With 400 million plus people using Google’s search engine to search for products, services and – hopefully the “thing” your business offers – Google AdWords has been innovating to – better, easier, faster – connect potential buyers and sellers online. In 2011 much of the focus had been on search engine optimization (SEO) with multiple algorithm updates, including the (in)famous Panda. It seems that 2012 is the year for paid search. As competition in the pay-per-click market continues to mount (Bing & Yahoo are increasingly relevant players as is rival, Facebook).
Combined, Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL will take in $23.9 billion in ad revenues, representing nearly two-thirds of total digital ad spending this year.
At $15.41 billion, Google’s ad revenue alone will account for 41.3% of total digital ad revenues in 2012. Google will see slightly slower growth than eMarketer estimated earlier this year, as the company’s ad revenues for the first two quarters of 2012 were a bit lower than expected.
According to eMarketer’s number, the US digital ad spend is exploding (but nobody clicks on those ads, right?):
It’s no surprise then that Google has been investing time and “brains” into their AdWords paid search platform, adding additional smart features to help advertiser better manage targeting, bidding, testing and budget management.
As digital marketers, we get really excited with each new AdWords update, as it enables us to be more efficient with our clients’ budgets. Just this past month AdWords added some new features that we are so excited about we have to share them with you. These updates not only can benefit your business, they can make your customers and potential customers search experience easier, and more entertaining.
Exciting Update One: Extend Text Ad with Mobile Call Extensions
Most people are familiar with the search engine results pages of Google when searching Google via their PC’s, however, as more and more people are using their mobile devices to access information online, Google has had to rethink and redesign how search results appear via mobile devices.
One of the most exciting new features in AdWords is extending text ads with mobile call extensions, meaning now when a business’s information comes up in search results, their phone number will be displayed as a click-to-call number, allowing potential customers of yours to call you directly from the search engine results page your business/product/service is displayed on.
Exciting Update Two: Create Image Ads Easily for Free with the Display Ad Builder
Another way in which Google AdWords is making their ads more entertaining is by allowing businesses to create image ads in the Google Ads Display Network. Entertaining, compelling, and visually appealing image ads have proven to be extremely valuable to many businesses marketing objectives.
The new Google Display Ad Builder makes designing and creating image ads easy and it’s free. And with 300+ free ad templates to choose from Google AdWords has made it even easier for businesses to get started.
Exciting Update Three: Use Existing Video Assets to Build Video Ads in AdWords
Much like making image ads easier to design and create through the new Display Ad Builder, Google AdWords is also making it easier for businesses to design and create their own video ads. Businesses can take existing video footage from their computer, website, phone, etc., and cut and clip those videos into advertisements.
The most successful online ads are ads are entertaining, compelling, and visually appealing all at once. One of the easiest ways to create an ad that has all of those characteristics is by creating a video ad, which is capable of presenting customers and potential customers far more information than traditional image and text ads.
Exciting Update Four : You Can Now Combine Your Budget Across Campaigns for Greater Efficiency
With AdWords’ new budget option “Shared Budget” you no longer have to set up different daily budgets for different campaigns. Instead, you can create one large shared budget that you can apply to all of the campaigns you are running allotting different amounts of the budget for different campaigns. This allows you to have more control over your daily budgets and allows you to put more of your daily budget into the campaign(s) that needs it most.
Exciting Update Five: Demographic Targeting
Demographic targeting in AdWords provides the ability to reach people of specific age and gender, as in the example below:
If you’re a company that sells women’s shoes, odds are you don’t want to be spending money on trying to sell those shoes to teenage boys (though some teenage boys would love to own their own pair of new fab-u-lous purple pumps, the majority of that demographic won’t be interested). Knowing which demographics make up your target audience (the people most likely to purchase your products and/or interact with your content) is extremely important, and now with this new AdWords feature you can specifically target those demographics.
Along with demographic targeting, AdWords has also started demographic bidding. If you are already using AdWords you are already bidding on keywords and placement of your ads, with demographic bidding you can also bid on certain demographics so that your ads are being displayed to your targeted demographics. Bidding allows flexibility in payments and helps ensure you’re paying for an effective ad campaign.
Are you as excited as we are about these new features? What is a feature you wish Google AdWords would incorporate to better benefit your business?