders first-hand.

Google Marketing Live 2018

Meanwhile the SilverDisc team sat down together in our Kettering office, popcorn in hand, and watched the Google Keynote together on YouTube to discover the new products and features available to both ourselves and our clients in 2018.

Think Smart

Aside from Google’s rebrand from Google AdWords to Google Ads, machine learning was the main theme of the Google Ads Keynote. Pushing more of its smart tools and algorithmic learning to the forefront, Google introduced numerous new campaign types, bidding strategies and targeting features to provide more opportunities for Google Ads marketers.

Following the success of the Smart Display Campaigns launched in 2017, Google has followed up with new Smart campaigns across Search, Shopping and Video. Using automated bidding to improve spend efficiency whilst improving ad delivery to target the right user at the right time, machine-based Smart campaigns promise to aid marketers in maximising their paid search efforts.

Shop Smart

Smart Shopping campaigns use machine learning to build upon the existing Shopping campaigns available in Google Ads.

Using a product feed in the Merchant Centre, marketers define the country of sale, set a campaign budget and upload assets for the ads. Smart Shopping campaigns use this data to create ads which are automatically optimised and delivered with the aim to achieve the advertiser’s defined conversion goal value.

New goal settings are available in the campaigns to allow your ads to focus on:

  • Maximising Conversion Value
  • Driving Store Visits
  • Reaching New Customers

By combining Shopping and Dynamic Remarketing campaigns into a single campaign type, Smart Shopping campaigns optimise ad placements across Google’s Display Network as well as its Shopping results pages.  

This all-in-one campaign type can target new users to purchase on their first website visit as well as re-engaging previous site visitors for repeat purchases, rather than relying on two separate campaign types to achieve this.

You can find out more about Smart Shopping campaigns, including setup requirements, in the Google Ads Help section.

Shop Local

Google’s Head of Ads provided the headline statistic that searches such as “open near me tonight” have increased 10x in recent years.

With that in mind, Google has introduced a crucial new campaign type for smaller local businesses aiming to bring online customers in-store.

Local Campaigns are a new campaign type exclusive to Google Ads, designed solely to drive footfall to your physical shop or workplace.

Google uses anonymous data from users who are signed in to Google on their phones, and who have location history enabled, to report back on the number of users who visited in-store after clicking on your ad.

Google Local Ads can display across various Google Channels such as:

  • Google Search Results
  • Google Maps
  • Google Places
  • Google Display Network
  • YouTube

You need to provide your business location, budget and creative elements, which Google will then use to automatically generate ads. This campaign type will be rolled out globally over the next few months.

Think Responsive

Google is rolling out its Responsive search ads beta to all advertisers over the next few months. This type of ad offers a new way of automating ad testing – simply feed Google Ads up to 15 headlines and four descriptions per ad group, and it will create an advert using any combination of three headlines and two 90-character descriptions. This strategy means that marketers will need to think carefully about the descriptions and headlines they use and how they might look when used together, but it also means that ads could be more relevant and prominent than before, potentially leading to more clicks and conversions.

Other announcements included a new smart bidding strategy, Maximise Lift, for YouTube campaigns, which optimises delivery to users who are most likely to consider a brand after seeing a video ad. Google also announced that cross-device reporting and remarketing would become available in Google Analytics.

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