2018 was an eventful year for Google Ads. We saw a number of big changes and improvements including:
- A re-branding – Google Ads was re-branded from Google AdWords and according to Google this is more encompassing and makes it easier for businesses to advertise across their platforms.
- New interface – according to Google is faster and easier to use than the previous interface and includes more features to reach your advertising goals.
However, 2019 is promising to be an even better year as advertisers take full advantage of the previous years changes and the new ones that are to be released:
15 seconds non-skippable video ads
Advertisers running TrueView in-stream Ads on YouTube can now benefit from 15 second non-skippable video ads. This has only been available to advertisers via YouTube reservation, but will now be available to advertisers running auction campaigns in Google Ads.
In an announcement, Google said:
“Today we’re expanding access to advertisers running auction campaigns. Recognizing that advertisers should have access to the full range of creative options regardless of how they buy – whether in advance via reservation or in the Google Ads auction.”
Google has started to roll it out to all advertisers and full availability will be coming in the next weeks. And Google has noted that it will cap the number of ads a user sees to ensure they have a great experience while watching YouTube videos.
As an advertiser you can now head over to Google Ads and setup a Video 360 or Display campaign. So you now have a wider range of creative lengths and viewer experiences to achieve your advertising goals.
Paying for conversions
An exciting new update for advertisers in 2019 is the option to pay for conversions for display ads. This is available for Display campaigns only and means you won’t pay for clicks, but only when visitors convert on your website or app.
This option is only available if you’re using a Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) bid strategy in a Display campaign. The main benefit is that you’re not charged for clicks or impressions like traditional PPC campaigns, but only for sales or leads that your campaigns receive.
Also, you won’t pay more than your Target CPA bid. For example, if your Target CPA is $5 and you drove 30 conversions over the week, you’ll pay only $150. This is a welcome update for advertisers on the Display Network where conversion rates are historically lower than Search campaigns.
So, during campaign setup you can opt for conversions bidding as seen below
Responsive search ads
Responsive search ads are the latest update to text ads. These gigantic text ads are the future of search ads as they take up more space in the auction search results and give advertisers more prominence.
They include up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, which is far much more than expanded text ads.
The Google Ads system rotates the headlines and description in your ads and shows the most relevant things the search term. This saves you a lot of time too because you don’t have to create many ad assets and can instead focus on performance.
Competition on Google is on the rise. According to Google there are now over 4 million businesses advertising their products and services on the Google Ads platform. So, as an advertiser you have many competitors to contend with.
Research from Wordstream reveals that click costs have increased too. It’s now common to see costs higher than $10 per click and that’s not for just insurance, loan and mortgage keywords
With new advertisers joining Google Ads each year, it’s inevitable that costs will continue to rise. So, you should take action like updating ads, search terms and keywords to make them highly targeted and differentiated.
Also, look to achieve high ad positions by improving quality scores and not by increasing your bids.
Mobile search increase
According to Statista, mobile searches in 2018 accounted for over 51% of searches. And the number of people in the US using smartphones for search will increase to 220 million by 2020.
So the implications are clear. As an advertiser you should be working to offer a good user experience for your visitors.
- providing a fully responsive website
- providing a mobile website that you can direct traffic too
- use mobile bid modifiers to increase ad position on mobile devices (ranking at the top is especially important on mobiles)
Although conversion rates are still lower on mobile than desktop, that is set to change too. Users are finding it more comfortable completing transactions on mobile devices and this is set to increase in 2019 and beyond.
Cross-device attribution reporting
Cross device reporting is nothing new to Google Ads and reports like the Device report have allowed advertisers to attribute to conversions. However, cross device reporting is now coming to Google Analytics.
You can now segment and visualize your data across devices and see how each device is helping achieve conversions for your Google Ads campaigns.
These reports live within your Audiences section in Google Analytics and help you to see how many devices used to access your website. You can also see the last 5 devices that contributed to a conversion and you can see the relationship between acquisitions and conversions.
2019 promises to be an interesting year for Google Ads. Google will be releasing new features and updating existing ones like the new interface released in 2018. As an advertiser you should look out for new releases to help you reach your goals.