Google Performance Summit: Advertising & Analytics for a Mobile-First World

By Hailee Sosnowski in Digital Marketing on May 25th, 2016



On May 24th, advertisers from around the world tuned in to Google’s live stream of their Performance Summit to hear about the latest updates to Google AdWords and Analytics. With more than half of the three billion daily searches on Google now taking place on mobile, the question we were challenged to ask ourselves is how – not why – advertisers should invest in mobile. Armed with this knowledge, Google has announced several updates they believe will help advertisers succeed in a mobile-first world. 



AdWords Redesign:

The first order of business in helping advertisers better navigate through this mobile-first world is a complete overhaul of the AdWords interface. This is much welcomed news considering the last time it received an update was in 2008. While the finished product won’t be available until 2017, Google gave advertisers three major updates to look forward to:

  • Surfacing the data you care about most to better determine what’s performing well and what may need extra attention.
  • Focusing more on your business and less on their product line by displaying the features most valuable to your goals front and center.
  • Keeping the interface clean and streamlined to help you work faster.

Expanded Text Ads:

Remember when Google removed right side ads back in February to mirror mobile and create a consistent look and feel across devices? That was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to perfecting what text ads should look like in the mobile space. As a result, Google’s new text ads are about to take up even more real estate with not one but two 30 character headlines instead of the traditional single headline of just 25 characters. The two 35 character description lines are also expanding to become one single 80-character description line.

Additionally, in an effort in ensure accuracy, advertisers will no longer be able to manually enter a Display URL. Instead, Google will automatically extract it from your final URL.

Google-Built Responsive Ads for Display:

Google’s new responsive ads help advertisers adapt to the many ways in which users consume content – from mobile to apps to video – by automatically adjusting the look and feel of any given format. Simply provide Google with a headline, description, image and URL, and they’ll do the rest.

Google also announced that it’s extending the reach of GDN remarketing campaigns by providing advertisers access to cross-exchange inventory.

More Controlled Bidding:

In the coming months, Google will be giving advertisers more control and flexibility over bids on specific devices. No longer will it be required to set a base keyword bid at the desktop level with mobile bid modifiers, but instead advertisers will be able to anchor bids to the most valuable device. From there it will be possible to implement individual bid adjustments for the remaining devices whether mobile, desktop or tablet. Additionally, Google is providing a wider range to adjust bids from -100% to +900%.

Location-Based Advertising:

Nearly one third of all mobile searches are location related. More importantly, local searches on mobile devices are growing 50% faster than mobile searches overall, which is why Google is introducing new local search ads across and Google Maps. Advertisers that utilize location extensions will now be able to implement promoted pins that will appear to users when they’re nearby (along their driving route). Google is also providing local business pages with a fresh look by adding features such as special offers and available product inventory.

Google Analytics

Now that more than half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, Google is working to make advertisers’ jobs easier by eliminating products that were designed for desktop only users. Two months ago Google announced the Google Analytics 360 Suite, which contains integrated data and marketing analytics products designed to meet the needs of enterprise marketers in a multi-screen, cross-channel atmosphere. At the Google Performance Summit, three key areas of focus were highlighted:

  • Seamless integration across analytics and other advertising products.
  • Built-in intelligence to help surface key insights and better optimize campaigns.
  • Collaborative and easy-to-use reporting tools.

While the rollout will occur in phases over the next few months, three products are available now. Website testing and personalization via Google Optimize 360 and data visualization with Google Data Studio 360 are now available in paid BETA. Additionally, a brand new, and completely free, version of Google Data Studio 360 was launched May 24th. With this version, anyone can create up to five reports with unlimited sharing, editing and collaboration.

 In this mobile-first world, as Google has dubbed it, reaching consumers in the I want to know, I want to go, I want to buy  micro-moments of their lives is more important than ever. By leveraging all Google has to offer in ways that make the most sense for your business, you’re sure to set yourself up for success.

Be sure to visit Google’s sites to learn more about AdWords and Google Analytics 360 Suite