Google Ads trends that matter in 2022
Fads come and go, but some trends hold more weight than others. While we love those latest-and-greatest trends that run rampant on TikTok (and the songs that get stuck in our head), we’d prefer to focus on trends that help improve ad campaign performance and boost our ROI. In the case of Google Ads, there are a handful of trends that you should strongly consider when strategizing, executing, and reporting on your PPC Google Ad campaigns. Here is a summary, with the full list and details of 2022 Google Ads trends available here.
- The inclusion of Performance Max Campaigns.
- Google’s new and improved Enhanced Conversions.
- Alternative ad formats such as Responsive Search Ads.
- Image additions to Google Ads extensions
- Simplifying the campaign process
- Keeping up with the effects of Apple’s iOS 14.5 update
Google Ads campaign strategies for every smart marketer
In this chapter, we’ll show you how to set up campaigns for simplicity, and how to utilize automation to your advantage. After that, we’ll dig into the what, why and how of campaign optimization, followed by strategic approaches to reporting. Here are just a few of those strategies:
New to Google Ads or low on time and budget? Setting up Smart Campaigns with simple structure can leverage automation and machine-learning to help highlight value points of your business and attract more customers. While you have less capabilities than running a regular Google Ads campaign (like limited keyword targeting or no a|b testing), Smart Campaigns make diving into the deep end of Google Ads less intimidating.
Lean into Google’s automation and machine-learning capabilities. Developed with the users business goals and campaign performance success in mind, Google has continued to adapt and update their offerings with increased automation and machine-learning, allowing marketers to spend time and energy back into their business growth, client nurturing, and marketing strategy.
Being strategic with your tech stack means that you have to identify the areas where your business needs assistance or support and then researching the solution that works best for your objectives and budget. With tools like Joinr and Google Data Studio, marketers can ease the pain of cross-platform advertising data unification and appealing reporting dashboard creation.
Optimized campaign elements
There are a number of components within an ad campaign that determine what should be optimized, when it should be optimized, and how it can be optimized for improved performance. When you understand the inner workings of the Google Ads platform, the industry as a whole, and even how their audience behaves, you gain a strategic advantage over the next guy running competing Google Ads campaigns.
Optimizations are included amongst the few things that can make or break your Google Ads campaign. To learn more about what optimizations are worth making, when they should be made, and by who, jump to chapter 1.
Perfecting your Google Ads campaign set up
How you set up your Google Ads campaign often determines the outcome campaign performance. And with machine-learning and automation, perfecting your campaign set up is a much easier and efficient process than it used to be. We suggest following these guidelines when setting up your Google Ads campaign:
Clearly outline your campaign objectives
Determine the type of campaign you need to achieve your campaign objectives and goals. If you’re running a traditional Search campaign, can you leverage a Performance Max campaign to supplement your performance and help hit your goals sooner? Do you need to run a Shopping campaign to help promote your brand’s products? Does a Smart campaign work better for you and your Google Ads knowledge and time commitment?
Goals and objectives help to determine your campaign structure so be sure to get clear with yourself and team on what those are.
Perfect the inner workings of your Google Ads campaigns
Consider the optimization and set up of:
- Format types of ads you run
- Keywords you are targeting or excluding – keep in mind that your negative keywords are just as important as the keywords you are going after in your targeting and bid strategy
- Bidding strategy – we suggest letting automation do its part but determining beforehand if you think manual bidding will be necessary can help you stay prepared
- Audience segment targeting
- Budget allocation and campaign duration
Now that you’ve got your Google Ads campaign structured, it’s time to let your clean set up and Google’s machine-learning automation do the heavy lifting.
Perfecting your Google Ads copy
There are more than 2.3 million Google searches conducted each minute—which is roughly 33.1 billion searches per day! With over a billion chances to capture the attention of your target audience, your copy needs to hit the mark. Make sure your Google Ads copy reaches your audience, speaks their language, and drives them to take action. By keeping the following in mind, you can help to drive an increased number of quality leads to their site (and hopefully take action).
Keep your target customer in mind when writing ads
This helps to attract the right audience, help to raise interest, convince them that they want/need your offering, and increase your chances of leading them to take action.
Remember that you are human, talking to other humans
You can be compelling, persuasive, informative and convincing while remaining genuine and relatable. Make sure that your copy is relevant to what you offer and what your audience can expect when they click on your ad and land on your site. 33% of people click on search ads because of how relevant the ad is to their search.
Be strategic with your keyword selection and placement
By using keywords that your audience would use in their search, you can provide them with confidence in knowing they are seeing what is relevant and relatable for them. This also helps gravitate them to your ad versus the competition. Another benefit to being strategic with your keywords is that it helps to improve your ad relevance and Quality Score. We recommend using keywords up to 3 times within each ad, making sure to use the keyword where it can be easily seen such as in the first headline or URL.
