Months after Apple’s App Store introduced privacy labels for apps, Google announced its own mobile app marketplace, Google Play, will follow suit. The company today pre-announced its plans to introduce a new “safety” section in Google Play, rolling out next year, which will require app developers to share what sort of data their apps collect, how it’s stored and how it’s used.
For example, developers will need to share what sort of personal information their apps collect, like users’ names or emails, and whether it collects information from the phone, like the user’s precise location, their media files or contacts. Apps will also need to explain how the app uses that information — for example, for enhancing the app’s functionality or for personalization purposes.
Developers who already adhere to specific security and privacy practices will additionally be able to highlight that in their app listing. On this front, Google says it will add new elements that detail whether the app uses security practices like data encryption; if the app follows Google’s Families policy, related to child safety; if the app’s safety section has been verified by an independent third party; whether the app needs data to function or allows users to choose whether or not to share data; and whether the developer agrees to delete user data when a user uninstalls the app in question.
Apps will also be required to provide their privacy policies.
While clearly inspired by Apple’s privacy labels, there are several key differences. Apple’s labels focus on what data is being collected for tracking purposes and what’s linked to the end user. Google’s additions seem to be more about whether or not you can trust the data being collected is being handled responsibility, by allowing the developer to showcase if they follow best practices around data security, for instance. It also gives the developer a way to make a case for why it’s collecting data right on the listing page itself. (Apple’s “ask to track” pop-ups on iOS now force developers to beg inside their apps for access user data.)
Another interesting addition is that Google will allow the app data labels to be independently verified. Assuming these verifications are handled by trusted names, they could help to convey to users that the disclosures aren’t lies. One early criticism of Apple’s privacy labels was that many were providing inaccurate information — and were getting away with it, too.
Google says the new features will not roll out until Q2 2022, but it wanted to announce now in order to give developers plenty of time to prepare.
There is, of course, a lot of irony to be found in an app privacy announcement from Google.
The company was one of the longest holdouts on issuing privacy labels for its own iOS apps, as it scrambled to review (and re-review, we understand) the labels’ content and disclosures. After initially claiming its labels would roll out “soon,” many of Google’s top apps then entered a lengthy period where they received no updates at all, as they were no longer compliant with App Store policies.
It took Google months after the deadline had passed to provide labels for its top apps. And when it did, it was mocked by critics — like privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo — for how much data apps like Chrome and the Google app collect.
Google’s plan to add a safety section of its own to Google Play gives it a chance to shift the narrative a bit.
It’s not a privacy push, necessarily. They’re not even called privacy labels! Instead, the changes seem designed to allow app developers to better explain if you can trust their app with your data, rather than setting the expectation that the app should not be collecting data in the first place.
How well this will resonate with consumers remains to be seen. Apple has made a solid case that it’s a company that cares about user privacy, and is adding features that put users in control of their data. It’s a hard argument to fight back against — especially in an era that’s seen too many data breaches to count, careless handling of private data by tech giants, widespread government spying and a creepy adtech industry that grew to feel entitled to user data collection without disclosure.
Google says when the changes roll out, non-compliant apps will be required to fix their violations or become subject to policy enforcement. It hasn’t yet detailed how that process will be handled, or whether it will pause app updates for apps in violation.
Google Analytics helps you measure the actions people take across your app and website. By applying Google’s machine learning models, Analytics can analyze your data and predict future actions people may take. Today we are introducing two new predictive metrics to App + Web properties. The first is Purchase Probability, which predicts the likelihood that users who have visited your app or site will purchase in the next seven days. And the second, Churn Probability, predicts how likely it is that recently active users will not visit your app or site in the next seven days. You can use these metrics to help drive growth for your business by reaching the people most likely to purchase and retaining the people who might not return to your app or site via Google Ads.
Reach predictive audiences in Google Ads
Analytics will now suggest new predictive audiences that you can create in the Audience Builder. For example, using Purchase Probability, we will suggest the audience “Likely 7-day purchasers” which includes users who are most likely to purchase in the next seven days. Or using Churn Probability, we will suggest the audience “Likely 7-day churning users” which includes active users who are not likely to visit your site or app in the next seven days.
