Tag Archives: Google Ads

Help local customers reconnect with your store

Since the start of the pandemic, people have built new habits and ways of managing their “new normal.” People and businesses have leaned in to the digital world; in the last six months, we’ve experienced 10 years worth of change. With these changes, we are more committed than ever to helping businesses reopen and recover.

As some communities begin to open up and businesses prepare for the holidays, it’s critical to help consumers know what to expect before they go in store—whether it’s offering opening hours, sharing what’s in stock, or noting if curbside pickup or takeout is available. Here are the new product innovations we unveiled today at DMEXCO that will help you connect with shoppers to grow your local sales.


Bring the best of your business online

People are researching their visits to local stores and restaurants online before they go. For example, searches for "curbside pick up" have grown globally by more than 3,000 percent year over year1 and searches for "takeout restaurants" have grown globally by over 5,000 percent over the same time.2 

Google My Business is a great way to keep customers up to date with the most accurate business information, especially since that information often varies by location. You can add service attributes about your business, like “In-store pickup” and “No-contact delivery”—which appear on Google and the Business Profile page—so customers know how you're operating when planning their visit. 

We’re making more of this type of information available for Local campaigns, to help you connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. You can now highlight dining service attributes like "Dine-in" and "Takeout.” Soon you’ll be able to feature retail service attributes, like "In-store shopping" and "Curbside pickup.” 

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Service attributes like “Dine In” and “Curbside pickup” now appear in Local campaign ad formats.

Pilot Flying J is the largest travel center operator in North America with more than 750 locations. They serve professional truck drivers and motorists, selling gas, diesel, convenience store goods and fast food. While stay at home orders decreased the number of motorists utilizing their locations, they remained open throughout the pandemic to provide services and food to essential workers, like professional truck drivers. Pilot Flying J, in partnership with their agency, Tombras, used Local campaigns to reach drivers across Google’s properties, including Maps and Search. Local campaign performance generated nearly a 300 percent increase in store visits to Pilot Flying J locations compared to the previous period. VP of Digital & Loyalty Tyler Tanaka said, “Local campaigns have helped us communicate with nearby drivers on the road and connect them to our travel centers. We can keep them updated in real time so they know we’re open and they can get fuel, food and other essential items at our locations along their route.”

Consumers are also looking for real-time information when it comes to the products they need. Searches containing “available near me” have grown by more than 2X across regions and categories.3 We recently rolled out “Curbside pickup” for local inventory ads to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need and promote safer fulfillment options. Today, we’re expanding this capability with the introduction of “Pickup later” for local inventory ads. This gives you the option to promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be available for pickup within a few days. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.

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Show products that can be picked up in store in a few days using new “Pickup later” in local inventory ads.

French DIY and home improvement retailer Castorama launched its curbside pickup service within 48 hours of France going into lockdown. To keep customers informed, the retailer updated its Google My Business profile and started using local inventory ads for the first time to highlight its new curbside pickup offering. Overall, Castorama saw online sales increase tenfold over a ten-week period.


Adjusting to shifting consumer behavior in real time

We know it's more critical than ever to make the most of your marketing investment. Your campaigns need to be able to react in real time to shifts in consumer behavior—whether your customers are purchasing online or at a physical location. Smart Bidding for store visits automatically accounts for fluctuations in online conversions and store visits, and adjusts your bids for each and every ad auction.

Retail and restaurant advertisers will soon be able to use Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize for in-store transactions, not just visits. For example, advertisers can upload their first-party, privacy-safe transaction data to inform ongoing optimization—all with the goal of driving additional sales at the store level. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.


Resources to help you grow your local sales

In addition to today’s announcements, we’re sharing a collection of local sales resources on the Advertising Solutions Center:

Whether you’re a multi-national brand or a smaller, family-owned business, we’re here to help you connect more people to your stores. While we still have much work ahead, we hope these updates will help you on your path to business recovery.


1. Google Data, Global English, Mar 18 - May 16, 2020 vs Mar 18 - May 16, 2019

2. Google Data, Global English, Jun 17, 2020 - Aug 15, 2020 vs Jun 17, 2019 - Aug 15, 2019

3. Google Data, Global English, Feb 26 - Apr 25, 2020 vs Feb 25 - Apr 25, 2019

Build your brand with YouTube: New ways to drive reach and engage your audience at scale

The digital video boom is here. As people spend more time at home and the need for relevant, fresh content is at an all time high, the shift from linear to digital video is accelerating.

On YouTube in particular, over 2 billion people globally are gravitating toward timely content, from live entertainment like Post Malone's livestreamed living room concerts to transformative current events like rallying cries for racial justice from creators. They are also favoring the TV screen—with watch time growing across regions. In the US for example, watch time on YouTube and YouTube TV on TV screens jumped 80 percent year over year

Leading brands are making the most of YouTube’s massive reach and deeply relevant content to build brand awareness, and ultimately, drive results at scale. Today, we're sharing new ways to help advertisers achieve these goals, including expanded reach planning solutions and advanced contextual targeting—a new and better way to show up in the right contexts for your customers.


Expanded tools to drive efficient reach and fuel your awareness strategy on YouTube

More viewership and the right mix of tools to reach a growing audience means that YouTube can offer incremental reach for the same budget. In the US, our relationship with Nielsen helps advertisers find the right mix. On average, advertisers saw that shifting just 20% of spend from TV to YouTube generated a 25% increase to the total campaign reach within their target audience, lowering the cost per reach point by almost 20%, across 21 Share Shift studies we've commissioned from Nielsen.1 To help global marketers, we are expanding our evaluation of Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings to the UK and Italy.

