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Inside AdWords
Google's official blog for news, information and tips on AdWords.

  • Google Trusted Stores: Now it’s even easier to help shoppers buy online with confidence
    There's nothing like shopping online knowing that you'll get great customer service, on-time delivery and free purchase protection. And because we want this experience to be everyone's, today we’re rolling out a set of improvements that will make it even easier for merchants to join Google Trusted Stores, our program that has helped thousands of merchants gain their customers’ confidence.

    Win the trust of new shoppers

    Google Trusted Stores is a free certification program to highlight that you offer a consistently great shopping experience. Once qualified, your store will be recognized with a badge that is displayed on your site and on Google Shopping. Your customers will be offered free purchase protection by Google after making a purchase on your site, covering eligible orders up to $1,000.

    Applying to become a Trusted Store is now simpler than ever. You only need to create an account and add two snippets of code to your website. You no longer need to submit shipment and cancellations feeds, and you’re now able to specify a custom position for the Trusted Stores badge on your site and display it on HTTPS pages.  
    New Google Trusted Stores badge showing seller ratings and purchase protection
    Highlight your Trusted Stores status in AdWords and qualify for seller ratings

    Reviews collected through Google Trusted Stores help you qualify for seller ratings, which show on your AdWords text ads and Google Shopping. This integration provides shoppers with helpful information, while giving you a free way to earn the rating you deserve.

    You can also enrich your AdWords ads by displaying your Google Trusted Stores status through a review extension. Review extensions are displayed on a separate line in your AdWords ads and may increase their clickthrough rates.
    Show your seller ratings and add a review extension to your AdWords ads
    Many partners are already enjoying the benefits of participating in the Trusted Stores program. For example, John Fitzgerald, Director Digital Marketing at Beau-Coup, told us "Our participation in the Google Trusted Stores program has resulted in increased traffic to as well as higher sales. The Trusted Stores review extension highlights our status in AdWords, bringing more customers to the site, and the Trusted Stores badge gives shoppers confidence resulting in higher conversion rate overall."

    Get started with Trusted Stores

    We made these changes available internationally in the UK, Germany, France, Australia and Japan a few months ago and hundreds of merchants have become Trusted Stores in these countries already.

    The Google Trusted Stores program is free and easy to set up, making it ideal for any merchant, large or small, interested in boosting shopper confidence. If you want to join the Google Trusted Stores Program, apply here.

    Posted by Michaela Feller, Product Manager, Google Shopping

  • Five resolutions for Shopping success in 2015
    We know that retailers are always looking for the best ways to promote their products and reach shoppers online in the exact moment they’re looking to buy. Our mission with Google Shopping is to help you do that. In 2014, we introduced Shopping campaigns to all Product Listing Ad (PLA) advertisers to offer a more streamlined, retail-centric advertising experience. This year, we want to continue to help you make the most of your PLA investment.

    In the spirit of self-betterment, we invite you to join us in resolving to make 2015 your best year yet. But instead of making resolutions you know you may not keep, how about trying our countdown of suggested resolutions to improve your product data and boost your PLA success? Just think of it — all the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals, and no wasted gym memberships. Kick off the new year by checking out a few ideas below:
    1. I will be on time. Keeping track of all your meetings, appointments, and social events is crucial to making sure you get the most out of your day. But while you’re managing your personal tasks, don’t forget to plan ahead when updating your product data -- it’s key to ensuring your products show on Google. Make sure to check the Google Shopping policies and act quickly in response to any notifications or warnings you may receive; you can even put a reminder on calendar and list out steps to resolve a warning before the specified deadline. With time to spare, rest easy knowing that you’re in tip-top shape to take full advantage of every opportunity to reach more shoppers, when it counts. 

    2. I will get organized and eliminate clutter. You’ve just made it through the hustle and bustle of the holidays -- and your home, nerves, and work are probably still reflecting it. Relax -- it’s a new year, and it’s time to get things back under control. Part of reaching that “zen” state is making sure your product data is up-to-date. With the help of automatic item updates in Google Merchant Center, dynamically update product price and availability shown on PLAs if there’s a difference between your data feed and your website’s microdata. This will help you seamlessly update your ads and avoid disapproval from mis-matched information; in fact, merchants who have opted in to this feature have seen a 50% reduction in price-related item disapprovals.