The why and when of choosing Google Ad types
We mentioned earlier the importance of determining your campaign objectives and business goals so that you could better determine the type of ad campaign to run within Google Ads. The same importance applies to determining your ad type. Understanding these different ads work and how they can be used strategically will be important Google Ads trends to stay on top of.
Standard Text Ads (Expanded Text Ads)
Being retired starting July 1st, these ads appear on the Search Network, showing above or below Google search results. They consist of three parts: a headline, display URL, and description text. Now that Google has introduced Responsive Search and Dynamic Search ads to the marketplace, we really see no need for these ads and understand why Google would be deciding to remove this ad type from the mix.
Responsive Search Ads
Becoming the default ad type starting July 1st, these ads provide you with the ability to create flexible and adaptable ads, giving more room to relay your message to your target audience. They also help to reach more potential customers with multiple headline and description options which also helps your brand compete in more auctions. If you have a large competition pool and want to stand out to your prospective audience, responsive search ads are the ads for you.
Dynamic Search Ads
Great for marketers who have a well-developed website or large inventory, these ads pull content straight from your website to develop targeted ads that can help fill in the gaps of your keyword based ad campaigns. This ad type is also great for keeping your ads relevant and saving you time as the headlines and landing pages are generated from your web content.
Keep in mind to include or exclude any irrelevant landing pages when developing your Dynamic Search Ads as Google automatically pulls from your entire site if you don’t set up your campaign correctly.
Image & Video Ads
Consisting of an image or video featuring information about your brand or offerings, image and video ads are great for when you can tell a more compelling story with visuals – Images produce 650% more engagement than text alone, and video generates 1200% more shares. These ads are served on the Google Display Network which helps to expand your ads reach and find more prospective customers.
App Promotion Ads
If you are responsible for placing your brand’s app in as many hands as possible, App Promotion Ads are for you. These ads streamline the app-to-consumer process for you, making it easy to promote your app across Google’s vast network including Search, Google Play, Youtube, Discover, and within the Google Display Network. Using machine-learning automation, all that is required of you is a great app, a few lines of text, a bid, and your assets.
Beginning in July, Smart Shopping Ads will transition into Performance Max Campaigns. Great for brands who want to showcase their products, Google Shopping Ads allow you to spotlight your products and help to drive more traffic to your site or take buying action more so than a plain text ad would do. Other benefits to running Shopping ads on Google versus a Responsive or Dynamic ad include better qualified leads, easy retain-centric campaign management (they even have a Shopify integration), and broader presence as these ads can show alongside your brands text ads as well.
Designed to encourage phone calls to your business, these only appear on devices that make phone calls so it’s important to consider using these as a supplementary ad format, not one to stand alone.
How to Optimize your Google Ads Campaign Strategy
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you realize there are hundreds of optimizations you can make to your ad campaign at any given time. Understanding what, when and how often to make an optimization will help you organize your Google Ads strategy, which will then save you execution time and open up insight generation.
With Google’s recommendations (as well as several others outlined in this article), here are some updates that you can make in order to decrease time and money spent, and increase your growth and ROI.
Starting with the one-time optimizations, these are often executed prior to or immediately after launch. These include:
Develop SKAGs (Single Keywords Ad Groups)
Developing SKAGs before campaign launch can help improve your relevancy score, while increasing your ability to optimize your ad extensions based on the specific keywords. You can even split ad groups one step further by broad, exact, or phrase matches, which then lets you optimize ads against specific keywords versus a handful of various keywords. All these options lead to more refined keyword reporting, improved quality score, and increased effectiveness of bid adjustments by keyword.
Additional platform campaigns & remarketing
Set up additional channel and/or platform campaigns to help supplement your Google PPC ad campaign(s). Doing so helps reach an increased number of prospective customers and allows marketers to leverage each stage of the marketing funnel, nurturing people from top to bottom.
Through the same lens of extra campaigns, you can also take advantage of remarketing lists from successful campaigns run in the past.
Daily and weekly optimizations
Next, are the daily and weekly optimizations. Often the most common, these are made after the campaign has been launched and after campaign performance monitoring has begun.
On the daily, it’s key to check for fluctuations in campaign performance. Be sure to note if specific keywords or ads are showing significant fluctuations in performance to easily pinpoint where to start looking for areas of improvement.
Check for alerts from Google daily. If something isn’t set up correctly, being rejected, or needing fixing, Google will offer an alert to let you know. You should immediately identify any issues to resolve to prevent major performance hindrances once the campaign is live and running.
From a week-over-week perspective, Google does a great job of updating their performance and optimization recommendations. Every week, you should allocate time to review these and make any adjustments that are aligned with your business objectives and goals.
Perform a weekly mini-audit of the current keyword lists. This includes adding to both keywords and negative keywords, monitoring bids for certain keywords, and even researching additional keywords to include in the targeting.
