Author Archives: Rob Newton

Available today: three ad innovations for a mobile-first world

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., 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.

Source: Inside AdWords

Get more powerful bid automation with new AdWords Smart Bidding

Efficient and effective bid management is a foundational component of any successful digital marketing program. Today, we’re excited to announce Smart Bidding, our new name for conversion-based automated bidding across AdWords and DoubleClick Search that reflects the powerful machine learning behind it.

Making bidding smarter for improved performance

Smart Bidding is built on Google’s deep experience using machine learning to power a wide range of products, including the Google assistant, automatic album creation in Google Photos, and AlphaGo, the first computer program to ever beat a professional player at the game of Go. Smart Bidding can factor in millions of signals to determine the optimal bid, and it continually refines models of your conversion performance at different bid levels to help you get more from your marketing budget.

Even when it encounters areas with lower conversion volume, Smart Bidding's learning capabilities quickly maximize the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail. It evaluates patterns in your campaign structure, landing pages, ad text, product information, keyword phrases and many more to identify more relevant similarities across bidding items to effectively borrow learnings between them.

On top of its machine learning capabilities, Smart Bidding is built on three pillars, inspired by feedback we’ve heard from you about what’s important in a bidding solution:
  • Precise bid optimization tailored to a user’s context 
  • Flexible performance controls that factor in your unique business goals 
  • Transparent reporting that provides clear insight into how your bids are performing 
 In AdWords, we have several innovations coming soon across these areas. Get a full overview of AdWords Smart Bidding here.

New bidding signals that give you a richer view of user context 

AdWords Smart Bidding tailors bids to each and every auction across Google properties - this is what we call “auction-time” bidding. It allows you to register the wide range of signals that make up a user’s context in a particular auction, and includes signals like device and location, which are available as manual bid adjustments, plus additional signals and signal combinations unique to AdWords such as browser and language. We’re continuously exploring new signals to add to our bidding models that are impactful predictors of performance. These include recent additions like location intent and similar product attributes, and others like seasonality and price competitiveness that are coming soon. Learn more.

Set device performance targets with Target CPA bidding 

Device is a major dimension in campaign optimization and new Target CPA with device performance targets allows you to set separate CPA goals by device. For example, if you’re a telecom advertiser who drives better lead quality from mobile due to higher conversion rates from calls and store visits, you can now set a higher mobile target CPA compared to other devices to account for this offline data. This will become available to all advertisers over the next few weeks across Search and Display campaigns.

Bidding statuses and alerts brought to the forefront 

Transparent reporting available with AdWords Smart Bidding shows you exactly how your bid strategies are performing and immediately flags issues that require your attention. This includes new bidding-specific alerts, which are available now, and rich performance reporting for campaign-level bid strategies that are currently rolling out. In the coming weeks, we are also integrating bidding statuses front and center into your primary campaign and ad group status columns. Learn more about these new reporting features.

Advertisers like AliExpress, SurveyMonkey and Capterra are already using AdWords Smart Bidding to drive better performance.

AliExpress logo
AliExpress is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group and a global e-commerce retailer. They’ve used campaigns drafts and experiments to test Target CPA head-to-head with their existing bidding solution. Says Jessy Sheng, Marketing Manager, “We wanted access to more diverse signals for our bidding to make it more dynamic and help raise online sales across multiple markets.” After only one month of testing Target CPA, they saw a 93% increase in conversions and 46% reduction in CPA. “With drafts and experiments, we can easily test new bid strategies quicker than ever before, which is important in our fast-paced business. Smart Bidding with Target CPA produced fantastic, actionable results and we’re excited to expand it to more campaigns.”

Survey Monkey logo
SurveyMonkey is an industry leader in web-based surveys. With strong competition on its keywords, leading-edge bid management is a priority for SurveyMonkey to maximize performance from their marketing budget. “We’re open to testing any feature that will get us more conversions and help us reach our CPA target,” says Brittany Bingham, Director of Online Marketing. “After only three weeks of testing AdWords Smart Bidding, we saw a 44% increase in conversions, which is incredible. We’re looking forward to scaling Smart Bidding with Target CPA across more campaigns.”

