Adwords’ New Mobile Ad Format: What It Means For You


As a Google Adwords PPC advertiser, you are probably aware that maintaining a high ranking in the search results isn’t plain sailing. It’s in Google’s interest to continuously change their algorithms and rules to result in more relevant, compelling PPC ads. But it’s definitely worth your while keeping up with these changes, as you will be rewarded with more clicks, higher CTR, Quality Score and impression share. So what has Google announced this time? As of September, mobile PPC ads will have a new format; ads displayed on mobile devices will replace the second line of text with ad extensions.

How The New Mobile Ad Format Works

To give you an idea of how the new mobile ad format will look in the SERPs, here is a comparison for you:

You will notice that by removing the second text line, you are making the new ad more links-based. Google says this is to optimise the user experience when searching on a mobile device; making it easy for them to click and interact with your ad.

For example:
In the new mobile ad above, the user can do 4 things to find out more about the business. They can click on the ad and go to a landing page, see current offers, go direct to ordering online or get directions to the shop.

Not only will you get more traffic to your website with this new format, your searchers’ level of engagement will increase and make them more likely to enquire or buy!

However, there is a slight catch. Because Google decides on how ad extensions will appear in the PPC SERPs, you can’t guarantee that they will show all your extensions 100% of the time. Often they will only show one of your ad extensions and sometimes even none of them. If the latter happens, your ad could appear as just 2 lines: a headline and one description line, with blank space underneath. This could be due to Google wanting to fit more PPC ads at the top of mobile search engines; leaving room for more ads that will bring more clicks and money in their pockets.

Having more mobile optimised PPC ads at the top of the rankings will also encourage advertisers to bid more fiercely by increasing competition. Wordstream released the graph below, which perfectly illustrates the impact of ad position on CTR:

Benefits To PPC advertisers

You might think that the reasons behind the new mobile ad format are largely in Google's interests, so here's a summary of the benefits to you - the PPC advertiser.

1. Higher CTR -
Ad extensions are known for boosting the CTR of any PPC advert, especially on mobile devices. Consumers who are on-the-move can easily find the information they need by clicking on direct links - all in one ad. They also suggest that the business is credible and helpful.

2. More website traffic -
Naturally, with higher CTR comes more PPC traffic to your website. Having useful ad extensions, such as links to certain pages on your site, also means that this traffic will be better targeted and likely to engage with you - straight away or in the future.

3. Higher SERP ranking -
As I said earlier, Google has added 'expected impact of ad extensions' to the Ad Ranking calculation. So make sure you include relevant ad extensions to give your ads much better visibility on mobile devices. The exclusion of the second line of ad text under the new mobile format also leaves more space for you to climb up the rankings.

Want to find out more about some of the main ad extension types you can use? Read more about them here: Google Adwords Extensions: A Guide for Marketing Managers

How To Make The New Format Work For YOU

So now you have the background knowledge and know the benefits, here's the most important part; how you can harness the new mobile ad format and use it to get more leads and conversions.

1. Write mobile ads that are summarised in 1 line -
Every word counts when it comes to writing compelling ads - now more than ever. Revisit your mobile optimised ads and write all the most important, attention-grabbing copy in the headline and first description line. This means your ads will still have an impact even though the last line might not be visible.

2. Include a few ad extensions -
Set up at least 3 ad extensions to ensure that, if your second ad line is removed, you have a good variety of useful ways for searchers to engage with your ad. Not setting them up will result in you losing a line of precious advertising space - bad news for your ad ranking, CTR and impression share.

3. Tick the mobile-preferred ad option -
Do you already have regular desktop ads and want to edit them to comply with the new mobile ad format? Whenever you create a new ad, it gives you the option for it to be 'mobile-preferred'. Just create a new text ad and a copy of your desktop ad will appear, which you can adjust to keep the main message succinctly in the first line. Tick the 'mobile-preferred' box underneath and you now have a mobile device optimised ad.

4. Keep on split-testing -
To enhance your CTR and ad ranking further with the new mobile ad format, it's a smart idea to run regular split tests. Experiment with different wordings of the first line of ad text and even your use of ad extensions. For example, writing different sitelink descriptions. This testing process will allow you to hone your mobile PPC ads and stay ahead of your competitors.

This whole article goes to show how a small change to one type of Adwords PPC ad can have a huge influence on the effectiveness of your advertising. Follow these recommendations of how to get the most out of the new format of mobile ads to stay in favour with Google, improve ad ranking, impression share and CTR.

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Article by Laura Wootton