In the past, if you wanted to reach people most likely to purchase, you’d probably build an audience of people who had added products to their shopping carts but didn’t purchase. However, with this approach you might miss reaching people who never selected an item but are likely to purchase in the future. Predictive audiences automatically determine which customer actions on your app or site might lead to a purchase—helping you find more people who are likely to convert at scale.
Imagine you run a home improvement store and are trying to drive more digital sales this month. Analytics will now suggest an audience that includes everyone who is likely to purchase in the next seven days—on either your app or your site—and then you can reach them with a personalized message using Google Ads.
Or let’s say you’re an online publisher and want to maintain your average number of daily users. You can build an audience of users who are likely to not visit your app or site in the next seven days and then create a Google Ads campaign to encourage them to read one of your popular articles.
Analyze customer activity with predictive metrics
In addition to building audiences, you can also use predictive metrics to analyze your data with the Analysis module. For example, you can use the User Lifetime technique to identify which marketing campaign helped you acquire users with the highest Purchase Probability. With that information you may decide to reallocate more of your marketing budget towards that high potential campaign.
You will soon be able to use predictive metrics in the App + Web properties beta to build audiences and help you determine how to optimize your marketing budget. In the coming weeks these metrics will become available in properties that have purchase events implemented or are automatically measuring in-app purchases once certain thresholds are met.
If you haven’t yet created an App + Web property, you can get started here. We recommend continuing to use your existing Analytics properties alongside an App + Web property.
Last year, we introduced Consent Mode, a beta feature to help advertisers operating in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom take a privacy-first approach to digital marketing. When a user doesn’t consent to ads cookies or analytics cookies, Consent Mode automatically adjusts the relevant Google tags’ behavior to not read or write cookies for advertising or analytics purposes. This enables advertisers to respect user choice while helping them still capture some campaign insights.
Without cookies, advertisers experience a gap in their measurement and lose visibility into user paths on their site. They are no longer able to directly tie users’ ad interactions to conversions, whether the users are repeat visitors or whether those users have arrived from paid or organic traffic sources. To help close this gap, we’re introducing conversion modeling through Consent Mode. This will help marketers preserve online measurement capabilities, using a privacy-first approach.
Now, Consent Mode will enable conversion modeling to recover the attribution between ad-click events and conversions measured in Google Ads. Early results from Google Ads have shown that, on average, conversion modeling through Consent Mode recovers more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys lost due to user cookie consent choices. Results for each advertiser may vary widely, depending primarily on user cookie consent rates and the advertiser’s Consent Mode setup.
How modeling fills in measurement gaps
Conversion modeling can help fill in blanks in media measurement at times when it’s not possible to observe the path between ad interactions and conversions. Conversion modeling through Consent Mode specifically addresses gaps in observable data from regulations on cookie consent in various regions. Conversion modeling uses machine learning to analyze observable data and historical trends, in order to quantify the relationship between consented and unconsented users. Then, using observable user journeys where users have consented to cookie usage, our models will fill in missing attribution paths. This creates a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend and outcomes — all while respecting user consent choices. Conversion modeling also upholds privacy by not identifying individual users, unlike tactics like fingerprinting which Google has a strict policy against.
Using modeling to probabilistically recover linkages between ad interactions and conversions that would otherwise go unattributed means more conversion insights for optimizing campaign bidding and understanding what’s driving sales. It’s important for any modeling approach to account for the fact that people who consent to cookies are likely to convert at a different rate than those who don’t.
Holistic measurement for your Google Ads campaigns
It’s important for advertisers to have accurate reporting so they can make their marketing investments go further. Advertisers using Consent Mode will now see their reports in Google Ads updated: for Search, Shopping, Display, and Video campaigns, the “Conversions,” “All conversions” and “Conversion value” columns will now include modeled conversions for consent gaps. All other Google Ads campaign performance reports that use conversion data will also reflect the impact from adding in modeled conversions.
