Moving the mobile conversation to the Inside AdWords blog

Friday, October 11, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Labels: , ,

Posted by: Google Mobile Ads Team

There’s a lot to say about mobile!  In today’s multi-screen world, mobile is a part of everything we do.  And mobile ads are an important part of that conversation... now, more than ever.  In this spirit, we will be moving the content of the mobile ads blog to the Inside AdWords one to consolidate our communications with businesses and advertisers.

We’ll continue to provide updates there about mobile-related product developments, findings from our latest research, and successes of advertisers and developers. Going forward, mobile and multi-screen content, can be found at the following links, all of which will be updated frequently.

Inside AdWords Blog - Google's official blog for news, tips and information on AdWords. This is where the majority of the posts you saw on the mobile ads blog will now live.

Think With Google - The home of all of our content for businesses and digital media experts. The Think website is updated frequently with new articles, research studies, planning tools and more.

Google Ads + Page - The Google Ads Google+ page is a central place for you to learn how Google can help make the web work for you and drive your customers from intent to action.

See you soon on one of these resources.

Introducing the Google Databoard: A new way to explore research

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 | 8:06 AM

Posted by Adam Grunewald, Mobile marketing manager

It’s important for businesses to stay up to date about the most recent research and insights related to their industry. Unfortunately -- with so many new studies and with data being updated so often -- it can difficult to keep up. To make life a bit easier, we created the Databoard for Research Insights, which allows people to explore and interact with some of Google’s recent research in a unique and immersive way. 


The Databoard is our response to three big challenges facing the vast majority of research released today.

1. Ease of consumption: The databoard introduces a new way of sharing data, with all of the information presented in a simple and beautiful way. Users can explore an entire study or jump straight to the topics or datapoints that they care about. The Databoard is also optimized for all devices so you can comfortably explore the research on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

2.  Shareability: Most people, when they find a compelling piece of data, want to share it! Whether its with a colleague, client, or a community on a blog or social network, compelling insights and data are meant to be shared. The databoard is designed for shareability, allowing users to share individual charts and insights or collections of data with anyone through email or social networks.

3. A cohesive story: Most research studies set out to answer a specific question, like how people use their smartphones in store, or how a specific type of consumer shops. This means that businesses need to look across multiple pieces of research to craft a comprehensive business or marketing strategy. To address this need, the Databoard allows users to curate a customized infographic out of the charts or data points you find important across multiple Google research studies. Creating an infographic is quick and easy, and you can share the finished product with your friends or colleagues.

The databoard is currently home to four research studies including The New Multi-screen World, Mobile In-store shopper research, Mobile search moments, and more. New studies will be added frequently so be sure to check back often. To get started exploring the Databoard and creating your own infographic visit

Helping retailers win with mobile

Thursday, June 27, 2013 | 11:36 AM

People today are constantly connected. They’re finding directions to stores, shopping, and even comparing prices instantly from their smartphones. In fact, 8 out of 10 smartphone shoppers use their devices to help make shopping decisions while inside physical retail stores. As a result, retailers now must account for new and complex paths to purchase.

While constant connectivity poses a new challenge in marketing, it also presents great opportunities. For instance, shoppers who use mobile spend 25% more in-store on average. Beyond mobile-assisted store visits, consumers are also increasingly comfortable with m-commerce, whether they’re purchasing directly from their smartphone or starting on a phone and later completing the online purchase on a PC.

Not surprisingly, at our recent Think Shopper summits over the past month, many retailers asked how they could win with mobile. Retail continues to be a major focus for Google, and we’ve invested in solutions to create great shopping experiences for consumers across all screens and improve ROI for retailers. We’re excited about our efforts and wanted to share some of the things we’re working on.

Insights to better understand constantly-connected consumers

Tools to create better mobile experiences
  • Creating a multi-screen website: To help retailers create great shopping experiences across devices, we published best practices on making your site work across multiple devices, especially on smartphones.
  • Search as you type: Retailers can integrate search as you type directly into their sites, tapping into the power of Google instant search results and making it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for from their smartphones.
  • Google Wallet Instant Buy: Retailers can improve their m-commerce experience by implementing Instant Buy into their sites, allowing mobile shoppers to check out in as few as two clicks.
  • Google+ Sign-In: Retailers that implement Google+ Sign-In enable their site visitors to easily sign in once with their Google account and switch seamlessly between PC and mobile without having to sign in again. This increases online conversions by removing friction from cross-device logins. Retailers can even present a ‘buy now’ button to consumers within G+ posts.

Media solutions that drive shopping conversions
  • Retail-focused ad formats: Retailers can promote their product inventory with shopping ad formats like product listing ads.
  • Remarketing: Retailers can also use remarketing to re-engage consumers who have previously expressed interest in a category or brand.
  • Enhanced campaigns: With enhanced campaigns, retailers can effectively engage today’s constantly connected consumers. Location extensions make it easier for mobile searchers to find a retailer’s store, and proximity-based bidding allows retailers to bid strategically for higher-value searches happening closer to their stores.

