During the busy holiday season, on-the-go shoppers are using their smartphones to find the perfect stocking stuffers, festive decor and gifts for loved ones. In fact, 70% of smartphone users who bought something in a store first turned to their devices for information relevant to that purchase. One in four of them also used a map through a web browser or an app before making the purchase.1 This year, a number of brands are testing Promoted Places in Google Maps to showcase special offers and announcements to drive more foot traffic to their stores.
Some users have started seeing a limited test of Promoted Places in the Google Maps for Android app. It integrates seamlessly with the browsing experience, where places of interest are visually marked with icons to help users orient themselves and explore the world around them. With Promoted Places, advertisers can improve awareness for their stores by branding their location icons with their logo. Clicks on a business’s logo will reveal promotions such as in-store sales or new products and services to help consumers decide where to go. They can also view the business’s place page to see store hours, check live updates to Popular Times, get directions, and more.
“We’re looking forward to testing Promoted Places to help us deliver a more branded and customized experience on Google Maps. It will allow us to spotlight our latest products with the goal of driving more shoppers in-store to get the full M·A·C Cosmetics experience.” - Laura Elkins, SVP of Global Marketing
“Innovation is part of our DNA and we’re continually evaluating meaningful and contextually relevant ways to connect with our customers. Staying top of mind, especially during the competitive holiday season, requires a mix of tried and true, including breakthrough strategies. Promoted Places in Google Maps can help drive incremental store traffic and promote Walgreens as a go-to destination for small gifts. This gives us a new and different way to highlight seasonal offerings through visuals and engaging copy. Combined with the breadth of our store locations in the community, this aligns with our goals of driving loyalty and giving customers more reasons to choose Walgreens for their holiday needs.” - Andrea Kaduk, Director of SEM & Social
"With Promoted Places, we can enhance our presence on Google Maps and give users a glimpse of our brand and coffeehouses before they even get there. Having our logo on the map helps our locations jump out and promoting our favourite menu items gives people a reason to choose us." - Jamie McQuary, Senior Marketing Manager
This holiday season, Promoted Places will help businesses stand out to busy shoppers in the moments they’re figuring out where to go. We’re excited to test new experiences that help consumers discover nearby sales and promotions and allow businesses to reach more people through Google Maps.
If you were wishing for an easier way to manage your video ad campaigns in AdWords this holiday season, the AdWords product team has the perfect gift picked out. Today we’re announcing AdWords scripts support for TrueView and six-second bumper ads.
This means for the first time ever, you’ll be able to programmatically create and manage video ad groups, targeting and other campaign features alongside your Search, Display and Shopping campaigns. The new script support is available for standard YouTube ad campaign types like TrueView in-stream, TrueView discovery and bumper ads – and we’re hoping to eventually expand functionality to additional campaign types like shopping.
Making this tool available for video means multi-step campaign management tasks will be much easier – like scheduling regular reporting, creating new campaigns en masse and even automating adjustments to campaigns based on real-time factors, like the weather.
To get started, check out the Help Center article to learn how to set up new scripts for your video campaigns.
Posted by Chris Hong, Product Manager, AdWords video ads Leo Sei, Product Manager, AdWords
Passwords have historically been the gateway to accounts; however we’ve shown that some of the most common passwords and security questions are easy to guess, which leaves accounts potentially vulnerable to hijackers.
Keeping our users and partners secure is a top priority for us and we continue to work hard to help you keep the bad guys out. 2-Step Verification (2SV) is one of the best ways to protect your account from hackers. 2SV combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key). Think of it like withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.
Millions of businesses use our advertising service, Google AdWords to display their businesses in Search and improve their reach globally. As part of our commitment to our AdWords customers and to demonstrate how easy it is to adopt better security standards, we distributed 2SV security keys to 60 of our largest ad agencies across four countries (UK, Spain, USA, Mexico). The agencies found the keys to be a useful security feature and have implemented 2SV into everyday practices. Here’s the story of two UK ad agencies that piloted this program.
