Five Lessons from the Google Performance Summit

By Kristen Poskitt

A global audience of marketers attended or watched the livestream of the Google Performance Summit on May 24 2016. The key theme and inspiration focused on our mobile-first world. The keynote announced several new innovations and redesigns for Analytics and AdWords. We’ve summarized the five most compelling unveilings and takeaways:

1. You Need to Understand Intent and Context

As of 2015, searches on mobile overtook those on desktop. Our phones are now the first thing we reach for in the morning and the last thing we look at everyday. For brands, this mobile-first behaviour means there are new opportunities to engage in valuable micro-moments, to make themselves visible and relevant in a consumer’s moment of “I want to know” or “I want to go” or “I want to buy”.

With so many searches and micro-moment opportunities, how can your brand chose the right moments and avoid interrupting or getting in the way? By understanding search intent and context, and meeting the needs of your consumer in that micro-moment. Be visible and useful when your consumers are looking for answers.

2. Make the Most of Your First Impression

A text ad can be the first introduction between your brand and your target consumer. And first impressions are lasting impressions. 91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task (Micro-Moments, Think With Google). Acting on this consumer behaviour insight, Google is redesigning the format for text ads with 2 critical changes: a longer headline, and a longer single description line. The result is more than 50% additional ad text, and this will be rolling out throughout 2016.

Here’s how the current (standard) and new (expanded) formats compare:

These changes will give your brand more space to tell consumers who you are and what you do, and gives consumers a better mobile user-experience. This will be available soon, so it’s time to start thinking about how your brand will make the most of this new format.

3. Win the Moments That Matter Most

Brands saw a 29% increase in mobile conversions last year (Micro-Moments Infographic, Think With Google). Device-specific data can help to guide how you invest and innovate in strategies that focus on the mobile experience. And now, you can set individual device-specific bids in your campaigns for mobile, desktop and tablet devices.

Have you looked at your Analytics data, to better understand how your website visitors behave on different devices? Maybe you’ve noticed that the majority of your conversion points (e.g. form submissions or online bookings/purchases) happen on mobile and tablet traffic compared to desktop. This kind of trend in your customers’ behaviour provides strong actionable insight that you can apply to your advertising and targeting. Device-specific bidding puts more flexibility and optimization in your control, so you can prioritize and customize your campaigns based on how your unique customers convert.

4. Bridge Your Digital and Physical World

Every month, 1.5 billion people visit a destination related to something they originally searched for on Google (How Mobile Search Connects Consumers to Store, Think With Google). Location-related mobile searches are growing faster than any other consumer search. Google Maps was recently added to Google’s ad network inventory, so your brand now has the opportunity to reach consumers interested in visiting your physical location.

One third of all mobile searches are related to location (Mobile-First World, Google Small Business). Is your brand visible in these relevant moments? Your brand’s Google My Business page is an opportunity to increase awareness as well as physical traffic. With new inventory for location-specific advertising, you can show relevant and compelling messaging to a consumer in a valuable and local micro-moment.

5. Reach a Similar (New) Audience

When you’re planning a campaign to increase brand exposure and awareness, defining the right audience to target can be difficult and expensive if done incorrectly. ‘Similar Audiences’ looks at data about your existing remarketing audiences and finds new and qualified consumers who have shared interests with that audience.

‘Similar Audiences’ will be available for display campaigns, and is a powerful tactic to help you earn brand exposure in front of a new qualified audience that may have never heard of your brand previously. It’s a strategic and simple way to reach a larger audience, and drive conversions from new consumers.

About the #GoogleSummit

The Google Performance Summit keynote unveiled many innovations and updates for Analytics and AdWords. The full 60 minute presentation can be viewed here.

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