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AdWords Update Provides New Analytics, Mobile Targeting, and Text Ad Format

Aug 16, 2011   |   Conversion Best Practices
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AdWords Update

In an effort to accommodate the ever growing number of mobile and tablet users (over 165 million tables are expected to ship over the next two years), Google has recently provided AdWords users a more effective targeting option for anyone running a mobile or tablet based PPC campaign. These changes were also rolled out in line with other major updates for how text ads are displayed on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and in line with an additional PPC metric referred to as “Top vs. Side.”

  1. Updated Targeting Options
    AdWords Targeting Options

    • Figure 1: Under Networks and Devices, users will now have the option to target tablets and mobile devices down to the operating system or the mobile carrier. Typically mobile and tablet campaigns provide higher CTR and lower CPC than their desktop and laptop counterparts.
    • With the growth of the smart phone market and the increasing number of bookings occurring via mobile devices, it is more important than ever to ensure you have some form of mobile presence.
    • As we begin to understand what operating systems and carriers are better suited for mobile advertising, we can more effectively target our campaigns in the hopes of increasing conversions.
  2. Updates to Display Ads
    AdWords Display Ads

    • Figure 2: Google’s most recent update for text ads has seen a shift in the location of the display URL to directly below the headline on both paid and organic listings.
    • Over the past few months, Google text ads have seen some major changes including, shifting the 1st line of AdCopy to the Headline, incorporation of embedded hyperlinks in AdCopy, and most recently a shift in the display URL to directly below the Headline. If you haven’t had chances to update your AdCopy to take advantage of these most recent changes, we suggest that you do so now.
    • As a best practice, try to include any relevant keywords or branded terms in the Display URL as there is a chance it could improve an ads CTR.
  3. Top vs Side Comparisons
    AdWords Top vs Side Comparisons

    • Figure 3: Users can now compare how ads are performing when they appear above the search engine results versus the side of SERPS. In this instance, an AdGroup focusing on branded keywords received 33 clicks when it appeared above the search engine results while receiving 0 clicks when it appeared on the right hand side (despite a strong average position).
    • As noted by Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, “ads that appear above the search results tend to get substantially more clicks than ads that appear on the right-hand side.” Understanding your position can help you better allocate your available budget to your top PPC performers.

As a PPC professional, it’s important to stay on top of major changes Google implements to its AdWords interface; especially if it is related to AdCopy. Whether or not you update your AdCopy, Google is constantly changing the way it is displayed to the end user and it’s your job to ensure that this is done to your benefit. Take advantage of all the great opportunities that Google is providing, from AdCopy to mobile to metrics.

Contributed by: David Addison, eStrategist, Milestone Internet Marketing

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