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Ramp up your calls with call bid adjustments

Click-to-call ads were introduced seven years ago to help you connect with more customers over the phone. Since then, we’ve heard one thing loud and clear: you want to drive even more calls. And it’s no surprise—on average, calls convert three times better than web clicks.1

To help you generate more calls, we’re rolling out new call bid adjustments, which allow you to control how often the call option appears with your search ads. Use call bid adjustments to increase bids on campaigns that drive valuable phone calls. For example, if you’re a travel advertiser, you may see higher order values from calls because it can be easier to cross-sell rental cars, group tours and other vacation add-ons during a live conversation. Raise your call bid adjustments to show call extensions more frequently and drive more of these high-value call conversions.

“Calls are an important source of new customer leads for us. Call bid adjustments help us improve our click-to-call visibility and ensure we’re appearing in the top 1-2 positions on mobile. Our on-the-go customers convert quickly within a short window of time, so it’s critical to be front and center, and show them that we offer storage units at the right price and location. Since implementing call bid adjustments and bidding higher for calls, we’ve seen a 37% increase in call volume with a 22% decrease in average cost-per-call.”
– Stephanie Christensen, Paid Acquisition Analyst

“Our customers want to speak to a real person to make sure they’re choosing the right medical alert system for themselves or a loved one. When we can walk them through our offerings live and give them that peace of mind, they have a 30% likelihood of converting, which is nearly 2x higher than with web leads. Someone connecting with us from a call extension is more valuable than a website click, so call bid adjustments allow us to optimize for that greater value. We’ve worked with our agency, Metric Theory, to increase bids specifically for calls and improve how often the call extension shows. As a result, we’ve generated 20% higher call volume while decreasing the cost by 60%.”
– 
Matt Guerrieri, Director of Marketing

“Call bid adjustments have helped us meet a key marketing objective by delivering a strong uplift in performance year over year, with a 79% increase in click to call rate. It has also enabled us to target our audience to generate higher value insurance policies. The flexibility of the service allows us to make the call option more prominent, thereby driving a greater number of relevant calls. Calls deliver a significant proportion of our monthly leads and we are currently working to push call bid adjustments even harder.”
– Anthony Gamble, Head of Digital Marketing (Acquisition)


Call bid adjustments are available exclusively in the new AdWords experience, which will roll out to all advertisers by the end of the year.2 To learn more about AdWords calls solutions, visit our Help Center. You can also check out best practices for maximizing calls performance and improving the caller experience.

Posted by Amit Agarwal, Senior Product Manager, Calls & Messaging


1. Google internal data, 2016
2. The new AdWords experience is rolling out to all advertisers throughout 2017. Once you have access, you can easily switch back and forth between the new and previous experiences.

Building a better web for everyone

The vast majority of online content creators fund their work with advertising. That means they want the ads that run on their sites to be compelling, useful and engaging–ones that people actually want to see and interact with. But the reality is, it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web—like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page. These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads—taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.

We believe online ads should be better. That’s why we joined the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving online ads. The group’s recently announced Better Ads Standards provide clear, public, data-driven guidance for how the industry can improve ads for consumers, and today I’d like to share how we plan to support it.

New tools for publishers

The new Ad Experience Report helps publishers understand how the Better Ads Standards apply to their own websites. It provides screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences we’ve identified to make it easy to find and fix the issues. For a full list of ads to use instead, publishers can visit our new best practices guide.

The Ad Experience Report

We’ve always put our users first and support the Coalition’s Better Ads efforts and standards. The report’s videos and screenshots are incredibly helpful and make the Coalition’s research actionable for our teams. We’re impressed with the level of detail and transparency Google is providing and commend this initiative.– Troy Young, President, Hearst Digital Media

As part of our efforts to maintain a sustainable web for everyone, we want to help publishers with good ad experiences get paid for their work. With Funding Choices, now in beta, publishers can show a customized message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor.

Looking at the past few years, we’ve come to realize that to the rise of ad blockers has negatively impacted potential revenue across all of our properties, particularly in Europe. Funding Choices allows us to have a conversation with visitors using ad blockers on how our business works, and provide them a choice to whitelist or contribute to our newsroom. We’ve found that people are generally open to whitelisting once they understand how content gets created.” – Marc Boswell, SVP, Sales Operations & Client Services, Business Insider

Funding Choices is available to publishers in North America, U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand and will be rolling out in other countries later this year. Publishers should visit our new best practices guide for tips on crafting the right message for their audience.

