Thousands of savvy marketers tuned in to Google’s annual livestream this week, eager to hear what new bells and whistles 2017 holds for the paid search world. Google, in true form, was there with ceiling-high screens, new statistics galore, and a host of updates across all their products!  Don’t worry about watching the hour-long session to get caught up, just read on for the highlights that you need to know to improve PPC performance this year.

Stay up to date on new Google features

Stay up to date on Google’s upcoming features in 2017. Image via Pixabay.

Consumer Patterns & Life Events for Gmail Ads

Google recently introduced consumer pattern and life event targeting on YouTube, which allows you to target events like graduations, weddings, or new house or apartment moves. This is particularly useful for advertisers targeting searchers when they are most likely to purchase certain items. These categories are built on intent-rich signals, like search history and video views, and will be fully rolled out across Gmail Ads to use in combination with existing GDN targeting later this year. These will be particularly impactful for advertisers with products that correlate to certain life events, such as furniture and household furnishings, appliances, or wedding attire.

In-Market Audiences for Search Ads

Yep, you read that right – every in-market audience target currently available on the GDN and YouTube will now be available on Search! This is a huge growth opportunity for most accounts, as we can now qualify higher funnel traffic using user behavior through in-market segments. If you’re a wedding dress provider, you may not want to bid on general “ballroom gown” terms for the entire world, but how about someone searching “ballroom gown” who already has user behavior around bridal wear? That’s a much more relevant click, and likely worth the cost!

AMP Landing Pages for Search & AMP Display Ads

Site speed is crucial for mobile performance, sometimes surpassing even site aesthetic or design in importance. 87% of smartphone users turn to Search first in a moment of need, but every one-second delay on a website causes a 20% decrease in conversion rate, according to Google. AMP format pages and ads load in less than a second, so the expansion of AMP to landing pages and display ads should drive very real performance improvements for mobile advertisers. Display ads across the GDN will load up to five times faster than normal ads, making it much more likely that users will see your banners.

Import In-Store Transaction Data to AdWords

With search driving five billion annual in-store visits, connecting offline revenue to online ad campaigns has long been a battle for advertisers. We already know that searchers that click on a Google ad before visiting a store are 25% more likely to make a purchase. Now you’ll be able to import in-store order data into AdWords to sync that revenue to the campaign and device level. This will allow you to optimize your Search campaigns to increase in-store revenue and drive more online searchers to your store.

Google Attribution

Google opened this announcement by saying that “this year, we’re solving the attribution problem!” It’s a tall claim, but their new Google Attribution product may come close. Google Attribution is a new tool that unifies all data sets across AdWords, Analytics, and Doubleclick. The tool integrates them with a data-driven multi-touch attribution model to correctly value channels beyond last click. We’ll need to experiment to understand how impactful this attribution tool will be, but it is an exciting and promising release.

Full rollout of those features will be coming to AdWords over the coming months, so keep an eye on the interface and start testing them in your accounts! For a full recap of all other new features, head over to the Inside AdWords blog for further reading.