Google hosted the third annual Search On event on September 28th.
The event announced several research updates revolving around these key areas:
After the event, Liason from Google contacted, Jenny Marvin, hosted a roundtable of PPC experts specifically in the B2B industry to present their thoughts on advertising, as well as how it affects B2B. I was able to participate in the roundtable and get valuable feedback from the industry.
The experts roundtable consisted of Brad Geddes, Melissa Mackie, Michelle Morgan, Greg Finn, Steve Penn, Michael Henderson, Andrea Cruz-Lopez, and myself (Brooke Osmondson).
Struggle with pictures
Some of the updates in Search include browsable search results, larger image assets, and business messages for conversational search.
Brad Geddes, co-founder of Adalysis, said “desktop is not mentioned once”. The same sentiment was echoed by others, that many B2B customers rely on desktop searches and traffic. With images primarily viewed on mobile devices, their B2B customers won’t benefit much.
Another great point came up about the context of the images. While the images are great for the user experience, a question repeated by many round table members:
- How is a B2B product or B2B service supposed to portray what they’re doing?
Images in search are certainly valuable for sectors like apparel, cars, and general e-commerce. But for B2B, they may be left at a disadvantage.
More use cases, please
Ginny asked the group what they would like to change or add to an event like Search On.
The general consensus: Search On and Google Marketing Live (GML) are both becoming more consumer-centric.
Greg Finn He said the Search On event was about what he expected, but that Google Marketing Live is now too widespread and that Google no longer talks to advertisers.
The group presented some potential solutions to help bridge the current gap of what is being advertised, and then later how advertisers can take action.
- Follow-up session for 30 minutes a day How do This is for advertisers
- Focus less on sectors
- Provide more use cases
Michelle Morgan And Melissa Mackie They said that “just screenshots of a B2B SaaS example” would help them tremendously. Providing tangible action items on how to present this information to clients is key.
Google product managers balance
The second half of the roundtable included input from several Google search product managers. I started with a more comprehensive question to Google:
- It seems that Google has become a one-stop-shop for the user to collect information and make purchases. How should advertisers prepare for this? Should we expect to see less traffic and a higher CPC competing for that coveted space?
Cecilia Wong, global product lead for search formats at Google, stated that while they can’t comment directly on the overall trend, they focus on search. Their recommendation:
- Manage and optimize assets and images for the best user experience
- For B2B, align your images as a peek at what users can expect on your landing page
However, Image Origins has strict limitations on what is allowed. I followed that up by asking if they would relax the asset restrictions for B2B to use creativity in its image assets.
Google could not comment directly but has acknowledged that relaxed restrictions on image content is a need for B2B advertisers.
Are value-based bids worth it?
The topic of value-based bidding came about after Carlo Buchmann, product manager at Smart Bidding, said they wanted advertisers to embrace and move towards value-based bidding. While the reactions seemed bleak, she opened up to the candid conversation.
Melissa McKee said that while she talked to her clients about values-based bidding, none of her clients wanted to pull the trigger. For B2B, it is difficult to assess the value on different conversion points.
Furthermore, you mentioned that clients are becoming so focused on their pipeline information that they can end up making it very complex. In short, they are struggling to translate the value number entry into the real value of the sale.
Geddes mentioned that some of his more sophisticated clients have reverted to manual bidding because Google doesn’t take all the values and signals to pass back and forth.
Finn ended the conversation with his experience. He emphasized that Google had not provided anything on best practices for value-based bidding. By having only one value, it feels like a cost-per-conversion bid. And when a customer has multiple value inputs, Google tends to improve low value conversions – which ultimately affects the quality of your leads.
Google’s search product managers are closed by providing additional resources to be searched in general best practices To take advantage of the research in the world of automation.
Google has made it clear that the future of search is visible. For B2B companies, it may take additional creativity to succeed and compete with visualization updates.
However, PPC roundtable experts keep in mind that if Google wants advertisers to adopt these features, they need to support advertisers more – especially B2B marketers. With limited time and resources, advertisers big and small are trying to do more with less.
Marketers rely on Google to make these search updates relevant not only to the user but to advertisers. Having clearer evidence, use cases, and conversations is a great way to get Google and advertisers back together.
Special thanks to Ginny Marvin from Google for making room to hear from our B2B advertisers, as well as all the PPC experts for their rating.
Featured image: Shutterstock / TKM