Jellyfish is a full service digital marketing agency with offices in the UK, US and South Africa, and with over 250 staff, Jellyfish prides itself on its dynamic approach—responding to clients’ needs in an ever-changing digital landscape. Ranked the number one digital agency in the UK by The Drum Digital Elite in 2015, Jellyfish boasts an influential client roster including: Nestle, Motors.co.uk, Gatwick Airport, National Geographic, Zipcar etc.
As an agency with paid search as its heritage, Jellyfish utilises Google AdWords to help clients run efficient campaigns and generate the maximum return on investment through search and display opportunities. With the bulk of its clients utilising AdWords accounts, Jellyfish wanted to establish good security practices. Richard Hartley, PPC Director at Jellyfish notes: “AdWords has been the most effective means of running campaigns for our clients. With so much data and personal information involved, we wanted to make the safety of these campaigns a priority.”
Jellyfish consulted with Google’s Trust & Safety team on the best way to protect their clients. Tariq Mohammed, PPC Manager at Jellyfish notes: “Security is always of utmost importance to ourselves and our clients. Any of our accounts being hacked could have a massively harmful effect on our clients, and hence it is something we take very seriously. Anything at all that we can do to help safeguard the security of our clients’ data and spend will be grasped by Jellyfish with both hands.”
Google provided 2SV via security keys, to all Jellyfish clients who were AdWords account holders. “Account hijackers are highly motivated and equipped. The best added protection for accounts is 2SV as it prevents unwanted, third party access,” says Zeyneb Temnenko, Accounts Analyst within Google’s Trust & Safety team. “Enabling 2SV will undoubtedly give Jellyfish the security needed to run clients’ campaigns safely without any concerns about unauthorised account access.”
The introduction of the security keys has had a real impact on the Jellyfish team. “Having already rolled the 2-step verification across every single one of our AdWords logins, we already knew the great benefits of using features like the Authenticator app. Having a physical key that we could link to multiple AdWords accounts, even in the case of us not having our phones, helps us run the account easier,” says Hartley. “The security key emphasises deeper security culture and because it’s a physical device, our staff members are always conscious of it,” added Mohammed.
Jellyfish has rolled out the security keys to all team members in the UK and South Africa, with plans to roll it out across the US office. “When winning new business, I’ve no doubt the keys show just how seriously we take security and therefore the careful management of their accounts and data – it sets us apart from other agencies in the market,” says Hartley.
Based in Regent’s Place, the thriving heart of London’s commercial sector, iProspect is a global digital marketing agency, driving digital performance for some of the world’s largest advertisers across over 50 markets. Its heritage lies in paid search, with 100% of its UK clients taking advantage of search and display opportunities through the Adwords platform.
With Google AdWords accounts playing such an important part in the organisation’s business, it was critical to ensure the security of the clients’ data and their campaigns. Scott Abbott, Head of of Global PPC notes: “The activity we run through AdWords—be it in Google Search, through YouTube, Google Display Network or in Gmail—is crucial to our clients’ business. With over 80 clients and over 900 AdWords accounts, it’s imperative that we take our clients’ data and security seriously. A maliciously compromised login has the potential to put our clients’ business and reputation at risk so security is a big priority for us.”
Google’s Trust & Safety team provided iProspect with security keys to enable 2SV to keep clients’ accounts safe. “2-step verification provides an extra layer of security to prevent unwanted third party access to an account. This in turn prevents the phishing of login credentials and access codes through lookalike sites,” says Google’s Zeyneb Temnenko. “By enabling 2SV, iProspect are securing their clients’ accounts and guaranteeing peace of mind with regards to the safety of their data.”
The introduction of 2SV has dramatically mitigated the risk of logins being compromised through malicious attack. Maeve Ayton, PPC Account Director notes: “Adding 2-step verification with the security keys has given us peace of mind that our Google accounts are secure. It has also increased our clients’ confidence that we are continuing to take every opportunity to protect their data. Another benefit is that one key can be used across multiple accounts ensuring all accounts a user requires access to remain as secure as possible.”
“Introduction of the security keys has been a valued initiative. Even though we anticipate a future with more sophisticated phishing attempts and aggressive tactics to compromise accounts, we are confident that together with Google, we are up to the task of ensuring the safety of our clients’ accounts,” says Abbott.