When marketers include YouTube to drive efficient reach, they are seeing it pay off in real business results. Katie Haniffy, Head of Media, PepsiCo Beverages, turned to YouTube to drive scale and extend reach of Pepsi’s “Gift it Forward” Holiday campaign. The creative, starring Cardi B, celebrated the gifting mindset during the holiday season.  "We knew YouTube had to play a critical role in ‘Gift it Forward’ as it continues to deliver strong performance across the beverage portfolio. The ‘Gift it Forward’ campaign did not disappoint—YouTube drove new brand buyers during the holiday season to the unique audience we wanted to reach.”

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To help you easily plan campaign strategies that take advantage of this incremental reach beyond TV, soon we are also expanding TV data in Reach Planner to more countries, including France, Spain and Vietnam.

Additionally, if you’re looking to plan YouTube with other online video partners, we’re enabling reach planning capabilities across your entire campaign in Display & Video 360 including YouTube, auction and programmatic deals. 

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Use Video reach campaigns for a simpler way to buy efficient reach across ad formats. 

Since launch, we’ve seen when advertisers combine skippable in-stream ads and bumpers into one campaign optimized for unique reach, they see higher lifts in Brand Awareness than advertisers who bought either format on its own.4  Marion Carpentier, Omni Business Leader at French men’s wear brand, Jules, says “By combining multiple formats into one campaign on YouTube, we were not only able to reach incremental audiences at a more optimal frequency compared to other video partners, but were able to drive a relative brand lift of 4.9 percent.” 


A new way to show up in the right contexts for your brand

YouTube’s ability to drive mass reach means we can also deliver scale in specific contexts that matter for consumers and your brand. To make it easier to discover the content that’s best for you, today we are announcing YouTube dynamic lineups—powered by advanced contextual targeting.

Advanced contextual targeting is the next generation of content targeting on YouTube. It uses Google's machine learning to better understand each channel on YouTube, including analysis of video imagery, sound, speech and text. 

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How advanced contextual targeting works

This allows us to create lineups5 that are scalable across content based on specific topics, cultural moments or popularity. For example, in addition to home or lifestyle lineups in most markets, you can find more nuanced choices like “home and garden” and “home improvement.” This means better access to customers with unique interests and needs—all with the brand suitability controls that are most important for your business.  

It also means you’re able to drive greater impact for your brand. A recent study conducted by Google and Ipsos in the US found that video advertising based on consumer interest and intent has significantly more impact than demo—with a 32 percent higher lift in ad recall and 100 percent higher lift in purchase intent. 

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Complement your audience strategy with dynamic lineups to maximize reach.

Early adopters like OMD are seeing strong results using YouTube dynamic lineups to complement their existing audience strategies. Chrissie Hanson, Global Chief Strategy Officer at OMD says, “Using lineups powered by advanced contextual targeting delivers a more relevant and empathetic understanding of audiences. This in turn serves to drive more relevant reach and efficiencies for our customers, as part of a broader program that leverages audiences and other tactics across YouTube." 

YouTube dynamic lineups are launching on a rolling basis starting today and will be fully available by the end of September in ten markets. They are available across both Google Ads and Display & Video 360, with more countries coming soon.


From sales to ROI—deliver the results that matter

Most importantly, efficient reach and relevant ad experiences must drive not only awareness, but also business results. Across global Marketing Mix Modeling studies we’ve commissioned from Nielsen, we’ve seen YouTube deliver the bottom line results you care about.

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Check out our new awareness collection—from success stories to trends

We’re sharing a new collection of resources on our Advertising Solutions Center to help you build awareness for this new world. You’ll hear first-hand perspectives from companies like PepsiCo, Domino’s and Jules, delve into trends driving YouTube viewership and learn about our newest product innovations built to better meet your awareness objectives. We’ll continue to roll out more content on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.

We hope these latest updates will help you build your brand for today, and create resiliency for tomorrow.

Reach out to your Google sales rep to learn more about the solutions above, including best practices on campaign set-up, how to apply for the Video reach campaigns beta and how to access YouTube dynamic lineups in your market.


1. Nielsen Share Shift Meta Analysis commissioned by Google including 21 NMI Share Shift US studies inclusive of YouTube in-app traffic utilizing target audiences running 1/1/19-5/5/20 across desktop, mobile and TV; across 9 demos; average total TV+YouTube budget $17.3M.
2. Nielsen Total Ad Ratings, Pepsi Holiday campaign across TV and YouTube among P18-49, 11/11/19-12/29/19
3.  IRI Lift for YouTube, Pepsi TM Q4’19 Holiday Sales Impact Analysis, June 2020
4. Google Brand Lift, Global, Jan 2019 - May 2020
5.  Lineups are packages of channels based on a topic, cultural moment or popularity.
6. Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, 2016-2018. Base: a list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube Select, Other Digital, and TV results. This list includes 45 studies for US Brands across all CPG categories. ROI is “Retail ROI,” defined as total incremental sales divided by total media spend. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.
7. Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, 2016-2018. Base: a list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital, and TV results. This list includes 117 studies for German Brands across all CPG categories. ROI is “Retail ROI,” defined as total incremental sales divided by total media spend. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.
8. Commissioned Nielsen MMM meta-analysis, 2016-2018. YouTube effectiveness was 8.4 compared to TV effectiveness of 0.19. Base: A list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital and TV results. This list includes 96 studies for  Brazil Brands across all CPG categories.Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.  Effectiveness is defined as total incremental sales per 1,000 impressions. Studies were excluded if either channel had fewer than 500 impressions. The Effectiveness numbers in the claim are impression-weighted averages across all studies for each channel.
9. Commissioned Nielsen MMM meta-analysis, 2016-2018. YouTube effectiveness was $9.69 compared to TV effectiveness of $3.20. Base: A list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2017-2018 that contain YouTube, Other Digital and TV results. This list includes 37 studies for Japan Brands across all CPG categories.Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters. Effectiveness is defined as total incremental sales per 1,000 impressions (in USD). Studies were excluded if either channel had fewer than 500 impressions. The Effectiveness numbers in the claim are impression-weighted averages across all studies for each channel.

