It seems like just yesteryear that Google Marketing Live announcements were fewer but bigger. Like responsive search ads in 2018 or max conversion value in 2019. Performance Max could pass as the big one for last year’s event, but it remains a pretty controversial campaign type.
But what does it all MEAN?!
The point being, Google’s list of updates seems to be getting longer each year and harder to identify what actually matters. That’s why we’ve created the no-nonsense recap to simplify things and help you figure out what adjustments or preparations you need to make.
The top 10 Google Marketing Live 2022 updates
As I just mentioned, there were lots of small features, developments, betas, and tools tossed about in this year’s event, so they can’t really be distilled down into 10 single announcements. But they can be grouped into 10 categories to help you grasp it all:
- Performance Max
- Insights Page
- Google Shopping
- Asset creation
- Messages in ads
- YouTube shorts ads
- Mobile-first responsive display ads
- Google audiences for connected TV
And for those of you big picture folks, you can see a full list of the updates (according to Google) at the bottom.
1. New features for Performance Max
Performance Max campaigns, released last year, are Google’s latest pride and joy. We’ll let you decide if Performance Max is right for you, but as a reminder, this campaign type allows you to advertise across all of Google’s properties with a single campaign.
- Store sales reporting and bidding: If you’re running Performance Max for store goals, you will soon be able to optimize not just for store traffic but also store sales. This is currently available in beta in Local campaigns but will soon be available in Performance Max in Q3 of 2022.
- Burst campaigns: This also applies to Performance Max for store goals campaigns. Historically, Google has recommended you run store goal campaigns for a minimum of 30 days to get the best reach. This campaign type is designed to help you achieve the same reach in a shorter time period (two weeks). It will work in tandem with your in-store goals to drive visits, calls, and direction requests during seasonal spikes like holidays.
- Experiment tools: Experiment tools are currently in beta for Performance Max campaigns that don’t have a product feed, and will be fully launched over the remainder of the year. This feature allows you to measure incremental improvements in performance when you add Performance Max campaigns as a complement to existing campaign types.
- Explanations: Rather than having to cross reference data across your different reporting tools, this feature will help to identify reasons for performance changes right within the Google Ads interface. The idea, Google explained, is to add more transparency to how automation is working in your campaigns.
- Google Ads recommendations and optimization score will soon be available for Performance Max campaigns. Google will suggest optimizations you can make for your targeting, budgets, and asset groups based on your campaign settings and goals as well as external factors like search volume and trends.
- Now available in Search Ads 360: This announcement will probably not be applicable to most of our readers, but just for your knowledge: Search Ads 360 is Google’s enterprise-level platform for managing large search campaigns across multiple search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, and more.) SA360 users will be able to view, create, manage, and report on Performance Max campaigns just as they can in Google Ads.
2. New data for the Insights page
The Google Ads Insights page was released out of beta last year. It curates custom insights, that update every day, based on your account performance and current trends to help you improve your results. Google announced three new types of insights coming to this page, in an effort to help you understand why automation is making the decisions it does
- Attribution insights: The idea behind this update is to help you understand the conversion paths your customers take across your various Google Ads campaigns (Display, Search, YouTube, Shopping, Gmail, etc.). This multi-touch attribution information helps you see the value of campaigns that indirectly lead to conversions.
- Budget insights: This feature will suggest budget optimizations based on how your campaign budget is pacing against performance. Google says it will allow you to monitor and act quickly when you’re limited or about to be limited by budget; or to reallocate when you are forecast to have a large portion of budget leftover by the end of the month.
- First-party audience insights: These insights will use your first-party data to help you to see which segments are performing best and also provide signals for Google’s machine learning to optimize campaign performance.
The Insights page will also be available for Manager accounts.
3. Google Shopping updates
There were a lot of i words thrown around this year when it came to the Google Shopping experience—lots of repetition of “inspiration,” “ideas,” “immersive,” and “intuitive.” I’ll let you do with that what you may, but here are the core Shopping updates that matter to ecommerce businesses.
- Checkout on Merchant: Shoppers will soon be able to checkout directly from a listing, which will bring them to the checkout page on the advertiser’s site. This is starting with Shopify and Walmart and will expand to other partners and retailers in the future.
- Immersive shopping experience: For apparel, there will be a “powerful, swipeable, visual feed” rolling out just in time for the holiday season. Organic results and Shopping ads using rich images and descriptions will be blended in the SERP and users can also swipe up on an ad to see more product detail.
- 3D AR: We will also soon be able to view 3D models of products right in Search results.
- Product feeds on YouTube Shorts and Search: Google talked about the browsing experience and shopping experience becoming more blended—for example, “an entertainment moment can turn into a shopping moment” in an instant, “when you least expect it but really appreciate it” (might this have to do with SERPs for queries with no commercial intent having more ads now than ever? See our Search Advertising Benchmarks Report 🤔 but I digress). As a result, product feeds will soon be available on YouTube Shorts and Search as a way to “turn your video action campaigns into actual digital storefronts.”
- Product improvement recommendations: This tab within Google Ads will allow retailers to not just optimize their campaigns, but their individual products. It will detect and diagnose issues with your products like missing information, insufficient bidding, and more.
4. Reporting updates
The automation and machine learning updates here get a little technical, but we’ll keep it simple.
- Search & Conversion Lift tests: Search Lift tests will randomly separate your audience into people who have seen vs not seen your YouTube ads, so you can then see any lifts in organic searches driven by your YouTube campaigns.
- Conversion Lift tests: When you create a Video Action or Discovery campaign, Google will split your audience into two groups: users who will view the ad vs users who would have viewed the ad but instead are showed then next ad in the auction (so, a competitor’s ad, basically). Google will then look at conversions on your site to see if there was a lift in conversions by those who viewed your Video Action or Discovery ad.
- Simplified tagging: One Google tag will replace the Global Site Tag for all Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts. Manage tags centrally without additional code.
- New reporting: New data will also be available like on-device conversion measurement, and a lead funnel report to see how your qualified and converted leads are performing.
- GA4 new Home experience: With GA4 replacing Universal Analytics, this one is worth noting. Google Analytics 4 will soon have a new Home dashboard that automatically uncovers insights and predictions based on where your audience members are in their journey.
5. Privacy progress
Google talked a lot about modeling, APIs, and but truth be told, it’s a lot of very confusing technical talk. Here are a few things to know:
- Privacy Sandbox APIs: Google shared that it has been developing a number of APIs for interest-based advertising and targeting without third-party cookies and will begin testing them later this year.
- Enhanced conversions improvements: These include integrations with HubSpot and other CRMs as well as support for more browsers. What the heck is enhanced conversions, you ask? It’s one of Google’s solutions for cross-device conversion tracking without cookies. You send first-party information collected by a user’s conversion on your website (email and phone, for example) to Google, and Google matches that information to the Google accounts in its database which then allows it to connect that conversion to the different Google ads that user engaged with prior to converting, regardless of device. Since the data is transmitted in hashed form and then aggregated, it is privacy-safe.
6. Asset creation updates
Google made a few announcements regarding asset creation.
- Auto-generated responsive search ad assets: With this feature, rolling out later on in the year, Google will create RSA assets for you based on content from your landing pages and existing ads. Yes, folks, it’s automation for automation.
- New Asset Library: This is going to become a “one-stop shop” for advertisers to import, collaborate on, and share all their assets for all campaigns in one place, with integration with Google Drive. According to Google, you’ll be able to make an ad with only five image, logo, and text assets.You’ll also be able to create a video and publish it to YouTube directly in the asset library in less than 60 seconds, “faster than I can pop a bag of popcorn” (let’s fold popcorn into Performance Max Burst Campaigns for faster popping, whaddaya say Google?).
7. Messages in ads
Google Business Messages will allow consumers to message with businesses directly in Search ads.
8. YouTube Shorts ads
According to Google, YouTube Shorts is now averaging over 30 billion daily views, four times as many as a year ago. Also, “75% of people agree YouTube enhances the traditional shopping journey by delivering unexpected inspiration.” As such, ads on YouTube Shorts are now available.
9. Mobile-first layouts for responsive display ads
These will be full-screen portrait mode ads, as well as scrollable and video ads based on product feeds.
10. Google Audiences for CTV
Google Audiences, which include affinity, in-market, and demographic audiences, will soon be available for connected TV campaigns. Connected TV ads are a form of OTT advertising, which is becoming more popular as [cable] cord cutters are on the rise.
The full rundown of Google Marketing Live 2022
We’ll leave off with a list of all the announcements Google listed out at Google Marketing Live, categorized by available now and coming soon.
- Immersive shopping ads
- Asset library
- New Home experience in GA
- Conversion modeling updates
- DDA as default (although we thought this was already a thing?)
- On-device conversion measurement
- Visual product feed
- AR in Search
- Performance Max (yes, we know, thanks Google)
- Ads on YouTube Shorts
- Video on Discover (not to be confused with Discovery campaigns. This refers to the Google Discover app)
- Google audiences for CTV
- Performance Max
- Experiment tools (not to be confused with Experiments, a feature available for other campaign types in Google Ads).
- Insights and explanations
- Search lift tests
- Conversion lift tests
- Automatically-created assets
- Message a business in ads
- Insights page
- Attribution insights
- Budget insights
- Audience insights with first-party data
- Available for manager accounts
- Optimization score for every campaign type
- My Ad Center
- Privacy-safe advertising
- MMM improvements
- Google tag
- More support for enhanced conversions
- Lead funnel report
- Visual ad experiences in Search
- Product feeds in YouTube Shorts & Search
- Store sales in Performance Max
- Checkout on Merchant
- Product listing improvement recommendations in Shopping Ads
- Loyalty benefits on Google
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