The changes are coming! The changes are coming!
Today Google has announced a series of changes that they will be rolling out for Ad Innovations, Measurement, and Advanced Tools. In this post I have focused on the new features I feel as a paid search analyst have the most potential to have an impact on my use of AdWords.
While the new ad innovations focused on mobile apps was all well and good, I was honestly expecting this section of changes to be much more robust. Since I currently don’t work with any clients that have their own app at the moment, this really played no immediate effect on my life what so ever.
For their measurement section, Google simply covered how well companies using AdWords are doing extremely well now that they are measuring offline conversions in online advertising results. They said early testers saw an overall return on ad spend increase by 102% when they include offline sales; personally I just think, well duh they saw an increase,they just started accurately tracking conversions that were already happening.
The Good Stuff
Regardless of the other two sections, I am rather excited and anxious to get my hands on the new Advanced Tools that Google will soon be rolling out. While we won’t fully understand their capabilities and level of usefulness until we have full access, here are some preliminary details and potential uses for our new shiny toys.
Google is incorporating more bulk change capabilities directly in the AdWords interface in order to allow users to make large, seasonal changes without using an outside program.
While they did not dive into too much detail on exactly how we can make those changes, (or the ease with which we will be able to make them), my thoughts are similar to that of Regina George. Google, stop trying to make bulk actions happen, it’s not going to happen. We already have AdWord’s Editor for that. We would prefer you add labeling capabilities to Editor rather than add possibly sub-par bulk operations into AdWords.
Additional Automated Bidding
Google has been offering automated bidding for a while now with you having the power to focus either on return ad spend, cost-per-acquisition, or clicks. Now they will be rolling out the opportunity to optimize bids automatically in order to maximize the total number of conversions or the total value of conversions.
I wouldn’t be too quick to throw away your bid management software just yet. I definitely don’t feel the need to quickly change all of my manual bid campaigns over to the mercy of Google’s automated bidding. While these could prove to be better in terms of overall performance than Google’s other automated bidding options, I remain skeptical until proven otherwise about giving Google full power over my bids.
To help us create better reports and more efficiently, Google is creating a reporting center within AdWords to allow you to look at multi-dimensional data with better visualization tools. You will be able to take different aspects of your live AdWords data and drag-and-drop it to create tables, graphs and charts all within AdWords.
This is where things really begin to get exciting. No more downloading mass amounts of AdWords data into excel spreadsheets, no more fear of missing information, and no more vlookups. Say hello to the new clean way of Google AdWord’s reporting within the interface. There is a lot of potential here for analysts to be able to easily dive deeper into their accounts to understand what is going on without taking too much time and focus away from optimizing.
Drafts & Labs
Another possible stab at AdWord’s Editor, Google is rolling out the ability to create draft campaigns directly within AdWords. The point is to allow you to prepare your ideas and actually create campaigns that then can be used for live tests with experimental traffic. Possible changes that can be tested include bids, keywords, settings, ads, and basically any other change you could ever make in a campaign.
This feature definitely deserves some attention and is showing some real possibility to help users run accurate, controlled tests. While I think it will take a few test runs to really dial in on how to best use this new feature and come to trust how accurate these experiments reflect full blown traffic, this could mean big changes for users. I really hope Google doesn’t disappoint on this one.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Google will continue to run thousands of tests each year for new ad formats and tool innovations. Compared to enhanced campaigns last year, these are only a minor set of changes Google is rolling out. Keep your eyes on Google’s Ad Innovations page and the Inside AdWords Blog for the continued addition of new shiny toys for us PPC nerds. As we all know, the changes will always be coming.