Digital marketing news update: Apple brings search ads to the App Store while Google Analytics introduces ‘Session Quality Scores’

Welcome to Tech Treats, our weekly feature where we provide our clients with the latest news on all things digital marketing. From current trends and innovations, to fresh tips on getting the most out of your marketing spend, we’ll ensure you’re always kept in the loop!

Apple introduces Search Ads for the App Store

Following a successful beta period that began in June, Apple has announced that search ads will soon be available in the App Store.

In fact, you’ll be seeing them sooner rather than later, as all publishers and developers will be able to take advantage of the new search ads from 5th October this year.

Up until now, they were only available for the iPhone and iPad in the US.

As Search Engine Land explains, Search Ads for the App Store will appear alongside the organic search results, which is not too dissimilar to Google’s own version for the Play Store. However, they differ in the fact that Apple will generate ad copy from the app’s metadata, while Google allows advertisers to enter a custom headline and description.

Apple’s search ads will also use the familiar “second price auction” and includes a keyword suggestion tool. Targeting is also available for customer types (e.g. those who have/haven’t downloaded), gender, age and location.

The TJM take: Though Search Ads for Apple definitely has good potential with their targeting options, they’re still a step behind Google who have been offering search ads in the Play Store for over a year.

There are also limitations in the fact that there appears to be only one ad visible per search. For bigger app developers, there may a bit of a battle to nab that spot!

Nonetheless, we are looking forward to exploring this in more detail for our clients.

Google Analytics introduces Session Quality Scores

In a recent blog post and keynote discussion at last week’s SMX East, it was announced that a number of new features would be made available for the Google Analytics Suite.

As Babak Pahlavan, senior director of product management for analytics solutions and measurement at Google revealed, the new products include Google Optimise, a free tool that integrates directly with Google Analytics and helps users test and optimise landing pages.

Other newly released products and features are the worldwide beta of Data Studio 360, as well as the addition of 20 new integrations for Tag Manager.

Most notably, however, is the introduction of the session quality score metric. Soon to be available in beta for both the free and paid versions of Google Analytics, it will use machine learning to predict the likelihood of a visitor making a purchase through your app or website.

Once identified, advertisers will be able to remarket to these visitors.

The TJM take: This is exciting stuff- we’ve been waiting for some form of a session quality score metric to become available for years and we can’t wait to test this for our clients in more detail.

Our thoughts so far? It’s a good first step in ensuring your remarketing ads are achieving the best ROI by filtering out the users that aren’t likely to convert.

Google’s Brand Lift reveals the impact of YouTube campaigns

Google has announced plans to extend the capabilities of ‘Brand Lift’, their product that aims to show advertisers the impact of YouTube campaigns.

The Brand Lift product, which Google has spent the last few years investing in, provides insight on the impact YouTube campaigns have on metrics such as brand awareness and purchase intent. However, it will now also show marketers how TV adverts can increase YouTube and Google searches for a brand compared to YouTube campaigns.

Interestingly, early tests found that compared to TV ads, YouTube generates almost 2x more searches than impressions.

As the Inside AdWords blog explains, as long as you’re running Brand Lift on both your TV and YouTube campaigns, they will be able to report on the aforementioned metrics.

The TJM take: More metrics to measure equals better results (through less time/money being spent on optimising the wrong platforms), and Brand Lift makes it easy for advertisers to compare the results of both platforms in one place.

We’re interested to see what other results the product yields in regards to the changing landscape of video.

Launch date is revealed for Facebook at Work

Facebook has announced that the launch event for their business platform, Facebook at Work, will be held on 10th October in London.

As Tech Crunch reports, the launch date was revealed in the invitations that were recently sent out by Facebook.

Although it is due to be released this month, Facebook started working on their new business product back in 2014. It was also tested in closed beta seven months later (in 2015).

So far, all we know is that although it will share Facebook’s user interface and functionality, Facebook at Work will have several different security features built-in. As Tech Crunch explains, this will ensure it’s a completely separate platform in terms of consuming and sharing users’ data.

The TJM take: Information on the new business platform is still fairly limited at the moment. However, we’re keen to see how it holds up against LinkedIn.

Will they be a worthy competitor or should they stick to consumers? Stay tuned…

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