At Google’s annual I/O event this past May, Google unveiled the new platform that will allow users a few different options to ensure the most relevant ads are being served to them across Google Search, YouTube, and Google Discover. Dubbed My Ad Center, here’s what the platform can do:
On April 22nd, we brought this plan to life. Throughout the US, our team members donated old clothes, recycled and reused different to-go food and drink options rather than opting for disposable items, and cleaned up different natural areas on Friday.
Our San Diego based team members joined our non-profit partner Wildcoast for a clean up and restoration day at Batiquitos Lagoon.
But most times, when pitching Google Ads as a viable channel for B2B companies, we often get some questions about Google Ads’ capabilities for B2B advertisers, and many companies wonder if it is really the right channel. This hesitancy has grown even more so, particularly with competitors out there like LinkedIn who have more specific targeting available, like “job title”. And while Google Ads doesn’t have targeting options that specific just yet, they do have a ton of features that we love for our B2B campaigns.
If you asked most PPC marketers what their biggest challenge is – many would answer the same. One of the trickiest things we do as paid search professionals, is run lead generation campaigns on Google Ads for a client or business that doesn’t pass back the true sales data to our team so that we can match up it up to our campaigns.
You may ask: WHAT! Why not? Truth is, many businesses struggle to create a tracking infrastructure that attributes credit to Google Ads within their CRM system, and for those who can tell leads are coming from Google Ads specifically, they often don’t know the best way to export and get that data matched back to our campaigns. Sure, there is the Offline Conversion Tracking feature available in Google Ads, but the setup is such an undertaking often requiring the modification of lead forms and customer relations management systems (CRMs), that most companies need multiple teams to play a role in getting this hooked up. And, it often just doesn’t happen.
If you’ve experienced this issue, whether you are on the marketing side or not, you’ve likely been mulling over how to understand and improve quality of leads when you can only really see the quantity of leads. If this sounds like you – let’s talk about one of the newest Google Ads features that we are hoping will be our favorite! It’s called Enhanced Lead Conversions.
What are Enhanced Lead Conversions?
Enhanced Lead Conversions is a new tracking capability that will allow PPC marketers to see true backend purchases and associated revenue generated from their Google Ads campaigns focused on driving leads. With proper setup (and maybe a little gusto), data will be available within Google Ads and with enough of it, could be used as an optimization lever. This is different than the Offline Conversion Tracking feature, because it doesn’t require you to adjust lead forms or the CRM itself. And, with enough sales data, this feature could allow accounts that have historically been “lead gen only” to use bid algorithms like Maximize Conversion Value and Target ROAS, which have always needed the revenue piece to function properly.
How Does Enhanced Lead Conversions Work?
Using the Global Site Tag, or through configuration in Google Tag Manager, Google will be able to collect and store email addresses and/or phone numbers on your website’s lead submission forms, saving that data into a hashed SHA256 list stored within Google Ads. Essentially, your first-party data would be privately stored within Google Ads. Then, as your CRM collects that data, and your sales team works through nurturing and closing those leads, you can export the closed deals and associated revenue from your CRM. Once you have downloaded the data, you can upload it into Google Ads, and they will look for a match from the closed lead to the hashed data they already stored. If there is a match, the data will be passed back to the ad that drove the conversion within Google Ads. This would give you the campaign, ad group, keyword and ad that drove the conversion. Can you imagine? All that data to work with!
Setting up Enhanced Conversion for Leads
There are two setup options available to start getting Enhanced Conversions for Leads data in your Google Ads account.
- Global Site Tag – If you currently have the Global Site Tag on your website, and not within a third-party tool or iFrame, you can set up enhanced conversions for leads through that tag by making a few changes to the configuration. Instructions for how to setup via the Global Site Tag can be found here.
- Google Tag Manager – If you use Google Tag Manager for conversion tracking, there are a few slight changes you can make to be able to track enhanced conversions for leads and those instructions can be found here.
Importing Your Sales Data into Google Ads
To get your CRM data into Google Ads, you can download a template from this help article or from Google Ads itself. Follow the instructions to get your data into the template. You may have to change some formatting to ensure Google can read the conversion data you are importing. Once that file is ready, you can upload it in the Google Ads Conversion section by clicking “Import Conversions”. If you plan to do this regularly, review all the available options as you can chose to have a live file uploaded on a schedule, as well as the one-time options that you may choose to do if you will upload data manually.
If you run heavy Google Shopping, you’ve likely been amazed at the performance obtainable through Google’s newer Smart Shopping campaigns, especially compared to the manual Shopping campaigns. Though they seem like a “black box” of sorts, without a lot of levers for PPC managers to pull (and no ability to add negatives) – we have to say, performance with Smart Shopping campaigns have been pretty stellar. The biggest drawback with them to date has been lack of detailed data and insights to communicate to our client teams, but performance-wise – they’ve been strong. So, we’re excited to hear Google announce that they’re further updating Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to a new campaign type called Performance Max. And, though there isn’t any more detail on the type of insights we’ll get from running them, Google alluded to giving us a bit more data to work with.
What is Performance Max?
Performance Max campaigns are an upgrade to the current Smart and Local Shopping campaigns, that heavily relies on Google’s automation to reach online shoppers and those who are looking to shop in-store. While the basic features of Performance Max are pretty much the same as Smart Shopping, meaning advertisers have very little room to optimize on their own, Performance Max campaigns do add a whole lot of new inventory and insights. Similar to Discovery campaigns, which we’ve also found success with for many of our clients, Performance Max campaigns can show ads across YouTube, Search Text Ads and the Discovery network, all while using your product feed.
What are the Initial Results?
According to Google, based on their early tests, advertisers who upgraded their Smart Shopping Campaigns to Performance Max saw an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS).
How do I Upgrade?
Google put together a handy timeline to help understand their process here, and keep in mind that it is subject to change, however – starting January 2022, advertisers will be able to create NEW campaigns classified as Performance Max, while continuing to run the legacy Smart and Local campaigns you already have. In April, Google will release a one-click tool that allows advertisers to easily upgrade their existing Smart Shopping campaigns. And then, in June, you’ll be able to use a similar tool to upgrade your Local campaigns. Using the one-click tool, Google claims that learnings will be used from your legacy campaigns to maintain consistent performance in the Performance Max campaigns.
Image: Google Blog
Excited to Learn More?
Google will be hosting a webinar on new Performance Max campaigns on February 22, 2022 from 3-3:30 EST. Register here.