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As complexity increases in the app ecosystem, successful developers are looking for new ways to measure, manage, and optimize across multiple ad networks and operating systems.  This morning, at our annual I/O conference, we announced via Livestream a new set of media partnerships and ads offerings designed to meet the unique needs of mobile app marketers.  

Transparent, open and reliable measurement solutions

For app developers looking to drive installs and engagement, it’s critical to understand the effectiveness of various media partners and placements. That’s why we have been investing in solutions to help developers apply consistent measures across a fragmented ecosystem of ad networks, and understand the quality of users that each delivers.  

Google Analytics for Apps provides an industry-leading solution for in-app analytics that is increasingly benefiting advertisers as they seek more transparency into ad effectiveness across networks.  You can already use Google Analytics to track the performance of your mobile app install campaigns and understand the lifetime value of your users on both Android and iOS. As of today, we’ve built partnerships with 20+ ad networks including InMobi and Millennial Media since launching iOS conversion tracking late last year. Data integration with these partners provides a comprehensive view of app value across networks based on the metrics developers care about (i.e., LTV and retention), helping you make better decisions on where to spend your advertising dollars. In the next few months, you’ll be able to “postback” your conversions to referring networks in order to optimize your traffic -- all made possible with a single SDK. 

And it's not just about our measurement solutions.  We recognize that developers should have choices when it comes to attribution vendors, and are committed to open solutions for the industry.  That’s why we also announced the ability to integrate app install and event data from key third party measurement partners into AdWords. Working with third parties, including Adjust, Appsflyer, Apsalar, Kochava, and Tune, we are able to increase measurement accuracy between different trackers in AdWords, ensuring your data is accurate and reliable.

By partnering with these leading ad platforms and tracking systems, we believe we can make the entire mobile apps ecosystem stronger and more connected — all with the goal of making developers more successful.

But we didn’t stop there. 

It’s easier than ever to promote your apps across Google 

For developers looking to promote their app, we offer a variety of placements across Google Search, the AdMob network, mobile sites, and YouTube.  And earlier this year, we announced Search Ads on Google Play. By showing ads alongside app search results, you can reach consumers right when they’re looking for a new app, at the moment they are ready to install. 
Today we announced Universal App Campaigns, a new campaign type that allows advertisers to reach consumers across Google media more efficiently and effectively.  Universal App Campaigns offers a simple way to set up install ads for your Android apps in AdWords or directly from the Google Play Developer Console
With a single campaign, you can scale your reach across Google Search, the AdMob network, mobile sites, YouTube and Google Play. Just provide us with a few inputs about your app — what your ad creative will say, the audience you wish to reach, and how much you want to spend — we’ll do the rest for you. Behind the scenes, our ad creation and bidding engines will help maximize performance for your campaigns so you can spend more time building and enhancing your apps.  Search Ads on Google Play and Universal App Campaigns will be rolled out to developers and advertisers in the coming months.

Complete solutions for your entire business

Today at I/O we also announced solutions to help you develop apps, engage users organically, and earn more money from your app.  Our innovations in analytics and ads are designed to complement these offerings, and allow you to grow your business with measurement solutions that are open and reliable, and promotion tools that make ad buying easier and more effective.  Thank you to all the developers out there who are building these experiences. We look forward to engaging with your apps and supporting your ongoing innovation by working closely with you and your partners in the ecosystem.

Posted by Jonathan Alferness, Vice President, Product Management

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Now more than ever, people search online to find things nearby. In fact, Google search interest in "near me" has doubled since last year,1 with 80% coming from mobile.2 In these moments, consumers have heightened expectations for immediacy and relevance — 4 out of 5 say they want search ads to be customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.3 That’s why we continue to develop richer local ad formats that deliver more relevant information based on what someone searches for.

“Where’s the nearest location?”
Last year we enhanced location extensions to show up to three different locations for a business in a single ad unit. This improvement offers consumers the flexibility to choose which of your locations is most convenient for them.

