News and insights • Posted on 12 July 2018

Google Marketing Live 2018: What you need to know

The digital marketing landscape has been subject to change for the entirety of its existence and that’s not about to stop now. On July 10th 2018, Google officially introduced its new online marketing experience and explained what that means for us, the marketers. Here, we take a look at the key pointers from the annual conference, which was held in San Jose, California. There looks to be some exciting new tools on the horizon that we’re certainly looking forward to incorporating into our marketing mix.

A rebranding is imminent

In a bid to show the search engine is developing in line with its consumers and users, Google is in the process of rebranding some of its ‘core products’. Google AdWords will become Google Ads, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 suite will be labelled under Google Marketing Platform and last but not least, DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) and DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) is to be renamed Google Ad Manager.

Google Ads for small businesses specifically will make it ‘easier than ever’ to get started with online advertising – something we know from experience has always been a major scare factor when a small-scale business first looks to advertising online. All too often people are scared off with ‘PPC and CPC’ jargon. We’re hoping this will help soften the disjointed connection between the first steps of the paid advertising journey.

Responsive search ads

The new responsive search ads were first mentioned earlier in the year and will be rolled out to all advertisers over the next couple of months. According to Google, this new ad type will automate ad testing and give more ad space over to those willing to hand the testing element over to Google’s algorithm. Google will now mix and match multiple headlines in order to show the most relevant advert to the user searching. These adverts will now show up to three 30-character headlines and two 90-character description lines, giving us up to 90% more ‘space’ on the page.

Site speed was also discussed. With the current consumer lacking in ‘time’ to purchase, a faster loading landing page is one of the main ways to ensure the customer experience is at the highest level. The new mobile landing page speed score in Google Ads will enable us to track how our pages are performing over time, will be updated daily and can give a deeper insight than ever before into page performance.

Measurement in the mobile-first world has always made it a little more difficult to track campaigns as people tend to shift between devices from day to day. Cross-device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics will enable us to link moments, trends and insight together to create a more coherent picture of the customer journey from research all the way through to conversion.

Smart text and shopping campaigns

Smart campaigns are simple, save time and focus on the conversions that small business care about – phone calls to your business, directions or get in touch contact form enquiries. You can now set up a smart campaign in minutes. Google my business listings are also getting a revamp as you can now have a ‘Q&A’ or ‘Messenger’ function attached to your listing – again making you more accessible to the user when they are researching.

Automated feeds for shopping are due to be launched later in the year, which will enable Google to crawl your website and automatically pull in all the information it needs to build a fully functioning shopping feed.

Local and hotel campaigns

The new local campaigns function aims to simplify the process for linking business locations to your ad account. You are now able to upload creative assets, ad text and logos to create your local campaign and promote store visits/increase awareness within the local area. The local campaigns aim to help increase offline conversions while still promoting your business online. Alongside local campaigns, hotel campaigns are also under the radar for a large change and will work similarly to the new local campaign set up. Hotel campaigns will also be available directly through the Google Ads platform. This will enable advertisers to group and organise hotels by attributes like class and brand, produce better reports and provide bidding strategies unique to hotel customer data (length of stay and check in time, for example).

Significant uplift for YouTube

YouTube attracts more than 1.9 billion signed-in users every month and one billion hours are watched daily. The way consumers use YouTube has changed. The platform is now used to inspire and inform purchase decisions both large and small – YouTube ad conversions have uplifted by over 150% in the past year. Google has taken this insight and is introducing new options for ads on YouTube. TrueView for reach is optimised for efficient reach to help raise awareness across a wide range of customers. TrueView for action is optimised to uplift conversions on your website. Collectively, these advancements aim to help us engage, inspire and educate relevant audiences.

Throughout the conference, it became apparent that Google was trying to position itself as transparent and trustworthy. But is pushing for advertising to rely on automation going to fulfil this? We’re not so sure. However, we are keen to test the latest products to remain at the forefront of digital innovations in our bid to pinpoint customer journey for our clients and ensure we’re always connecting, always engaging.

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Written by Amy Taylor

Digital marketing executive Amy is both highly analytical and refreshingly creative - a combination that means she’s ideally placed to strategise and implement effective digital marketing campaigns.

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