This week’s chat had a bit of a different format, as we had Ginny Marvin of Google Ads join us to answer questions after last week’s Google Marketing Live 2021. We got to a lot of questions, but there were many raised during the chat. There will be a separate post with those answers (which will be linked here when live)!
Read the full chat recap here.
Listen to the podcast recap here.
(Podcasts are also available on iTunes and Google).
Resources shared during the chat:
From Ginny Marvin:
- Automate your Google Ads conversion imports with Zapier (Google Ads documentation)
- First-party data offers a solution for privacy and performance (Think with Google)
- GOOGLE SHOPPING – Get discovered and build your brand on Google (Google Blog)
- Create effective responsive search ads (RSAs) (Google Ads documentation)
- Updates to iOS 14 campaign measurement (Google Ads documentation)
- How businesses across the globe use Google products (Google parter testimonials)
- Updated customer match policy – read the criteria closely (Google Ads documentation)
Shared by PPC Chatters:
Questions answered during the chat
Q1: If you don’t use automation, is Google Ads still using machine learning to try to show your ads to the best potential customers? What advantages do you get from using the automated options?
For bidding, only the 5 Smart Bidding strategies use machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in every auction and factor in multiple contextual signals. In general, automation allows you to take advantage of real-time optimizations based on numerous signals — including your own data, inputs & goals — that just isn’t possible to do manually at scale.
Q2: Google keeps talking about “partnering” with advertisers and then talks about pushing automation on us. How is that partnering?
This is really important & I want to spend a bit of time on it. I get that the automation acceleration can feel like losing control & precision, but the aim is always to deliver more advertiser value, at scale. Computing power has increased exponentially & ML systems can now use 10s, 100s of thousands of signals at levels that aren’t possible manually. W/ all the complexity in customer journeys today, automation is really the only way to be able to anticipate behaviors & find converting customers at scale. It’s a mindset shift about what to focus on & what’s going to move the needle. We now need to understand how to work w/ the systems & how to use new controls & levers to speed up learning & guide the ML w/ your business data & inputs on what you value, what’s working, etc. Automation is also going to be critical as the privacy landscape evolves and we use modeling to fill in gaps where consented first-party data isn’t available. All that said, this is a partnership & we are listening to feedback and investing in several areas the teams know are important:
When it comes to automation, Google is focusing on:
– Giving advertisers with new ways to steer automation
– Speeding up learning periods
– Delivering more transparent insights & testing features#GML2021
— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) May 27, 2021
Q3: For advertisers with smaller budgets and/or smaller volumes of conversion activity, automation still struggles. What is Google doing to address this and what suggestions are there for making automation work for these types of accounts?
Great question. Smart bidding still might not always be the best option for smaller budget or lower volume accounts. To evaluate results accurately, you may need to look at longer time periods w/ at least 30 conversions, such as a month or longer (50 conv for tROAS). And yes, as alternatives, Smart and/or Local campaigns might also be worth another look
Q4: How exactly do we go all in on first party data? Is it just uploading customer match lists? Will you make importing offline conversions and linking CRMs to G Ads much, much, much easier if we need to do this as well?
For many biz, developing a 1st-party data strategy is a BIG shift & will require intentional, strategic investment to create new ways to establish customer relationships OR making use of data you have but don’t yet act on. Customer Match let’s you upload online & offline customer data — and it’s now available to nearly all businesses — announced at GML last week In addition to the Salesforce integration, you can pull in CRM data with Zapier. More on that here.
Q5: There weren’t any updates about keywords, match types, ETAs going away as some of us have heard from reps. Should we take that as no major changes are happening in those areas this year?
Well, w/ RSAs now the default, for example, that’s a clear sign to focus on them. I’ll resurface this reference, too:
If you’re having trouble getting responsive search ads to work for you or have been hesitant to try them, here are some tips on creating effective RSAs. I’ve found the headline tips especially helpful. What’s worked for you?#GML2021 https://t.co/8jVwVkJ618
— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) May 27, 2021
RSAs, like anything new, do take some experimenting & understanding of how they do & don’t work. The two descriptions should be unique & work together, for example. And the other thing I’d point out is that broad match has been overhauled to deliver more relevant searches by incorporating signals like landing pages, keywords in ad groups, and more.
Q6: Speaking of keywords and matching… Search query data loss is incredibly frustrating particularly coupled with the push to broad match. Is it ever coming back? Will we at least be able to see converting terms again at some point?
First, this was solely a privacy-driven decision. But the teams know the loss of query data can make it tough to know what’s working, especially for lower volume accounts and been working on solutions… to give advertisers new query insights while protecting privacy. It is a priority & there will be more to come on this soon. The why is to ensure user privacy from the search/impression to conversion.
Q7: Many people have heard from their reps that GCLID will not be as we have known starting in the fall. Is this true?
GCLID is/will still be available, but we’re no longer sending GCLID for iOS 14 traffic coming from ads on a handful of Google apps. See more here.
Q8: Why are the case studies always about big brands and e-commerce brands? Does Google care about SMBs and B2B? Why is B2B especially always ignored?
Last year, the roadmap was rewritten to help SMBs hit hard by the pandemic (incl. ad credits) & helping them sell online, new local biz features etc., and Pef. Max, lead form extensions, & easier conversion imports are examples of B2B-friendly features. I’ll pass on the feedback about the case studies. In the meantime, you can check out several SMB partner case studies here.
Q9: Can we get more insight into how Performance Max campaigns will work? Will they operate in the same way smart campaigns work or will we have more control/insights. Are they specific for lead gen, ecom or both? Can we optimise them or is it fully automated?
Performance Max is a goals-based automated campaign type for advertisers of all sizes. The Pef. Max beta is only available for advertisers if your primary objective is to generate leads or to drive online sales without using a product feed. While there are similarities, retailers and advertisers with physical stores should continue to use Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns to meet their marketing performance objectives as they do today. We will continue innovating on these campaigns in 2021. Perf Max supports Max Conv w/ optional tCPA and Max Conv Value w/ optional tROAS across Google’s ad inventory. Ad serving across campaigns will continue to be based on Ad Rank and likelihood of conversion.
The Performance Max beta is expanding to more advertisers — with more reporting insights & soon easier customer data importing. Performance Max serves across all Google ad inventory sources & complements keyword-based Search campaigns. #GML2021 https://t.co/27AgIqR2J4
— AdsLiaison (@adsliaison) May 27, 2021