You can find out more about Google’s 2SV process here. And if you are an AdWords user, you can purchase security keys for your account from several manufacturers such as Yubico or buy them on Amazon.
Posted by Elijah Lawal, EMEA User Safety Outreach Manager
Reaching your most valuable and engaged customers at the moment they’re ready to act is critical in moving them along the path to a purchase. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) and Customer Match can help you do that by customizing your campaigns for people who’ve previously interacted with your business. However, getting started can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of ad groups. To make it easier for you to manage your audience lists at scale, you can now apply them at the campaign level.
Campaign-level audience lists also make it easy to measure and change your bid adjustments. Instead of trying to change your bid adjustments for each individual ad group, you can confidently optimize at the campaign level where you’re more likely to have enough data to make an informed decision. Learn more audience bid adjustment best practices here.
Many advertisers are already using campaign-level search audiences to save time and make better optimizations:
“Campaign-level audiences have proven to be a great way to apply our remarketing lists at scale. Our campaigns often contain so many ad groups - using RLSA in the past required hours spent applying audiences to each one and analyzing the results by ad group. By applying them at the campaign level, we can be confident that no ad group is overlooked, while saving us time that can be better spent on helping our customers find their new home.” – Debra Carroll, Senior SEM Manager at Redfin
“Being able to apply all of our audiences at the campaign level has drastically simplified the process of adding lists to multiple campaigns, as most of our campaigns have hundreds of ad groups. This allowed us to apply our bid adjustments in bulk, which has resulted in smarter spending and increased ROAS from our search campaigns.” – Nathan Eagan, PPC Specialist at Webstaurant
With campaign-level search audiences, you now have more flexibility than ever in how to engage with your customers. Learn more about using campaign-level audiences in the Help Center, and read our best practices guide to learn how you can reach the right audience with a message that resonates.
Posted by Bhanu Narasimhan, Director of Product Management, AdWords
As another Black Friday weekend wraps, we saw supershoppers continue to turn to their devices for ideas and information as well as use them as a “door-to-the-store.” In fact, Black Friday had the highest mobile shopping searches of any day during Thanksgiving week this year. Thanksgiving Day was a close second, with searches peaking at 8:00 p.m.1
Further, shoppers across the U.S. turned to mobile to not only find the best deals online but also to discover the best deals in-store: Rhode Island and Delaware had the most local shopping searches -- searches that contained “near me,” hours and stores -- of any states in the nation.2
This strong link between the online and physical world lives beyond the holidays too, and store visits reporting in AdWords is helping advertisers understand it year round. In fact, in just under two years, advertisers globally have measured over 3 billion store visits.
What else did we see in stores over the holiday weekend? Store foot traffic jumped 65% on Black Friday, compared to an average weekend day in November, showing that consumers still care about going into stores for holiday shopping. Clothing, toy, and electronic stores were all popular destinations. Clothing stores and toy stores saw more than double the foot traffic on Black Friday compared to an average weekend day in November.3
Electronics stores were particularly popular, with more than double the foot traffic on Thanksgiving Day and more than triple the foot traffic on Black Friday, compared to an average weekend day in November.4 That makes sense given electronics, including the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sony PS4 Pro, are topping shoppers’ gift lists this year.5
Shoppers also spent more time in stores. For example, in electronics stores, they typically spent between 35 minutes and 1.5 hours on Black Friday compared to 25 minutes on an average day in November. Shopping malls showed a similar increase in visit duration compared to the average day in November.6
Natalie Zmuda, Managing Editor, Think with Google Elizabeth Fabiani, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping
1. Google Search Data, U.S., apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computers & electronics, gifts, toys & games, photo & video; mobile only, Nov 2016 2. Google Search Data, U.S., apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computers & electronics, gifts, toys & games, photo & video, Search interest in "near me", "hours", "stores"; mobile only, Nov 2016. 3. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Department, Clothing, Electronics and Toy stores, and Shopping Centers from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, November 4. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Electronics stores from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, November 2016. 5. Google Shopping Insights, U.S., all devices, Nov. 1 – Nov. 13, 2016. 6. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Electronics stores from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, November 2016.
