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

  • Upgrade your URLs before July 1, 2015
    We introduced Upgraded URLs in February to help you manage your landing page and tracking information separately, using the new final URL and tracking template fields. This new URL structure lets you track more insights into your ad performance, scale tracking updates across your account, and keep your ads running while making updates to your shared tracking templates.

    As a reminder, all advertisers will need to use Upgraded URLs in place of destination URLs starting on July 1, 2015. If you do not use tracking parameters in your destination URLs or only use auto-tagging, you can wait for the auto-upgrade starting on July 1st.1

    Today, we’d like to share tips to help you take advantage of the benefits of Upgraded URLs, and stories from advertisers who are succeeding with the new and improved URL system.

    Tips for upgrading your URLs
    1. To track audience, location and mobile performance, add the new ValueTrack parameters to your tracking templates using the advanced upgrade.2
    2. Keep your ads running even while you make important edits to your tracking using the new shared tracking templates. For example, if you launch a new promotion, add your new tracking parameters to your campaign level tracking template - saving you time and avoid losing potential new business.
    3. If you make frequent tracking updates across your account, use the advanced upgrade and shared tracking templates. This lets you make tracking updates in one place and apply them to your entire account, campaign or ad groups.
    To learn more about the benefits of Upgraded URLs, check out this video.

    Early success

    From time savings to reliable and scalable tracking management - here are some of the success stories we’ve heard from advertisers who are using Upgraded URLs.

    "Our clients like to move fast, which means a lot of changes to landing pages and tracking that we need to append onto our URLs. Upgraded URLs let us be nimble with these changes, without the risk of losing our ad history or triggering a review. The new value track parameters let us see deeper insights into our business, and we can set them at the account level for easier implementation. I absolutely recommend upgrading to any advertiser." — Sean McEntee, Account Lead at 3Q Digital

    "Upgraded URLs let us set different final URLs for mobile and desktop under the umbrella of a single ad. This gives our teams and our advertisers’ businesses a more reliable way to update tracking and helps ensure customers land on the appropriate page, rather than relying on URL redirects." — David Gong, Director of Strategic Accounts at PMG

    Upgrade today

    If you haven’t updated your URLs yet, check out our blog or the upgrade guide to learn how you can upgrade them today. As always, please contact us at any time for help with the upgrade.

    Posted by Leo Sei, Product Manager, Google AdWords

    Your destination URLs will automatically be moved to the new final URL field for any ad groups that do not contain active or paused cross-domain redirect URLs. 
    Adding the new ValueTrack parameters using the advanced upgrade, will reset your ad stats once during the upgrade. After the upgrade, any changes to your shared tracking template or custom parameters will not reset your stats. As a reminder, you can always access your historical ad stats in your normal AdWords reporting.

  • Better click quality on display ads improves the user and advertiser experience
    Even as smartphone and tablet screen sizes get bigger, it can be hard for our fingers to keep up. It’s still so easy to click when you mean to swipe or to tap on a link or ad you didn’t mean to. When it comes to mobile ad clicks across networks, recent third party studies estimate that up to 50% of clicks are accidental. For advertisers, this can artificially inflate clickthrough rates and increase costs.

    As we continue to enhance our display ad formats to make them more engaging, we also strive to maximize click quality. In 2012, we introduced confirmed clicks on banner ads to prompt users to verify that they actually meant to click on an ad. Over the past year, we’ve expanded on those efforts to provide greater automation and require less work from users. Now, to make the experience even more seamless, we’re automatically blocking ad clicks in several instances that frequently lead to accidental clicks. Here are three new updates we’ve made:
    1. Blocking clicks that happen close to the image edge: On mobile image ads, we’ve identified the image border as an area prone to accidental clicks when users are trying to click or scroll to adjacent content. Now, they must click on a more central part of the image to navigate to an advertiser’s website or app. 
    2. Blocking clicks on the app icon: On in-app interstitial ads, users will no longer be able to click on the app icon of an install ad given its proximity to the ad close button. Instead, users must click on the call-to-action button to visit an app store page and install the app.
    3. Adding a clickability delay: Ads will only become clickable after they’ve been onscreen for a short period of time. This gives users enough time to examine the content of an ad and helps eliminate accidental clicks from users who didn’t expect to see an ad.
    A better experience for both users and advertisers

    These latest click quality enhancements improve the user experience by keeping them within their desired website or app and not involuntarily taking them to another page. They also benefit advertisers by reducing costs from accidental clicks and improving conversion rates. To date, we’ve seen a 15% average conversion rate lift on display ads by driving more qualified clicks with these updates.

