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August 17, 2011

SES San Francisco 2011: Google Ad Innovations

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Morning! Many of us here are just starting out. The Search Bash last night by Webmaster Radio caused a lot of slow movers today. Here, we’re in a Google session with a Google crew talking about its Ad Innovations platform for search, display, video, mobile and more.

SES SFThey are showing screen shot on Google’s home page and all the iterations of the past 10 years in addition to the results page. They say they want to provide the richest results possible today. Google wants to make sure that ads develop just as good as search.

Three principles for Ad Innovations:

  1. Make lives easier
  2. Most relevant ads
  3. Help make the users the smartes advertiser they can be

The Easy

Three features that make your life easier in AdWords:

  • Automated rules
  • Opportunities tab (for optimization)
  • Display feature is the interest categories. Helps make targeting easier.

The Relevant

They’re now talking about to make ads more relevant. Google has been working hard to make ads more relevant for users. 32 percent of queries with ads have at least one new ad format.

Ad Sitelinks – it’s one of the easiest, most effective optimization tools. It adds subcategories to make the ad more relevant. This improves the relevance and click-through by 40 percent. One-line Sitelinks provides and average 17 percent CTR lift.

Product ads – show customers inventory with pictures ad prices before they reach your site. Product search comes from Google Merchant Center, merchants upload for free and Google matches them to the most relevant search. Now they are doing that with ads. You can link up your Merchant Center account with your ad account. You don’t have to select keywords or bid with this feature. They charge based on a commission of the sale.

Media ads show users relevant media. This is geared towards entertainment advertisers, where standard text does not work. For movies for example, before a click, Media ads show trailer thumbnail, run time and genre information.

[There’s some sort of royal trumpeting happening next door – the whole room in here stopped for a minute.]

Mobile Ads

They are talking click-to-call phone extensions. It’s a great user experience and advertisers have two different links to show. Vanity phone numbers maintain the brand. Google recognizes vanity phone numbers now and you can add that to your account.

Hyperlocal ads show nearby users just how close you are. Shows a business address, phone number and exact distance a user is away from you. The user has to opt in to be located on the map. No privacy concerns if they opt in. This is good for more relevance. Product-local ads show in-store availability. You can see local inventory with this.

Smart Advertising

AdWords Campaign Experiments: helps you be a smart tester on your ads, like A/B testing. Allows you to test keywords, bids, ad groups, ad creatives, placements and remarking list. This is in the Opportunities tab. Works for keywords and bids in this tab, not for budgets yet.

Performance measurement and conversion tracking is next. The way tools present this data typically look at the last interaction prior to the last click. But the last click isn’t enough. There are many interactions across channels that happened prior to that. So, you’re not getting a complete picture. They are addressing this in Google Analytics. A new set of reports is multichannel funnels.

How much should you be paying your affiliates? Use the reports to assign accurate value to CPA-based programs. You can dig into those reports and verify the conversions and where they occurred (last touch or assisted conversions).

Which social actions generate prospects? In the reports, it shows you what roles the channels are playing. You can see which channels assist actions further down the funnel, and how well they’re assisting.

How quickly are customers making decisions? Landing page optimizations is always a best practice. Understand who your customers are and what their buying behaviors are. Understand path analysis to present the most relevant information to them.

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