Tag Archives: Search Ads

Meet your marketing objectives with helpful tools and automation

Consumer behaviors, habits and schedules are shifting faster than ever. Google data shows that searches have surged in the past month for sprinkler controls in the United States, mechanical puzzles in Germany, and powered hand fans in Japan. Keeping pace with these trends can be difficult, especially if the pandemic has impacted your business. 

Marketers have more work to do than ever before, and less time to do it. That’s why we’re introducing improved tools and automated solutions to help you get things done, respond to changes, and grow your business.


Finding new opportunities in a dynamic market

It’s never easy to keep up with shifts in consumer demand, and it’s especially challenging in a dynamic market. The Recommendations page is your best source for real-time, personalized guidance to adjust to these changes. With optimization score, you can prioritize the recommendations that help you discover new opportunities for your campaigns.

For example, “Keywords & Targeting” recommendations make it easy for you to find new trends that are relevant to your business. More than 16 million keyword recommendations in Google Ads are based on market trends, with new recommendations added every day. In March, consumer goods company Artnaturals noticed that demand was increasing for organic hand sanitizer and soaps. Using keyword recommendations, they were able to quickly pivot their advertising to these new trends. As a result, the brand’s monthly site traffic increased by 700 percent.

Recommendation_Keyword_Still.png

You can currently find recommendations throughout your campaigns, on the Recommendations page, and in the Google Ads mobile app. Soon, you’ll be able to see them in Google Ads Editor as well. We’ve also added support for recommendations and campaign level optimization score to the Google Ads API, and account level optimization score will be coming soon. This will make it even easier for you to review, manage and act on your recommendations at scale.


Planning with confidence

There are many new growth opportunities emerging in search due to shifts in consumer behavior. Performance Planner removes the guesswork in this process by giving you a performance plan with predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values based on different spend levels and return-on-investment targets.   

In the meal delivery sector, Cook it used Performance Planner to optimize campaign budgets and make the most of rising search interest in meal kits in March. Paired with Smart Bidding, the brand saw a 200 percent increase in conversions in just two weeks.

perpl_chart (1).png

Starting today, you can now use Performance Planner to plan Search campaigns using shared budgets. Performance Planner is currently available for Search and Shopping campaigns, and will soon be available to Display and App campaigns.

Performance Planner is a great way to make sure your budgets are set at the right level to capture new growth opportunities on search.


Optimizing campaigns in real time

These days, marketers have to deliver on performance while dealing with limited time and resources. Smart Bidding is key to helping you balance these constraints; it can help you automatically drive more performance out of every dollar you spend while freeing up time. Over the last few months, we’ve built new Smart Bidding features based on your feedback.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to create, monitor and manage your portfolio bid strategies across accounts at the manager account level. By combining campaigns from different accounts into a single portfolio, it’ll be easier to drive more performance across those accounts. As part of this update to portfolio bidding, bid strategy reports will be available for your new cross-account bid strategies. These reports give you more visibility into how your bid strategy is working via status updates, advanced performance reports, and top signals.

It’s important to provide more transparency into your bids, especially right now—so in the coming months, we'll make explanations available for Smart Bidding campaigns. This will make it easier for you to understand what caused clicks, impressions, costs and conversions to change.

Over the rest of the year, we plan to roll out even more reporting updates to give you further insight into your automated bidding—such as limited inventory status for Maximize conversions and Target CPA, improved top signals, and conversion value estimates.


Monitoring performance to take action

In an ever-changing market, it’s important to check your performance on a regular basis. The Google Ads mobile app makes it easy for you to monitor campaigns in real time, helping you take quick action from wherever you are. We’ve been listening to your feedback and continue to invest in new features to make the app a helpful and personalized companion for your marketing efforts.

As part of that investment, we’ve launched manager accounts in the mobile app. This means you can view and manage all your Google Ads accounts in one place, on the go. With manager accounts in the app, you’re now able to:

  • Discover business-wide trends and performance insights for all your accounts on the Overview page.

  • Improve performance at scale with optimization score, and prioritize recommendations across all your accounts.

  • Manage campaigns and compare performance across your accounts.

  • Use push notifications to monitor all your accounts, wherever you are.

ChangingNavTabsCropped.gif

AGY47, an agency based in the UK, saved over two hours per week using the mobile app to check in on performance, make improvements, and keep their accounts organized on the go. As Sarah Williams, AGY47’s head of paid marketing, put it: “We never miss a beat with the Google Ads mobile app.”