    3. I will try something new. Did 2014 have you feeling like you were stuck in a rut? This year, break free from your standard routine and get inspired. Learn a new language, pick up a paintbrush -- or try out new Google Shopping features to help you reach even more customers across screens this year. As consumers are turning more and more to their mobile devices to shop on-the-go, the new Auction Insights report can help you better understand your mobile impression share and see how you stack up against the competition. On Black Friday of 2014, we saw a 3.5x increase of people searching for products on mobile year-over-year. By analyzing your performance on mobile, you can optimize your mobile bid modifier as necessary to reach your shoppers, wherever they’re searching.

    4. I will be a better listener. No texting during dinner. No talking over others. And no more ignoring key Shopping insights. Just as listening to your friends and colleagues can mean more opportunities to develop better personal relationships, listening to your campaigns can help you nurture better results to sell more of your products. Check out a handful of tools we have for you to stay in tune with the health and performance of your campaigns, including the Diagnostics tab in Google Merchant Center to ensure that your data is free of issues, or the Search Terms report to help you identify new opportunities to optimize your titles and descriptions, based on how consumers are searching for your product.

    5. I will be a better communicator. Just as listening can be an important part of developing stronger relationships, so can communicating. Regardless of the type of relationship, from friendship to family to job-related, the better you are at communicating, the more successful that relationship is likely to be. Foster an open dialogue with us by double-checking your contact information in your Google Merchant Center account; this will ensure we continue to send updates and alerts to email aliases that are actively monitored, so you don’t miss out on important details.
    Here’s to Shopping success in 2015!

    Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager for Google Shopping

  • A Year in Review: Celebrating our Customers’ Successes
    It’s been a busy year for our customers. We’ve been inspired to learn from all of you -- advertisers from around the world, large and small, across so many industries. Thank you for the feedback you have given on our products as well as the insights you’ve shared. As we come to the end of 2014, we want to share some customer stories that we hope inspire you as much as they have inspired us.

    L’Oréal Paris builds brand love with search.
    L’Oréal Paris uses Search insights to get ahead of beauty trends and develops product and messaging to respond to consumer interests. The brand rejuvenated the home hair care color category and brought 50% new consumers to their Feria Ombré product. Learn more.

    Sephora creates engaging mobile experiences for shoppers online and in stores.
    Sephora uses the smartphone to showcase their beauty products with local inventory ads, which drive consumers to buy on Sephora’s website or in-store. In addition, Sephora engages their in-store shoppers with an app that allows them to scan products for more information. Learn more.

    Hyatt drives engagement across the web with rich media.
    Hyatt creates iconic video creative to attract female business travelers to book a room at a Hyatt hotel. The brand ran Lightbox Ads across the Google Display Network and TrueView video ads on YouTube. The result gave the brand exposure to 17M business travelers with a 26% lower cost per engagement than the campaign average. Learn more.

    Extra Space Storage uses new innovations to reach customers in the most relevant and engaging way.
    Extra Space Storage develops ads in real time with the newly launched ads customizers to make sure they are reaching their customer with the most relevant message. In a recent campaign, these ads led to a 113% increase in CTR. Learn more.

    1-800 Flowers unlocks full customer value.
    1-800 Flowers wanted to understand the full value of AdWords search ads - including the impact of click-to-call ads. They tracked estimated cross-device conversions to better understand how their customers interact across devices. They uncovered a 7% increase in overall conversions, and 8% to 10% of their overall AdWords revenue came from click-to-call. Learn more.

    Point It implements automated bidding to save time and increase efficiency.
    Point It, a Seattle-based search marketing agency, wanted to save their account managers time so they could focus on more strategic initiatives. The agency added automated bidding, and client performance boomed. The agency saw a 47% increase in ROAS, with CPAs that were 4% lower and revenues were 8% higher. Learn more.

    We look forward to the year ahead - when we’ll share more product innovations, best practices and customer stories.

    From our AdWords family to yours -  happy holidays, and we’ll see you in 2015.

    Posted by Jenna Sandoval & Perla Campos, Product Marketing Managers, Performance Ads

  • Measure more: improving Estimated Total Conversions with store visit insights
    People are living their lives online, using multiple devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained. This constant connectivity means customers are engaging with your business in new ways after seeing your online ad -- they might call your business, download your app or go to your store. Last year, we introduced Estimated Total Conversions (ETC) to give you a more complete picture of how AdWords drives these new conversion types. Since then, we’ve been steadily improving ETC to measure phone calls, in-store purchases and cross device conversions.

    With the holiday season upon us, it’s clear that the majority of sales for many industries still happen in person - in fact, roughly 95% of retail sales take place in physical stores.1 And online activities are influencing offline transactions more than ever, bringing together the digital and physical worlds. Thirty-two percent of consumers say that location-based search ads have led them to visit a store or make a purchase,2 so it's more important than ever for businesses to understand the impact that search ads have in driving visits to your physical locations, whether that’s a store, hotel, auto dealership or restaurant.

