Google AdWords Changes: Responsive Display Ads, Mobile-First Bids, and Local Search Ads

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Google has announced a new host of changes for AdWords which will be arriving “in the coming months”. These new changes include how cross-device bids work, responsive display ads, character lengths, and local search ads.

Google has implemented new changes with a mobile-first initiative, as each year Google has trillions of searches with over half occurring on mobile devices.

Google has now redesigned AdWords from the ground-up with mobile search in mind. Google states that as “location-related mobile searches growing 50% faster than all mobile searches, it’s clear that consumers are moving seamlessly between online and offline experiences”.


Mobile-First Advertising

The first change is that Google has created a new way to set bids for targeting ads by device type. Google has now uncoupled desktop and tablet bids.

Why is this a big change? Back in 2013, Google announced Enhanced Campaigns, which encouraged advertisers to start running ads on mobile search, with default bids staying at the desktop/tablet level, and mobile bid adjustments being set from that base.

Google has seen huge growth in mobile search, but advertisers weren’t quite ready to get on board and start a mobile-first advertising initiative. Now, it’s a different story – and Google deems the time right to give advertisers this option.

You can now set a base bid for any one device type, with the option to set bid adjustments for the other two (out of desktop, mobile, and tablets). These can range from -100%, to +900%, which is an increase up from 300%.

This new change allows advertisers to make mobiles the main focus of advertising campaigns. Now be able to set separate bid adjustments per device – whether it is for a desktop, mobile, or tablet.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce said:

With more controls, you can now optimize with greater precision while keeping things simple with a single campaign that reaches consumers across devices.

By not setting a bid adjustment, it’s the same as not setting a mobile bid adjustment works currently – with the default maximum CPC setting for desktop and tablets also applies to mobile devices.

This does not mean you will need to have multiple campaigns targeting separate devices, but instead means you have more control over more precise optimisation, that hopefully keeps things simple.

Device bidding will now apply across all types of campaigns – even for Shopping campaigns, and other campaigns that don’t necessarily use keyword targeting.

Now allows for mobile-first initiatives, and tablet bidding is now possible. Base bids can now be applied to mobile devices, and bid modifiers can now be set for desktops or tablets.

Responsive Ads for Display

Alongside the mobile-first advertising initiative, it also called for a new way to present display ads on mobile devices. Google needs to compete with Facebook and other networks on mobiles – and has come up with a new solution.

Google has now announced new responsive display ads which automatically adjust resize to the necessary size. Google will adjust the look of the ad, which are built dynamically to suit. These responsive ads adapt to the diverse content across publisher sites.

Responsive ads final

Google states that:

They also unlock new native inventory so you can engage consumers with ads that match the look and feel of the content they’re browsing.

All advertisers need to provide are headlines, a description, an image, and a URL. Google will then automatically design responsive ads.

Google Display Network remarketing campaigns will also feature expanded reach, giving advertisers access to cross-exchange inventory, including more websites and apps across the globe.

Mobile Local Search

1/3 of mobile searches are related to your location – which is why Google is now introducing new local search ads across and Google Maps.

This allows advertisers to use location extensions, which can showcase business locations when consumers are searching for specific business types.

Walgreens Business Page (1)

Google is also investing in more customisable, branded experiences on Google Maps, with the aim to increase in-store visits. Google is currently experimenting with new ad formats on Maps, making it easier for users to find businesses in the real-world.

These new Maps changes includes promoted pins for businesses, and also a rejuvenated look for local business pages to encourage exploration of stores before they arrive. Special offers and product inventories will also be included.

Advertisers have measured over 1 billion store visits from AdWords around the globe over the past two years.

For more information, you can watch the Google Ads and Analytics Innovations Keynote below:

What’s next?

Google is clearly pushing for a mobile-first world, and you will need to make the most of these new mobile changes. Once the changes launch, it’s definitely worth revisiting your campaigns in order to get the best results possible.

Now that Google is doing away with the 25/35/35 character limit, it will be a huge change to advertisers – as it has remained the only real constant over the years.

Ensuring your campaigns are optimised alongside these updates is critical, to ensure you stay ahead of your competitors online.

If you have any questions, or need help optimising your AdWords campaign, then get in touch with the team here at Xanthos.