Download the Google Ads mobile app now on Android or iOS.


Looking at the road ahead

Through the end of the year, we’ll continue to roll out improvements that help you adapt and drive performance in this dynamic environment. To stay up to date with new product deep dives and best practices, register for Ads on air. You can also stay tuned to The Update to learn about new insights and features that can help you meet your marketing objectives. Please continue to share your feedback as we partner together to navigate the road ahead. 

Helping businesses and nonprofits recover

In the last few months, COVID-19 has impacted businesses in profound ways. Throughout that time, I’ve heard from organizations, large and small, how they’re staying connected with customers through technology. This has always been core to my team’s purpose, but we can do more to help businesses and nonprofits through this crisis.

Today we’re announcing a $200 million increase to our annual Ad Grants commitment, to offer a total of $1 billion to better support nonprofits. This $1 billion helps nonprofits around the world that are tackling pressing issues like COVID-19 response and recovery, especially in developing economies. And we’re doing more.

Typically during this time of year, we gather at Google Marketing Live, our annual event to discuss new products and hear feedback from you. In lieu of our in-person event, throughout this summer we’ll host “virtual product roundtables” with our product managers, announce a number of new products, share new insights and kick off a new weekly video series, The Update on Think with Google, discussing industry trends and best practices. 

Helping businesses and organizations recover is the first topic we'll explore. Today we’re sharing updates for small businesses ahead of a Google-wide initiative, International Small Business Week, taking place June 22-27. This is a week dedicated to celebrating small businesses when we’ll share tips, trainings and products to help them get back on their feet. 


Helping consumers connect with businesses 

As people spend more time at home, we’ve seen searches for local services, like “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair” increase by 50 percent in recent months. We’re now making it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the U.S. Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy, local professionals backed by the Google Guarantee. Later this month, we’re also launching a new mobile site for the U.S. and Canada, to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster. 


GLS-Booking_Flow-2.gif

Book local service providers directly on Google Search

As people search for products they urgently need and limit their in-person store interactions, they’re looking for real-time updates on product availability at local stores. Searches for “curbside pickup” and “in stock” have surged by more than 70 percent in recent months. Our goal is to help people find and buy the things they need, quickly and easily. Starting today the Shopping tab will show helpful local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options like delivery and curbside pickup. This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.


LU_LIA_Mobile_framed.png

New to the Shopping tab: curbside pickup and more information for local stores

Helping businesses connect with customers

For many small businesses around the world, digital tools have become a lifeline this year. 1 in 3 small business owners say that without digital tools, they would have had to close all or part of their business. With businesses at various stages of digital transformation—some are online, some are halfway there and others have a long way to go—we’re committed  to helping businesses get online and grow with easy-to-use tools.

To help businesses quickly improve their online presence, today we’re introducing Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S. In Europe, Grow My Store has been an effective way for many small retailers to get quick tips on how to improve their online store and understand how they are doing compared to peers in the industry. Businesses just need to enter their website URL into the tool and within minutes they will get a custom report. 

To help make local businesses more discoverable, this week we’re introducing Local Opportunity Finder. Enter the name of your business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to your Business Profile on Google. For example, ensuring your opening hours are current, adding curbside pickup information, or uploading a photo that represents your business.

Finally, to help small business advertisers easily promote their businesses, we’ve expanded Smart campaigns to 150 countries and now we’re making it easier and faster to sign up using the Google Ads app. You can set up a Smart campaign and create your first ad in just 15 minutes while on the go. And starting today, you can use Smart campaigns to display a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin with your business category logo, highlighting specific services that you offer, like curbside pickup or delivery. We’re bringing Promoted pins to Smart campaigns advertisers for free through the end of September. 

SC-Squarepins-Flow3.gif

Promoted pins through Smart campaigns help businesses stand out on Google Maps

What’s Next

Upcoming episodes of The Update on Think with Google will provide exclusive access to industry leaders, like George Hanson, Chief Digital Officer at Panera Bread, and Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4As. In addition, my team of product leaders will use this series to share upcoming product innovations designed to make it easier to manage your marketing.

We look forward to connecting with you virtually through our virtual roundtables and The Update. Until then follow us on the Google Ads blog for the latest product announcements.

Helping businesses and nonprofits recover

In the last few months, COVID-19 has impacted businesses in profound ways. Throughout that time, I’ve heard from organizations, large and small, how they’re staying connected with customers through technology. This has always been core to my team’s purpose, but we can do more to help businesses and nonprofits through this crisis.

