Search Updates: May 2022

Search Updates: May 2022
Photo by Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Google Introduced Updates to Performance Max Campaigns

On May 24, 2022, Google introduced some big changes to Performance Max (PMax) Campaigns at the Google Marketing Live annual event. Performance Max is a relatively new campaign type that was introduced to advertisers last year, which utilizes a mix of automation and machine learning to help advertisers execute their specific conversion goals. With that being said, these new updates include in-store goals, optimization score for performance max, burst campaigns, additional insights and explanations, and experiment tools.

To start with, the In-Store Goals is introduced to optimize and supplement the in-store visits and local actions features and will be rolling out later this year to all users. This feature could allow brick-and-mortar businesses to support their in-store sales goal while testing out the efficiency of performance max campaigns. Other than that, the burst campaign can also be utilized in conjunction with in-store goals. Burst campaign uses the strategy of being more aggressive in bidding or media buying throughout a short period of time to meet the objectives set for the campaign. For example, by implementing these two features, advertisers could potentially achieve the in-store sales goal within a set time period during sales season.

In addition, optimization score is launching worldwide this summer to all advertisers using Performance Max types, Google will be adding this feature to Performance Max campaigns for the first time this year. Optimization score provides automated suggestions based on the performance of the campaign, which includes tips and explanations on what we could do and helps us identify campaign issues that we did not notice. Besides optimization score, the additional insights and explanations provide information such as search trends or performance changes that could complement suggestions from optimization score. However, as helpful as the insight and optimization scores are, advertisers should still manually evaluate the issues to ensure they fit their campaign objective.

Lastly, A/B testing is often a useful strategy for us to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign. Therefore, the experiment tools for Performance Max campaigns could be beneficial for us when evaluating how efficient the Performance Max campaigns could be at driving incremental conversions. However, it is important to note that it is only a tool to show advertisers how many potential conversions there could be “if” advertisers used Performance Max campaigns. The data comes from the already-existing Google Ads campaigns. How this tool works is it takes the existing campaigns and applies the Performance Max setting in order to showcase the amount of increase in conversions there could be.  However, they should only be used directionally as some of the changes may not work with what our actual business objectives are.

To conclude, the updates from Google surely provides more automated assistance to advertisers using this automated campaign. Although it can help us maintain a campaign with efficiency, we should still take critical thinking into account since the business goals and outside factors could change often and automated assistance might not be able to catch up on all the changes that are happening. On the other hand, it is important to notice that there are many restrictions when it comes to setting up the Performance Max campaigns, as it requires the use of display, video, and search aspects in one campaign.  These requirements forbids us from manually controlling the budget we want to put into each different campaign type.  However, we do look forward to seeing the rest of the new features like Burst Campaigns and In-Store Goals to help make it easier for us to reach our goals when using Performance Max campaigns.

Performance Max Optimization Score Page

Performance Max Insights Page

Microsoft Advertising Introduces Auto-Generated Remarketing Lists

In May 2022, Microsoft Advertising announced its launch of auto-generated remarketing lists. These lists could potentially help advertisers to execute remarketing campaigns and reach the consumers that have engaged with the ads in the past. Auto-generated remarketing lists is an audience targeting catalog Microsoft created for Microsoft Ad accounts. When logging into a Microsoft Ads account, there might be a new notification about the audiences, which will show that Microsoft added a few default audience targeting lists to the account, and that includes All Visitors (users who visited the website in the past 30 days), All Converters (users who converted within the past 180 days), and Smart Remarketing (users likely to convert).

Remarketing is often a beneficial strategy for us to drive more sales and conversions for our clients in the e-commerce industry. Remarketing campaigns could reach consumers that were once interested in purchasing a product and reminding them of their unfinished buyer’s journey. The remarketing list feature provides details and data of consumers who have interacted with the ads before but didn’t convert. This could be useful information for advertisers to gather for clients with an online storefront and use it to create a tailored remarketing campaign that targets  those specific populations.

Through different default remarketing lists provided by Microsoft, advertisers can associate different lists to different ad groups or campaigns. This will allow less confusion and helps advertisers to differentiate targeted audiences for specific campaigns or ad groups. While smart remarketing list sounds quite advanced, it should still be tested before being fully implemented to any campaign or ad group. Even though smart remarketing claims to reach consumers that are likely to convert, it is important to remember that mistakes in automation happen and are not completely intuitive. However, having detailed information of consumers who have interacted with ads before is always helpful insight that we could utilize and possibly reference when we are optimizing our campaigns.  This is a feature that has already been on Google which is very helpful for people who only have the minimal amount of tagging on their websites or landing pages. It is definitely very useful as it allows advertisers to capture data and retarget the audiences or at least see which audiences that keep coming back are from the retargeting audiences that were created. We have had a lot of success using these retargeting audiences on Google to retarget on YouTube. It might be helpful to use the retargeting audiences automatically generated from Microsoft on their syndication partners targeting and display targeting.

Google Introduced New Shopping Ads Features

At the Google Marketing Live event today, Google announced a series of new features that will promote more activities on Google shopping by introducing new ways for advertisers to engage with consumers as they explore brands and products. These features could bring positive changes to customer’s shopping experience, help brands stand out to customers, and unlock potential profitability.

To start with, Google will roll out the new swipeable shopping feed on Search that is mixed with organic results, which aims to help shoppers discover a variety of products and brands. We think this could be a great opportunity for us to focus on both Paid Search and Search Engine Optimization, as both results could appear in the search engine results page.   By taking advantage of our paid and organic efforts, shoppers would see more available results from the same brand, which can strengthen our online presence.  At the same time, the ability to swipe for more information also adds a level of interactivity, which should help keep the consumers more engaged and active.

In addition, the multi-search feature is another big change that will increase consumer’s user experience by allowing them to search for a product by taking a photo or using a screenshot in their album and texting at the same time. For instance, shoppers will be able to search for a product without remembering the name of it while giving indication of the color and other specifications.  We think this feature is the combination of intuity and technology, and could be useful in improving user experience. More than that, Google is also rolling out the AR (Augmented Reality) feature for advertisers, which allows consumers to experience the product in real life by letting consumers view or experience a product from every angle and interact with them in a real environment.  For our clients in the security camera industry, it would be very helpful for us to utilize this feature and allow shoppers to see what the cameras or doorbells might look like in their house.

On top of these features, instead of going through multiple steps to purchase a product, Google is bringing a change to that by creating a more streamlined buying journey for shoppers called one-click checkout. Consumers who are ready to buy will now have the option to go directly from Google to the checkout page on the website. Although this feature will only be available to experience on Google and YouTube with select merchants first, we can expect Google to expand this rollout in the future.

To conclude, these features introduced by Google could be beneficial for us through utilizing the ads format, AR experience, and one-click check out. We can tell that this update is aimed to enhance and streamline shopper’s experience, which is crucial for us and our clients. These updates can help with providing convenience and flexibility to the consumers. Although the implementations of these features could take some testing, a better shopping experience will lead to more sales.

Example of Multi-Search

Example of Swipeable Shopping Feeds