If you’ve been advertising using Google Adwords for even brief time you’ve probably heard of Ad Extensions and why they are important. In the event you haven’t, ad extensions are additional information and links you can use to enhance your messaging, provide more direct web page links, click to call capability, social proof like reviews and more. They will display with your ad at times when you hit the top of page positions. (note: many of the same ad extensions are available in Bing AdCenter as well)
They are important for a variety of reasons, most notably because they take more visual real estate, offer more messaging opportunities and have been shown to result in higher click through rates. But today, we have another reason why you want to be using ad extensions; Mobile.
We’ve recapped the fact that the mobile revolution is here. So it’s not so much that more prospects are using mobile devices to search for products and services. That is a given. But it is about a change in the way that Google displays ad extensions on mobile search listings. Here is an example of a search I performed today.
Direct your attention to the blocks below the main advertisement. These are ad extensions, specifically site links. Notice how Google not only gives these the same height as the ad. What you may not have noticed is that you can scroll horizontally to display more of the site links and therefore your marketing messages. Users can click any of these to load up a specific page. In this case, if they want a quote or to get right to applying for financing.
Next, move to the call block below that. That’s right, what you are seeing is a big fat click-to-call button a prospect can use to get you right on the phone. Boom, Instant contact from a prospect conversion right to your sales team.
These are huge click through rate and conversion drivers that also provide an enormous presence that can’t be missed when you are the top of page listing in mobile.First analyse whats new in digital marketing? and then analyse what are the necessary extensions to promote your ad. Deploy the ad extensions that make sense for your company and watch your mobile performance improve!
Longest title for a blog post ever. Nailed it. Anyway, moving on to the important topic of the day…
2016 brought many changes in the search engine landscape. We recapped a lot of them, including the arrival of mobile as the dominant search device and the 5 big changes Google brought to mobile search in 2016.
With a new year comes new changes to the search marketing landscape. Today we are going to focus on the search result pages themselves, and how mobile search is changing the ways your prospects interact with them.
Without further delay, here are the 5 things you should know about how your prospects are using search engine results pages!
#5) Mobile Devices are Reconditioning Users
I’ve been around digital marketing long enough to remember the time when making a user scroll in any direction was just bad design. My how things have changed. The advent of Facebook style feeds and the increasing adoption of mobile devices has resulted in a significant alteration in user interaction. So much so that Google removed the right side ads from desktop search results pages last year to mimic its mobile design. In fact, I know people whose entire online experience is driven primarily through their mobile phones and applications.
As you might have guessed, this means fierce competition for the top spot on search engine results pages, both mobile and desktop.
But, it also means that businesses positioned lower on the SERPs, especially around spots 2 to 4, are seeing more click activity than several years ago. This makes it critical for you to be testing and measuring performance at each position. With solid keyword quality scores and a second or third position bid you may reduce your cost per click and cost per lead while increasing your click through rates.
Just be sure not to be listed too far down the page. As the study also found that 7.4% of clicks were below the 4th organic listing on mobile versus 16% on a desktop. And only 62.9% of the mobile searches even resulted in a scroll-down at all. (source: Moz.com)
#4) People Are Viewing More Search Results Listing During a Single Session, but Spend Less Time Viewing Each One
Another side effect of the mobile experience, social media and mobile applications is a shortening attention span of users. As if that weren’t already a problem, it seems these are turning us into a society of attention deficit disorder sufferers. If you haven’t heard the reports on mobile and digital addiction like drug addiction (florida woman brings drugs to jury duty arrested for bringing drugs to jury duty) and its effects on people, you soon will.
In short, paid search is more important than ever. Why? The Moz.com study, when looking at mobile SERPs that included paid listings, local listings and a knowledge graph found the following:
- 5% of test subjects looked at the top organic listing, versus 99% on the organic only pages. A 20.7% reduction.
- 2% of SERP clicks were to the top organic listings, versus 40% on the organic only pages. A 17% reduction.
- 57% of SERP clicks went to the top 4 organic listings, versus 75% on the organic only pages. A 24% reduction.
They didn’t specify exactly where the clicks went when the results page had organic listings, paid listings and knowledge graph but the implication here is clear. Using paid search to be present into the top 3 paid listings will siphon users away from the organic listings on mobile devices.
