AdWords features you may not be using

Posted by Rebecca Appleton on 3 Oct, 2017
View comments PPC
Google has rolled out a series of sophisticated features for AdWords over the last few months to help advertisers. Read our roundup of the tools and options you may not be using.


Since announcing that the AdWords platform would get a major overhaul last year, Google has slowly but surely introduced a slew of new features for advertisers. If you have fallen behind with any of the search engine’s announcements and roll-outs, you could be missing out on a number of useful new features. Get up to speed with our recap of some of the newer additions that you may not yet be using.

Audience solutions for Search and Shopping

Despite being fined $2.75 billion by the European Commission for giving an illegal advantage to its Shopping product, Google has pressed ahead with development and has rolled out new audience solutions for Search and Shopping, further building on what it already offers via remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).

Similar Audiences for Shopping and Customer Match for Shopping both give advertisers the ability to use their own customer data to better target shoppers. This in turn leads to better targeted ads, more appropriate messaging and better connections with more appropriate shoppers at the exact moment they’re searching for a relevant product or service.

Similar Audiences helps advertisers find their best audience, by targeting those with similar interests as existing customers.  Some brands have reported a 300% increase in click through rate and 31% increase in conversions using Similar Audiences.

Customer Match for Shopping has also been rolled out globally, with Google saying advertisers can “start connecting with your most valuable customers as they shop on”. With this feature, Shopping advertisers use their own email lists to focus their campaigns on high-value customers. The lists could include previous customers, in-store shoppers or newsletter subscribers for example. Those consumers would then be shown relevant Shopping ads as they shop, helping to drive better ad engagement.

  1. To get started, upload your customer email list to Google.
  2. Create a new campaign or update an existing campaign to target the Customer Match audience
  3. When those email addresses are signed in to Google and shopping on, they’ll be shown relevant Shopping ads from your campaign.

Demographic targeting

Demographic targeting has long been available for Facebook paid search campaigns and for PPC ads run on Bing, but it's a relatively new addition to Google AdWords.

Google’s new demographic targeting option lives within the Audience tab on AdWords. Although this is a valuable tool for advertisers who want to reach customers with certain specific traits such as age or gender, advertisers should be prepared to do additional research to correctly identify their customer demographic before narrowing down their AdWords audience to demographic factors. Google’s own research shows that customer intent is often a more powerful factor than demographics alone so this should be considered before the demographic targeting is set to work.

When precise demographics have been determined, this new feature means ads can be targeted to specific consumers, using criteria such as age, gender, parental status (display and video ads only) and household income (available only for video campaigns and only in the USA). Demographic targeting is available for Search, Display Network and video campaigns.

Individual bids can be set for specific demographic groups, which Google says can help to drive a better ROI and increase the chances of the ad being shown to those more likely to buy that product or service.

  1. To use demographic targeting, sign into Google AdWords and go to the Campaigns tab.
  • If you’d like to add demographic targeting to a display campaign, select Display Network and then +Targeting
  • To add to a Search campaign, click Audiences then +Targeting
  • For video, click the Demographic sub tab

2. Find the required ad group and then go to the add targeting dropdown menu. Click on demographics.

3. If you’re adding demographic targeting to a Search campaign, all demographic targeting options are selected by default. Unselect a demographic to exclude them from seeing your ad.

4. Now, add the demographic targeting options you’d like to use with the ad group concerned by selecting the relevant checkbox of the demographic you want to target.

Find a full step-by-step from Google here:

Surveys 360 integration

Following on from the addition of Surveys 360 into the Google Analytics 360 suite last year, AdWords advertisers will now be able to use their remarketing lists from AdWords for surveys targeting. This integration means advertisers can ask users on the lists what worked for them and what didn’t from an advertising perspective – why did they buy or, what made them abandon their shopping cart?

This new integration promises to be useful to advertisers who want to know what makes their audience tick. Coupled with the data already available in AdWords, the option to survey shoppers should help businesses to understand not just what their customers do, but why they do it. 

Optimize and AdWords integration

At the same time as it revealed the Surveys 360 addition to AdWords, Google also rolled out an Optimize and AdWords integration. This new feature gives advertisers the option to use the A/B testing and personalization capabilities of Google Optimize to refine the landing pages their ads lead to.

Available for any combination of AdWords campaign, ad group and keyword, advertisers can use Optimize to improve and personalize their AdWords landing pages to drive better conversion rates. The testing and personalization can be carried out without the need for destination URLs or query parameters, giving an easier way to create better performing landing pages for AdWords adverts.

Google gives an example of a hotelier advertising on AdWords for the keyword ‘family friendly hotel’. As the advertiser, once you have paid for the click, you’ll want to send your visitor to the best possible landing page. You may be stuck as to what will help you convert more visitors. In this scenario, you can use Optimize to create and test a new variation of your typical landing page. The new page may try replacing a standard hotel image with a picture of a family by the pool or dining in the restaurant.

With Optimize, you can monitor which version works better and then direct your AdWords traffic to that refined, better converting landing page.

Optimize is free to use. To get started, set up an account here and follow the on screen instructions.

Each of these tools is intended to help advertisers get more from their AdWords budget. They can be used independently of one another or, used together to further refine your AdWords account management and paid search tactics.

Have you used any of these features? Are there others you find super useful? Share your experiences with us in the comments. 

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