“What businesses are near me?”
Starting today, we’ll show three or four different businesses for location-related searches like “nearby auto repair.” Each ad unit will feature click-to-call and directions right at people’s fingertips. This new format organizes the information that your on-the-go customers need so they can easily compare options and take action, like calling your business or visiting your store.
If you have location extensions enabled in your account, you’ll be eligible to show these new mobile ad formats.

The wonderful world of extensions
With a world of information at their fingertips, consumers want what they want, right when they want it, so it’s essential that ads are fine-tuned to be relevant to people's contexts.  In addition to location extensions, there are many types of extensions in AdWords that can make your ads more useful and engaging — and they deliver, on average, a 10% increase in click-through-rate.4  Showing more than one extension on an ad tends to see even higher engagement than that.

Search ads can trigger up to four extensions at the same time. This means your ad can show when and where a product is available at a nearby store, or show an app extension for someone on her mobile device. Here are some tips for best ways to use extensions for your business:

  • Sitelinks Try to enable at least six sitelinks for both desktop and mobile users.  Briefer sitelinks are generally the most effective, so try to keep them short and crisp.
  • Callouts Like sitelinks, you’ll want to keep these short.  They’re best used with specific and concrete information, like sizes or rates.
  • Reviews As long as you’re quoting or paraphrasing from a reputable third-party source, you can apply one review to your entire account.  These are possibly the fastest extensions to put into place.

The specific extensions that are displayed in each auction are a function of previous performance, user context and available space on the page, among other factors  Enable whatever makes sense for your customers and the AdWords system will decide the best combination of those options to maximize the value you get from your extensions.

Ad extensions done right
For Accor Hotels, a strong combination of extensions led to a 14% increase in incremental conversions.  Accor Hotels’ use of the right extensions for their business helped them meet their goals of driving online and offline conversions, giving customers the information they were seeking, and reinforcing customer trust.
This ad for Novotel, Accor’s four-star International midscale brand for business & leisure travelers, checks off all of the right boxes.  Sitelinks drive online conversions, a location extension (with a phone number) allows for an offline customer interaction, while customer ratings and social extensions reinforce customer trust.

For more details about the new format of location extensions, head over to the Help Center.  And for more ad extensions Best Practices, check out our full collection on the Help Center.

Posted by Ayush Agarwal, Product Manager, AdWords

1 Google Trends, Data pulled March 30, 2015.
2 Google Data, Q4 2014.
3 Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
4 Google Internal Data, results vary by client, business type and extension type (among other factors) and Google cannot guarantee this or any uplift.

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Whether it’s watching a product review or learning how to bake a soufflé, we look to video in countless moments throughout to the day to help us get things done. We call these micro-moments – when we reflexively turn to our devices to learn more, make a decision, or purchase a product. To connect the dots between the moment a person watches a video and the moment they decide to make a purchase, today we’re introducing a new feature called TrueView for shopping that makes it easy for viewers to get more information on your products and click to buy.

TrueView for shopping allows you to showcase product details and images – along with the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site – all within your video ad. It’s available for TrueView in-stream video ads on YouTube. And since we know that 50% of views on YouTube come from mobile devices, we’ve made sure that it works seamlessly across mobile phones, desktops, and tablets.
Built on the cards platform we announced last month, TrueView for shopping enables advertisers to scale the manual process of connecting individual products with individual videos. Thanks to the first-ever integration of the Google Merchant Center into video ads, advertisers need only connect their campaign with a Merchant Center feed to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos, customized for each user through contextual and audience signals like geography and demographic info.

Brands that have participated in our early tests of TrueView for shopping have seen strong results for driving interest and sales. Online home goods retailer Wayfair, for instance, saw a 3X revenue increase per impression served when compared to previous campaigns. And beauty retailer Sephora took advantage of this new ad format to drive +80% lift in consideration and +54% lift in ad recall, and an average view time of nearly two minutes.
We’re excited to bring TrueView for shopping into our buying front end in the coming months. If you’d like to get started with TrueView for shopping today, please contact your Google account manager.