Monthly and quarterly optimizations
Monthly and quarterly optimizations are often done in response to campaign performance as it relates back to your business objectives, goals, and KPIs.
At the end of each month, you should compile data and report on ad campaign performance to your clients or stakeholders. At this time, you should review the performance of each individual ad to discover what is resonating with the customer and what should be improved, paused or completely removed.
The end of each month is also a perfect time to review demographic and location data in order to refine targeting and bids accordingly. Here, you should identify what locations and audience types are key to moving towards a cleaner, clearer, and highly performing campaign. Adjusting bids manually by location, or even testing copy by demographic, can help you build a solid foundation for their ad campaign and ROI.
Quarterly, you should analyze campaign performance over an extended period of time (2 quarters at a minimum) to understand what changes need to be made as it pertains to the big picture items: business goals and KPIs. Here, we recommend conducting a delta analysis to isolate key metrics. You’ll notice that some metrics experience noticeable growth or contraction over a broader quarterly range.
Tips to optimize Google PPC ad campaigns
Manual bid adjustments
- Location modifiers allow you to raise bids based on locations that yield higher results, they also allow you to lower bids on locations that aren’t performing as well.
- Daypart modifiers allow you to adjust bids based on day-of-week and time-of-day performance.
- Adjusting bids manually for high performing keywords as it relates back to your campaign KPIs and business goals.
A holy grail to developing a strong PPC campaign, the Keyword Planner is the free tool that provides you with a way to discover new keywords as they relate to your business. You can use the tool to view performance and cost estimates based on monthly searches for a keyword, and can also determine how to bid on desired keywords. In essence, the tool provides a way to organize and plan out your keyword targeting and ad copy selection.
Monthly keyword audits allow marketers to determine what keywords are missing from their current targeting, what keywords should be avoided and added to the negative keyword list, and how the keyword strategy should be adjusted moving forward with the current campaign or future campaigns.
Monthly or quarterly insight deep dives
Between Google Ads and Google Analytics, there are a number of ways marketers can leverage demographic and audience behavior data to determine whether or not they are on track with their current targeting strategies or if they need to pivot in order to hit campaign KPIs and business goals. In Google Ads specifically, you can collect insight into who your ads are reaching, how certain markets are responding to the ads you’re running, and then make the necessary adjustments to targeting and bidding.
The ability to test ads and compare performance is also crucial in understanding the health of a campaign. In Google Ads, you can compare performance at the campaign, adset, and ad level. By comparing performance at the ad level, you can adjust copy as needed as well as turn off or adjust bids on low performing ads.
In the wake of the iOS 14.5, marketers and DSP’s alike fumbled trying to regroup now that their targeting tactics became jeopardized. While not all was lost (even though it felt like it), there was a definite shift in how highly performing remarketing audiences were accessed and used. By using first-party data, marketers can create remarketing lists to be used on campaigns needing to drive leads or actions by site visitors. Remarketing lists allow marketers to target audience sets that are more likely to convert when compared to audience sets that have little to no familiarity of your brand or business.
On struggling ad groups, remarketing lists can help to expand the audience reach and in turn yield better results for poor performing ad groups or campaigns.
If you use multiple platforms or channels while running a marketing or advertising campaign, you have a chance to see better results and ROI. If you’re running a Google Ad campaign to drive more people to your website, consider also running a Performance Max campaign to drive awareness or run a Paid Social campaign to help bolster your brand engagement. As you increase your reach, just be sure to make smart decisions when allocating your paid ad budget amongst platforms and channels.
Google’s recommendations for optimizing your ad campaigns
In the Google Ads platform, a section titled ‘recommendations’ provides two things: an optimization score for your campaign and automated optimization recommendations provided directly from Google. The optimization score is an estimate from Google of how well the account is set to perform. Calculated in real-time, the optimization score runs on a 0-100% scale and is accompanied by Google determined recommendations on how to improve your optimization score and ultimately the health of your campaign. With the optimization score focused on business objectives, the recommendations that come along with it allow Google to assist you in improving your ad campaigns, hit your business goals, and drive a satisfactory ROI.
The recommendations that come along with a campaigns optimization score not only look at your campaign performance history and setting but trends across Google as well. Google states that the recommendations page is “an entire section dedicated to helping you improve your campaigns”. Google automatically generates recommendations using machine learning to help optimize your ad campaign, allowing you to spend less time researching solutions or ideas on how to improve your ad campaign. Recommendations help keep your campaign fresh, introduce you to new features, and help guide you in ways to get more out of your budget. You can also see what keywords should be added to your targeting, or how to improve your bidding and Google Ads strategy. Google recommends prioritizing the exploration of these recommendations often to help keep your optimization score high and performance steady.