Retailers have long been using Merchant Center to connect their product data to Google -- letting millions of shoppers find their products on Google.com, YouTube, and partner websites. Today, we’re excited to introduce an updated version of Merchant Center, which offers the same functionality you’re used to, with more streamlined navigation and easier access to additional Shopping programs.
Navigate the new Merchant Center
With updates to Merchant Center, you’ll see a fast, responsive new interface, aligned with the modern look and feel of the rest of Google’s products. We’ve changed Merchant Center navigation by bundling common tasks and actions. For example, you can use the new Home page to view recent announcements and dashboard data for your account, and you can find consolidated product feed and product data quality information under the Products page. For more information on navigating the new UI, visit the Help Center.
Explore and enable Shopping programs in Merchant Center
Merchant Center now lets you discover new ways to apply your data to promote and sell your products. Use Merchant Center to explore additional Google programs for your products, including Local Inventory Ads, Merchant Promotions, Product Ratings and more, while continuing to manage and configure your product data for Shopping ads.
You can access the Merchant Center Programs page under the 3-dot icon. Continue exploring the various programs by selecting the Learn More option in each card, and express your interest in participating in a program by selecting Get Started.
Updates to existing features: Feed Rules, Diagnostics, and Currency Conversions
In addition to the user interface changes, we’ve updated some of our most-used Merchant Center features to improve speed and functionality, helping you get your products online more quickly:
Feed Rules. In response to feedback we’ve heard from you, we’re updating Feed Rules to more closely align with how we see retailers commonly using the tool today.
Change or update specific values. For example, you can update specific values of the color attribute while keeping other existing color values intact.
Create new values by combining static values and/or values from different attributes in your feed. For example, you can add size type values to your product title values.
Extract values from other attribute values. For example, you can populate a color value by searching in the description attribute for pre-selected values (blue, green, red, yellow) that will be suitable for the color attribute.
Diagnostics page. We’ve increased the freshness of data in the diagnostics page. Now, the latest results from your feed uploads and product updates will be displayed in near-real time instead of twice a day -- meaning that you’ll have fresher data to update and optimize your product feeds.
Currency Conversions. Last month, we announced that we were testing currency conversions, which allows you to convert the currency in your product data locally. With the launch of the new Merchant Center, we’re expanding this feature more broadly to let you easily advertise to users in other countries, while allowing you to continue using your existing website and landing pages without change. Learn how Berlin-based myToys is already using currency conversions to increase their sales abroad.
Check out the new Merchant Center and feature updates by logging into your account at merchants.google.com.
Posted by Sven Herschel, Product Manager for Google Shopping
The AdWords Community exists to help advertisers like you improve performance and share best practices. If you haven’t visited the AdWords Community in a while, you might be surprised by what you find. Over the last six months, we’ve made a number of exciting changes. From a new design to expanded content areas, the Google Advertiser Community continues to evolve and help you connect with our experts and improve your performance.
Ask an Expert
One of the most valuable resources you’ll find on the Community is the experts who frequent the forum on a daily (or even hourly) basis. These experts, part of Google’s Top Contributor program, have years of professional experience with AdWords and a passion for helping fellow Community members succeed.
Most of our Top Contributors have an area of expertise. If you ask a question on the AdWords Community about account automation, you will probably meet Jon Gritton. Jon hails from the UK and runs his own AdWords agency. He is also one of our most tenured AdWords Top Contributors (he’s been answering questions on the forum since 2006!) and our resident AdWords Scripts expert. He has solved well over 800 questions in his time on the AdWords Community.
An Improved Look and Feel
We also wanted to improve the look and feel of the Community.
Using Material Design, the Community now offers the same modern and intuitive experience that’s at the core of our favorite Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail.
Consider this: 6 in 10 internet users in the US start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one.1 To help advertisers measure these customer paths that start on one device but convert on another, we rolled out cross-device conversions over three years ago. Using that same technology, we’re introducing three new reports in the Attribution section of AdWords to provide deeper insight into device usage along the full search conversion path.
