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Google Tweaks Smart Campaigns

Google’s Smart Campaigns—an AI-assisted ad offering—has recently announced an expanded feature set, focusing on targeting, reporting and more.

Keyword Themes

‘Keyword themes’ is Google’s new name for the part of Smart Campaign set-up that used to be labelled ‘products and services’. In practice, this is the step to identify what the advertiser is offering. Google uses that info to pick who to show the ad to, targeting potential customers who’ve expressed an interest in related topics.

If the advertiser changes their mind or gets undesirable results, they can still tweak their Keyword Themes through the life of the campaign.

Ad Check On Google.com

Want a quick summary of current campaign performance? Google has made it as quick as you’re ever likely to get.

Be logged in with the same account you use for Google Ads, and simply Google search the phrase ‘My ads’ or ‘Google Ads’. The results page will show ‘your campaign performance’ at the top.

Impressions, Clicks & Total Spend with a simple two word search.

It only shows the bare basics—impressions, clicks and total spend—but its real quick real-time feedback for your Smart Campaigns. It even includes a preview of how your ad looks to others.

Free Promoted Map pins

Smart Campaign users are also set to get some bonus free promotions via Google Maps.

Advertisers using Smart Campaigns who also have a Google My Business profile will show up in Google Maps as Promoted pins through to the end of September 2020.

Square pins for Promoted Places on Google Maps

The square promo pins should attract some extra attention from people browsing Maps.

All Sizes?

Google is so confident in Smart Campaigns’ evolution, the latest announcement explicitly mentions that it can be useful to ‘businesses of all sizes’. So, should we expect larger advertisers will soon be shunted across to Smart Campaigns?

In short, possibly not.

The announcement that mentioned ‘businesses of all sizes’ was in a Google product blog that generally targets small business users.

Plus, the freebie promoted Google Maps pins for Smart Campaign users was featured as part of Google’s efforts at ‘Helping businesses and nonprofits recover’, alongside an extra $200 million boost to Google’s annual Ad Grants program to support not-for-profits.

Another recent change allowed users to sign up for Smart Campaigns directly through the Google Ads app. This sort of mobile UX improvement clearly aims to funnel in more casual users rather than capture any corporate customers.

So, while not technically excluding larger enterprise, Smart Campaigns are still being heavily pushed towards organisations that are likely to have fewer dedicated resources than your average corporation. The deeper, more hands-on options available via Google’s other Ads options are safe for now.

For The Better

These changes continue to move Smart Campaigns in the right direction. Individually, they are all quite minor: a faster way to see key metrics; a refined and rebadged page to define a target market; a new way to sign up for the program. Gradually, things are adding up.

The Smart Campaign experience is getting better, and these are the sorts of changes that should continue to ingratiate it to small business users.

Copy Transmission is a Melbourne-based agency :: Better Brands. Loud & Clear.

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