10 Google Ads Trends to Try in 2022
#1 Introducing Performance Max campaigns
At the number one spot for 2022 Google Ads trends—Performance Max campaigns. With Google’s focus on and push for machine-learning automation, Performance Max campaigns should absolutely be implemented in your paid ad mix. Google has tailored their Performance Max campaign structure to prioritize a brand’s business goals and boost overall performance. In fact, Google ran a campaign for a client utilizing this new technology and saw a “22% increase in conversions, more than $800k in revenue from newly funded loans, and a 20% reduction in overall CPA across the account”.
While we suggest jumping on this trend, we also recommend identifying when to use it and understanding the potential drawbacks. If you have specific advertising conversion goals and want to maximize performance by increasing reach, you should absolutely look into this tool. However, you should also be aware that there are a few things that won’t work with this campaign type. Those include:
- Lack of transparent reporting: Performance Max does not have the ability to report on audiences, demographics, or keywords making it difficult to draw meaningful insights.
- No ad group breakouts: Performance Max doesn’t allow for ad group breakouts in campaigns, making reporting on individual assets less meaningful.
- Hard to exclude keywords meaningfully: There are limitations to what marketers can and cannot exclude in their targeting when using this feature.
#2 Enhanced Conversions
Rolled out in 2021, Google has introduced the advertising world to Enhanced Conversions. With users’ privacy in mind, Google captures consented first-party data (data including email addresses, names, addresses and even phone numbers) using their SHA256 algorithm and sends it along to your conversion tag. Once the data is sent (either via Google Tag Manager, Global Site Tagging, or the Google Ads API), Google matches the aggregated and anonymized conversions data with signed-in Google accounts and attributes it to your ad event.
Acting as one of the responses to Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, Google’s hope with Enhanced Conversions is to improve the accuracy of conversion measurement and smart bidding while they “empower businesses to properly track campaigns results with adherence to consumer privacy.” Where iOS 14.5 decreased visibility into your ad data, Enhanced Conversions increases it, making it easier for you to optimize and create better campaigns in the future.
#3 New ad formats: Responsive Search Ads
Introduced to the public in 2018, Responsive Search Ads was Google’s alternative to Expanded Search Ads. By using machine learning, Google estimated to help marketers achieve 10% growth in clicks and conversions for the pay-per-click ads. After a successful few years, Google announced in 2021 that starting June 30th, Expanded Text Ads would be completely replaced by Responsive Search ads. By dynamically combining different copy options during every live session, Responsive Search Ads allow for constantly alternating ad copy within just one single ad. Not only will adopting this trend into your Google Ads strategy help your performance and ROI, it’s soon to be required of all marketers.
#4 Image extensions
Beginning in May 2021, Google Ads added image extensions as a feature users can use next to their text ads on a SERP (search engine results page). The clickable images that sit next to the text ad costs just as much to click as the copy itself, making this Google Ads trend one that can drive increased performance while remaining budget friendly.
Image extensions help to drive performance and enhance the message of the text ads. Google recommends using 3 high-quality, unique, and relevant images in the extensions per ad to complement your text ad. Not to be confused with overlays and logos, image extensions should provide further context for your reached user. Aligned with their automation goals for the future, Google takes image extensions a step further by providing marketers with a more automated way to manage their image extensions. Using machine learning, Dynamic image extensions automatically select imagery from your ads landing page and places them next to the text ads that seem most relevant.
#5 Simplified keyword match types
Spending time brainstorming and strategizing keywords to be included in your Google PPC ads campaign shouldn’t be treated lightly. Selecting the right keywords is one of the most significant indicators of a successful paid ad campaign. If you’re not careful, choosing the wrong match type for keywords can drive an increased number of irrelevant impressions and clicks, wasting not only budget but also effort.
Google provides three different match types for marketers to choose from: Broad, Phrase, and Exact.
- Broad : Best used with Smart Bidding, Broad match keywords are the default when setting up a Google Ads campaign. Broad keyword matches allow for wider audience reach without having to build out an extensive keyword list.
- Phrase : Between Broad and Exact match results, Phrase match keywords show ads to not only specific keyword searches but in searches where the meaning of the keyword can be implied.
- Exact : The keywords with the least amount of reach but the most accuracy, these keywords allow ads to be shown on searches that have the same meaning or intent as the selected keyword.
While each of these match types have their own time and place to shine, marketers should focus on Phrase and Exact keywords 9/10 times if they want to reduce the chance of wasted impressions, clicks, and budget. Phrase and Exact match keywords allow marketers to serve ads to users who are most likely interested in their product or service and would be stronger prospects.
#6 Changes to the Google algorithm
Algorithms, we love to hate them. And they seem to be ever-present and ever-evolving. Like most large web-based platforms, Google is no different with their use of algorithms to “help” the user experience. And (surprise, surprise) Google recently announced that they will be making a routine update to their broad core algorithm. Noticeable changes that occurred after the November 2021 update included a widespread shift in websites from Google Search pages 2, 3, and 4 moving into the first page results.
