On July 24, Google AdWords will be no more. In its place will be Google Ads, with a new interface and Help Center, among other changes. The switch to Google Ads will be particularly significant for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) due to several new features designed specifically for these types of companies.
Why the Change?
Google AdWords launched in 2000, making it nearly 20 years old. Over the course of the last two decades, digital ads have undergone significant changes. These stem mostly from the increased use of mobile and the greater number of tasks now carried out online, all of which bring with them opportunities to run more ads in different formats. While this has been great for online advertisers, it has also made things more complicated.
Google is seeking to simplify things with the new Google Ads. One of its purposes is to help marketers make the best decisions for their businesses. This is particularly useful for SMBs, as they often struggle to compete with larger businesses. Their smaller budgets make it especially important to direct ad dollars in the right direction, but it is often difficult to know exactly what to do with campaigns.
As part of the rebranding, Google is releasing Smart campaigns, the new default for small businesses. Smart campaigns will work by allowing advertisers to specify what action they want to prioritize, such as phone calls, store visits, or purchases. Smart campaigns will use machine learning to optimize ads and increase the desired action. Google even determines which users are likely to be interested in what the business offers and will present ads to this audience.
One feature of Smart campaigns is Image Picker. Advertisers upload three images or choose three from suggestions that Google provides. Google then tests combinations of images with text to find the best results.
Smart campaigns are just one of the new campaign types. Google will be announcing more before the launch of Google Ads.
Google Marketing Platform
In addition to the change from AdWords to Google Ads, DoubleClick and the Google Analytics 360 Suite will be joining together to become Google Marketing Platform. This is aimed at improving integration between ads and analytics. With Google Marketing Platform, you will no longer need to separate planning and measuring ads from purchase and optimization.
One feature will be Display & Video 360. This will include features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center to promote collaboration in the design and execution campaigns. Little is known about what exactly this feature will involve, but more information is coming soon.
Google Ad Manager
A third rebrand is the unification of DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange to become Google Ad Manager. This will improve content creation and management capabilities for publishers.
As your campaigns will run the same as before in terms of performance, navigation, and reporting, you have nothing to worry about. You can continue using your ads without adapting your strategy. However, when Google Ads rolls out, you should start taking advantage of new features immediately and improve your presence through enhanced targeting, better-optimized ads, and collaboration capabilities.