At Google Marketing Live in San Jose last week, Google announced a slew of new features. All are loaded with AI and machine learning, which means that search advertising is about to get a lot simpler and more centralized, as the new Google Marketing Platform will consolidate all of Google's top marketing tools in one place.
We’ve plowed through tweets from last week to see what marketers thought about the event. Okay, Google, here's what's on a marketer's mind.
1. Agencies will have a harder time selling to small businesses
The new Smart Campaigns in Google will be the default type for new Google Ads (better known as AdWords before the recent rebrand). Because these campaigns are almost fully automated, they are super easy to create and will require minimal ongoing management. The algorithm will take care of everything from scheduling to delivery optimization based on the goal you set, such as phone calls, website visits, or request for directions.
Very simply, according to Google’s latest support article on the new Smart campaigns, “Google Ads will run your ads for you.” By cutting out the middleman with this new feature, Google lowers the barrier of entry to search advertising for small businesses, while raising expectations for the value provided by small business marketing agencies.
For a business that doesn’t have online presence, Google will even build and host simple landing pages to match the ad and provide basic reporting functionality.
2. AMP will become the new normal
At the keynote, Google announced the release of a Mobile Landing Page Speed Score column within Google Ads. This tool will rank landing page speed, which, according to Google, will be based “on a number of factors,” including, well, how fast a page can load.
Page speed as a ranking factor by itself isn’t new. Google has been using it to prioritize searches for 8 years , but only for desktop results -- at least officially. With the new focus on mobile, page speed will for sure be a ranking factor in organic mobile searches, and potentially a component of Quality Score. In other words, Google really wants you to consider using AMP -- accelerated mobile pages, Google’s open source initiative aimed at speeding up loading times on the mobile web. As of 2017, AMP was used by less than 0.1% of all websites. This may change.
3. Cross-device reporting is the bee’s knees!
This announcement drew the biggest reaction from the audience in San Jose, according to Ginny Marvin, who reported for Search Engine Land. “I can hear analysts everywhere rejoicing the end of that manual slog,” tweeted Shuree Jones, a digital marketer from Portland, Oregon. Trying to piece together customer journeys across devices is no small feat. This change could potentially save hours of time on PPC reporting.
Cross-device reporting in Google Analytics will finally account for users who visit a website multiple times from different devices. Previously, mobile and desktop sessions were shown in Analytics as separate. With the new Acquisition Device report, marketers can see, for example, if a customer does research on mobile before going to the web to complete a purchase. This opens up opportunities for more sophisticated personalization and remarketing.
4. Responsive Search Ads are exciting, but need more work
The new Responsive search ads allow marketers to enter 15 headlines and four descriptions, up to 90 characters instead of the 80 available earlier. Google will serve the combination of up to three headlines and up to two 90-character descriptions that most closely match the user’s search query.
Marketers are excited to start testing, but seems like there’s no way to see the breakdown on performance besides the aggregated statistics.
Marketers also want the ability to use ad customizers for Responsive search ads. With ad customizers, you can personalize ads depending on location, time, or the type of search query. For example, you can insert a price, the time left before a sale ends, etc. Right now, this feature is not available for the new Responsive ad type.
5. Google wants to be THE platform for all digital marketing
Marketers who expected updates on Google Data Studio didn’t hear any news during the keynote. However, now, Google’s most popular marketing products, including Data Studio, are coming together as one piece. As mentioned in the keynote, Google is “bidding” farewell to Doubleclick, and bringing Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, Analytics 360, Data Studio, Optimize 360, Surveys 360, and Tag Manager 360 under one roof.
With the new platform, Google is centralizing its products and collecting even more marketing data that will help these products work effectively.
For more news on Google Marketing Live 2018, watch the keynote and subscribe to our blog for free weekly updates.