Welcome to the Raka Weekly Roundup, where we cover the week’s news and trends and tell you exactly what you need to know. This week, we dive into Google Marketing Live.
The biggest news this week comes from Google, both on the inbound marketing and advertising fronts. On Tuesday, July 10, they live streamed their keynote of major Google announcements in San Jose, California, revealing several initiatives focusing primarily on machine learning and automation.
This comes on the heels of rebranding Google Adwords to Google Ads a couple weeks ago.
Responsive search ads help businesses better target their audience
One of these announcements was the rollout of responsive search ads to all advertisers over the next few months. In Google’s words, responsive search ads will allow advertisers to “combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads.”
The advertiser just needs to supply 15 headlines and four description lines and, by testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query and serves it up.
Local campaigns drive foot traffic to local stores
Another major announcement this week was the launch of Local campaigns. There has been a significant increase in the number of “near me” searches for most of the past five years. In fact, in the keynote, Google’s head of ads, Sridhar Ramaswamy, shared Google has seen a 10x increase in the number of searches including the phrase “open near me tonight.”
This led to the launch of Local campaigns to drive traffic to these stores. Essentially, if a business provides its location and ad creative to Google, they’ll automatically optimize the ads to drive foot traffic to their store.
Local campaigns will be available globally over the next few months.
Smart campaigns help small businesses advertise smarter
Small business owners are often struggling between focusing on the craft or service they love—the reason they started their small business—and promoting it to get customers. For this purpose, Google introduced Smart Campaigns to simplify and automate creating ads for small business owners. So far, the addition of this campaign type has helped businesses get 3x better at getting ads in front of the right audience, according to Google.
Smart shopping campaigns allow businesses to optimize across multiple goals
Dovetailing with Smart Campaigns for small business owners, Smart Shopping Campaigns allow retailers to optimize online revenue. Now, advertisers can not only set a goal to maximize conversions, but also goals for store visits and new customers.
Google Smart Shopping campaigns are launching in Shopify later this month. Merchants decide how much they want to spend on marketing with Google and Google takes care of the rest. Through machine learning, Google factors in the likelihood a click will result based on the goals set, adjusts bids accordingly, and reduces the learning curve for merchants.
Shopify’s Google Shopping app will support merchants globally and eventually Smart Shopping campaigns will integrate with other partners to offer this new campaign type.
YouTube Ads offer better reach, conversion, and targeting
Last year YouTube experienced 150% growth in ad conversions. Capitalizing on this success, Google is launching three new components to YouTube Ads: TrueView for Reach, Trueview for Action, and Maximize Lift Bidding.
TrueView for Reach allows advertisers to essentially raise awareness for their brand to a new set of customers. These ads are then optimized using TrueView for Action. A prominent call-to-action is placed while the video is playing and remains in place after the video ends. Advertisers can create branded banners based on their goals and increase qualified leads going to their website.
Finally, Maximize Lift Bidding uses machine learning to reach people who are more likely to consider a brand after exposure to an ad.
All of YouTube’s new ad features allow retailers to move consumers through the buyer’s journey from reaching out to them, getting them to their website, and then making the final purchase.
Hotel campaigns maximize hotel bookings and increase ROI
Google is integrating Hotel Ads into Google Ads and offering Hotel campaigns. Now, hotels or travel advertisers can group hotels by their attributes; brand, class, and bidding controls, and use Google’s machine learning to reach the right people to maximize hotel bookings and ROI.
Cross-device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics improves conversions
The biggest round of applause erupted when Google announced the addition of cross-device reporting and remarketing in Google Analytics. Advertisers will now be able to get a comprehensive view of someone who visits their website on their cell phone, again on their desktop at work, and on their iPad while at home. This “big picture” will help advertisers improve their lead scoring, marketing efforts, and hopefully conversions.
Landing Page Speed Score to improve mobile sales
Google found that almost 50% of traffic going to a landing page that loads too slowly on a mobile device won’t make a purchase because they just don’t want to wait around.
Google’s answer is to offer a tool that lets you assess your Landing Page Speed Score. Based on a 10 point scale—slow load to lightning speed—advertisers will learn if their landing pages need to be optimized and can use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make sure they don’t miss out on this restless audience.
That’s all the important news to share from Google this past week. See you next week for a look at what’s going on in the world of advertising and marketing!