Today we’re announcing a $200 million increase to our annual Ad Grants commitment, to offer a total of $1 billion to better support nonprofits. This $1 billion helps nonprofits around the world that are tackling pressing issues like COVID-19 response and recovery, especially in developing economies. And we’re doing more.

Typically during this time of year, we gather at Google Marketing Live, our annual event to discuss new products and hear feedback from you. In lieu of our in-person event, throughout this summer we’ll host “virtual product roundtables” with our product managers, announce a number of new products, share new insights and kick off a new weekly video series, The Update on Think with Google, discussing industry trends and best practices. 

Helping businesses and organizations recover is the first topic we'll explore. Today we’re sharing updates for small businesses ahead of a Google-wide initiative, International Small Business Week, taking place June 22-27. This is a week dedicated to celebrating small businesses when we’ll share tips, trainings and products to help them get back on their feet. 


Helping consumers connect with businesses 

As people spend more time at home, we’ve seen searches for local services, like “carpet cleaning” or “air conditioning repair” increase by 50 percent in recent months. We’re now making it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the U.S. Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy, local professionals backed by the Google Guarantee. Later this month, we’re also launching a new mobile site for the U.S. and Canada, to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster. 


GLS-Booking_Flow-2.gif

Book local service providers directly on Google Search

As people search for products they urgently need and limit their in-person store interactions, they’re looking for real-time updates on product availability at local stores. Searches for “curbside pickup” and “in stock” have surged by more than 70 percent in recent months. Our goal is to help people find and buy the things they need, quickly and easily. Starting today the Shopping tab will show helpful local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfillment options like delivery and curbside pickup. This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.


LU_LIA_Mobile_framed.png

New to the Shopping tab: curbside pickup and more information for local stores

Helping businesses connect with customers

For many small businesses around the world, digital tools have become a lifeline this year. 1 in 3 small business owners say that without digital tools, they would have had to close all or part of their business. With businesses at various stages of digital transformation—some are online, some are halfway there and others have a long way to go—we’re committed  to helping businesses get online and grow with easy-to-use tools.

To help businesses quickly improve their online presence, today we’re introducing Grow My Store to retailers in the U.S. In Europe, Grow My Store has been an effective way for many small retailers to get quick tips on how to improve their online store and understand how they are doing compared to peers in the industry. Businesses just need to enter their website URL into the tool and within minutes they will get a custom report. 

To help make local businesses more discoverable, this week we’re introducing Local Opportunity Finder. Enter the name of your business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to your Business Profile on Google. For example, ensuring your opening hours are current, adding curbside pickup information, or uploading a photo that represents your business.

Finally, to help small business advertisers easily promote their businesses, we’ve expanded Smart campaigns to 150 countries and now we’re making it easier and faster to sign up using the Google Ads app. You can set up a Smart campaign and create your first ad in just 15 minutes while on the go. And starting today, you can use Smart campaigns to display a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin with your business category logo, highlighting specific services that you offer, like curbside pickup or delivery. We’re bringing Promoted pins to Smart campaigns advertisers for free through the end of September. 

SC-Squarepins-Flow3.gif

Promoted pins through Smart campaigns help businesses stand out on Google Maps

What’s Next

Upcoming episodes of The Update on Think with Google will provide exclusive access to industry leaders, like George Hanson, Chief Digital Officer at Panera Bread, and Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4As. In addition, my team of product leaders will use this series to share upcoming product innovations designed to make it easier to manage your marketing.

We look forward to connecting with you virtually through our virtual roundtables and The Update. Until then follow us on the Google Ads blog for the latest product announcements.

Source: Google Ads


Inspire new customers in their moments of discovery

Last year we introduced Discovery ads as a new way to help people discover and engage with your brand as they scroll through their favorite content. In April, we made Discovery ads generally available for all advertisers globally. For the first time, you can reach up to 2.9 billion people as they explore their interests and look for inspiration across multiple Google surfaces—all with a single, easy-to-use campaign.

Reach more people as they browse their favorite feeds

More consumers are now finding their next favorite brand or product through a growing variety of touchpoints—in fact, 86 percent of online consumers say they're on the lookout for shopping ideas as they watch videos or explore content across the web. With Discovery ads, you can rely on Google's understanding of consumers' intent across our properties to engage these audiences as they scroll through their favorite Google feeds—no search query needed:


  • YouTube: Showcase your products on the Home and Watch Next feeds in YouTube, where over 90 percent of users say they discover new brands or products.

