Just like spring, Google’s 2016 Innovation Summit is now a thing of the past. Extensive lists of Google’s new products–like Google Assistant, Android N, Daydream and Duo–are to be found all over the internet. But as exciting as all of this innovation has been, marketers with busy schedules need to know the bottom line: which of Google I/O’s announcements should they really keep an eye on in order to stay on top of their game?
Well, we’re here to provide the answer.
Google executives have revealed the changes Google’s made to its central product line. Adwords, Maps, Analytics and the Google Advertising Network have each been improved. It seems the tech giant paid special attention to mobile devices and search campaigns, upgrading the marketing experience where each are concerned–understandable, considering how profitable search ads have proven to be, and how undeniably ubiquitous tablets and smartphones are in our daily lives. With that said, out of all of the add-ons, these are the four that really captured our attention:
1. Ads on Google Maps
Google Maps has gotten seriously revamped. Mobile users of Google Maps will be seeing some changes as Google widens advertising possibilities to marketers on the app–and it could very well turn out to be a great thing for both groups of people!
One big change is that Google Maps will now be showing local business ads on search results. So imagine walking through the streets of New York City and suddenly being struck by fatigue. In the unlikely event that there is no Starbucks nearby, you’ll be able to pull out your phone, go on Maps, and search for “coffee shop.” An ad from a small nearby cafe (or more likely a Starbucks you’ve just overlooked) will pop up on the top of your list of results.
Another option businesses have is to buy Promoted Pins that show up directly on an individual’s map.
So that same small cafe–*cough* Starbucks *cough*–will be able to pay for a pin marking their location on the map that will be visible in navigation mode as well as on search results, and work with audible instructions.
According to Google, almost a third of Google mobile searches are related to location–a great reason for businesses to want to be a part of this. Moreover, these ads could rank quite low on intrusiveness for consumers. They support what Google calls a “micro moment” strategy, or being there for the consumer in relevant times.
It hasn’t been long since the introduction of ads on Maps, and there are certain questions left to be answered. For instance, will there be a limit on the amount of pins allowed within a certain amount of space? Otherwise, maps could quickly become packed full of these pins, which could look unpleasant and make navigation difficult. On the other hand, would such a limitation raise the cost of pins? And would the competition edge out the little guys?
2. Targeting and Bid Adjustments for Tablets
Whereas it’s been possible for a while to analyze ad data across each device, targeting and changing bids accordingly has not been an option–until now. Mobile bid adjustments will now be available for tablets in addition to smartphones! And that’s a huge deal.
Buying behaviors and conversion rates vary by device, which is a very important thing to know when planning PPC advertising campaigns. Optimizing for mobile/tablet/personal computer will be much easier.
3. Similar Audiences for Search
If you need a refresher on the significance of retargeting, we’ve covered the key benefits in a previous post. As part of the Summit, Google announced that retargeting will be enhanced for search campaigns with the addition of a Similar Audiences feature .
The Similar Audiences feature, which had already been available on the Display Network, creates lists of lookalike prospects, or users who share characteristics and behaviors with your current remarketing lists. Google explains this process as such:
“Google associates sessions on your site (based on your Analytics criteria) with one of Google’s advertising cookies on users’ browsers; and when your customers later search on Google.com (from the same browser), they may see customized ads based on their previous sessions on your site.” (source)
The addition of Similar Audiences could increase the likelihood of conversions, as one would be focusing on a group of people who potentially already have intent to buy.
4. Demographic Data for Search Campaigns
Scouring the internet even a month ago for a solution to this kind of question:
Would have still led to this kind of answer:
For years, marketers had to be content despite the limitations of search. They knew that while display campaigns may have given access to the demographics data of age and gender, that information was simply not available when it came to targeting keywords.
But after a lengthy Beta period involving a few select companies, Google has finally added demographic targeting to AdWords for search campaigns, allowing businesses to better understand their market.
Granted, the option is not perfect as Google’s access to this information is incomplete. Google’s access to gender and age attributions is limited by declared information, or information that was provided upon signing up for an account on Google (source). However, the percentage of “unknowns” (or users who Google cannot identify by age or gender) has been slowly declining.
Getting ahold of this information will not provide a reason to dump all of one’s advertising on one age group/gender group or another. What it will provide is a whole lot of data and, over time, an understanding of how to best optimize campaigns for each demographic group.
Which of these additions do you think will be most useful to you? Is there one we haven’t mentioned that you’ve been particularly excited about? Let us know in the comments!