Better conversion measurement for video ads on YouTube and our network

From sparking an idea to helping people make that final decision, online video plays an important role in helping consumers make purchases. In fact, 70 percent of people say they bought a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. For advertisers, measuring video campaigns and conversions accurately has never been more important—or more complex—given all the different paths the consumer journey can take. 

That’s why we’ve been researching engaged-view conversions (EVC), a more robust non-click conversion metric. EVCs measure the conversions that take place after someone views 10 seconds or more of your skippable ad, but doesn’t click, and then converts within a set amount of days. EVCs are a more robust way to measure conversions than view-through conversions (VTCs), an industry standard that measures the conversions that take place after a person views an impression of your ad, but doesn’t click.

We’ve heard from advertisers that it can be challenging to assess the impact of video ad campaigns on conversions when you can’t compare across ad formats. That is why today we’re announcing that by the end of the year we will make engaged-view conversions a standard way of measuring conversions for TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local campaigns and App campaigns. Our vision for the coming year is to give you more transparent reporting across both click and engaged-view conversions, aggregated and anonymously, and new configurability options for conversion measurement to make data-driven media decisions for your business.  


Engaged-view conversions are informed by incrementality studies

Our teams have run large-scale incrementality studies over the years that confirmed the causal impact of video ad campaigns were undervalued when considering clicks alone. Based on these studies, we found that most incremental conversions come from engaged users who are given the option to skip, but choose to watch your ad. In fact, over 60 percent1 of all skips on YouTube direct response in-stream video ads happen before 10 seconds. Therefore, the decision to watch 10 seconds of a skippable ad is a user choice that signals an ‘engaged-view’. When these engaged-views result in conversions within a set amount of days, engaged-view conversions are included in the conversion report.

The incrementality studies we ran also determined the default attribution window for engaged-view conversions. The default attribution window is tailored based on consumer behavior for each campaign goal and is set to three days for TrueView for action, two days for App campaigns for Install and one day for App campaigns for engagement. But you know your business best, and will be able to set the right attribution window based on your customers’ behavior and campaign goals in the coming year.

We look forward to seeing how engaged-view conversions can help you understand the value of your ads and grow your business as user behavior evolves and new viewing habits, devices and experiences become available.

Some of the mentioned features are in beta, contact your Google representative for more details.


1. YouTube data, Global, Dec 2019

Measure conversions while respecting user consent choices

With so many people around the world turning to online shopping this year, advertisers need to measure how effective their digital campaigns are at driving online sales. What’s more, data-protection authorities in Europe may now require many businesses to obtain consent from users on their digital properties for activities related to advertising and/or analytics—impacting advertisers’ understanding of how users are converting on their sites.

Last month, we shared that we’ve integrated our ads systems with the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v2.0. For businesses that choose to use this method to gather user consent, Google’s ad systems will read and respect the Transparency and Consent String, so businesses can comply with applicable regulations.

For advertisers who choose not to use TCF v2.0, we’re introducing a new solution to offer more flexibility in how they use Google tags alongside their user consent tools. Consent Mode introduces two new tag settings that manage cookies for advertising and analytics purposes for advertisers using the global site tag or Google Tag Manager. These two settings can be used to customize how Google tags behave before and after users make their consent decisions – helping advertisers more effectively measure conversions, while respecting user consent choices for ads cookies and analytics cookies.

Using Consent Mode with Google’s ad platforms

Attributing conversions to the campaign that drove them is a key priority for advertisers. It helps them better optimize campaign bids and reallocate budget towards the best performers. With Consent Mode, advertisers can achieve greater insight into conversion data while also making sure that the Google tags helping them measure conversions are reflecting users' consent choices for ads cookies.

Once Consent Mode is implemented, advertisers will have access to a new tag setting, “ad_storage,” which controls cookie behavior for advertising purposes, including conversion measurement. If a user does not provide consent for ads cookies, Google tags will not use cookies for advertising purposes.

Let’s say someone visits your website and makes their consent selection for the use of ads cookies on your cookie consent banner. With Consent Mode, your Google tags will be able to determine whether or not permission has been given for your site to use cookies for advertising purposes for that user. If a user consents, conversion measurement reporting continues normally. If a user does not consent, the relevant Google tags will adjust accordingly and not use ads cookies, instead measuring conversions at a more aggregate level.

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With Consent Mode, you can update Google tag behavior based on the user consent selection.

With Consent Mode, campaigns running on Google Ads, Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360 will be able to continue reporting conversions – while respecting users’ consent choices for ads cookies. And because you’re able to retain conversion measurement in your campaign reporting, you’ll be able to continue attributing conversions to the right campaign and optimize your campaign bidding efficiently.

Using Consent Mode with Google Analytics

Consent Mode also works with Google Analytics. This means that Analytics will be able to understand and respect user consent for ads cookies. For example, when the “ad_storage” tag setting is disabled for unconsented users, Analytics will not read or write ads cookies, meaning that optional features that rely on Google signals, like remarketing, will be disabled.

In addition to the “ad_storage” tag setting, Consent Mode provides advertisers with a new tag setting, “analytics_storage,” which controls analytics cookie usage. Let’s say you would like to request consent for both analytics and ads cookies from users on your website. You can use Consent Mode to update Google tag behavior based on the user selection for each type of cookie. Analytics will adjust data collection based on user consent for each of the “ad_storage” and “analytics_storage” settings. For example, if a user does not provide consent for ads cookies (and therefore advertising purposes are disabled), but does provide consent for analytics cookies, advertisers will still be able to measure site behavior and conversions in Analytics as the “analytics_storage” setting will be enabled.

Getting started

Consent Mode is available in beta to a limited number of advertisers that operate in Europe and already use the global site tag or Tag Manager. To learn more about the feature, visit our Help Center here.

If you’re interested in getting started with Consent Mode, please reach out to your Google account team. Implementing Consent Mode requires adding a few lines of code above your global site tag or Tag Manager container. To help with this process, we have partnered closely with several Consent Management Platforms. A few are already integrated with Consent Mode and are ready to help.

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Consent Management Platforms that are already integrated with Consent Mode.

Changes designed to improve user privacy are continuing to impact the digital advertising ecosystem, and we’re committed to helping your business navigate this new environment. To learn more about steps you can take, download our privacy playbook. And stay tuned for more new capabilities to help you manage and respect user consent choices for ads and analytics cookies across platforms.

How retailers can get ready for the holidays and beyond

Consumer behaviors are changing as people adjust to new stay-at-home lifestyles and retailers are working as fast as they can to keep up. People are spending more time online than ever before and are turning to Google to explore, research and plan their purchases—both online and in the real world. 

As a result of COVID-19, we’re seeing distinct changes in consumer shopping behavior that will likely continue through the holidays. First, e-commerce has become the front door to the store as consumers more carefully plan their visits to physical stores. Second, consumers will shop what matters—deals and discounts—as well as value-driven and mission-driven brands. Retailers can help by meeting consumers where they feel most comfortable shopping.

Digital tools can help retailers connect with shoppers as they plan their next purchase. Here are some updates we've made to our products to make it even easier. 


Help shoppers plan their visits to your stores

In an effort to stay safe and shop comfortably, consumers want to verify hours, confirm inventory, and check for options like curbside pickup before making a visit. In a recent survey, 67 percent of holiday shoppers said they will confirm online that an item is in stock before going to the store to buy it.

In addition to Search, Google Maps has become a key tool to reach and engage with potential shoppers as they plan their visit. With Local campaigns, you can connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing for businesses like yours across Maps, Search, YouTube and Display. Businesses are using Local campaigns right now to share open status, provide health and safety updates, or highlight in-store options like curbside pickup and promotions on a store-by-store basis. Starting today, you can optimize Local campaigns for store visit indicators like clicks on “directions” or “calls.” This will make it possible for even more businesses to access Local campaigns.

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You can now run Local campaigns even if you don’t have store visits, by leveraging bidding for clicks on “calls” or “directions”

Location extensions can also help people find your stores by showing your ads with your address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business. Now it’s easier for major retailers and chains to set up location extensions by selecting their store locations from a curated list from Google. In just a few clicks, choose the chain you want to promote to quickly create a location extension. We’ll review to make sure the chain is a good match for your business using signals like its website domain and country. Later, you can use location groups to filter for specific locations within that chain. Google’s curated location lists allow you to use the same location information that powers Google Maps.

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Set up location extensions faster by selecting your locations from a curated list, right in your Google Ads account

Retail store owners have a lot to manage during these strange times, but don’t forget to keep your Google My Business profile updated if you change your store hours or your operating procedures. 


Highlight your promotions across Google

As worries about the economy continue, deal-seeking behaviors have intensified. Whether people ultimately purchase online or in-store, shoppers are expecting discounts and even 58 percent of holiday shoppers will hold off on buying gift items until they are on sale.1

This year, we’re doing more to help you get discovered by holiday deal-seekers. Shoppers in the U.S. searching for items on sale or Black Friday deals will see expanded sales filters on google.com/shopping. Promotions, which populate these sales filters—and on average increase conversion rates by 28 percent,2—will be easier and faster to use. You’ll be able to support flash sales and last minute discounts with near instant promotion approvals on eligible offers and easy editing of your live promotions (U.S. only).


Join us today for Think Retail on Air 

We're here to help you be ready for whatever comes next—including a holiday season unlike any other. For more details on how to prepare for the holidays and beyond, join us for Think Retail on Air which kicks off in just a few hours at 10:00 a.m. PDT / 1:00 p.m. EDT.
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Marie Gulin-Merle and Bill Ready help retailers prepare for what’s next at Think Retail on Air

Hear from brands like Walgreens, Petco and lululemon, along with Google’s President of Commerce Bill Ready and Retail Industry Director Sarah Travis, as they share consumer insights, trends and strategies to help you navigate this changing environment. Later this week, we'll follow up with sessions by Google experts on best practices to drive online sales, grow local sales and inspire new customers.

