Today's consumer has much higher expectations for the platforms they engage with online. They expect content that's rich, visual, and allows for quick access to what they're looking for – and that applies to the ads they see, too. Ad extensions such as sitelinks and image extensions have been key to meeting this expectation quickly and at scale. Powered by Google’s machine learning, they make it easier for you to automatically give consumers more relevant and engaging ways to interact with your business.
We’ve seen that this works: on average, advertisers see a 20% increase in clickthrough rate when 4 sitelinks show with their Search ads,
Our goal is to make it easy for you to deliver more engaging ads and provide you with helpful, actionable information about their performance. That’s why we’re rolling out new workflows and reports that bring ad extensions and assets together. As a result of this change, ad extensions will now be called assets to better align with this evolved identity.
Streamline how you manage ads
Previously, managing ads and assets like sitelinks were done in separate steps of the campaign creation process. Now, you’ll find them in the same step when you create a Search or Performance Max campaign – making it easy to set your ads up for success from the start.
Apply assets like sitelinks as you create a responsive search ad
As you create assets and apply them to your campaign, the preview tool will automatically update so you can see them in the context of your ad. In addition, Google Ads will now recommend assets based on your chosen campaign goal. For example, if you’ve selected “Leads” as your campaign objective, we’ll automatically recommend that you add a lead form asset. Any assets you create as part of this new workflow will also be available when you work on other campaigns and ad groups. This update will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
The new assets workflow makes it easier for us to create and manage sitelinks and other assets in our Performance Max campaigns. In addition, we can now view and customize the holistic messaging of our ad.
Get helpful, actionable information about your creative
In the new "Ads & assets" menu, the “Assets” page will provide reporting for all of the assets across your account. You’ll see headlines and descriptions in the “Asset” table view, while the “Association” table view will show assets like images and prices. As you review associations, you’ll be able to see how your creative assets perform at the account, campaign and ad group levels. To make it easier to understand performance, you can quickly filter reports by clicking an asset type at the top of the page.
Unified performance reporting for assets
When you review the combinations report, you’ll be able to see assets like sitelinks, callouts, and images alongside your headlines and descriptions. With this view, it will be easier to review and make informed decisions about your creative as a whole.
Combinations report showing assets
Unified reporting in the "Assets" page will roll out over the coming weeks for all campaign types that previously supported ad extensions and the updated combinations report will roll out in the next few months. Any existing ad extensions will automatically transition to assets while maintaining their associations at the account, campaign and ad group levels. Learn more about this update in the Google Ads Help Center and check out our best practices guide for more ways to create effective assets.
The holiday season is the most beautiful time of the year and, for retailers, it’s also the busiest. This year has been particularly challenging for retailers and shoppers, alike, with the presence of global uncertainties like supply chain disruptions. Still, holiday shopping is poised to surge and retailers can turn to Google to drive sales.
This past holiday season, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, like video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.
Show up to the party early
The countdown is officially on as holiday shopping kicks off earlier in the year. In May, we found that, on average, 17% of consumers in surveyed markets have started their holiday shopping and more than a third (36%) say they already have ideas for gifts they are going to buy.
Make your grand entrance with demand forecasts on the Insights page. This predicts upcoming trends relevant to your business so you can adjust your budget and bidding strategy to capture growing demand. Additionally, use Performance Planner to understand how these changes to your advertising spend will impact your predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values.
Beyond optimizing your campaign settings, you’ll also need to get your product feed in shape. Product-specific insights are now at your disposal at the account level in the Google Ads products tab. These insights let you spot underperforming offers, identify products with missing feed attributes and compare your bidding strategy with your top competitors’.
Review product-specific insights on the products tab in Google Ads
Make the rounds
With more ways to shop than ever, it can be difficult to keep up with complex purchasing journeys. Last holiday, we saw that shoppers who used at least five channels to inform their decisions and complete their holiday shopping reported making two times more purchases and spending twice as much, on average, compared to those who just used one or two channels.
It starts with Search where people conduct billions of searches every day.
But Search is just one part of the equation. Complement keyword-based Search campaigns with Performance Max, which finds even more converting customers across channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail and Maps.
Round off your advertising strategy by inspiring shoppers when they least expect it. For example, 60 percent of people say they often or sometimes get prompted to buy something even when they weren’t actively shopping.
