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‘Inside AdWords’, Google’s official blog for news, tips and information about AdWords, is a useful resource that can be utilized by beginners as well as seasoned professionals. Additionally, powered by Google Translate software, the blog can be translated into over 40 languages.
The blog, which first posted in May of 2005, began its second decade on the blogosphere this year. The site authors identified the site’s purpose as providing “updates on enhancements we’ve made to the system, thoughts on things that advertisers have been asking about, tips on getting the most from AdWords, details on tools we think you’ll find useful and links to articles you might find interesting”. Today, a user can find posts about new innovations within Google products, success stories of companies using their products and links to livestreamed events. The blog also reports on news, findings, and data.
Adding to the credibility of the site, contributors who posts are high ranking individuals from Google itself. Authors include Product Manager Geoff Menegay, Vice President of Product Management and AdWords Jerry Dischler, and Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management and Mobile Search Ads. As the authors come from the inside, it helps to ensure that the information, findings and news are credible, solidifying the overall reliability of the blog.
Blog posts often discuss new innovations and updates within Google products in response to changing marketplace demands. For instance, a recent Google report noted that while 95% of all retail transactions still occur in-store, smartphones have quickly become consumers’ favorite and most trusted shopping assistant. The report also found that mobile phones reduce buyer’s remorse (68% of shoppers surveyed said they were happier with store purchases when they did research online before buying, according to those surveyed), raise consumer expectations for getting faster and more accurate information from store associates (71% expect clerks to know or find product information more quickly now, due to smartphones), and present new challenges for retailers)
One recent AdWords update aimed to take on the challenge is the Local Inventory Ad, designed to promote nearby locations with in stock goods to interested buyers and describe availability of both complementary and recommended products. This innovation piggy-backs off of existing option of Ad Extensions in online search ads such as a list of store locations, hours, and phone numbers.
By localizing integrating customized offers and product recommendations to smartphone shoppers that disclose their location, businesses–big or small–can make mobile work for them too.
The blog also highlights particular people/companies that use Google products with success. One success story highlighted recently was the environmentally-conscious, modern stationery company, Paper Culture. As a small business, Paper Culture struggled to stand out among its bigger, brand name competitors such as Shutterfly and Tiny Prints. In managing their Google AdWords campaigns, Paper Culture decided to supplement their strategy of solely textual ads with visual, and experienced great results. With its increasingly image-focused approach, Google Shopping allows small businesses to show up right next to other, larger competitors on Google Search.
According to CEO and Co-Founder of Paper Culture, Chris Wu, Google Shopping, allows small businesses to compete with any business and big competitor on the basis of design instead of brand. This image-focused approach allows small businesses like Paper Culture to not only increase their CTR (click-through rate), but also generate more quality conversions because, thanks to a visual approach, the customer has already seen the product and already interested in the one they clicked on.
“In retail, you can’t think of mobile as a threat. You have to think about it as a magnet to draw that client into your store.”
-Bridget Dolan, Vice President of Interactive Media, Sephora
With so much of today’s online traffic taking place on mobile devices, Google encourages its users to access their services on mobile devices. Additionally, mobile is changing the game in the retail game as well; this post highlights three retailers, Macy’s, Sephora and REI, and how they are incorporating Google technology to make for an omni-channel user experience.
Recent research from Google finds that 46% of shoppers who use mobile devices in stores search on the retailer’s site or app for information while they shop. By improving overall customer experience and engagement, Google demonstrates why enterprises looking to get ahead need to be mobile friendly–because it often results in capital gain.
In a post released in March, Google announced a number of new and improved tools to enhance the AdWords experience. They are outlined below:
The new Product Ratings service within Google Shopping helps consumers make decisions when online shopping. Before a user clicks, the product rating is visible, thus driving more quality traffic, lead generation and conversions to participating merchants. In a recent report, Google finds that average CTRs (click-through rate) increase five percent on Product Listing Ads when they utilize Product Ratings since the service was launched in the U.S. in July 2014. Enterprises such The Home Depot find the Product Ratings feature useful because their customers seek product validation based on reviews and ratings from other consumers.
Campaign details reports
Providing users a faster, easier way to see which features and settings are enabled in all campaigns.
Allowing users to create and view segmented columns for the most important metrics in his/her account.
Top Movers Report
Offers suggestions for improvement to help users identify key performance changes in his/her campaigns and ad groups, allowing user to take action and optimize his/her account.
The innovations post was followed up with updates in April.
With new bulk capabilities for extensions and settings, this allows campaign managers more easily adjust campaign settings such as location targeting and ad rotation.
Allows campaign managers to set up campaigns and allocate budgets and maximize the number of people who visit your site (number of conversions) or to increase the total value of conversions.
New, multi-dimensional data analysis and visualization tools allow campaign managers to perform most, if not all, of their data analysis within AdWords itself. Advanced Reporting also allows the campaign manager to turn data into downloadable and sharable tables, graphs and charts.
‘Your Own Lab’
A platform for testing and revising live campaigns. Google has created a ‘lab’ inside AdWords for users to prepare ideas for campaigns, to see what they’ll look like, and test run the campaigns with live traffic as an experimental trial. The ‘lab’ setting allows users to experiment with almost all aspects of the campaign, including bid changes, keywords, campaign settings, special bids for particular times and locations, ad formats, and more.
You can read more about AdWords and other blogposts here, at Google AdWords’ official blog.