Posted by
Avi Fein, Product Manager, YouTube Ads
Pete Lidwell, Product Manager, YouTube Ads
Jean-Yves Delort, Technical Lead, YouTube Ads

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Late last year, we introduced AdWords Editor 11.0, which represented the most significant update to the tool since it was released in 2006. Today, we’re introducing another exciting update to AdWords Editor, available to all advertisers globally. This version includes full support for labels, Upgraded URLs, call-only ads, ads in mobile apps, and much more. Let’s explore further.

Labels

Based on your feedback, AdWords Editor now has full support for labels. Labels are an effective way to organize objects in your account, like campaigns and keywords, into meaningful groupings so you can quickly and easily filter and report on the data that’s most relevant to your business.

Now you can create, edit, or delete labels using the Labels tab under the Shared library in AdWords Editor. Assign or remove labels to and from your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and ads in their respective data views. You can also filter your views using labels as well as export and import any account changes related to labels.
Upgraded URLs

Earlier this year, we introduced Upgraded URLs to help you save time when managing URL tracking information, reduce how often Google crawls your website, and provide access to new ValueTrack and custom tracking parameters. To help you upgrade to the new system by July 1st, we’ve added support for Upgraded URLs. You can now upgrade your destination URLs using AdWords Editor, and once you’ve upgraded, manage your final URLs and tracking templates at scale. You can learn more about how to upgrade your URLs in our Help Center article.

Call-only ads

Call-only ads represent an easy and efficient way for mobile consumers to connect with your business over the phone. Now you can create and manage these ads in AdWords Editor.

Ads in mobile apps

By showing ads in mobile apps, you can reach the growing number of people using mobile devices to play games, listen to music, and stay entertained. Under “Keywords and targeting,” you can now choose to show your ads for certain categories of apps, including specific apps (or placements) and mobile app categories, like Games and Shopping.

Parental status and custom affinities on the GDN

Demographic targeting enables you to reach people across the Google Display Network (GDN) who are likely to be within a particular demographic group. In addition to gender and age, you can now select to reach your customers based on their parental status.

We’ve also added support for custom affinity under Audiences. Using custom affinity audiences, you can create your own affinity audiences, tailored to your business, to reach the right customers who are interested in your products or services.

And much more...

This latest version of AdWords Editor also features improvements to the search bar, more localization support, and enhancements to overall UI navigation. You can learn more about all the new features in our Help Center article.

Upgrade to AdWords Editor 11.1 today!

Posted by Geoff Menegay, Product Manager, AdWords Editor

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With so many ads on the internet, learn how to design effective display ads that will break through the noise, inspire people to take action and drive strong engagement.

To help get your creative juices flowing, we’ve put together a new best practices checklist, Put Your Best Image Ad Forward. This checklist covers how to:
  • Craft the right message to the right customer
  • Choose eye-catching visuals and animation to quickly gain a person’s attention
  • Balance your overall design with color schemes, art elements and text
  • Prioritize and test your display ads
Since consumers shift their attention in the blink of an eye, you want your display ads to leave a lasting impression. View our checklist now to create high-impact display ads.

Check out these and other Google Best Practices over at g.co/GoogleBP.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

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Billions of times per day, consumers turn to Google for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And at these times, consumers are increasingly picking up their smartphones for answers. In fact, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.1 This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach people throughout all the new touchpoints of a consumer’s path to purchase.

Together, we’ve come a long way since this time last year:
  • Our suite of app promotion tools are now driving real results, even as we’re piloting new innovations like ads in the Play Store. A study published today shows that search engines and app stores are among the top ways smartphone users discover new apps.2
  • Businesses around the world are measuring the impact of their search and display campaigns as consumers switch between multiple devices, using cross-device conversions.
  • And with mobile searches driving in-store commerce, we're helping businesses measure the full impact of their campaigns. Our store visits measurement is now available in the US, Canada and Australia and will roll out for thousands of advertisers in 10 countries in the coming months.
But there's so much more to come. This morning, we announced more AdWords innovations in front of a global livestream audience of 20,000 customers. Below are highlights from today’s announcements. You can watch a replay of the full program here.

