First and foremost, mobile devices are king. Google is now handling trillions of searches per year. Last year, for the first time ever, more than half of these searches were through mobile devices. While mobile devices have been a growing segment, they are now the dominate platform. What does this mean for marketers? In short, it means the methods you use to interact with users has changed. Among other changes, this means no more “clicking” – now users want to swipe and be able to access carousal images right on their website. Here are the top ways that Google is trying to optimize your marketing for mobile devices while improving UI and UX.
Redesigned Adwords Search Ads.
While Google has always supported mobile optimized advertisements in its AdWords platform, they were secondary to the desktop ads. Now, search ads will be based on mobile searches. This has two major impacts. First, Google will allow more text as mobile users are looking for information before they click through. This includes both longer headlines and a single long line description of 80 characters. Together, this represents a 50% increase in the character allotment allowed by Google for print text ads. Secondly, Google is implementing more control and flexibility in the form of individual bid adjustments for mobile, desktop, and tablets. This means you can optimize your campaigns to be more competitive based on the devices your customers are actually using to search for you.
Google is Going to Help You Create Display Ads.
Google is helping to ensure that your display ads are best formatted for the website they are shown on by taking over some of the creative process. Now users will just need to supply a headline, description, image, and URL and let Google do the rest. This is important as 90% of all Internet users will interact with a display ad at some point in the next year
Enhanced Google Location Extensions & In-Store Tracking.
A full third of searches are now location related and this segment is growing 50% faster than searches in general. Because of this, Google is enhancing location based marketing capabilities on google.com, googlemaps.com and the Google Maps mobile application. This includes the ability to have a “promotions pin”. Similar to a standard location pin, this allows companies to display current promotions along with their location information to help convert potential customers. Likewise, these pins will be able to open custom business listing pages. Why is this important? It allows the searcher to see what is in stock as well as search the available inventory for other potential items. This means you can offer a promotion to a searcher and let them know it is still available, greatly increasing the likelihood they will make the trip to your location. As shown in the location extension updates, AdWords has the ability to convert customers in real life in addition to online. Google already boasts a 99% accuracy rate in reporting this metric. However, by incorporating beacons into their existing technology, they are looking to increase this accuracy further and extend the service to more locations. This means that companies will be able to see exactly what keywords are driving people to their stores.
Increasing Remarketing and Search Advertising Reach.
Google is giving access to cross-exchange inventory to increase remarketing reach while promising the same precision and quality as the existing remarketing options. Perhaps more interestingly, Google has been paying attention to what Facebook Advertising has been doing right and adding both similar audience for remarketing and demographics for search ads. Similar audiences will be based on searchers with similar interests as those who have already been to your website. By separating this group from general searchers, Google allows marketers to more competitively bid for these searchers as similar audience conversion rates are more likely to be higher than the general population. Demographics will no doubt have a similar effect for general search ads by allowing marketers to better target potential conversions.
Redesigned AdWords Platform.
Anyone who has used Google AdWords can tell you that while it offers many value adding capabilities, it isn’t the most user friendly. Google has finally redesigned the platform to more closely mirror a CRM dashboard. This will allow marketers to not only understand the greater trends associated with their accounts but more quickly diagnose potential problems and make necessary adjustments.
Additionally, as shown in above sample desktop, users will be able to utilize a “data assistant” which will allow them to ask or type questions and respond with a numerical answer versus a report to be analyzed by the user themselves. While this may be one of the more exciting announcements for those who already work in the platform, it unfortunately will be in Beta testing through 2016 with an anticipated public launch date sometime in 2017.
Google Analytics 360 Suite Will Start to Roll Out.
Starting with premium users, Google Analytics 360 will start to come out of the Beta stage. This promises greater integration with AdWords, greater sharing and collaboration a la Google Docs, and greater built-in intelligence. Using the Data Studio 360, users can now create reports combining Analytics and AdWords reporting functions right in Analytics, including pre-created modules and built in sharing with other users.
Finally, these reports are also dynamic. This means that the user can simply adjust the reportable dates to see the numbers for a week, month, quarter, or other period of time. Like the new AdWords format, the new Analytics 360 Suite won’t be available, in full, to everyone right away. Currently, Google is looking to launch a free version allowing up to 5 reports to users in the USA while the full version will be available in paid Beta.