Consumer behaviors are changing fast, and it’s harder than ever to be a retailer. We’re here to help you connect people to your stores and what you sell—no matter where they want to buy it—this holiday season, and beyond.


1. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US n=745 18 +online consumers who plan to shop for the holidays. June 25-28

2. Google internal A/B testing data from Nov 2019 - Feb 2020, analyzing Shopping ads conversion rate with a promotion annotation versus Shopping ads without an annotation, including 9569 advertisers across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, India and Australia

Tap into intent to generate leads

Consumers are more engaged with businesses who can meet their needs from home right now–and they’re more willing to move on to those who can. In June, a Google/Ipsos survey showed that 32 percent of U.S. consumers shopped online with a brand they hadn't before COVID-19.1 This is an opportunity for businesses to connect with new customers, but it’s also a challenge—especially if you’re dealing with shifts in your day-to-day operations, or bandwidth limitations that may slow you down.

Our goal is to help you find and connect with your best leads, faster. Today, we’re sharing ways to help you do that on Search and beyond—with foundational tools that tap into the power of intent, ad formats that help you find qualified leads, and measurement solutions that optimize for lead value.


Focus on the fundamentals

It can be difficult to identify where consumer demand is shifting while making sure you have the right query coverage. In the past three months, we’ve seen Search interest surge for terms like “small business loans,” “video conference” and “online learning.” To help you respond to these changes in consumer behavior, start by refreshing the fundamentals:

  • Tap into intent: Pair broad match keywords with Smart Bidding. By evaluating billions of combinations of signals in real time, these tools help you make the most of changing trends while meeting your goals.

  • Inspire new audiences across Google: Reach up to 3 billion people with Discovery ads as they explore YouTube, Discover and Gmail. This reach, alongside Google's machine learning and unique understanding of intent, makes it easier to generate qualified leads at scale.

  • Follow Google’s creative best practices: Write ads that clearly articulate your value to people researching new brands. Start with messaging that includes your unique user benefit, a strong call to action, and a variety of ad extensions.

  • Uncover new opportunities: Use optimization score and Performance Planner. As the market evolves, you may find that your campaigns, bids and budgets aren’t set up to meet shifting demand.


Find qualified leads

Consumers now prefer to use more varied methods to communicate with a business. In fact, our research from March shows that one in three shoppers would rather buy from a company that provides a wide range of ways to reach them—like web forms and calls.2 To help people connect with your business in more ways, we’ve built lead-focused ad formats that span the Google ecosystem, including call ads and lead form extensions.

With new lead form extensions in Google Ads, you can now show a lead form directly in your ad, giving people an easy way to share information as they search, discover and watch relevant content. This seamless flow can help you find high-quality leads in a more efficient way. Right now, this works with ads on Search, YouTube and Discovery and is available globally. Later this year, we’ll begin rolling these out across Display campaigns.

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Using a lead form on YouTube during a video

Jeep used lead form extensions with their Korea branch and saw completed leads increase more than tenfold. According to Jeep, this extension also generated leads at the most efficient cost among all ad platforms.

Call ads are designed for any business that relies on phone calls to drive leads. These ads encourage people to call you for more information, and can appear on any device that makes phone calls. And by including the optional “Visit website” link with your ads, it’s easier for people to learn more about your business before calling you. This can help you get higher-quality calls and more qualified leads.

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Call ad featuring an optional “Visit website” link

Optimize for lead value

Ultimately, your goal isn’t just to drive leads—it’s to turn those leads into sales. To optimize for this goal in Google Ads, you need to connect your converted leads to your online campaigns. To help you do that, we’re making it easier to import offline conversions just by using the information people already give you in your lead form. As a result, it will take less time to integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Look for this feature to roll out later this year.

ZenBusiness, a startup that helps other businesses, imported offline conversions and used that data with Smart Bidding to acquire more high-intent customers. As a result, the brand saw a 400 percent increase in customer acquisition year-over-year. This also freed up time for the brand to focus on more strategic initiatives. As Zach Rippstein, VP of Marketing for ZenBusiness, said: “We're now able to devote our time to more impactful areas like ad copy testing, conversion optimization, and growing new channels.”

While lead data can help you optimize campaigns, it can also be used to nurture leads with Customer Match. Whether it’s creating an online connection with an offline customer, or enhancing existing relationships with a custom message, Customer Match makes it easy to continue the conversation with your best customers. Over the last few months, we’ve made Customer Match easier to use, and rolled out several other updates:

  • You can now create similar audiences based on Customer Match lists. This helps you find more potential customers.

  • Match rates have been improved and will now update in real time. This makes it easier for you to troubleshoot your list and connect with more of your customers.

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New “match rate” interface for Customer Match

We’re also collaborating with Zapier to develop a Google Ads integration that makes it easier to work with your data. This solution automatically imports and exports data between Google Ads and your CRM system. It currently supports lead form extensions, offline conversion imports and Customer Match. Learn about how Google handles data privacy on our Help Center.


Resources to help you generate quality leads

Businesses now have to be better at both generating and managing their leads. In addition to today’s announcements, we’re sharing a collection of lead generation resources on our Advertising Solutions Center. There, you’ll hear more about our latest updates and learn from other businesses who made the shift to digital. We’ll continue to roll out new videos about our products on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.


1. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US  n=1000 online consumers 18+ per market. June 18-21. 

