This year, getting your AdWords campaigns in shape has likely proven to be a challenge.
In February, Google removed the ads that were displayed on the right side of the search results. Since then, advertisers have reported everything from cataclysmic downturns to essentially no impact on their campaigns at all.
The biggest struggle for advertisers, has been maintaining first-page placement with fewer positions on the first page. Generally, advertisers have endured some combination of fewer impressions and clicks, increased cost-per-click, lower click-through-rates, and a higher cost-per-conversion.
As the legion of Google search advertisers begin new AdWords regiments, we’re learning about some enhancements and updates Google is working on this summer.
Expanded Text AdsAds will begin to look even more like organic results. Today, most advertisers are still limited to a 25 character headline and two 35 character description lines. Soon, you’ll have two 30 character headlines and a single 80 character description line. As part of Google’s Mobile-first World Initiatives this will be carried over to mobile devices as well.
Ad ExtensionsIf you’re running AdWords campaigns you may already be familiar with extensions, which give additional information—usually in the form of links—which may be appended to your ad, and can be optimized from the “Ad Extensions” tab within your AdWords campaign. There are no extra costs associated with using extensions, and they usually increase click-through-rates for your ads. Extensions are not guaranteed to show with your ad, but when they are triggered by the algorithm, you have the opportunity to provide users with everything from your phone number, to links to specific areas of your site, your company’s review rating, and more. The expanded text ads aren’t the only thing getting a makeover, extensions are getting treated by Google as well.
SMS Text ExtensionsSimilar to the current Call Extensions, which allow mobile users to call you directly from a number displayed in your search ads, users may soon be able to reach a business via text. This could be a great way for customers to connect for quick questions, and may have even bigger applications for stores that also have a brick-and-mortar location.
Price ExtensionsThere is speculation that Google may use these extension formats for more than just displaying prices, however, since Google hasn’t provided any specific information during the testing phase, we’re calling them Price Extensions. From what we’ve seen from Search Engine Land and our own research, when Price Extensions accompany your ads, prices for specific products or services will display, and users will be able to click through to your website to view, and purchase. So far, two versions of these have been seen. Our search shows the table view, and a screenshot from Search Engine Land provides a look at the carousel view.
While Review Extensions aren’t a new addition, Google has been testing a potential update. Review Extensions currently display a star rating when triggered, but in the future, this may be a percentage. Reviews are calculated based on a number of third party sites where people rate your business. Review Extensions will only display if you’re a Google Trusted Store. So, if you’re interested in Review Extensions, and a bevvy other benefits, make sure you peruse that distinction.
The updated Review Extensions don’t seem to be tested in the US at this time, but PureFX, a currency exchange company in the UK, did provide Search Engine Land with this image.
The effect of removing the ads on the right side of the search results page is certainly still being felt, but there is much for E-commerce advertisers to look forward to. Instead of lamenting the hearty search results page of the past, it’s time to adjust our routines and embrace the future. More ad real estate, including additional characters and extension improvements, will allow for more engaging and impactful ads. Embrace the change; it’s time to tone-up those campaigns.