Tag Archives: Search Ads

2019 holiday checklist: help shoppers find local stores

The holidays are a critical time of year for your stores, as shoppers stop in to get an item quickly or see it in person. Online research to find local stores continues to surge—search interest in local shops hit a record high last year, and we’re seeing 350 times more search interest in "local" + "near me" than there was 10 years ago. 

When holiday shoppers are deciding where to shop–to buy items for multiple people or for last-minute gifts after shipping cutoffs have passed–how can you help them find your store? 


You can do it in two ways:

  • Local campaigns help businesses with physical locations drive more visits to retail stores, restaurants, auto dealerships, and more. They also include new ways to promote your business on Google Maps.

  • If you’re a retailer, Shopping campaigns help you promote your entire ecommerce and local product inventory to drive sales across both your website and stores. Retailers should use Local campaigns to maximize store traffic and combine them with Shopping campaigns, which help you increase omnichannel reach and sales.

See our latest solutions to help advertisers with a physical presence, from big retail chains to small businesses, showcase your stores and give holiday shoppers more convenient ways to buy.

New ways to promote your locations with Local campaigns

Local campaigns are specifically designed to help businesses drive visits to your physical locations. We’re also making Local campaigns available for smaller businesses by allowing you to optimize for other local actions like calls or directions, even if you don’t have store visits reporting. To help you dial up foot traffic for the holidays, we’re introducing new ways to showcase your locations across Google Maps and other channels.

Whether people want to visit a neighborhood park, museum, local store, or restaurant, Google Maps connects them with the places they’re interested in. In fact, people tap on location pins in Maps hundreds of millions of times per week to explore and get information about the physical world around them. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to feature your locations as users get directions to a destination. In just a few taps, they can add you as a convenient stop along their route to grab lunch, stop in for shopping, and more. 

Direction planning ad (Maps).gif

You can also promote your locations as shoppers browse content across over 3 million websites and apps in our Display network. They can now explore a curated selection of the products your store carries in a visual, catalog-like experience.

Local catalog ad on Display (Local campaigns).gif


Saks Fifth Avenue logo.jpg


Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury retailer increasingly using digital to achieve its in-store performance goals. The brand has successfully leveraged other Google solutions like local inventory ads to drive foot traffic. As a result, it was eager to become an early adopter of Local campaigns last holiday season to focus specifically on store visits. Using a randomized controlled geo-experiment, Saks Fifth Avenue saw a statistically significant, incremental lift in store sales and an incremental offline return-on-ad-spend of 7.7x. It’s now expanding Local campaigns to promote more of its store locations.

Fun toy retailer logo.png

Fun, a toy retailer in Belgium, also relied on Local campaigns last holiday season to bring more shoppers into its 29 locations. Local campaigns drove 24,000 additional store visits on top of its existing Google Ads campaigns at a strong 19x ROI. This helped lift total store sales and completely reversed a year-to-date decline.

Sephora logo.png

Sephora, a multinational retail chain, knows that customers who browse and buy in-store are more valuable. With a randomized controlled geo-experiment, the brand found that Local campaigns helped drive a statistically significant, incremental lift in store sales. For every dollar invested, Sephora generated a positive incremental return-on-ad-spend.

More flexible ways to buy and pick up purchases with Shopping campaigns

Shopping campaigns–which include both Shopping ads and local inventory ads–help you increase sales both online and offline, and highlight details about all of your product inventory. Through local inventory ads, we have over 2 billion offers mapped to physical stores across 12 countries. We’ve recently expanded to Sweden, Norway and Denmark to help more shoppers see which products are in stock at nearby locations. 


Now, we’re also giving consumers more flexible ways to collect the products they find through local inventory ads. 45 percent of global shoppers have used “buy online, pick up in store” to get their items from a local store. To make this process easier, we’re expanding store pickup on Google and showing consumers what fulfillment options you offer from your ad:


  • Pick up today:show which products are available for immediate store pickup, with the option of paying online first.

  • Pick up later: promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be quickly shipped to a nearby store within a few days. Reach out to your account team if you’d like to join the beta. 

BOPIS ad mock.png

Local inventory ad in the U.S. highlighting the “Pick up today” option

We have other stocking stuffers for retailers. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to pick the Shopping campaigns where you’d like to include store visits as a conversion goal alongside online sales. If you have products that are especially effective at driving consumers to stores—such as high-consideration products like furniture or luggage—you can add store visits bidding to your Standard or Smart Shopping campaigns. Store visits in Smart Bidding is also fully available for Search campaigns to help you maximize conversion value across your website and stores.

Whether you’re a small business or a major retail chain, holiday shoppers will be looking for nearby stores with the most compelling offers and products. We look forward to helping you capture the local holiday spirit to drive success during the biggest shopping season of the year.

Source: Google Ads


2019 holiday checklist: Inspire shoppers with gift-giving ideas

Whether they’re shopping for themselves or for others, 48 percent of today's shoppers say they're open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season. And increasingly, they’re leaning into videos and inspirational imagery to help them decide. Below, we’ll dive into how Google solutions can help you tap into and create shopping intent, and capture the attention of those undecided shoppers with richer, more interactive experiences

Make YouTube more shoppable 

Video has also become a favorite research tool for holiday shoppers. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchase. And more than 90% of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube. To tap into this shopping intent, we’re introducingShopping ads to the YouTube home feed and YouTube search results, making YouTube more shoppable and extending the reach of your Shopping campaigns. 

Shopping ads on the YouTube home feed


Shopping ads on YouTube search results

Shopping ads on the YouTube home feed (top) and YouTube search results (bottom)

Retailers like PUMA are excited to reach new customers on YouTube in advance of the holiday season to help them continue the shopping journey. “Consumers are continuing to watch more content on the YouTube platform and we want to be where they are, to reach and engage them,” said Rick Almeida, Vice President of eCommerce at PUMA Group. “This new opportunity will enable PUMA to extend our shopping strategy into a new property and inspire consumers.”

Now, people coming to YouTube to browse and research products may see visual Shopping ads, based on their interest. This means if a consumer expresses an interest in running, they could see ads from retailers that offer running apparel, like PUMA, highlighting different products and prices.  If you’re already using standard Shopping campaigns today and are opted-into YouTube on Display Network, you are eligible for this experience.

In addition, we’ve made YouTube video ads more interactive, giving viewers useful and actionable information like store location, interest forms and additional calls-to-actions to help you drive more conversions.  In the coming months, sitelink extensions will become available for TrueView for action ads. This makes it easy for viewers to navigate to additional landing pages like your holiday catalogs, your store hours, and more. In a beta test with 30 advertisers, adding sitelinks showed a 23% increase inconversions1.

YouTube Ads Sitelink Extensions

Example of how Sitelink extensions will work under your TrueView for action video

You can get started with these new extensions by heading to the extensions tab in Google Ads, and clicking on the extension you’d like to get started with. You can learn about these YouTube updates and more here.


Inspire more customers with rich imagery

In a recent Google / Ipsos study, we found that 85 percent of consumers will take action within 24 hours of discovering a product: reading reviews, comparing prices or purchasing the product—sometimes all at once! We offer multiple solutions to help you convert digital window shoppers into satisfied customers. 

Showcase Shopping ads, for example, are expanding to Google Images -- helping shoppers explore your brand and product selection. When people search for broader terms like “holiday party dresses”, they’ll see Showcase Shopping ads that group related products together, displaying a diverse range of offerings. They’re great for attracting new customers; on average, we see that about 85 percent of traffic from Showcase Shopping ads to retailer websites come from new visitors. In addition, these ads are now expanding to new search categories like beauty and electronics, when they’ve mainly appeared for apparel and furniture-related searches previously. 


UO logo.png


Urban Outfitters is one example of a retailer using Showcase Shopping ads to get into the consideration set and inspire those new to their brand. Urban Outfitters expanded their Showcase Shopping ads to 50 key categories across apparel, home decor, and beauty. Overall, they saw a 241 percent CTR lift across campaigns running Showcase Shopping ads, with 52 percent of those customers being new. Moreover, Urban Outfitters saw a 186 percent increase in sales from new customers via Showcase Shopping ads (compared to reactivated customers).

