Tech Treats: 25.04.16

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!

Google ads now appear in Local Finder results and Google Maps becomes a part of the Search Network

Following the recent changes to right hand ads in search results, Google has announced further plans to shake-up how ads appear through the AdWords platform.

Last week, a number of users noticed that paid ads were appearing in Local Finder results. Displayed directly above the local three-pack in the main search results, the ads feature standard details such as your address, contact number and opening hours.

Most critically, however, is Google announcing that Google Maps would no longer be a Search Partner. They will now be considered an extension, which means advertisers that use location extensions won’t be able to opt out of serving ads here.

The TJM take: It was only a matter of time before Google looked to monetise the maps. If your AdWords account is being run well, you should see a benefit, and it's likely that these new links will attract a large amount of traffic.

We will be adding this for our clients where applicable, but if you are not one of our clients and want a helping hand, please get in touch.

Shares fall at Alphabet, mobile confounds the plans

Despite reports that revenue for Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is up by 17%, shareholders are left disappointed with shares sliding by 6%.

Additionally, with the move to mobile accelerating (yet the mobile CPC remaining typically lower than desktop), the average CPC is also down by 9%.

The TJM take: We feel there are a few trends going on here. Firstly, mobile users (for the most part), are less likely to convert directly, hence the lower click costs. Until websites can make sales as easy as they are through desktop (and we are starting to see this from the likes of Facebook), then the move to mobile is going to impact revenue.

This brings us to how ROI is tracked- digital has always been a great medium for tracking this as there’s an advert, a click, and then a conversion. This straight line can be easily tracked and reported on.

Where multiple platforms are now involved (desktop, mobile and tablet, plus work and home variants) and adverts are not always being clicked on, reporting is being clouded. This is annoying for advertisers as the ROI is not always 100% clear. For advertising platforms, however, there’s stunting growth where companies are looking for 100% provable ROI.

Google is probably suffering more from this lack of transparent ROI than most. It is the ‘go to’ search engine on most platforms, and has the lion’s share of advertising revenue for good reason. However, as Google apps are not as ubiquitous as Facebook, people don’t always log into the same account on multiple devices (the partner’s iPad is fair game in most houses). Because of this, it’s not possible to know with certainty which devices are associated with which people.

Our suggestion (especially if you are a mobile focused advertiser), is that you cut Google a bit of slack knowing that the CPAs are probably 10-20% better than reported!

Attract more customers with Google Manufacturer Centre

Last year, Google released Manufacturer Centre, a free tool that would provide customers with more information through Shopping ads and other Google advertising services.

The tool works by allowing manufacturers to upload product data directly to the platform. This can then be matched to individual product listing ads. The aim is to ensure potential buyers are provided with as much relevant information as possible, leading to an increase in conversions.

Following the release, Google reports that Bosch has seen a 4% conversion uplift from uploading richer product data.

The TJM take: With a number of brands reporting an increase in conversions,  you should definitely be making the most of this tool if you are a selling products where it is applicable. For help using this tool, contact our team.

Google expands Home Service Ads

In 2015, Google announced the release of Home Service Ads, a previously unseen feature that enabled businesses to easily offer home services in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Available for the likes of locksmiths, plumbers and home cleaners, Home Service Ads allow customers to leave reviews on your company’s own profile page, as well as making requesting a quote as easy as filling out a form in the right-hand side of the search results.

Following its initial roll out in San Francisco, Google is planning to expand this feature to businesses in Sacramento, California.

The TJM take: We think this will be a great feature for increasing enquiries, and we’re eagerly waiting for it to be released in the UK.

Google to release new travel assistant app

Google plans to roll out a beta of its own travel assistant app, various sources have reported this week.

The beta, will be available for Android and iPhone, is due to be released sometime in the coming week. It will originally be rolled out to selected members of Google’s Local Guides, a group of users that write reviews for Google Maps locations.

At the moment, Google are keeping tight-lipped on the app’s features and functionality. However, a spokesperson for Google has said: "we love to travel and are hard at work dreaming up new ways to make the travel experience hassle-free.”

The TJM take: With possible similarities to the likes of TripAdvisor, this looks like it could be disruptor in the market. This also followed talk of Google removing the comparison function from search results- is an ‘app for everything’ to follow?

Are there any topics you’d like covered in future Tech Treats updates? Send us a message on social media or drop us an email.

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