Finally, don’t forget about your mobile-first shoppers. In the next 2-3 years, 68% of retail marketers anticipate increasing apps use as a primary means of increasing customer loyalty.
Give shoppers a reason to turn from browsers to buyers wherever they may be. More than half a million online businesses use Google Merchant Center to show their products for free across Google websites and apps.
More than half (55%) of holiday shoppers across surveyed countries are planning to hold off on buying gift items until they are on sale.
Like last year, shoppers are still anxious about getting what they need in time where 3 in 10 consumers are shopping for things they don’t need until later because of stock concerns.
View sales price annotations and shipping and return options (US example)
Take it offline
Your audience won’t just be shopping online. In-store shopping has made a big comeback this year, as searches for "store open" have grown globally by over 400% YoY.
Make it easy for shoppers to find you by updating your Business Profile with store hours, location and images. Then grow in-store foot traffic and sales by promoting your location to online shoppers in the area with Performance Max campaigns for store goals, such as in-store promotions or seasonal specials. You now have more control over your Smart Bidding to meet your store visits or store sales goals this holiday season.
And for last-minute shoppers or shoppers who prefer to browse in-person, you can use local inventory ads to promote your in-store inventory online and convenient curbside or in-store pickup options.
Join the conversation at Think Retail on Air
We’re here for you this season to help you hit your holiday milestones, so make Think Retail on Air your next stop to get more insights. We will be going live today at 10 a.m. PDT. For more recommendations, visit the Holiday Best Practices guide.
Today’s consumers are always-on, where curiosity and inspiration can strike them anytime and anywhere. They’re also kicking off their holiday buying earlier than in previous years to find the best deals and avoid supply chain issues. As of June, 26% of shoppers in the US reported already having started their 2022 holiday shopping.
To win customers throughout the extended season, look no further than Performance Max campaigns. They find the right mix of inventory and formats across all of Google’s advertising channels to help you drive more sales both online and in-store.
Earlier this year, we shared the timeline and process for upgrading your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max using the “one-click” upgrade tool in Google Ads. The tool started rolling out in April for Smart Shopping campaigns and is available now for most advertisers. We strongly recommend using the tool to upgrade your campaigns as soon as you can to get a head start on the holiday season. The self-upgrade tool for Local campaigns will be available soon. More information is coming in the next few weeks, stay tuned for updates published to the Help Center.
Starting automatic upgrades for Smart Shopping campaigns
If you use Smart Shopping campaigns you’ll have advance access to the self-upgrade tool for two months on average to give you time to upgrade yourself before automatic upgrades begin. Automatic upgrades are happening on a rolling basis for Smart Shopping campaigns that have not already been self-upgraded using the tool. Keep these details in mind as automatic upgrades begin:
- Automatic upgrades will gradually progress and finish in September for most advertisers. You’ll receive a notification in Google Ads two to three weeks before your campaigns are automatically upgraded. The notification will provide a specific date when your campaigns will start automatic upgrades.
- Some Smart Shopping campaigns using features like vehicle ads that are not yet available in Performance Max will complete automatic upgrades in early 2023. For campaigns not yet eligible for upgrades, advertisers will receive more specific information later this year about their automatic upgrades coming in early 2023.
- When your campaigns are self-upgraded using the tool or automatically upgraded, learnings from your previous Smart Shopping campaigns carry over to your new Performance Max campaigns to maintain consistent performance. Your campaign settings will also automatically transfer to Performance Max. Find more details in our Help Center.
Engage shoppers with new video formats on YouTube
YouTube has over 2 billion monthly logged-in users and attracts a generation that has grown up watching what they want, when they want, on any screen.
Once you’ve upgraded to Performance Max, upload your own video assets to drive better results on YouTube. It’s never been easier to create video ads! With video ad creation now available in Google Ads, you can build a high-quality video ad in a matter of minutes and then add it to your campaigns including Performance Max.
See how retailers are succeeding with Performance Max
At first we were hesitant to use automation to make such important decisions. But the results spoke for themselves. Automation stays on top of customer trends and behavior faster than we can.
Performance Max outperformed our existing Smart Shopping campaigns. We’ve increased our quality traffic and our overall efficiency.
Upgrade to Performance Max as soon as you can to make sure you’re well positioned for the holiday season. Visit the Help Center for best practices and mark your calendars for Think Retail on August 30. Join us at this virtual event to hear Google product leaders and industry experts share the latest holiday trends and ways you can get your business ready.