So what does this mean for those of us running Google Ads campaigns? First, breathe. Let’s start by saying there doesn’t seem to be any immediate impact to the Google Ads platform. Instead, Google is focusing on improving and updating its algorithm as it pertains to search results. Marketers can use this time to evaluate their landing page SEO strategy as well as their landing page experience.
- Are you leveraging SEO keyword rankings on your site?
- How is your site ranking?
- What keywords are important to help rank your site and drive value?
- Where are you sending users after they’ve clicked on your Google PPC ad? Are you providing searchers with a positive user experience?
- Does any of your content or parts of the site need to be improved as it pertains to SEO?
While we don’t yet know all the implications of the latest Google broad core algorithm update, setting yourself up for success when it comes to SEO and landing page experience can help you prepare for anything that may soon come down the Google marketing pipeline.
#7 Integrations: Shopify
Over the past few years, Shopify has made its way into over a million brands’ business models. In fact, Shopify’s total revenue has increased year-over-year by 47%. With business booming for both the merchant platform and businesses alike, it’s no wonder Google took notice and decided to jump in and do something with it. In May of 202, they announced their new Shopify integration for Google Ads platform. The Shopify integration allows merchants to begin running ads on all of Google’s properties while also allowing new data to be pulled directly into Shopify from those same Google platforms.
Google claims that the integration lets users track and update Smart Shopping campaigns and goals alongside other marketing tools. Adding to this simplicity, changes to the Smart Shopping campaigns in Shopify will automatically be reflected in your Google Ads and Shopify accounts, and you’ll be able to harness the power of Google optimizations without having to leave the Shopify platform at all. If you are a marketer running Google Ads for your Shopify business, join the 50% of businesses that see an increase in business using this integration.
#8 Machine learning automations: bidding & targeting
We’ve discussed a lot of machine learning so far. If you’re one of the many marketers who capitalize on automated bidding and targeting with their Google PPC ad campaign strategy, you’re more likely to see a boost in ad campaign performance, a drop in advertising costs, the ability to scale campaigns and business, and ultimately save time. By inviting automation into your everyday processes, Google’s algorithms can work magic for you and improve campaign performance. Automation can help you focus on additional ways to scale business, make rapid optimizations easily, improve client relationships, run more campaigns, and streamline their advertising process.
#9 Third-party cookies & navigating iOS 14.5
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, you’ve been well aware of the changes to not only Apple’s privacy practices but also how the advertising industry has reacted in response to this targeting hindrance. Learning how to navigate the new world of iOS 14.5 has been equal parts challenging and important to all marketers, especially those who relied heavily on tracking and cookies to help sway strategy and navigate their advertising efforts. Staying up to date with Google updates, leveraging first-party data, and implementing Google’s updated UTM parameters into every campaign set up are promising ways marketers can keep up with these privacy and tracking updates.
#10 A third-party data unification platform
There’s always been something wrong with advertising data. It’s messy, scattered, unorganized across platforms … not to mention straight up painful to manage. With tech stacks growing, it’s important to include a data unification tool within your toolkit if you deal with multiple ad platforms. A data unification tool allows you to compare your Google Ads data with other ad platforms, like Facebook. Without it, marketers are left to manually concatenate data from multiple sources into a single data set and hope for the best. With a tool like Joinr , marketers can automatically connect their data source and with one click, have one clean data set to draw actionable insights.
As a bonus, applications like Google Data Studio are also immensely helpful to marketers who prefer clean, visually appealing ad campaign reports without the need for coding or dreaded Excel formulas.
Tips for Creating Captivating Google Ads Copy
So many things in life are better left simple: your daily coffee order, your skincare routine, your grandmother’s bundt cake recipe, and your Google Ads copy. As Confucius once said, “life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” We’re here to tell you that you should apply this same rule to your Google Ads copy strategy.
We get it. Your business has value (lot’s of it actually!) and it can be tempting to try and fit every last detail into your ad copy so your target customer has all the information they need to take action. Let us stop you right there. You’re right, your business can add a lot of value to your audience but your Google Ads copy isn’t where you need to say it (you should save that juicy goodness for your landing page experience … but that’s a whole other article).
Your Google Ads copy will generally consist of several components: headlines, descriptions, extensions, display URLs, and extensions.
- Headlines : The 30 character spaces on your ads that your target audience is most likely to see first. This is where you want to leverage your strongest keywords (we recommend 2-3). These keywords can help to increase your chances of being seen as people will notice this part of the copy first. Keep this part of your copy clear and concise.
- Description : With a 90 character limit, this is your business’s chance to concisely and convincingly show your business’s value and encourage your target audience to take action.