Capterra logo
Capterra offers a smart way to find the right business software by providing buyers with comprehensive user reviews, product ratings and detailed infographics. With a large, complex campaign structure that spans over 1 million keywords, 400 software categories, and targets more than 30 countries, its advertising team was looking to move away from manual bidding so they could focus their time on other growth opportunities. Zachary Rippstein, Director of Advertising at Capterra, says, “We’ve gained so much efficiency by using AdWords Smart Bidding. More importantly, though, we’ve seen great improvement in performance and profit dollar growth. By leveraging Target CPA, we were able to drive 121% higher profit during our test period compared to the control period.”

To learn more about AdWords Smart Bidding, visit the Help Center and check out our best practices to maximize your success with automated bidding. If you are a DoubleClick advertiser or looking for bid and campaign management across multiple search engines, learn about DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding.

Source: Inside AdWords

Simplifying conversion measurement: saying goodbye to "Converted clicks"

Conversion tracking was introduced to AdWords in 2001 to measure what happened after someone clicked on your ad. The ability to know whether or not people completed a desired action on your site meant that you could determine which keywords, ads and campaigns were the most effective. The original conversion measurement metric was very basic - simply reporting whether an ad click led to any type of action on your site. That outdated metric is called “Converted clicks” in AdWords today.

In the 15 years since the introduction of conversion tracking, multiple improvements have been made to measuring and attributing conversions. Notably, the “Conversions” column family now offers the full picture of how many conversions AdWords drives for your business. In order to simplify things, ”Converted clicks” will soon be retired, with “Conversions” becoming the default way to measure valuable actions for your business.

“Conversions” is the ideal way to measure these valuable actions, and most advertisers already use “Conversions” as their primary reporting and bidding metric.
“Conversions” are capable of measuring behavior that spans multiple conversion events or multiple clicks. For example, “Conversions” can take advantage of non-last-click attribution models and different counting options. Additionally, they can measure important, mobile-centric actions like cross-device conversions and store visits. “Converted clicks,” on the other hand, can do none of that. For those reasons and plenty more, “Converted clicks” will not be supported past September 2016.

If you’re already using “Conversions” for reporting and bidding, no action is required. However, if you use Target CPA or Enhanced CPC and your primary bid metric is set to “Converted clicks” at the present time, you should plan to update to “Conversions” by September 21st. We’ve put together a simple migration tool if you’re automating your bidding based on “Converted clicks” which we will be sending via email to affected accounts. Of course, you can always update your settings manually.
The Conversion bid metric setting in AdWords will be retired in September

If you rely on the “Converted clicks” reporting column to make bidding and budgeting decisions then you should also move to “Conversions.” This column can be configured to report similar numbers to your “Converted clicks” column, though you should review your setup to make sure you are counting the actions that matter most to your business. “Conversions” can give you everything “Converted clicks” does, along with much more.

If you’re in need of updating, there are a few considerations as you make the change:
  • Choose which conversion actions that you measure should be included in the “Conversions” column. Other actions can still be measured in “All conversions” 
  • Determine whether to count multiple instances of a conversion after a click or only one 
  • Customize your conversion windows and values (if necessary) 
  • Review your cross-device conversion numbers, which will be included in the “Conversions” column starting in September 
  • Download any historical “Converted clicks” reporting stats that you want to keep 
You can adjust settings for each of your conversion actions in AdWords

Proper conversion counting is important, and it’s something that’s imperative to get right as online behavior evolves. Please read our Help Center for further information about this upcoming change.

Source: Inside AdWords

Surface your videos when viewers are looking for what to watch with TrueView discovery ads

Think about the last YouTube video you watched. How did you find that video? Did a friend send it to you? Did you click a link from a blog or social media? Or did you do what millions of YouTube users do every day and head to YouTube to find something to watch?
To win over users who are choosing which video to watch, we built TrueView discovery ads (formerly known as TrueView in-display) – a format tailored specifically to helping users discover your brand content. And today we’re not just changing the name – we’re supercharging TrueView discovery ads with more relevant ads on search results pages and full inventory coverage across the YouTube app. This means that for the first time ever, TrueView discovery ads will appear on mobile search results. And thanks to our changes to search ad relevance, our experiments show an aggregate 11% increase in CTR.

