blog post | marketing

5 new Google Ads features we’re excited for in 2023

If you’re a marketer, you know Google Ads can be super competitive and expensive.

So if it’s a channel you rely on, one of the best ways to get an edge is by taking advantage of the latest Google Ads features. Figuring out what they do and how they can bring value to your business will set your ads apart, earning you more conversions and, ultimately, revenue.

Read on to find out the five new Google Ads features we’ve already seen success with and are pumped to master in 2023.

1. Performance Max

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. This feature is specifically focused on driving Search Display, YouTube, Gmail, and Discovery conversions by optimizing bids across those channels in real time.

So instead of guessing whether you should run an ad on Display versus another channel, Google pushes out to various channels for you – almost like a master campaign.

Performance Max has only been around for the last six months, so most people using this are relatively early adopters. Google has heavily promoted this feature, promising a 13% increase in total conversions at a similar CPA to your account average.

We’ve already generated good results with some of our clients. For example, for a lead gen client, we got about 30 conversions at a CPA of $113, which is lower than our account average. And so far this month, we’ve seen 48 conversions at a CPA of $70.

Google has also hinted at replacing Smart Shopping with Performance Max, so we are helping our clients get ahead of it. One of them got 122 transactions at $4.84, which is better than our account average and better than what we were seeing with Smart Shopping.

That said, you want to be sure that your data plumbing and conversion actions are really tight and that you have a solid bid strategy. Performance Max will only perform as well as the information you’re feeding into it: conversion goals, landing pages, and ad copy. Then, and only then, should you feel comfortable giving Google free rein.

2. Google Audiences for Connected TV

Connected TV refers to advertising on apps accessed on smart TVs, gaming consoles, or set top boxes. Unfortunately, the current ad buying process for these channels is quite messy and time-consuming.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten an ad on Hulu or Peacock that is irrelevant to me. And it’s because I don’t meet the specific demographics or the specific target audience of that product. Those marketers thought that people watching the shows I do would be interested in their product, but that’s not always the case.

With Google Audiences for Connected TV, you can set up your audiences based on intent, focusing on the users more than the inventory. On the back end, you can still pick specific placements, and layering audiences on top will help you target the people you’re confident will take interest in your product.

So rather than marketing a blender to everyone watching Food Network, you get more specific about people’s affinities and attributes, and market specifically to them – regardless of what shows they are watching.

3. Conversion Lift Test

When we talk about the effectiveness of Display or YouTube advertising, we compare it to Search, which isn’t apples to apples. A different way to think about it is outbound vs. inbound. 

When you type something into Google search, you’re looking for a particular thing, and you’re very interested in it. On the other hand, when you get a YouTube ad, the product may not necessarily be something you’re particularly interested in. You’re just receiving that ad because you’ve shown some kind of intent or market signal.

Conversion Lift helps you measure the number of conversions, site visits, and any other actions directly driven by the audience viewing your ad. 

In a Conversion Lift Test, your campaign is split into two groups. One group will consist of users who saw your ad, and the other will consist of users who would’ve seen your ad, but Google picks a different option to show them. The results measure the conversions of viewers of your ad versus those who did not see your ad.

Overall, I like Conversion Lift Tests because they help you ensure your ads have the desired impact and that you’re spending money wisely.

4. Lead Form Extensions

Lead Form Extensions help you generate leads by letting people submit their information directly from your ad rather than being driven to your website.

Lead Form Extensions have been around for about a year. They’re not widely used, but I’ve seen great results from them, especially for tuning up low-conversion landing pages and capitalizing on high-performing assets. Whitepapers, ebooks, or guides that already kill it will work perfectly for Lead Form Extensions.

When leads click a form most of it will already be populated based on their Gmail account. Plus, you can add in qualifying questions to guarantee you’re getting high-quality leads.

Another way to boost your lead quality is to select “more qualified” in your Lead Form settings (it’s typically set to “volume”). And to make sure your best leads start moving through your sales pipeline, you’ll want to integrate with your CRM.

5. YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts allows you to shoot, share, and binge videos short videos (60-seconds or less). It’s essentially YouTube’s attempt to compete with Reels and TikTok.

Today, video for action and ad campaigns are automatically served up on YouTube Shorts, so marketers need to start thinking about how to tailor their ad copy to fit the Shorts format. I’ve found that it’s fairly easy to repurpose your social ad creative from Facebook or Instagram, so I recommend trying that first.

Ecommerce clients should also connect their product feed to create shoppable videos. You can also consider adding lead gen extensions and forms to collect information about prospects while reducing the friction that normally occurs when you direct them to a landing page.

The key to winning at Shorts ads is to create snackable snippets that users enjoy watching and feel organic to the platform. Your main challenge will be getting your message across and driving action in a short timeframe.

Optimize your Google Ads for 2023

Google Ads are a tricky beast – all of the platform’s features can be overwhelming and the algorithm is always changing.

But when you take the time to understand how features work, you can start brainstorming unique, innovative ways to level up your ad game. Taking advantage of these five features can put you way ahead of your competition and set you up to hit (or even surpass) the conversion rates you want in 2023.

WebMechanix is happy to help you get there. Book a call with one of our resident Google Ads experts to find out how to maximize your ad potential.

Or, you can learn more from our skilled team by watching previous recordings of The Growth Clinic, or signing up for the next one here. We host sessions every Wednesday at 12pm ET. See you there!

About the writer
Will Gray
Will Gray
Will Gray is an established PPC manager here at WebMechanix

You may be interested in:

WebMechanix Becomes HubSpot Platinum Certified Agency Partner

WebMechanix Becomes HubSpot Platinum Certified Agency Partner

Here at WebMechanix, we’ve been HubSpot partners since 2012. We have a pretty exciting development in our relationship. In short, nothing blings like Platinum! What follows is a more formal press release highlighting the details of this win and exactly what it means for our clients… And if you stumbled across this post because you’re...
Read this