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May 27, 2016 Graham
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2016 is set to be an exciting year for AdWords Professionals with a few big changes to AdWords coming up in the near future. Mobile first has been a focus over the last few years the number of clicks on mobile ads have now well overtaken the number of clicks on desktop ads.

Announced at the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco, Google are soon to utilise Google Maps for the first time with paid ads. This will be partnered with other updates to Adwords such as an increase title character counts (considerably!) and the ability to place responsive Mobile display ads, and more. So let’s take a look at what this all means.

Google Maps Advertising – Branded Pins and In-Store Promotions

Currently Google Maps is extremely underutilised from an AdWords point of view. Most people use Google maps to find out how to get from point A to point B, making it a significant source of traffic. Google wants to allow advertisers to show targeted ads to these users through branded pins and in-store promotions.

Google Maps Branded Pins appear within the map itself. You can imagine a company logo being in place where your current Google local name appears in the form of a pin. This will be supported by instore promotions.

Initial thoughts are that this will greatly benefit ecommerce stores and consumer services with a local presence. If the user has recently searched a brand or product, then uses Google Maps, they will be presented with the branded pins.

Google Maps Promoted and Brands Pins and Store Promotions

Google Mobile Converts Differently

Google mobile searches are now more likely to be local related searches as opposed to going to a website and converting there. For instance, Google shows an example from a Nissan UK dealership which claims “six percent of mobile ad clicks result in a trip to a dealership, delivering an estimated 25x return on investment.” That’s a huge return on investment and shows the power of local mobile searches.

90% of Google mobile ad searches turn into physical in-store conversions. So the new conversion concept is to measure how many searches on mobile turn into these in-store conversions. The data collected from this will be gold – if Nissan never found a way to match up Google ad clicks with their increase in foot traffic (and return on investment) they could have seen mobile ads as a waste of ad budget and stopped doing them.

Google is releasing a way of counting how many mobile searchers turn into physical store conversions – in other words, who sees an ad and then visits the closest store. They have visited 1 billion stores over the last 2 years to test their new conversion tracking and are boasting a 99% accuracy from over a billion different search examples.

Because of this change, Adwords users can now also create bids dedicated only for mobile, or only for tablet, or only for desktop. This means that bids can be separated and managed for each device type providing much more control for the advertiser.

Expanded Text Ads

Adwords is expanding to allow ad text to be 50% bigger. This takes up significantly more room on the search engine result page, showing more information to the user. Two 30 character headlines and an 80-character description line is going to increase click through rates at the expense of other ads and search results on the page. Not great news for SEO result, perhaps, as they get further shafted down the page.

Mobile View Ads to be Responsive

To create display ads, advertisers have had to create sometimes 10+ versions of each ad to fit different ad sizes. This has always been a chore as designers would need to readjust ads each time a new campaign is set up or needs updating. Google is now only going to require a few versions of the ad from the advertiser as responsive displays ads to be deployed.

Google Responsive Ads Example for 2016 Update

What next?

These tools and updates will be out in the next months and if you and your Adwords account manager can utilise these updates, and your competition may be a little slow to do so, you will be sure to have a competitive edge.

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