Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. For years marketers and advertising have been shouting “This is the year of mobile”. Well, in 2015 searches from mobile devices finally overtook desktop searches. In 2016, Google is getting serious about taking advantage of that by updating their mobile ad offering. At this year’s Performance Summit, Google announced over a dozen new features, most of which are engineered to help advertisers improve their mobile ads.
Here are the changes with the biggest potential impact:
Expanded Text Ads
In February, Google removed the right-hand side ads on the desktop Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to make the design and layout results more consistent across devices. This came as a shock to advertisers and was the single biggest ad format change since the birth of Google AdWords. Little did we know that it was paving the way for another huge ad format change.
The new expanded text ads create a universal format across all devices. The new ads will feature more prominent headlines, a longer description line, and automatically-generated display URLs.
Here are the key changes:
Image Source: Google Inside AdWords Blog
Google has tested the new format with select advertisers, and have seen up to 20% higher click-through-rates compared to current text ads. No official roll out date has been announced by Google yet, but we have been told that it will be “later this year”.
While this change will impact all AdWords advertisers, we are particularly eager to leverage this new ad format for our clients so they can take advantage of the added real estate on the SERPs.
Responsive Ads For Display
Google has also announced a new automated display ad format that pulls from headlines, description lines, images, and URLs provided by the advertiser. This new, dynamic format makes it possible for ads to be resized automatically so they fit on a wider variety of websites and in a wider a variety of content. This means that your inventory can be seen by even more potential buyers. The official release date for this new feature is also TBD but we can expect it soon.
Bid Adjustments By Device: Mobile, Desktop and Tablet
Finally! This is what we have been waiting for! Google rolled out enhanced campaigns a few years ago and while doing so they grouped desktop and tablet bids together. This created quite a challenge for those of us who know that the performance from tablets is much different from desktop and should be separated.
With this soon-to-be-released feature, you can now now have the ability place a primary bid on any device you choose and then use bid modifier to make adjustments for the other two devices. Your vehicle ads will perform differently on each device; modifying your bids will help you manage your ad budget in a much smarter way. Google has also increased their bid modifier range to give you even more flexibility adjusting your bids.
Promoted Pins: Google Maps
Google is now giving advertisers the opportunity to use special ad formats called Promoted Pins within Google Maps. Promoted pins are ads that will appear when someone searches for a business location. When online shoppers search for things such as “Honda dealer” or “Ford dealership near me”, your dealership’s ad can be displayed in the map listings. Promoted Pins can show your inventory along with special offers, and are specifically-designed to encourage foot-traffic and store visits. This feature will be particularly valuable for targeting mobile devices from which the majority of maps queries come from.
To encourage consumers to explore the store (showroom) before they arrive, Google will be adding new features like special offers and the ability to browse inventory.
As consumer behavior continues to shift to a mobile-first-world, it is more important than ever for SEM and display advertising campaigns to adapt, as well. These recent AdWords product announcements allow the savvy advertiser to continue reach even more consumers at the right place, at the right time, and for the right price.
As these features begin rolling out, be prepared to test and take full advantage of these new opportunities to maximize your digital marketing results.