#1 | New, Sleek, Simplified User Intrface
If you've logged into your Google AdWords or Analytics account recently, you will have noticed that there are big changes coming. Google is merging many of their advertising features together into one, integrated dashboard and they are rolling out new features to simplify the entire ad management experience. So, yes, if you are already familiar with Google AdWords you will have to learn a new dashboard/user interface. If you don't have much experience with Google AdWords, now is a great time to start because navigating it will be SO MUCH EASIER.
'Machine Learning' is a term you will hear often. It is a major part of this Google overhaul.
What is Machine Learning? Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. HUH? It is a type of artificial intelligence based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns and make decisions with minimal human intervention. Basically, it reads your data, and does the thinking and analysis for you.
Here are a the key updates that will roll out this month:
#2 | responsive search ads
"Consumers today are more curious, more demanding, and they expect to get things done faster because of mobile. As a result, they expect your ads to be helpful and personalized. Doing this isn’t easy, especially at scale. That’s why we’re introducing responsive search ads.
Simply provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will do the rest. By testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query. So people searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context.
We know this kind of optimization works: on average, advertisers who use Google’s machine learning to test multiple creatives see up to 15 percent more clicks." - Google
What does this mean?
Google is making it easier to set up and manage your search ads. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of ad management and automates the process for you.
#3 | Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube with machine learning
"People watch over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day. And increasingly, they’re tuning in for inspiration and information on purchases large and small. For example, nearly 1 in 2 car buyers say they turn to YouTube for information before their purchase and nearly 1 in 2 millennials go there for food preparation tips before deciding what ingredients to buy. That means it’s critical your video ads show at the right moment to the right audience.
Machine learning helps us turn that attention into results on YouTube. In the past, we’ve helped you optimize campaigns for views and impressions. Later this year, we’re rolling out Maximize lift to help you reach people who are most likely to consider your brand after seeing a video ad. This new Smart Bidding strategy is also powered by machine learning. It automatically adjusts bids at auction time to maximize the impact your video ads have on brand perception throughout the consumer journey. " - Google
What does this mean?
This makes your YouTube channel that much more important! All the and energy you put into those YouTube videos can start to really pay off. This option makes it easier for people viewing your YouTube videos to connect directly with your business. It also automates bidding to optimize your budget.
#4 | Drive more foot traffic with Local campaigns
"Whether they start their research on YouTube or Google, people still make the majority of their purchases in physical stores. In fact, mobile searches for “near me” have grown over 3X in the past two years, and almost 80 percent of shoppers will go in store when there’s an item they want immediately. For many of you, that means driving foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations is critical—especially during key moments in the year, like in-store events or promotions.
Today we’re introducing Local campaigns: a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively. Provide a few simple things—like your business locations and ad creative—and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store." - Google
What does this mean?
There will be a new campaign type that is designed specifically for driving traffic to your location. This is great for yoga studios and fitness centers who need to get bodies in the door!
#5 | Shopping campaigns
"Earlier this year, we rolled out a new Shopping campaign type that optimizes performance based on your goals. These Smart Shopping campaigns help you hit your revenue goals without the need to manually manage and bid to individual products. In the coming months, we’re improving them to optimize across multiple business goals.
Beyond maximize conversion value, you’ll also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. Machine learning factors in the likelihood that a click will result in any of these outcomes and helps adjust bids accordingly.
Machine learning is also used to optimize where your Shopping ads show—on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web—and which products are featured. It takes into account a wide range of signals, like seasonal demand and pricing.
We’re also adding support for leading e-commerce platforms to help simplify campaign management. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to set up and manage Smart Shopping campaigns right from Shopify, in addition to Google Ads." - Google
What does this mean?
If you're selling something online, it will be easier to manage your sales campaigns. It will also integrate with your e-commerce platform so that you can just pull the data from one place to the next.
Google Ads should be a key part of your marketing campaign strategy. Learning to use the system to target new and existing customers is critical to growing your business. Check back regularly as I explore these new features and share key insights and experiences.
Jennifer Skondin, has 15 years of experience specializing in marketing, communications and PR. In 2008 she re-discovered yoga and turned her attention and energy to teaching yoga and helping yoga studios and teachers find success through marketing and outreach.