  • Discover:Reach hundreds of millions of consumers in the feed on the Google Search app as they explore and stay up to date on their interests.

  • Gmail:Show timely offers to shoppers as they check their inbox for the latest products and deals on the Promotions and Social tabs.

Google Discovery - UGG GIF.gif

Example Discovery ads for lifestyle retailer UGG

Drive interest and action with new audiences

Early adopters like Deckers, iProspect and MandM Direct have seen great results driving customer action with Discovery ads alongside their existing media. 

For Deckers' collection of iconic lifestyle brands, inspiring consumers to action through richly visual product experiences is fundamental to its media planning. While Deckers has traditionally relied on social media and video to engage new customers, the company worked with digital agency Jellyfish to expand on its strategy for the UGG brand's 2019 holiday season.

UGG-LOGO_black (1).png

UGG used Discovery ads to promote its holiday gift guide, connecting with fashion-forward shoppers open to trying new products while scrolling through their favorite Google feeds. The global lifestyle brand repurposed high-quality images from social campaigns, featuring popular products like its Classic Short Boot and Men's Neumel Chukka. As a result, UGG saw a strong increase in the quality of its website traffic and a revenue return ten times its original ad spend. Deckers now plans to implement Discovery ads across the rest of its brand portfolio, including HOKA and Teva.

"We're very pleased with our performance on Discovery ads," says Richard Russell, VP Omnichannel Marketing at Deckers. "They've helped us build on our omnichannel strategy—we're driving action with our ideal customer across even more of their purchase journey."


FINAL Logo_Iprospect.png

Digital marketing agency iProspect has also seen Discovery ads deliver success for several large brands looking to connect with new customers, including global retailers. "Since we first began testing in early 2019, Discovery ads have driven results across a wide range of verticals, from retail to education," says Gareth Cleevely, VP Head of Paid Search at iProspect. "We've seen them deliver positive performance further down the funnel with up to 48 percent lower cost-per-action compared to social ads."

Google Discovery  - MandM Direct Quote.png

An example Discovery ad for UK clothing retailer MandM Direct


Get started with Discovery ads

If you're already running media campaigns for social or video, you can get started by bringing your richest creative assets and most engaging messages over to Discovery ads. For help creating your first campaigns, visit the Google Ads Help Center. And be sure to check out our best practices checklist and creative asset guide for more tips on driving better performance with visually inspiring ads.

Source: Google Ads


Inspire new customers in their moments of discovery

Last year we introduced Discovery ads as a new way to help people discover and engage with your brand as they scroll through their favorite content. In April, we made Discovery ads generally available for all advertisers globally. For the first time, you can reach up to 2.9 billion people as they explore their interests and look for inspiration across multiple Google surfaces—all with a single, easy-to-use campaign.

Reach more people as they browse their favorite feeds

More consumers are now finding their next favorite brand or product through a growing variety of touchpoints—in fact, 86 percent of online consumers say they're on the lookout for shopping ideas as they watch videos or explore content across the web. With Discovery ads, you can rely on Google's understanding of consumers' intent across our properties to engage these audiences as they scroll through their favorite Google feeds—no search query needed:


  • YouTube: Showcase your products on the Home and Watch Next feeds in YouTube, where over 90 percent of users say they discover new brands or products.

  • Discover:Reach hundreds of millions of consumers in the feed on the Google Search app as they explore and stay up to date on their interests.

  • Gmail:Show timely offers to shoppers as they check their inbox for the latest products and deals on the Promotions and Social tabs.

Google Discovery - UGG GIF.gif

Example Discovery ads for lifestyle retailer UGG

Drive interest and action with new audiences

Early adopters like Deckers, iProspect and MandM Direct have seen great results driving customer action with Discovery ads alongside their existing media. 

For Deckers' collection of iconic lifestyle brands, inspiring consumers to action through richly visual product experiences is fundamental to its media planning. While Deckers has traditionally relied on social media and video to engage new customers, the company worked with digital agency Jellyfish to expand on its strategy for the UGG brand's 2019 holiday season.

UGG-LOGO_black (1).png

UGG used Discovery ads to promote its holiday gift guide, connecting with fashion-forward shoppers open to trying new products while scrolling through their favorite Google feeds. The global lifestyle brand repurposed high-quality images from social campaigns, featuring popular products like its Classic Short Boot and Men's Neumel Chukka. As a result, UGG saw a strong increase in the quality of its website traffic and a revenue return ten times its original ad spend. Deckers now plans to implement Discovery ads across the rest of its brand portfolio, including HOKA and Teva.

