In the light of all the AdWords changes currently underway, we have to consider how it will transform the user experience since such a significant number of users are exited to continue using the tool in the next year. We’ve mentioned changes to AdRank threshold, the repercussions of using more artificial intelligence for much of the computing functions that were once done by humans in the light of the new innovations introduced at the Google Marketing Next 2017. And yes, we can’t forget Exact Match and Google’s recent decision to disregard word order and function words when triggering these ads, which is expected to affect the ROI of many businesses worldwide, causing them to potentially stop using AdWords altogether. But quite interesting, there is another recent change which unlike the previously mentioned innovations, is intended to provide more transparent data so that actionable insights can be made specifically on mobile phones, not just on the Google Display Network, but also on YouTube and another Google Platform called DataClick. Referred to as Ads Data Hub, this change has been well received, especially with the significant rise in mobile search queries; however, Ads Data Hub is riddled with limitations in the type of data that is presented and how it is presented, so we have to consider whether the tool will really be as beneficial to businesses as expected, especially since data can only be used for analytical purposes.
Ok so let’s get right into this.
Ads Data Hub. We mentioned there will be more transparent data provided on mobile phones in both Google Display Network, YouTube and another Google Platform called DataClick. Yes, these are exciting changes, especially when you consider the dramatic rise in mobile search queries and the efforts already being made to accommodate mobile browsers with features like ad customizers and the new development of the AdWords IF Functionality. This feature allows advertisers to customize their ads based on device & retargeting list membership and shows text that is inserted in the syntax of your ad that is triggered when a relevant search query is made. You can learn how set up these ads here.
Ok, so this is great. However, there are some downsides to the feature that really should be acknowledged before businesses assume it will bring them success just because it’s a new feature. For one thing, transparency in data only applies to impression-level data across mobile devices on an infrastructure based in Google Cloud which is supposed to allow advertisers to draw upon actionable insights so they can maneuver more successfully in the future. But unfortunately, in order to get more detailed data, advertisers must bring their own set of data, if, for example, they want to identify the consumer journey and combine it with Google’s ad data to discern what the conversion path looks like. Yes, this maybe insightful; however, no other data can be extracted from the tool, and if you really aren’t using channels like YouTube or Data Click, it may not be worth the hassle of even going through the process when you have other features that more specifically address the needs of your campaigns. This isn’t to say that Ads Data Hub isn’t an effective tool which has yielded to success for those advertisers who use the feature. But even as they develop more information from the tool, advertisers cannot act on the insights, which in ways defeats the purpose of even using the feature, and winds up being a pointless expenditure of time and potentially money if marketers can’t generate revenue directly from what they’ve evaluated.
So really, it’s more about looking at your options and discerning if the function of the feature will help you meet your needs. If you are using YouTube when promoting your products and services, and notice many of the relevant queries are coming from mobile phones, then it maybe wise to use the feature to develop actionable insights on how you can continue to develop ads that appeal to users. But just be weary. Even if the tool seems to fit your needs, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that you will succeed with it. You may need more than impression-level data to generate more traffic to the desired channel and a bit of trial and error to discern if those insights will bring you success in the long run.