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Chances are, you’ve been calling Google’s ad platform “Google Ads” most of the time you talk about running ads on the search engine and its network. Now, Google is too. AdWords is being rebranded to simply “Google Ads” as part of an effort to simplify the search engine’s services.

Google is also consolidating its other advertising products into either the “Google Marketing Platform” and “Google Ad Manager.”

According to the company, the change is designed to make it easier for small businesses to take part in online advertising across a variety of channels.

“This is primarily a name change, but it is indicative of where we have been directing the product” over the past few years, said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president for Google’s advertising services, at a press event announcing the change.

Google’s Advertising Trifecta

From now on, Google’s ad platform will be split between three major brands – Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and Google Ad Manager

Google Ads

Google Ads will encompass all of the services previously provided by AdWords, which Ramaswamy said will act as “the front door for advertisers to buy on all Google surfaces.”

The switch to Google ads will also include a significant change to Google’s default advertising format. The company is launching a new default ad mode called Smart Campaigns, which is designed to prioritize the actions advertisers want most. This includes using machine learning to optimize images, text, and targeting to boost performance as the ad runs.

Google Marketing Platform

The Google Marketing Platform will combine the services previously provided by DoubleClick Digital Marketing and Google Analytics 360. This makes the Marketing Platform the source for high-end tools intended for large businesses or ad agencies.

This platform will also include a number of new features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center.

Google Ads Manager

The last brand announced this week is Google Ad Manager, which will combine all of Google’s monetization tools for publishers, such as the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers.

As Jonathan Bellack, director of product management for publisher platforms, explained, this is the result of a three-year-effort to merge the two products into a more integrated ad-buying service.

“These categories have just been breaking down for a while — all of our publishers already log into one user interface,” Bellack said. So the only thing that’s really changing is “the logo.”

The rebrand is believed to begin in July, but Google’s representatives say the ad platform will remain familiar and usable for everyone accustomed to Google’s services.

“The look and feel is going to change a little bit, but the core functionality is not changing,” said Managing Director for Platforms, Dan Taylor.

Don’t you wish you could somehow run one set of ads with the perfect headline for anyone who sees it, even when they have different needs or interests? AdWords is bringing that fantasy a little closer to reality with Responsive Search Ads.

These ad formats, currently in beta and available to some advertisers, allow you to set up one ad with multiple varying headlines and a few different descriptions which are alternated based on your advertising goal and the user’s intent.

Interestingly, these ads also get more screen real estate than standard text ads while Google is giving them a try.

The idea is to make your ad more versatile and to do the function of A/B testing for you without all the manual work. This also allows you to have a wider variety of keywords trigger your ads.

You can set up to 15 different headlines and four unique descriptions in a responsive search ad. With these, you can include headlines or descriptions for any scenario that might bring potential customers upon your services or products.

When shown, the ads will include up to three headlines instead of two, and up to two 90-character descriptions instead of the usual one 80-character description.

To best plan for this, Google recommends writing your first three headlines as if they will be shown together (in any order).

Google also suggests making headlines distinct by focusing on different features, benefits, or offers.

You can also “pin” certain headlines or descriptions into specific positions. This allows you to guarantee one headline will always be shown on top or a disclaimer is consistently positioned at the bottom of the ad.

Retargeting is undeniably a powerful way to reconnect with potential customers and remind them to take action on something they were interested in. Unfortunately, when done poorly, it can also be terribly annoying.

Now, Google is giving users the power to mute ads from brands who abuse retargeting or remarketing ads.

Retargeting ads – or as Google is calling them, “reminder” ads – are designed to gently nudge someone into taking action on a product or service they previously looked at on a website. They work by tracking what pages a user has looked at but not taken action on, then reserving that content in ads afterword.

The problem is that many fail to monitor just how frequently these ads appear to users. This causes a problem where people see an annoying number of repetitive ads that seem to follow them all around the internet.

 

With the new section in Google’s ads settings, called “Your reminder ads,” you can now see who is retargeting ads to you with Google display ads. You can also mute these advertisers individually is they are showing repetitive or excessive retargeting ads.

If a user mutes an advertiser, their ads will entirely disappear across all of Google’s apps and websites – not just a specific offending ad or campaign. Google says it will soon be expanding this to include YouTube, Search, and Gmail.

The advertiser will be muted for 90 days and can be muted again if desired.

Google also says it has updated the mute feature to sync across devices for logged-in users. This means ads muted on laptop will also be muted on a phone or desktop, and vice-versa.

While users will likely be glad to see this feature, advertisers should take the move as an indication to check their retargeting campaigns. Make an effort to find the “sweet spot” between showing your ads enough times to have an impact without being overbearing. Otherwise, you risk being muted.

Google has been teasing a massive revamp to the AdWords experience for months, and now it’s finally here.

The company says the redesign and new features provide a faster, more intuitive experience with a better focus on meeting advertisers’ goals.

What’s New

The biggest changes to the ad platform are mostly focused on design and speed.  The ad interface is less cluttered and easy to navigate, letting you put more focus on your advertising efforts without distraction.

The streamlined style also allows pages to load up to 20% faster according to Google.

Visualizations have also been improved to make it easier for you to see how your ads are performing and how people are engaging with your business.

The new experience also brings a few new features like bid adjustments and landing pages. These features have been available to those who got into the revised AdWords experience early, but this is the first chance for most advertisers to test them out for themselves.

Google has put together a number of new guides and videos to help everyone get accustomed to the new AdWords experience. You can get started by checking out the guided tour, how-to videos, or the best practices guide.

AdWords has made a pretty massive change to the way daily ad budgets can be spent, and it could wreak havoc on advertisers’ ability to manage their budgets.

Google has always allowed campaigns to spend up to 20% over their daily budget. The idea is to provide flexibility so that you can take advantage of days where your ad performs best and minimalize waste when your ad isn’t doing well.

By the end of the month, this variance evens out so that you meet your monthly budget.

Now, AdWords has massively raised the daily overspend cap. Campaigns can now spend up to double their average daily budget.

The change doesn’t directly affect your monthly budget, and Google says you will still never be charged more than your monthly budget. In the long run, it may prove to actually be a great way to ensure advertisers reach their goals more consistently. However, it also raises a number of big questions about how ad budgets are managed.

The biggest problem how the increase could affect ad visibility. If an add sees a few days that draw in significant budget overspend early in the month, they could realistically run through their ad budget early in the month. That means ads could disappear unless you increase your budget.

The response has been overwhelmingly negative, with most of the criticism focusing on the fast roll-out and lack of opt-out. The change was applied overnight to all AdWords accounts, and advertisers cannot revert back to the earlier limit.

Like most changes on Google, we will just have to wait for time to tell whether this is a big mistake or an uncomfortable improvement.

Don’t you wish there was an easy way to find out exactly what terms people are using to find your business online? That way, you could refine your keywords to take advantage of where you’re already succeeding and put more work into areas that aren’t getting found without hours and hours of research and analytics.

Well, now you can do just that without any expensive software or tracking services, with AdWords’ new ‘Searches’ card. The new card shown in your AdWords dashboard highlights the most popular words and phrases people are using to find your business in one convenient space.

With this information, you can better target your ads and search keywords or create negative keywords from search terms that aren’t relevant for your business. This way, you can be sure that people who are interested in what you offer are finding you.

The AdWords Searches card can be found on your Overview page of your account and looks like this:

The card is only available in the new AdWords system which recently rolled out for most countries.

Of course, the new AdWords card isn’t as powerful as comprehensive keyword research or analytics. However, it provides a quick glimpse into where you are doing well and where you can do more to promote your goods and services online.

Google has been using its Accelerated Mobile Pages technology to deliver content almost instantaneously for over a year, and now it is starting to spread the technology to new areas of its platform.

Specifically, Google says it is beginning to use AMP technology to speed up search ads in two different ways.

Firstly, Google AdWords is launching a beta program allowing advertisers to create landing pages using Accelerated Mobile Pages. The result is a faster transition from seeing the ad to being able to convert, and less chance of someone leaving because they get tired of waiting for your site to load.

Secondly, Google is boosting all ads across the entire Google Display Network by automatically converting them to a new AMP ad format. As of today, the search engine has already converted a “significant” number of ads across its display network.

Google says its new AMP ads load 5 seconds faster than regular ads without any visual changes. This way, ads on AMP pages can load just as quickly as the content, creating a more seamless experience.

Google is putting the spotlight on local businesses in search results with a new location extension ad format rolled out across AdWords this week.

The new format includes big photos, store location and information, as well as typical ad features like an attention-grabbing headline and ad copy, as you can see in the example below.

Location Ad Format

It is still not exactly clear exactly when the ad format will be shown in Google results, but Google uses an example of a local bakery using ads to target nearby users reading a cooking blog. According to their test results, approximately 60 percent of clicks on the extension info were to get directions or store location information.

Interestingly, you may not have to do anything for some of your ads to start showing in the latest format. Text, responsive, and 300×250 image ads may be dynamically converted to the new location extension format in related searches from nearby users, unless you opt out in the Location Extension section of the Extensions tab in AdWords.

If you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands to optimize for the new format, simply select the option in the ad gallery in AdWords under “general purpose ads.” From there, you can upload up to three pictures, a logo, and your ad headline and copy.

GoogleAdWords

Online shopping isn’t always a static process. Shoppers often hop from device to device freely as they browse and ultimately purchase. In fact, Google says 61% of internet users and over 80% of online millennials begin shopping on one device but finish their transaction from another.

To help you better keep track of these customers as they progress throughout your sales process, Google is making cross-device conversions more prominent in their online reports.

Introduced three years ago, cross-device conversions is finally becoming a default feature included in the Conversions column. According to Google, this will help businesses get the most complete view of their conversions possible and improve your ability to measure the full value of mobile ads.

Google also says that advertisers who have already gotten access to automatic cross-device conversion tracking have generated an average of 16% more conversions overall.

Beginning on August 16th, Google will make cross-device conversion a default feature listed in conversion reports.

As a business advertising on Google, this means you’ll gain easier access to information about how your ads are performing across all devices. That means you’ll be able to quickly see whether your mobile or desktop ads are failing to perform. You can also see what devices your customers are most likely to use throughout the sales process and better cater your ads and sales process to their needs.

GoogleAdWords

As more people are searching for businesses from a variety of devices like smartphones and tablets, it is important that businesses provide a diverse number of ways to get in touch. Now Google is testing a new AdWords extension that will allow users to contact advertisers in an entirely new way.

In the past, Google has used ad extensions to make it easy for searchers to call businesses they were interested in. With the latest ad format, you can now text or SMS advertisers directly from their ad.

Here is an example of how the ad format looks:

TextAdExtension

By clicking the text icon, you will be taken to your default messaging app, where a prefilled text message is started with the advertiser’s information. For example, if you click the icon in the results above, the pre-filled text message reads, “[Zipwip] I’m interested to learn more about Zipwhip.”

Judging by other results like the one below, the text ad extension can be combined with ad call buttons to provide a variety of ways to contact your business.

TextAdExtension2

Barry Schwarz was the first to report this new ad format. When he reached out to Google for more information, he was provided with this statement:

We’re always experimenting with new ways to connect our advertisers to customers but don’t have further details to share at this time.