Search Ads 360 launches a major update

Performance Max, Discovery, Display, and more. Here’s all you need to know.

Search Ads 360 has seen one of its biggest updates in 10 years

The platform will roll out major updates in the next months, while also allowing users to continue with the classic experience. 

The platform will now offer support for the newest features in Google Ads, such as:

  • Performance Max
  • Discovery campaigns
  • Display and Youtube Ads

Additionally, Google added enterprise innovation features that will allow teams to do an everyday follow-up, such as:

  • Campaign management
  • Creating automated rules
  • Using labels across various advertisers simultaneously

What will change? 

For media managers, the new Performance Center will include planning capabilities with spend, CPA, and conversion forecasts.

Also, a new inventory management system will be included in de SA360 updates, giving advertisers more control over how to use the ad space. This tool is useful for industries with frequent price changes, such as airlines, hotels, retail, entertainment, etc.

Have you used Search Ads 360 before? Did you find it more useful compared to the traditional Google Ads? Let us know in the comments below!

As part of this latest release, budget management will be improved with the new Performance Center. Google will grant access to planning tools, allowing advertisers to experiment with potential budget scenarios.

Finally, when you launch the SA360, you can see the identical overview dashboard found in Google Ads, making it a close resemblance to the platform.

What does Quantikal think?

This is Google’s attempt to optimize performance with enterprise innovation. The new updates will help advertisers get more work done in only one place, with an extended channel view for data-driven decisions. Quantikal will always say yes to new features that increase control for advertisers, even if the tool’s complexity increases. 

As expected, we will keep you informed if any more updates are coming your way. Stay tuned!

About Quantikal

Quantikal is a data-driven performance marketing agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We help clients scale their business through profitable digital ad spending by constantly obsessing over clients’ key metrics. Quantikal’s experience working in diverse online companies in marketing roles including media buying allows us to provide solutions in the ever-demanding increase of marketing performance, doing more with less thus becoming a strategic partner.

Google launches automated vehicle ads

Learn about this “new tool” for the automotive marketing industry.

Google gives advertisers a new ad format that shows vehicles to purchase nearby. Now, when a user searches “cars for sale”, they see options to either purchase or get the vehicle delivered. 

The ad format shows specific information about the product, including:

  • Location
  • Make
  • Model
  • Price

When the user clicks the ad, it redirects to the vehicle item page on the dealer’s website with the contact information. 

Where does it apply?

The first step is to create an inventory feed, which needs to be connected to Google Merchant Center and Google Business Profile. However, vehicle ads can’t run on standard Shopping campaigns. Smart Shopping is a requirement.

Vehicle ads are not allowed for private sellers, individual sellers, or auto brokers. These are only allowed for non-commercial passenger vehicles, such as cars, SUVs, etc.

The vehicle ads format does not show automatically in your account, so advertisers have to contact Google if interested. 

The main benefits of vehicle ads

Advertisers that have beta-tested this new feature seem to point out that there was a 25% increase in conversions via vehicle ads before it rolled out to the public. The expectation being user having more detailed information before clicking on an ad will create an expected higher conversion rate later on website. 

Online consumer behavior transformed in the past two years because of the pandemic, so it is smart to consider that users are making vehicle purchases online as well.

A Google study finds that 89% of new car buyers researched their vehicle online.

Our Take

With Google’s new vehicle ads, marketers can keep up with this new modality, stepping in front of online car buyers with the right information.

However, we’ve already seen this move from Google in the past. The tech company wanted to override car marketplaces and create its own platform, which would make advertisers pay Google directly for site traffic. 

The challenge for Google was that car marketplaces know how usears search for vehicles, and can help users narrow down by make, model, trim, etc., in order to simplify user experience. This is not easy to replicate and not easy to compete with, even as a huge tech company. Somehow, in the past, Google never launched its platform.

It should be interesting to see why this could turn out differently now than in the past. The truth is, Shopping ads weren’t so developed back then, so that could be an important fact to consider.

What do you think? Google can now compete with marketplaces as equals? Let us know in the comments below.

As always, Quantikal will be keeping tabs on this new ad format and we’ll get back to you with more updates. Stay tuned!

About Quantikal

Quantikal is a data-driven performance marketing agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We help clients scale their business through profitable digital ad spending by constantly obsessing over clients’ key metrics. Quantikal’s experience working in diverse online companies in marketing roles including media buying allows us to provide solutions in the ever-demanding increase of marketing performance, doing more with less thus becoming a strategic partner.

Google makes offline conversion tracking easier with Enhanced Conversions for Leads

If you want to see how this can apply to your business, keep on reading.

Google Ads launched Enhanced Conversions for Leads as an alternative to Google Click ID-based offline conversion tracking method. It may be easier to adopt for advertisers since this can be set up directly from your Google Ads account, so this data could mean more efficient conversion tracking.  

