Upcoming changes to Google AdWords
With the recent (and ongoing) overhaul of the Google AdWords interface, it can be easy to miss some of the smaller changes that are being brought in to the search giant’s advertising platform. In this blog post, we’ll cover two of the most recent changes to be announced, and how they may affect advertisers and users going forward.
AMP Landing Pages
On September 7th 2017, Google announced via their Inside AdWords blog that towards the end of September, they will be rolling out AMP landing pages globally.
AMP landing pages are nothing new if you work within the Search Marketing industry. However, for those that don’t know, on February 4th 2017, Google officially integrated AMP pages in to mobile search results. The aim of the AMP project is to create websites that are “fast, beautiful and consistently high-performing”.
So how will this change affect advertisers? Well, for a start, we know that landing page experience is a factor in determining quality score. Since Google views AMP pages as pages with great user experiences, this will most likely mean that sending your traffic to AMP pages will increase your quality score. In turn, this will increase your ad position and decrease your average cost per click.
On another note, we all have seen multiple articles about how page speed affects conversion rates. Could sending users to your super-fast AMP pages actually increase the number of conversions? It’s definitely something to test.
How about users? Well, simple, from their perspective, they (should) get the same content at a much quicker rate than they would usually. Overall, I think this is a good change from Google, if not a little overdue.
Ad Rotation Settings
The second change announced by Google is the simplification of the ad rotation settings.
Previously you had four options when it came to choosing your ad rotation, these were:
- Optimise for clicks
- Optimise for conversions
- Rotate evenly
- Rotate indefinitely
Beginning late September, this will be limited to only two options, which will be:
- Do not optimise
Personally, I feel this is an unneeded change that doesn’t serve much purpose to advertisers. Google’s official statement is they are “simplifying ad rotation” due to the current options being unclear. Whether this is true or there is a separate reason for the change is, ironically, unclear.
In terms of how many advertisers currently use the four settings, there’s no numbers on it. However, from personal experience, I’ve found testing between different ad rotation settings to be quite successful for a number of clients, especially when they’ve had a steady flow of conversions for AdWords to scrape some data from.
Speaking of conversions, Google now recommend anyone who was previously using the ‘Optimise for conversions’ setting to use Smart Bidding. Potentially this is one of the reasons for the change, as Google has been pushing advertisers to adopt the concept for quite a while now.
The only positive I can see from this change is that you will now be able to set ad rotation at ad group level. Meaning that you can run more granular tests and gain more insights in to the results.
Google’s Big Push on Speed
Over the past year or so, Google has continuously pushed the importance of mobile speed. From it being given more priority as a ranking factor, to the new tools they are creating every week to improve it. The message is clear, be fast or be last!.
I completely agree with this push. As long as you’re not taking content away from users there’s no reason that you shouldn’t be trying to make your pages as fast as possible. There are also a number of tools out there nowadays to help you achieve this. From Google’s own Page Speed Insights or The AMP Project to content delivery networks (CDNs) like Cloudflare, webmasters now have no excuse to be delivering slow websites to users.