2. Google/Ipsos, Shopping Tracker, Mar 2020, Online survey, Americans 18+ who conducted shopping activities in past two days: n=1000.

Tap into intent to generate leads

Consumers are more engaged with businesses who can meet their needs from home right now–and they’re more willing to move on to those who can. In June, a Google/Ipsos survey showed that 32 percent of U.S. consumers shopped online with a brand they hadn't before COVID-19.1 This is an opportunity for businesses to connect with new customers, but it’s also a challenge—especially if you’re dealing with shifts in your day-to-day operations, or bandwidth limitations that may slow you down.

Our goal is to help you find and connect with your best leads, faster. Today, we’re sharing ways to help you do that on Search and beyond—with foundational tools that tap into the power of intent, ad formats that help you find qualified leads, and measurement solutions that optimize for lead value.


Focus on the fundamentals

It can be difficult to identify where consumer demand is shifting while making sure you have the right query coverage. In the past three months, we’ve seen Search interest surge for terms like “small business loans,” “video conference” and “online learning.” To help you respond to these changes in consumer behavior, start by refreshing the fundamentals:

  • Tap into intent: Pair broad match keywords with Smart Bidding. By evaluating billions of combinations of signals in real time, these tools help you make the most of changing trends while meeting your goals.

  • Inspire new audiences across Google: Reach up to 3 billion people with Discovery ads as they explore YouTube, Discover and Gmail. This reach, alongside Google's machine learning and unique understanding of intent, makes it easier to generate qualified leads at scale.

  • Follow Google’s creative best practices: Write ads that clearly articulate your value to people researching new brands. Start with messaging that includes your unique user benefit, a strong call to action, and a variety of ad extensions.

  • Uncover new opportunities: Use optimization score and Performance Planner. As the market evolves, you may find that your campaigns, bids and budgets aren’t set up to meet shifting demand.


Find qualified leads

Consumers now prefer to use more varied methods to communicate with a business. In fact, our research from March shows that one in three shoppers would rather buy from a company that provides a wide range of ways to reach them—like web forms and calls.2 To help people connect with your business in more ways, we’ve built lead-focused ad formats that span the Google ecosystem, including call ads and lead form extensions.

With new lead form extensions in Google Ads, you can now show a lead form directly in your ad, giving people an easy way to share information as they search, discover and watch relevant content. This seamless flow can help you find high-quality leads in a more efficient way. Right now, this works with ads on Search, YouTube and Discovery and is available globally. Later this year, we’ll begin rolling these out across Display campaigns.

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Using a lead form on YouTube during a video

Jeep used lead form extensions with their Korea branch and saw completed leads increase more than tenfold. According to Jeep, this extension also generated leads at the most efficient cost among all ad platforms.

Call ads are designed for any business that relies on phone calls to drive leads. These ads encourage people to call you for more information, and can appear on any device that makes phone calls. And by including the optional “Visit website” link with your ads, it’s easier for people to learn more about your business before calling you. This can help you get higher-quality calls and more qualified leads.

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Call ad featuring an optional “Visit website” link

Optimize for lead value

Ultimately, your goal isn’t just to drive leads—it’s to turn those leads into sales. To optimize for this goal in Google Ads, you need to connect your converted leads to your online campaigns. To help you do that, we’re making it easier to import offline conversions just by using the information people already give you in your lead form. As a result, it will take less time to integrate with your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Look for this feature to roll out later this year.

ZenBusiness, a startup that helps other businesses, imported offline conversions and used that data with Smart Bidding to acquire more high-intent customers. As a result, the brand saw a 400 percent increase in customer acquisition year-over-year. This also freed up time for the brand to focus on more strategic initiatives. As Zach Rippstein, VP of Marketing for ZenBusiness, said: “We're now able to devote our time to more impactful areas like ad copy testing, conversion optimization, and growing new channels.”

While lead data can help you optimize campaigns, it can also be used to nurture leads with Customer Match. Whether it’s creating an online connection with an offline customer, or enhancing existing relationships with a custom message, Customer Match makes it easy to continue the conversation with your best customers. Over the last few months, we’ve made Customer Match easier to use, and rolled out several other updates:

  • You can now create similar audiences based on Customer Match lists. This helps you find more potential customers.

  • Match rates have been improved and will now update in real time. This makes it easier for you to troubleshoot your list and connect with more of your customers.

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New “match rate” interface for Customer Match

We’re also collaborating with Zapier to develop a Google Ads integration that makes it easier to work with your data. This solution automatically imports and exports data between Google Ads and your CRM system. It currently supports lead form extensions, offline conversion imports and Customer Match. Learn about how Google handles data privacy on our Help Center.


Resources to help you generate quality leads

Businesses now have to be better at both generating and managing their leads. In addition to today’s announcements, we’re sharing a collection of lead generation resources on our Advertising Solutions Center. There, you’ll hear more about our latest updates and learn from other businesses who made the shift to digital. We’ll continue to roll out new videos about our products on the Advertising Solutions Center in the coming weeks.


1. Google commissioned Ipsos COVID-19 tracker, US  n=1000 online consumers 18+ per market. June 18-21. 

2. Google/Ipsos, Shopping Tracker, Mar 2020, Online survey, Americans 18+ who conducted shopping activities in past two days: n=1000.

Grow your games business with new ads solutions

Whether it’s to join the latest multiplayer craze or dive back into an old favorite, user interest in gaming worldwide continues to rise as people spend more time at home. In fact, our data shows that global searches for “best online games” between February and April were up over 100 percent compared to the same time last year. 

