Every time Google changes its ranking algorithm, all SEO professionals tremble. Even minor changes can result in massive reductions in traffic volumes within a matter of hours. Google also changes its advertising platform, not to punish but to empower its users. Google wants you to spend more money on their ad network because that’s how they make money. So, if you don’t pay attention to these new Google Ads trends, you’ll fall behind. You must capitalize on these trends as soon as possible in order to stay ahead of your competitors.
In this article, you’ll learn about the most recent changes to Google’s advertising platform, what they mean for you, and how you can use them to acquire customers more effectively.
6 Google Ads Trends to Watch in 2022
- Performance Maximization Campaigns
Every Google Ads campaign you’ve ever run had the same targeting options defined by you, the marketer. You could either choose a list of keywords to bid on or a set of placements (i.e., sites) to display your ads on, and that was it. For experienced advertisers, such as small business owners, such a strategy has no flaws; however, this is not the case for the inexperienced. Google has begun to develop new features in recent years to allow for a fully automated advertising experience that takes care of almost everything from the advertisers. They started with Smart Campaigns, which handled the targeting and optimization. They released an even more ambitious campaign type called Performance Max in May 2021, which allows for new campaigns with minimal human input. The advertisers’ sole responsibility is to provide:
- The objective or campaign goal, such as CPA or ROAS
- Ad creatives, such as copy, images or videos, and CTAs
- Bidding — for example, maximum CPA or target value/conversion
- Ad scheduling, location, and language
By implementing real-time optimization, Google hopes to make the optimization process easier for advertisers. One method is to use Audience Signals provided by advertisers — either Remarketing lists or custom audiences — to allow Google to show more ads to an audience that is more likely to convert.
As a result, advertisers will find it easier to meet conversion goals (e.g., driving sales at a target CPA) while expanding their reach and conversion value beyond traditional keyword-based search campaigns.
- New Formats for Local Campaigns-
Local campaigns have been the most popular promotional strategy used by local businesses to attract more potential customers to their stores. Local Google Ads campaigns have traditionally been based on search queries such as “Joe’s Pizza,” “best pizza Los Angeles,” or “best pizza 90017.”
Google has added three new ways to promote a business on Google Maps, the most popular navigation app for smartphone users, in the last year Regardless of the destination, navigational ads display a business on Maps results based on the user’s location as they navigate nearby. That is, if a user is driving to their house and passes by a promoted business, the store will appear in their navigation route even if they were not looking for a company in that location. Similar places ads enable a business to display its location to users searching on Maps for similar businesses nearby. For example, if someone is looking to pick up tacos from a now-closed location, they will see an ad from a similar business nearby:
Local businesses will benefit greatly from these three new options because they make it simple to showcase their stores in a high-intent context, especially the “Auto suggest” and “Similar places” ads. Google has also added local inventory ads, which enable businesses to sell products locally via their Shopping network via “in-store today pickup,” “pick up later,” or “curbside pickup.” Advertisers can use a Shopping campaign to implement this new ad type.
Given that 76% of users who conduct a local search visit a related store within a day and 28% make a purchase, running these new local ads will increase the effectiveness of local campaigns.
- Video Action Campaign Product Feeds
If you use video ads to promote your e-commerce business, you’ll be pleased to learn that Google has recently added product feeds to Video Action campaigns.
Assume a user sees a video ad promoting one of your products. After a few seconds, YouTube will display a panel below the ad that showcases your products (please keep in mind that this only occurs when the user’s phone is in portrait mode). When a user clicks on a product, they will be directed to the product’s landing page for more information:
This new feature will reduce the time to conversion for e-commerce marketers, improve sales attribution, and, most importantly, increase sales.
- Increased Conversions
Enhanced Conversions is another way to improve your conversion attribution modeling.
Enhanced Conversions collects consented first-party data from your customers, such as their email address, name, address, or phone number, hashes it with the SHA256 algorithm, and sends it to you via your conversion tag. Google then compares the conversion data to Google accounts that are signed in and associate it with your ad events, such as clicks or views. According to the company, they only report “aggregated and anonymized conversions.”
You can manually configure Enhanced Conversions by using either:
- Tag Manager for Google or
- Site-wide tag
- Image Extenders
Until recently, advertisers could only create text-based search ads. When compared to Facebook or YouTube, their ads have become archaic. Google announced the launch of an image extensions beta program for its search-based ads in July 2020. These images can be clicked and cost the same as text ads: Google allows you to upload up to 20 images related to the keywords you bid on, as long as they meet their strict format requirements. Each image must be manually approved before it can be used in your campaigns.
- Customer Match Rates in an Instant
Customer Match is a feature that allows you to use your online and offline data to target customers across Google’s channels as well as other customers who look similar to them. Previously, when you uploaded a customer list, you had to wait to see what your match rate was (i.e., the number of users Google can match in their user base). Google has begun to display instant Customer Match rates from your current and previous uploads since April 2021. Although it may appear to be a minor change, it will allow you to find and resolve any customer match issues more quickly:
Google recommends including as much customer information as possible for better Customer Match rates. They discovered that advertisers who upload two types of customer information see a 28 percent increase in average list size, and advertisers who upload three types see a 35 percent increase.