Tag Archives: AdWords

Tasty: A Recipe for Success on the Google Home Hub

Posted by Julia Chen Davidson, Head of Partner Marketing, Google Home

We recently launched the Google Home Hub, the first ever Made by Google smart speaker with a screen, and we knew that a lot of you would want to put these helpful devices in the kitchen—perhaps the most productive room in the house. With the Google Assistant built-in to the Home Hub, you can use your voice—or your hands—to multitask during meal time. You can manage your shopping list, map out your family calendar, create reminders for the week, and even help your kids out with their homework.

To make the Google Assistant on the Home Hub even more helpful in the kitchen, we partnered with BuzzFeed's Tasty, the largest social food network in the world, to bring 2,000 of their step-by-step tutorials to the Assistant, adding to the tens of thousands of recipes already available. With Tasty on the Home Hub, you can search for recipes based on the ingredients you have in the pantry, your dietary restrictions, cuisine preferences and more. And once you find the right recipe, Tasty will walk you through each recipe with instructional videos and step-by-step guidance.

Tasty's Action shows off how brands can combine voice with visuals to create next-generation experiences for our smart homes. We asked Sami Simon, Product Manager for BuzzFeed Media Brands, a few questions about building for the Google Assistant and we hope you'll find some inspiration for how you can combine voice and touch for the new category of devices in our homes.

What additive value do you see for your users by building an Action for the Google Assistant that's different from an app or YouTube video series, for example?

We all know that feeling when you have your hands in a bowl of ground meat and you realize you have to tap the app to go to the next step or unpause the YouTube video you were watching (I can attest to random food smudges all over my phone and computer for this very reason!).


With our Action, people can use the Google Assistant to get a helping hand while cooking, navigating a Tasty recipe just by using their voice. Without having to break the flow of rolling out dough or chopping an onion, we can now guide people on what to expect next in their cooking process. What's more, with the Google Home Hub, which has the added bonus of a display screen, home chefs can also quickly glance at the video instructions for extra guidance.

The Google Home Hub gives users all of Google, in their home, at a glance. What advantages do you see for Tasty in being a part of voice-enabled devices in the home?

The Assistant on the Google Home Hub enhances the Tasty experience in the kitchen, making it easier than ever for home chefs to cook Tasty recipes, either by utilizing voice commands or the screen display. Tasty is already the centerpiece of the kitchen, and with the Google Home Hub integration, we have the opportunity to provide additional value to our audience. For instance, we've introduced features like Clean Out My Fridge where users share their available ingredients and Tasty recommends what to cook. We're so excited that we can seamlessly provide inspiration and coaching to all home chefs and make cooking even more accessible.

How do you think these new devices will shape the future of digital assistance? How did you think through when to use voice and visual components in your Action?

In our day-to-day lives, we don't necessarily think critically about the best way to receive information in a given instance, but this project challenged us to create the optimal cooking experience. Ultimately we designed the Action to be voice-first to harness the power of the Assistant.

We then layered in the supplemental visuals to make the cooking experience even easier and make searching our recipe catalogue more fun. For instance, if you're busy stir frying, all the pertinent information would be read aloud to you, and if you wanted to quickly check what this might look like, we also provide the visual as additional guidance.

Can you elaborate on 1-3 key findings that your team discovered while testing the Action for the Home Hub?

Tasty's lens on cooking is to provide a fun and accessible experience in the kitchen, which we wanted to have come across with the Action. We developed a personality profile for Tasty with the mission of connecting with chefs of all levels, which served as a guide for making decisions about the Action. For instance, once we defined the voice of Tasty, we knew how to keep the dialogue conversational in order to better resonate with our audience.

Additionally, while most people have had some experience with digital assistants, their knowledge of how assistants work and ways that they use them vary wildly from person to person. When we did user testing, we realized that unlike designing UX for a website, there weren't as many common design patterns we could rely on. Keeping this in mind helped us to continuously ensure that our user paths were as clear as possible and that we always provided users support if they got lost or confused.

What are you most excited about for the future of digital assistance and branded experiences there? Where do you foresee this ecosystem going?