This is incredible to note because…
#3) Sponsored Results Earn About Twice as Many Clicks as Organic Results…
…for keywords with high commercial intent, an important distinction. In fact, according to the WordStream study for keywords with high commercial intent (meaning the prospect is looking to make a purchase) paid ads received 64.6% of clicks. Meaning in these cases the click is much more likely to go to the paid ad versus an organic listing.
Let that sink in for a moment. I know many companies that spend a fortune of time and money on SEO efforts. When it comes to searches with commercial intent, they are investing significant resources to keep up, for apparently diminishing returns.
I used to recommend that clients employ a 70% SEO and 30% PPC effort. Due to the changing landscape over the years I’ve completely switched. I now recommend 70% to paid search and 30% to SEO. There is a variety of reasons for the switch, but this is certainly one of them. (source: Wordstream) . For creating Adwords you might need to pay some money, here is a website who provides loans for 10000.
#2) Mobile Users Click the Top 2 Paid Listings More than Desktop Users
I would file this under things that we already “knew” were happening, but are now proven to be true.
The mobile experience brought with it smaller screen sizes that severely limit our ability to include the same amount of information we used for desktop pages. It also meant that there would be no more divided real estate on the page. No more multi column layouts. It is a vertical experience, with users starting at the top and scrolling down, viewing the content in a tighter sequence. As 3 paid search results become more common at the top of mobile pages, it makes perfect sense that the top two would garner more clicks in our increasingly lazy culture.
So how much more likely are you to get that click in the top 2 positions in mobile, 32.4% more than desktop according to this MOZ study. Capturing that traffic would provide a nice incremental lift to any campaign. (source: Moz.com)
#1) The Top Sponsored Ad is Seen by 91% of Searchers Using a Mobile Device
I saved the best finding of this study for last. Because it is a whopper. Ad Rank, based on your bid and quality scores, has never been more important. The same goes for mobile usability (not to be confused with responsive design).
If you can optimize your way into the top listing in a way that keeps your cost per click reasonable, and you can convert prospects well, you have a chance to reach 91% of your search audience by ranking for the top paid spot on mobile searches.
Ninety. One. Percent.
Remember that statistic the next time someone recommends you focus all efforts on search engine optimization and none on paid search marketing. (source: Moz.com)
Do you have something to share about the changes in SERP use due to the mobile revolution? Share with the group below!
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Ever get frustrated because you just can’t fit your awesome ad title due to the character limitation in Google Adwords? It happens regularly to me. But before we get to the exciting news, let’s step back to a time before the last enhanced ad update in Google.
In the days before the enhanced ad and device targeting update I employed a strategy to isolate mobile performance from desktop by separating them into their own campaigns. I wanted to easily see the difference in performance, and be able to apply budget accordingly.
When enhanced ads came on the scene Google required users to roll these ads into one campaign and specify ads for mobile. It made sense since the mobile revolution was arriving and mobile performance was on the rise. And even though we could create shorter mobile ads, I never used them due to the even more limited character real estate available. Looking back, that was the right move, since the mobile ads continued to perform well, and in many cases better than their desktop counterparts.
Fast forward to 2016 and Google has now rolled out expanded text ads, providing a second line for the headline. Pretty exciting right? My opinion is YES! And NO!
Let me explain…
Being able to create a more detailed message to separate my clients from the competition is indeed a welcome improvement. With the two headlines, description, site links and callouts our ads can convey a more complete message to prospects searching for us on Google. This is a huge plus for marketers that know how to take advantage of the increased ad real estate.
However, I’ve noticed two things in testing that give me pause.
First, when using the expanded ads, I can’t specify one version for mobile, and one version for desktop. Over the years I’ve noticed that the same ad text may perform differently across devices and optimize accordingly. Having ads specified for mobile right in my ad view gives me a very clear and easy way to see how my mobile ads perform relative to desktop. With the new expanded ads, the ability to specify an ad for mobile is going away. And I believe this is a mistake on Google’s part. To be clear, you can get to the information by digging deeper into device targeting statistics. But you will never be able to tell Google that this ad is ONLY for mobile. It will be used for both, whether you like it or not. The result is ad sets that are more homogeneous between devices, instead of optimized per their performance by device.
