People go online to shop. It’s a fact that the vast majority of retailers don’t realize the importance of their presence on the internet. Owners have to realize that they are up against major corp players who have entire teams dedicated to digital marketing. Google has revolutionized the search market and has been able to successfully implement changes into its products immediately, which affects millions of businesses at the same time. The features are important, but understanding how people shop is more crucial for small business owners!
Bye, Bye, AdWords
The biggest change is that we have known the primary Google ad tool as AdWords. Now, they’ve dropped the ‘w’ and it is just Google Ads. This is more than just a technicality, I think it signals a fundamental shift in the way they’re viewing advertising. Traditionally, ad tech hasn’t been thought of as being intertwined with content and keywords the way search engine marketing has. However, people move through content differently now that search behaviour is changing meaningfully so Google realized they needed to expand their advertising horizons to optimize for this new behaviour. The new name indicates a move towards a more comprehensive approach, one that will incorporate machine learning and behavioural tracking to better understand the true intent behind people’s actions online.
With their new advertising program, Google is providing additional support to small business advertisers, allowing those who don’t have the time or energy to create their own campaigns to leave that all in Google’s hands. Although I really like this idea, I believe there will be a tradeoff between value and convenience. With this new program you won’t have time for visibility into what’s actually being done to market your business, so how can you understand how to get better results in the future?
- Local Ads – Google allows you to create one campaign that will work across all of their products, including Search, Maps, Local and even YouTube. Facebook also does this by offering app developers the ability to integrate their services with other providers like Twitter and Instagram. In fact, if Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram from 2012 is any indication – it’s better to have your product integrated into multiple environments to get the most out of it.
- Lead Ads – Lead Ads: A new unit on YouTube, Lead Ads allows businesses to collect leads given via an ad message. A similar format found already on Facebook, which means it’s primed for advertisers to easily use across platforms.
- Responsive Search Ads – Responsive Search Ads make it easier for your users to find what they’re looking for. This means that if a user learns from one short interaction with your ad that you have exactly what they need, they can increase their likelihood of coming back to you to buy again. The more tailored your ads are to your business and the more often you test different variables, the more Google will be able to figure out what works best for you.
Google Ads on Your Desktop
Google’s AdWords Editor has been updated. This new version of the application allows you to download your advertising campaigns for editing on the desktop. The idea behind this is to allow you to get on with your work whether you are offline or on the move which means that you do not have to dedicate your time sitting on the platform.
What About Organic Search
While these new campaigns will help advertisers across all levels, for those marketing in Google Ads, it is important to remember that the platform is still in its developing stages. The more that users become aware of and adapt to the design, there could be an increase in the number of clicks or conversions. This new ad format is merely experimenting with what most frequently works well for consumers and if this happens, it will automatically serve to push organic results even further down the page. Though we can’t say what this may mean for marketers who are currently using paid advertisements on top of using SEO strategies, we can’t deny that there has been a great shift in both search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising since 2016.
Google Local Services Ads
The last item, which does not impact everyone yet, is Local Services Ads from Google. Formerly known as Home Service Ads, Local Services Ads are currently focused on tradespeople, technicians, and providers of other services to homeowners, with plans to expand to additional categories.
Google will not send users directly to a website when they click on this type of ad. Rather, Google will use a tracking phone number so that they’re able to see which leads are generated from these ads; the business owner is then charged for those leads. In turn, rather than charging a nominal fee per click, Google now asks for $25-$100 per lead because they’ve delivered a verifiable lead.
Google Ads is great – and we recommend it to anyone looking to promote their business online. However, the Google Ads platform can be a bit complex to navigate if you lack the time or just aren’t familiar enough with it. We are able to take control of your ads so that you don’t have to, by creating clear goals and managing your budget effectively.
Working exclusively with one platform for advertising makes things difficult for businesses though, which is why it is good to make sure that there are multiple platforms involved in your overall marketing strategy. It will also help you save on costs. If you are struggling or just need to save time, Mani Media can do an audit for you.
Google Sheets Integration
If you’re not already familiar with Google Sheets, it’s essentially a free, online version of Microsoft Excel. The integration will allow you to pull reporting from your AdWords account and select metrics for data analysis into the program. With offline support for Google Analytics and BigQuery coming soon, this feature is intended to be used by agencies or consultants who may need to track data specific to multiple clients in an effort to keep the reporting consistent across accounts.