New Features Announced for AdWords


Yesterday, Google announced some changes to AdWords which gave many a PPC campaign manager a feeling of relief, as they are all positive. The changes are not, as yet, hugely drastic, but they are all great and are due to be rolled out to the world over the coming months.

Some users may find that they already have the new look dashboard, so let’s have a look at what the new features are.

Good News for App Marketers

Google recognise the fact that 60% of apps that are released on Google Play don’t get downloads. This is due to the current system of app discovery relying heavily on the store itself, but now the search giant is offering a “holistic solution” to app discovery.

Consequently AdMob is being scaled up so that users can serve ads to users based on the apps that they already use, how often they use them and the kinds of in-app purchases that they make.

This means that newly installed app ads will allow users to discover an app in search and install an app directly from search, rather than forcing the user to click through to a landing page. App developers and marketers will also be able to more effectively measure conversion rates with improved AdWords features. The metrics will now also include measurements from install, re-engagement and in-app purchases.

Estimated Total Conversions Gets a Boost

Last year, Google introduced Estimated Total Conversions, which were designed to allow users to measure the ‘full value’ of campaigns. The product was a success and Google received so much good feedback it has prompted further investment.

This can only be good news, especially since Google claim that the “overall return on ad spend increase 102% when including offline sales in online advertising results.” This was based upon the results of early testers such as fashion retailer Express and Google has promised to further improve the product to give businesses the ability to improve local information.

Web UI Gets an Upgrade Too

The AdWords dashboard has also been given an overhaul with four additional new tools which are designed to improve workflows, reporting and optimisation.

These are:

  • The ability to perform bulk actions in campaign settings
  • Automated bidding for conversions
  • Multi-dimensional reporting and visualisation
  • Testing lab

Let’s have a look at each one in turn, coming first to bulk actions, of which there isn’t a huge amount to talk about. Using the new features, you will now be able to perform bulk actions on campaign extensions and settings, such as location targeting and ad rotation. It doesn’t matter how many you have, you could have 1000s of ad groups, so this will be a great time-saver for many campaign managers, especially those with a large Adword spend.

Basically, it takes a little of the ‘grunt’ out of the process by allowing you to update all campaigns at once.

Automated Bidding

This can now be set to perform automated bids to increase the volume of clicks within a set budget. Automated bidding can now be based on conversion numbers or the total number of conversions in order to increase their value. However, it does rely on Google setting the bid amounts for you, so it’s not for everyone.

Basically what it means is that if you produce say bespoke clothing and you want to allocate the daily budget in such a way that it maximises the number of people that visit the site to order something bespoke, you can with automated bids.

Advanced Reporting

You will now have the ability to create reports in different guises so as to allow you to perform most analysis actually within AdWords, without the need for downloading and reformatting data. The AdWords team has made it easier to turn data into graphs, tables and charts so that they are visual enough to be shared outside of the marketing department, or with clients.

This multi-dimensional reporting has drag and drop functionality and is certain to be a sure-fire winner with AdWords users if the online buzz surrounding the feature is anything to go by.

Your Very Own Lab

The guys at Google have helpfully built a lab inside of the AdWords interface so that you can now prepare ideas, see how campaigns and ads look and then run tests with live traffic. This allows users to perform experimental trials and you can tinker with (almost) anything in the campaign.

This includes:

  • Bid changes
  • New keywords
  • Different settings
  • Special bids based on time and location
  • Different ad formats

Again, this should save time and it’s something that I’m sure many PPC managers will find especially useful. Having the ability to play around and experiment in what’s essentially real time sounds invaluable to me.

What Does This Mean to Advertisers

It should be that less time is necessary when it comes to reporting and performing certain actions, but I think the biggest winner will be app developers. It’s notoriously difficult to get an app noticed, and even if it is and the user downloads the app, 80% of downloaded apps are only used once.

If you consider that the majority of app developers now choose the free or freemium model, with in-app advertising, over putting a price tag on an app, then it’s easy to see that there must be a lot of hungry developers out there. If the AdMob improvements live up to their promise, then app devs will be very happy indeed.

The new features in the AdWords dashboard will also undoubtedly be extremely useful too, especially the lab and reporting features. AdWords can be laborious, there’s keyword research to carry out and frankly, I’m surprised that the ability to perform bulk actions has taken so long. The reporting feature will no doubt help many managers cut right down on the time it takes to produce monthly reports too.

Check out the official Google video below for a full overview of each improvement from Jerry Dishler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords.

What do you think about the new features? Let us know in the comments box below.

Kerry Butters

A prolific technology writer, Kerry was an authority in her field and produced content for a variety of high profile sites in her niche. Also a published author, she adored the written word and all things tech and internet related. Sadly she passed away in February 2016 after a valiant battle with cancer.

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