TrueView discovery ads are such a powerful format because they deliver high engagement – when viewers click on your video, that’s a strong signal that they’re interested in your brand. It’s why on average, users view one additional video from your brand within 24 hours of watching your TrueView discovery ad.1 This format is built for winning over your audience, and guiding them to your content when they’re searching for something great to watch.
Since TrueView discovery ads capture your audience when they’re leaning forward, we see on average TrueView discovery ads drive over 5x more clicks on advertiser-provided calls to action than TrueView in-stream. They’re also great for promoting your longer form content.
Advertisers like Benefit Cosmetics are using TrueView discovery ads to amplify their branded content. In a recent campaign, they used the format to reach viewers as they searched and browsed the latest brow trends. “We wanted to insert ourselves in a way that felt natural and really drove our brand and DNA, but also be incredibly useful to the customer when they’re looking for us,” said Nicole Frusci, Benefit’s vice president of brand and digital marketing. By serving up relevant content on YouTube search results and on related video watch pages, Benefit was able to boost subscriptions to their channel by 20% and drive an additional 663,000 earned views on top of their 1.2M paid views.
But why read all about what makes TrueView discovery ads so great when you can watch a video instead? Take it away Josh:

These changes will roll out in the next few weeks – keep an eye out in Adwords or DoubleClick Bid Manager – so you can start engaging your most qualified audience at key moments of discovery across YouTube.

1. Google internal data, global, analysis based on channels with at least 10,000 organic and ad-driven views, Jan-Feb 2015.

Source: Inside AdWords

Measure the true value of calls with imported call conversions

Mobile click-to-call has made it easier than ever for consumers to connect with businesses over the phone. And growth in call volume shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, calls to U.S. businesses from smartphones are predicted to reach nearly 162 billion by 2019, a 73% increase from 2015.1

Even though calls are a major source of conversions for many businesses, it can be challenging to measure a consumer journey that starts online from a search ad and ends with an offline conversation. Today, we’re announcing imported call conversions to help advertisers attribute revenue from phone calls back to their AdWords campaigns more accurately. This will roll out to all advertisers over the next few weeks.

Know which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable calls 

Previously, advertisers have been able to measure call conversions using call length. For example, a travel advertiser may identify that calls resulting in new bookings typically last for at least one minute and set that as the minimum duration required to count a call as a conversion.

Imported call conversions now allows you to go a step beyond call length and measure the true conversion value of paid calls from mobile click-to-call ads or your website. You can also distinguish between various types of customer actions that you may value differently. For example, the travel advertiser might assign revenue amounts to different call types like new bookings, rate requests, service calls, and customer upsells to a larger trip package. With insights gathered from imported call conversions, they can then automatically optimize keyword bids to drive more valuable calls using Target ROAS automated bidding.

Companies like Nationwide and are already using imported call conversions to better measure and optimize for valuable calls:

“As Nationwide’s agency partners, driving qualified insurance prospects to its call center is a priority to effectively convert new customers. Until now, we haven't been able to maximize Nationwide’s presence in search because we couldn’t tie call revenue back to individual clicks. Imported call conversions takes AdWords measurement to the next level and we can now import actual policy sales driven by calls directly into AdWords. With this data, we can make better decisions about where to spend marketing budget, keyword bids & positioning, and campaign optimization. Even though it's still early, since including imported call conversions into campaign optimization, we’ve been able to increase spend on top-performing, call-driving terms by nearly 3x. This has even helped us identify new keyword expansion opportunities from search queries we wouldn’t have otherwise found without increasing our investment backed by imported calls data.” -- Jordan Jones, Associate Director of Performance Digital, UM

"Many customers have questions about our product selection or want to place an order directly with a sales rep, so we make it easy for them to call us from our ads and website. Imported call conversions brings our AdWords calls measurement a big step closer to fully closing the loop between our offline call center data and our online metrics. We have a better understanding of how calls from AdWords ads are driving revenue, and will be able to use these insights to make more informed decisions when it comes to budget allocation and campaign optimization." -- Jeff Loquist, Search Marketing Manager at

What you need to successfully import call conversions 

You only need to collect three pieces of information to import call conversion data into AdWords:
  1. Caller phone number (Caller ID) 
  2. Call start time 
  3. Call length 
This data will remain secure and privacy-safe for your customers, and serve as the key to match conversions back to the AdWords calls that drove them. Conversions will be attributed down to the keyword-level to help you determine which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable call conversions and where you should be investing your ad spend.

To learn more about imported call conversions, visit the Help Center and read our best practices for driving phone calls to your business and optimizing the caller experience.

1. BIA/Kelsey, 2015

Source: Inside AdWords

Automatically counting cross-device conversions for a more accurate and complete view of performance

While consumers are living mobile-first, they’re also moving seamlessly between multiple devices to find what they need in I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I want-to-buy moments throughout the day. In fact, 61% of internet users and over 80% of online millennials start shopping on one device but continue or finish on a different one.1 We introduced cross-device conversions three years ago to help marketers fully measure multi-device consumer journeys that start with an ad click on one device or browser and end with a conversion on another. Last year, we also made cross-device conversions more actionable by allowing them to be included in the Conversions column and integrated into your automated bidding and attribution models.

Your cross-device conversions will soon be included in the Conversions column automatically to give you the most complete view of performance possible and help you measure the full value of mobile. This will begin rolling out to advertisers starting September 6, 2016. The setting to manually include cross-device conversions in the Conversions column will no longer be available. After August 16, 2016, new AdWords accounts will include cross-device conversions in the Conversions column as the default.

Advertisers across the world and in different industries have measured up to 16% more conversions on average by using cross-device insights to get a more accurate and comprehensive view of performance. Here are stories from advertisers who have improved performance by accounting for cross-device conversions:

Lighting New York, a residential and commercial lighting retailer, has included cross-device conversions as a critical metric for their campaigns and automated bidding. Says Aaron Covaleski, Director of Search Marketing, “Cross-device conversions allows us to fully value mobile traffic and deliver a more aggressive marketing strategy. Armed with this data, we drove 50% year over year growth during our busiest Black Friday and Cyber Monday periods last year. We also strengthened awareness for our brand, and this was reflected in branded searches doubling across mobile and desktop.”

HomeClick, an online retailer of home improvement products, has measured 7% incremental conversions when including cross-device data. As a result, they’ve increased their mobile presence and included mobile clicks in attribution modeling to optimize against a more holistic view of the consumer journey. They’ve also integrated cross-device conversions into their automated bidding. Together, these changes have helped generate 60-70% growth in revenue. According to Matthew Hardgrove, Director of Marketing, "Cross-device conversions helps us understand the greater impact of mobile on our website performance. It provides us with information that has allowed us to open up new opportunities and gain market share from our competitors on a segment of traffic we previously undervalued."

For Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, its target audience typically converts on desktop, but they also see multiple touch points before then with billboards, radio, TV and most importantly, mobile. “Without cross-device measurement, it’s hard for us to really understand the full customer journey,” says Sam Gomez, VP of digital marketing at Feld Entertainment, Ringling Bros.’ parent company. It used cross-device tracking in AdWords to prove that mobile is a major contributor to driving conversions, and justify doubling down on their mobile strategy. This increased investment has resulted in a 262% uplift in cross-device conversions, 30% rise in ticket sales and a return-on-ad-spend of 1,132%.

U.S. Polo Assn., a clothing and accessories retailer, uses cross-device measurement to help capture the full value of mobile. Working with their agency partners at Elite SEM, it has seen mobile conversions increase over 2x year-over-year alongside a 128% increase in mobile traffic. Says Matt Debnar, VP Ecommerce at U.S. Polo Assn., “Analyzing cross-device conversions produced a major mobile aha-moment. We discovered that mobile was driving 9% more conversions than we initially thought, and improving ROAS by 12%.” U.S. Polo Assn. is now updating their overall marketing strategy to allocate additional budget to mobile. “We know our customers are getting more comfortable shopping on mobile, so these numbers will only continue to rise. Cross-device conversions gives us a more complete picture of search performance and helps us prove the value of our mobile investment.”

Visit the Help Center and read Best Practices to learn more about optimizing for cross-device conversions.

1. Google / Ipsos Connect, March 2016, GPS Omnibus, n=2,013 US online respondents 18+

Source: Inside AdWords

Showcase your services and range of products with price extensions

Whether it’s weekend baseball tickets or temporary storage space, people want to know what their options are and how much they cost before deciding what to buy. That’s why we’re introducing price extensions: additional information that can show with your mobile text ads, showcasing your services and range of products, and how much they cost.
AdWords Price Extensions

Drive qualified clicks 

Price extensions show as multiple rows, providing valuable information to your prospective customers before they click on your ad. Each row features a type of product or service, its description and price, and a link to a relevant landing page. This structured way of highlighting information makes it easier for people to compare their options and decide if they’re interested in your products or services — right from the mobile search results page.
ExtraSpace Storage Logo “Our mission is to help consumers find the right unit for their self-storage needs, so we were incredibly excited to see the success of price extensions in our campaigns. By including the unit sizes and prices customers can expect before visiting our website, we've seen an 18% lift in CTR when price extensions show with our ads.” — Mike Smith, Sr. Marketing Manager at Extra Space Storage

Price extensions can also co-trigger and be used effectively in combination with other ad formats, except sitelinks. For example, if you’re already using call extensions to help drive customers to your hair salon, you might create a price extension for your most popular services, like “Women's haircut,” “Men’s haircut,” and “Kid’s haircut.” Highlighting the price of each service might convince people to call and make an appointment, without needing to visit your website.

Getting started 

You can manage, schedule, and report on price extensions from the Ad extensions tab. Since price extensions can be added at the account, campaign, or ad group level, you can provide more general information about your products and services at the account or campaign level, and more detailed information at the ad group level.

In this salon example, you could add price extensions for “Haircut,” “Hair Coloring,” and “Treatment” to campaigns containing more general keywords like hair salon or hair stylist. Or add price extensions for specific services at the ad group level to support more specific keywords like men’s haircuts or balayage salon.

For time-sensitive offers like promotions and sporting events, you can create multiple price extensions with corresponding start and end dates to ensure your prices remain accurate. However you plan to use price extensions, make sure the information is relevant to your keywords and consistent with the types of products or services you’re advertising. Keep in mind you must include a minimum of three entries for each extension, up to a maximum of eight. We recommend adding as many as are relevant to your business.

Learn more 

Price extensions will be rolling out to all AdWords accounts over the coming days. Please note this extension can only be created in English and will only show with mobile text ads in position 1 at this time. You can learn more about price extensions in the AdWords Help Center.

Source: Inside AdWords

More prominent reporting helps you monitor the health of your automated bidding

Automated bidding in AdWords is an invaluable tool that helps marketers save time and improve performance. Powered by Google’s machine learning, it optimizes bids at scale for each and every auction and factors in a wide range of signals to help you tailor bids to a user’s unique context. In 2015, we announced a series of new reporting features in the Shared Library to provide greater transparency into automated bidding performance. We’re now bringing bidding insights front and center to the places you spend the most time in AdWords with three new features:
  • New alerts that immediately flag bidding issues 
  • Bid strategy statuses that appear directly in your campaign and ad group status columns 
  • Rich performance reporting for standard bid strategies set at the campaign-level

New bidding alerts help you troubleshoot issues 

New alerts are now available specific to automated bidding to help you identify and resolve issues as quickly as possible. We’ve started with alerts that flag when your conversion tracking settings are “misconfigured” and will roll out additional alert types in the future. For example, you may see the “Misconfigured” alert if you use a bid strategy like Target CPA that optimizes for conversions, but have your conversion tracking turned off or haven’t added a conversion action to your primary Conversions column.

Bidding statuses get integrated with campaign and ad group statuses 

In the coming weeks, we’re also introducing bid strategy statuses to the main campaign and ad group status columns to increase their visibility in your day-to-day workflows. For example, if you have bid limits that are preventing your bids from being fully optimized, you’ll see the “Eligible (Limited)” status right in your main status columns.

These will be the updated status types that can be applied to your automated rules and saved filters and reports:
What’s changing
No change
Eligible (Budget limited)
Renaming the current “Limited by budget” status to be more consistent with other status types
Eligible (Learning)
New status type for automated bidding
Eligible (Limited)
New status type for automated bidding
Eligible (Misconfigured)
New status type for automated bidding


Rich performance reporting arrives for standard bid strategies 

We’re also expanding reporting capabilities available for portfolio bid strategies to standard bid strategies set at the campaign-level. These reports are rolling out over the next few weeks, and you can access them from the “Bid strategy” dropdown menu in the Campaigns tab to track how changes in your bidding status and targets impact performance over time.

Visit the Help Center and check out our best practices to learn more about automated bidding. For more details on how auction-time bidding technology works in conversion-based bid strategies, read this full guide.

Source: Inside AdWords

Making Travel and Shopping Easier for the Seasons Ahead

While most of us are busy making the most of the summer sunshine, marketers are already beginning to think about the coldest (and busiest) months of the year--the holidays. October through December are traditionally the biggest months for both travel and shopping, and this year we expect mobile to play its biggest role ever. In fact, mobile travel and shopping searches are already up nearly 30% year-over-year.

To help marketers and on-the-go shoppers alike, we’re introducing a number of new features to make travel planning and mobile shopping easier ahead of the upcoming holiday season.

Finding the Perfect Hotel and Flight for Your Trip 

Mobile is a big part of how people plan travel. Visits to mobile travel sites made up 40% of total travel web traffic in the first quarter of this year.1 At the same time, individual travel web sessions are becoming shorter and travel mobile conversion rates have grown 10% as users are increasingly ready to book on mobile.2

To help with planning and booking travel ahead of the busy holiday season, we're making it easier for people to find the right flight or the right hotel, in their price range, and in turn, help connect our partners with potential customers.
  • Hotel Smart Filters: We’ll now give people the option to filter Hotel search results based on specific needs. For example, travelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their phones. We’ll make it easy to search for exactly what people want, like “Pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200” to find the perfect hotel for them. This feature is available in the US and will roll out globally later this year. 
When it comes to booking their trip, 69% of leisure travelers worry that they're not finding the best price or making the best decision. To help users feel more confident about making a booking, we're working on making it easier for people to filter to find the right flight or the right hotel -- at the right price -- using our technology and real-time analysis:
  • Hotel Deals: Everyone loves a good deal. When searching for a hotel, you may now see a "Deal" label calling out when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing or when there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. These deals are automatically identified by our algorithms when we see a significant reduction in price. In our early tests, we've seen that hotels marked as deals receive about twice as many bookings as other hotels. 
  • Hotel Tips: Tips are another way we're using real-time analysis to help users find the best hotels for their needs. Tips provide just the right information at the right moments when users are searching for hotels. We may show Tips to people when they could save money or find better availability by moving their dates slightly. For example, you may see a Tip like, “Save $105 if you stay Wed, Jul 13 - Fri, Jul 15”. We’ll be rolling Hotel Deals and Tips out globally beginning now and over the coming months. 
  • Flights price tracking: To help price-conscious travelers stay on top of changing flight fares, we’re making it easier to track flight prices in Google Flights. Instead of having to continually check prices, people can now opt in to track fare changes for a date and route combination or track specific flights being considered. When prices either increase or decrease significantly, people will be notified by email and Google Now cards. This is rolling out over the course of the next few weeks in all 26 countries where Google Flights is available. 
Google Flights: tracked flights on mobile and email notification of price change

 Helping Shoppers Discover and Explore 

We've always been focused on helping people find the exact product they're searching for when they have a good sense of what they want. But over 40% of shopping related searches on Google are for broad terms like "women's athletic clothing" or "living room furniture." For these less defined searches, what we've often shown are specific product ads -- say, a teal sofa -- and that may not be the most useful experience for the person who isn't sure what they want to buy.

