With Google rebranding AdWords into Google Ads, there’s a clear emphasis on injecting more machine learning magic into the advertising platform. As the search giant puts it, today’s consumers “expect your ads to be helpful and personalized,” which isn’t easy for small brands or even larger enterprises to do at scale.
To make this easier for advertisers at all levels, Google has introduced four new features powered the best of its machine learning technology. You can see what Google has to say about the new features here or keep reading for our summary of what to expect over the next few months.
Boost relevance and performance with responsive search ads
The first of Google’s new machine learning advertising features is responsive search ads. The idea is to help you create more relevant ad messages for a variety of different user expectations with a single ad format.
Essentially, you provide Google with up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for the same responsive search ad and Google will find the best combination for each user, based on the context of their search. Over time, Google will learn which ad creative perform for a range of different queries and automatically deliver the best format on your behalf.
Responsive search ads can show up to three headlines and two 90-character descriptions, making these the largest search ad format currently available on Google Ads. However, the key factor in this new ad format is the machine learning technology that allows Google to determine the best combinations of headlines and descriptions for varying user needs.
In return, you get a more flexible kind of ad format that delivers more relevant messages and improved performance. You can see some examples of responsive search ads and how Google creates them here.
Responsive search ads will start rolling out to advertisers over the coming months.
Increase foot traffic with Local campaigns
Despite consumers spending more of their time online than ever, “people still make the majority of their purchases in physical stores.” Google figures show that “near me” searches have grown by more than 300% in the past two years and almost 80% of shoppers will visit stores when there’s something they want to buy immediately (rather than wait for deliveries).
Google understands that the challenge for many brands is turning web traffic into store visits. This has been one of the toughest aspects of digital marketing for brick-and-mortar stores but the emergence of local SEO and ad formats such as local inventory ads have transformed the way physical stores and businesses bring customers to their doors.
Now, Google is taking this even further with a new campaign type for Google Ads: Local campaigns. This automated campaign type is designed to generate store visits only and all you need to do is provide Google with your business details and ad creative. The search giant will then optimise your ads across Search, Maps, YouTube and other properties to maximise store visits.
Google says local campaigns will roll out globally over the coming months.
Transform your YouTube efforts with Maximize lift
Maximise lift is a new Smart Bidding strategy for YouTube campaigns that uses machine learning to show your ads to people most likely to buy from you. With people watching more than 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day, Google has a huge amount of data to learn from and match your ads to those showing the highest purchase intent.
Here’s what Google has to say about Maximise lift bidding:
“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.”
Maximise lift automatically adjusts your bids to get your ads seen by these audiences when they’re watching content that leads to future purchases. The new bidding feature is available now in beta and Google says it will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.
The latest Google Ads features give a strong indication of where Google is heading with its advertising platform. The rebranding of AdWords aims to simplify the entire experience and new advertisers are going to benefit from this most. The same thing goes for smaller businesses who have been kept out of the loop by the complexity of advertising with Google.
These latest features not only help simplify the campaigns creation and management process, they also add a depth of power thanks to Google’s advanced machine learning technology. For agencies and experienced advertisers who want full control over their campaigns and their own automations, these features might not be all that exciting. But there’s no doubt they make it easier for smaller businesses and new advertisers to sign up to Google Ads and create campaigns in moments – campaigns that get results, too.