Google Ads or the new Search Ads 360? Here's What You Need to Know

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It’s more important than ever for agencies and direct marketers to leverage tools that enable efficient campaign management and optimization. Today’s search marketers often ask themselves, “Am I getting the most out of my current tech stack?” If your teams are solely leveraging the free version of Google Ads for paid search advertising, the answer to that question could be no.

To take your search marketing efforts to the next level, utilize the new Search Ads 360 (SA360), Google’s enterprise-level search engine management platform. At its core, SA360 offers scalable, streamlined workflows, powerful reporting and features like automated, cross-engine bidding that enable you to run successful campaigns more efficiently.

Plus, recent updates give you the power to manage all of your Google Ads content in SA360 with a revamped UI and notifications familiar to Google Ads users. And perhaps most importantly, SA360 helps you activate first-party data strategies through value-based bidding with Floodlight tags, which will be critical as browsers continue to crack down on third-party cookies.

As you compare the two platforms, here are four of SA360’s core product features that set it apart from Google Ads.

Cross-Engine Functionality

In Google Ads, advertisers are limited to optimizing in only one engine account at a time. SA360, on the other hand, consolidates all major search engines (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, etc.) under one centralized UI. And if you have Adswerve's proprietary technology, UNIFIRE, you can sync your Meta advertising accounts (Facebook and Instagram) with SA360, too.

As a result, advertisers can make a multitude of changes, across different engines, with just a few clicks of a button. SA360 advertisers are also able to apply bid strategies and schedule automatic changes to bid strategies and device bid adjustments across engine types by using rules. Such tasks would require complex Javascript syntax in Google Ads. 

Enhanced Automated Bidding

Since SA360 is a Google-owned product, it gets access to all of the power of Google Ads smart bidding, known as auction-time bidding. Google Ads auction-time bidding strategies analyze different contextual signals (such as device, browser type, location, time of day, remarketing list and more) in real-time to set each keyword bid to display your ads in the best position and maximize performance. 

While Google Ads allows advertisers to optimize campaigns towards Google Ads conversion actions and GA4 events, neither can be used for Microsoft Ads bidding. That's why SA360 harnesses the power of the Floodlight tag, allowing advertisers to optimize all their search campaigns with the same conversion tracking system. By leveraging floodlight-based, SA360 automated bidding with Google Ads auction-time bidding, advertisers can create a super-powered bidding solution to fit their exact needs.

Flexible Budget Management

In Google Ads, all campaigns operate off a daily budget, which can spend up to double the amount allocated on any given day. Since many advertisers plan their advertising budgets monthly, quarterly or annually, they often have to perform daily budget calculations in spreadsheets and closely monitor pacing. 

SA360's Performance Center alleviates some of that additional work and concern, introducing performance plans with custom budget allocations for any duration of time, and budget bid strategies that control pacing and optimize toward a performance target in tandem.

Cross-Channel Reporting & Data-Driven Attribution

Although SA360's reporting and attribution features are strongest when coupled with Campaign Manager 360's Custom Channel Groupings, data-driven attribution (DDA) models paired with SA360 click-tracking open up a whole new set of reporting possibilities. 

Advertisers can utilize SA360's Clickserver URL to report on clicks and Floodlight conversions driven by external marketing platforms such as Meta and LinkedIn Ads. When you assign the Floodlight conversions to a DDA model, SA360 analyzes interactions in your cross-channel campaigns and distributes conversion credit based on where an interaction occurs in a conversion path. Once you collect enough performance data, you can see a more accurate picture of how clicks on keywords and other biddable items lead to conversions for your brand. 

SA360 also enables advertisers to create custom DDA models right in the interface. If paired with SA360's Natural Search feature, SA360 DDA models can also attribute conversions to organic traffic. SA360 advertisers may build up to five DDA models at a time. Whereas in Google Ads, you can only build one DDA model off of just Google Ads data. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of the new SA360, contact us