Ad experiences that win the moment

Consumers, particularly on mobile devices, now have higher expectations than ever before - they want everything right, and they want everything right away. This requires that marketers answer their needs in the moment, whenever and wherever they are. Our investments in mobile are driven by consumers’ expectations for immediacy and relevance in the moment. Based on your feedback and our insights about how people search for information, we’ve built a whole new generation of ad experiences that are richer, more engaging and designed for screen-swipes instead of mouse-clicks so we meet consumers’ needs, right when they are looking:
  • Automotive: Car buyers spend up to 15 hours online researching, comparing and learning.3 When people browse the web for automobiles, they want to see pictures and visuals of their dream car. In fact, about half of Google searches for cars contain images.4 That’s why we introduced Automobile Ads - a new search ad format that takes you directly from Google.com to a beautiful carousel of car images that shows you how a car looks inside and out -- like how the sleek metallic finish looks with the black leather and wood trim. Tapping on an image brings up more information about the car, like horsepower and estimated MPG while tapping on the “Dealers” link takes you to a page with nearby dealer listings.
  • Hotel Ads: There are millions of searches for hotels everyday — that’s millions of potential hotel bookings. When people search for hotels, they’re looking for information like rates, availability, locations, user reviews, editorial descriptions, Google Street View, and high resolution photos. Today, we announced that Hotel Ads will start to show globally for hotel partners around the world, one click away from Google.com. Hotel Ads show current prices from a variety of sources and when a traveler is ready, they can select “Book” to complete their reservation on the partners’ sites.
  • Mortgages: Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions in life, so understanding your options and having the right tools is critical. The newest addition to Google Compare in the US is coming soon: mortgages. Whether someone is a first-time home-buyer or looking to refinance, consumers will soon be able to find the latest mortgage rates from multiple mortgage providers, and review a customized set of criteria like interest rate, terms of the loan and fees. They’ll be able to apply directly with an approved lender or speak to a qualified adviser for more information, directly from the Google search ad.

    Automation to capture moments at scale

    Consumers engage with brands, across billions of monthly searches, billions of hours of videos watched every month, and billions of interactions with various sites and apps. The sheer scale can be staggering, but with automation you can master the complexity and show exactly the right ads for consumers’ intent and context.
    • Automated Bidding: AdWords bid strategies are setting billions of bids per day5 for tens of thousands of advertisers, enabling you to be more efficient and effective. Today, we introduced a new reporting dashboard that provides more transparency and control as you evaluate the performance of bid strategies over time. New simulation tools also show advertisers the tradeoff between volume and cost at different CPA targets.
    • Dynamic Search Ads are a powerful way to automatically show timely and relevant ads based on the content of your website -- without the need to manage keywords. Today, we announced significant enhancements, including recommended category targets based on your website's content, suggested CPCs for every category and more visibility into the ads that will show and pages where your customers will land.

    Measuring every moment that matters

    Marketers need to ensure they’re measuring all the moments that matter -- from first impression to final conversion. To do so, you need methods and metrics that speak to today’s increasingly complex path to purchase--across devices, apps, calls, and stores. By incorporating all of these touchpoints, marketers can measure the full impact of their campaigns and make better decisions for their business.

