Google released several new features for AdWords throughout 2016 and the beginning of 2017, which means there are some new ways for paid advertisers to beef up their campaigns in the new year. Each new product or update has its own benefits and can help improve your campaign performance in different ways.
Here is a look at five of the top AdWords features you should be using in 2017:
1. Device Adjustments
One of the biggest announcements to come from last summer’s Performance Summit is that Google would allow advertisers to bid separately on tablet, mobile, and computer devices. This came as a huge relief to many advertisers who have long struggled with the lack of ability to optimize among mobile, tablet, and desktop bids.
In 2013, Google released its Enhanced Campaigns feature, which effectively created the ability to bid separately on mobile phones, but to the chagrin of many advertisers, they also lumped desktop and tablet bids together. That meant if your ads were performing really well or really poorly on tablet devices, you could not modify bids to improve performance without also affecting desktop bids.
The new feature from Google allows advertisers to set separate bids for tablet, mobile, and desktop devices, but also allows you to pick an anchor bid. Previously, the desktop/tablet bid served as your anchor bid, meaning if you wanted to make adjustments, you had to increase or decrease mobile bids. The new feature allows you to choose any of the three devices as your anchor and make adjustments to the other two devices as needed. This is particularly useful for companies that focus more on a mobile-device experience.
2. Expanded Text Ads
It had been rumored for some time that in addition to removing all right-side text ads, Google was also testing a new ad format altogether. This rumor was confirmed during last summer’s Performance Summit when Google announced it would be releasing expanded text ads. These ads allow you to create ads with a longer, double headline, an 80 character description, and two additional “paths” added to the Display URL.
Expanded text ads have now been rolled out to all advertisers. And while standard text ads have not yet been removed from accounts, Google will not allow the creation of any new standard text ads as it pushes for everyone to move toward the new expanded format.
3. Demographic Targeting
In late September, Google released the ability to target specific demographics through the Demographics for search ads feature. Similar to location or re-marketing targeting, this gives advertisers the ability to increase or decrease targeting toward ages and genders.
This new targeting option is extremely useful for companies that see most of their business come from a specific age group or gender, as it allows them to spend more on those searchers who are most likely to convert.
4. Price Extensions
While Google rolled out price extensions last July and swipeable price extensions for mobile devices in November, they just recently announced that price extensions will now be available to show on all devices.
Price extensions are a great new feature for businesses who have various service offerings or tiered services, as they allow you to separate out each service, the price, a brief description, and even send each to a different landing page.
5. Campaign-Level Audience Targeting
In December, Google made a significant time-saving update for many advertisers when it released the option to apply Remarketing Lists for Search Ads at the campaign level. Previously, advertisers had to apply RLSA modifiers to each individual ad group, which can be very time consuming depending on the size of your account.
The new campaign-level audience targeting not only makes it a lot easier to setup the initial RLSA bids, but it also makes measuring and optimizing performance that much more streamlined.
Although each of these AdWords features serves a different purpose, they are all beneficial if you’re looking for a new way to improve your campaign performance and target your customers more efficiently in the coming year. Whether you’re hoping to schedule more appointments or sell more inventory, these new AdWords features can help.
Looking ahead, experts are predicting that 2017 will be another big year for pay-per-click advertising, with even more improvements to everything from ad targeting and cost-per-click strategies to social media and mobile ads.
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