Posts

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.

bingmobileads

While Google largely pretends Bing Ads doesn’t exist, Bing has been working hard to make it easier for advertisers to manage campaigns for both services from one place.

This started by offering the ability to import Google AdWords campaigns directly to Bing Ads, but now the company is expanding this with the ability to automatically sync your campaigns across platforms.

With this new feature, advertisers no longer have to make manual updates to their Bing Ads campaigns if they decide to tweak things on AdWords. Instead, when anything like ad copy, campaign budgets, and ad extensions is updated in AdWords, the changes will automatically be applied to a synced Bing Ads campaign.

automated-import-1-final-edit

To do this, go through the typical process to import your campaigns into Bing Ads. At the end, you’ll be asked if you would like to import data now, at a later date, or on a recurring basis. Campaigns set to import on a regular basis can be set to update on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Once you’ve done this, you can also view your import schedule and history, to ensure your campaigns are being properly updated. From here you can also pause or edit scheduled imports.

It sounds like Bing is already at work to expand these features even more, as they say to expect enhanced compatibility with multi-language targeting in the not too distant future.

After months of testing a new verification in the San Francisco area exclusively for locksmiths and plumbers, the search engine has officially launched the “Google guaranteed” verification process.

If your business gets “Google guaranteed”, you get a special green badge next to your business in the search results – and customers get a few perks and protections through Google.

img_3099-760x1242

If you tap on any of the results, you are then taken to the home service ad specifically for that business, along with some extra details about what the Google guarantee really means:

img_3100-760x342

Tapping on Learn More goes even more in-depth, with a full page of details about what the Google guarantee covers and how it works:

”When you book an eligible home service pro on Google, you are protected by the Google guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the work quality, Google may refund up to the amount paid for the job.”

What Businesses Need To Know

Currently, the Google guarantee is limited to just locksmiths and plumbers. This is because both industries have had recent issues with ad fraud and abusive advertising practices which Google is attempting to clean up.

There does not appear to be a public sign-up process for businesses hoping to be verified, and it is unclear what the verification process includes. However, this is likely to become more transparent as the verification process is extended nationwide.

What Customers Need To Know

To activate the Google guarantee, fill out this form before your first appointment. You can also call customer support at (844) 885-0761 to submit a claim or ask questions about your coverage.

Coverage

  • If you’re unhappy with the work performed, you can submit a claim and Google will cover the invoice amount up to a lifetime cap of $2,000.
  • The job must be booked through Google Home Services. Any future work completed by the same provider, unless booked through Home Services, is not covered.
  • Jobs completed before September 14, 2016, are not covered.
  • Currently only locksmith and plumbing jobs are covered.

GoogleAdWords

Google is giving AdWords’ price extensions a makeover this week to make prices even more prominent in search results, according to an announcement Monday.

Price extensions are one of Google’s many extended ad formats designed to highlight individual products and services and allow searchers to easily compare prices.

The extension was first released in July as a simple list, similar to how sitelinks are displayed. Now, Google has redesigned the extensions to appear in a card carousel near the top of search results. You can get a preview what these cards look like in the tweet AdWords released to announce the change:

The 10 languages included in the release are English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

While the new price extensions put the emphasis on cost, it is also useful for highlighting your brand, events, products, and related services. The ad format includes a header, description, and price.

Unlike some ad formats, price extension ads don’t direct users to a landing page. Instead, they serve as direct links to sales pages for the specific item highlighted.

The best part of this redesign is that price extension ads now take up even more valuable space at the top of search results, without costing any more than a typical ad. That means you get to make an even bigger splash without costing you anything extra.

Source: Jhaymesisviphotography / Flickr

Source: Jhaymesisviphotography / Flickr

Online advertising is something many people hate. While some brands make it their effort to provide valuable ads in an un-intrusive format, it seems like the majority of websites and advertisers would rather bombard you with full-page interstitials, auto-playing video ads, and pop-ups no matter where you look.

That is likely going to change soon.

The biggest names in online advertising, including Facebook and Google, have joined together to improve digital ads in response to the rise of ad-blocking and widespread public dissatisfaction with ads.

The Coalition for Better Ads was unveiled this week at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany. The group’s founding members include not just Facebook and Google, but several huge advertisers like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and The Washington Post. According to a report from AdWeek, the coalition also includes the 4As, the Association of National Advertisers, the World Federation of Advertisers, GroupM, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

While the new coalition could mean big changes are coming to online advertising, don’t expect anything in the immediate future. For now, the coalition says they plan to monitor and evaluate the quality of online ads with technology being developed at the IAB’s Tech Lab, which will score ads on several factors including creative and load time.

From there, the group will develop new standards using this data and other feedback from consumers and marketers.

“It is essential that industry create standards to assure that consumers get safe, fast, secure delivery of the sites and services they love,” said IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg.

The announcement comes just days after AdBlock Plus, the biggest ad blocker on the market, unveiled a new “Acceptable Ads” program, which will function as an ad exchange that sells ads to brands looking to work around the software distributed by the company. The announcement of the Acceptable Ads service claimed it would be working with Google and AppNexus to distribute ads, however, both companies have since disavowed their relationship with AdBlock Plus and its new business strategy.

GoogleAdWords

This past July, Google began rolling out expanded text ads to advertisers everywhere. The intention is to eventually replace the standard text ads offered by Google with the new, longer versions. But, it looks like some advertisers are taking longer than expected to get adjusted to the new ad format.

When expanded text ads were released, Google said standard text ads would cease to be available starting October 26, but it is pushing back the deadline to early next year to allow advertisers to become more accustomed to expanded text ads. Now, Google says advertisers have until January 31, 2017, to make the switch.

After this date, brands advertising on Google’s network will no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. Instead, they will be forced to use expanded text ads. While standard text ads won’t be available to advertisers, Google says it will continue to serve ads standard text ads that have already been made and published after the deadline.

Google has said the release of expanded text ads is intended to help advertisers improve their ad quality scores and improve clickthrough rates, but it is important to note that just making your ad longer doesn’t necessarily mean it will receive a better quality score. It does, however, allow advertisers more flexibility to put forth the best ads possible.

In order to raise your quality score on all ads – not just expanded text ads – Google offers a few suggestions:

  • Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads.
  • Focus your testing on headlines.
  • Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads.
  • Consider shorter headlines on brand terms.
  • Leave your standard text ads running until the new versions are consistently outperforming them.
  • Review your pre-existing ads for previous success with longer headlines.
  • Don’t implement the same expanded text ad across many different ad groups.
  • Don’t blindly insert a new second headline without changing the rest of the ad.
  • Don’t write expanded text ads that lose their relevance to a user’s query.
  • Don’t leave out specific benefits or attributes of your product that had proven to be enticing in the past.

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.

shopping-carts

Google is rolling out a new update to its Local Inventory Ads that let allows searchers to browse in-stock products when they search for a business. That means if a users searchers for your business, they could browse your inventory straight from Google.

So far, the new features are limited to a small number of retailers, such as Macy’s and Ikea. However, it is expected to continue spreading to businesses of all sizes in the coming months.

The update is not a surprise, as Google announced the expanded features utilizing their its Knowledge Graph and Google Maps back in May. However, it was first spotted this week by Nicolai Helling who captured a few screenshots of what it looks like out in the wild.

shopping-google-my-business-web-EN

With the new features, you’ll see a new line in the Knowledge Panel underneath your NAP (name, address, phone number) information which says: “Search items at this store”. You can also find this in Google Maps underneath the store’s hours.

If a user clicks on this, they’ll be taken to a page hosted by Google where you can refine exactly what item you are looking for. If they select a specific product, they will then be directed to a dedicated page product information as well as information about where to purchase the product online or in store.

To use the feature as it rolls out, you will need to be signed up for Google’s Local Inventory Ads program and be running ads with your products and inventory information.

AdWords In Store Visits

It is no secret that many consumers often get annoyed with ads. Either they get worn down by sites that go overboard with ads littered across their pages or they just get tired of seeing ads that aren’t relevant or interesting to them. Thankfully, Google has found a way to give users the power to only see the ads they want.

Google is sending out notifications to users through Chrome and Gmail alerting them to a new web portal which puts the power to control ads into the users’ hands – among many other things.

The opt-in service allows you to voluntarily give Google a small number of personal details and surveys your interests to better target ads that are actually useful to users.

The feature is a part of Google’s new portal called ‘My Activity’, which displays all your activity across Google and Google devices in reverse chronological format including your past searches, visited websites, Map searches, and ads you’ve interacted with.

Obviously this might make many people nervous to see all the information Google can collect and store about their activity, but the portal also gives you the power to delete any information you don’t want to be there.

The ability to control the ads you see is specifically in a section of the portal called Ads Personalization. Here you will find checkboxes on topics you want to see ads on, along with sections to provide your age and gender.

Screen-Shot-2016-06-29-at-8.52.37-AM-760x613

If you turn on the feature, Google will use this information to serve you ads based on your previous search history, recently watched videos on YouTube, and other information you provide. Conversely, by opting in you are agreeing to provide Google with information about ads you have interacted with.

Users who don’t opt-in will be shown ads based on other more general information such as location data.

Google is far from the first company to use user data to target ads towards users. In fact, they’ve been doing this for years. However, this is possibly the first time a company has so transparently allowed users to control what information is being collected and how it is being used to serve them ads.

google-animation-01-2016

If you own a smartphone, chances are you know the frustration of accidentally tapping on an ad you had no interest in when you were trying to scroll down a page. These accidental taps aren’t just annoying to users, either. Advertisers hate these mobile clicks because they wind up paying for clicks from users who had no intention of converting.

Now, Google is stepping in to improve their mobile ad performance and user experience by altering how their ads operate on mobile devices.

Of course, Google has been trying to fight back against accidental mobile clicks for a considerable time now, but its recent announcement extends their initiative to its native ad formats. Before, their efforts were limited to just search and display ads. The search giant says they are stepping up their efforts because accidental clicks and taps are bad for everyone. Beyond simply being an inconvenience for advertisers and users, Google says accidental taps also drive down the value of ads.

“When we look at the effect for advertisers in mobile apps, we observe double the value per click,” Google said in a blog post. “We work hard to ensure that the clicks advertisers are charged for are more meaningful, and we hope sharing insight on these protections helps raise awareness and guide the wider advertising ecosystem.”

The changes being rolled out to native ads prevents accidental clicks in a few ways. First, Google ignores any clicks that are unusually fast, comparing itself to a professional baseball player having 680 milliseconds to tell whether they should swing at a pitch.

“That’s fast, even for a professional who’s paying close attention to hitting the ball,” Google said. “We think it’s virtually impossible for someone to read, understand, and take action on an ad in that amount of time.”

Additionally, Google says it will ignore when a user likely accidentally taps on an ad by excluding clicks on the edge of an ad. According to the search engine, clicks on the middle of an ad are associated with “dramatically higher” conservation rates and show much higher intentionality than those on the edge of ads.