Google Ads in 2022: What has changed?

Google has been around since 1998, and its evolution has been nothing short of revolutionary. They are one of the biggest players in the digital advertising game, and if you’re not using it as part of your marketing strategy it’s time to catch up.

Today, Google processes billions of searches per day, worldwide. Each search provides you with the opportunity to advertise your brand to new users.

That’s why it’s so important to understand how this search engine works and how you can leverage its power to reach your target audience.

Google Ads, formerly known as Google Adwords, is a paid online advertising service offered by Google to help businesses generate leads and get new customers.

Clearly, they work, as 63% of people have clicked on a Google ad. What’s more, 50% of browsers can’t even tell the difference between a paid ad and a regular listing on Google’s search campaigns.

With an average conversion rate of 3.75%, Google Ads is an absolute must if you’re running any sort of online business.

Types of Campaigns on Google Ads

There are eleven different types of Google Ads campaigns that can serve your digital strategy in different ways.

It’s important that you choose the right campaign type, so here’s what you can expect from each one:

Search Campaigns

This campaign option is the best way to reach your goals, especially if you’re a beginner. Whether you’re looking to get more sales, leads, or website traffic, search campaigns can help you get there.

With search campaigns, you can target people actively searching for what you offer. That means ads will be highly relevant to them—and they’ll be more likely to click on them!

Search campaigns are easy to set up and don’t require special assets like images or videos. Just create an ad group with some keywords, add a few ads, and you’re ready to start reaching your goals with Search!

Display Campaigns

A great way to reach people when they’re browsing the Google Display Network. This includes websites, apps and Google-owned properties like YouTube.

This campaign type is a great way to showcase your brand and reach new audiences across 35 million different domains.

Smart Campaigns

An all-in-one, easy way to create and manage your ad campaigns. They can be set up in as little as 15 minutes and are powered by Google’s advertising technology, so you don’t have to be a digital marketing expert to get the results you want from your ads.

App Campaigns

Designed for Google to handle the heavy lifting for you. With just a few lines of text, a defined budget and targeting options, as well as minimal asset requirements (one image and two videos), Google is able to create and distribute ads in a variety of formats. The best part is that they test and optimise based on performance too!

Discovery Campaigns

The best option to reach potential customers at scale. They are highly visual and are powered by Google’s audience and customer intent signals. 

All you need to do is set your bid goal and budget, as well as upload some visual content. Then, let Google do its work so you can reach up to 3 billion browsers.

Smart Shopping Campaigns

Similar to search ads but they include visual elements as well as text descriptions—these help people find products they want to buy faster than ever before! 

Additionally, they use automated bidding and ad placement to promote your products and business across the Google Search Network, the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail. 

Video Campaigns

Are made to display ads on Youtube and across the Google video partners network. There are five different ad types you can run on video campaigns – learn everything you need to know about them here.

Local Campaigns

The best for targeting people in your area. Make sure to include all the relevant information such as contact information, where you are located, as well as your opening hours. 

Hotel Campaigns

Perfect for reaching travellers who are looking for hotels in your area. They appear on Search and/or Maps with a link and pictures. These ads show your prices and the benefits of booking directly through your site, but you are only charged per conversion.

Call Campaigns

Specifically designed to show up on mobile devices that can make calls. Needless to say, these ads encourage browsers to contact your business with an easy click on the ad. You can even set it up so the ads only show up during your business hours. 

Performance Max

One of the newer campaign types offered by Google Ads. They are results-driven and allow advertisers to complement other campaigns to deliver maximum conversion results. 

This type of campaign uses powerful technology such as Smart Bidding to reach your specific campaign goal. However, it’s no secret that Google Ads is constantly changing. While it can be frustrating for marketers, these changes can breathe new life into an old strategy.

What are the major changes?

Google is laser-focused on its three priorities for 2022: unlocking new opportunities for business growth, preparing for the future of measurement and ensuring they exceed consumer expectations for privacy. 

In line with these objectives, here are the nine of the most impactful changes you’ll see on Google Ads in 2022:

New Performance Max features

Google added new features to Performance Max To optimise ROI on this type of campaign. 

Now, you will be able to set a “customer acquisition goal” if their priority is to generate leads or maximise online sales.

Additionally, the platform has introduced new “consumer insights” to help marketers like you discover and learn new trends, themes, and ways to drive conversions.

Increased flexibility with custom columns

Google has introduced new metrics and features to custom columns across all Google Ads products that enable you to visualize important information such as clickthrough rate.

Now, you have access to new column formats, filters, custom variables and spreadsheet functions. Learn more here.

In addition, all columns will now be available in custom reporting tools such as the Report Editor and dashboards in Google Ads.

Dashboards are now faster and easier to use

Dashboards collect data for marketers in order to review statistics and monitor ad performance. 

Until now, they could only gather data from individual accounts, but their latest update will allow you to use dashboards at the manager account level, making it a lot easier to spot flaws as well as opportunities throughout several accounts.

There are also smaller changes within dashboards that have been rolled out recently, such as new filters and formatting features.

Released in March 2022, Google Ads Editor v2.0 will help you create campaigns faster and smarter with its new features.

Firstly, you can now edit Performance Max campaigns in the Google Ads Editor. You can also create and edit combined segments to reach your target audiences. 