As people move quickly between channels and devices, today’s consumer journey is always-on and rarely straightforward. Automation is helping businesses meet their customers at the right moment along this complex journey. Whether you’re looking to stay ahead of shifting consumer behavior or unlock incremental conversions from new places, Performance Max finds the optimal mix of Google Ads inventory and formats to help you drive better results.
In the coming weeks, we’re introducing new features to help you acquire new customers, better understand performance and start upgrading your Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max in just one click.
Focus on new customers
Performance Max optimizes results based on your conversion goals and looks for the highest-ROI conversion opportunities — regardless of channel. The new customer acquisition goal in Performance Max is rolling out over the next few weeks for all advertisers looking to generate leads or increase online sales. This was previously available for retailers using Smart Shopping campaigns and is now expanding to more advertiser goals in Performance Max.
This goal will allow you to either bid more for new customers compared to existing customers, or focus your optimizations on new customers only while maintaining your cost efficiency. You’ll also have more flexible ways to identify new customers, like providing your own first-party data through Customer Match lists, setting up conversion tags and using Google’s autodetection method.
Guide your campaigns with helpful insights
The Insights page helps you understand decisions guided by automation and find levers to improve results in your campaigns. In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out consumer interest insights to all advertisers to help you uncover search themes that are delivering conversions. Two new types of insights are also arriving for Performance Max.
With asset audience insights, you’ll be able to better understand how your text, image and video assets resonate with specific customer segments. For instance, if you’re an outdoor retailer running a campaign for bikes, you may find that exercise enthusiasts engage more with images of people mountain biking rather than product images of the bike itself. Using these insights, you can tailor your creative and influence your broader marketing strategy.
After you create your Performance Max campaigns, diagnostic insights will provide a snapshot of outstanding setup issues preventing your ads from showing. Each issue will include suggestions to resolve them, so you can easily and quickly get your campaign up and running. For example, if your creative assets are disapproved, you’ll be prompted to fix them so you can start serving your ads and avoid missing out on conversion opportunities.
Start upgrading your Smart Shopping campaigns
In January, we shared a preview of how to upgrade your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max to access additional inventory and formats across YouTube, Search text ads and Discover.
When you upgrade your Smart Shopping or Local campaign, it will become a new, separate Performance Max campaign that keeps the learnings from your previous campaign to maintain consistent performance. The campaign budget and settings from your previous campaign will also be carried over. Visit our Help Center for more details on the upgrade experience.
Retailers across the globe are seeing continued success with Performance Max. In fact, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better ROAS.
Upgrading your existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns helps ensure you can take advantage of expanded inventory and get your campaigns ready for the holiday season. You’ll be able to choose when to upgrade your campaigns until the automatic upgrade process begins. Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically upgraded from July through September, and Local campaigns will be automatically upgraded from August through September. You’ll also be able to create new Performance Max campaigns through Google Ads, the Google Ads API, or starting in early summer, through e-commerce partners like WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
Check out our upgrade video tutorial and best practices to set up your Performance Max campaigns, and follow @AdsLiasion to stay informed throughout the upgrade process. On May 24, join us at Google Marketing Live where we’ll share what’s ahead for Performance Max.
It’s almost time for Google Marketing Live, our annual event showcasing the latest product innovations to help your business thrive. This year’s virtual event will take place on Tuesday, May 24 — starting with a keynote from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. PT that will be livestreamed across the globe.
After the keynote, you’ll be able to join a variety of on-demand breakout sessions designed to help you meet your business goals. Here’s a sample of what’s in store:
- Supercharge your full funnel video strategy on YouTube
- Be ready for the future of commerce
- Achieve better business results today with measurement that prioritizes privacy
And here’s a sneak peek into our speaker lineup:
Register now to reserve your (virtual) front-row seat. And keep up with the conversation on social media at #GML2022. See you on May 24th!
Google Marketing Live is a highlight for me every year because it’s a time when we get to meet with businesses around the world to exchange ideas. Your perspectives have shaped our roadmap in so many ways. Products like Performance Planner, pickup today in local inventory ads and conversion goals were all developed directly from conversations with marketers who attended this event. Together, we are building products to shape the future of advertising.
Please join us on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. PT for the opening keynote of our annual Google Marketing Live event. The keynote will be livestreamed globally along with a whole suite of on-demand, virtual breakout sessions built to help you achieve your business goals. We hope to bring the industry back together with some in-person programming to complement our global livestream. We’ll confirm official plans closer to the event.