Have you ever used offline conversion tracking? If so, how tedious was the setup experience?

How does it work?

When users fill out a form on your site, you’ll receive data including email, name, address, and phone number. This data is captured in your conversion tracking tags and then sent to Google. When it converts, Google matches the information received to the ad that caused the lead, providing a more complete picture of the user journey. 

The issue with the existing Google Click

Offline conversion tracking can help Google get the idea of the value of leads, prioritizing the most valuable ones. Even so, this method has not been widely adopted due to the difficulty of implementation

However, the new Enhanced Conversions with Leads uses the information you’ve already captured such as email addresses, so there is no need to modify CRM systems or invest more time figuring out complex integrations between CRM and Google Ads. This is why Enhanced Conversion with Leads might be a convenient solution for many advertisers.

Did you encounter this issue? Let us know in the comments below! 

Where can you find it?

Enhanced Conversions for Leads can be found in Google Tag Manager if you have Google Ads conversion tracking set up. Also, it can be configured using the global site tag on your page if you already have conversion tracking implemented.

We will continue keeping tabs on this new method and see if it is a more convenient solution. Stay tuned!

About Quantikal

Quantikal is a data-driven performance marketing agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We help clients scale their business through profitable digital ad spending by constantly obsessing over clients’ key metrics. Quantikal’s experience working in diverse online companies in marketing roles including media buying allows us to provide solutions in the ever-demanding increase of marketing performance, doing more with less thus becoming a strategic partner.

Google Introduces Short Titles for Product Ads

Google Merchant Center launched a new feature called the short title for product ads. Here’s what’s in it for you:

Unlike the required “title” attribute, the short title is optional, and it will be shown in places where users do more browsing, such as Discovery, Gmail, and Shopping ads. Google claims that it’s a brief and concise identification of your product that will match the title in a shorter, easy-to-read way. But how brief is too brief? 

How does it work?

Google recommends keeping the character count between 5 to 65 characters. This character limit is important, given that short titles are used in a more scrolling context where the user’s interaction is shorter and quicker. 

Another requirement for using short titles is to describe the product on your landing page, which doesn’t necessarily need to match the title, but it should at least refer to the same product. Google also recommends that you list the important details first and add the brand name as a differentiating factor. If you do not follow these requirements, they will effectively disapprove of your product. 

Our Point of View

This new Google Ads feature allows advertisers better control in creating a more eye-catching title that will not be truncated because of its length.  

In the images below, we can see that “GE – Classic Drip” only shows its full title once your mouse is placed on top of the ad. Google encourages advertisers to shorten their titles so that they can be fully read, even if the user’s mouse is not interacting with the ad. Results show that Google shows only the first 15 or 20 characters of your title, even if they allow you to stretch to 65. Here’s the visual:

Title shown (no interaction)
Title shown when mouse is interacting

What happens once you capture the user? Do they completely understand what you’re selling in 5 to 65 characters? Browsing usually refers to a short-sighted visual, but it doesn’t really sell an accurate description of your product. Let’s see it in an example:

It is easier for users to read “Converse High Sneakers” and see which one fits their ideal best. But what if they need to know the size of the shoes? What if they are looking for a limited special edition? Do these short titles allow advertisers to provide enough information about what they are selling? We don’t have an accurate, precise way to know for sure. These short titles should be monitored and studied so that we can assess their performance better.

Advertisers can’t really differentiate themselves and their products clearly by reducing descriptions to a minimum. However, short titles do give every advertiser an equal opportunity to capture a user’s attention, so if your team can build a strategy around a short and efficient title, you can use this feature to your advantage.

Here’s a quick checklist that could help:

  • Keep characters between 5 to 65 (for optimal results, stick to 15 if possible)
  • Describe your product on the landing page
  • List important details first
  • Add the brand’s name as a differentiating factor

Do you think shorter titles are better to catch the consumer’s eye? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

In any case, be sure to follow Google’s guidelines to avoid unwanted product disapprovals. Stay tuned for more!

About Quantikal

Quantikal is a data-driven performance marketing agency based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We help clients scale their business through profitable digital ad spending by constantly obsessing over clients’ key metrics. Quantikal’s experience working in diverse online companies in marketing roles including media buying allows us to provide solutions in the ever-demanding increase of marketing performance, doing more with less thus becoming a strategic partner.

Google Ads Makes Updates to Automated Extensions

Here are the facts: Google announced that automated extensions will be able to show alongside the manually added extensions. Updates are coming to sitelink, callout, and structured snippet extensions. However, there’s always some fine print in Google’s glowy improvements.

How was your experience with Google extensions so far? Which extensions do you think are most effective?

At Quantikal, we like to use different extensions and analyze them in comparison to non-brand base search ads (ads that show without any extensions). With our top client, we can compare call, image, and callout extensions to our base click-through rate (CTR), which was 4.5%*. Our call extensions ads showed a 7.7% CTR, image extensions a 4.9%, and callout extensions 6.2%. In general, we see that extensions do create opportunities for a lift in CTR. Therefore, we believe that a proper setting for extensions needs to be in order, and that’s why we care about any feature that Google decides to put out in this area.

