Pay Close Attention to the Top 3 Google Ad Priorities of 2022

Mar 23, 2022

Google is at it again.

After two years of pandemic-fueled changes to the ways consumers think and act, the tech giant is once again retooling its focus in 2022.

Three existing priorities are being enhanced, more or less, to deliver a more consummate customer experience:

  • Automation
  • Measurement
  • Privacy

The question you – the consumer – need to ask yourself, however, is this: will Google’s new focus benefit my company in any way? And if so, how do I leverage it?

More on that in a bit (Hint: we urge caution on several fronts). First, let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Approaching Automation in a New Way

According to Google’s Vice President and General Manager, Jerry Dischler, more than 80 percent of Google advertisers have shifted to automated bidding to streamline processes and boost performance.

For that reason, Google’s Performance Max and Discovery campaign types will take the spotlight in 2022.

Goal-based Performance Max campaigns are used to help Google advertisers tap into the entirety of their Google Ad’s inventory – Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, etc. – from one source, and are touted as yielding a 13% boost, on average, in total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.

Similarly, Discovery campaigns have helped users reach out to more potential customers, by tapping into a network of more than 3 billion highly motivated individuals via feeds like YouTube Home and Watch Next.

Broad match keywords, responsive search ads, and Smart Bidding are also being recommended for customers using single-channel Search and Display campaigns.

Mining Data with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ Attitude

Advertisers were thrown for a loop last summer with the advent of Apple’s iOS14 update, which required apps that share user data with third parties to give users a heads-up before doing so.

Data is the name of the game, and without good intelligence to gather and analyze – marketing takes a big hit.

In 2022, Google is placing new emphasis on measurement and privacy, with solutions that make the former possible while simultaneously respecting the latter.

  • Enhanced conversions supplement existing conversion tags by sending hashed first-party conversion data from an advertiser’s website to Google in a privacy-safe way.
  • Consent mode allows advertisers to adjust how Google tags behave based on the consent status of their users.
  • Conversion modeling involves the implementation of machine learning to gauge marketing efforts when a subset of conversions can’t be monitored. It’s particularly critical when users don’t consent to ad or analytics cookies.
  • Data-driven attribution uses data from advertiser accounts to determine the keywords, campaigns, and ads that are most impactful for you, and gives credit for conversions based on how users engage with these components.

Google is also banging the drum for privacy, in an effort to help advertisers build direct relationships with their customers, keep the aforementioned measurements effective and at the forefront, and ensure that users’ ads remain relevant.

What It All Means for You

Google makes it all sound great, doesn’t it?

And for the right advertiser, it certainly can be.

But be aware that one size does not fit all when it comes to Google’s recent retooling.

You need someone who understands your business so that they can match the right campaign with the right product or service, where applicable.

Performance Max precautions

Yes, Google is pushing more automation to streamline advertising processes for users. There are some potential drawbacks to Performance Max campaigns, however. Mainly, you don’t get to see the man (i.e. customers) behind the curtain.

Similar to the way responsive ads operate, users provide headlines, descriptions, logos, images, and videos, and Google churns out the resulting ads, targeting and delivering them across all Google platforms.

But performance reporting metrics are limited. While you can add multiple asset groups, you will not receive performance metrics data on the assets. Assets are ranked against others of the same type, and assigned one of three ratings:

  • Low – performs low against all other assets of the same type across properties.
  • Good – performs well enough against other assets of the same type.
  • Best – one of the highest performers of all assets of the same type on one or more properties.

So, the veil isn’t completely lifted on what’s working and what’s not and adjusting performance can be an uphill battle due to lack of data.

Sure, you can guesstimate in a roundabout way. But is that what you’re paying for?

Discovering more about Discovery campaigns

Meanwhile, Discovery campaigns are the next big thing in immersive and interactive visual storytelling. Users can showcase one image of their product or service, or implement an engaging carousel designed to target consumers when they’re actively looking for something they haven’t seen before.

The issue is that Discovery ads are geared almost entirely toward consumable goods and wares, like “red shoes” or “party supplies.”  That’s great for shoemakers and balloon vendors – but that’s not necessarily going to be a big deal if you’re a plumber or a deck installer.

It’s all about matching the products and/or services you provide to the campaign that best showcases your brand. This is where PPC experts and digital marketers can help guide you.

The thing about broad match keywords

When it comes to broad match keywords, tread carefully.

IMPACT rarely uses them, because the number of irrelevant matches that results is often staggering, and a waste of our clients’ time and money.

Unlike the discontinued modified broad match, which allowed users to drill down on specific targets, the danger with broad match is that it frequently casts too large of a net, potentially pairing your ad with undesirable search queries.

Consider a specialized hardware company that deals in high-end, custom fastenings. Broad match keywords may target something as simple as “nuts” or “bolts,” which will inevitably match with everything from big-box hardware stores like Home Depot to mom-and-pop stores and beyond, which does nothing but eat up a budget unceremoniously. Broad exposure isn’t synonymous with proper exposure.

So, keep in mind: not all of the bells and whistles Google is pushing are good for you, particularly if you’re strictly a service-oriented industry. Sometimes, they’re just good for Google.

Lisa Brousseau

Digital Marketing Specialist

IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations, LLC

IMPACT Marketing & Public Relations, LLC

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