Google just announced a few changes coming soon to AdWords.
Over the years, the online advertising landscape has changed. Not too long ago, mobile ads did not exist; there were no ads on Google Maps or in apps or on YouTube. But, with the addition of these new advertising channels, AdWords has evolved.
Soon, Google AdWords will be no more…
Because they are changing their branding to “Google Ads.”
There are a few changes to share. Some are cosmetic; some are meant to simplify; some are meant to help advertisers (but may have unintended consequences for law firms).
Google Ads Branding
First, Google AdWords is changing its name to Google Ads.
Nothing groundbreaking, but it means everything you read and hear about Google advertising will use this new term. So, if you are wondering what happened to AdWords, this is it.
New Campaign Type (Caution: Law Firms)
Next up, Google Ads is unveiling a new type of ad campaign, meant to help small businesses easily get set up and going.
Right now, there is little information to go on for this change. But, even so, based on Google’s track record, I am skeptical.
Yes, even with this little information, I am hesitant.
Google AdWords currently has an advertising option for “AdWords Express” as well as a campaign type for “Google Search with Display Select” that are both meant to help small businesses dip their toes in the water with advertising on Google. I have been strongly recommending against both of these advertising options. In my experience, using these advertising options are significantly less effective for generating new potential clients for law firms. These advertising methods are extremely broad. They will get you clicks to your website, but the traffic will not be extremely relevant. Ultimately, it ends up costing you a lot more to get relevant traffic. For law firms this is especially a problem because the law firm industry is the most expensive for cost-per-click in Google.
So, even though Google has not released its new campaign type yet, and we have little information to go on, I am very cautious about it. Regular Google AdWords campaigns can let you get very specific and targeted, which is good for law firms. Because law firm advertising can be expensive, being specific and targeted is a must.
Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager
For more advanced users, those using DoubleClick and programmatic advertising in Google will see some additional changes.
DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 are merging together, simplifying the interface to become Google Marketing Platform.
For most law firms, this is not a concern, so I won’t spend more time on it.
Changing Ad Experience
Google is making a play to be more transparent in its ads. People get upset when they see ads that are extremely tailored towards their interests to the point that they think Google is spying on them (well, Google may be spying on you). So, Google is unveiling increased Ad Settings to show you how Google is personalizing ads for you. You can choose to turn that off completely, or help Google better tailor ads to you. If you are the type of person who likes seeing relevant ads to your interests, this can help you. If you hate that Google knows anything about you, you might want to turn this off.
How Will Law Firms Be Affected?
With these new changes, you might be wondering how it will affect your law firm advertising on Google. Overall, these changes are not much to be concerned about. It’s not like Google’s previous AdWords changes where they redesigned the interface, made ads look more like organic results, or when they removed the sidebar. If you are advertising using Google AdWords currently, like many law firms are, little will change in your day-to-day. The name AdWords will be disappearing. If you are using Google Analytics 360, that will be merging into a new platform. The only thing I would say is, be cautious about Google’s new advertising campaign type when it rolls out. I don’t want your law firm to spend more on clicks than it has to!
If you want to learn more about advertising in Google for your law firm, you can check out Pay-Per-Click for Lawyers.