Chrome support for the Better Ads Standards

Chrome has always focused on giving you the best possible experience browsing the web. For example, it prevents pop-ups in new tabs based on the fact that they are annoying. In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups, we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.

Looking ahead

We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.

We look forward to working with the Coalition as they develop marketplace guidelines for supporting the Better Ads Standards, and are committed to working closely with the entire industry—including groups like the IAB, IAB Europe, the DCN, the WFA, the ANA and the 4A’s, advertisers, agencies and publishers—to roll out these changes in a way that makes sense for users and the broader ads ecosystem.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

Building a better web for everyone

The vast majority of online content creators fund their work with advertising. That means they want the ads that run on their sites to be compelling, useful and engaging–ones that people actually want to see and interact with. But the reality is, it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web—like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page. These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads—taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.

We believe online ads should be better. That’s why we joined the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving online ads. The group’s recently announced Better Ads Standards provide clear, public, data-driven guidance for how the industry can improve ads for consumers, and today I’d like to share how we plan to support it.

New tools for publishers

The new Ad Experience Report helps publishers understand how the Better Ads Standards apply to their own websites. It provides screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences we’ve identified to make it easy to find and fix the issues. For a full list of ads to use instead, publishers can visit our new best practices guide.

We’ve always put our users first and support the Coalition’s Better Ads efforts and standards. The report’s videos and screenshots are incredibly helpful and make the Coalition’s research actionable for our teams. We’re impressed with the level of detail and transparency Google is providing and commend this initiative.– Troy Young, President, Hearst Digital Media

As part of our efforts to maintain a sustainable web for everyone, we want to help publishers with good ad experiences get paid for their work. With Funding Choices, now in beta, publishers can show a customized message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor.

Over the past year we’ve lost a substantial portion of revenue to ad blockers across all of our properties. Funding Choices allows us to have a conversation with visitors using ad blockers in a way we weren’t able to before. We’ve found that people are generally open to whitelisting once they understand that adblockers negatively impact our ability to create content for them—you just need a way to start that conversation.Sam Savage, CEO, Comicbook.com

Funding Choices is available to publishers in North America, U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand and will be rolling out in other countries later this year. Publishers should visit our new best practices guide for tips on crafting the right message for their audience.

Chrome support for the Better Ads Standards

Chrome has always focused on giving you the best possible experience browsing the web. For example, it prevents pop-ups in new tabs based on the fact that they are annoying. In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups, we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.

Looking ahead

We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.

We look forward to working with the Coalition as they develop marketplace guidelines for supporting the Better Ads Standards, and are committed to working closely with the entire industry—including groups like the IAB, IAB Europe, the WFA, the ANA and the 4A’s, advertisers, agencies and publishers—to roll out these changes in a way that makes sense for users and the broader ads ecosystem.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

Maximize conversions with Smart Bidding

When your goal is to get the most conversions from your marketing budget, it can be challenging to set the right bid and bid adjustments. Where do you spend your next dollar to get your next customer? To help you make the most out of your budget, we’re introducing Maximize Conversions: a new Smart Bidding strategy that automatically sets the right bid for each auction to help get you the most conversions within your daily budget.

For example, if you’re a clothing retailer trying to quickly sell last season’s styles, Maximize Conversions will help you get you the most number of sales from your existing budget by factoring signals like remarketing lists, time of day, browser and operating system into bids. Smart Bidding uses Google’s machine learning technology to optimize for conversions across every ad auction—also known as “auction-time bidding”.

Trex, a luxury composite decking company, used Maximize Conversions to build brand awareness and saw a 73% increase in conversion volume:

“We wanted to increase the conversion volume of our high-priority campaigns without raising budgets. In our first test campaign, we saw a 73% increase in conversion volume, 59% increase in CVR , and 42% decrease in CPA, with no change in our spending.” – Chris LaRoche, PPC Team Lead at Seer Interactive

It’s easy to set up Maximize Conversions. Simply go to your campaign’s settings page, click “Change bid strategy” and select Maximize Conversions. You can test Maximize Conversions, get insights and monitor your bid strategies to understand their performance.