This new version will help you maximise conversions as you are now able to change goal settings and view optimisation scores. Finally, Google has made all of our lives easier by adding custom action triggers to automate common tasks within the app.

No more expanded text ads

From the 30th of June 2022, Google will disable expanded text ads. Instead, responsive search ads will be the only available format in standard Search campaigns.

Enhanced conversions for leads

This is great news for lead generation marketers! 

Essentially, there are three benefits to this update: you can now set up offline lead measurement through Google Ads, user privacy continues to be protected, and you can now measure and report leads without implementing changes to your customer relationship management (CRM) system or website.

Improvements to ad extensions

Google has improved the way that sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets are managed to help you boost engagement with your ads.

Google’s machine learning will now be able to select the best sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets by level in your account. This will help you show a more powerful ad while any automated extensions you manage will now be eligible to appear alongside manually-created counterparts in the account.

Smart Shopping and Local campaigns upgrade to Performance Max

Google will be automatically upgrading Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max starting July 2022, which will increase conversion value and achieve better ROIs.

New Experiments page

To help you optimise your Google Ads campaigns and grow your business, Google has rolled out a new Experiments page in your account. This personalised dashboard gives you a clear view of your experiments and helps you make faster, better decisions using powerful insights from your data.

How will these changes affect Google Ads trends in 2022?

It’s foreseeable that the Google Ads changes in 2022 will bring about new trends in marketing, which will likely be beneficial to businesses that are able to adapt.

Jerry Dischler, VP and General Manager for Ads, wisely stated that “Buying behavior will continue to change, and people will use technology in new ways to discover products and brands” and we couldn’t agree more.

So, without further a due, here are the trends and tips we consider should be the most prevalent in your 2022 Google Ads strategy:

Demand for voice advertising and voice search continues to increase.

With the widespread use of mobile phones as every user’s primary search device, the potential for voice search seems high. The prediction is that almost 50% of consumers will prefer using voice searches for browsing online.

Consumers continue to go directly to the brand to make purchases.

In 2022, the continued rise of direct-to-consumer brands will make the eCommerce revolution that started in the early 2000s seem like a mere blip on the radar. Rather than relying on retailers to market their products and connect with customers, businesses should start or continue to independently create their own brands and build relationships directly with their customers.

Consumers will expect ads that are relevant to them.

Consumers know when they’re being marketed to and that doesn’t sit well with them. Expect user data collection and privacy concerns to continue as they are now—consumers won’t mind seeing ads that are relevant to their interests, but they won’t like ads that invade their privacy or feel like spam.

Content will be king.

Consumers aren’t going to spend much time reading through ads when they have so many other things vying for their attention online. Advertisers need content that engages consumers, not just information about a product that people can look up later if interested enough. Be creative and make it fun!

Creating a multi-channel strategy is essential.

Google is the world’s biggest advertising platform, but that doesn’t mean you should be using it until your cows come home. Google Ads may have an edge over other ad platforms in terms of general advertising volume, but that doesn’t mean you should automatically choose it as your sole source of ads. In fact, diversifying your ad sources is a great way to improve your results.

The key with this type of strategy is to make sure you’ve got a clear game plan in mind before you start spending money. Make sure you track the performance for each channel and make changes accordingly to optimise results.

How these changes affect advertisers in the DTC space

The new Google Ads updates may also have adverse effects on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisers, such as those that promote e-commerce products, meal delivery kits, or cosmetics. For these advertisers, a few different tactics are necessary to overcome the barriers brought forth by the new changes.

One of the biggest issues for DTC advertisers is tracking success and return on ad spend (ROAS). Since users will be given more control over ad tracking and targeting, DTC advertisers might see a change in how their ads perform.

DTC companies should start shifting their focus from conversion volume to customer lifetime value as a way to measure success.

Another tactic for DTC companies is A/B testing when setting up campaigns and creative content. The best way to find out what works is through trial and error using A/B tests with different headlines and copywriting styles.

As Google continues limiting what data is available about consumers, it’s important for your company to begin thinking creatively about how you can pivot your advertising strategies in order to maximize profits while working with limited information about consumers’ search behaviours.

The Connection Between Google Ads & Analytics

Let’s answer some questions you might have about Google Analytics, just so we’re on the same page. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It’s especially useful because it can offer deep insights into your customers and their behaviour on your website.

Google Analytics is now integrated with Google Ads. To help you analyse customer activity, you can link your Universal Analytics property to your Google Ads account.

This integration enables you to see the impact of your Google Ads campaigns on your website’s traffic and conversions. 

Key Takeaways

  • As you can see, Google Ads is constantly innovating to offer advertisers new and exciting ways of reaching their target audience. 
  • If your company uses Google Ads in 2022 to advertise your services or products, it’s important to stay on top of the changes that have occurred. Keep an eye out for new updates from Google so you can ensure your advertising is as effective as possible!
  • Google Ads tutorials and guides provide a lot of information on how to create, implement, and track metrics of your ads. However, with the wealth of features and analytic information Google Ads offer, sometimes it’s best to hire experts that can develop a strategy in order to reach your ideas’ full potential.
  • Google Ads has made a lot of changes in 2022, but it’s all to make your experience more seamless and intuitive. 
  • Companies both big and small use Google Ads—if your business has a website, you should definitely be using it too.

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