Mobile game developers have a huge opportunity to connect with these eager players around the globe. This week at Think Games in China, we’re announcing new ways for developers to engage with the right players and maximize revenue so your team can spend more time creating awesome gaming experiences.  

Reach more of the right players for your game

In today’s crowded gaming landscape, it’s not easy to build a community and retain players over time. App campaigns for engagement were built to help you get players who’ve previously installed your game to return, with custom messages across Search, YouTube and over 1 million apps in our network. 

Available globally in September, App campaigns for engagement will soon also run in Google Play and support audiences from Google Analytics for Firebase. We’re also updating our audience management features to make it easier for you to connect with the right player segments. 

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App campaigns for engagement will soon be able to serve ads in the Play Store

FunPlus, the developers behind the mobile strategy game King of Avalon, wanted to find ways to also get current players to come back during a mega update event. It used App campaigns for engagement to create custom messages for previous player groups who had stopped playing. This resulted in 34 percent more high-value players returning to play, as compared to other strategies it used.

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To get started with App campaigns for engagement, make sure you set up deep linking and app conversion tracking, and use a supported measurement solution like Google Analytics for Firebase or one of our App Attribution Partners.  

Here are a few more features designed to help you reach players across the lifecycle of your game:  

  • App campaigns for pre-registration: Get a head start in building an excited community for your game before it launches. Learn more.
  • Maximize conversions bidding for App campaigns for installs: Drive as many installs as possible within a set budget to reach your campaign goals. Learn more.
  • Target Return on Ad Spend (tROAS) open beta for App campaigns for installs: Adjust your bids dynamically based on the value each user is likely to bring for your game. Available later this year to all advertisers bidding on Google Analytics for Firebase events. Learn more. 
  • Creative simplification: Simplify your creative development process by creating image ads only in 1.91:1, 1:1, and 4:5 aspect ratios. You can also crop existing image assets to these aspect ratios with our new cropping tool. Learn more.

Maximize your ad revenue

To help you get the most value from your ads, Open Bidding will be available as a beta to all AdMob developers this fall. Today, many developers rely solely on waterfall mediation, a tried-and-true way to monetize with multiple advertising sources that can be hard to set up and manage at scale. Waterfall mediation calls ad networks one at a time until one of them returns an ad. Though effective, you could be losing out on additional revenue since networks are prioritized based on historical CPMs, rather than real-time pricing.

As Google’s in-app bidding solution, Open Bidding puts participating networks in a fair real-time auction to compete for your impressions, so the winner is always the highest paying network. This means you’ll get the highest revenue available for every impression. With Open Bidding, you can find the most popular demand sources to compete for your impressions in real time. Open Bidding makes earning more even easier by eliminating the need to manually set CPMs and reducing the number of SDKs your teams need to integrate and manage. 

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CookApps used Open Bidding in order to grow revenue for its match-three puzzle game Candy Blast. By switching to Open Bidding, CookApps optimized revenue across ad networks and saw a 26 percent increase in both total ad revenue and CPMs, compared to their previous waterfall mediation setup. Open Bidding also enabled teams to save time from managing multiple networks, allowing it to focus on other priorities to expand its business. 

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Along with Open Bidding, we’re announcing several other solutions to simplify your setup so you can earn even more from your apps:

  • Impression-level LTV pingback: Get real-time estimates of impression values to help measure lifetime value of players across all revenue sources (iOS, Android, Unity).

  • Rewarded interstitials: Increase engagement with rewarded ads by proactively showing players in-game offers in exchange for watching a video during gameplay breaks.

  • App open beta: See up to twice as much user engagement with the improved user experience of app open ads, which now offer standardized publisher branding and simplified user tap targets.Learn more.

  • AdMob plug-in for Unity software: Create and edit ads easily in the Unity interface, letting you quickly implement ads into your Unity game with just a single line of code. 

To hear more about how these solutions can help you build your community and grow your business, watch the Ads Announcements session and tune in to the full Think Gameslive stream.  

Updates on our work to improve user privacy in digital advertising

Privacy is core to our work at Google, and to our vision for a thriving internet where people around the world can continue to access ad-supported content, while also feeling confident that their data is protected. But in order to get there, we must increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected—not worked around or ignored. 

Today we’re sharing updates on our work in these areas, including new tools that provide people more information about the ads they see. We’re also introducing new resources for marketers and publishers that offer guidance on how to navigate today’s privacy environment, along with real-world examples from brands and media companies who are delivering effective, privacy-forward ad experiences that use data responsibly.


Greater transparency, more control

For many years Google has offered a feature called Why this ad, where from an icon in a digital ad, users can get more information on some of the factors that were used to select the ad for them, or choose to stop seeing that ad. There are over 15 million user interactions per day with Why this ad as people seek to learn more about and control the ads they see, and we recently extended this feature to ads on connected TVs. 

Over the next few months, we’ll be making improvements to the experience with a new feature called About this ad, which will also show users the verified name of the advertiser behind each ad. About this ad will initially be available for display ads purchased through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and we’ll bring it to other ad surfaces throughout 2021.

