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Google’s Latest Adwords Updates Offer More for Display Advertising

By Amber Usmani in Industry News on November 24th, 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, Google’s Display Network, also known as GDN, has updated its targeting capabilities which make display advertising through Google more relevant and advanced. Here are the most recent targeting options Google has launched over the last few months.

Versatile display advertising added in recent Google AdWords update. Image courtesy of Search Engine Land.

Audience Insights

Most advertisers are continually researching their audience’s behavior and browsing patterns to build the best connection possible when serving ads. With Google’s new Audience Insights, advertisers can learn about important aspects of the audiences in their remarketing lists, such as demographics, interests, locations, and devices. With these insights, advertisers can further optimize and improve their campaigns by:

1. Finding new and relevant audiences to expand targeting towards

2. Seeing the demos, locations, devices, and interests of people in the advertiser’s remarketing lists

3. Generating sales with new and qualified customers who are likely to convert using the “All Converters” audience list (only available to accounts that are using Adwords conversion tracking). This then allows the advertiser to target audiences that aren't currently being targeted and/or bid higher to reach them.

Guaranteed Viewable Display Ads

According to Google, 56 percent of display ads aren’t viewed because they appear below the fold or out of view. However, among Google’s recent updates are guaranteed viewable display ads which will only charge advertisers for when their ad is viewable, not just served. Viewability will be measured on Google by the “Active View” technology on the GDN sites, which only counts display ads as “viewable” when at least 50% of the banner shows on the user’s screen for one second or longer. Over the next few months, viewable CPM (vCPM) will automatically replace all CPM campaigns in Adwords. This means, bidding for viewable impressions will call for a higher bid than what an advertiser would typically make for a CPM bid, since bidding higher will be more effective for winning premium impressions.

Customer Match

Google’s new “Customer Match” is available to Search, YouTube, and Gmail Ads (formerly known as Sponsored Promotions). This feature allows for advertisers to utilize their CRM data and match it to signed-in Google users in a secure and privacy-safe way. With Google’s Customer Match solution, advertisers can:

1. Reach their current customers

2. Exclude their current customers and strictly reach new prospects

3. Expand to Similar Audiences that look like their current users on Gmail and/or YouTube

Universal App Campaigns

Launched in September, Universal App Campaigns can be created as a campaign type in AdWords to promote an advertiser’s app across GDN as well as Google Search, Google Play, and YouTube. Universal App Campaigns pull in an advertiser’s app images, videos, and description directly from the Google Play store listing to generate ad formats that fit across any of the available placements.

Overall, Google continues to enhance its display network on an ongoing basis offering new features and targeting options to make ads more relevant driving a better ROI. Whether an advertiser uses Audience Insights, Customer Match, or viewable CPMs the added capabilities in Adwords will only further enhance display banner ads and their effectiveness in terms of an advertiser’s KPIs. The user-friendly Adwords platform combined with Google’s massive reach and scale continues to create competition for programmatic display advertising platforms.

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