AdWords just wrapped up what I think is a first for them: a staged event to announce some of the new things they’ve been working on. In all my years at AdWords, we never did any launch events and we certainly didn’t like to pre-announce anything to the public. It’s nice to see them share their roadmap so that us advertisers who spend a lot of money with them can get some more lead time to get ready for any changes that may impact us.
The new AdWords features announced fall into three categories: Ad Formats, Reporting, and Tools. The exact launch dates were not announced, they said to monitor the Inside AdWords blog to learn more.
So here’s a roundup of what was announced by Jerry Dischler, VP of Product for AdWords:
All the announcements related to ad formats are meant for advertisers who also have an app on Google Play.
- App Keyword Suggestions. AdWords will tell you the most popular queries on Google Play for your type of app, e.g. if your app is Hotels Tonight, they would recommend advertising on keywords like ‘last minute hotels’, and ‘hotels app’ because those are some of the most frequently searched keywords on Google Play that are relevant.
- In-App Ads. You can now target your ads to users based on what apps they already have installed.
- YouTube Trueview Ads For Apps. You can now get a user to install your app by clicking on a TrueView ad.
- App Deep-Linking Ads. Your ads can now link to a specific screen or page inside your app if the user already has the app installed. E.g. if a user searches for ‘hotels in NY’ and they have the Kayak app installed, they can be taken directly to the page in your app that has search results for those hotels. This is interesting for advertisers but to me this is probably the most significant announcement as a shareholder. Google faces a problem when users bypass search and go straight to their travel app for booking a flight, or directly to their Amazon app when they want to buy something. If Google search can get you to the right page and the right app faster, more people will search, advertisers will have more opportunities to find customers and Google will make more money.
- In Store Conversion Tracking. As part of estimated conversions they will include how many in-store purchases your ads may have driven. The fashion retailer, Express measured 102% ROAS from in-store sales during a beta of this new feature. They did not share details about how this was implemented.
- Bulk Actions. More things that previously required the AdWords Editor to change efficiently will now be available for bulk changes directly in the AdWords interface. Some examples they mentioned were changing campaign settings like location targeting, and ad extensions.
- Automated Bidding For Max Revenue or Max Conversions. AdWords wants every advertiser to have enterprise level bid management without having to go to a third party vendor. In addition to continuing support for the existing bid strategies like target ROAS, target CPA, and maximize clicks, they will be adding two new ones: maximize number of conversions, and maximize revenue. These sound a little scary to me because maximizing revenue with no regard to cost could make for some very expensive ads. And while I don’t care if my competitor wastes money, I do care that this may make AdWords more expensive for everyone since it remains an auction where everyone’s price is partially determined by what the competition does.
- Multi-Dimensional report Builder. If you’ve ever wasted time pulling AdWords data into Excel for analysis, you’ll now be able to make sophisticated tables and charts to analyze your data directly in the AdWords interface and using live AdWords data. As AdWords has gotten more complex with many segmentations like devices, networks, geos and dayparts, analysis has gotten more complicated. That’s why we built our Hour-of-Week report, our Geo Heatmap for AdWords and some other tools that do all the data processing for you.
- Drafts and Experiments. You will now be able to stage new changes to your account before pushing them live. Say that you want to test out some new theories… rather than making the changes in the account, you can now build everything out in a staged version of your account and then when everyone signs off, get it kicked off as an experiment where you allocated a percentage of traffic to it so that you can do an apples-to-apples comparison of the control and the experiment results. It’s like AdWords Campaign Experiments but more advanced and hopefully easier to use. At least from what I saw when I tested this feature a couple months ago, it should be quite useful.
So those are the new announcements. For those of you who love stats, here are a few ones Google sprinkled throughout their presentation:
- 1 Billion kilometers mapped on Google per day by users
- 6 Billion hours of Youtube content watched monthly
- 40% of YouTube viewing is on mobile devices
- 100 Billion searches per month on Google
- 60% of apps are never installed
- 80% of apps are only used once
- 32% of all conversions tracked by Google originated with an interaction on a mobile device