Enhancing AdWords for a constantly connected world

Today we’re upgrading AdWords, by rolling out enhanced campaigns. This is a first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world.

Why enhanced campaigns?
People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, a recent study of multi-device consumers found that 90% move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task. There’s also a proliferation of new devices — PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, hybrid devices, mini-tablets, televisions, and more. And there are many more digital screens and devices to come, with the lines between them continuing to blur. For example, as devices converge, consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar.

This creates great opportunities for businesses, but can also make marketing more complex and time-consuming. For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 1pm on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 8pm on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator). Signals like location, time of day, and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad.

With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place. Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.

Key features
Here’s an overview of some key features.
  1. Powerful marketing tools for the multi-device world
    People want search results that are relevant for the context they are in — their device, location and the time of day. Enhanced campaigns help you better manage your campaigns and budgets for this multi-device world. With bid adjustments, you can manage bids for your ads across devices, locations, time of day and more — all from a single campaign.

    Example: A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for "coffee" or "breakfast" on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.

  2. Smarter ads optimized for varying user contexts
    People on the go or near your store may be looking for different things than someone sitting at their desk. With enhanced campaigns, you’ll show ads across devices with the right ad text, sitelink, app or extension, without having to edit each campaign for every possible combination of devices, location and time of day.

    Example: A national retailer with both physical locations and a website can show ads with click-to-call and location extensions for people searching on their smartphones, while showing an ad for their e-commerce website to people searching on a PC — all within a single campaign.

  3. Advanced reports to measure new conversion types
    Technology is enabling people to take action on your ads in new ways. Potential customers may see your ad and download your app, or they may call you. It’s been hard for marketers to easily measure and compare these interactions. To help you measure the full value of your campaigns, enhanced campaigns enables you to easily count calls and app downloads as conversions in your AdWords reports.

    Example: You can count phone calls of 60 seconds or longer that result from a click-to-call ad as a conversion in your AdWords reports, and compare them to other conversions like leads, sales and downloads.
Upgrading to enhanced campaigns
Enhanced campaigns will roll out to advertisers as an option over the next few weeks, and we plan to upgrade all campaigns in mid-2013.

Enhanced campaigns are designed to help you succeed in a multi-screen world, but we know that transitioning may involve some initial changes. Here are some resources to help you:
Over the coming weeks we’ll dive into the new features with tips and best practices on the Inside AdWords blog and on our Google+ page. We’d love your feedback.

Five resolutions for better search management in 2013

We know marketers are always looking to run better search campaigns by going bigger, moving faster, and taking new opportunities across formats, devices, and channels. Our mission with DoubleClick Search is to help them do that. Over the past year, we’ve further invested in making DoubleClick Search a best-in-class platform for search management to meet the needs of agencies and advertisers. We’ve often called 2012 our year of transformation: after rebuilding DoubleClick Search from the ground up in 2011, our team focused 2012 on delivering powerful tools to make managing the world’s largest search campaigns more efficient and effective than ever before. Our goal is to make search simple -- providing easier, smarter, and faster ways to manage your campaigns -- and integrate it with your broader digital marketing efforts in the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform.

With this vision in mind, we’re kicking off the new year with a new look to our website, and a continued focus on investing in a search management platform that will save you time, get great campaign results, and help you make better digital marketing decisions. In the spirit of self-betterment, we invite you to join us in resolving to make 2013 your best year yet. Here are a few suggested resolutions to improve your life as a search marketer:

  1. I will remember important dates. Keeping track of anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions can be tricky enough. While Google Calendar can help you organize your personal events, DoubleClick Search has you covered the rest of the time, giving you reliable access to your campaigns on any day of the year without the worry of extended downtime and missed opportunities. Backed by Google infrastructure, DoubleClick Search is up and running when you need it most -- during critical dates like Black Friday, Christmas day, and throughout the holiday season. We’ll keep the lights on throughout 2013, so you can worry about finding that perfect anniversary gift.