"We're very pleased with our performance on Discovery ads," says Richard Russell, VP Omnichannel Marketing at Deckers. "They've helped us build on our omnichannel strategy—we're driving action with our ideal customer across even more of their purchase journey."


FINAL Logo_Iprospect.png

Digital marketing agency iProspect has also seen Discovery ads deliver success for several large brands looking to connect with new customers, including global retailers. "Since we first began testing in early 2019, Discovery ads have driven results across a wide range of verticals, from retail to education," says Gareth Cleevely, VP Head of Paid Search at iProspect. "We've seen them deliver positive performance further down the funnel with up to 48 percent lower cost-per-action compared to social ads."

Google Discovery  - MandM Direct Quote.png

An example Discovery ad for UK clothing retailer MandM Direct


Get started with Discovery ads

If you're already running media campaigns for social or video, you can get started by bringing your richest creative assets and most engaging messages over to Discovery ads. For help creating your first campaigns, visit the Google Ads Help Center. And be sure to check out our best practices checklist and creative asset guide for more tips on driving better performance with visually inspiring ads.

Source: Google Ads


Navigating the road ahead: The benefits of real-time marketing

Changes in consumer behavior have always resulted in adjustments to marketing strategies. COVID-19 has shown how quickly consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior can shift—and with it, an ebb and flow in demand for products and services. Despite these changes, consumer expectations for businesses and brands remain high. In fact, 78 percent of people surveyed say brands should show how they can be helpful in the new everyday life.1

Adjusting your media buying and the way your business shows up in these dynamic conditions is difficult, especially when some businesses are having to manage twice the complexity with half the capacity. Today, we’ll explore the unique role automation can play in helping you respond to the impact of COVID-19 in real time.


Get the most out of your budget

As conditions change, so do auction dynamics. Communities are in various stages of response to COVID-19 and the things people care about are rapidly shifting. This influences things like location, mobile browsing habits, conversions, and other variables that impact ad performance. It’s in this constant sea of change where Smart Bidding can help.

Smart Bidding (also available as Google Ads auction-time bidding in Search Ads 360) uses machine learning to automatically calculate bids for each and every auction. Utilizing signals like location, search query, and conversion data, Smart Bidding can optimize bids in real time to hit your performance goal even as query and conversion volume fluctuates. 

It’s important to note that unpredictable changes in conversion rates, for example: shifts in conversion cycles, cancellation or return rates, are challenging for any bid automation tool. Under these conditions, consider adjusting your cost per acquisition or return on ad spend targets to ensure the best allocation of your budget. For additional flexibility, consider shared budgets and portfolio bid strategies which are effective ways to automatically adjust bids and move spend across campaigns based on performance.


Reach new and existing customers

From flour to at-home workouts to studying at home, the things people are searching for and how they’re searching for them is evolving. It can be difficult to identify where consumers’ attention and demand is shifting while ensuring you have the right query coverage. Dynamic Search Ads are an easy way to reach customers who are searching for exactly what you have to offer. Using the content on your website, Dynamic Search Ads automatically delivers relevant ads with headlines and landing pages that are specific to the user’s query. So as consumer behavior shifts, you can ensure your Search ads are adjusting in real time to meet that demand, all while saving time.

Another way to find keyword opportunities is through the Recommendations page. "Keywords & Targeting" recommendations help you identify new trends that are relevant to your business. In fact, more than 16 million keyword recommendations in Google Ads are based on market trends alone, with new ones added every day. Consider adding keywords that are projected to drive additional traffic beyond your existing ones, or pausing keywords that are performing poorly.

Once you’ve applied the recommendations that make the most sense for your business, keep an eye on your optimization score. Each recommendation comes with a score uplift, and historically we’ve seen that advertisers who have increased their score by 10 points saw a 10 percent increase in conversions on average. You can quickly check for new recommendations using the Google Ads mobile app.


Optimization.gif

Google Ads mobile app

Show up with the right message

COVID-19 has not only disrupted business operations, like inventory and shipping, but has also impacted the way businesses communicate with customers. As conditions change week to week and community to community, it’s critical to adjust how you’re communicating and interacting with your customers at scale.

