Attention: Paid Search Advertisers! Google is messing with your world again.
They’ve done this before. But this time it’s a shift that favors paid search advertisers.
As I’ve said before, mobile has become a dominant force in Google advertising. In fact, mobile now drives over half of all searches. With more consumers focused on mobile screens, Google’s paid search advertising needs to accommodate these new buying and browsing habits. They’ve recognized that what gets a user to click while searching on a computer may not produce a tap when searching on a mobile phone.
With Google’s changes, your paid search advertising will become more effective and better targeted for mobile users. But, if you don’t adjust your strategy accordingly, your campaigns will be penalized and your efforts to generate leads will fall short.
Here’s what you can expect.
What Will Happen in the Next 3 – 4 Months
This isn’t Google’s first rodeo – they tweak their paid search platform constantly. But, the first wave of changes will be among the most dramatic we’ve ever seen, affecting keyword bidding and device targeting.
As it currently stands, all bidding is tied to desktop use. Companies now set their bids for desktop paid search (PPC), which targets customers who use home or work computers to research, shop and compare. Then, only after you’ve set your desktop PPC campaign, can you adjust for bidding and clicks for mobile.
By the end of 2016, companies will be able to bid for search terms by device type. Their campaigns can target mobile phones, desktop computers and tablets separately. You can also adjust bidding up to +900% and -100%,which allow for more competitive keyword targeting on individual devices.
Basically, you can now change bids to target the most valuable device type for your market and keyword. I know, this is a “how-is-the-sausage-made” type of change, but it’s a major one for those of us who actually make the sausage – and for home improvement companies who will benefit from it.
These changes will roll out over the next six months. But, Google is holding campaign creators to a high standard. They have made it clear that ads and content have to be device-appropriate and highly refined. Those campaigns that don’t evolve are ultimately going to suffer.
Paid Ads Get Bigger by the End of 2016
The second phase change to Google AdWords is set to roll out later this year, and will offer greater message flexibility. Within the ads themselves, you’ll now have 2 headlines instead of 1, plus longer description copy.
This means more clicks for home improvement advertisers who are at the top of the page on desktop. And it also means a larger ad at the top of the page on mobile searches as well. Paid search ads will get more visual area and consequently will garner higher performance. Google reports the new ads have tested with 20% higher click-through-rates compared to their current ads.
As expected, when the expanded text ads roll out, organic search results will move further down the page (again) – where they will get receive relatively fewer clicks.
Home improvement companies will need to adjust their advertising strategies and rewrite their AdWords campaigns. However, for those companies who are used to advertising at the top of the pages, this is all good news. Greater control over campaigns along with higher click through rates is a win-win for those who know how to do it right.