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Google Ads to be improved by machine learning

Google announced several new ways for advertisers to interact with and utilise its various platforms and services, all based around the company’s machine learning capabilities.

The new campaigns build upon the tech company’s advertising brand change from Google AdWords to Google Ads, a change made in an effort to simplify and unite its advertising offerings.

“With this evolution, we’re excited to do even more for our partners – earning them more money, more efficiently, wherever people are watching videos, playing games or engaging with content,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of ads & commerce.

“As part of this change, we are releasing new solutions that help advertisers get started with Google Ads and drive greater collaboration across teams.”

Responsive search ads

One of these new solutions is ‘responsive search ads’, a way to combine brands’ creativity with Google’s machine learning to deliver relevant and valuable ads to consumers.

“Consumers today are more curious, more demanding, and they expect to get things done faster,” said Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management.

“As a result, they expect your ads to be helpful and personalised. Doing this isn’t easy, especially at scale.”

Advertisers will be required to provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will apply its machine learning algorithms to test different combinations and learn which ad creative performs best for a given search query.

“People searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context,” said Dischler, going on to point out that advertisers that use Google’s machine learning to test creative see up to 15 per cent more clicks.

Responsive search ads will start rolling out to advertisers over the next several months.

Improved Smart Shopping Campaigns

The company is also committing to improving its ‘Shopping campaigns’ to allow businesses to optimise functionality across multiple business goals.

Advertisers will also be able to select and introduce new goals into their campaign, such as ‘store visits’ and ‘new customers’.

Machine learning will be used to optimise where ads will be featured while taking into account factors such as seasonal demand and pricing.

Support for leading e-commerce platforms is being added in an effort to simplify campaign management.

The company announced that advertisers will soon be able to set up and manage ‘Smart Shopping campaigns’ within Shopify.

“We know that our merchants today are running a variety of apps to build marketing campaigns for their products,” said Ellen Dunne, senior product manager at Shopify.

“This process is extremely time consuming and complex. We are excited to provide our merchants with the ability to execute, manage and track marketing campaigns all within Shopify with Google Smart Shopping Campaigns.

“As one of the first partners to work with Google on this integration, we are excited to make marketing more accessible to and easier for our merchants.”

Shopify points out in a statement provided to Internet Retailing that even without knowledge of how advertising works, merchants can simply set a budget they’re comfortable with and Google’s machine learning tech will optimise their ad campaigns to deliver the best results.

The new function will allow entrepreneurs to easily set up, execute and track marketing campaigns quickly without having to leave Shopify.  

Maximising YouTube

The tech company also introduced an initiative to help advertisers better serve consumers on its video platform YouTube known as ‘Maximize lift’.

Also powered by machine learning, this feature automatically adjusts the impact video ads have on brand perception throughout the consumer journey by utilising the company’s ‘Smart Bidding’ strategy.

“People watch over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day,” said Dischler, “they’re tuning in for inspiration and information on purchases large and small.

“It’s critical your video ads show at the right moment to the right audience.”

The tool is available now as a beta, and will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.

Driving customers to local businesses

“Whether they start their research on YouTube of Google, people still make the majority of their purchases in physical stores,” said Dischler.

“In fact, mobile searches for ‘near me’ have grown over 3x in the past two years, and almost 80 per cent of shoppers will go in store when there’s an item they want immediately.”

To capitalise on this, Google is introducing ‘Local campaigns’, a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively.

Advertisers need only provide a few basic pieces of information – business locations and ad creative – and Google will automatically optimise ads across its networks and services to help drive customers into businesses physical locations.

This feature will roll out to advertisers globally over the coming months.

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