Google rolls out AdWords promotion extensions, custom intent audiences & ad variations for testing

Google made a few announcements for AdWords advertisers just in time, before Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season in the US next week.

About a year ago, Google started testing promotion extensions in text ads. That beta extended to the new AdWords interface this summer. Now, they are rolling out globally in all supported AdWords languages and currencies in the new AdWords interface (aka the new AdWords experience). Promotion extensions let advertisers display specific offers in their text ads without having to create new ads. They can include a percentage off, a promotion code and offer period.

 

Custom intent audiences

On the Google Display Network, Google is rolling out custom intent audiences to enable advertisers to target “people who want to buy the specific products you offer — based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel.”

Anthony Chavez, director of product management for AdWords, explained in a phone interview yesterday that there are two flavors of custom intent audiences. In one variation, advertisers can create their own based on topics and URLs that people who are likely to be interested in their products read about and visit. The second variation is machine-learning based and automated. Google will create an audience based on the campaign and infer characteristics of target consumers.

The auto-generated custom intent audience lists will be surfaced to advertisers in the Audience Center as an auto-created audience. Google will show reach and performance estimates for each of these audiences.

Ad Variations

A new way to test ad variations is also rolling out in the new AdWords. Google says you can now test this across thousands of ads in a few clicks. Google will show the results of the test once they are statistically significant.

You’ll find an Ad Variations tab, along with Campaign Drafts and Campaign Experiments, in the new UI. The example below shows a headline test using “Happy Holidays,” but advertisers can also use ad variations to test display paths and descriptions.

Google wants you to be excited about the new AdWords experience

If you aren’t a fan yet of the new AdWords experience, you’re going to find it increasingly hard to resist it as more new features are rolled out exclusively in the new interface. As an incentive for giving it a harder try, Chavez pointed out that the new interface has unified audience management in one place, improved the ads preview experience and beefed up what’s shown in the Opportunities tab — including an MCC view that enables managers to apply recommendations across accounts.

“We are trying to make it more assistive to help managers be more effective and efficient,” said Chavez. One example is that the campaign construction workflow now asks for the objective up front and then surfaces most relevant features in set-up workflow.

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