A Google Wishlist
Published: April 25, 2012
Author: Sean Marshall
Image credit: pcmag
Christmas isn’t for another eight months, but my inner child won’t listen. In (early) anticipation of this most glorious occasion, and perhaps encouraged by yesterday’s twin AdWords updates, the kid wants to make a few requests from Santa Google. Hopefully he’s not too demanding (he is) and can have these things in time for this year’s Xmas festivities.
1) More Control Over Search Partners – Not having more control over a segment that can easily spend half your budget is a joke. I’m sorry, Google, but this has been the biggest hole in AdWords for years.
2) Upgraded Filters and Segmentation – I remember a day when there were no filters or segmenting available beyond the obvious campaign/ads/keyword tabs. Google released some great functionality with Dimensions, and now we’re hooked. We need MORE!! Number one on my wish list? Apply the selected segmentation to the TOTAL row of whatever you’re filtering.
3) Better Mobile Experience – You’ve been preaching mobile for over a year now, so now it’s my turn: MOBILE MOBILE MOBILE!! We get it, AdWords isn’t exactly a WordPress blog – there’s a lot of stuff to load, and it won’t happen overnight. But seriously, give me a better way to check performance on the go without crashing Safari every third try (and no, getting me on Android is not an acceptable solution).
4) Better Conversion Data – This one is a doozy and covers a few things. First – upgrade your conversion tracking system to be in line with what Marin, Kenshoo, SearchForce, et al offer. This includes passing back order IDs, dedupping, timestamps, longer cookie windows, etc. Conversions are king, and we’re flying with an eye patch on. Second – better analysis tools, e.g. include content campaigns in conversion path analysis. I think it’s clear that Google is pushing for GA adoption, but please sharpen these tools and let them reside in a single interface. It’s far too difficult to understand things like latency and other user behaviors with the current set of tools. A little offline feed integration to measure downstream conversions would be nice as well!
5) ROAS Bidding – CPA isn’t the only thing. Variable AOVs beg for ROAS optimization, and Google’s bidding can’t handle that (yet). Of course, we’ll need more reliable revenue tracking and deduping to make this work properly.
6) Customizable Graphs – Totally do-able in Excel, but I wouldn’t mind being able to map my data in WoW increments or change the scale on the Y axis of all graphs. Not a big one, but it’d be nice to have.
7) Better Merchant Feed/Product Extension Experience – Integrating these pieces is far too time-consuming and haphazard. There have been some nice improvements on the product tagging side, but this functionality just seems incomplete. While you’re tinkering here, why not add an out-of-stock monitor as well?
The list could go on and on (add your suggestions below!), but we’ll stop here for now. When Google added bid optimization to AdWords, I expected even more functionality to follow. While adding new wrinkles (sitelinks and other extensions) has made the work of 3rd-party management tools more difficult, there’s no substitute for just adding to the features they already offer. Don’t be surprise to see a few of these wishes granted; I don’t think Google wants to play second fiddle to Marin anymore.
– Sean Marshall, Director of Search Engine Marketing