Google Performance Summit Recap pt. 1 – Mobile is First Priority

When Google speaks, the marketing world listens. Yesterday was one of those moments–and Google had a lot to say. In case you happened to miss the news, Tuesday, May 24th was the Google Performance Summit. In this summit, a wide variety of updates were announced, with the most substantial changes happening in the areas of Google Adwords and Google Analytics. There was a lot to sift through in these updates, so check out our takeaways below to find out which changes are essential to your marketing efforts.

  1. Mobile is Google’s number one priority, and it should be yours as well.

These latest updates show that Google is putting all of its eggs in the mobile basket. Rightfully so, considering that mobile traffic has long surpassed desktop traffic. (Smart Insights) One of the primary ways Google is prioritizing mobile is by giving users the ability to use bid adjustments for all devices, including tablet. They are also allowing users to target mobile users only.

“This is perhaps the most substantial update from the summit as we’re dealing with significantly different performance across devices,” said Joe Castro, Fathom’s Director of Online Advertising. “It’s increasingly important to be able to make decisions based on this data.”

Matt Brown, Fathom’s Director of PPC, agrees on this subject, saying “I love that they returned the Tablet bid modifiers. We should be all about segmentation in PPC and all devices should be segmented.”

Accordingly, Google has improved their ability to measure impact across all devices through cross-device conversion tracking.

Google has also changed the ad format through Expanded Text Ads optimized for smartphones and is releasing responsive display ads to help advertisers easily create banner ads across all devices. Essentially, the main motivation for Google’s actions is the goal of making it easier for advertisers to target users on different devices while also justifying these investments in mobile devices.

  1. Keywords are less important than ever.

It’s clear, keywords are not the only indicator of intent and perhaps not even the most important one. This is being illustrated more now than ever, thanks to Google’s updates. For example, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), which was released a few years back, and now Similar Audiences for Search both allow you to bid differently and display different ad copy based on whether a user has already been to your website.

Specifically, Similar Audiences for Search ads will allow you to leverage your remarketing list to target users differently in search that look like your remarketing lists. Demographic Targeting for Search ads, on the other hand, are allowing advertisers to bid differently by age range and by gender. And as was discussed above, bid adjustments by device are another way to target users in more creative ways.

  1. Google is finding ways to integrate paid media channels and help advertisers to beneficially leverage these channels.

Prime examples of this include RLSA, Similar Audiences, Remarketing, Display, and YouTube advertising. By leveraging more paid channels, marketers will make their advertising more effective and efficient.

Google Analytics Suite 360 – Is it a Hit or Miss?

Along with these takeaways, the Google Analytics Suite 360, which was announced in March, will now be rolling out to Premium accounts. Its touted advantages include increases in integration, data visualization, and built-in intelligence along with products such as Firebase, Data Studio 360, and Optimize 360.

Overall, Google announced numerous new products and enhancements to their current analytics offerings.  “With the quantity of new products and enhancements coming out all at once, 360 has awesome potential,” said Kim Towne, Digital Analytics Manager at Fathom. “Which of these products will live up to the hype, though, can only be determined with time.”

If you want more of our take on Google Analytics Suite 360, keep an eye out for part two of this blog series.

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