- Display URL : As a display of your website address, this part of the copy helps to give a clearer picture about where your ad will take them post-click.
- Extensions : Besides your landing page, this is a great place to expand on any additional value or information your business can provide to your potential customer. Use these copy slots to convince users to choose your business. Extensions come in the form of call buttons, location information, specific links to different pages on your site, and more. These slots have a character limit of 25 so be sure to stay concise and clear on what you’re extending to your prospective audience members.
Within these components, your copy should be three things—clear, concise, and convincing. These three characteristics should be considered when you start planning on each component of your ad copy.
- Clear copy – Simple copy is uncomplicated—allowing your ad to work its magic and help drive the right traffic to your door. 75% of users say paid search ads make it easier to find information . If your copy is clear, you can better tap into your intended audience.
- Concise copy – This encourages your potential customer to take action. Concise copy allows them to quickly receive all the important information you need them to absorb to take action.
- Convincing copy – People who click on ads are 50% more likely to make a purchase. That’s great! But you have to convince them to click on your ad first. Creating convincing ad copy (remember your value here!) and an enticing CTA are easy ways to encourage someone to action.
Tips to perfect your Google Ads copy
There are over 33 billion Google searches conducted each day—which means over 33 billion opportunities to reach your audience. By perfecting your Google Ads copy, you improve your chance of capturing the interest of your audience when they conduct a search.
But “perfection” is a tough nut to crack. Your Google Ads copy should speak to your audience’s needs, convincing the reader that your product or business is their solution, and that clicking your ad is the beginning to ending their problem. Does all of that sound like an impossible task given the amount of characters allowed in ads? We feel your pain. To help perfect your Google Ads copy, we have a few recommendations to help drive winning results:
- Write ad copy for humans. You are a human. Your customer is a human. You should always write your ad copy with this in mind. Speak to your customer in a way that shows how you can solve their problems, that you understand them, that your business is genuine and relatable. This will only help increase your chances of peaking their interest and driving them to perfect an action.
- Campaign cohesion. 33% of people click on search ads because of how relevant the ad is to their search, so make sure your copy is relevant to what you’re offering and what your audience most likely thinks is relevant. (Bonus: Make sure the landing page you’re leading your audience to is just as relevant as the search and ad copy results, this will help reduce your bounce rate once a user has landed on your page).
- Use those keywords! Keyword selection and placement within your copy is highly important. These are the pieces of text and phrases that your campaign is bidding on and what your audience is broadly or exactly searching for. Using up to three keywords within the first part of your ad copy (headlines) provides confidence for your target audience as they are seeing those relatable and relevant keywords first. Not only does it help your audience gain confidence in your businesses ads, it helps improve your ad relevancy and Quality Score, which helps signal to Google to bump up your campaign.
Which Google ad format best suits your campaign objectives?
We probably should have started with this question but: why are you running a Google Ads campaign? Is it to drive awareness around your business ‘services provided’ list? Is it to help drive an increase in online sales for your new product line? Your objective matters both when determining the type of ad campaign or platform to run on and also when building out your Google Ads copy.
Below are the most common Google Ads types:
Text Ads: Expanded Text Ads, Responsive Search Ads, Dynamic Search Ads are the three types of Google text ads and can be used cross-industry and cross-objective. These are the ads that you are probably post familiar with as they come up on almost every search result query you’ve probably ever conducted.
Visual Ads: Image & Video Ads are best used when a business can tell a more convincing story with visuals. In fact, 9 out of 10 viewers said that they wanted to see more videos from brands and businesses and with 96% of consumers increasing their online video consumption in 2020, marketers should absolutely try to incorporate this ad type into their marketing strategy.
Shopping Ads: Product Shopping & Local inventory ads are for businesses who possess a product line and are looking to show their prospective customers what their product or inventory looks like prior to purchase. There has been such an uptick in consumer product purchases via Google that they have even introduced a Shopify integration to help streamline the process between these two powerhouses.
App Promotion Ads: Calling all app creators, this one’s for you! This app-to-consumer format allows you to push through Google’s vast network and right to the app users that would most likely utilize your app.
Call-only Ads: Mobile devices account for 53% of all paid-search clicks so for those of you who are looking to drive an increased number of calls to your business, Call-only Ads are a great Search Ad supplement for businesses who want to appear in front of the ever-growing mobile device audience.
Looking for more information about each of the ad types? Check out the article here .
The Google Ads copy trends for 2022
Okay, while not a new concept but a trend that is continually growing in importance, a PPC strategy that focuses on your human consumer (their journey, their problems) is how you win bids. This first trend is more a staple, not likely to be retired or forgotten.
Trend #1 – Be strategic: Build your ad copy that speaks to your business’s value, how it relates to your customers’ problems, and how you can solve those problems.
