On July 24, 2018, Google officially rolled out its new version of Google AdWords, now called Google Ads. We loved using AdWords for our clients, and we’re also excited about the direction Google is taking their PPC advertising platform in. There were many significant changes made, and we’re here to shed light on these changes and how they will impact your digital marketing and online advertising campaigns. Here are some of the most sweeping changes you should know about. After you read this article, you will be better prepared to adjust to the changes and embrace Google Ads in your digital marketing strategy.
1. Introduction of Smart Display Campaigns
To keep Google Ads as simple as possible, one of the changes Google made was to add a new campaign type called Smart Campaigns, which derives heavily from Google AdWords Express. Like AdWords Express, Smart Campaigns are targeted towards business owners with little to no prior knowledge of PPC or experience. For business owners who don’t have much time to mess around with Google Ads, it’s great to know that this option is available for them, and quite frankly, we like the name change too!
2. DoubleClick is Retired
Google DoubleClick was a separate advertising network within Google AdWords. Larger companies and businesses like Coca-Cola would use DoubleClick for their enterprise marketing. Now the same features have been rolled into Google Marketing Platform, which also includes Google Analytics 360. Google Marketing Platform is an all-in-one solution which includes Tag Manager, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, and more.
3. Google Surveys
Here’s a feature we’re pleased about. Inspired by popular survey tools as SurveyMonkey, Google Surveys allows business owners to generate surveys to gather data from a target audience quickly. This is great because you will now be able to get more in-depth information as to whether your campaigns are working or not. You can ask people questions specific to the ads you’re running to see if they are finding your ads relevant or not. You can use the feedback to take your A/B testing in Google Ads to depths you wouldn’t have been able to previously. We’re confident this change will completely change a lot of how PPC is done.
4. Updates to the Help Center
As part of the rebranding, Google has made a big change to its Help Center, which had information on features, tools, and certification exams for Google AdWords. Now that Google AdWords is now Google Ads, it also made sense for the Help Center to get a new update, look, feel, and even a new URL too. You can access the Help Center by going to https://support.google.com/searchads, which is now called Search Ads 360.
5. New Version of AdWords Editor
This software was a godsend for many PPC marketers as it made updating ads in bulk much faster than doing it from the console. With the new version of AdWords Editor, you can now create responsive display ads, smart display campaigns, and use parallel tracking to increase landing page speed. Another refreshing change to AdWords Editor is you can now see which ads might violate Google’s policies before you submit them. Before, you would have to save your ads and wait at least an hour before getting an email from Google about any policy violations.
From our experience, this was one of the most frustrating parts about using Google AdWords, and it’s so nice to see that Google’s engineers realized this was an inconvenience for its customers. Kudos to them on this one!
6. Updated Keyword Research Capabilities
Before the rebrand, you had to do a lot of your keyword research in Google Keyword Planner even while your ads were running. Now with the New Words insight tool, Google will show you related keywords to ones you already have in your campaigns and show you any new keywords which cause your ads to show up in search engines. You can see which keywords are underperforming or not performing at all and add them as negative keywords, saving your campaign from much wasted spend.
7. Google Sheets Integration
Are you in a hurry and don’t have a lot of time to fiddle around with Microsoft Excel for PPC reporting? In Google Ads, there’s now an add-on for Google Sheets. You can create your PPC reports directly from Google Ads and export all the data to Google Sheets and make real-time edits to your data. There are also a bunch of built-in functions you can use to organize your data by period and reduce the amount of manual work involved with generating reports to show.
8. Expanded Text Ads
It’s unfortunate Google disabled the ability to have longer meta descriptions and title tags in search results, but in Google Ads, they made the right move by changing the expanded text ad character size to 140 characters to keep up with Twitter’s character expansion in tweets. You can also now have two headlines with 30 characters.
The best part of all is they’ve simplified the space where you’d write your ad description and call-to-action statements. You can now write them all in one 80-character line as opposed to two separate 35-character lines like previously, giving you more room to elaborate on what you sell and how it will benefit your customers.
9. Auto-Optimized Landing Pages
Google has made it easier for business owners to get involved with Google Ads. For business owners that don’t have enough time to develop their own websites, the auto-optimized landing page feature in Smart Campaigns now makes it possible for Google to create landing pages using machine learning, which grabs information from your ads to match them to your search and display ads.
We still recommend you have a website before using Google Ads to create more customized landing pages, but if you don’t have much of a budget yet for a new site, this option might work in your situation.
10. Google Smart Shopping
Google Display Ads and Shopping Ads are now combined into Google Smart Shopping, which you can use to promote your e-commerce store products in multiple places and networks. With powerful automated ad placement and bidding, you will have more control over the success of your e-commerce PPC advertising campaigns.
This tool even gives you better conversion tracking to the point where you can set new customers and store visits as advertising goals within Google Smart Shopping. It doesn’t get any better than that if you run an e-commerce website!
It’s clear that Google wanted to stay ahead of the curve and noticed many changing trends in PPC marketing for business owners. A lot of the old features in Google AdWords were useful but weren’t always easy or accessible even to experienced PPC marketing gurus. We’re looking forward to what other changes Google has in store for its products and search engine, and when they roll out major changes like this, we’ll discuss those on our website as well.
For more information about digital marketing, PPC, and SEO, please contact us at 470-440-3434 or email [email protected] if you have any questions as to how you can get started promoting your business online.