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Our commitment to increase transparency and offer users more control goes beyond the ads Google shows. Due to the complexity of the digital ads ecosystem and the large number of entities involved, it’s typically not clear to users which companies are even involved in showing them an ad. To provide people with detailed information about all the ads they see on the web, we’re releasing a new tool called Ads Transparency Spotlight, now available to try out as an alpha extension from the Chrome Web Store. We’ll continue to improve this extension based on feedback from users, and over time we expect to offer additional disclosures about ads, as well as introduce controls. Our hope is that other technology providers will build similar transparency and control capabilities into the experiences they offer as well.


Evolving the ad-supported internet

Chrome continues to explore more privacy-forward ways for the web browser to support digital ads with the Privacy Sandbox open standards initiative. As part of the Privacy Sandbox, several proposals have been published for new APIs that would solve for use cases like ad selection, conversion measurement, and fraud protection in a way that doesn’t reveal identifying information about individual users. One of the proposed APIs, for trust tokens that could combat ad fraud by distinguishing between bots and real users, is now available for testing by developers, and more will move to live testing soon.

Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers and advertisers, Chrome plans to phase out support for third-party cookies. These proposals are being actively discussed in forums like the W3C. Our ads team is actively contributing to this dialog—as we encourage any interested party to do—and we expect to incorporate the new solutions into our products in the years ahead.

We’re also exploring a range of other approaches to improve user privacy while ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and advertisers can reach the right people for their products. For example, we support the use of advertiser and publisher first-party data (based on direct interactions with customers they have relationships with) to deliver more relevant and helpful experiences—as long as users have transparency and control over the use of that data. What is not acceptable is the use of opaque or hidden techniques that transfer data about individual users and allow them to be tracked in a covert manner, such as fingerprinting. We believe that any attempts to track people or obtain information that could identify them, without their knowledge and permission, should be blocked. We’ll continue to take a strong position against these practices.

Much of the recent conversation about improving the privacy of digital ads has been focused on the web, but there are a range of environments in which people engage with digital ads. Our technical approach and the implementation details may vary based on the unique characteristics of each, but our vision to uplevel user privacy while preserving access to free content is consistent across web, mobile app, connected TV, digital audio—and whatever the next area to emerge may be.


Guidance for advertisers and publishers

The future state of digital advertising promises new technologies, new standards, and better, more sustainable approaches, but it will take some time to get there. We recognize the unease that many in the industry feel during this period of transition. While there is certainly more change on the horizon, it’s critical that marketers and publishers do not wait to take action. 

To help you prepare, we’ve assembled a number of recommendations for marketers and publishers to consider today. From best practices for building direct relationships with your customers and managing data, to tips for evaluating your partner and vendor relationships, to actionable examples for using machine learning and the cloud, these playbooks offer practical guidance and numerous real-world examples of companies that are successfully navigating today’s changing privacy landscape. 

We’ll continue our work to move the digital ads industry towards a more privacy-forward future. In the meantime, make sure your organization is having an active discussion about privacy and that you are taking steps now to plan for what lies ahead.

Buy on Google is now open and commission-free

Over the past few months, we’ve made significant changes to help businesses reach more consumers and help people find the best products, prices and places to buy online. We made it free for retailers to list productson Google Shopping in the U.S., and we brought these free listings to Search as well. 


Today, we’re taking another important step to make it easier for retailers to sell on Google. Soon, sellers who participate in our Buy on Google checkout experience will no longer have to pay us a commission fee. And, we’re giving retailers more choice by opening our platform to third-party providers—starting with PayPal and Shopify.


These changes are about providing all businesses—from small stores to national chains and online marketplaces—the best place to connect with customers, regardless of where a purchase eventually occurs. With more products and stores available for discovery and the option to buy directly on Google or on a retailer’s site, shoppers will have more choice across the board.


Here’s more on what’s new for retailers:

Zero commission fees when customers buy your products on Google

While retailers have several options for driving traffic to their website with free listings or with Shopping ads, many also use Buy on Google to give shoppers a convenient way to purchase something right when they discover it. By removing our commission fees, we’re lowering the cost of doing business and making it even easier for retailers of all sizes to sell directly on Google, starting with a pilot that we’ll expand to all eligible sellers in the U.S. over the coming months. Learn more about the requirements for the pilot and sign up to join the waitlist. 

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Bring your own third-party providers, starting with PayPal and Shopify

We’ve heard from retailers that they want the ability to choose their preferred services for things like payment processing, inventory, and order management. That’s why we’re opening our platform to more digital commerce providers, beginning with Shopify for inventory and order management and PayPal and Shopify for payment processing. So, if a retailer wants to sell directly on Google, they can get started even faster and continue using the tools and services that already work for their business. Or, if they’re new to selling online, they’ll be able to choose from multiple options when they sign up in our Merchant Center.

Import your inventory with just a few clicks

To simplify our tools and make them more compatible with merchants’ existing processes, we’re enabling commonly-used product feed formats. This means retailers can connect their inventory to sell directly on Google without having to reformat their data. We’re also adding a new option to let retailers add product information (like images or technical specs) by pulling from our existing database rather than having to upload it themselves.

More products, more sellers, more choice

As we’ve made it easier for a broader set of retailers to sell on Google this year, we’re also seeing a significant increase in demand to buy from and support small businesses. To help people discover these smaller merchants, we also plan to add a new small business filter on the Google Shopping tab and will continue adding features to help small businesses participate in online commerce.


Everything we’re announcing today will roll out first in the U.S., and we’re looking toward international launches later this year and in 2021. While we still have much work ahead of us, our goal is to make digital commerce more accessible for retailers of all sizes all around the world, giving consumers more choice and more ways to find the best products, stores, and prices.