What Is Google Ads, and How Does It Affect Your PPC Campaigns?

With a billion more people on the Internet today than five years ago — and twice as many people on smartphones — marketers need the most helpful and up-to-date campaign management tools available.

That’s why in July 2018, Google, at its annual Google Marketing Live event in San Jose, announced the rebrand of Google AdWords to Google Ads. So, what is Google Ads and how does it compare to Google AdWords?

Keep reading to find out, plus discover how it will improve your campaigns!

What is Google Ads?

A screenshot of the Google Ads homepage

Google Ads is Google AdWords rebranded with a slew of new features that you’ve never seen before. With more people than ever expecting relevant search results, Google made changes catering to the most important Internet marketing factor: searchers.

The theme of the 2018 keynote was machine learning, which all announced updates highlighted. Google created these changes to make your job as a marketer easier across every aspect of campaign management.

So, though much remains of Google AdWords, the new features of Google Ads will make the lives of searchers and marketers easier!

How does Google Ads impact your PPC campaigns?

Though a lot will stay similar, Google has shifted the focus of Google Ads to streamlining your advertising efforts and introducing smarter tools to enhance your campaigns. So, what new tools will enhance your campaign?

Here is a list of the key additions that you will love:

  1. Responsive search ads

A definition of Google Responsive Search Ads

Google’s rebrand of Google AdWords makes a strong statement that it is more than just a rebrand; it is a tectonic shift in how they will run their ad business. So, let’s start with a change they’ve made to their biggest revenue driver, Search Ads.

The Responsive Search Ads addition is a more flexible Search Ads option that has the potential to increase the performance of your ad group. That can lead to more clicks, conversions, and revenue for your business.

You can provide up to 15 headlines and four description lines as options for paid search ads. Google will then use machine learning to pick which combination to use in your ad — it’ll choose the one most likely to perform the best, depending on a user’s search query.

Though this feature is still in beta, Google has highlighted some benefits that include:

  • Reaching more potential customers with multiple headlines and description options
  • Receiving more space by showing up to three headlines instead of two, and up to two 90-character description fields instead of one 80-character description field
  • Increasing ad group performance by attracting more clicks and conversions
  • Saving time by eliminating the need to come up with the most effective ad combination yourself
  1. Local search ads

Keeping with the theme of new features for Search Ads, here is information on local search ads, another new tool of Google Ads.

You can now have your ads feature your business location(s) and lead users to call or visit your locations. When users search for a nearby business on Google or Google Maps, they may see your local search ad.

How do you use local search ads?

Set up location extensions to show local search ads. Potential benefits of doing this include:

  • More store visits from not missing out on foot traffic near your location
  • More calls since local search ads can include an option for users to call the phone number of the featured business location.
  • More shopper interest since local search ads link to your business’ location page, which includes your hours, address, customer reviews, and photos.
  1. Local campaigns

A definition of Google Local Campaigns

Of course, not only can you have local search ads, you can have local campaigns too!

Sridhar Ramaswamy, the Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce at Google, shared that the search engine has seen the number of searches with the phrase, “open near me tonight,” increase ten times.

Google is aiming its newest campaign type, called Local campaigns, at driving store visits. After setting a budget, Google Ads will generate the ads automatically based on ad creative elements from the advertiser and location extensions.

With Local campaigns, the goal is strictly to drive traffic to stores from the ads. Local campaigns report on store visits using data from signed-in Google users who have opted to turn location history on.

Why focus on store visits?

Well, about 90 percent of purchases still happen offline, and Google shared another stat at the event: 80 percent of Americans are shopping at any given time within a 48-hour period.

  1. Cross-device data

Not all users navigate the conversion path on one device. That’s why Google added a feature to monitor this user behavior, and it is so cool!

Now you’ll be able to see when customers interact with multiple ads before completing a conversion and when they do so on multiple devices. This feature gives valuable insight into how customers use different devices on the path to converting.

While your conversion data by device may show more of your sales result from clicks on desktops, looking at cross-device data may indicate that tons of users are clicking on ads through their mobile device — and then converting on their desktop.

How do you find your cross-device attribution report?

  1. Sign into your Google Ads account
  2. Click the Tools tab
  3. Select Attributions
  4. Click the menu on the left and select Cross-Device Activity
  5. Choose the report you want to see
  1. Smart campaigns

The potential benefit of Google Smart Shopping Campaigns

Wishing you could save time while getting positive results?

Wait no more! Google has created Smart Campaigns for small businesses. This Google Ads feature lets Google automatically create sample ads based on your website.

These Smart Shopping Campaigns automatically optimize ad delivery across Google’s properties and ad networks to achieve the advertiser’s defined conversion goal value, such as revenue or return on ad spend (ROAS).

Advertisers will also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. Bids and delivery will adjust automatically based on the determined likelihood that an ad click will result in the advertiser’s stated goal.

Google announced that you now have the potential to get a 20 percent increase in conversion value at a similar cost when using Smart Shopping Campaigns!

  1. Hotel ads

Once separate from Google Ads, Google has now added Hotel Ads to the Google Ads platform to make management easier for hotels. This integration also comes with a new campaign type.

Hotel campaigns in Google Ads will enable you to manage your Hotel campaigns, plus your other campaigns on a single platform.

Features of this change include:

  • Hotel groups to organize hotels by important attributes, like brand and class
  • Bidding controls to optimize for bidding dimensions unique to hotels, like a traveler’s length of stay or check-in day
  • Smart bidding, powered by machine learning, to maximize bookings at your ROI goal
  • Rich reporting and familiar responsive interface

Get the latest updates on Google Ads

As you can see, all these new changes to Google Ads from the rebrand of Google AdWords will help you increase clicks and conversions, plus create user-relevant ads that drive the results you want.

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