Responsive search ads and responsive display ads enable you to make updates to your Search and Display ads at scale, respectively. Using multiple creative assets, like headlines and descriptions, responsive search ads and responsive display ads automatically identify the best combination of assets in order to deliver an ad that’s likely to perform best. For responsive search ads, you can also pin critical information like modified support options or updated business hours to ensure it shows with your ads. If you're seeing an increase in call volume, or your business is operating on limited hours or staffing, call ads (formally known as call-only ads) now also include an optional “Visit website” link. This gives your customers more flexibility in how they connect with your business.

When it comes to adjusting the messages in your video ads, time and resources are limiting factors right now. Rather than starting from scratch, consider using Video Builder. It’s a free beta tool that animates static assets—images, text and logos—with music from YouTube’s audio library. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font, and quickly generate a short YouTube video.


Know what’s working

As the world moves from responding to recovering from this crisis, it’s important you have the right tools available to understand the impact of COVID-19 on your business. Over the past few weeks, we’ve introduced improvements to attribution in Google Ads to help you understand your Google media better.

A new look for attribution reports helps you quickly see how customers are engaging with your ads so you can select the right attribution model for your business. One model, data-driven attribution, uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each click along the customer journey. This ensures your media strategy is accounting for changes in consumer behavior during times of crisis. And with more people turning to YouTube during this pandemic, you can use cross-network reports (currently in beta) to understand how customers interact with your Search, Shopping, and YouTube ads—including clicks and video engagements—before converting.


Helpful resources for managing your campaigns

We’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations when managing your campaigns through COVID-19. You can find the full list of guides and checklists here. We’ll continue updating and adding more through the rest of the year.

In early June, we’ll also be launching The Update on Think with Google: a new video series to share the latest insights, news, best practices, and products. Enjoy this sneak peek, and stay tuned.


1.  Kantar, COVID-19 Barometer Global Report, Wave2, 50 countries, n=9,815, fielded 27th-30th March

Navigating the road ahead: The benefits of real-time marketing

Changes in consumer behavior have always resulted in adjustments to marketing strategies. COVID-19 has shown how quickly consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior can shift—and with it, an ebb and flow in demand for products and services. Despite these changes, consumer expectations for businesses and brands remain high. In fact, 78 percent of people surveyed say brands should show how they can be helpful in the new everyday life.1

Adjusting your media buying and the way your business shows up in these dynamic conditions is difficult, especially when some businesses are having to manage twice the complexity with half the capacity. Today, we’ll explore the unique role automation can play in helping you respond to the impact of COVID-19 in real time.


Get the most out of your budget

As conditions change, so do auction dynamics. Communities are in various stages of response to COVID-19 and the things people care about are rapidly shifting. This influences things like location, mobile browsing habits, conversions, and other variables that impact ad performance. It’s in this constant sea of change where Smart Bidding can help.

Smart Bidding (also available as Google Ads auction-time bidding in Search Ads 360) uses machine learning to automatically calculate bids for each and every auction. Utilizing signals like location, search query, and conversion data, Smart Bidding can optimize bids in real time to hit your performance goal even as query and conversion volume fluctuates. 

It’s important to note that unpredictable changes in conversion rates, for example: shifts in conversion cycles, cancellation or return rates, are challenging for any bid automation tool. Under these conditions, consider adjusting your cost per acquisition or return on ad spend targets to ensure the best allocation of your budget. For additional flexibility, consider shared budgets and portfolio bid strategies which are effective ways to automatically adjust bids and move spend across campaigns based on performance.


Reach new and existing customers

From flour to at-home workouts to studying at home, the things people are searching for and how they’re searching for them is evolving. It can be difficult to identify where consumers’ attention and demand is shifting while ensuring you have the right query coverage. Dynamic Search Ads are an easy way to reach customers who are searching for exactly what you have to offer. Using the content on your website, Dynamic Search Ads automatically delivers relevant ads with headlines and landing pages that are specific to the user’s query. So as consumer behavior shifts, you can ensure your Search ads are adjusting in real time to meet that demand, all while saving time.

Another way to find keyword opportunities is through the Recommendations page. "Keywords & Targeting" recommendations help you identify new trends that are relevant to your business. In fact, more than 16 million keyword recommendations in Google Ads are based on market trends alone, with new ones added every day. Consider adding keywords that are projected to drive additional traffic beyond your existing ones, or pausing keywords that are performing poorly.