Urban Outfitters Showcase Shopping ad for beauty

Urban Outfitters Showcase Shopping ad for beauty

Scrolling through personalized feeds like news, video and social is a bigger part of today's consumer journey. And with Discovery ads (beta), you now have a new canvas to inspire hundreds of millions of people with your products as they explore their interests  across the feeds in Discover, YouTube and Gmail. 

nectar logo.png

Nectar is one brand updating its Discovery ads with holiday-focused creatives to show off its mattress line and special offers, like its free 365-Night Trial and Forever Warranty™. To drive engagement, Nectar used a variety of high-resolution image assets featuring its mattress in well-lit, realistic settings, while also highlighting promotions in its ad text. Nectar has used custom intent audiences to connect with the right customers, like consumers in the market for bedroom furniture or interested in adjustable bed frames. And during testing, the brand saw an 8% lift in total sales at a 70% lower cost-per-acquisition compared to its paid social campaigns. As a result, Nectar’s parent company, Resident, plans to roll out Discovery ads across its full portfolio of home retail brands.

Reach out to your Google account team to join the global Discovery ads beta.

Discovery Ad Nectar

A Discovery ad for Nectar by Resident as shown on Discover, YouTube, and Gmail

Ready for more tips? Tune in next week to learn how you can drive more shoppers into your local stores.


1. Compared to the same ad without sitelinks. Source: Google data, US, June 2019. Beta experiment with n=30 TrueView for Action advertisers

Source: Google Ads


Get your campaigns ready to reach the always-on deal seeker

Marketers recognize Black Friday and Cyber Monday as major shopping holidays to prepare for. But did you know that only 18 percent of shoppers consolidate their holiday shopping to these days? 

Consumers are on the lookout for deals year-round—about 60 percent say that finding a great deal is what they enjoy most about shopping. So whether you’re gearing up for July 4th in the U.S., Bastille Day in France, or back-to-school shopping around the world, check out new tools coming soon to help you highlight in-store promotions, factor seasonal sales into your bidding strategy, and reach in-market consumers this season and beyond.

Heat up in-store sales with new Local campaign features

Before they’re heading to the store, local shoppers are hunting for deals: searches for “on sale near me” have grown by 250 percent since 2017. 

With Local campaigns, you can dedicate your entire campaign to offline sales and complement other channels like TV or print that also help deliver foot traffic to your business during important promotions. In fact, in recent global studies with 10 advertisers, we found that Local campaigns helped brands drive a median five times greater incremental return-on-ad-spend from their business locations. 

We have new features coming for Local campaigns to make it available to more advertisers and improve how you manage your locations and creatives. In the next few weeks, you’ll be able to set up your Local campaigns to drive calls to your business locations—even if you don’t have store visits measurement. By expanding Local campaigns to optimize for calls, more advertisers will now be able to access it and highlight what makes their stores unique across Google Search, Maps, YouTube and more.

Starting today, you can also create location groups to make it easier to promote a subset of business locations. For instance, if you’re selling special back-to-school product bundles at certain locations, use location groups to tailor your budget and messaging to this offer. Finally, asset reporting has started rolling out to give you better insight into creative performance. See what kinds of messaging and assets work best and use these learnings to improve your current and future creatives. 


Google Ads Local Campaigns One sheeter


Sanborns, a leading department store in Latin America, is one brand using Local campaigns to drive results during key promotions.

Grupo Sanborns

We’re excited to work with Google's new technology to help us grow our business. For Father's Day in Mexico and for a major sale we ran at the end of May, we used Local campaigns to make our in-store offers more prominent. It's amazing how we can get exposure with customers at the right time, and this helped us drive a 10x increase in store visits during these promotions year-over-year. 

- Grupo Sanborns’ marketing team

Put your in-store promotions front and center in local inventory ads

We’re also making it easier for retailers to highlight in-store promotions for specific products through Shopping ads. Today, retailers have connected over 2 billion offers to physical store locations globally using local inventory ads. Now, you can add a promotion to your local inventory ads. Call out in-store offers like “20% off” or “buy one get one free” for inventory you have in stock and drive more nearby deal-hunters to your physical locations.

Local campaigns Pixel

We’re rolling this out in the U.S. and Australia, with more countries coming soon. If you’re a retailer interested in participating, request to join the whitelist here

Improve Smart Bidding performance by factoring in seasonal sales

Smart Bidding automatically optimizes your bids for every auction to help improve your return on investment. And while it factors in seasonality as a signal, we know there are key moments for your business—like during a big sale—when you can anticipate changes in conversion rates well in advance. For these occasions, we’ve introduced seasonality adjustments. 