    Today we introduced several new products to help you do so:
    • AdWords attribution: We are making it easy for search marketers to move beyond a last-click attribution model. You’ll be able to select an attribution model for each of your conversion types. The choice you make will be reflected in your AdWords reporting and integrated into your automated bidding. We’re also introducing data-driven attribution, which uses your own conversion data to calculate the actual contribution of each keyword across the conversion path.
    • Cross-device conversions integrated with automated bidding: New consumer paths to purchase make it more important than ever for marketers to measure activities that start on one device and are completed on another. Later this year, you’ll be able to take action on these insights when cross-device conversions are integrated into automated bidding. This is part of a broader update that will give you the option to include cross-device conversions as part of the Conversions column.
    • Marketing experiments: This morning, we introduced new tools to help marketers measure the incremental impact generated from your Google ads. HomeAway, a global vacation rental marketplace, worked with the Google account team and learned that its Google Display Network ads are driving a 49% lift in click-related traffic to its website. Read the case study here and reach out to your AdWords account team to learn more.
    Google is a company built on intent and immediacy. Our mission has always been to connect people with what they are looking for in the exact moment they are looking. These are moments that matter to consumers, to marketers and to us at Google because they are when decisions are being made and preferences shaped.

    Thank you to everyone who attended the AdWords Performance Summit or watched the livestream. I can’t wait to see the great things you do with these new products. We look forward to continuing this journey with you: delivering the best possible experiences for consumers in the moments that matter.

    Jerry Dischler, Vice President, Product Management, AdWords

    1 Google Internal Data.
    2 Mobile App Marketing Insights: How Consumers Really Find and Use Apps, Google/Ipsos MediaCT, May 2015
    3 Polk Automotive Buyer Research, 2013 (source)
    4 Google Internal Data.
    5 Google Internal Data.

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Welcome to the AdWords livestream 2015! Today, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management, will announce the next generation of AdWords innovations. Tune in to the livestream below. We look forward to engaging in the conversation with you at #StepInsideAdWords.

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The annual AdWords livestream is just around the corner. On Tuesday, May 5th at 9:30am PT / 12:30pm ET, we’ll be sharing new mobile ad innovations that we’ve been building. Check out the video below for a sneak peak with Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management for AdWords. Register for the livestream here.

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When it comes to attracting customers, small businesses know that showcasing their products online can help them get in front of more people -- even when their physical store doors are closed. In fact, one-third of small business owners said new or existing clients engaged with them through their e-commerce websites at least once daily.1

But getting started with a website is just the beginning. Google Shopping helps small businesses like you tap into the power of customer intent to reach the right people with relevant products ads, when it matters the most. Here’s how two local businesses, Paper Culture and PUBLIC Bikes, used Google Shopping to gain a competitive edge and spark shoppers’ interest across the country by leveraging their strengths: unique designs and inspired products.

Paper Culture uses Shopping ads to connect with design lovers online
Unique, modern design is a top priority for Paper Culture, an environmentally-conscious stationery company that sells 100% post-consumer recycled cards, coasters, and other personalized products online. To complement their AdWords text ads, Paper Culture turned to Google Shopping to put their product designs front and center, and reach new customers with rich, visual ads that jump off the search page.

“One of the toughest challenges for us as a small business is that we don’t have the brand of our larger competitors,” says Chris Wu, CEO and co-founder of Paper Culture. “Google Shopping helps us tell our story through showing searchers our unique product designs, right on Google search.”

By coupling customer intent with Google Shopping’s image-focused approach, Paper Culture was able to highlight their designs in a cost-effective way -- ensuring that each shopper that clicked on a Google Shopping ad was an already-interested buyer. Through Shopping campaigns, Paper Culture decreased their cost-per-lead (CPL) by 50%, and saw 3x ROI overall when compared to their other online channels.
PUBLIC Bikes reaches more searching cyclists with Google Shopping
Multi-channel retailer PUBLIC Bikes is in the business of selling colorful, trendy city bikes with a mission to help people fall in love with urban biking. But as a small business that designs, manufactures, and sells their own merchandise, the team often found themselves short on time and resources.

“With a small team, it’s challenging to do everything we want to do and get our brand and products out there,” says Dan Nguyen-Tan, founding executive of PUBLIC Bikes. “We need a way to scale our marketing efforts and get in front of potential customers where they can discover and engage us. That’s why Google Shopping is so important: it helps us reach customers looking for our products across the country.”

