Google Marketing Live was a smashing success this year. Google announced some seriously exciting new features coming to Google Ads; and it seemed like behind each new feature was a riveting, previously unknown statistic. The stat-dropping was so epic, in fact, that we decided to double down on our Google Marketing Live coverage and give you, our loyal readers, a post dedicated exclusively to mind-blowing Google stat-ery.
We’ll show you 5 key statistics from Google’s keynote address, and talk a little bit about what each stat says about the new and improved Google Ads. Let’s not wait around! Here are the top 5 surprising (and incredibly useful) statistics from Google Marketing Live 2018.
If there was a major “theme” to Google Marketing Live 2018, it was that users increasingly expect more personalized online experiences. It’s no secret that search queries have become more conversational, and that people rely more on their devices for information now than ever before; but Google’s Senior VP of Ads Sridhar Ramaswamy laid bare just how research-obsessed users are today: The query “___ to avoid” has risen by 150%, and the query “is ___ worth it” has risen by 80%.
Sridhar Ramaswamy on-stage talking search habits.
Not only are users spending copious amounts of time searching for the best products and services to buy, but they’re now using process of elimination to determine which products and services not to buy. For comparison’s sake, that’s like scrolling through the Drama section of On Demand, deciding on a movie to watch, then putting it on the backburner while you scroll through the rest of the section to cover all your bases. You’re no longer directly searching for the best movie. You’re indirectly searching for the best movie by making sure the rest of the catalogue isn’t as good.
It’s a new level of compulsion and thoroughness that demands increased attention to detail on behalf of advertisers. And with the introduction of machine-learning-inspired features like Smart Shopping and Smart Campaigns (more below), Google is looking to give advertisers the tools they need to succeed in that landscape.
The term “machine learning” can become pretty vacuous the more you hear it, but it’s really about understanding and adapting to user intent. And matching user search intent is about more than providing the right keyword, or the right bid; it’s about presenting your targets with relevant ads.
How big of a difference does relevance make? Quite a bit, according to Group Product Manager of Video Ads, Nicky Rettke: 91% of smartphone owners have bought, or planned to buy something after seeing a video ad they described as relevant. They also pay 3x more attention to relevant video ads.
Google’s solution to an increased need for relevance? TrueView.
TrueView offers a three-faceted approach to YouTube video ads:
TrueView is a full-funnel solution to video ads, and it offers relevance at every stage—from first action, to conversion.
This glorious nugget of statistical goodness came courtesy of Google Ads Product Management Director, Anthony Chavez: 50% of consumers have abandoned making a purchase because the site took too long to load. Fittingly, Google announced the day prior to Marketing Live that the Speed Update—which launched in January, and which made mobile page speed a major ranking factor—had officially rolled out to all users. It’s almost like they were gearing up to unveil a sleek new feature…
Anthony Chavez, right before he dropped the MLPSS showstopper.
Enter Mobile Landing Page Speed Score—which is a mouthful, so we’ll unofficially call it MLPSS. MLPSS scores landing page speed on a ten-point scale—from “very slow” to “extremely fast”—and does so based on a number of factors. One of those factors is the relationship between page speed and potential conversion rate; and therein lies the major difference between the MLPSS and site speed measurement tools like PageSpeed Insights and Test My Site—rather than scoring page speed independently, the MLPSS takes potential ad performance into account in concert with load speed itself.
Throw in the fact that the MLPSS lives within the Google Ads UI, and is updated daily, and you have one heck of a page speed measurement tool for advertisers.
Google Ads is hard. It’s no surprise that an overwhelming number of small business owners outsource their paid search workload to agencies, contractors, and admittedly epic PPC software companies. But imagine this: half of all small business owners in the United States don’t even have a website. You can bet your ass that the small business owners among that 50% don’t know how to run PPC campaigns; and in all likelihood, that they don’t even know what PPC is.
Google is now offering Smart Campaigns to the PPC-challenged among us. Smart Campaigns puts machine learning in the hands of small business owners, with dynamic campaigns that send search ads live in minutes. And for the website-less, Google will soon be launching brand new, totally awesome “auto-optimized landing pages” within Smart Campaigns.
Kim Spalding, GM and Product Management Director of Small Business Ads, dropping nuclear tech missiles.
Auto-optimized landing pages are, well, a lot like they sound—machine learning technology pulls products and services directly from search ads in your Smart Campaigns onto dynamically created landing pages. If you have a product you want to get online, but you don’t want to dedicate the time and resources necessary to create a slick, product-centric website, auto-optimized landing pages represent a very realistic option.
This one comes courtesy of Google Ads Group Product Manager, Philip McDonnell, and is sure to give managers fits—in any given period, 80% of Americans are shopping online. Given that 96% of the population is currently employed, and you have to think a lot of that time is spent in the office…well, you can do the math. People are shoppin’. And they’re shoppin’ a lot.
The good news: thanks to Google’s suit of new and updated Shopping features, advertisers now have the ability to put their products in ever more conversion-friendly spots, using ever more conversion-friendly bids. Much like TrueView’s Maximize Lift bidding technology, the shiny new Smart Shopping now supports automated bidding, too—so your bids will automatically adjust to produce your desired outcomes. And speaking of desired outcomes: Shopping now supports two new ones—store visits, and new customers.
That’s pretty much it, in terms of automation…ha! Just kidding! Smart Shopping also automates the placement process across millions of apps and websites. Wherever your ads are likely to perform best, that’s where Smart Shopping will aim to put them—making smart adjustments along the way.
Gosh, stats are exciting! They’re concrete. They’re trustworthy. They have math and stuff.
Still: while it’s totally fair to be head over heels with some of the new features available within Google Ads, you should take each with a grain of salt. Machine learning has insane upside—the ability to automate workflow while creating more personalized ad experiences is a tantalizing prospect. But at the end of the day, these are machine-driven systems. Give up too much campaign control in the name of “smarts” and convenience, and you risk glossing over the finer points of both your business and ad creation. And these are the points that can drive truly low CPAs.
More Google Marketing Live content:
Gordon Donnelly is an SEO jedi who proudly honed his chops at WordStream for 5+ years. Today, you’ll find him at home in Boston, building Triple Whale’s world-class e-commerce analytics platform, or helping businesses of all sizes grow through SEO, advertising, and content marketing.
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