I'm really excited for people to discover more use cases we haven't even dreamed of yet. We've thoroughly explored practical applications of the Assistant, so I'm eager to see how we can develop more creative Actions and evolve how we think about digital assistants. As the Assistant will only get smarter and better at predicting people's behavior, I'm looking forward to seeing the growth of helpful and innovative Actions, and applying those to Tasty's mission to make cooking even more accessible.

What's next for Tasty and your Action? What additional opportunities do you foresee for your brand in digital assistance or conversational interfaces?

We are proud of how our Action leverages the Google Assistant to enhance the cooking experience for our audience, and excited for how we can evolve the feature set in the future. The Tasty brand has evolved its videos beyond our popular top-down recipe format. It would be an awesome opportunity to expand our Action to incorporate the full breadth of the Tasty brand, such as our creative long-form programming or extended cooking tutorials, so we can continue helping people feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

To check out Tasty's Action yourself, just say "Hey Google, ask Tasty what I should make for dinner" on your Home Hub or Smart Display. And to learn more about the solutions we have for businesses, take a look at our Assistant Business site to get started building for the Google Assistant.

If you don't have the resources to build in-house, you can also work with our talented partners that have already built Actions for all types of use cases. To make it even easier to find the perfect partner, we recently launched a new website that shows these agencies on a map with more details about how to get in touch. And if you're an agency already building Actions, we'd love to hear from you. Just reach out here and we'll see if we can offer some help along the way!

Catching the eye with seasonal ads

Reading time: 4 minutes

Seasonal campaigns go beyond the holidays - Cyber Monday, Mother’s Day, and Small Business Saturday are also a huge part of the retail year. They’re less about targeting seasons, and more about finding moments with a common appeal in your client’s industry.

Brands need to be present in these moments, ready to greet panic-driven deal hunters with the perfect solution. So we sat down with Shopify’s CMO Hana Abaza on the Google Partners Podcast to get her top tips for seasonal campaigns that drive sales.


Find your season

Every business has an element of seasonality; times when interest piques and traffic spikes. All you need to do is identify them! Robust Google Analytics reports are a great place to start. Export your data onto a spreadsheet, and with some clever formatting, trends will start to light up like fireworks on New Year's Eve. 

Analytics also helps you uncover biases that may be hiding behind “failed” campaigns. For example, if you pumped a lot of your budget into targeting Valentine’s Day last year without success, it would be easy to write the day off as a ‘bad fit’ for your brand. Take a fresh look at the data, carry out an honest review, and you may find that small tweaks are all that’s needed to turn things around next year. 


Spot your opportunity

You’ve identified the seasons that matter to your business, now make sure your marketing budget is ready to handle the increased workload. Use Google Trends to spot search trends across each region you’re targeting, then compare that to search volume data in Google Ads to find keywords that fit your offering. 

In the build-up of individual events, Consumer Barometer can help you better understand how to reach your audience at the right time, with the right message. Different events bring up different emotions, so keeping track of consumer trends is a great way to make sure your ads strike an emotional chord with your audience. 


Create separate campaigns

It’s important that you measure success without the noise of other, non-seasonal campaigns. This helps you identify nuances in each season, and optimize next year’s campaigns with those insights in mind. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with copy. Products like Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) can help you test different messages with very little effort. All you need to do is enter multiple headlines and descriptions about your products, and Google Ads will test different combinations to identify the best fit for your audience. 


Don’t miss last-minute shoppers

There’s been a 120% increase in “same-day delivery” searches since 20151. For urgent searches, 74% of shoppers say that when they’re searching on mobile, they look for the most relevant information, regardless of the company or brand2. As a result, the retailer that provides the most seamless experience wins. 

Season-specific promotion extensions help your ads stand out on Google’s results pages, and spotlight special promotions you may be running for the event. Highlighting services like same-day delivery, last-minute sales, or gift-wrapping may be all it takes to tip customers in your direction. 