PUBLIC Bikes used Google Shopping to find new customers beyond their brick-and-mortar stores. Bidding by product allowed them to more easily prioritize those products that were new or on sale, turning once low-converting search terms into profit. For every $1 invested in Shopping campaigns, PUBLIC Bikes was able to see 2x the ROI as compared to their other online channels.
A new hub for retailers, large and small
Whether you’re an ecommerce business or a multi-channel business, the new Google for Retail offers a one-stop hub to learn more about Google’s solutions for retailers of all sizes.

If you’re a small business like Paper Culture or PUBLIC Bikes, we’re introducing a new Shopping Campaigns page as a go-to resource to help you get up and running on Google Shopping and make the world your storefront. Here, you’ll find product overviews, success stories, tutorial videos, and help resources to show how Google’s various retail tools work together to let you find your shoppers, wherever they are.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

1eMarketer, Do Small Business Websites Drive Client Engagement?, Feb 2015

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Spring is here, and it’s a great time to set your sights on creating new marketing goals and ensuring that your campaigns are set up for success. You now have access to new and improved reporting tools that will help you identify opportunities in your account, track the right metrics, and find deeper insights that might help you improve performance.

Read on to find out how you can put these tools to work in your campaigns this year.
  • Campaign details reports provide a faster, easier way to see which features and settings are enabled in each of your campaigns.
  • Custom Columns let you create and view segmented columns for the metrics you care about most in your account. 
  • Top Movers Report improvements help you identify significant performance changes in your campaigns and ad groups so you can take action to optimize your account. 

1. Check your settings and close easy gaps 

Understanding the status of your settings is an important part of ensuring that your campaigns are set up for success. Consider the impact, for example, if your campaigns were accidentally missing mobile bid modifiers? With the new campaign details report you can quickly see settings that aren’t being utilized and identify opportunities for improvement across your account or MCC.

With the new reports, you can:
  • Quickly find inconsistent settings that could be limiting performance
  • Identify settings that you aren’t yet utilizing
  • View details alongside your performance metrics to get a more comprehensive look at account performance
Let’s say you want to improve CTR across your text ads by adding sitelinks to all of your campaigns. Previously, you would have individually looked at the ad extensions tab for each campaign to check the status of your sitelinks. For a hundred campaigns, this task could take a couple hours to complete. Using the campaign details report, you can see all of the campaigns that currently have active or disapproved sitelinks in just a few minutes. Now, you can spend less time searching for your settings and more time activating opportunities that might improve performance.
Find settings and opportunities on the "Campaigns" tab
2. Analyze for deeper insights 

As we announced a few months ago, Custom columns lets you customize the data and columns you see in your accounts. By selecting an existing metric, such as ‘CPC,’ and applying another segment such as ‘Mobile,’ you can quickly create a new custom column that lets you see ‘Mobile CPC’. With this new flexibility, Custom columns can help you save time and monitor the business metrics that matter most to you. Shaan Rupani from Dropbox tells us, “Custom columns have been a huge time-saver. Evaluating performance by conversion type, device, and network in columns instead of ad-hoc segmented reports will easily save us hours of work each month.” Learn more.

3. Keep tabs on your performance

The Top Movers report helps you identify the campaigns and ad groups that have changed the most over a specific period of time and helps you identify possible causes.

In the last few weeks, we’ve made some improvements to the report. You will notice a new, simplified interface that makes it easier to spot significant changes across your account and quickly take action on developing trends. For example, the summary table at the top has been distilled to show key changes in your top movers metrics for the date range you set. And, you can scroll down to see the campaigns and ad groups that have changed the most for cost, clicks, and conversions so you can quickly take action to improve performance. Learn more.
Use the Top movers report to find significant changes across your account
Getting started 

We hope these three tools help you more easily monitor performance, view actionable insights, and quickly identify opportunities to improve performance. To learn more about these and other reporting tools designed to help you monitor and measure the success of your campaigns at scale, check out our AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Jon Diorio, Group Product Manager, AdWords