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Why Search Marketers Should Leverage Google's Ad Enhancements

The results you receive on Google's search pages seem to change with every query. As a search marketer, understanding this changing ad landscape is crucial in maintaining relevancy and gaining cost efficiencies. In recent years, Google rolled out extension options to expand Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad formats for a better user experience. By pioneering these features, Google has improved relevance for the user as well as performance for advertisers. The AMP search team took a proactive approach to evaluating these Google creative enhancements by testing them among our client campaigns. Shortly after leveraging Google's extension options, their value was clear. Campaigns experienced rocketing click-through rates (CTR) across all extension types. New creative treatments such as SiteLinks, Product, Location and Phone extensions delivered far more specific and relevant results to search queries. As a result, click volume increased substantially while Cost Per Click rates (CPC) lowered as well. Let's just say it was a win win. On Location Extensions alone, test campaigns experienced CTR's 400% higher and CPC's 25% lower than when the ad format was not showing. For that reason, the AMP team quickly incorporated Google's ad enhancements into our standard campaign best practices. Undoubtedly, Google's ad enhancements have revamped the aesthetics and functionality of paid search ads. While competitors, such as Bing, have been trying to catch up, Google remains the leader in creative options. The ease of implementation and tracking has made these features even more appealing for advertisers while relevance has become a better experience for searchers. Better products have translated into higher revenue for Google, a pretty simple business model that continues to work. Relevance remains fundamental to effectively delivering the service of search results to its customer base, whether those are searchers themselves or advertisers. Google's deep understanding of this component continues to drive the company to evolve and improve its product offering. As search marketers, it is critical to stay on top of these new releases while also being proactive in testing and measuring. Believe us, it will pay off!

This Week's Buzz within the Digital Space

June 14th-18th Apple and Google are at it again. Apple has publicized an addendum to their licensing agreement which bans any ad provider that is affiliated with a mobile hardware or operating system company (most notably, Google's recently acquired Admob) from gathering user data on their platform. Data collection is such a vital component of digital advertising; without it, we are unable to evolve our marketing strategy to adopt to and serve consumer preferences. Although Apple now seems to have an unfair advertising advantage, can we really blame them for not wanting to facilitate and benefit their competitor? This interaction epitomizes the companies' differing strategies: closed versus open. Interest in 3-D technology continues to heighten. From 3-D World Cup coverage to 3-D gaming, digital headlines this past week were swarming with mention of 3-D innovation. Unfortunately, this technology appears to have a fatal flaw. Thinking back to the basics of product diffusion, will our desire to adopt outweigh the complexity of integrating 3-D tech into our lifestyle? Does 3-D offer a significant relative advantage to good ol' fashion 2-D? The possibility for consumer rejection is high'but the potential for adoption could have huge implications for the future of advertising. Three brave advertisers (Sony, Gillette, and Disney-Pixar) are attempting to target these early adopters'while paying a 30-40% premium for a 3-D spot. ESPN's 3-D channel premiered the first ads which were designed specifically for live 3-D programming on June 11th. Their experiment with 3-D ads is just the beginning. The television networks, the cable providers, the hardware producers, the ad producers, and the consumers must all be on board in order for this technology to take off. Consumers love iPad advertisements. The average user's interaction time with an iPad ad is 30 seconds and click-through rates have run between .9% and 1.5% (6x the traditional web benchmark for click-to-expand ads). Currently, we can only speak for the early adopters who are enamored with the device's functionality: including the interactive ads it serves them. But as publishers begin to experiment with the iPad and discover new methods to engage their user (see: Time's already evolving iPad application), mainstream participation could be in sight. Despite this success, similar to what was discovered during the early days of the Internet, an improved method for measuring participation must be established: click-through rates are no longer relevant. A new tool from comScore, for example, tracks what happens after a customer views an ad (do they do a product search? do they visit a B&M store?) by cross-referencing their metrics with offline data. If we continue to measure ad success based soley on CTRs, what will happen when the iPad becomes mainstream? CTRs will seem to deflate while that might not be a true indicator of a decrease in engagement.

  • 3 min read
  • June 22, 2010

This Week's Buzz within the Digital Space

June 14th-18th Apple and Google are at it again. Apple has publicized an addendum to their licensing agreement which bans any ad provider that is affiliated with a mobile hardware or operating system company (most notably, Google's recently acquired Admob) from gathering user data on their platform. Data collection is such a vital component of digital advertising; without it, we are unable to evolve our marketing strategy to adopt to and serve consumer preferences. Although Apple now seems to have an unfair advertising advantage, can we really blame them for not wanting to facilitate and benefit their competitor? This interaction epitomizes the companies' differing strategies: closed versus open. Interest in 3-D technology continues to heighten. From 3-D World Cup coverage to 3-D gaming, digital headlines this past week were swarming with mention of 3-D innovation. Unfortunately, this technology appears to have a fatal flaw. Thinking back to the basics of product diffusion, will our desire to adopt outweigh the complexity of integrating 3-D tech into our lifestyle? Does 3-D offer a significant relative advantage to good ol' fashion 2-D? The possibility for consumer rejection is high'but the potential for adoption could have huge implications for the future of advertising. Three brave advertisers (Sony, Gillette, and Disney-Pixar) are attempting to target these early adopters'while paying a 30-40% premium for a 3-D spot. ESPN's 3-D channel premiered the first ads which were designed specifically for live 3-D programming on June 11th. Their experiment with 3-D ads is just the beginning. The television networks, the cable providers, the hardware producers, the ad producers, and the consumers must all be on board in order for this technology to take off. Consumers love iPad advertisements. The average user's interaction time with an iPad ad is 30 seconds and click-through rates have run between .9% and 1.5% (6x the traditional web benchmark for click-to-expand ads). Currently, we can only speak for the early adopters who are enamored with the device's functionality: including the interactive ads it serves them. But as publishers begin to experiment with the iPad and discover new methods to engage their user (see: Time's already evolving iPad application), mainstream participation could be in sight. Despite this success, similar to what was discovered during the early days of the Internet, an improved method for measuring participation must be established: click-through rates are no longer relevant. A new tool from comScore, for example, tracks what happens after a customer views an ad (do they do a product search? do they visit a B&M store?) by cross-referencing their metrics with offline data. If we continue to measure ad success based soley on CTRs, what will happen when the iPad becomes mainstream? CTRs will seem to deflate while that might not be a true indicator of a decrease in engagement.

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