Mobile attribution models to better measure ROI and inform investment
  • Full Value of Mobile: Nearly 3 of 10 mobile searches directly result in a conversion, but they can often be hard to track. Retailers need to create new mobile-specific attribution models to more accurately track how mobile is driving customers to physical and digital stores, so they can invest appropriately. The Full Value of Mobile site and calculator helps estimate the value mobile brings through a retailer’s mobile site and apps, cross-device usage, calls and in-store visits.

We’re constantly adapting to changes in technology and consumer behavior, and are always looking for the best ways to help retailers connect with customers. Stay tuned for additional developments on this and other ways we’re helping the retail industry win with today’s multi-screen consumers.

Posted by: John McAteer, VP, US Sales

Hobbyist game developers turn passion into business with Google AdMob

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | 9:47 AM

Kunal Verma and William Ferguson never imagined that coding for fun would one day become more than just a pastime. Both developers now independently run their own app businesses, Verma’s XigXag Interactive is a full-time job in India and Ferguson’s XandarMob is a side gig.

Verma’s apps have reached 1.5 million downloads on Google Play, his most popular ones, such as Kids Musical Toys Set, are catered to children. AdMob’s ad content control options are particularly useful for the demographic he serves. Verma’s apps are 100% free with a steady 99.09% fill rate. With AdMob, he makes 3x more income than he would at a regular IT job in India.

Ferguson’s word scramble app, Lexathon, has been translated into 19 different languages and downloaded 430,000+ times by a loyal user base that spends an average of 10 minutes on the app per day. AdMob Mediation allows Ferguson to maximize his fill rate and leverage multiple ad networks to increase his total revenue.

Find out how these indie game developers used AdMob to make a living from their hobby. Download PDF versions of the XigXag case study and XandarMob case study.

Posted by Robin Lam, Mobile Ads Marketing

Bidding Best Practices (Part 4): Setting your bid adjustment for time

Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 8:35 AM

Today’s post will provide guidance on using time bid adjustments.  It is the fourth post in a bidding best practices series. Previous posts covered optimization strategies for setting location and mobile bid adjustments as well as prioritization.

In our constantly connected world, people are searching on multiple devices throughout the day for places to go, things to buy, and ways to stay entertained. People often use similar search results in different ways depending on the time of day that they search. For example, if someone is searching for “Hawaii vacations” during the workday, she may just be doing research for an upcoming trip.  When she returns home and conducts the same search in the evening, she may be more likely to have all the info she needs to book the flights and hotels.

With this constant connectivity, search marketers can now receive web traffic from across the globe and around the clock. Most businesses can still identify peak days and times when they see better ROI and lower costs.  At other times, customer activity might be slower and some businesses may wish to drive additional visits even if the cost is a bit higher.

If your business sees regular cycles of customer behavior and AdWords performance during the week, then using the time bid adjustment feature in AdWords enhanced campaigns may make sense for you.  This feature can help you improve results by allowing you to increase or decrease bids by day of the week or time of day.

Getting started with time bid adjustments
Before making any adjustments, it’s important to choose the right level of granularity for analysis.  For example, will you adjust bids by day of the week, eight hour increments, or down to the hour?  While you may be tempted to optimize down to the hour, it’s important to ensure that you have sufficient data to make decisions for each time period.  A general rule would be to have 1,000 clicks and 30 conversions for each time period you’re looking to optimize.

Calculating your time bid adjustments
Once you decide that using time bid adjustments are right for your business, compare the performance of your ads at varying times to your overall performance goal.  This will allow you to easily determine the right bid adjustment for each time period.

If you are setting a goal using a cost per action target, your bid adjustment can be calculated as follows:

Time bid adjustment = 100%* (( Campaign Goal  ÷ Actual Performance) - 1)

For example, let’s say you are an online retailer who sees better traffic and performance on weekdays as opposed to weekends. You would like to target a $30 cost per acquisition overall, but you are experiencing a $25 cost per acquisition on weekdays and a $40 cost per acquisition on weekends.  To meet your performance goal and maximize efficiency you can use a time bid adjustment.  Simply adjust your bids on weekdays by +20%, and on weekends by -25%.  This allows you to optimize for your goal by bidding more aggressively on weekdays when conversions are more cost effective, and less aggressively on weekends when performance is lower.

Test and Learn
Constant iteration is a key part of the optimization process. To ensure you are optimized over time, check the performance for each time adjustment regularly on the Time subtab in your campaign settings. Raise your bid adjustment where your performance exceeds your goal and lower your bid adjustment where your performance falls short of your goal. This will allow you to optimize your bids and adjust to changing consumer behavior.