Let’s say you’re running a promotion for grills as people get ready for their summer cookouts. Based on past promotions, you predict seeing a 50 percent increase in conversion rates during your sale. Use seasonality adjustments to let Smart Bidding know to expect and prepare for this conversion rate increase, and help our systems ramp up performance more quickly. 

Reach shoppers in the market for your products

In-market audiences for Search help advertisers drive more conversions by reaching qualified shoppers who are actively considering products or services to buy. These are aggregated and anonymized groups of consumers who’ve recently demonstrated an intent to purchase. This gives you a great opportunity to help your business stand out with compelling offers or deals when people are making their final decisions about what to buy.

We’ve recently rolled out more in-market segments across popular categories like beauty, sports, education and real estate. This includes over thirty new categories for retail, just in time for your seasonal sales.

No matter what season you’re ramping up for around the globe, we hope these new products set you up for success!


Source: Google Ads


Create with Google: Inspiration, resources, and tools to fuel your next big idea

The case for creativity has never been greater. Big thinking and bold ideas are in high demand, and creative execution is consistently confirmed as the largest contributor to driving sales. And as we see from the brands we partner with, success occurs when data and technology inspire creativity.

But that doesn't mean it's easy. There are more platforms, more signals, and more data sources informing creative than ever before. We want our clients and partners to grow and thrive on our platforms, and that’s why we've made it a priority to invest in resources and tools to support creative makers and agencies at every stage of the creative process.

This year at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, we’re expanding a new resource for the global creative community: Create with Google. Made for creatives by creatives, this platform is designed to inspire, inform and enable creative makers from ideation to execution. The global site is currently available in English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese, with a plan to expand to more languages throughout the year.

Get inspired for your next big campaign

We’ve searched the globe to find the most innovative, intelligent, and imaginative work across Google’s creative canvas. Filter by format, vertical and platform, or search by keyword to inspire your creative thinking.

Create with Google Website Inspiration

Master Google’s platforms, formats and tools

Read up on a range of resources and get insider tips on how to build work across Google’s creative canvas—from ARCore to Display and YouTube Director Mix.
Create with Google Website Platforms

Access tools to support your idea, from pitch to production

Two new tools, Audience Connect and YouTube Mockup Tool, make it easier for you to create and sell in work on our platforms—from pitching in concepts right through production.

Audience Connect transforms creative presentations from broadcast into conversation, by tracking client engagement in response to any video. When pitching in a TrueView concept, for example, the tool provides real-time feedback on when your audience is more leaned in and when they would skip. Sign up for access here.

Audience Connect

YouTube Mockup Tool lets you upload and showcase work to clients and colleagues in an authentic YouTube environment, simulating your creative across desktop, tablet and mobile.

YouTube MockUp Tool

We want to champion and challenge creative makers to experiment and make better work, recognizing we only succeed when our partners do. We hope Create with Google can become a genuine global community where the industry comes together to find the inspiration, resources and tools for their next project.

Create with Google: Inspiration, resources, and tools to fuel your next big idea

The case for creativity has never been greater. Big thinking and bold ideas are in high demand, and creative execution is consistently confirmed as the largest contributor to driving sales. And as we see from the brands we partner with, success occurs when data and technology inspire creativity.

But that doesn't mean it's easy. There are more platforms, more signals, and more data sources informing creative than ever before. We want our clients and partners to grow and thrive on our platforms, and that’s why we've made it a priority to invest in resources and tools to support creative makers and agencies at every stage of the creative process.

This year at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, we’re expanding a new resource for the global creative community: Create with Google. Made for creatives by creatives, this platform is designed to inspire, inform and enable creative makers from ideation to execution. The global site is currently available in English, Spanish, Korean and Japanese, with a plan to expand to more languages throughout the year.

Get inspired for your next big campaign

We’ve searched the globe to find the most innovative, intelligent, and imaginative work across Google’s creative canvas. Filter by format, vertical and platform, or search by keyword to inspire your creative thinking.