Standard Ad with Mobile Targeting Option
Expanded Text Ad with No Mobile Targeting Option
Second, also during our initial testing, I’ve noticed that some of the expanded ads that contain the original standard champion ad text do not perform as well as their standard counterparts. Counter-intuitive I know, but this is why we test our way into everything for our clients instead of jumping in without looking. In the instances where the standard ads are still performing better we will continue to test new expanded ads to find a new champion. The problem is that Google is phasing out the standards ads in 2016 altogether, and soon. For this reason I strongly recommend you do a lot of testing now while you can, before the standard ads are gone altogether. Not having the option to keep a standard ad champion that the expanded ads aren’t beating is a bad thing in my opinion. But it’s something that is coming, like it or not.
As a side note, I had a discussion with a Bing Adcenter rep last week, and they report that expanded ads are coming to Bing soon.
Have you used expanded ads yet? What are you seeing as you roll out the new format? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
Update 9/14/16: We just received word from Google that the end date for standard ads has been moved to January 31, 2017.
*image credit Austin & Williams
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with fellow marketer Patricia Hammond, founder of the Queen City Buzz, Manchester NH’s Business & Tech Blog, to discuss Inbound Marketing, SEO, SEM and the Paid Search Society. Visit and listen to our podcast but beware, there are pro marketing tips ahead!
Rules, rules everywhere! Ask ten different paid search marketing experts how many keywords you should have in a single campaign, and you’ll probably get ten different answers. All of which will likely be in a range of no more than fifty.
The question is, why would there be a limit on the amount of keywords you’d want to target in any single campaign? The answer comes in a few forms. So let’s look at them, and then discuss why sometimes none of it matters.
- Manageability – Remember that you’ll be using a combination of match types for your keywords. This could mean 3 keywords for each term you wish to target. Stuffing a campaign full of keywords can make it more difficult to process the information and manage the campaign.
- Budget – An oft forgotten practice is to be sure you have enough budget to cover a sufficient number of clicks each day. Only have a $10 budget? Makes no sense to have 100 keywords that require $5 per click to compete. You just won’t have enough money for Google to get your keywords into, and out of the auctions fast enough with such a low threshold.
- Focus – Your keyword sets should be narrowly focused for a variety of reasons. Relevance being one, which heavily effects your quality score, which effects your bid for position and cost per click etc. Too many unrelated keywords can torpedo your effort.
With all this in mind, I’m now going to give you some examples of when you should break the rules. Having serviced a variety of paid search lead generation campaigns across various industries I’ve learned that there is in fact a time and a place to stuff that campaign full of keywords. Here are three for you to consider.
- Testing – Sometimes you have some ideas of keyword sets to target that are loosely related, but making a bunch of campaigns to test them is time prohibitive. In this case it’s ok to load up a campaign full of these terms and see what rises to the top. When you’ve identified some winners, break them off into their own campaign.
One practical example of this is when a paid search client was targeting specific equipment they wanted to finance for other businesses. There is a limitless amount of industrial equipment out there. So it made sense to load a list into the campaign to see what prospects were in fact searching for and let the cream rise to the top.
- Local Businesses – Local paid search lead generation campaigns can sometimes be the most difficult. Your market is smaller and user behavior is certainly unique. Many prospects will search using geographic qualifiers. Sure your broad or modified broad match keywords may pick them up. But if you want to reduce non relevant clicks and widen your net a little bit, it might be a good idea expand your keyword set using those geographic qualifiers.
A great example is the work we do for a local carpet cleaning company. The highest volume of search tends to be around ‘carpet cleaner’ or ‘carpet cleaning’. But the broad search picks up traffic from users searching for how to, chemicals, rentals and a whole host of terms that waste spend. Instead, modify the term by adding a location, just as users search, because it changes the intent. If I’m searching for ‘carpet cleaning manchester nh’ it is more likely I’m looking for a professional to do the job.
- Heavy Qualifier – Similar to the above, there may be times when your main search term is pretty general, but something prospects do indeed search for. In these cases, create your keyword matrix using additional qualifiers to get in front the search intent you are looking for. Then pack your campaign to the gills with these terms and monitor performance.
In these instances it is not unusual for us to have two to three hundred keywords in one single campaign. But by keeping them both relevant and specific we are able to widen the net while tapping into traffic. For running campaign get low cost loans online and make your business converts and generates leads for your business.
Have some additional ideas on when it’s the right call to break the keyword limit rules? Let us know, we’d love share it with our audience!