You should also take this opportunity to study your internal data to understand when you have peak activity in terms of conversion rates, order size, and overall volume.  If you have a physical store or run a call center, you may consider using those hours of operation as guideposts for setting your time bid adjustment.  Studying the volume of activity during the times you are open can give you a good sense of when you may wish to raise or lower your bids.  For example, if your call center is closed during the night, you may wish to decrease bids during this time to avoid sending customers to unsupported lines.  By the same token, if you operate a physical store and see lulls in traffic during certain hours, you may wish to increase bids during this time and run ads with promotional offers to drive more people to your business.

Time bid adjustments are a key part of enhanced campaigns.  To use time bid adjustments alongside location and mobile bid adjustments, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns.  Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin automatically upgrading all campaigns to enhanced campaigns.

Later this week, we’ll dive deeper into ways you can use tools like flexible bid strategies to automate your bid settings based on specific business goals like cost per acquisition.

Posted by Ting Zhang, Global Search Solutions

Bidding Best Practices (Part 3) - Calculating mobile bid adjustments

Thursday, May 23, 2013 | 10:40 AM

Today’s post about calculating mobile bid adjustments is the third in a bidding best practices series. The previous post covered improving your results with location bid adjustments.

People are now constantly connected and switching seamlessly between devices. In fact, more than 38% of our daily media interactions occur on mobile1. This presents advertisers with new opportunities to reach customers anytime, anyplace, on any device. At Google, we want to help you capitalize on these opportunities and develop new strategies for your business to win on mobile.

Mobile bid adjustments in AdWords enhanced campaigns give advertisers the power to optimize bids across devices — all from a single campaign. In today’s post, we’ll help you understand how to calculate a mobile bid adjustment that accounts for the total conversion value your mobile ads drive for your business.

Review your current desktop and mobile performance
Before calculating your mobile bid adjustment, you can run an AdWords report to review your current desktop and mobile performance. While online conversions, app downloads, and calls are easy to track in AdWords, other conversions such as in-store visits may be harder to attribute directly to your ads. For those conversions, you may need to estimate their value. The closer you can estimate the value of these conversions, the more optimized your bid will be on mobile.

Calculate your mobile bid adjustment
The key to optimizing your mobile bid adjustment is to identify the ratio of mobile vs desktop (and tablet) conversion value. This is calculated by dividing your value per click on mobile by your value per click on desktop.

We’ll illustrate this calculation using the table below. Let’s say this data belongs to a national retailer with mobile and desktop websites as well as physical stores. In the past month, this retailer saw 10,000 clicks from her mobile ads and 10,000 clicks from her desktop and tablet ads.  Her mobile ads drove $900 of revenue from phone calls to her stores, $5,000 from online sales and $5,000 from in-store visits for a total of $10,900. During this same month, her desktop and tablet ads drove $100 of revenue from calls, $10,000 from online sales, and $2,000 from in-store visits for a total of $12,100.

With this information, the retailer calculates the value per click (for mobile and desktop) by dividing the total value (i.e., the total revenue from all conversion types) by the total number of clicks, respectively. In this case, the mobile value per click is $1.09 and the desktop value per click is $1.21.

The retailer’s mobile bid adjustment is the ratio of these two values: she divides the value per click on mobile by the value per click on desktop and then subtracts 1. In this case we have (1.09/1.21) - 1, or a -10% mobile bid adjustment that can be entered into AdWords.

Iterate and test
As with all online marketing techniques, mobile bid adjustments aren’t something you should just “set and forget.” Frequent iteration and testing will help you account for changes in seasonality or business operations.  Due to varying screen sizes on mobile, we also recommend that you keep a close eye on your mobile impression share so that your ads show in the top positions.

Learn more
To learn more about mobile bid adjustments, visit the AdWords Help Center or watch this recording of this hangout on air, “Enhanced Campaigns: Optimizing Mobile Strategy.

To use mobile bid adjustments, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns to enhanced campaigns. Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin automatically upgrading all campaigns.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into ways you can use tools like conversion optimizer and eCPC to automate your bid settings based on specific business goals like ROI.

Posted by Andy Miller, Head of Mobile Search Solutions


Explore the future of digital marketing at thinkDoubleClick, June 4th

| 7:00 AM

What’s the future of digital media and marketing? How are CMOs thinking about leveraging digital to reach and engage audiences? What marketing channels are proving most effective in building brands digitally - paid, owned or earned?

These are some of the questions executives from across the digital marketing ecosystem will address at thinkDoubleClick, Google’s annual discussion on the state of digital.

Register now to join the event livestream on June 4th, 9:00 AM - Noon Pacific. Registration enables you to participate in the conversation, and ask speakers and panelists your questions with #thinkDCLK.

thinkDoubleClick 2013 speakers include:

We look forward to seeing you on June 4th!

Missed last year’s event? It’s not too late to catch up with the videos below.

Posted by Scott Brown, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick