Interview with Matt Lawson of Google

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) interviewed Matt Lawson (@onemanisthelaw) of Google! The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:


In your opinion, what makes AdWords the industry standard, and how do you plan to maintain that distinction?

Well, AdWords works with Google search, and Google search is just stunning. It’s always getting better. I mean, new search features come out all the time and they’re consistently jaw dropping. I think AdWords comes from that same place. Don’t be content with past success, think about the people that use our products, always try to improve.

Great point – no matter whether we like or dislike updates, it’s nice to see that platform is constantly evolving. In your opinion, what do you feel the biggest changes to the paid search landscape are going to be over the next few years?

So, you’re asking someone from Google about the future of paid search. You can probably guess I’ll say mobile. It’s true even if it seems like the obvious answer. On top of that, I think targeting is going to get better. We see a lot of innovation on the Display Network w/ new targeting types & I think we may see innovation the search side, too.

Mobile is always a hot topic for sure. What can we expect in the next year to make AdWords a better platform for mobile advertising?

The tools we talked about at AdWords Performance Forum are really where the next year will get better for mobile advertising. Discovering and re-engaging with apps is huge, so too is better mobile measurement. We think there’s more to be done with mobile attribution, and that’s the next huge step forward that we’re working on.

I think we’re all happy to hear you talk about mobile attribution since the hesitation for mobile is. Always having the costs justify the revenue. Will we ever have a tablet bid modifier? Why or why not?

We’re committed to the changes we made with Enhanced Campaigns. I don’t see us changing course on that front. Our data suggests tablet and desktop behavior are closely aligned, but if that changes we’ll revisit in the future.

How will Google Shopping evolve over the next year? How about image based advertising?

It’s a really exciting time for Shopping. This year includes the big migration to the new shopping campaign type, which is going very well. Advertisers are already adopting alot of the cool new features in shopping campaigns – such as flexible reporting on products, and the ability to benchmark CPCs against the competiton. We’re still figuring out the best way to do images on search ads. We’re testing some stuff out, but nothing to report as of yet.

Google Shopping has been tremendous for ecomm advertisers – will be interesting to see the continued evolution. What is the single most important goal/focus for Google AdWords employees?

In the past year, we’ve had a big focus on advertiser efficiency, so I’ll go with that. As marketers have scaled their programs, they increasingly need tools to become more efficient and effective. We’ve invested a lot of time understanding how to create bulk editing, flexible reporting & powerful automation in the product to make people’s lives easier.

As a follow up, let’s get into actual account management from the AdWords team. Do you believe AdWords will ever enter the account management market and charge like an agency would? Why or why not?

I don’t believe so. I have former agency folks on my team, so I know how complicated that world can be. We want to focus on delivering a great product, and expanding to include direct account management would distract from that.

Certainly nice to hear from an agency perspective. When will we see the new features touted in April be released to advertisers?

I’m glad you asked this question. First off, we’ll be announcing our AdWords plans for each year via livestream, similar to our April event this year. I hope you liked that format. As you’ve experienced, it’ll take several months to roll out everything we announced. Many of the ads for apps features launched at Google I/O & several auto-bidding features launched recently as well. You’ll see the rest of the announcements hit the UI in upcoming months. Inside AdWords and our G+ page are the places to hear about their release.

Good to know. We’re all excited to try these features! Is there a specific reason why the announcement on 4/22 was made during PPCChat?

I guess great minds think alike. I must say that you have excellent taste in time slots.

Speaking of the chat and user feedback in general. Does AdWords pay attention to the PPCChat hashtag? How much impact does our conversation have?

We absolutely pay attention. Every week I see a tweet embedded in one email or another that includes your hashtag. While it’s hard to quantify impact (even for my own actions), we definitely listen. Your feedback is invaluable, so keep doing what you’re doing. It gets passed along to the people that are working on improving AdWords.

Glad to hear…we can be temperamental at times, but we just want what’s best for our clients. Why aren’t advertisers able to have more control over Search Partners?

We’re always balancing simplicity with control. We have such a large customer base that we often bias toward simplicity, but we get that there are always going to be sophisticates (like you PPCChatters) who want more control. Despite the fact that it’s unlikely to change soon, it’s a valid request and one which we will continue to evaluate.

Good to hear…from an optimization standpoint this area would have the quickest impact on accounts. Do you believe AdWords is trending more toward audience based advertising vs. keyword? Why?

For search, keyword intent remains an incredibly powerful signal, and without question the dominant one for targeting for the foreseeable future. With that said, many advertisers are making very effective use of signals like location to segment & understand audiences by demographic. The real power of search comes when you are able to use keywords to uncover audiences. It not only improves how you think about targeting, but allows search to inform your broader media strategy on programmatic.

One of AdWords sentiments has always been that even the smallest players can succeed. With how advanced the platform has become, do you believe small businesses owners with lack of PPC knowledge can still succeed?

We have AdWords Express, which is built with small business owners in mind. It has simpler functionality by design. I think it’s possible for small businesses to succeed w/ regular AdWords, but it definitely takes more commitment than AWX.

Absolutely…small businesses can succeed, but I think we can agree that a certain amount of training is necessary. There have been rumors of the AdWords Editor’s demise. What is the future of the Editor tool?

We’re committed to the success of our advertisers and AdWords Editor is very much a part of that. We have some big updates coming soon that we know will get people excited. Let’s just say “demise” is the last word I’d use to describe one of our favorite tools.

That’s great news. I wouldn’t know what to do without Editor – We just need more updates for Shopping. What do you believe to be the most important PPC tool, feature, or sentiment to advertisers? Why?

For me it’s coverage. Not that you appear for every single impression that you can. Instead that you’re aware of all of the places that you could appear. Use all of the different tools and features to be smart about that coverage and optimize performance. More of a sentiment/concept thing. What’s your account’s potential? How can you reach it?

Great points – making sure you get the best quality traffic to your site. Any closing thoughts for the community?

Just want to thank everyone for being such great supporters and advocates for AdWords. We really do appreciate your feedback and will continue to try to build better products to help you succeed. Keep the feedback coming — good and bad!

Thanks so much for joining us Matt – We’ll continue giving our solicited and unsolicited advice

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Resources

More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.

Participants

Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• Matt Lawson (@onemanisthelaw)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
 

Streamcappin the best PPCChat Interviews

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking Director of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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