    In the long run, advertisers can further improve performance by re-investing spend saved from accidental clicks back into their display campaigns. To learn more about display campaigns and ad formats, visit our Help Center and read more on best practices, as well as our latest ad placement policies for apps and websites to maximize click quality.

    Posted by Pasha Nahass, Product Manager, Mobile Display Ads

  • Reaching consumers through the music they love: Introducing ads on Google Play Music
    With over 30 million songs, Google Play Music provides access to the music people want. And today, we’re introducing a free, ad-supported version so even more people can enjoy music that makes whatever they’re doing better.

    At any moment in the day, Google Play Music has music for what people are doing  – whether you’re working, working out, or working it on the dance floor – offering curated radio stations that deliver the right song at the right time. Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so listeners can just enjoy the music, effortlessly.

    This new ad-supported version is great for advertisers interested in connecting with consumers through premium content and delightful mobile experiences. This Google Play Ads inventory is available through the Google Display Network (GDN), which gives advertisers access to engaging and beautiful ad units such as TrueView video ads and Lightbox ads – all mobile-optimized, seamless across screens, and simple to set up. As part of the GDN, advertisers can use keywords, affinity audiences and remarketing to reach the right people at the right time.

    Many advertisers are already investing in this new music inventory, including the media agency Omnicom. Steve Katelman, EVP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Omnicom shared that: “We want to reach customers where they're spending the most time, so music is a critical part of our media mix. As a launch partner for Google Play Music, Omnicom Media Group can offer our clients an invaluable head start in delivering engaging, high-impact brand messages on mobile and the web to music-loving consumers.”

    To get started with ads on Google Play Music, set up your campaign in AdWords or Doubleclick Bid Manager today.

    Posted by Elias Roman, Product Manager, Google Play Music

  • New benchmarks and key tools to help marketers measure cross-device conversions
    Consumer behavior is undergoing a massive shift: the consumer journey has fragmented from a series of predictable media sessions to hundreds of "micro-moments," where people turn to the nearest device to solve an immediate need. Our goal is to help marketers put the puzzle pieces of the consumer journey back together, which is why we've been investing in cross-device technologies for the "last two years".

    Since the delivery of cross-device reporting in AdWords last year, advertisers around the world have seen an uplift in conversions reported when including cross-device data. Today, we are excited to share conversion uplift benchmarks across multiple industries and in four countries. These are additional conversions that would otherwise not have been attributed in AdWords when using single-device measurement methods. We hope these insights inspire you to capture “leaked” conversions from your own campaigns.
    Click here to view full infographic
    To help marketers understand the full value of their advertising, we calculate cross-device conversions across both search and display, a feature that Google is uniquely positioned to deliver. And starting today, we’re bringing cross-device measurement to DoubleClick, so marketers can now measure all of their campaigns across the web.

    As marketers across many countries and industries recognize how people interact with content across devices, we wanted to share more perspectives from businesses already using the data, information about how the product works and best practices for getting started.

    Customer Stories and Product Insights

    Vivint, a smart home technology provider, always assumed it had many customers visiting on one device and converting on another--but it never had quantifiable proof. With AdWords cross-device conversion measurement, Vivint discovered mobile display was driving 23% more conversions than it was seeing via same-device measurement. It also discovered that by taking into account these cross-device conversions, its CPA was actually 19% lower than same-device reporting indicated. As a result, Vivint has begun shifting more of its marketing resources into cross-device initiatives.

    For fashion brand Charlotte Russe, understanding consumer interaction across devices is a top priority because of the mobile-first nature of its target audience: young women. Using cross-device measurement on the Google Display Network, Charlotte Russe saw 8.5% more conversions than it would have using single-device measurement. It also learned its mobile CPA was 7.8% lower than single-device metrics indicated. As a result Charlotte Russe is adjusting its bids to value mobile more, with the goal of increasing its mobile presence.

    By including cross-device conversions in the overall performance report from a President’s Day marketing push, La-Z-Boy was able to measure 31% more conversions from its mobile display remarketing campaign. This means each dollar it spent on its GDN program is driving more value than single-device metrics indicated. La-Z-Boy is increasing its focus on these insights so it can make more informed bid and budget decisions.

    Michael Griffin, CEO of Retail search agency Adlucent, analyzed cross-device data for 16 retailers and found that, on average, 30% more search conversions could be attributed to smartphones. "We recommend using this data to optimize mobile bid modifiers and budgets at the most granular level possible and make adjustments frequently. Without taking cross-device conversions into consideration, you could be losing new customers, revenue and market share." 

