#GoogleSummit Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote Recap: From Mobile-First To Snazzy Display

The Google Performance Summit revealed major changes for the coming months, including new text and display styles, mobile-first enhancements, look-a-like retargeting and beefed up analytics.

Marketers are no longer asking if they should invest in mobile, but how they should invest. With over half of all searches happening on mobile, Google has been working with brands and individuals to find out what marketers want. The next year of mobile-first changes are based on feedback from users and intent data that only Google knows.

New look, new style

First up on the reveal list are first impressions. Text ads are changing. Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President for Ads and Commerce said Google’s biggest update to the ads platforms since its start is coming. Expanded Text Ads will grow from the current 25-characters headlines to two 30-character headlines. Description lines will move to a single 80-character line and the final URL will automatically extract the domain — and  the URL path will be customizable. Marketers will have 50 percent more ad text coming to AdWords later this year! Some pilot users have seen a 20 percent increase in CTR for text ads with the additional characters.

Mobile-first display ads will be beautiful. Changes include larger images, tapping, swiping, etc. Also, Google has unlocked new native ads across the GDN to better match the environment in which the user is engaging.

Bidding with a mobile-first world evolves to allow individual bid adjustment for mobile, desktop and TABLET!  Simply set your base keyword and then increase bids per device up to 900 percent in a single campaign.

Connecting with customers in the ‘now’

Google Vice President of Product Management, Jerry Dischler, discussed bridging the physical and digital worlds. Nearly one-third of mobile searches are related to location and users searching for something nearby. To help marketers reach users looking for their store in that “now” moment, Google is adding local search ads for Google Maps and Google.com.

Location extensions are the key for big brands. Google is currently testing new ad formats like promoted pins along a user’s route. Also, business pages are getting a new look, with the addition of product inventory and special offers.

Google Vice President of Display and Video Ads, Brad Bender, examined understanding customers and the challenge of reaching them with precision and scale. Using programmatic data and automation power does the heavy lifting to help determine  display ad audiences, with the help of DoubleClick Bid Manager and the Google Display Network.

The two tools blend location, intent, demographics, interest, context, etc. Now, Google is extending the reach of GDN campaign to cross-exchange inventory to reach additional sites and apps with the same precision marketers are used to.  

‘Retargeting’ taken up a notch

RLSA (remarketing lists for search ads) is expanding to include, “Similar audiences for search.” SAS is intended to reach prospective customers unfamiliar with your brand. In other words, it’s used to reach users that haven’t seen your site but have completed similar searches to those users who have visited your website. By increasing bids on these users, some tests saw a CTR increase and CPA decrease. The updates to come are steps Google is taking to help bridge intent with context.

Marketers, you were heard

You can’t dominate a mobile world with a platform built for desktops, according to Matt Lawson, Google Director of Performance Ads Marketing. Google asked what would make tools better. What they learned from AdWords users: Data has to be at their fingertips. the data should be about marketers’ businesses and not Google’s products and, finally, the system needs to be easy to use and still powerful.

Google Director of Engineering for AdWords Platform, Samantha Lemonnier, said new, cleaner, clearer dashboards will be available within the upcoming year.  When a marketing objective is chosen, it will prompt the correct list of tools to use based on the action the user wants to drive.  

Three-sixty revamped

Google Analytics 360 Suite, as you may know, includes six tools: Optimize, Audience Center, Tag Manager, Data Studio, Analytics and Attribution. These tools are being better integrated to help reduce the time it takes to complete tasks for setting up site experiments with Optimize; building new reports in Data Studio with collaboration among multiple people at the same time; and Q & A Conversational Search that allows users to ask a question to the Data Assistant and get an answer. Not a chart. Example: when asked, “What was my top selling products in April?” The conversational search assistant provided a list of the the top sellers.

The mobile-first future is exciting and the horizon for marketers looks bright!

For further breakdowns, check out g.co/Marketing Goals and g.co/360suite or watch the Summit yourself.

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