    In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out store visit measurement to eligible advertisers in the U.S. as the latest enhancement to ETC. Learn more.

    New paths to purchase increase consumer expectations, compelling businesses to re-think experiences and measurement

    Constant connectivity brings with it an epic shift in the way businesses build experiences for their customers. Consumers are demanding more touchpoints with businesses -- more than 70% of consumers who have used ad features such as directions or the call button say it's important to have location information in ads,3 74% of shoppers want to see how much inventory there is for a product at a nearby store.4 Getting better insight into these new, complex purchase paths can can help you optimize your online marketing programs, design better experiences for your customers and allocate budget more effectively. Store visit measurement is key to unlocking these insights. Here are a few ways that businesses are seeing value so far.

    PetSmart, the nation's largest specialty retailer of pet supplies, uses store visits data to improve its customer shopping experience -- today, this often starts with people researching online and then visiting a store. Based on the insight that 10-18% of clicks on search ads lead to a store visit, PetSmart is now investing more in ads that reach customers across screens. For example, PetSmart has increased use of location extensions in their ads to show maps and directions to help people find nearby stores when they are searching for products like puppy treats or aquariums.
    Office Depot, Inc., formed as part of the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, is a leading global provider of products, services and solutions for every workplace -- whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car. The company uses insights from store visits data to understand which products, such as laptops, printers or backpacks, are driving people to visit one of its 2,000 Office Depot and OfficeMax retail locations. These insights help Office Depot, Inc., decide which products to include in its local inventory ads. These ads show whether or not a product is available in a nearby store and where the nearest store is located. This makes it simple for customers to discover what products are in stock as they’re shopping and researching online. Christine Buscarino, VP of E-Commerce Marketing at Office Depot, Inc., says her team is now able to provide "contextually relevant information, where and when customers need it."
    This feature has been carefully designed to keep data private and secure.  We never provide anyone’s actual location to advertisers. Instead, store visits are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have turned on Location History. This data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how you can start using store visits in ETC, contact your AdWords account representative for more information.

    Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Mobile Search Ads

    eMarketer: Total US Retail Sales Top $4.5 Trillion in 2013, Outpace GDP Growth, April 2014
    Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
    Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014
    4 Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Sterling Brands, Digital Impact on In-Store Shopping, October 2014

  • Use ad customizers to gear up for your holiday promotions
    A few months ago, we introduced ad customizers, a new AdWords tool that lets you show highly relevant text ads to your customers, in real-time, even when you have thousands of products, services, and promotions—all changing by the day. Check out this video to see how you can put ad customizers to work in your accounts.

    Use ad customizers to boost performance this holiday season

    As the holiday season continues, there’s no better time than now to use ad customizers to connect with your customers at scale with the products and promotions they’re searching for, in real-time. Cameron Urry, Senior Interactive Acquisition Manager at Extra Space Storage, says: “We loved the ability to use the same ad template across multiple ad groups, while still being able to share a unique and relevant message to our potential customers.” To learn how Extra Space Storage used ad customizers to dynamically insert their daily inventory details, and increased their CTR by 113%, check out their story on Think with Google.
    Elite SEM, a performance driven digital marketing agency, also implemented ad customizers for their client, Clarks USA, to help them dynamically count down the number of days left in their Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, influencing customers to convert on their site. Kylie Beals, eCommerce Marketing Manager at Clarks Americas, says: "When using countdown ads over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, we noticed a 32% uplift in CTR. The ads proved effective at driving urgency once the consumer was onsite because conversion rates increased 3% over static ads."

    Introducing the new countdown widget

    And, to make it even easier to dynamically count down to important events like promotions in your ads, we are rolling out the new countdown widget to AdWords over the next few weeks. Now, you can easily set up a countdown to an event just by typing “{=” into any line of ad text as you’re creating text ads in the ‘Ads’ tab. You can also preview what the countdown will look like in your ads before setting them live.
    This holiday season, don’t forget to use ad customizers to dynamically show your customers:
    • the number of days, hours, or minutes left to ship their holiday presents in time
    • daily discounts or promotions for your hottest deals
    • most-up-to date inventory availability on your products, or even the number of flights left to make it home in time for the holidays
    To learn how you can set up ad customizers in your account, visit our AdWords Help Center.

    Posted by Karen Yao, Group Product Manager, AdWords

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