These Google changes are soon to be available in mid-March. Let’s take a closer look at the details, shall we?

Previously, if your ads had manual extensions created, your ad would only be eligible to show those. With this update, your ad would now be able to show your manual extensions and automated extensions simultaneously. This is another ongoing automation move from Google, trying to provide ads with more tools to allow advertisers to increase their ad’s CTR. Keep in mind that your account must be opted into automated extensions to show. You will be able to pause or remove any automated extension, allowing easier management of your campaigns. You can now identify which extensions were created manually and which ones were automatically created by Google.

With this new feature, ad eligibility will change. Extensions are eligible to show if Google’s machine learning algorithm predicts that your ads will improve performance. As always, Google assumes that advertisers prefer their machine algorithm above their team-created ad version. Are we sure that their algorithmically generated ads are failproof?

Google’s constant push towards automation means that advertisers will continue to give up control for easier implementation. To give you more intel, we want to share some of our experiences with Google automation tools gone awry.

At Quantikal, we had some mishaps recently with Responsive Display Ads (RDA). With this format, Google allows you to upload a series of headlines and descriptions so that the algorithm can automatically mix and match to optimal combinations. However, we found an example where the combined ad headlines were missing a critical piece of information. In this particular case, we were selling car tires through RDAs with an automobile accessories client of ours that has many important financial offerings. Things went amiss when we realized that the combined ads listed out these financial offerings without detailing that the product was a specific car accessory and not a car itself, so the ad was easily mistaken for a new car advertisement. 

Google’s faulty ad combination algorithm could never figure out if the ad created with this method makes actual sense. This automation feature does not allow advertisers to anchor specific titles that they want to make sure are included, so sometimes the main product descriptor is missing to create an effective ad. Today, still, machines can’t grasp semantics as well as humans, so clearly there are limitations to these types of automation.  

So, creators beware: although these changes allow for easier management and visibility regarding the automated extensions created and allow higher lift in performance, you must review extensions in their final stage, as it would be shown to the consumer to make sure it all makes sense.

Without fail and as we always do, we will review these features and analyze them as soon as they hit the market to keep you in the loop of Google’s changes. Stick around!

*Quantikal MCC Google Ads aggregated account data from different client 23/01/2022 to 21/02/2022

Google Launches Placement Reports for Performance Max campaigns

Google recently launched new placement reports for Performance Max campaigns, but nothing is ever quite as shiny as it seems. Have you tried it yet? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Here’s the lowdown: Google Ads’ placement reports were made for advertisers to see where ads are placed for Performance Max campaigns along with the amount of impressions they get. The catch? Despite this alluring new feature, Performance Max campaigns have been poorly designed from the start.

For those not familiar with this campaign type, Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to access their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign that’s designed to complement keyword-based search campaigns in order to find more converting customers. It can “drive better performance against your goals, unlock new audiences across all Google channels, steer automation with your campaign inputs and simplify campaign management,” according to the Google Ads Help platform. But according to us, this is just a clever new way to mask something mediocre by trying to sell it as “easy.”

Google has explained that now the Ads platform provides more in-depth information about where the Performance Max campaign ads are being displayed, but the data provided only shows where they are served and the amount of impressions. This leaves out a very important detail: click data. Why wouldn’t they show the most important part of the ad landscape?

Although this campaign type combines search, display, and shopping ads, the available metrics and control settings are very limited.  For example, metrics are not broken down by search term or keyword, so branded keywords cannot be separated from non-branded keywords—a critical oversight. Also, there isn’t any control offered for selective placements or excluding placements.

The only allowed base setting that’s now included in this campaign type is location and ad scheduling, which makes it incredibly visible that this type of campaign is inadequate in terms of control. Did Google really think that advertisers would be happy about this launch?

Google’s public launch statement says: “Placement reports for Performance Max campaigns are a new reporting resource for advertisers to easily see where on Google’s channels ads have served and associated impressions. We created these reports to give advertisers more transparency and assurance around where their ads are showing.”

That’s all well and good, except that we wouldn’t call it “transparent” if it only provides mainly two aspects of ad control. It looks like Google is targeting small account advertisers with this campaign type. Even for advertisers that want to minimize the complexity of their ad setup, the sacrifice of control is just too much of a downside to make the change worthwhile.

It’s understandable that Google wants to help smaller advertisers grow, but giving up so much agency on critical settings like keywords, negative keywords, and negative placements—just to name a few—simply doesn’t add up.

As this story unfolds, we intend to follow along with this blind-as-a-bat campaign type and its placement reports to see if it evolves or gets any advertiser adoption. We’ll make sure to share any updates or changes over time. Stay tuned!