Great seasonal campaigns are all about planning. Arm yourself with industry trends, plan your marketing budget with those trends in mind, and remember to tap into your consumer’s emotions with ads that resonate. With the right tools, a detailed content plan, and thorough research, you’ll be setting yourself up for seasonal success. 

Watch the video below and tune in to the Google Partners Podcast for more actionable tips and insights for seasonal success. 


1 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018 
2 How to reach today’s impatient shoppers - whether they’re shopping online, by voice, or in store, Think With Google, May 2018

Disney and Google expand strategic relationship

People today exercise greater control over what they view and when—and on which screens—they view it. They watch sitcoms in taxis and on trains, and stream news and documentaries at the gym. All of which contribute to a striking new reality: TV is no longer a stationary box anchored to a corner in your living room.

People also expect the same content they love in the living room on every screen, which can be the difference between a loyal fanbase and a lost audience. Advertisers want to deliver quality ad experiences that are relevant, seamless and measurable across screens, inspiring media companies to reimagine the commercial break.

Disney DTC

That’s why we’re excited to announce today a new global strategic relationship with The Walt Disney Company.

Disney and Google share a passion for bringing quality content and information to everyone, everywhere. With this new relationship, Disney will bring its entire global digital video and display business onto Google Ad Manager, which will serve as its core ad technology platform. 

Disney CTV Image

That means that Google will now power advertising for Disney’s unmatched collection of brands and properties—including Disney, ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars—across multiple channels, including live streaming and direct-to-consumer content offerings. Disney will be able to serve video ads effortlessly on the web, in mobile apps, streaming through connected TVs and for live events.

Together, we plan to build an advanced video experience for Disney that will transcend devices, platforms, and living rooms to bring the magic of premium video content into people’s hearts, minds, and screens—everywhere. 

Source: Google Ads


How evolving user patterns drive new ad experiences on YouTube

At YouTube, we’re on a constant quest to give people the perfect viewing experience. But over the years, what that looks like has changed significantly.

The way we watch video is always changing. And we want to keep advertisers abreast of these trends, with new ad experiences molded to the new ways people watch. This was the spirit behind our introduction of six-second bumper ads more than two years ago–as a response to the increasingly mobile habits of our users.

Today we’re highlighting how we're adapting to three new trends in the user experience.


Longer viewing sessions

Our recent user experience research suggests that in addition to factors such as the length of ads, viewers are quite sensitive to the frequency of ad breaks, especially during longer viewing sessions. Through this research, we also learned that fewer interruptions is correlated with better user metrics, including less abandonment of content and higher rates of ad viewing. To respond to this, we will begin testing ad pods–two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.

Why does this solution make sense? Because when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later. In fact, those users will experience up to 40 percent fewer interruptions by ads in the session.1 Early experiment results also show an 8-11 percent increase in unique reach and a 5-10 percent increase in frequency for advertisers, with no impact to Brand Lift metrics.2 This new experience, launching on desktop this year then followed by mobile and TV screens, aims to accommodate viewer preferences while continuing to help advertisers connect with their most important audiences.

Ad Pods

Example of an ad pod experience on mobile.

More self-directed discovery

The way users prefer to find videos to watch is also changing. Remember back when the only YouTube videos you’d watch came in the form of a shared URL from a friend? Over the years, video viewing on YouTube has become more self-directed, as more viewers than ever before hop into their home or trending feeds and scroll to find a recommended video. In fact, over the last three years, watch time from content users discover on the YouTube homepage has grown 10X.3 That’s why we brought TrueView video discovery ads to the YouTube home feed, along with the Masthead and Universal App campaign ads. The YouTube home feed continues to be a great place for users to discover their next favorite creator, and now it can be a great place for them to discover your brand.


Watching on TV screens

We’re seeing incredible watchtime growth on TV screens: on average, users watch over 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day.4  Last month, we introduced the TV screen device type in Google Ads and Display & Video 360, allowing you to tailor your campaigns for connected TVs – for example, by using a different creative or setting a specific device bid adjustment – and see reporting for ads that run on TV screens.

In the face of these burgeoning user trends—as well as the next wave, and the next—we’ll continue working to build the ideal video viewing experience, and keep thinking up ways to deliver value for our advertiser partners.


1. YouTube Internal Data, Global, October 2018

2. YouTube Internal Data, Global, October 2018

3. YouTube Internal Data, Global, Jan 2015 vs. Jan 2018

4. Google Internal Data, Global, June 2018. Based on 7 day average for TV watchtime

Source: Google Ads


Big or small, stay close to all the latest Google Ads changes

Thank you for following the Google Ads blog, the best place to find the latest news, insights and stories about Google Ads. As the product improves, we want to make sure you have an easy way to stay up to date on the latest changes, big and small. 

The new features & announcements page in the Google Ads Help Center, covers all new features in Google Ads - from something as simple as a new column being added, to the launch of a new ad type such as Responsive Search Ads. 

New features and announcements on mobile

You can get there in three different ways:


  1. Go to g.co/AdsAnnouncements

  2. Click the “Announcements” tab in the Help Center

  3. Use the link in the help menu when you’re in Google Ads


Don’t forget to bookmark!


Source: Google Ads


Drive better results: An insider’s look at the latest Google Ads innovations

With the busy holiday season ahead, we're investing in new ways to help you work smarter and exceed your omnichannel goals. Check out the innovations we unveiled today at SMX East.

Easier ways to manage your messages

Automatic reply

It’s no surprise that messaging has become a big part of our modern lives. If you’re inviting a friend to “Friendsgiving” dinner, you’re probably sending a quick text message. In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out two improvements to click-to-message ads:

  • Email forwarding sends text messages to your email, so you don’t need to provide a phone number to use message extensions. Responding to the email will automatically send a text reply back to your customer.
  • Automatic reply sends a preset message back to customers as soon as they message you. For example, you can automatically reply with, “Thanks for your message. We’ll get back to you within the hour.”

To help measure the success of your click-to-message ads, we’re expanding message reporting to include message conversions. You’ll be able to define the number of user-initiated exchanges needed to count as a conversion. For example, if it typically takes two or more exchanges before a customer orders holiday dinner from your restaurant, you can set that as your conversion threshold.

“Using message extensions, we can offer fast assistance when our busy customers are looking for a style recommendation or opinion on fit, and can easily share images and links. Now, message reporting will help us analyze which parts of our campaigns are driving the most in-depth, valuable conversations with stylists, and where we can improve performance.” - Michaella Kurdziel, Director of Experience Excellence & Learning at MM.LaFleur


Take action on your data across online and offline channels

Most customer journeys still end in store, and 61% of shoppers would rather shop with brands that have a physical location than ones that are online only.1 Businesses need to measure the offline impact of digital advertising in order to take action on omnichannel behavior: store visits measurement is one way to do that. As a reminder, store visits are estimates based on data from users that have turned on Location History. Only aggregated and anonymized data is reported to advertisers, and they aren’t able to see any store visits from individual website visits, ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people.

To help you take action on store visits, we're bringing these insights to data-driven attribution and Smart Bidding which use machine learning to help you improve performance. Data-driven attribution helps you understand which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns have the greatest effect on your business goals. You can use this information to drive more conversions using Smart Bidding.

We’re also adding more ways to measure the full value of your marketing. In the coming weeks, Store Visits in Google Analytics will start rolling out to eligible advertisers to connect store visits to other marketing efforts that bring customers to your website and then to your store.

One example of a business measuring the online to offline impact of its marketing is department store JCPenney. JCPenney had long recognized that digital campaigns led to store visits but wasn’t able to attribute those visits to specific channels. With Store Visits in Google Analytics, JCPenney was able to look at store visits and visit rate by channel to understand which online marketing channels were most effective in driving in-store visits, and efficiently scale investment in those channels.

We hope these new products can simplify your day-to-day and improve performance across your Google Ads campaigns during the holiday season and beyond.


1.  Google/Ipsos, “Shopping Tracker,” April - June 2018, Online survey, US, n=2703 adults 18+ who shopped in the past two days. Response based on top 3 box 7 pt scale.

Source: Google Ads