Devices -- see how much cross-device activity is happening in your AdWords account
Assisting Devices -- inform your device bid adjustments by learning how often different devices assisted conversions on other devices
Device Paths -- examine the top conversion paths for your customers using two or more devices
Advertisers in many industries around the world have already seen the impact of cross-device activity on last-click conversions. Today, we’re excited to share new search benchmarks that show the influence of cross-device activity across the full search conversion path.
Source: Google AdWords Internal Data 2016
There are two main ways to take action on these new cross-device insights:
Select a different attribution model beyond last click. You can select one of six different attribution models for each of your conversion types: last click, first click, linear, time decay, position-based, or data-driven. These attribution models apply to your search ads and take cross-device behavior into account. When you pick a new model, credit will be reassigned across the conversion path and your conversion stats will change moving forward. Check out our recent best practices guide for additional information.
Update your device bid adjustments. The new Assisting Devices report can tell you how many conversions were assisted by clicks or impressions from different devices. The Mobile Assist Ratio shows how many conversions were assisted by mobile devices compared to the number of final conversions on mobile devices. For example, if your Mobile Assist Ratio for a campaign is 3.72, that means that for every conversion on a mobile device, 3.72 conversions on other devices were assisted by mobile devices. With this information, you can update your mobile bid adjustments.
In the coming weeks, you'll find the new reports in Attribution under the Tools tab. We hope these new reports and benchmarks will help you measure the moments that matter on any device.
Posted by: Joan Arensman, Product Manager
1. Google / Ipsos Connect, March 2016, GPS Omnibus, n=2,013 US online respondents 18+
We’re introducing several updates to AdWords Editor, available today to all advertisers globally. This version includes support for expanded text ads and mobile app engagement ads, import/export and simultaneous posting for multiple accounts, and much more.
Expanded text ads
AdWords Editor 11.5 provides full support for expanded text ads. Expanded text ads offer nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services before people even click into your ad. It’s important to take advantage of expanded text ads as soon as possible because after October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. AdWords Editor lets you create and edit expanded text ads at scale so you can easily migrate all of your standard text ads before this date. To help you get started, check out our best practices guide.
Mobile app engagement ads
Mobile app engagement ads are a great choice if you want to help existing app users take action in your app. You can now create and edit mobile app engagement ads in AdWords Editor, making it easier to reach more of the right app users with the right message.
Import, export, and posting for multiple accounts
We’re always looking for new ways to make managing accounts easier and more efficient. With this latest version of AdWords Editor, you can post changes to multiple accounts at the same time, import a CSV file into multiple accounts, and export more than one account into a single CSV file.
Structured snippet extensions
Structured snippets let you highlight features of a specific product or describe the range of products or services your business offers. AdWords Editor now allows you to create and edit structured snippets at scale.
The shift to mobile is no longer happening, or will happen — the shift to mobile has happened. At the Google Performance Summit in May, we announced a completely new ad platform built from the ground up to help consumers and marketers succeed in this mobile-first world: expanded text ads and responsive ads bring to life the canvas you use to connect with consumers, while device bid adjustments provide more control and flexibility so you can optimize with greater precision.
Starting today, these innovations will begin rolling out in AdWords to all advertisers around the world.
Get started with expanded text ads Earlier this year, we removed right-hand side ads to improve the search experience and make it consistent across mobile, desktop, and tablet. This helped pave the way for the biggest update to our ad creative since we introduced AdWords more than 15 years ago.
Expanded text ads are optimized for the screen sizes of the most popular smartphones and feature two headlines, each with 30 characters, and one long 80-character description line. That’s nearly 50% more ad text for you to highlight your products and services.