Set your bid strategy to “Maximize Conversions” to get the most out of your budget

Learn more about maximizing conversions with Smart Bidding in the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Josh Moser, Product Manager, AdWords

Google Optimize and Google Surveys 360 Join Forces with AdWords

AdWords users get two new ways to understand and better serve their customers


Here’s good news for AdWords advertisers: as you heard yesterday at Google Marketing Next powerful new integrations with Google Optimize and Google Surveys 360 are coming soon to your accounts. The Surveys 360 integration is now live in the U.S. and Canada; the integration with Optimize will be available in the coming weeks.

Optimize is a A/B testing and personalization tool that makes it easy to see which changes to your web pages work best for your users and your business. Surveys 360 is a market research tool that helps enterprises gather fast, reliable insights from real people online and on mobile.

Both new integrations with AdWords are designed with a simple goal: to make it easier than ever to understand and serve your potential customers. Here’s some detail on both.

Better landing pages, better results

Advertisers naturally spend a lot of time thinking about their ads. What gets people to click? Will the words “free shipping” sell more than “10% off”? AdWords has always made it easy to create many different ad campaigns to see which performs best. But the ad is only part of the experience.

The new integration between Optimize and AdWords makes it easier than ever to take the next step: to improve and personalize the landing pages those ads lead to. The integration gives marketers a fast way to create and test custom landing pages based on the keyword, ad group, or campaign associated with an ad – with no need to deal with destination URLs or messy query parameters.

It’s worth it. 90% of organizations that invest in personalized consumer experiences agree that they contribute significantly to more business profitability.1

Suppose a hotel wants to improve its landing page for the keyword family friendly hotels. Using Optimize, the hotel can create and test a new variation of the landing page, one that features an image of a family enjoying themselves at the hotel pool, instead of a generic image of the hotel exterior. If the new page leads to more reservations, they’ve got a win. Then it’s easy to keep testing headlines and images that might also do well.

Target any combination of your AdWords account, campaign, ad group, and keywords directly in Optimize.

The AdWords integration will be available for both Optimize and Optimize 360 and will be available to start using in the coming weeks. If you haven’t tried Optimize, you can get started for free here

Why not ask your customers?

We all need faster insights these days. That’s one reason we added Surveys 360 to the Google Analytics 360 Suite last year. Surveys 360 lets you ask questions directly to a pool of 15 million real people as they browse the web or use their smartphone. The results arrive in days, or sometimes in just hours.

Now, what if you could combine that kind of speedy real-world feedback with the wealth of data that you already have in AdWords? Then you could understand both what users do and why they do it.

That’s what we’re announcing today: remarketing lists published in AdWords are now available in Surveys 360 for surveys targeting. That means you can survey the users on your remarketing lists to find out what worked best for them (or didn’t).

Want to know why shoppers abandoned their shopping carts? Ask them! Curious about how many customers converted due to your new free shipping offer? Ask them!

Easily target your survey to remarketing audiences published in AdWords

Then change your marketing message on the spot to match what you learn. If your survey shows that the words “family friendly” are what brought customers to your hotel, you can build new ad groups to take advantage of this information. (You might even use Optimize to test new landing pages with that phrase!)

Here’s an early report from the online shopping site Jet:

Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) have been an effective way for Jet.com to drive website traffic, but we needed to optimize for conversions. Surveys 360 connected us directly to our customers through remarketing audiences to determine which factors influence their purchase decisions most. The results were clear: customers care most about free, fast shipping and our free returns. We used this insight to revise our messaging in PLAs and across Jet.com which quickly improved performance.
– Ben Babcock, Director of UX Research at Jet.com

Getting started is easy: Just log into your Surveys 360 account with the same credentials used for your AdWords account. When you select “remarketing audience” for survey targeting, your AdWords remarketing lists will be automatically pulled into Surveys 360 and ready for use. Learn more.

All together now

These new integrations are one more way for Optimize and Surveys 360 users to make the most of their AdWords investments. We hope you’ll find them a fast and simple way to understand what works for your customers and give them more of what they want.

Posted by Michael Cumberbatch, Product Manager, Surveys 360 and Rotimi Iziduh, Product Manager, Optimize


1. Econsultancy and Google, Marketing and Measurement Survey, March 2017

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