    Shreya Kushari, SVP, Search Marketing & Performance Media at global marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi, shared that her team is seeing cross-device reporting uncover between 10-25% more estimated total conversions for search ads across client accounts. "With this gauge, we have a better sense of how consumers are interacting with our ads across devices which enables a more complete assessment of the impact of our search investment."

    Cross-device conversions are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have previously signed-in to Google services. This data is then extrapolated to represent the broader population and only reported if it reaches a strict, highly conservative confidence level. To learn more about how the product works, visit our Help Center or watch this helpful video.
    Best Practices Checklist
    To help marketers optimize across multiple devices in AdWords, we’ve created a new Best Practices Checklist.

    This checklist will show you how to:
    • Capture all possible conversions through smarter conversion tracking and better site experiences
    • Report on all cross-device conversions for a deep understanding of your performance
    • Set bids and messaging that align with users and their place in the conversion journey
    To get started with cross-device measurement, just setup conversion tracking, and conversions will appear in the Estimated Total Conversions column when enough data has been collected. We hope these insights help you measure the moments that matter.

    Posted by The Inside AdWords Team

  • Reminder: Upgrade your URLs by July 1, 2015
    In February, we announced Upgraded URLs - a faster and easier way to manage your URLs in AdWords. With Upgraded URLs, you’ll be able to manage your landing page and tracking information separately using the new final URL and tracking template fields.  Check out this video to learn more about the benefits of Upgraded URLs.

    Starting on July 1st, all advertisers will need to start using Upgraded URLs in place of destination URLs. If you’ve already updated your URLs to Upgraded URLs, then you’re all set and no further action is required. If you haven’t upgraded yet, read on to find out what will happen to your ads1 and URLs starting July 1, 2015, and your options for the upgrade.

    What happens starting July 1, 2015

    Starting on July 1st, please prepare for the following changes:
    1. Destination URLs can no longer be edited or created. Any new URLs will need to be created using the new Upgraded URL fields.
    2. Destination URLs will be automatically moved to the new final URL field for any ad groups in your account that do not contain cross-domain redirect URLs.2 In your AdWords account, you will receive an alert informing you of any remaining ad groups that were not upgraded.
    3. Any ads with destination URLs that have not been updated to Upgraded URLs will stop serving in a few months. We’ll let you know 30 days before your ads stop serving by email and with an alert in your account.
    Frequently asked questions

    See answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the upgrade below.

    Q: Do I need to upgrade if I don’t use URL tracking, or if I only use auto-tagging?
    A: No, you can wait for the auto-upgrade starting on July 1st. Our system will automatically move your destination URLs into the new final URL fields, and your reporting columns will update to reflect these changes. During the auto-upgrade, your ad performance statistics will not be reset, and your ads will not be required to go through policy review.
    Q: Which URL types will not automatically be upgraded and eventually stop serving?
    A: URLs that fall under this category include those that contain the following: cross-domain redirects, the “{copy}” ValueTrack parameter, tracking parameters using “{}” that are not an AdWords ValueTrack parameter, or a domain different from the one used in your ad’s display URL. Please manually upgrade these URLs prior to July 1st. 
    Q: How do I upgrade my cross-domain URLs?
    A: Use the basic or advanced method with help from our upgrade guide for these URLs, making sure to upgrade both your paused and active URLs. Please work with your third party tool provider if you need help.
    Q: Will my ad stats be reset during the upgrade?
    A: To preserve your ad stats, use the automated or basic upgrade methods, or wait for our system to auto-upgrade your URLs. Your performance statistics will be retained and your ads will not need to go through policy review.
    If you don’t mind re-setting your ads stats and taking full advantage of the benefits of Upgraded URLs, then use the advanced upgrade method. This lets you use the new tracking templates and the ValueTrack parameters. Any changes made after this upgrade will not reset your ad stats.
    As a reminder, you can still access all historical performance statistics for your removed ads through your AdWords reports.
    Q: I use dynamic tracking in my URLs, what do I need to do?
    A: You will need to manually upgrade your URLs using the basic upgrade method before July 1st. Learn more.
    For additional details, please see the FAQ on our upgrade guide.

    Help with the upgrade

    We know that this update requires some work from you, and we’re here to help. Here are some resources to help you pick the best upgrade option and guide you through the process.

    We look forward to your continued success with AdWords. Please contact us at any time for help with the upgrade.

    Posted by Leo Sei, Product Manager, Google AdWords

    Everywhere we say ads, we also mean URLs used in keywords, sitelinks, auto-targets, and other targeting options available for the Search Network, Display Network and Shopping.

    Destination URLs using cross domain redirects - meaning your URLs redirect to a site other than your domain - are not eligible for the auto-upgrade. You must manually upgrade your URLs with help from the upgrade guide.

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