Standard text ad
Expanded text ad
Our research shows longer ad headlines are more useful to mobile users because they provide additional information about your business before they click your ad. In fact, here are some early success stories from advertisers who have started using expanded text ads:
“Working closely with our agency Adlucent, Guitar Center was one of the first to adopt expanded text ads. With the additional ad space, we’re now able to highlight our promotions and sales while preserving our core brand message — like we did for the 4th of July. Our non-brand campaigns alone have seen more than a 2x increase in CTR.” — Robert Spears, Digital Marketing Director at Guitar Center
"Expanded text ads represent a tremendous opportunity for L'Oréal and our agency iCrossing. We’re now able to showcase the breadth and depth of our beauty products, and build brand love — all from a single ad creative. So far, expanded text ads have helped us deliver a 92% increase in click-through rate for one of our brands, compared to our old text ads.” — Kirsty Woolley, Multi Channel Acquisition Manager at L'Oréal Luxe
“In such a competitive industry like telecom, it was critical for EE and our agency MEC to implement expanded text ads as quickly as possible. From the start, we utilized the additional ad text to tell a better brand story and provide more information for consumers. By combining our ‘50% faster network’ value proposition with details around EE’s competitive pricing and packages, we’ve been able to increase clickthrough rates by up to 79%.” — Sam Richardson, Digital Media Executive, EE
“Kueski jumped at the opportunity to use expanded text ads and immediately implemented a strategy across our best performing campaigns. By highlighting the speed of our service, and safety and security of our platform, we were able to take advantage of the additional ad space and deliver amazing results, including an 18% increase in conversion rate for generic keyword campaigns.” — Rodolfo Orozco, User Acquisition Manager at Kueski
It’s important for advertisers to take advantage of expanded text ads as soon as possible, especially with back to school and the holiday season right around the corner. To help you get started, we’ve published a best practices guide that walks through tips and tricks for creating and optimizing expanded text ads. Specifically:
Create and test multiple expanded text ads for each ad group, and evaluate performance before pausing or deleting your standard text ads
Remember to include important information about your business and other tried-and-true components from your standard text ads, like price and keyword insertion
Focus on your headlines: they’re the most prominent part of your text ad
AdWords Editor and the AdWords API also support expanded text ads, which means you can create and edit your ads in bulk to help save time. If you use leading 3rd-party tools to manage your ads, DoubleClick Search, Kenshoo, and Marin Software all support expanded text ads as well.
Starting on October 26th, 2016, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads — meaning you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format after this date. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads.
Create responsive ads for display
In a mobile-first world, display ads need to fit seamlessly within the websites and apps people visit, while delivering a consistent experience across devices. We built responsive ads for display to help your ads adapt to the increasingly diverse mix of content types and screen sizes. Provide 25-character and 90-character headlines, a 90-character description, an image, and a URL, and Google designs ads that fit beautifully across more than two million apps and websites on the Google Display Network (GDN). Responsive ads also unlock new native inventory so you can engage consumers with ads that match the look and feel of the website or app they’re using.
JustFab.de, a fashion retailer, wanted to reach more shoppers as they browsed content online. JustFab provided headlines featuring its latest promotions, descriptions highlighting popular products like capri pants and strappy sandals, and images of its top selling items — and Google designed ads that fit anywhere on the GDN. As a result, JustFab drove a 56% higher conversion rate and a 55% decrease in CPA.
Set device bid adjustments
As we re-imagine how ads look in a mobile-first world, it’s also important to have more flexible tools that help you optimize device-level performance. New device bid adjustments allow you to maintain the efficiency of managing a consolidated campaign that reaches consumers across devices while giving you more control to set individual bid adjustments for each device type — mobile devices, computers, and tablets. Our updated best practices guide can help you evaluate your bidding strategy and set accurate performance targets that reflect the full value of mobile. You can also join us for a Hangout on Air at 9am PDT/12pm EDT on August 9th, 2016 for a live Q&A about device bid adjustments with Google product experts. Register here.
While device bid adjustments enable you to optimize with greater precision, you still need to factor in other signals which impact performance, like location, time of day, and audience. To optimize at scale across this wide range of contextual signals, you should take advantage of automated bidding. Smart Bidding utilizes the power of Google’s machine learning to set more informed bids and help you get the most out of your marketing budget. The latest Smart Bidding innovations are available in both AdWords and DoubleClick Search. In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to set device-specific CPA goals with Target CPA Smart Bidding in AdWords.
The way consumers use technology to connect with the world around them has changed. As a result, we’ve re-designed AdWords, from ad formats to bidding, to help you reach potential customers in more meaningful and relevant ways. We’re excited to undertake this journey with you and look forward to hearing your feedback.
Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce