Google’s “Step Inside AdWords” News: Features For App Ads, More UI Tools, No Wild Surprises

new-google-adwords-logoAnticipation has been running high among paid search marketers about what today’s AdWords announcement — dubbed “Step Inside AdWords — might hold, since Google began teasing the news.

However, any fears of drastic changes in the vein of last year’s move to enhanced campaigns will be quelled — to a still calm.

Google AdWords product management VP, Jerry Dischler, shared several new initiatives with a select set of customers at the AdWords Performance Forum, being shared via livestream at noon Eastern Time today. The new features and tools will be rolling out of beta to all AdWords users over the next couple of months.`

Here is a rundown of all the announcements. (Note that this post has been updated with details and screenshots from the livestream.)

More Goods For App Marketers

Google offers app developers advertising opportunities through both search ads with AdWords and its mobile ad network AdMob. New search and AdMob ad features are coming along with app download ads on the Google Display Network and YouTube.

AdMob users will be able to serve ads to users based on the apps they use, the frequency of use and the types of in-app purchases they make.

On YouTube, app installs will be available through TrueView ads which just went through a bit of a revamp this month.

New installed app ads will allow users to open an installed app from a search ad rather than go to the app’s landing page. With most apps going unused after they’re downloaded, these search ads on app-enabled devices are aimed at increasing app interactions.

Google AdWords Installed App Ads

Source: Google

Finally, app advertisers will get better conversion metrics in AdWords to measure engagement from install, re-engagement and in-app purchases.

Continued Focus On Estimated Total Conversions

Last year, Google introduced Estimated Total Conversions to give advertisers a more complete picture of their campaigns’ conversion impact including Estimated Cross-Device Conversions and phone calls.

Google shares that photo printing site Shutterfly saw total conversions increase by 60% when accounting for mobile-to-desktop conversions and has fully committed its keyword list to mobile as a result.

As we’ve already reported, Google has been running several tests to help advertisers tie in-store sales back to their search campaigns. Now, Dischler is speaking publicly about the tests and sharing beta results.

Using anonymized purchase data, RKG’s retail clothing client Express saw overall return on ad spend (ROAS) increase by 102 percent when they included offline sales with online advertising.

Dischler says they’ll continue to focus on this area and encourage businesses to “invest in local information like directions, inventory information, promotions and offers”.

New Tools Available In The Web UI

Four new tools to improve workflow, reporting and optimization will soon be introduced within the AdWords interface (there was no initial mention of AdWords Editor). These are the changes that will affect most advertisers.

1. Bulk actions for campaigns settings. A long time coming, campaign settings like location targeting and ad rotation can soon be managed in bulk across campaigns.

Bulk Actions AdWords

2. Automated bidding for conversions. Advertisers can already set automated bidding to maximize the number of clicks within a set daily budget. Now automated bidding can be based on the number of conversions or the total value of conversions. Whether many sophisticated advertisers will be inclined to let Google set their bids is a bit dubious.

3. Multi-dimensional reporting and visualization.

Paul Feng, product management director at Google stepped in to demonstrate the final two features.

The new reporting feature is powerful with the ability to select multiple dimensions and visualize data in more useful ways within AdWords itself with drag and drop functionality. It will be easier to create tables, graphs and charts and download them to share with team members.

It looks great and caused the biggest excitement on Twitter.

Pivot Builder Reporting in AdWordsIt’s easy to drag and drop metrics and dimensions to create pivot table-style reporting.

Multi-Dimensional Reporting in AdWords

Users can then graph their data easily in a variety of formats such as bar charts and line graphs.Visual Graph Builder in AdWords

4. Testing lab. Building on AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE), a new testing lab in AdWords will allow advertisers to run live tests on just about anything in a campaigns, including bid changes, keywords, campaign settings, bids by time and location and ad formats.

Drafts & Experiments Lab in AdWordsAnd that wraps it up. Updates about launch dates and additional details will be forthcoming over the next couple of months. The recorded livestream can be watched here.

What do you think? Are the announcements in line with what you were expecting?