SMX NYC Highlights: What’s up at Google

October 03, 2016

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Search Marketing Expo (SMX), the world's largest search engine marketing conference and expo, took place in New York City this year. The three day conference attracted marketers and business owners from all over the world. On day two, the keynote speakers for SMX were Google’s Jerry Dischler, the VP of Product Management for AdWords, and Babak Pahlavan, the Senior Director of Measurement & Analytics. They announced a number of new resources for AdWords & Analytics and informed the public about recent developments.


What's Updated for Adwords?


Expanded Text Ads – Google has pushed back the full transition to ETAs until after the holidays, because the adoption level hasn’t been what they hoped for thus far. They’re looking for people to fully embrace the format and use the new features to their full capacity.

Demographic Targeting for Search Ads – Targeting and excluding demographics has long been available for display ads, but now you will be able to do the same for search. Using this will allow you to show your ads exclusively for the ages, genders, etc. that represent your target audience.

Similar Audiences for Search in Beta – This is another feature that used to be only available for display. Similar audiences are generated with users that match similar criteria to people on your remarketing list. Again, this is a tool to help your search ads reach only your ideal or top-performing audiences. It was previously a whitelisted beta, but it is moving to an open beta.

Google Analytics Gets Better DataStudio – Google’s tool for graphical report creation is being rolled out to the rest of the world; it was previously only available in the US. They will also be launching some standard report templates in October of this year.

Smart Goals/Session Quality Score – When Smart Goals were first launched last year, we were dubious of their accuracy and usefulness. However, in light of some new insights, we are reevaluating our position. Pahlavan mentioned 2 specific examples where Smart Goals are most useful: for eCommerce clients that don’t have enough data to use automated bidding strategies or for clients without eCommerce data. If Smart Goals are meant primarily as a way to identify traffic that’s likely to convert (rather than an estimate of actual leads) it is worth testing. Smart Goals use an underlying metric to identify high-quality traffic based on their data. This “session quality score” will be made available in Analytics. Another recommended use of Smart Goals and Session Quality Score is to segment these users, who have been determined more likely to become leads, into a targeted audience for remarketing.

Optimize – Google’s webpage optimization and testing tool, which was previously only available for enterprise 360 users, now has a free version for standard Analytics users that you can sign up for by clicking here.

Interested in seeing what happens behind the scenes at these events with the Keen team? Follow us on Snapchat: keenability or Facebook and get the latest insights. 

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