From more ways to keep up with changing consumer trends to better tools to measure marketing performance in a privacy-safe way, we can’t wait to share our newest innovations with you. Save the date and stay plugged in to the ongoing conversation at #GML2022.
Like many of you, I’ve spent the first month of 2022 ramping back up at work and making progress on plans for this year. And while there still isn’t a playbook for navigating a pandemic that’s upended daily life, my team is continuing to focus on ways Google can help you respond and deliver on your greatest business needs.
Buying behavior will continue to change, and people will use technology in new ways to discover products and brands. That’s why my team and I are more committed than ever to connecting consumers with the businesses around them, while continuing to power a free and open internet.
Buying behavior will continue to change, and people will use technology in new ways to discover products and brands.
This is an intentionally ambitious goal, and today, I want to share the three priorities that are guiding our product roadmap: unlocking new opportunities for business growth, preparing for the future of measurement and ensuring we exceed consumer expectations for privacy.
Unlocking new opportunities for growth with automation
Shifts in consumer behavior continue to present challenges and opportunities for businesses around the globe. And despite some parts of the world reopening, it appears many of these shifts will not only stay, but accelerate. Take food delivery, for example. Searches for “takeout restaurants” surged 400% last year compared to the start of the pandemic.
In meeting with many advertisers, I’ve heard how readiness, speed and agility have been critical for managing complexity and driving growth in these uncertain times. That’s why advertisers are turning to automation more than ever before. In fact, over 80% of Google advertisers are now using automated bidding to free up time and improve ad performance.
Over 80% of Google advertisers are now using automated bidding to free up time and improve ad performance.
It’s also important to build on innovations like Performance Max campaigns — and make them easy to use. This single campaign enables marketers to find incremental, high-value customers across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory. By simply providing conversion goals, audience signals and a number of creative assets, advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their accounts have seen an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.
Performance Max campaigns help you increase conversions across
Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.
Similarly, Discovery campaigns allow you to reach up to three billion users across Google feeds like YouTube and Discover — all from a single campaign. You can deliver highly visual, inspiring and personalized ad experiences to people who are ready to discover your brand.
Across all Google Ads campaigns — including Video action campaigns and Smart Display campaigns — our data shows that automation is unlocking growth for businesses around the world. This is especially true for Search campaigns. As we continue improving our Search products, we’re seeing the multiplicative effect of using automated targeting, creative and bidding together.
Automation is unlocking growth for businesses around the world.
One of my favorite examples comes from tails.com, which is based in the UK. The tailor-made dog food brand took a test, learn and scale approach as it expanded into new markets across Europe. Using the combination of broad match, Smart Bidding and responsive search ads, tails.com increased sign-ups in Germany from its generic Search campaigns by 182%.
Preparing for the future of measurement
Whether it’s Google Ads or Google Analytics, the products you use should help you solve the unique challenges facing your business. They also need to deliver meaningful results and performance, especially during times of change and uncertainty.
For example, we know that new approaches to measurement are critical as cookies and other identifiers are phased out. The future of measurement is combining consented first-party data with insights from new, privacy-safe technology, like browser APIs, and using modeling to close data gaps. Solutions like enhanced conversions, consent mode, conversion modeling and data-driven attribution allow you to respect your customers’ privacy preferences, while confidently measuring the impact of your ads.
The future of measurement is combining consented first-party data with insights from new, privacy-safe technology.
First-party data is not only critical for measuring your media, it’s also essential in understanding your customers. Our research shows that companies that link their first-party data sources can generate 1.5 times the incremental revenue from single ad placement, communication or outreach.
Exceeding consumers' expectations for digital privacy
There’s been a massive acceleration in the way people use technology to connect with businesses during the pandemic. Meanwhile, there are rising expectations for user privacy and control. You have to meet your customers where they are and build meaningful relationships in a privacy-safe way.
Empowering best-in-class marketing
Whether a global brand like PepsiCo or an online business like tails.com, your stories of resilience and ingenuity continue to inspire my team to build for the future.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a marketer, and we’re here to be your partner along the way. As you make progress on your plans for the year ahead, continue to share your stories and feedback within the product and at events like Think Retail and Google Marketing Live. We’ll continue listening, sharing insights and building products to help you come back stronger in 2022.