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Three Exciting New Google AdWords Features

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I can guarantee that at least one of these three new features is going to be impactful upon your online business. If you handle large volumes of email addresses, pay attention to Customer match targeting. If your main thrust is pushing app installs, go straight for Universal App Campaigns. If you’re in ecommerce and have a Google Merchant Centre account then the Shopping Assortment report is of high interest to you.

Customer Match Targeting

Customer Match Targeting is a new Google AdWords product that allows you to advertise directly to users within a list of email addresses. It’s a bit like standard remarketing but uses email addresses instead of cookies.

Sort of like this but with email addresses instead of cookies.

adwords customer match

The gist:

  1. Get a big list of email addresses.
  2. Bung them into AdWords Customer Match.
  3. Let Google calculate how many of the email addresses are associated with Google Products.
  4. Start targeting Search, Gmail or YouTube ads directly at them.

You could, for example, upload a list of users who have submitted your enquiry form but not converted from a lead into a sale in an attempt to encourage these non-converted users to convert. I expect this to be the most common use for Customer Match Targeting, as it’s the most common use for cookie-based remarketing, however you could also target users who have previously converted in an attempt to encourage them to convert again. If you’re already familiar with old-school cookie-based remarketing, this should not seem revolutionary. However, cookies don’t cross device boundaries when a user changes from their smartphone to their tablet or desktop. A cookie-based remarketing campaign will not be able to follow that user from device to device, whereas an email-based remarketing campaign will as long as the user is signed into the same email address on all of their devices.

But that’s not all! Customer Match also generously allows us to multiply our remarketing list using the Similar Audience tool, which generates a list of users similar to those on your Customer Match Targeting email list. This can effectively double your original list and allow you to target similar but fresh users. I think the introduction of Customer Match targeting is going to encourage a lot of sites to attempt to capture users’ email addresses immediately upon landing on their pages rather than passively accepting them via contact forms.

This is going to be really big for sites that already have large email databases, but it’s technically nothing new for paid advertising as it’s possible to do this on Facebook and Twitter already. However, Facebook and Twitter’s ads are confined to displaying only within those platforms and AdWords offers far more breadth in terms of where you can reach people. Also, users tend to use junk email addresses for their social media accounts, as social media tends to be on the spammy side of things. Users are more likely to use their main email addresses for Google, especially if it’s a Gmail account, making their email addresses far higher quality for targeted advertising.

Universal App Campaigns

If you’d ever set up a click-to-app-install AdWords campaign before, you’d know it was on the laborious side of things – you’d have to create separate campaigns for Search and Display and spend a lot of time configuring and managing each separately, including adding YouTube manually to the Display campaign. Oh, and another campaign for TruView if you wanted that too. It was a lot of hard work just to get users to click for an app install. The simplicity of the action was not reflected by the sheer amount of work needed to get it up and running in the first place.


Enter the Universal App Campaign. It allows you to set up one campaign to do everything and it’s a godsend to anyone dealing with a lot of app install campaigns. So, Google wants to encourage the use of apps over web pages, right? Well, not exactly. Do you remember this from a few weeks ago? Google is punishing sites that immediately try and force app installs on their landing pages by hitting their organic rankings. So if you’re relying on app installs for revenue, don’t sweat it. Universal App Campaigns are going to cost you but if you keep trying to force app installs upon landing, you’re going to pay the price through your organic rankings. Funny, it’s as if Google is pushing more and more businesses onto AdWords and away from organic, it’s like they’re trying to make more money or something.

Shopping Assortment Report

assortment report


Are you an online retailer?  If not, then stop reading because there’s nothing for you here. Lead genners can go home now, ecommerce people can gather around. The Shopping Assortment report is a really cool new function for the Google Merchant Centre. It allows you to see a list of top performing products that you don’t sell that are similar to the ones that you do sell, as well as competitors that sell them and their prices. Very, very handy if you’re wondering what to stock next and what price you should sell it at. Also handy for identifying products that you do sell that have managed to slip out of your product feed.

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Jonny Holmes

When it comes to PPC, SEO and CRO, Jonny's skill and attention to detail make for consistently great insights. His work makes a measurable contribution to the business

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