Create with Google Website Inspiration

Master Google’s platforms, formats and tools

Read up on a range of resources and get insider tips on how to build work across Google’s creative canvas—from ARCore to Display and YouTube Director Mix.
Create with Google Website Platforms

Access tools to support your idea, from pitch to production

Two new tools, Audience Connect and YouTube Mockup Tool, make it easier for you to create and sell in work on our platforms—from pitching in concepts right through production.

Audience Connect transforms creative presentations from broadcast into conversation, by tracking client engagement in response to any video. When pitching in a TrueView concept, for example, the tool provides real-time feedback on when your audience is more leaned in and when they would skip. Sign up for access here.

Audience Connect

YouTube Mockup Tool lets you upload and showcase work to clients and colleagues in an authentic YouTube environment, simulating your creative across desktop, tablet and mobile.

YouTube MockUp Tool

We want to champion and challenge creative makers to experiment and make better work, recognizing we only succeed when our partners do. We hope Create with Google can become a genuine global community where the industry comes together to find the inspiration, resources and tools for their next project.

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


Helping shoppers buy effortlessly from Best Buy, Nike, and Sephora over the holidays

Today, 76% of U.S. holiday shoppers over 18 use three or more channels.1 At the same time, they expect their experiences to be fast, frictionless, and personalized wherever they are, on whatever device they use. A recent study shows that Google is the first place US shoppers go to discover or find a new brand or product. With Shopping Actions, they can move seamlessly from browsing to buying with a universal cart that works across Search, the Google Assistant, and Google Express whether they’re on mobile, desktop or even a Google Home device.


Today, we’re announcing new Shopping Actions partnerships with Nike, Best Buy, and Sephora, enabling shoppers to search and shop effortlessly for tens of thousands of products ahead of this holiday season.

Best Buy gives customers even more ways to shop

Best Buy knows that when it comes to buying tech, it’s important that customers can shop how, when and where they want. With Shopping Actions, Best Buy’s products are now available on Google Express. Shoppers can use their voice to ask the Google Assistant to check store hours, order status, or even place an order. 

"We’re committed to enriching lives with technology, and part of that means giving people the tools they need to research and buy in stores, online and at home. This partnership let’s our customers explore the latest tech in a whole new way."

-Allison Peterson, President of E-commerce, Best Buy


Nike serves athletes wherever they shop

As the first brand from the Footwear and Apparel industry to join Shopping Actions, Nike makes it easy for shoppers to discover and buy from a rich online assortment. Whether they are shopping through Search or with their voice on the Google Assistant, later this month shoppers will be able to find and buy Nike products directly on Google’s platforms.

"We’re excited to partner with Google and together deliver premium Nike content and inspiring experiences to consumers. We’ll enable frictionless discovery and purchase of Nike products across Google’s ecosystem and elevate the consumer experience with direct access to Nike products and additional benefits when they add their NikePlus membership at checkout."

- Eric Wood, VP of Digital Partnerships, Nike


Sephora leads the way in seamless omnichannel experiences

Sephora is passionate about seamless shopping. Across their award-winning App, website, and 400+ stores, Sephora constantly innovates to offer a connected, smart and fast shopping experience. With 1 out of 3 last-minute shoppers saying they choose where to buy gifts based on how soon they can get them, Sephora saw a perfect fit with Shopping Actions.2 Sephora clients can now buy across Google’s properties and earn valuable Beauty Insider points with each purchase as part of Sephora’s robust loyalty program -- with overnight delivery to almost anywhere in the US.

Get started

Nike, Best Buy, and Sephora join hundreds of other merchants already taking part in the program, a 7x increase since we first launched the program. It's easier than ever to join Google Shopping Actions, thanks to integrations with e-commerce solution partners including ChannelAdvisor, CommerceHub, Feedonomics, and Zentail. Even more are coming soon.

However big or small your business, Shopping Actions can help you reach more customers faster and easier. Learn more: fill out our interest form.


1. Google/Ipsos, U.S., Omnichannel Holiday Study, Holiday shoppers 18+ who shopped in previous 48 hours, n=5944, Nov. 2017–Jan. 2018.

2. Google/Ipsos, U.S., Omnichannel Holiday Study, Holiday shoppers 18+ who were last minute shoppers n=1121, Nov. 2017–Jan. 2018.


How to help shoppers looking for inspiration this holiday

Gone are the days where shoppers had one specific gift in mind. Today, they’re asking brands to help inspire them. Our research also shows that 61 percent of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season—and in the 2017 holiday season 46 percent of them actually did.

That’s a huge number of consumers looking to uncover new brands and products or re-discover old favorites. But with so much choice at their fingertips, shoppers need help cutting through the clutter and feeling confident in their choices.

A recent study shows that Google is the first place US shoppers go to discover or find a new brand or product. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in solutions to drive inspiration and discovery, capture intent, and amplify your message to customers, wherever they’re shopping across Google and the web. So lean back, grab an eggnog (it’s never too early), and learn about how consumers plan to shop this holiday—and how Google can help.

Helping shoppers discover with video in Showcase Shopping Ads

When it comes to finding new products and narrowing down their choices, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas for their next purchases, and over 90 percent of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube.

Video to Showcase Shopping ads helps shoppers more deeply engage with your products. This is our first retail search ad unit to feature video, designed to help you provide a more immersive, contextual experience for shoppers.  

Video in Showcase Shopping ads is the next addition to the Showcase Shopping ads we launched last year, which let you upload multiple images to a single ad and promote your products through beautiful imagery, descriptions, products, and relevant promotions. Since launch, we’ve seen that the top Showcase slot drives 3.6X higher than average CTR, and Showcase receives 20 percent more conversion credit with first-click attribution. And retailers like Venus Fashion are seeing success with acquiring new customers: 68% of purchases from shoppers who engage with Venus Showcase ads are new.

Wayfair Video Showcase Shopping

This format is available to advertisers already running Showcase Shopping ads.

Inspire undecided shoppers with Shoppable Image ads

Curious consumers aren’t just finding inspiration through video. Did you know that more than one-third of holiday shoppers said they searched for images before they went in store to shop? The growth of “street style” and online influencers all show the movement towards looking at lifestyle images for visual inspiration.

Shoppable Images enable you to highlight your shopping ads on curated, published content from our publisher partners. For publishers, it’s a chance for shoppers to be able to purchase seamlessly. For example, a shopper might visit her favorite blog like This Time Tomorrow, and see a selection of visually similar offers after clicking the tag icon in the image. Over the next year, we will continue to roll out this experience to more publishers, as well as pilot new surfaces like Google Image Search, where we also know shoppers go to look for inspiration. 

Shoppable Images

Left: Shoppable Images publisher experience

Right: Image Search experience mock

We hope these updates help you stand out from the crowd and capture undecided shoppers' attention with inspirational imagery and video. For a look into more consumer trends this season, check out our Think With Google article on holiday 2018 insights.



1 Google/Ipsos, “Shopping Tracker”, April - June 2018, Online survey, US, n=2703 adults 18+ who shopped in the past two days

2 Google internal data, 2018

Source: Google Ads


Create more effective ads for today’s consumer

Consumers are more curious and more demanding than ever before. They expect to get things done faster–engaging with ads that are uniquely relevant to them. In fact, 91 percent of mobile users bought or plan to buy something after seeing an ad they described as relevant.1 That means it’s critical for marketers to create a wider variety of ads that are diverse.

By creating more diverse ads and utilizing Google’s machine learning, your ads will be more helpful, more personalized, and relevant to more people. This means your ads can show more often, reaching potential customers when they're looking for what you have to offer. We know this kind of optimization works: On average, advertisers that combine Google’s machine learning with multiple creatives see up to 15 percent more clicks.2

Creating relevant ads at scale can be a challenge, and products like responsive search adsresponsive display ads, and Universal App campaigns can help. That’s why we’re introducing new insights to make it easy for you to create the ad experiences your customers expect.

Get more out of your responsive search ads

Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads.

  • To make it easier for you to create more effective responsive search ads, you’ll now be able to preview ad combinations as you build them. This shows you what your ads might look like, and you can even browse through them to double-check your work.
  • You can also view reporting for headlines, descriptions, and top combinations to help you see what’s showing up most often on the search results page.

RSA Best Practice

New best practices for Search ad groups

Apartments.com is a leading online resource for home and apartment rentals. Using responsive search ads, the brand was able to create ads that were more relevant to people at key moments in the rental process. As a result, Apartments.com saw a 10 percent lift in clicks. ForRent.com, another brand in the Apartments.com network of sites, saw a 16 percent lift in clicks with a similar strategy.

Measure the strength of your ads

Innovations like responsive search ads can help you create relevant, personalized ads at scale. However, it can be a challenge to know when these ads have the right amount of information. That’s why we’re introducing ad strength.

You’ll see ad strength both when you write a responsive search ad and as a column in Google Ads. Ranging from “Poor” to “Excellent,” this metric measures the relevance, quantity, and diversity of your ad copy. Combined with actionable feedback, ad strength makes it easy for you to improve the effectiveness of your ads.

Ad Strength UI

Use ad strength to create more effective responsive search ads

Ad strength will be available as a column starting in early September, and in the responsive search ad creation interface over the next several weeks. Support for responsive display ads will follow in the coming months.

To get started with ad strength, we recommend providing as many distinct headlines, descriptions, and other assets as possible. This will help Google's machine learning generate a larger number of relevant, effective ad combinations.

  • For a responsive search ad, provide as many headlines and descriptions as makes sense for your business. If you’re having trouble getting started, we recommend focusing on creating at least five headlines.
  • For a responsive display ad, provide up to 15 images and five logos, headlines, and descriptions per ad.

Promote your app at scale

App marketers are also making the shift to more diverse creative. With Universal App campaigns, Google’s machine learning automatically combines your creative assets with content from your app store page to create personalized, relevant ads at scale.

We recommend providing at least four to five text, video and image assets in varying lengths and sizes. If you’re looking for more guidance, we have an online course to help you design and optimize your creative for a Universal App campaign. If you want to learn more about promoting your mobile app in Google Ads, you can view the other courses at g.co/learnappads.

1. Google / Purchased, April 2017

2. Google internal data

Source: Google Ads


A fast start to 2017 for click-to-call ads

Living in a mobile-first world has made it easier than ever to pick up the phone and talk to a business directly. That’s why we've continued investing in calls innovations based on the great feedback we've heard from you. From call-only ads for marketers who prioritize calls to imported call conversions that allow you to upload your own call conversion data directly into AdWords, we’ve strived to drive more high-quality calls to your business in three main ways:

  1. Simplified workflows so you can set up click-to-call ads faster
  2. Better ad experiences that make it easier for people to call you
  3. Detailed call reporting that shows which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable calls 
We have new updates coming soon across these areas to help you improve your calls performance.

Get your call extensions up and running more quickly

Account-level call extensions will begin rolling out this week to help you set up call extensions at scale. You can implement them once across your entire account rather than adding them multiple times to individual campaigns and ad groups.

In the coming months, we're also rolling out automated call extensions to more advertisers globally to help you set up call extensions more quickly. AdWords will identify landing pages that already feature a prominent phone number, and automatically set up a call extension and call reporting for this phone number to help you drive more calls to your business

New year, new look for click-to-call ads

In addition to making call extensions quicker to set up, we’re improving the ad experience to help consumers call you more easily. For example, we started testing business names in the headlines of call-only ads last year to help advertisers maximize high-quality calls from people who intend to call them.

“Introducing business names to call-only ads has improved the quality of calls we drive from Google Search for clients across our agency. We’ve been able to showcase their brands more clearly and increase user trust, which has led to significantly higher clickthrough and call conversion rates."
-Kevin Quinlan, President of wommster.com

wommster logo

We’re now rolling this change out globally and will continue experimenting with other new features in click-to-call ads, including testing caller satisfaction ratings to show consumers which businesses are delivering a great user experience over the phone.

Updated CTC ad - caller ratings

New reporting for keyword and ad-level call details

Measuring performance from your click-to-call ads is essential for making informed decisions about your spend and optimizations. AdWords call reporting is easy to set up and available in 23 countries around the world at no additional cost to show you useful insights and conversions from the calls you’re receiving. We’ll soon be adding new call details to your keyword and ad copy reports. Additional columns for “Phone impressions” and “Phone calls” will give you a more complete view of call performance and help you see where there are opportunities to improve. For example, consider using call-only ads on keywords with the highest phone-through rates, or decreasing wait times when you have customers on the phone to improve call conversion rates.


We hope these new updates to click-to-call setup, ad experiences and reporting will help you ring in 2017 with great calls performance. To learn more, visit the Help Center and read our best practices for driving phone calls to your business and optimizing the caller experience.

Source: Google Ads