The latest Google AdWords (and other PPC) updates – April and May 2018

If you like PPC updates as much as you like dogs, then lawks-a-lordy, is this the post for you!

You are reading: The latest Google AdWords (and other PPC) updates – April and May 2018

Greetings, human person. Prepare to be smothered by the warm embrace of this bi-monthly roundup of Google AdWords updates, with bonus PPC news from other platforms that you may have missed.

As per the previous updates, I’d appreciate it if you stick with me and don’t skip straight to the dog pictures.

1. The end is nigh for the old skool AdWords interface

It’s finally happening – but not as soon as I’d have thought.

The new AdWords experience will be forced upon us before the end of 2018, and it looks like it might happen before the busy shopping times in November and December kick off.

Google recommends that you check your contact details are up to date so that they can contact you ahead of the switch. Changes to automated rules were announced this week and appeared as an alert in our MCC, so it looks like AdWords will attempt to alert advertisers to changes as they roll out.

2. Safety first

If you haven’t done so already, now might be a good time to think about migrating to HTTPS.

In July 2018, Google will be rolling out Chrome 68, which will mark all non-HTTPS pages as ‘not secure’. In the next few weeks, Google will be notifying non-secure sites to buck up their ideas to ensure that visitors have a safe and secure experience when visiting your website.

3. More shifts toward AI in the new interface

It seems that bigger is better in the eyes of Google. Not satisfied with binning off the Standard Text Ads in favour of the meatier Expanded Text Ads, Responsive Search Ads are set to be even beefier.

Responsive Search Ads are currently only available to some beta users in the new interface, but this new feature could spell the end for manual A/B ad copy testing altogether.

The Responsive Search Ads work by selecting from a number of headlines and descriptions and testing which combinations work best. As an added Brucie bonus, this ad format will let you show up to three headlines instead of two, and up to a whopping two 90 character descriptions. Basically, these ads are massive, and will dominate the page in terms of real estate.

If you’re lucky enough to have the beta access, here’s what you need to know:

  • You can provide up to 15 headline variations, and 4 descriptions per ad
  • By default, the ad copy can be shown in any order, so make sure that all lines work not only individually, but also when mixed with the ad copy variations – you can ‘pin’ headlines and descriptions into specific positions if this is a concern
  • To ensure keyword quality scores are not impacted, keep the ad copy as relevant as possible in each ad group, as you would do normally
  • Be careful not to duplicate messaging – keep it distinct so it’s easier to determine what works, and what doesn’t
  • Also, consider what appears in ad extensions to ensure that messaging is not being repeated multiple times

It will be interesting to see how these new ads perform vs Expanded Text Ads, though I’d predict that AdWords is shifting to more expansive ads to encourage advertisers to bump up bids to secure the top ad positions, and the most real estate.

4. Some useful new features for AdWords Editor

It’s going to become a lot easier to make changes in AdWords Editor. About time, too.

First of all, if you have the Responsive Search Ads beta, you’ll be able to create them in Editor, which is handy dandy.

But for those of us who are not part of the cool beta crew, here are my highlights of the other new bits:

  • Search term report now available! Add those new keywords, and negative keywords more easily
  • No more wasting time adding Audiences via the AdWords interface! Go wild by adding affinity and in-market audiences into Search and Shopping campaigns directly from Editor
  • Freezable columns! No longer will you have to make your eyes go bonkers by scrolling across loads of columns!

All updates in the latest release can be found here.


Because there *are* other paid search options…

5. Bing Ads makes it even easier to lazily copy campaigns straight from AdWords

The new Google Import tool can now handle bigger campaigns, and more advanced AdWords features.

6. Instagram now lets you turn organic posts into ads via Facebook Ads interface

In the next few weeks, Instagram will allow advertisers to turn existing Instagram posts into ads within Power Editor and Ads Manager. More on this update over here.

7. Ads are coming to Facebook Stories

With Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook all jumping on the Stories bandwagon after seeing how successful the feature was amongst Snapchat users, the time has come for it to be monetised.
As of May 2018, Facebook Stories now has 150 million daily active users – still short of Snapchat’s 191 million reported back in Q1 2018, but after a slow start, it’s now growing a whopping 15 times faster than feed sharing.

8. Facebook wants you to get creative with its reporting

I’ve always found the reporting in Facebook to be fairly frustrating, so I welcome any changes to the platform that provides more flexibility. In the next few weeks, advertisers should see an update to the reporting platform which will (hopefully) make it easier to view the performance metrics that matter to you most.

And finally…

I asked the team to choose their top doggo images and boy howdy did they not disappoint. In no particular order (because all dogs are brilliant, except for my brother’s dog, who is Satan incarnate), I present:

Browser Media’s best doggos – Spring edition

Willington's Doggo Fred
Captain Snooty
Captain Snork
Mr. Gumps (AKA Bruno)
Monsieur Gumps (AKA Bruno)
Regal City Gangsta
The Regal City Gangsta
Duke of Bork
Duke of Bork
Cody rescue dog
Baguette rescue pupper

p.s. I really like pictures of funny/cute/stupid dogs, so feel free to Tweet them to me @VikingWagon (or to get in touch if you have any questions or comments on these PPC updates too, I guess).

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