Over the past several years, Google and marketers have experienced something of a love-hate relationship. While Google's advertising opportunities represent one of the most powerful marketing avenues around, their limitations on advertising, forever-evolving search algorithms, and some of the ways they handle metrics have led many marketers to bang their heads against their desks in frustration.
But, lately, Google has taken a number of steps to reach out to marketers. Some of Google's changes made last year and this year have made marketers' jobs easier.
If you haven't heard already, read 'em and smile.
Helping Marketers Connect With Customers in Those All-Important 'Micro-Moments'
Micro-moments occur when people turn to a device to act on a need.
Advertisers that can connect with consumers during a micro-moment have made a real impact on those consumers' lives, and they've gone a long way toward connecting with a customer for life.
But how do you, as the digital marketer, optimize for these micro-moments?
First of all, think mobile. If your site isn't optimized for mobile visitors, you're going to lose out on the traffic generated by micro-moments. You need to have a responsive site that provides the user with the same content they'd see on your desktop site.
Second, think "in the moment." Put yourself in the shoes of someone in a micro-moment. What types of questions would they ask? Google puts micro-moments into four separate categories based on search intent: want-to-know, want-to-go, want-to-do, and want-to-buy moments. Create content relevant to each type.
Improving Location-Related Searches for Easier Inbound Marketing Strategy
These searches include everything from a local retailer of a popular fashion item (who doesn't need neon, tie-dye yoga pants?), a local restaurant that specializes in the hottest new item foodies are craving (carrot-flavored hummus, anyone?), or the next off-Broadway show coming to town ("An American in Paris" should make an excellent date night fodder).
Google has improved AdWords by extending the number of characters that can be included in the headline and description. You now have a second headline (both 30 characters) to work with, as well as a longer, single description (80 characters rather than two 35-character descriptions). This allows marketers more space to customize ads for location-related searches.
Improving Paid Searches
According to Google, about 30 percent of all searches are related to location-specific information.
Google Paid Search has also gotten a facelift. Marketers can now bid separately on smartphones, tablets, and desktops, as well as target ads based on demographics. This gives marketing firms the ability to offer more targeted inbound marketing services based on the devices, age groups, household incomes, parental statuses, and genders that businesses want to target with their campaigns.
Another big change is that Google has added promotions to text ads. Promotion extensions in ads allow marketers to showcase current deals and offers, rather than spending precious ad copy on explaning them. This frees up space, and also draws the eye of the user.