UPDATED July 28, 2016: Google officially launched expanded text ads (ETAs) across all devices on July 26, 2016 to the public. ETAs are nearly 50% larger than standard text ads. They include two headlines, each with up to 30 characters and a description of up to 80 characters–bringing the total to 140 characters of ad copy. 

To enable a smooth transition, Google will allow existing standard ads to run alongside expanded text ads. However, they will remove the ability to create or upload standard text ads on October 26, 2016. This means that every advertiser will be busy rewriting around 9 billion text ads worldwide over the next 90 days. 

As a Google AdWords Premier Partner, we were included in this beta program that launched in the spring of 2016. This gave us sufficient time to test the new ad format, by industry, across an array of clients, to optimize our current strategies. That means everyone in the G5 ecosystem will benefit from our advanced entry and testing–not just beta participants. 

On May 24, 2016, Google held their Google Performance Summit (GPS 2016), addressing a variety of topics: the importance of mobile, changes in advertising for local businesses, display advertising, as well as new innovations in Google AdWords and Google Analytics 360 Suite. You can watch the full hour of the Google Ads & Analytics Innovations
Keynoteor read further for the highlights and what these updates mean for your business.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP of Advertising and Commerce at Google, discussed the importance of mobile. Right now, businesses have more chances to connect with their audience than ever before; and we need to be there for them when, where, and how they look for information. Google describes “micro-moments” as those instances when searchers “want to know, want to do, want to go, and want to buy” and, in order to attract them, your job is to capture the intent of the searchers.

Many businesses and brands know who their target audience is and what type of device they’re using, whether it’s mobile, desktop, or tablet. If you’re not gathering this information, now is a great time to do so. Google is now allowing businesses to make their bids in AdWords by device, allowing you to put your efforts and dollars toward the right platform for your audience.

Text Ads, Remarketing, and Similar Audiences

Ramaswamy also shared these game changers for Google text ads:

1) Longer headlines with an additional line of space will be allowed.

2) Ad description lines have increased, and now there is 50% more ad text available.

3) More ad space means you can feature more of your product and service information.

Brad Bender, VP of Display and Video Ads, also spoke on display advertising and talked about a new offering coming soon called Similar Audiences for Search. Right now, you can use remarketing to present an ad to a visitor that has already visited your website. Similar Audiences for Search adds a feature where a  searcher can visit a related business and if they don’t know your business, your display ad can now show up for that visitor. It’s a great way to reach new users and get them to your site by targeting searchers who have shared interests with your current remarketing audience. Targeting by demographics will be released for display advertising in the coming year.

Maps and Local Businesses

Jerry Dischler, VP of Search Ads, said that one-third of all mobile searches are related to location and 75% of searchers making a local search on a mobile device will visit the business in the same day.

The fact that more than one billion people use Google Maps is more important than ever. Google started showing local business’ ads in map results last month and is now rolling out promoted pins in maps, allowing users to find businesses of interest when en route or making a related search

Google Analytics 360 Suite

The new Google Analytics 360 Suite takes your analysis a step further. Matt Lawson, Director of Performance Ads Marketing, outlined the three principles for the new Google Analytics:

1) Tools need to be integrated

With Optimize 360, you can use audiences and goals in analytics to run site experiments.

2) Tools need to encourage collaboration

Data Studio 360 brings a whole new level of reporting and collaboration to Google Analytics and other Google products. Users can integrate data from all Google products and create a report that is living and breathing. It will be easier to collaborate with other Google users and work together on the same report.

3) Tools need built-in intelligence

Google Analytics will have machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) where you can ask a question like “how many users came to my site last year” or “what was my top-selling product in April,” and the AI will answer your question quickly and accurately. No more digging through data to find the answers you need.

AdWords Redesign

Lawson also outlined three initiatives that are driving changes to the current AdWords design and functionality:

1) The data you care about needs to be at your fingertips.

2) AdWords should be more about your business and less about the product.

3) Tools you use should be powerful and simple.

Samantha Lemonnier, Director of Engineering AdWords Platform, showed how they applied those principles to the new AdWords redesign. Currently, when you log into AdWords you see data, but it’s hard to tell what is most important and where to look. The new home page will show what campaigns are performing well, what is driving the top clicks and conversions, and how ads are performing by device. You can easily get to this data with one click no matter where you are in AdWords, keeping the data that’s most important to your business front and center.

To help marketers think about the business first, you can now select your business initiative or an action you want the searcher to take—such as “visit your business”—and Google will open features in AdWords that will help you cater to that type of searcher.

Mobile is more important than ever, with more than 50% of searchers using mobile devices. Google is always innovating, and we are excited to try out these new offerings as they become more readily available throughout the year.

Clients, if you have questions, contact your Client Performance Manager.

If you’re interested in knowing more about G5, contact us.