Google Updates AdWords for “Mobile-First” Marketing Environment

At May’s Google Performance Summit, a number of long-awaited changes were announced for Google’s biggest cash cow of the last 15 years: AdWords.

The primary announcement was the shift of the AdWords platform from a simply “mobile-friendly” interface to a “mobile-first” focus. In his Ads & Analytics Innovations keynote, Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of ads and commerce, said the “shift to mobile is no longer something that will happen . . . The shift’s happened.” As consumers begin to seamlessly move between online and offline experiences, it’s important for marketers to bridge the digital and physical worlds.

Noted below are a few of the biggest AdWords updates that will be rolled out later this year.

Text Ads

Earlier in 2016, right rail ads were removed from desktop Google searches to allow for a more streamlined experience between devices, leaving behind only the native ads that appear at the top of search results. These text ads will now receive a makeover: To be optimized for smartphone screens, text ads will expand to provide more information about an advertiser’s product or service to prompt viewers to click.

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Responsive Display Ads

Display ads will be automatically designed by Google to best match the content the visitor is viewing. Provide a headline, description, URL and image, and Google will handle the rest to optimize your display ad results.

Local Search Ads

Advertisers will be able to include location extensions in their AdWords campaigns to help reach consumers who are searching for physical businesses in their area.

Tracking In-Store Visits

The feature released in 2014, which allowed advertisers to track store visits resulting from AdWords clicks, will now be available to more than 1,000 advertisers in 11 countries.

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