I get a little nervous sometimes when I critique the Google, as I half expect one of my former colleagues to tear me a new one for it…but the new Adwords experience is “Drastic”. Having stared at a UI that has barely changed since 2002 (Watch it with the “Get off my lawn” jokes there Sonny), the new interface has quadrupled the time it takes me to do analysis within an account. I am getting faster by the day, but I am certainly not excited about the change. The first time I even saw the interface, I was worried my eyes would never uncross again…
On the other hand, lots of new Adwords features have emerged which I am excited about, as well as some new reporting options that save me so much Excel crunching time. So a quick kudos to the product teams for their efforts! Except for you UI design team…*shakes head like a disappointed father*
(Update: A few months have passed...and I still hate the new UI)
Anyways, let us focus on the positive:
Custom Intent Audiences
If I had a nickel for every client that had asked me if we could ‘just ask Google to tell us who to target’, I would certainly have had enough surgery to look like Jason Momoa by now.
Instead of laughing at the question, I can now happily point to the new Custom Intent Audience feature.
Custom intent audiences utilize “Google’s machine learning technology to analyze your existing campaigns and auto-create custom intent audiences… based on the most common keywords and URLs found in content that people browse while researching a given product or service.”
Which means Google looks at your ad channels to identify what you offer, and then compares that against their enormous database of anonymous (but numerically fixed) visitors to connect your ads to those individuals who are already actively searching for what you have to offer. Sort of a quiet nod to what Facebook has been using for targeting for awhile now.
To be honest here, I have zero understanding why this has been waiting so long to arrive, but I am glad they have finally made this available to the public.
Gmail Ads were the bomb. Hands down. I could take any size client, and help them compete directly with the giants of their industry thanks to Gmail ads. By simply targeting domains, I could chip away at individual companies and show ads to people who would otherwise never hear about my client. Sadly these campaigns dried up a little while back. I haven’t seen an official release stating that they have ended this entirely useful option, but I see it in the accounts I manage. (Insert Illuminati conspiracy here)
So frustrated by this, I pretty much shut off all Gmail related ads…but “just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
The new Gmail remarketing option lets you get another shot at a customer who you had otherwise lost. Your potential customer makes it all the way to your checkout…and then their spouse, boss, federal agent, or kids walk in, and they leave suddenly without completing their purchase. Thanks to Google’s new Gmail Remarketing feature, these potential customers will see an ad in their inbox from you, and when they click it, “they’ll be taken to an immersive shopping experience where they can swipe and tap through four of your products.” Powerful stuff.
This should be available anytime now. Stay tuned.
A/B testing ads is painful, tiresome, mind-numbing, soul destroying work. You spend hours finding a way to fit a limited number of characters into tightly restricted fields, and once you are happy with your work, you launch it into the digital landscape and watch it fall dead. Then you start over. It is the “Groundhog Day” equivalent within digital marketing, and there is no Andie MacDowell to keep your spirits up.
Mercifully, Google has offered up their new “Ad variants” feature.
Within the ad variants interface, you can:
· Invert your headlines
· Find and replace certain keywords in your ads
· Update entire textual components
This means you can make changes across entire sets of ads with just a few clicks, watch how they perform, and try the next thing. It is SO much easier.
Thanks to the Experiment Split feature, you can decide how much of your budget for a campaign you actually want to permit the ad testing on. No need to entirely mangle a working campaign while working on improvements.
This may take an economic toll on the psychologists who, until now, have had their entire calendar populated by SEMs, but once all of the Adwords eggheads have been forced to work within the new Adwords environment, business will be back on track.
Advanced Bid Adjustments
Ever wished you had the ability to just access an interface, and set up bid adjustments for calls? Well today, my friend, is your day. Order the mojitos, because that interface exists and is super user friendly.
And…it works for call extensions too.
And now, the most exciting feature:
I realize there will be those who are saddened at the news that they will no longer need to upload new ads every week for their client, but for those of us who avoided the consumption of lead paint chips as children, this is probably the most exciting feature announced!
You can now add Promotion extensions which are placed below your ads. This can feature sale info, discount codes and more. Without question, your CTR is going to improve drastically.
The best part is that by only changing the extension your ad does not have to start at square one again for performance history. That’s HUGE.
As soon as you can see this option inside your UI, set those up. No excuses.