Google Strikes Again: What Updates to Bidding and Search Mean for Marketers

Carnegie Higher Ed May 27, 2016 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

If it seems as though Google is changing all the time, it’s most likely because they are. And Google announced at their Performance Summit this week that we marketers can expect even more changes in the near future. A few of those updates really stood out to us, including expanded text ads and “mobile-first” bidding, both of which could have a significant impact to our digital strategies moving forward.

These are the biggest changes AdWords has seen since it launched 15 years ago. Google is very focused on the mobile user—as well they should be, with half of the trillion annual searches on Google coming from mobile. This shows how focused we should be on the mobile user as well, and how important it is we prepare our campaigns and our strategies for these upcoming rollouts.

Expanded text ads

If you’ve ever written current Google text ads, you know how hard it is to cram everything into a 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines—there is never enough room for everything, especially those long degree names. With these new expanded text ads across all devices, we won’t have that problem anymore. We will now have two 30-character headlines, as well as one longer description line of 80 characters. This will not only give us new characters but help us rethink the text ad strategy as to what value propositions and important information we want to convey for each part of the ad.

A driving factor behind this change is the way mobile users engage with search. “These upgrades help your ads work harder across screens, especially for the on-the-go mobile consumer that wants to know exactly what you offer before tapping into your website,” Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce wrote in a blog post.

Mobile-first bidding

Another important update is the ability to increase or decrease your bid across all devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile). This really is a game changer, as it gives you more flexibility to optimize towards different devices that are seeing higher engagement or conversions. Currently, we are limited to increasing or decreasing just mobile, but we will soon have the ability to optimize for desktops and tablets. This will be important as each audience interacts with their devices in different ways, and they should get their own specific strategy whether they are undergrad, graduate, non-traditional, or online students.

That’s not all!

Google is officially redesigning the look of AdWords, which has an outdated UI. This new look will help make it easier to navigate, compare, and analyze different data points in order to maximize optimizations and efficiencies throughout multiple campaigns.

While we have a lot to look forward to, we also have a lot of planning to do. Even though it could be months before some of these changes are rolled out, it is important to start thinking about they mean and it how they could affect your strategies moving forward, as well as the benefits each of these changes will bring.

And lucky for us at Carnegie, as a Managed Agency Partner of Google’s, we have the inside track to give us a head start!

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