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Top Google Ads Releases in 2016

Published: December 19, 2016

Author: Hillary Read

As usual, Google has released a bunch of new features over the past year. We gathered a bunch of our senior SEM aces and got their feedback on the most significant advances Google made in 2016 (you’ll notice there were a few features that got more than one vote).

Tablet Bid Modifiers

Account Director Kate Pellegrini: Tablet performance lags on most of my campaigns, but especially for YouTube and GDN campaigns. Below is a great screenshot I pulled from an audit I did that shows how horribly tablet performed for this one search campaign. As you can see, bidding this device down (or getting rid of it altogether with a -100% bid modifier, which we can now do!) could have saved the client $9k and improved the overall CPA for the campaign quite a bit!

Account Director Caitlin Halpert: Tablet modifiers allow you to control bids differently for an important touchscreen device that previously held back our opportunity on desktop.

Responsive Display Ads

Account Director Kate Pellegrini: I haven’t actually used this yet, but I often find that the greatest barrier for clients to get into the Google Display Network is banner asset creation. Now with responsive ads, all you need is one image, a logo, and some text, and you enter that all into Google and they format a bunch of cool display banners from that mix.
Account Director Caitlin Halpert: Responsive ads make it much easier to enter as much inventory as possible in the GDN with limited to no design work.

Expanded Text Ads

Account Director Will Aronson: ETAs mean more space for the ads and more characters for your message has yielded higher CTRs for a range of our accounts.

Drafts & Experiments

Sr. Account Director Christine Baker: These allow SEMs to truly test strategies like Conversion Optimizer vs. a control. Testing is much more precise and actionable.

Local Services Ads

SEM Consigliere Todd Mintz: This will be massive for small business.

Demographic Bid Modifiers for Search Ads

Account Director Kate Pellegrini: This is a great feature, especially for advertisers whose products/services are geared more towards a certain gender or age. Let’s say, for example, you’re an advertiser who sells baby monitors. You’re probably trying to reach women for the most part, and you now have the ability to bid more aggressively for women. Below is a screenshot for MVMT watches; you can see that older folks tend to have higher CPAs, so we could be bidding down here, especially for non-brand terms.

What favorite 2016 Google releases would you add to this list? Drop a comment!

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