Once you’ve applied the recommendations that make the most sense for your business, keep an eye on your optimization score. Each recommendation comes with a score uplift, and historically we’ve seen that advertisers who have increased their score by 10 points saw a 10 percent increase in conversions on average. You can quickly check for new recommendations using the Google Ads mobile app.


Optimization.gif

Google Ads mobile app

Show up with the right message

COVID-19 has not only disrupted business operations, like inventory and shipping, but has also impacted the way businesses communicate with customers. As conditions change week to week and community to community, it’s critical to adjust how you’re communicating and interacting with your customers at scale.

Responsive search ads and responsive display ads enable you to make updates to your Search and Display ads at scale, respectively. Using multiple creative assets, like headlines and descriptions, responsive search ads and responsive display ads automatically identify the best combination of assets in order to deliver an ad that’s likely to perform best. For responsive search ads, you can also pin critical information like modified support options or updated business hours to ensure it shows with your ads. If you're seeing an increase in call volume, or your business is operating on limited hours or staffing, call ads (formally known as call-only ads) now also include an optional “Visit website” link. This gives your customers more flexibility in how they connect with your business.

When it comes to adjusting the messages in your video ads, time and resources are limiting factors right now. Rather than starting from scratch, consider using Video Builder. It’s a free beta tool that animates static assets—images, text and logos—with music from YouTube’s audio library. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font, and quickly generate a short YouTube video.


Know what’s working

As the world moves from responding to recovering from this crisis, it’s important you have the right tools available to understand the impact of COVID-19 on your business. Over the past few weeks, we’ve introduced improvements to attribution in Google Ads to help you understand your Google media better.

A new look for attribution reports helps you quickly see how customers are engaging with your ads so you can select the right attribution model for your business. One model, data-driven attribution, uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each click along the customer journey. This ensures your media strategy is accounting for changes in consumer behavior during times of crisis. And with more people turning to YouTube during this pandemic, you can use cross-network reports (currently in beta) to understand how customers interact with your Search, Shopping, and YouTube ads—including clicks and video engagements—before converting.


Helpful resources for managing your campaigns

We’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations when managing your campaigns through COVID-19. You can find the full list of guides and checklists here. We’ll continue updating and adding more through the rest of the year.

In early June, we’ll also be launching The Update on Think with Google: a new video series to share the latest insights, news, best practices, and products. Enjoy this sneak peek, and stay tuned.


1.  Kantar, COVID-19 Barometer Global Report, Wave2, 50 countries, n=9,815, fielded 27th-30th March

Source: Google Ads


Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.


What’s changing with consumers?

As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:

People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.

Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.

  • In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.

  • Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.


People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.

With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.

  • According to internal data, searches for “food delivery services” have grown globally by more than 300 percent year over year.
  • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31 percent higher than they did the same time last year.
  • According to internal data, searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100 percent year over year.


People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).

Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.

  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users everyday.

  • On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.

As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the U.S. reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.
  • Workout routines have changed. There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycle” worldwide since the beginning of the year, especially in Spain and France, and “dumbbell set” in the UK.


People are practicing self-care more. 

People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones.

  • People are turning to online video for help in coping with anxiety and stress. So far in the U.S. this year, views of meditation-related videos are 51 percent higher than the same period in 2019.

  • Parents and students are turning to YouTube to adapt to school closures and at-home education. According to YouTube data, average daily views of videos with “homeschool” or “home school” in the title have increased more than 120 percent globally since March 2020.

  • People are searching for things to do when they’re bored. Searches for “bored” spiked significantly in March, and search interest for “games,” “puzzles,” and “coloring books” have increased since the beginning of the year.


As consumer behavior continues to change, consumer demand will continue to rise and fall. Earlier this month, we introduced the rising retail categories tool on Think with Google to help you gain insight into what consumers are shopping for right now. The tool surfaces the fastest rising retail categories on Google Search, the geographies where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them.

Retail Category Mobile View_Option 3_V4.jpg

Rising retail categories

If you’re not a retail business, Google Trends is an alternative tool for uncovering emerging consumer trends—learn more here.

Helpful resources for managing your campaigns

It’s important to understand the potential impact of changes in consumer behavior on your business. As you evolve your short and long-term digital marketing strategies, we want to be there to help. That’s why we’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations for managing your campaigns through COVID-19. Explore the full list of guides and checklists here, or reference the checklists below. We’ll continue updating and adding more in the coming months.



