What’s new in PPC: January 2023 industry updates

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Google ads PPC – Updates

Welcome to the latest blog from  Impression on Paid Search Industry Updates, where we uncover the latest PPC trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Since the holiday season has come to an end and we are entering the new year, updates within the PPC industry have been relatively slow, as many people are returning from a well-deserved break.

Updates are still updates, so join us as we cover the most prominent news stories of the past few weeks!

Keep reading to discover:

Throughout, traffic light imagery indicates the importance of each new update – red represents a priority update, green represents a less important update, and amber represents a middle update.

In order to facilitate migration from Universal Analytics, Google introduces new features in GA4

It is the beginning of a new year, and with it comes the realization that Universal Analytics will stop collecting new data on July 1st, 2023, marking the end of the platform’s lifecycle. Over the past few months, many advertisers have been preparing for the migration of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), replacing the platform. For those who have yet to migrate, or are currently in the process of doing so, Google has introduced some new features to assist.

The first of these new features is the ability to recreate Universal Analytics audiences in GA4. Audiences based on dimensions and metrics that are the same between both platforms can be recreated using the GA4 Migrator for Google Analytics Google Sheets add-on. For audiences where dimensions/metrics differ, audience definitions can be changed in the spreadsheet to their GA4 counterparts. Additionally, the spreadsheet will identify whether audiences can or cannot be recreated, as well as provide information on why they cannot be.

Moreover, Google has added the ability to personalise the GA4 home page, which will be unique to each user’s dashboard. The metrics and dimensions of real-time cards can be changed to facilitate faster analysis, which is one way to accomplish this. Additionally, users will be able to provide feedback by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down over the top right of a card by using the new property to bring important information to light, allowing the platform to provide more useful information in the future.

What does this mean for me?

The introduction of these features should serve as a reminder to advertisers to implement GA4 as soon as possible, before Universal Analytics stops being supported later this year. If you complete this transition early, you will have a longer period of time for adaptation to ensure the migration goes smoothly.

As these features should help facilitate the migration process for those still migrating, the dashboard can be customized and tools can be used to make the transition more familiar if it is changed to look as much like the Universal Analytics dashboard. Learn how to get ready for Google Analytics 4.


Google launches new features on Google Ads’ insights page

Since Google Ads’ insights page was introduced two years ago, it has been a valuable tool for advertisers, providing us with important insights into changing consumer behavior. Several new features have been added to the insights page to further inform overall marketing strategies, in light of the turmoil surrounding society over the past few years, with Google citing recent inflation as an example and changes in consumer preferences.

The first of these new features is search term insights, which allocate search terms into broader, intent-based categories, making it easier for advertisers to spot what themes are most popular amongst consumers without having to examine each search term separately. In addition to conversion performance and search volume growth, these insights will be further enhanced by displaying metrics.

A new feature is asset insights, which help advertisers understand which creative assets resonate best with customers, as well as identify highly-engaged audiences and design assets and landing pages accordingly. 

It also provides information about the characteristics of the people who engage with a business, which is called audience insight. By providing us with key insights into a business’ top audience, this will help us gain a better understanding of what customers care about, as well as identifying which audience segments respond best to which assets, in combination with the previously mentioned asset insights.

A final new feature of Google Ads accounts is change history insights, which analyze changes made across multiple accounts and identify their impact on performance. In addition to identifying which account changes may have caused this, they will also advise the best course of action when significant shifts occur to key campaign metrics.

What does this mean for me?

During busier and more turbulent periods, such as the holiday season just past, advertisers require a more streamlined and simplified way to understand their customers, as Google states in their article.

It is likely, however, that these changes will be an effective new tool for advertisers all year round, not just during peak periods. Many advertisers will welcome these changes with open arms, whether they help them reduce the time they spend looking for search term reports, or provide key insights that help adjust the strategy of an overall campaign.

 During the sunset of Expanded Text Ads in February, Microsoft will offer automatic upgrades to Responsive Search Ads

Early last year, Microsoft Advertising announced it would transition from Expanded Text Ads to Responsive Search Ads in order to stay competitive in the digital age. Microsoft offers advertisers support with a one-time automatic upgrade before the migration deadline of 1st February 2023 approaches.

As of January 3, 2023, advertisers will be able to apply this upgrade with a click of a button to their accounts. When creating Responsive Search Ads, Microsoft will use the Expanded Text Ads that perform the best in the account. It will only create Responsive Search Ads where the ad group does not have one, ensuring that there is an active Responsive Search Ad for each ad group within the account.

It is also possible for advertisers to manually upgrade their ads by clicking “No, thanks” on the account dashboard pop-up window. Advertisers should consider using Google Import to import their best-performing Responsive Search Ads from their Google Accounts into Microsoft to ensure consistency and alignment across all ad copy in their accounts if they decide to manually upgrade their ads.

What does this mean for me?

In addition to improving performance, switching from Expanded Text Ads to Responsive Search Ads has several benefits, with Microsoft reporting that advertisers who upgraded saw a 7% increase in conversion rate.

Consequently, advertisers should audit their Microsoft accounts utilizing Expanded Text Ads and take advantage of this automatic upgrade from Microsoft to make sure that their accounts are future-proofed for the fast-approaching migration in February, as well as for the ever-changing and competitive marketing environment.

A new video ad format is now available on the Microsoft Audience Network from Microsoft Ads

Late December, Microsoft announced the launch of video ads in the Microsoft Audience Network; this is an immersive and visually engaging ad format that complements search and image ads, is designed for sound-off, and can last up to one hour.

The use of video advertising allows marketers to reach a wider and more relevant audience than they can with other search engines. Microsoft video ads can reach a large and untapped market, since 39% of users prefer Microsoft Search Network videos to YouTube videos, and 57% prefer Microsoft Search Network videos to Facebook videos.

In addition, Microsoft’s video ads offer a variety of targeting options, including Remarketing, LinkedIn Profile Targeting, Similar Audiences, Customer Match, and Custom Audiences. By utilizing historical data about their customers, as well as browser behavior and web activity, marketers can reach both current and new customers effectively.

As well as targeting, Microsoft offers flexible bidding strategies tailored to meet the company’s business needs. If a business wants to focus on reach, it can use a CPM strategy, which will count an impression when a user watches 2 seconds of the video or clicks on it. The campaign can use a CPV strategy if video views are an important KPI for the business, which counts one video view for every 15 seconds a user watches the ad or clicks on it. Ultimately, businesses measuring traffic to their website can implement a CPC bidding strategy, which only counts when users click on the video advertisement.

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What does this mean for me?

In light of the long customer journey and the difficulty of connecting with the right audience nowadays, video ads have provided marketers in the UK and several other countries with a way to reach a wider customer base and grab their attention. In addition to raising brand awareness or promoting new products, marketers can use video ads as a top-of-funnel ad format. Video advertising has the advantage of creating brand associations, connecting with the brand, and helping users remember calls to action.

In addition, video ads have been proven to drive 50% more conversions than search ads alone on accounts. As a result, an account integrating video ads into its strategy is demonstrating a significant improvement in performance and suggests a high growth potential.

Google ads experts in india (satish dodia)


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