  2. I will go to bed earlier. We get it; there’s just not enough time in the day. On top of back-to-back meetings, lunch dates, squeezing in some gym time and having dinner ready by 7, the last thing you want to do is manage a campaign that needs to go live at midnight. With DoubleClick Search, we help you get your life (and your search ads) on track with a set of scheduling features, including scheduled sync, scheduled UI edits, and scheduled upload sheets to effortlessly automate campaign changes around the clock. Coupled with easy bulk operations in the interface and ID-less uploads that have lowered bulksheet errors by 50% [cite: internal Google data], save time and your sanity by cutting out repetitive tasks. Go on and catch those extra zzz’s -- we’ve got it covered.
  3. I will save more for a rainy day. So you really, really want that new pair of shoes -- but resisting temptation can be hard. Ease your way into fiscal responsibility with DoubleClick Search Budget pacing reports, which allow you to keep track of your monthly search budgets at a glance. Visualize week-over-week, day-over-day, or month-over-month trends to quickly identify search campaigns that are under-spending or underperforming, and adjust keywords, bids, or budgets accordingly. (Now after setting up your Budget pacing reports, go out and get those shoes -- you deserve them!)
  4. I will be a better listener. No smartphones out during dinner. No talking over your friends. And no more ignoring key search insights. Just as listening to your friends and colleagues can mean more opportunities to develop better personal relationships, listening to your search campaigns can help you nurture better campaign results to meet your business goals. Our Performance Bidding Suite offers a variety of transparency features into the bid optimization process, including bid rationale, preview intended bids, chart bid history, and primary constraint to help you get down to the nitty-gritty of what might or might not be working. Are your min and max bids too constrained? Is your goal too aggressive? Just lend us your ear and we’ll help you discover those insights.
  5. I will spend more time with family. Your family is important -- they’re your bedrock, your confidants, and your circle of trust. That unified sense of integration and understanding is important to us, too. Because we know that search is one piece of a broader digital marketing “family,” we built DoubleClick Search to natively integrate with our display ad server, demand-side platform, and our rich media and analytics platforms -- all a part of DoubleClick Digital Marketing -- to help you take advantage of more opportunities across channels. Use Display remarketing from search ads to “close the loop” on paid search efforts, showing users display ads across major ad exchanges via DoubleClick Bid Manager, or across the Google Display Network. Then, call your mom. She misses you.

Here’s to your best year yet. Happy New Year from DoubleClick Search!

Enhanced sitelinks rolling out globally

In February, we announced enhanced sitelinks on desktop search ads. We display enhanced sitelinks by combining multiple sitelinks and closely related search ads into a larger nested format.

Early testing showed that enhanced sitelinks could make ads that appear above the organic search results even more useful. And they could lead to significantly higher clickthrough rates for an advertiser than regular 2-line and 3-line sitelinks.

Over the last several months, we’ve continued to improve the ad systems for creating enhanced sitelinks and determining when they’re most useful. Now, we’ve begun to roll them out in all countries where AdWords is available.

Preparing your campaigns
You can follow these tips to prepare your campaign to show enhanced sitelinks.
  1. Enhanced sitelinks can only show when your ad is above the organic search results. If a "top vs. other" report shows that your ads have few impressions in a top ad position, you can try increasing your Quality Score, increasing your max CPC bid, or a combination of the two.
  2. Add 6-10 sitelinks, each with a unique landing page.
  3. Have multiple active ads in your account with the same landing page URLs as your sitelinks. One ad to match each unique sitelink is the bare minimum.
Like other forms of sitelinks, enhanced sitelinks are generated automatically so they might vary in appearance. And you might not see them show 100% of the time even when you’re eligible.

Reporting and optimizing
Click costs and reporting work the same with enhanced sitelinks as with other forms of sitelinks. If you decide to optimize your account around enhanced sitelinks, we suggest that you always evaluate your changes against multiple performance metrics (e.g., volume and cost effectiveness), not just whether CTR is increasing.

Learn more and share
For more details about sitelinks, please visit the AdWords Help Center. If you’re feeling social, you can ask questions and share tips at the AdWords Community.

Hangout recap - Making search ads work for businesses with mobile apps

Want to learn how to use new AdWords search ads to promote and track your mobile app, and hear from early adopters who have done so?

Last Thursday, we hosted Google Product Manager Anurag Agrawal in conversation with Brian Wright, Senior Marketing Manager at Lookout Mobile Security and Troy Morris, Mobile Marketing Manager at WhitePages.com in a Google+ Hangout. They discussed the value of using search ads to promote their respective mobile apps. Anurag then showed us in a live demo how to set up features that can help app developers promote and track downloads of their mobile app.

To see the full conversation, watch the Hangout here:

Below, Brian Wright (BW) and Troy Morris (TM) discuss role of search advertising in growing their mobile app business.

Google: Why has your business chosen to promote your mobile apps?
Brian Wright: We provide a mobile app that helps smartphone users protect their phones against data loss, theft and malware. The more users we have, the more data we have about the threats out there in the mobile ecosystem - so in order to make our technology effective, it’s important for us to acquire users.

Google: Why use AdWords search ads to promote your mobile app?
BW: We promote our apps on the major mobile ad networks and via carrier partnerships. However, search encourages a different type of user behavior that’s different from iTunes or Google Play Store browsing. Our search users are looking for more information, but they might not know an app is a solution to what they’re looking for. It’s great to get in front of those people with search ads.

WhitePages.com and Lookout Mobile Security promote their apps using AdWords mobile search ads

Google: What’s the value of running search ads to promote your mobile app?
Troy Morris: There is an intent users have on search, in our case - to find someone. Conversion rates easily eclipse that of other ad networks so we’re able to get downloads at responsible costs, which helps the overall lifetime value of these users.

What’s also great is that even before Android download tracking was launched, Google was ahead of the curve to give us insights we couldn’t get through other channels. We could track performance from the campaign, down to the ad group and keyword level. It gives us a massive amount of control we don’t see on other ad networks. It gives me the ability to go in at any point in the day to adjust bids or ads, and optimize to where every single penny counts.

To learn more about how to set up these new features in your AdWords account, check out the recording of the Hangout, or view these instructions in the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Sonja Lee, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Mobile Ads