Showcase Shopping ads help people further explore and discover what they want to buy and where they want to buy it. For example, if a shopper searches ‘summer dresses,’ ASOS, a global apparel retailer, can now showcase its collection of dresses in a visually rich experience.
Showcase Shopping ads - premium beta
To start, all merchants running Shopping Campaigns in the US, UK, and Australia will be eligible to have their products automatically appear in Showcase ads in the coming weeks. And for merchants who would like to customize how their brand and products appear, we're experimenting with a premium version that allows merchants to curate the experience.

Making it Easier to Shop on YouTube 

People often turn to YouTube to help them research purchases. In fact, almost half of the U.S. population, 47%, says that YouTube helps them when making a decision about something to buy at least once a month.3

Last Spring, we introduced TrueView for shopping to make it easy for viewers to get more information about your products and click to buy while watching video ads. We've seen great results so far. The number of advertisers using the product is up 50% since January and in recent weeks, about 1/3 of them are using it every week.

To help give retailers even more control over branding, we're introducing two new features:
  • Companion banner: We’re adding a new interactive banner appearing next to the video that lets viewers scroll through products while the video is playing next to it. The banner also shows viewers the most up-to-date product information. 
  • Product picker: Our new feature lets advertisers easily choose and prioritize which of their products are featured as cards in a TrueView for shopping campaign. This optional feature lets advertisers show specific products for specific campaigns, or they can still let the format dynamically feature products from their Merchant Center.
Trueview for shopping - companion banner
We’ll roll out these updates globally beginning now where TrueView for shopping is available. For additional resources on TrueView ads visit our best practices page.

    Enabling Shopping Across Borders 

    These days, shopping is truly global. To make shopping more efficient for shoppers and merchants alike, we’re currently testing a tool to perform currency conversions in Australia, Switzerland, Canada, and the UK. This feature allows you to convert the currency in your product data locally. This conversion makes your ads more understandable to users in other countries, while allowing you to continue using your existing website and landing pages without change. For example, a person shopping in the UK can see products sold by a US retailer, listed in British pounds. We’ll be rolling out currency conversions more broadly over the coming weeks.
    Currency conversions

    And to get the latest consumer trends, research and advertiser strategies -- from brands like Best Buy, William's Sonoma, Swarovski, La Quinta and -- to help you with your year end campaigns, we’re releasing a new Retail Micro-Moments Guide and Travel Micro-Moments Guide.

    We wish everyone a summer full of great memories, and we wish marketers success in their planning for the seasons ahead!

    1. Google Analytics aggregated data, April 2016, Travel vertical, mobile devices include smartphones and tablets. US
    2. Google Analytics aggregated data, Q1 2016 quarter-on-quarter, Travel vertical, US 
    3. Google / Ipsos Connect, YouTube Sports Viewers Study, March 2016 (18-54 year olds onliners n=1,500)

    Source: Inside AdWords

    Tailor your ads with dynamic remarketing – Google Best Practices

    If you think people make purchase decisions quickly, think again. Today’s consumers visit websites at least 6 times, on average, in the purchase process.1 And for those who abandon a shopping cart, 75% say they intend on returning to a company’s website to make a purchase.2

    We’ve created a new best practices guide, Tailor Your Ads with Dynamic Remarketing, to help advertisers win those crucial “ready-to-buy” moments with dynamic remarketing and relevant ads. As business data feeds are crucial to dynamic remarketing campaigns, this guide focuses on how to create and optimize your feeds. It covers topics such as:
    • Setting up high-quality business data feeds 
    • Providing complete product data 
    • Keeping your business data feed fresh 
    • Activating dynamic remarketing ads 
    Check out these dynamic remarketing best practices to drive more relevant ads and improved performance.

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    1. Source: Google/Nielsen Study: Mobile Path to Purchase: Five Key Findings, November 2013 
    2. Source: BI Intelligence Study: Shopping Cart Abandonment Report, March 2015.

    Source: Inside AdWords