Trend #2 – Test your copy: Whether you are testing your emotion-provoking headlines or an impactful call to action, testing your ad copy should be something you are continually doing. According to Google, there are two criterias to knowing how long to test your ads:
- Once two weeks have passed – this helps to account for the variations in web traffic
- When at least one of your variants has a 95% probability to beat baseline
In addition to testing the copy itself, we recommend testing out different ad formats. For example, do your Dynamic Ads perform better than your Responsive Ads? If so, what changes can you make next to continue to refine your strategy and come up with not only a winning ad and ad format but campaign as well.
Trend # 3 – Ad Automation: Reduce your ad copy set up time by utilizing Dynamic Search Ads. This ad format allows you to spend less time brainstorming and generating copy by allowing Google to automatically pull content from your website to fill in the blanks for headlines, final URL, and display URL (keep in mind that because Google is dynamically filling out your headlines, it’s crucial that you include strong keyword selection on the entirety of your website).
Trend # 4 – Voice Search Integration: If you aren’t using Siri or your talk-to-text feature … please join us in the here and now. Moving into 2022, 40% of the total population in the United States are utilizing voice search. With voice search capabilities available on most mobile devices and most of your audience making purchasing decisions on mobile devices, ensuring your ads are compatible with question-centric keywords will help you to win over this 40% of voice search users.
Trend #5 – Natural Language Search: Connected to our previously listed trend, voice search integration, Natural Language Search allows users to use full sentences in their native language when using Google Search. This puts queries in the hands of Google’s machine-learning and automation to understand the question at hand and then transform it into search results. Natural Language Search often uses phrase and long-tail keywords, often yielding a lower search volume, have been seen to actually convert up to 3x more often than regular keywords. To best leverage this trend, we recommend combining both long-tail keywords and phrase match keywords to help win more bids from your target audience using voice search.
How to Transition to Google’s Responsive Search Ads
Back in 2018 Google introduced Responsive Search Ads—a new way of setting up and running ads that utilized machine learning to improve campaign performance. This year, they have announced that Responsive Search Ads will take over Expanded Text Ads starting June 30th, 2022. After a few years of availability, any marketer who has run Google Ads should have had plenty of time and experience with this new normal. However, if you’re a serial procrastinator (no judgment, you should see our laundry pile) who has tried their hardest to ignore this impending change, there is some basic background and best practices you should become familiar with.
Google’s Responsive Search Ads leverage machine learning in order to yield better campaign performance for campaign running marketers. The Responsive Search Ads allow you to shift with your consumer and trends by tapping into the ability to dynamically and automatically combine ad copy without any post-setup work. This ad type requires less work, using machine learning to do the brunt of the optimizing and testing work.
How Responsive Search Ads differ from Expanded Text Ads
The main difference between Responsive Search Ads and Expanded Text Ads is the use of machine learning. Dynamically combining different copy options during every live session, Responsive Search Ads allow for more variety in ad copy in one single ad than does Expanded Text Ads. Unlike Expanded Text Ads, Responsive Search Ads require more during the initial set up due to the amount of copy required to fill up the text options. However, once they’re set up in Google, Responsive Search Ads are far more hands-off than Expanded Text Ads.
How to use Responsive Search Ads in your Google Ads campaigns
Right, now that we understand what Responsive Search Ads are, let’s talk about how they can be used to boost your overall campaign performance. Here are some great tips to using this new ad type strategically.
Include one Responsive Search Ad in every ad group
Google recommends implementing at least one Responsive Search Ad with ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ ad strength into every ad group. This tactic has shown to drive approximately 9% more clicks and conversions than compared to ads with ‘Poor’ ad strength.
Utilize all the text space
Be sure to use the space you have—fill out all headline and description spaces when setting up your Responsive Search Ad. Doing so will allow Google’s machine learning to optimize your copy options to best serve your campaign.
Leverage Google’s Ad Strength Tool
Leverage Google’s Ad Strength tool when setting up your ad copy. The Ad Strength tool provides you with feedback that helps provide the right messages to the right customer. The rating indicates the effectiveness of a relevant ad and how it can be improved.
Include top performing keywords
Include top performing keywords as well as keywords that the particular campaign is targeting.
Leverage Ad Extensions
Leverage Ad Extensions to maximize ad performance. Adding more content provides ads with greater visibility to a target audience. Google Ads automatically selects which extensions to show in response to every individual search … making any extension that is relevant to your business a great tool to leverage.
Focus on Copy
Continually focus on your copy. Once set up, copy should always be re-evaluated to ensure ads are still focusing on high performing keywords and are sticking with your target audience. Focus on copy that flows and is cohesive, set up your copy in this manner and when adjusting it later down the line, don’t forget it. Focus on unique working per text slot, being mindful not to repeat yourself or have copy that clashes.
