Google AdWords is an incredibly powerful marketing tool which every marketer should be familiar with.
Last week Google announced a number of significant changes to AdWords. The big driver behind these changes is mobile – Google says that users talk about their smartphone as being ‘attached to my hip’, being a ‘butler’ or a ‘lifeline’. In other words, mobile is becoming more and more important and Google has revamped AdWords to recognise this.
Google blogged in detail about the changes here: http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/. What follows is a friendly summary.
New Text Ads
Earlier this year Google removed the text ad column down the right hand side of the search page. This was done to make text ads more consistent across devices, and clearly prepared the ground for these new changes.
Now Google is changing how the ads look so that they are optimised for mobile devices.
We’re all used to the standard format for a text ad: 25 character title, two description lines of 35 characters, a display URL of 35 characters. So what are they changing to? TWO 30 character headlines, ONE consolidated 80 character description, and a display URL extracted from your real URL but with a customisable URL path.
So the ads are changing from something like this:
Google reckons that this could lead to a 20% improvement in clickthrough rates.
Local Search Ads Appearing in Google Maps
Fortunately this should not mean disruptive ads plastered across Google Maps.
What it does mean is that businesses that have ads with local extensions will be featured more strongly on maps, such as displaying a logo to indicate a location as well as the pin symbol. A bar below the map could show things like the user satisfaction ratings and a special offer, and tapping on the ad would take you to more information.
Image from Google Blog
Coupled to the local search ads, Google has the ability to measure in-store conversions and has improved local business pages, so the ‘local’ aspect of AdWords is improving dramatically. In store conversions can simply be measured by looking at the phone location history to see whether they searched for an ad before going into the store to buy.
Responsive Display Ads
Display ads also get some key improvements to make them more mobile friendly. For a startoff, they will all be fully responsive, so there is no need to create a whole host of different ad shapes (tall, wide, square etc).They will look like this:
Image from Google Blog
Creating them has also been simplified. Just provide headlines, a description, an image and a URL and Google does the rest.
Mobile Device Bidding
It used to be the case that you set your bid for a desktop device, and could then adjust the bid for mobile or tablet devices. To simplify this and allow you to focus on the device type that is most important to you, you can now set separate bids for each or choose which of the three device types will be the default and then adjust the bid relative to that for the other two devices.
In addition, bid adjustments can now be up to +900%.
So when will these changes appear? Google says ‘later this year’, and given that we’re not far away from half way through the year already (where does it all go?) it won’t be long before you see these changes.
That means that the time to plan for them is now!