Throughout the last couple of weeks, there has been a number of major changes in the search engine, digital media, environment. As these platforms are constantly evolving, we must ensure to keep on top of all modifications, allowing our clients’ campaigns to deliver the best return on investment possible.
Local-specific phone numbers
It has become apparent that since Google has altered their call extensions within location ads, a number of companies that depend on calls diverting to a specific phone number for conversion tracking have faced challenges.
On 19th January 2017, Google announced that AdWords will begin to display the local phone number that is listed to companies Google My Business accounts to local searchers, regardless of how call extensions have been applied. Basically, this means that the call extension used in your AdWords campaigns for ‘call tracking’ will no longer appear with your location extension on the local search engine.
“Call extensions make it easy for customers to call you directly from your ad and for you to better understand the value of your campaigns by measuring the phone calls that your ads generate”. (Wordstream, 2017). A location extension will only appear when a user is relatively close to said location, therefore this change will not affect all searchers, just ones in the local area.
A positive note is that paid ads and organic results will now be sharing consistent information. It has been found that a number of users have been confused as to why Google My Business and organic searches show different phone numbers for the same business address.
However, the major constraint is the challenge local businesses now encounter as they have lost their call tracking ability therefore there is now no way of telling whether the ads have lead to conversions.
Ads Added by AdWords
In one of Google’s latest tests, the platform now has the ability to use existing ad content and landing page content to create ads, that are incorporated into current ad groups automatically. This is definitely something to keep an eye on!
Since 26th January, Google has been selecting AdWords campaign with “Optimise for clicks” or “Optimise for conversions” ad rotation settings that have few ads in within ad groups. Google are currently on their second wave of testing and have piloted this automation on approximately 2,000 accounts.
During this testing phase, the ads are generated by people as opposed to auto-generated to ensure quality assurance is paramount. On Google’s Help Centre page, they state: “We believe that adding more ads to the affected ad groups can improve these ad groups’ performance by 5 to 15%.”
The most obvious drawback and concern is the loss of control businesses will begin to have on their AdWords campaigns if Ads Added by Adwords rolls out more broadly.
We will keep an eye on this pilot and keep you updated with any advancements!
Make way for expanded text ads
In August 2016, Google announced that their new expanded text ads would replace the standard text ads. This new format boosts the ad length by a whopping 50% with a character limit of 145 meaning more call to actions of product highlights can be incorporate to challenge against competitor ads.
Google removed the ability to be able to edit standard text ads on 31st January 2017, these text ads will stay live and continue to run however cannot be amended. If you want to create a new text ad is must be in the expanded text ad format.
To accompany this advancement, google issued a set of best practises for expanded text ads, these include:
- Replicate what works in standard text ads in your expanded text ads
- Test multiple versions of your expanded text ads
- Focus on testing headlines
- Don’t implement the same expanded text ad across many different groups
- Don’t write expanded text ads that lose their relevance to a user’s query
Don’t leave out specific benefits or attributes of your product that had proven to be enticing in the past