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June 29, 2016

Google search on mobile – what’s new?

Every year there are trillions of searches happening on and over half of those searches happen on mobile.

Whether users are researching something of interest, speaking to friends, or making a purchase, we all now reach for our mobile phones as our fastest and favourite way to connect. Our mobile is the first thing we look at in the morning, and the last thing we put down at night, and this constant connectivity gives brands more opportunities than ever before. But which moments are truly valuable to brands? After watching the latest Google Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote, Sridhar Ramaswamy talked about ‘micro-moments’ – moments when users turn to their smartphones to help them make a decision or accomplish a task. It is these moments Sridhar believes are the most precious and profitable for business’ as users want to take action there and then.

Anchor your strategy based on mobile

With such a rise in mobile search, mobile ads and mobile bids have become fundamental to a brand’s success. To cater for this change, Google have introduced a whole new app platform which has rethinked their design, bidding, and how marketers should measure impact. Below are the new features that you may want to take note of:

Individual bid adjustments
Google have now enabled brands to set individual bid adjustments for each device type; mobile, desktop and tablet. With more control and flexibility you can now optimise your bids for the devices that perform the best for you as a business.

New mobile ad format
Google have rebuilt search ads for a mobile-first world, making changes that encourage mobile users to convert. The number of characters in one description line has increased as longer headlines provide users with more information, before they have clicked on the ad. This change has given brands 50% more ad text to promote their products or services.

New display ads
On the Google display network, Google have made display ads easier for brands to create. Simply provide Google with the headlines, description, image and URL and they will collate this into an ad that fits any web page or app.

Device specific ads
It is also now possible for businesses’ to detect whether users are searching from their laptops or mobiles. If a business has both an ecommerce store and physical locations, they are now able to optimise their user journey accordingly by showing device specific content.

Macy’s are one of the leading brands who are taking advantage of this feature. Customers searching for Macy’s products on mobile are able to call a local store, get directions and see in-store stock availability. For the users searching on their laptops, they are sent directly to the website. Not only does this improve online sales for Macy’s, but also drives foot traffic to their physical stores.

Model automotive ads
Automotive ads are a new mobile ad format now available to OEM automotive advertisers in the US. These ads display a series of high-quality images immediately to the customer before they have even clicked on the ad. With a high increase in users searching for cars online, these ads recreate that showroom experience. Google understands that on mobile users are looking to swipe and interact rather than just go somewhere, shoppers can now do this and easily view a car’s exterior and interior.

Toyota are a brand that has mastered this feature. Automotive ads allow the brand to give their customers an immersive experience and tell a story, highlighting the value of both the brand and the vehicle. Since implementing, Toyota have seen a 45% increase in conversions and a 30% decrease in the CPA compared to standard text ads.

The great thing about Google is that it constantly evolves based on the demographics of it’s users, regularly implementing changes like these that allow businesses to propel their brand, sales and revenue. Not all of the above changes are currently out in the UK at the moment, however rest assured they are likely to be on their way.

Google keynotes and ‘Think with Google’ are both easy ways to keep up to speed with Google updates. Taking note of these in advance and preparing your marketing strategy around these will allow your brand to connect with your customers and compete with other business’ alike.