Change is a constant

While we don’t know how or when the crisis will resolve, we do know that remaining flexible and adapting to the needs of your customers is critical. So as we navigate this crisis together, take time to reevaluate your business priorities, explore new approaches, and continue connecting with your customers in a meaningful way.


Navigating the road ahead: How consumers are adjusting to COVID-19

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.


What’s changing with consumers?

As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:

People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.

Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.

  • In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.

  • Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.


People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.

With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.

  • According to internal data, searches for “food delivery services” have grown globally by more than 300 percent year over year.
  • Americans are watching videos related to recipes and cooking at a rate 31 percent higher than they did the same time last year.
  • According to internal data, searches for “online pharmacy” have grown globally by more than 100 percent year over year.


People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).

Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.

  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users every day.

  • On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.


People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.

As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.

  • Search interest for “telecommuting” in the U.S. reached an all-time high on Google and YouTube in mid-March, and continues to grow with no sign of slowing down.
  • Workout routines have changed. There’s growing search interest for “stationary bicycle” worldwide since the beginning of the year, especially in Spain and France, and “dumbbell set” in the UK.


People are practicing self-care more. 

People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones.

  • People are turning to online video for help in coping with anxiety and stress. So far in the U.S. this year, views of meditation-related videos are 51 percent higher than the same period in 2019.

  • Parents and students are turning to YouTube to adapt to school closures and at-home education. According to YouTube data, average daily views of videos with “homeschool” or “home school” in the title have increased more than 120 percent globally since March 2020.

  • People are searching for things to do when they’re bored. Searches for “bored” spiked significantly in March, and search interest for “games,” “puzzles,” and “coloring books” have increased since the beginning of the year.


As consumer behavior continues to change, consumer demand will continue to rise and fall. Earlier this month, we introduced the rising retail categories tool on Think with Google to help you gain insight into what consumers are shopping for right now. The tool surfaces the fastest rising retail categories on Google Search, the geographies where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them.

Retail Category Mobile View_Option 3_V4.jpg

Rising retail categories

If you’re not a retail business, Google Trends is an alternative tool for uncovering emerging consumer trends—learn more here.

Helpful resources for managing your campaigns

It’s important to understand the potential impact of changes in consumer behavior on your business. As you evolve your short and long-term digital marketing strategies, we want to be there to help. That’s why we’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations for managing your campaigns through COVID-19. Explore the full list of guides and checklists here, or reference the checklists below. We’ll continue updating and adding more in the coming months.



Change is a constant

While we don’t know how or when the crisis will resolve, we do know that remaining flexible and adapting to the needs of your customers is critical. So as we navigate this crisis together, take time to reevaluate your business priorities, explore new approaches, and continue connecting with your customers in a meaningful way.


Source: Google Ads


Promote curbside pickup in your local inventory ads

In today’s rapidly changing environment, people are looking for real-time updates when it comes to store information and product availability. Searches for “in-stock” grew more than 70 percent globally from the week of March 28 to April 4, as consumers sought to avoid ecommerce shipping delays. We’re here to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need quickly, and promote your safer fulfillment options, like in-store and curbside pickup.

Using local inventory ads, retailers can show users that the products they are searching for are available for nearby store pickup. Now, you can indicate if you offer curbside pickup, right in your local inventory ads. This feature is available in the countries where local inventory ads have launched: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.

Local inventory curbside pickup

The curbside pickup badge can show on products available for store pickup

Petco is using the curbside pickup badge to highlight contactless pickup availability on essential products like pet food and supplies that are available nearby for same-day or next-day pickup. “As a trusted partner in caring for the overall health and wellness of pets, we’re committed to ensuring pet parents have the essential products they need during this time,” said Jay Altschuler, Petco Vice President of Media Transformation. “To make shopping easier and safer for both pet parents and our own employees, we’ve proudly made a number of changes including launching curbside pickup at most Petco stores nationwide.”

The local inventory ads curbside pickup badge is currently in beta and available to advertisers who have completed the onboarding for store pickup. Reach out to your account team if you’re interested in including curbside pickup in your ads, or complete this form.

If you aren’t running local inventory ads, you can still let customers know whether your store offers pickup, delivery, or curbside pickup. Using Google My Business, you can add or edit attributes to your Business Profile that appear on Search and Maps. This is available globally.

Curbside.png

Show whether your store offers curbside pickup or delivery in your Business Profile

For additional help navigating your retail business through COVID-19, download our Retail Guide.

Source: Google Ads