Use a data unification tool
Use a data unification tool in order to easily manage your Google Search Ad campaign performance. With a tool like, Joinr, marketers can easily view overall campaign performance as well as compare ad performance.
Leverage UTM parameters
Finally, leverage UTMs on each ad to better track performance in Google Analytics. To learn more about UTM parameters, how to structure them, and best practices check out our article here.
What Google Ads Performance Max Means for You in 2022
Doubling down on machine learning and automation features, Google introduced Performance Max campaigns in 2021. By using machine learning, Google is able to execute on your team’s specific goals, which helps hit your ROI at quicker rates. Similar to Google’s Smart campaigns, Performance Max campaigns automate the processes of targeting and ad delivery based on the goals you set.
But the similarities don’t stop there. In Google’s company-wide initiative to automate their tools and processes, Performance Max is similar to Responsive Search Ads in that it automates the ad creation based on assets you provide. Additionally, if you’re familiar with Paid Social ad campaigns , you’ll notice that Performance Max campaigns also allow your campaign to run across multiple platforms using dynamic ad formats.
Leveraging all of Google’s inventory—we’re talking Gmail, Youtube, Display, Maps, Search, Discovery, and Shopping Feeds–Performance Max allows you to reach a broader audience to obtain new customers and simplify campaign management. In a study conducted by Google, the Brand MoneyMe launched a Performance Max campaign which, in 6 weeks, saw a “22% increase in conversions, more than $800k in revenue from newly funded loans, and a 20% reduction in overall CPA across the account.” With stats like this, it’s easy to want to jump abroad incorporating a Performance Max campaign into your media mix.
How to use Performance Max campaigns to boost performance
To implement and run Performance Max campaigns, Google recommends that you run regular Paid Search campaigns in tandem, as they help to boost overall performance and tend not to cannibalize each other’s performance. Like with running any ad campaign, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks so that you can leverage other campaign formats and placements to help support your overall business objectives. Below, we’ve listed out the numerous benefits and drawbacks of running a Performance Max ad campaign, as well as reasons why and when you should incorporate it into your media mix.
Benefits of Performance Max campaigns
- Unlock new audiences using Google’s vast channel network . Because Performance Max serves ads across Google’s vast network, you have a greater opportunity to reach your target audience.
- Drive better performance against specific business goals. Google’s main focus with Performance Max is your set and established business goals. This means Google will utilize machine learning and optimize towards those specific goals first and foremost.
According to Google, advertisers who “use Performance Max campaigns in their account see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action” when compared to running non-Performance Max campaigns.
- Simplify campaign management through machine learning and automation.
- Steer automation with campaign inputs.
- Allow advertisers to easily optimize ads.
Drawbacks of Performance Max:
- Reporting with Performance Max isn’t naturally transparent.
- There is no ability to report on audiences, demographics, or keywords. Making the ability to draw meaningful insights more difficult than when running a traditional Search campaign.
- In addition to the inability to report on these three significant factors, Performance Max campaigns don’t allow for ad group breakouts in campaigns meaning it’s less impactful to report on individual asset performance.
- In addition to the reporting limitations, marketers can’t add or exclude keywords, demographics, or audiences with Performance Max campaigns.
When to use Performance Max :
- When you have specific advertising conversion goals.
- When advertisers want to maximize performance.
- When you want increased reach and conversions.
Best practices for running a Performance Max campaigns
Just like Responsive Search Ads , every good marketer understands that best practices are only as useful as they are relevant. Below are a number of best practices that we have found to be helpful when dealing with Performance Max campaigns in 2022.
Utilize Advance URL options
Google will automatically pick the URLs that they deem best fit based on the ad copy and parameters set by an advertiser. (Note: Be sure to exclude URLs that aren’t relevant to your campaign objective or business goals.)
Run Performance Max alongside current Search campaigns
Performance Max does not utilize keywords like Search campaigns do. By not running a traditional Search campaign, marketers run risk of jeopardizing their potential reach and overall campaign performance results.
There are no ad groups with Performance Max
Google allows marketers to select audience credentials that help give Google insight into who they can target. However, marketers can not pick their audience segments exclusively. Google uses these parameters or credentials to automatically shows ads to people they deem most likely to convert. Think of your audience segments as indicators for Google to identify potential audience segments.
Pick focused goals for your business objectives
Focused goals help Google automate smart bidding, investing budget more efficiently to spend where they identify high ROI opportunities. Performance Max helps drive performance based on specific conversion goals which in turn drive more conversion and value by optimizing performance in real-time across channels.
Develop strong Search campaigns that work with Performance Max campaigns
If you are running your Search and Performance Max campaigns with similar parameters, Google will always prioritize your Search campaign.
Utilize a data unification tool for reporting and visualization
Joinr is a free tool that automatically syncs your Google Ad campaign data into a unified and digestible dataset that can be used to draw insights and report on campaign performance through Google Data Studio.