The run up to the holiday shopping season is always a busy one at Google as it rolls out a host of new tools, features and formats to help advertisers capitalise on the seasonal sales push. If you’ve missed any of the numerous Google Ads announcements made over the last few weeks fear not – we’ve rounded up all of the most notable developments here.
- Shoppable Image Ads
Image source: Google
According to Google research, around a third of shoppers will search out an image before they decide on a purchase as the soaring popularity of platforms like Instagram, influencers and street style means that consumers actively search out inspiration online before they decide on a new acquisition.
To harness this potential, Google has created Shoppable Image Ads for retailers – this new format gives advertisers the option to highlight their shopping ads within content on third-party publisher’s sites, such as blogs. The site visitor simply clicks on the image to see a series of similar products which are visually similar to those in the original image.
More publishers and additional surfaces will be added in the coming months.
- Video can now be used in Showcase Shopping Ads
The changing consumer journey has placed a new importance on video, with 90% of people saying they have discovered new products thanks to YouTube and 60% saying online videos have been inspirational in the purchase process.
The new Video in Showcase Shopping Ads format is the first ad format that uses video – a feature which Google says “helps shoppers more deeply engage with your products….[and is] designed to help you provide a more immersive, contextual experience for shoppers.” If you’re already running Showcase Shopping Ads, you’ll now be able to incorporate video immediately.
- Four new advert search position metrics launch
As the run up to the holiday shopping season intensifies and the large online shopping holidays that are Black Friday and Cyber Monday loom large, there are now four new metrics available to advertisers seeking to squeeze every drop of insight and performance out of their campaigns.
Recognising that ad position on the page provides valuable intelligence in terms of things like click through rate, bid suitability and quality, Google is making four new metrics available which accurately report the position of search ads on the page.
You might think that average position already tells you this but, Google is at pains to point out it doesn’t, explaining, “Contrary to common perception, average position is not meant to describe where the ad appears on the page. Average position reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction. As a result, an ad position of “1” means that your ad shows ahead of all other ads, but it doesn't mean the ad was at the very top of the page. Sometimes no ads are displayed above the organic search results so the ad with a position of “1” appears at the bottom of the page.”
The four new metrics are:
Impr. (Absolute Top) %: This is the percentage of your ads that appear right at the top of the page, in the very top position above the search results.
Impr. (Top) %: This represents the percentage of ads that appear above the search results but not necessarily in the absolute top spot.
Search (Absolute Top) IS: This metric shows you the number of impressions your ads have logged in the absolute top spot, divided by an estimate of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Search (Top) IS: This is the number of impressions for your ad in the top location above the search results, divided by an estimate of eligible impressions for that location.
- Click to Message Ads Get Two Upgrades
Image source: Google
Since 2016, click-to-message ads have made it quick and easy for search users to connect with brands – users click on an ad and their SMS program opens with a message already drafted relevant to the product or service being advertised.
Over the next couple of weeks this system will be improved with the option of email forwarding and automatic reply. The email forwarding option will see text messages sent to an email address rather than a phone number. Automatic replies will send an automated “Thank you for your message, we’ll get back to you” response to the consumer.
The reporting function will also be updated, so advertisers using click-to-message ads will be able to track conversions.