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8 min read

What’s new in PPC: September 2022 industry updates

Welcome to the latest blog from  Impression on Paid Search Industry Updates, where we uncover the latest PPC trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.

Keep reading to discover:

As usual, traffic light imagery is featured throughout to indicate the importance of each new update – red denoting a priority update, green representing a less important update and amber lying somewhere in the middle.

Google launches placement reports in Performance Max

With Performance Max campaigns fully replacing Smart Shopping campaigns since August, there is a growing need for more granular data and insights to be available in Google Ads. This would help marketers gain a better understanding of how their campaigns are doing and how they can optimise them. Recently, Google announced the launch of a feature within Performance Max, which marketers were long waiting for – Placement Reports.

Placements Reports for Performance Max can easily be found under Predefined reports in Google Ads, as shown below. Here, marketers can find all of the websites and mobile applications ads appeared on, as well as seeing the number of impressions for the dates you select. Besides seeing a predefined report, Google also allows marketers to create a custom report for placements, by using the attribute “Performance Max placement” in the Reports tab.

What does this mean for me? 

Now marketers have a bit more insight into their Performance Max campaign and can differentiate between how much of their impressions come from placements compared to search or display impressions. Moreover, they can see where their ads showed most often and plan their marketing decisions accordingly. For instance, seeing the webpage or mobile app where their ads appeared more, marketers could choose to target audiences most interested in those placements.

Although this information is helpful in painting an overall picture, the report is still limited, allowing marketers to see placements only from Google’s owned and operated platforms such as YouTube, Gmail, Discover, but not Display for instance. Moreover, Google only shows the number of impressions at the account or campaign level, but does not include any other performance metrics such as clicks or conversions. Presumably, in the next few months, Google will start rolling out more performance metrics on these reports, to offer marketers all the tools they need to run successful Performance Max campaigns.

Google rolls out value adjustments for conversion goals

To allow businesses to further optimise towards their KPIs, Google has rolled out a new functionality within Google Ads, which allows marketers to set value adjustments to their conversion goals. This function is available under the Tools and Settings tab in Conversions, and allows for value rules to be applied to shop visits and shop sales conversion goals, as well as provides a range of conditions to be applied for further granularity. Moreover, this new update also means marketers have more control over smart bidding in their campaigns.

What does this mean for me? 

Businesses are more equipped with tools to allow their strategy to be fully optimised towards their KPIs. If a business values online sales more, it could decrease the value of store visits by a certain percentage to allow Google’s smart bidding to optimise more towards ecommerce sales. This is particularly useful for marketers during peak season, as the online and offline trends are evolving differently between Black Friday, Cyber Week and Christmas, and shopping patterns differ for customers for each business.

Furthermore, this new feature allows marketers to select conditions to their rules such as geographic location, audiences and devices, which enables further customisation of the conversion goals. For instance, if a business considers shop visits from mobile devices to have a higher importance, it could create a rule to multiply shop visit value by a certain amount specifically for users coming from mobile devices.

This Google Ads function showcases even more how essential smart bidding is becoming and how marketers still have control over the value-based bidding in their campaigns and over their conversion goals.

New features in Shopping Campaigns

As the peak season in ecommerce is drawing closer, Google has recently announced the addition of 3 new attributes in their shopping campaigns that will give valuable insight to advertisers on their merchant feeds and ad campaigns. 

Shipping & returns annotations will allow merchants to be able to provide the expected delivery date and the right to free returns. This will have the power to push consumers to shop more freely without concerns about stock issues. Estimated delivery times such as “Get it by 18/10”  will also help to drive more conversions. 

Google has also announced that more than 55% of shoppers looking to purchase this time of year tend to not buy anything until their desired items go on sale. Merchants and advertisers will now be able to add sales and promotions via the Deals Content API which will make uploading and managing deals at scale more efficient.

Product-specific insights are another valuable tool in the Google Ads products tab that will help advertisers identify underperforming offers and products with missing feed attributes in order to deliver comparable bidding strategies against competitors.

What does this mean for me? 

In this time of economic uncertainty and the lack of confidence consumers had last year surrounding delivery times, it is absolutely essential that marketers can help to diminish any concerns shoppers may have around supply chain issues using the expected shipping and delivery dates feature. 

Marketers will now have a deeper understanding of their shopping campaigns with all these new tools, highlighting how valuable they will be during this holiday season. It is essential that merchants and advertisers start testing these features now in order to plan for the peak months ahead.

Digital out-of-home Display and Video ads

Google has introduced digital out-of-home ads in Display & Video 360 so that brands have the ability to reach consumers at a number of different touchpoints outside of the comfort of their home. This method of in-public advertising will use screens in public spaces such as bus stops, shopping centres, stadiums and more. 

One of the great features of in-public display & video ads is that brands will be able to run varying versions of their ads that can be based on specific locations as well as being tailored to the time of day. 

ASOS was part of some earlier testing, placing these digital billboards in heavy footfall areas to drive consideration amongst consumers. The marketing team at ASOS arranged Programmatic Guaranteed deals alongside leading publishers like JCDecaux in the UK, following this up with a geo experiment that observed a 14% increase in brand awareness as well as a 22% increase in brand consideration.

What does this mean for me? 

The ability for brands to show their ads at certain times, in multiple locations will help to increase brand awareness on a much larger scale. It is particularly important for brands that cover global ground as it gives them the opportunity to provide more localised versions of their ads.

Marketers will gain control over strategy, reporting and optimisation all from one dashboard. Measuring the advertisement’s impact is estimated through publishers providing an impression multiplier that estimates the number of people viewing the ad. As this is an estimate, the data that is conceptualised is not based on the individuals themselves, rather a more contextual format, therefore smaller businesses may struggle to justify their use.

Look out for our next blog in October for more paid search industry updates to inspire your PPC strategy. If you want to talk about your business’ aspirations, get in touch!