Modeled conversions through Consent Mode will be integrated directly in your Google Ads campaign reports with the same granularity as observed conversions. This data then makes its way into Google’s bidding tools so that you can be confident your campaigns will be optimized based on a full view of your results.
For advertisers who want to optimize their campaigns based on return on ad spend or cost-per-acquisition, they can use Target Return on Ad Spend (tROAS) orTarget Cost Per Acquisition (tCPA) Smart Bidding strategies with Consent Mode. If you had previously adjusted targets to account for cookie consent changes, you can now go back to setting targets in line with your ROI goals. Note that you’re likely to see gradual improvements in reported performance as we recover lost conversions through modeling.
For advertisers who want to maintain their campaign spend, conversion modeling through Consent Mode also works with the Maximize conversions or Maximize conversion value Smart Bidding strategies in Google Ads. We recommend you make sure that the budget you’ve decided on is well-aligned with your spend goals.
If you’re an advertiser operating in the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom, have implemented Consent Mode and are using Google Ads conversion tracking, conversion modeling from Consent Mode is available for you today.
And if you aren’t using Consent Mode yet, you have two options to get started. You can implement it yourself on your website by following our instructions. Or if you need some extra help, we’ve partnered closely with several Consent Management Platforms, a few of which already take care of critical implementation steps on behalf of advertisers.
We are continuously adding new privacy-forward techniques to help our machine learning solutions better understand the aggregate behavior of non-consenting users, and offer actionable insights in reporting for deeper clarity on your marketing spend. We’ll be bringing conversion modeling through Consent Mode to other Google advertising products, like Campaign Manager 360, Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360 later this year.
Rising consumer expectations and changing industry regulations have set higher standards for user privacy and data protection. This has led many businesses to revisit how they are managing data in their Google Analytics accounts. To help, Analytics provides businesses with a variety of features to control how their data is used. Here is an updated overview of controls in Analytics that govern how data is collected, stored, and used–all of which can be adjusted at any time.
Three ways businesses can manage data in Google Analytics:
Control the data settings in your account
You can access various settings in your Analytics account to control how you collect, retain, and share data.
Decide if you need to accept the Data Processing Terms.
The optional Data Processing Terms are meant for businesses affected by the European Economic Area General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other similar regulations. You can review and accept the terms if needed in your Analytics account, under Account Settings.
Anonymize IP addresses for your Web property.
When you enable IP anonymization in your Web property, Analytics will anonymize the addresses as soon as technically feasible. This may be useful for you to comply with your company’s privacy policies or government regulations. For Apps properties and App + Web properties, IP anonymization is enabled by default.
Disable some or all data collection.
Set the data retention period.
You can select how long user-level and event-level data is stored by Analytics, and whether new events can reset that time period. Once that amount of time has passed, the data will be scheduled for automatic deletion from your account and Google’s servers.
Select what data you share with your support team and Google.
The data sharing settings allow you to customize whether to share Analytics data with Google, including whether to allow Google technical support representatives and Google marketing specialists to access your account when you want support using the product or performance recommendations.
Review your Google signals setting.
The Google signals setting allows you to enable additional features in Analytics like remarketing, demographics and interests reports, and Cross Device reports. You can also further customize this setting to keep Google signals enabled for reporting while limiting or disabling advertising personalization.
Choose whether your data is used for ads personalization
Digital advertising helps you reach people online and drive conversions on your app and website. When you enable ads personalization in Analytics, for example by activating Google signals, you gain the ability to use your Analytics audiences to personalize your digital ads which can improve the performance of your campaigns. You can customize how your Analytics data is used for ads personalization.
Control ads personalization for your entire Analytics property.
You can choose to disable ads personalization for an entire property, which will cause all incoming events for that property to be marked as not for use in ads personalization. You can manage this in the property settings of your account.
Control ads personalization by geography.
If you need to set the ads personalization setting for your property at the geographic level, you now have the ability to enable or disable this setting by country. And in the United States, you can adjust the setting at the state level.
Control ads personalization by event type or user property.
In App + Web properties, you can adjust the ads personalization setting for a specific event type or user property. For example you can exclude specific events or user properties from being used to personalize ads and only use that data for measurement purposes.
Control ads personalization for an individual event or session.
You can also manage whether an individual event or session is used for ads personalization. For example, if you need to obtain consent before enabling the setting you can dynamically disable ads personalization at the beginning of the session and on each subsequent event until consent is obtained.
Independent of these ads personalization controls that Analytics offers to advertisers, users can control their own ads personalization setting for their Google account. Once they’ve turned off this setting, Google will no longer use information about them for ads personalization.
Remove data from Analytics
You can remove your data from Analytics for any reason and at any time. You can request the data to be deleted from the Analytics servers or delete information for a single user.
Request data to be deleted.
If you need to delete data from the Analytics servers, you can submit a request for its removal. There is a seven-day grace period starting from the time you make the request before Analytics will begin the deletion process. All administrators and users with edit permission for your account will be informed of your request and have the ability to cancel the request during the grace period. Similar functionality will be available in App + Web properties soon.
Delete data for individual users.
You are able to delete a single user’s data from your Analytics account. If you have edit permission for the account, you can do this through the User Explorer report in Web properties or the User Explorer technique in the Analysis module in App + Web properties. Data associated with this user will be removed from the report within 72 hours and then deleted from the Analytics servers in the next deletion process. Your reports based on previously aggregated data, for example user counts in the Audience Overview report, won’t be affected. If you need to delete data for multiple users, you can use the Analytics User Deletion API.
Delete a property.
All of the above features are available to use right now. For more information, please visit the Help Center.
We hope that you found this overview of current controls helpful. Google Analytics is continuously investing in capabilities to ensure businesses can access durable, privacy-centric, and easy to use analytics that work with and without cookies or identifiers. Please stay tuned for more in the coming months.
SA 360 has features that aren’t available in standard Google Ads accounts or are more sophisticated. Bid strategies are one feature that makes SA 360 so powerful.
Read more at PPCHero.com
In the United States, almost half of our food supply is wasted. That’s enough to feed everyone who experiences food insecurity four times over. “In a lot of ways hunger is not a supply problem, it’s a distribution problem,” says Leah Lizarondo, cofounder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization seeking to close the gap between food surplus and food scarcity.
In order to successfully achieve their mission to reduce hunger by redirecting surplus food to people experiencing food insecurity, Leah and her team need to recruit volunteers to download the Food Rescue Hero app and complete a local food pickup and delivery, becoming what they call “Food Rescue Heroes.” As a growing nonprofit organization, 412 Food Rescue has limited resources, though, and relies on technology to save time and invest in the right places.
A cross-platform understanding of volunteers
Historically, measurement across 412 Food Rescue’s digital touchpoints had been a challenge for the nonprofit. Key data was siloed between their website and app, making it time intensive to get a complete understanding of how people were engaging with the organization online. With help from their digital analytics partner Bounteous, 412 Food Rescue turned to the new Google Analytics.
The new Google Analytics allows us to look at our data across platforms — web and app — to understand the full journey of our users. We’ve been able to cut our reporting time by 50%.Sara Swaney
Director of Advancement, 412 Food Rescue
With that time savings, the team at 412 Food Rescue has been able to improve their marketing and focus on engaging more volunteers in the community.
“In order to recruit more volunteers, we needed to know where people were learning about 412 Food Rescue,” Swaney says. With a view of user engagement across platforms and devices, 412 Food Rescue was able to easily discern where the majority of its volunteers discover the organization, and what their typical journey is to get started. The team was able to see that new users are most likely to accept a Food Rescue and become volunteers within 48 hours of downloading the app. As a result, they adjusted their social media campaigns to drive app downloads on Mondays and Tuesdays, when most Food Rescues are typically posted in the app. By facilitating Food Rescues that users can immediately act on upon downloading the app, 412 Food Rescue was able to improve the user journey and convert more users to volunteers.
Automated insights introduce a new set of learnings
With automated insights generated through machine learning, 412 Food Rescue has been able to save time analyzing data and spend more time taking action. They learned, for example, that there was a dip in volunteer engagement on weekends, an insight that had gone unnoticed. Because they had been proactively alerted to the change in Analytics, they were able to quickly respond by increasing their marketing efforts on weekends to boost engagement and address the demand for local deliveries on those days.
Greater impact despite limited resources
Even without a dedicated analytics team, 412 Food Rescue is able to easily get a deep understanding of their data and use it to shift their marketing strategy, grow their network of Food Rescue Heroes, and secure further investment to ultimately expand to more cities and achieve their mission to end food waste and hunger.
Get started with the new Google Analytics today.
- Very few SMBs use multiple channels for their online advertising
- Facebook is the most effective channel based on the cost for CPM and CPC
- It’s important to remember that every business is unique when it comes to deciding on budget allocation
For any business in the software as a service (SaaS) space, data analysis and science are crucial to ensure they keep pushing ahead to reveal those insights that can really make a difference. With this in mind, the Cambridge MBA team looked to leverage Adzooma’s extensive data to identify new ways for SMBs to maximize their ad spend with cross-channel marketing.
For the team at Cambridge University, this was an exciting opportunity to produce some truly unique insights, given that even the big players such as Google and Microsoft only have data that pertains to their individual channels. The project promised to provide a much broader view and deliver some new insights thanks to the access to anonymized data from thousands of accounts across the three big platforms via Adzooma.
A cross-channel approach
The findings immediately identified that very few SMB customers use multiple channels (Facebook, Google, and Microsoft).
Although this wasn’t part of the main project, it was a really interesting piece of analysis and it’s something we’ve stressed the importance of a lot. Most people just stick to Google, for example, as that’s where they think they should be but that’s not always the best case for everyone’s business, and being seen across multiple touchpoints – or at least trying out multiple channels – can be crucial to digital marketing success.
Our analysis found Facebook to be the most conducive channel for SMBs based on cost (CPM, CPC) as well as return (impressions, clicks), however, it was Microsoft that came out on top for reaching a more professional and affluent audience.
The research highlighted the importance of pre-determining your specific target audience. Hence, when it comes to choosing the channel – or channels – for your business it’s really worth thinking about what you are trying to achieve with your ad spend and who you’re truly trying to reach.
What are you really trying to achieve?
Right at the offset, it’s important to think about your end goal and ask yourself who are the customers you are looking to target and what is the most efficient way to get to them.
Existing research told us that for SMBs acquiring new customers was the most chased goal on the customer journey followed by ‘generating awareness’, ‘generating leads’, and ‘retaining customers’.
Overlapping resolution methodology then allowed the team to determine the impact of cost on different marketing channels. This way, SMBs would be able to effectively determine which platform is best to use when similarities occur.
We found through the research that it was the choice of the channel itself that had the most significant impact on both CPM and CPC. Having determined a connection between channel and cost KPIs, further research was conducted to find out the average CPM and CPC across Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Ads.
While it was Facebook that was the most cost-effective channel on average for SMBs overall, the recommendations were that businesses should still look at the click-through rates of other channels to determine whether other factors such as industry or geography could make a significant difference.
If you’re choosing between Google and Microsoft, the results suggest using Google due to its high reach and low cost, however, Microsoft could also be useful, particularly as it offers high-level targeting and demographics that can be suitable for specific business types.
What is your ad saying?
Another factor that perhaps many businesses don’t consider when deciding on a platform is the sentiment of their messaging.
When analyzing the data this was another area where the research team saw differentiation depending on the channel where the advert appeared.
Microsoft proved to be the most popular platform when it came to a positive sentiment with a CTR of 4.2 percent, compared to 3.6 percent for neutral and 3.3 percent for negative sentiment.
Interestingly, the opposite was true for Google ads where negative sentiment proved most popular with users, gaining a CTR rate of 6.5 percent compared to 5.7 percent for neutral and negative messaging.
Again, it highlights how important it is to take that time to tweak your ads for testing purposes and learn what works best for your target customers so you can capitalize on your spends.
Every business is unique
It’s no secret that the one size fits all approach doesn’t necessarily work. All businesses are different and therefore their ad spend and utilization will of course differ.
Some people, as we all do, want to go with the stats and what has proven to have worked historically for businesses, and whilst that can be taken into account, that’s not to stay that it will work for every business. Therefore, it’s always important to remember to take the time to consider where you are spending and who you are trying to reach.
Plus, it is worth remembering that although Google, Facebook, and Microsoft Ads are the most popular online advertising platforms, there are alternative (and less expensive) places to list your ads including Reddit, Amazon, and industry-specific sites such as Capterra. Despite having fewer users, these are still effective as it’s often easier to reach your exact target audience and could work as an addition to your primary platform.
We hope that through this research we’ve provoked SMBs to think carefully about their target audience and specific objectives prior to ad spend allocation. What we’ve showcased here is that the advertising platforms explored within this study work effectively in their own right depending on the end goal and we hope these insights will enable SMBs to achieve greater overall results.
These learnings help determine how cross-channel partnerships can be best leveraged for SMB customers. As Facebook seems to be the most used channel by 70 percent of SMBs, and data analysis suggests it is optimal in terms of cost and return, the data will be used to scale Facebook features and opportunities. A lot of the learnings we unearthed from this study will also go directly into the core technology of the Adzooma product.
Rob Wass is Co-founder and CEO of Adzooma.
Akanshaa Khare is currently pursuing an MBA at Cambridge University and has five years of Product Management experience and three years of Consulting experience, helping consulting firms such as BCG and ZS Associates.
The post Cross-channel marketing: why you shouldn’t put all your eggs in the Google basket appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
With first-party data becoming more relevant and third-party cookies becoming a thing of the past, this leaves marketers questioning, how can I best prepare?
Read more at PPCHero.com
Google is letting developers keep more of their Play revenue, Instagram adds teen safety features and we examine the global distribution of venture funding. This is your Daily Crunch for March 16, 2021.
The big story: Google Play halves commission on first $ 1M
Following a similar move by Apple last year, Google said that it will be reducing its fee from 30% to 15% for the first $ 1 million that developers earn through Google Play annually.
This is slightly different from Apple’s approach, in that it applies to all developers — although the fee goes back to 30% for any money earned beyond that first million dollars.
“We’ve heard from our partners making $ 2 million, $ 5 million and even $ 10 million a year that their services are still on a path to self-sustaining orbit,” wrote Google’s Sameer Samat. “This is why we are making this reduced fee on the first $ 1 million of total revenue earned each year available to every Play developer that uses the Play billing system, regardless of size.”
The tech giants
Instagram adds new teen safety tools as competition with TikTok heats up — Instagram says it’s rolling out new safety features that will restrict adult users from being able to contact teens who didn’t already follow them.
Google’s Soli radar returns to track sleep on the new Nest Hub — We haven’t heard a peep from Project Soli since the technology was introduced with the Pixel in late-2019.
China wants to dismantle Alibaba’s media empire: reports — Over the years, Jack Ma has accumulated a media portfolio in China that rivals that of Jeff Bezos in the United States.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Socure raises $ 100M at $ 1.3B valuation, proving identity verification is hotter than ever — Socure uses AI and machine learning to verify identities.
Overwolf raises $ 52.5M for its platform to build, distribute and monetize in-game, user-generated content — The company’s platform has some 30,000 creators, 90,000 mods and add-ons, and 18 million monthly users across thousands of games.
Aiming to become the definitive source for location data, SafeGraph raises $ 45M — While there are plenty of companies selling data about physical locations, SafeGraph CEO Auren Hoffman said his startup is “one of the few companies to sell this data to data science teams.”
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
The global inequity in venture financing is staggering — There’s been a boom in Latin American and European fintechs, as well as a general rise in VC activity in a host of Asian countries, but the landscape remains imbalanced.
The NFT market is just getting started, but where is it headed? — Part one in a three-part series.
Farmland could be the next big asset class modernized by marketplace startups — Startups like AcreTrader and others including Tillable, FarmTogether and Harvest Returns are bringing marketplace models to the farming world.
(Extra Crunch is our membership program, which helps founders and startup teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)
Ford expands robotics research into $ 75 million University of Michigan facility — Ford Motor Company will be embedding 100 of its researchers and engineers in a new robotics and mobility facility on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.
Talking product-market fit with Sean Lane, whose company tore through 28 products to become a unicorn — Occasionally, it’s easy for startups to achieve so-called product-market fit, but more often, it’s a struggle.
Get feedback on your pitch deck from tech leaders on Extra Crunch Live — The importance of the pitch deck can’t be underestimated.
The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 3pm Pacific, you can subscribe here.
- Make no mistake, Google Shopping is still mostly a paid PPC channel, but you can also enjoy its free traffic
- Video and display formats are not the type of ad you think of when it comes to online acquisition
- They are more popular for brand awareness and influence targets
- All conversions are not born equal, especially, when it comes to acquisition channels – a purchase on your site from a new customer has more value than one from a returning one
- It’s easy to forget that most of the business still happens offline and that Zoom calls and online shopping are not all there is to life
- Yet offline conversion trackings are not always taken into account
- With Gallery Ads, Google offers a new ad format integrated into the Search Network
- As these ad formats are for mobile displays only, their dimensions enable advertisers to make a stronger impact than with a text ad
Google released new smart features and ways to buy ads on its different channels. They allow marketers to increase their reach and to try new approaches. As always with the novelty, there will be a learning curve.
At SEISO, the reference PPC insight platform, we analyzed the impact of these updates on more than 13,000 accounts. Here is how you can make them work for you.
Content created in partnership with SEISO.
1. Get listed for free on Google Shopping
Make no mistake, Google Shopping is still mostly a paid PPC channel, but you can also enjoy its free traffic. Why is there a free option? After the introduction of the shopping channel, Google ousted most of the other price comparison websites from its SERP (Shopping.com, Shopzilla, BizRate, and others). The move was so aggressive that in 2017, the European Commission fined Google €2.42 billion (~$ 3 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules by “giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.” Although it is still going through appeal, Google has made changes to ensure other options are present on its services and SERP than its own. As for organic search optimization, you need to ensure your products appear in the first positions.
How to make it work for you
First, you need to start by optimizing your Shopping Ads and understand what products click and convert the most. For example, you can use SEISO Google Shopping Analyzer (Free to try) to get shopping reports. From there you can adapt your product feed and product pages to ensure you focus on products that are margin positive.
Source: SEISO Report for non-performing products in your shopping feed
Once you have trimmed the feed and pages, you can go to your Google Merchant Center account in the Growth Menu. There you will find a channel called “Surfaces across Google”. You want to set it to “ACTIVE”. This feature was initially available only in the USA and India but is being rolled out worldwide.
2. Get impressions on display and YouTube ads but only pay for sales
Video and display formats are not the type of ad you think of when it comes to online acquisition. They are more popular for brand awareness and influence targets.
But now Google wants to convince you otherwise. Why? Google has so much data on users’ profiles and their intents that they can predict what they will buy. Facebook has built its platform on what they know about the users from their browsing and sharing. Google knows the users very well: from the search queries, from the media they consume on its surfaces (videos and AMP pages), and its past purchases thanks to receipts received in Gmail.
Thanks to this treasure trove of data points, the algorithm identifies which new video game console the user wants. And it only shows him the relevant ads when he is ready to buy. The ad will be more likely to convert and Google will get a higher revenue per page by only showing converting ads to users: win/win.
Now you can run performance-based targeting for YouTube Ads and on the Display network. It usually means a lower reach than a CPM or a Trueview campaign but you will get incremental conversions while controlling your budget.
But remember, this is a black box. The algorithm will decide to display your ad or not based on how much money it will generate for Google. If your products find an audience this is a virtuous cycle and you will get a lot of volume. If not, your campaign might not pick up at all.
How to make it work for you
- Use Smart Display with a tCPA or tROAS bidding strategy. This allows you to retain the benefits of the Smart Display framework without losing control.
- Based on 13,000+ Google Ads accounts audited by SEISO, the best targeting are: “Similar converters” & “Custom Intent on your competitors”
You can use the audience analysis section of SEISO to identify which audience is the most relevant for you. And you can try it for free.
3. Customer acquisition is good but NEW customer acquisition is better
All conversions are not born equal. When it comes to acquisition channels, a purchase on your site from a new customer has more value than one from a returning one. Of course, loyalty is key and you need to take care of existing customers. But Search engine marketing is neither the main nor the most money-efficient channel to do so. CRM, whether through email marketing or earned social media are more efficient to re-engage your customers. The symbiosis between acquisition and loyalty is the best way to maximize your customer lifetime value.
Once you know how much money you can expect from a user in the long term, you are able to adapt the amount you are willing to pay for a new customer vs. an old one.
In Google Shopping, you can now take the lifetime value into account. Go in the conversion goals by clicking “Settings” in the left navigation of your Smart Shopping campaign. Use the “New Customer Acquisition” option. There, indicate the incremental price you are willing to pay per conversion for this type of customer versus a returning one. For example, if your CPA for a conversion is $ 42 and you set the new customer value to $ 38. It will let the campaign pay up to $ 80 for new customers and $ 42 for existing ones.
How to make it work for you
Make sure you are tracking your new customers, there are two ways to do so and you should use both:
- Make sure your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics account are connected. This way, the algorithm is aware of all sales made on your website even if they came from another channel.
- Set differentiated tags for new and old customers and let your ecommerce platform or your tag manager. You need to show one or the other tag depending on the status of the customer.
As a rule of thumb, you should align this with your promotion strategy. Focus on your product selection to boost your best-recruiting products. The ones that usually trigger the first sale on your website for new customers.
4. Get offline! How to keep tracks on offline conversions
In these days and times, it is easy to forget that most of the business still happens offline and that zoom calls and online shopping are not all there is to life. Yet offline conversions tracking are not always taken into account. According to Google, 30 percent of mobile queries are local searches and it is the fastest-growing segment. And 75 percent of users making a local search will go to a store within 24 hours. This is a lot of conversions lost to online tracking.
The new version of the Google Ads’ local campaigns is here just for that. Local campaigns use GPS and Wifi to identify the location of the user. Google will display ads related to business advertising presence around the user’s current location.
How to make it work for you
To succeed, you will need to set up an omnichannel tracking that integrates offline elements. From there you will be able to measure different types of conversion. You should create a set of conversion actions for each campaign:
- In-store visits: Google automatically tracks walk-in traffic from user’s location captured from their Apps and OS). You will need to register all your points of sales addresses or GPS coordinates.
- Offline purchase thanks to offline the Conversions API or bulk sheets upload.
- Online purchase through your regular tracking pixel.
Once your conversions start to show in the interface you will be able to optimize against each of these goals. Moving further you will be able to optimize the new full potential of each campaign against each target! To do so you try the SEISO campaign optimization tool for free.
Source: SEISO PPC Campaign Optimisation Tool
5. Be creative! Push gallery ads over all networks
Gallery Ads and Showcase Shopping Ads on Search are good to be tested! 85 percent of respondents put more importance on visual information than text information. Visual information is preferred over text by at least 50% of respondents in all categories except for electronics, household goods, and wine and spirits (Intent Lab research, Feb 2019).
With Gallery Ads Google offers a new ad format integrated into the Search Network. As these ad formats are for mobile displays only, their dimensions enable advertisers to make a stronger impact than with a text ad. Google will continue to serve the same user with your creatives on new placements such as:
- YouTube: On the “Home” screens where more than 90% of users say they discover new brands & new products.
- Discovery: Google Discovery App while scrolling the news feed and searching by interest.
- Gmail: Through discovery, even though Gmail Ads are being rolled out, Discovery ads allow you to expand your reach from Gmail to other Google-owned surfaces.
And of course, they are shown in the main result pages as Showcase Shopping Ads.
Google is always bringing in new features to test, The key to having a State of the Art Google Ads account is to test early. Once the features reach mass adoption you are already fully optimized and have secured the best positions.
There is much more to discover in the SEISO analysis report, including expert tips and best practices, account activity analysis, and more than 75 criteria sifted.
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