It’s been a year of big changes for AdWords, but with less than a month of 2016 to go there’s just enough time for a couple more. Text ad extensions have most recently come under the microscope with early signs of updates to come and some interesting implications for advertisers.
Arguably the least surprising of the two extension updates is the new Price Extension. Google rolled out this extension for mobile text ads earlier this year in July, followed by some additional layout changes. Initially in a listed format, Google updated the extension in November to a carousel card format. Users can now swipe through cards with their relevant starting prices.
Even more recently, however, yet another update to the Price Extension has been spotted. The new carousel format for the extension has been seen tested on desktop. Whilst it’s still early days, recent indications are that advertisers can expect to see this new extension available for both mobile and desktop text ads in the future.
So, what exactly do you get with the new extension?
Advertisers can list up to 8 products or services and their starting prices by brand, event, neighbourhood, product category, product tier, service, service category or service tier. For each item, advertisers can:
- Add a clickable title in the header column.
- Add a short description of 25 characters.
- Add the price.
- Add a qualifier for the price if applicable, with units of per hour, day, week, month or year.
- Add a final URL.
Advertisers will need to have a minimum of 3 items to use the extension and they should all, of course, be relevant to the ad group keywords. Like other extensions, advertisers can apply the Price Extension to the account, campaign or ad group level. Advertisers should also be aware that only ads in the top position will be eligible to show this extension.
Implications for advertisers
All extensions enable advertisers to add additional valuable information to attract customers and the added copy makes for an extra clickable ad that takes up precious search page real estate. The size and breadth of information displayed by this latest extension looks to take these benefits even further. Even the new carousel layout takes up considerable space, particularly for the mobile extension, and the interactive format could prove especially tempting to users.
While advertisers may benefit from increased CTRs, the anticipated popularity of this extension could see competition increase for that all important top spot followed closely by an increase in CPCs.
Still, the Price Extension provides previously unavailable opportunities for advertisers in a wide range industries beyond retail. Displaying prices for a variety of products or services allows advertisers to appeal to users at various stages of the sales funnel and offers yet more valuable space to top spot ads.
The unofficially named Promotion Extension has also been spotted in an early testing phase. Like the Price Extension, Google seems to be taking inspiration from shopping ads to improve the appeal of text ads and look outside of retail.
Spotted back in November, the new Promotion Extension shows a tag icon with a clickable promotional offer followed by some descriptive text. If you’re thinking this sounds familiar, you may be thinking of Merchant Promotions for shopping ads that follows the same idea.
After an initial desktop sighting of the new extension, a further mobile version was discovered by Ginny Marvin at Search Engine Land. However, other than this indication that the extension may be rolling out for all devices, it’s still too early to provide any more details.
Implications for advertisers
Although it’s early days there are clearly some interesting implications for advertisers should this extension roll out officially.
As with the Price Extension, this latest offering looks to bring some of the benefits and opportunities of shopping ads to verticals beyond retail. Even more industries can now expect to be able to compete with retail and appeal to the price concerned consumer.
Adding yet another extension to the repertoire also looks to take up yet more search page space and increase the chance of a click. Good news possibly for CTRs, but dangerous territory for competition, cost and CPCs.
Advertisers will also no doubt enjoy the ability to update promotions at the campaign or ad group level rather than having to adjust ad copy. Should this new extension pass early testing phases, it should be easier to manage and update promotional offers across text ads.
Like many advertisers, we relish the thought of being able to offer additional information to appeal to potential customers and hopefully encourage even more conversions. For businesses that fall outside the realm of retail, these new shopping inspired extensions may help to level the playing field and offer even more opportunities. Consumers should also benefit, with even more useful information and interactive formats to help them make their choice.
Of course, more clicks don’t always mean more conversions. Extra clickable text ads can just as easily drive costs and increase CPAs, and increased competition for the top spot might see CPCs increase as well. As with all extensions, advertisers should test and choose the ones that work for them, rather than focusing on simply expanding their text ads and driving CTRs.
If you want to know more about some of this year’s big AdWords changes and how you can start making them work for you, contact one of our team on 01183 805 705.