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Google Performance Summit 2016

Changes for a 'Mobile First World'

The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s right here. This was the key message to come out of Google’s Performance Summit held on Tuesday 24th May.

With this thought in mind, Google have announced a number of important developments to Analytics and AdWords, which they describe as innovations for a ‘mobile-first world’. Changes will be rolled out in the coming months but here is a brief summary of what they announced:

Branded pins and expanded advertising within Google Maps

Local-related mobile searches are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall. To target these searches Google will be developing ‘branded pins’, local inventory adverts and in-store promotions to enable advertisers to position themselves in front of their customers.

The selection of what adverts to display will, of course, be down to Google but be fuelled by their ‘advanced machine learning capabilities’ and be based on the advertisers bid, relevance and quality scoring and the user’s browsing history, interests, time of day, online behaviour, etc.

Tracking in-store conversions

For the last 2 years, Google have been leveraging their powerful mapping data to test technology which will enable them to attribute real world in-store visits back to the online click activity, which generated the interest.

They are now confident that in 99% of cases, they can accurately do this. This is extremely important information for many advertisers who have a physical shop or showroom and, in many cases, the value of these store visits will exceed their online sales.

Individual bid adjustments for mobile, desktop and tablet

AdWords managers have been calling for this particular announcement for a very long time. It will finally become possible to segment between all 3 major device platforms (desktop, tablet and mobile) rather than the mobile versus non-mobile situation we currently have.

Improved ad formats and expanded audiences for search remarketing

Character limits for text adverts will expand by 50% and newer mobile-responsive ad formats will be introduced.

Google are also expanding the use of ‘similar’ audiences, already available for display remarketing, making them available for use with search remarketing. This presents the opportunity to not only target specific audiences of people who have already visited your site but also similar audiences of people who have not.

New AdWords interface and Google data studio 360

Google also demonstrated a major re-design of the AdWords dashboard aiming to make it more ‘marketing-friendly’. Rather than just impose the changes, they will give users the opportunity to switch back and forth between dashboards and give them feedback about it.

They also foreshadowed the release of Google Data Studio 360, which should make it easier to prepare, share and collaborate on web performance reports pulled from Analytics and AdWords data.

The full video of the presentation is also available on YouTube:

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