The theme of Google’s last Performance Summit held in late May was undoubtedly the shift to mobile search (see our related blog post: New & Improved Google Maps & AdWords- The Perfect Pairing!). A number of exciting policy changes relating to mobile optimisation were announced, including expanded text ads and mobile responsive display ads towards better customer engagement.
How will expanded text ads affect my AdWords campaign?
You’ll now be able to write longer ads! This should be music to the ears of marketers who will receive more space to highlight benefits of their product/service and get their point across.
This upgrade is huge and certainly the biggest change to text ads since AdWords first launched 15 years ago. Businesses and marketers have long bemoaned Google’s character restrictions, especially relating to headlines and particularly within industries tied to lengthier keywords such as ‘accommodation’, ‘certification’, etc.
The current, restrictive 25-character headline will be replaced with two 30-character headlines. This will now cater for longer-tail search terms to maximise relevancy in the eyes of the user and allow advertisers to inject greater personality and do justice to their USP (unique selling proposition).
Furthermore, the two 35-character description lines are now being replaced with one, consolidated 80-character line, which equates to an additional 1 or 2 words depending on length.
Based on early testing, Google proclaim that advertisers have reported significant improvements to their click-through rates (CTR), with increases of up to 20% when compared to the performance of their standard-character text ads.
How will mobile responsive ads affect my AdWords campaign?
Your display ads will now be more easily visible to potential customers on a mobile device and thereby increases the chance for brand engagement.
This update has been prompted by game-changing data demonstrating that over half of the searches that occur on Google now originate from mobile devices. The premise being that as customers’ internet behaviour changes, so too must the marketing approach to accommodate their needs.
Central to this change is Google’s movement from traditional banner ads towards native ads to enhance the effectiveness of display advertising. Native ads differ from banner ads as they are integrated into the editorial feed itself rather than placement around the periphery of the website. Native ads are designed with the user experience in mind and automatically resize and adjust to match the look and feel of the content being viewed. A study by Share Through found consumers noticed native ads 52% more frequently than traditional banner ads, which is very encouraging news for your campaign.
Any display ads you have created can now be replaced with Google’s new mobile responsive ad format, where it is anticipated that your CTR will grow on mobile devices.
What do I need to do to prepare?
Google have remained tight lipped about a set launch date for the expanded ads, advising only that it will be available to use later this year.
Whether the rollout is 2 weeks or 3 months away, it’s never too early to begin preparing your ad text. As advertisers will be given plenty of room to capture a user’s attention, marketers will need to be more discerning than ever in writing compelling ad copy that outshines their competition.
In terms of adapting to the mobile responsive ads, Google have made things very easy. Simply provide your desired headlines, a description, an image, and a URL; Google will automatically design a suitable ad(s) which fits the screens of most smartphones. If you have tried display advertising with lacklustre results or not yet tapped into the power of targeted display campaigns, you need to revisit this to boost your brand awareness.
For both expanded text ads and responsive mobile ads, you will need to rethink your emphasis on mobile search strategy and the associated financial investment. Moreover, a secondary upgrade to emerge from the Google Summit was the introduction of separate bid adjustments for each device type. This allows marketers greater control for bidding based on channel performance and offers even more food for thought.
Understanding the importance of mobile to your business is critical in your plan of action moving forward. Alarmingly, many businesses are guilty of having no idea how different device traffic compares and contributes to their results, meaning they fall behind their competition. Fortunately, Arrow Digital can demystify how users are interacting with you via desktop, mobile and tablet by helping you make sense of your Google Analytics data. Furthermore, we can optimise your website to remove any roadblocks to inquiries and sales. Mobile is the future, so if your thought process for web traffic doesn’t distinguish for mobile users, then you really need to give us a call on 1300 766 665!