If you haven’t caught on by now, mobile is not the future. Mobile is the now, and it’s time to get on board. For the past three years we have been encouraging a mobile-first approach for everything online marketing. From the responsive design of a website, to ad design, mobile user interaction and ranking factors influenced by mobile search algorithms.
Last week, Google hosted their annual Performance Summit, announcing some of the biggest changes to roll out over the next 18-months. Since the launch of the AdWords platform some 15 years ago it has continued to evolve, with the last significant design and user interface changes happening back in 2008. The design-centric changes are just icing on the cake for what’s to come.
Here’s the top 4 changes we see to have the most significant impact for many.
Expanded Text Ads
Many will recall the changes Google made back in February to the search engine results page (SERP) with the removal of right sidebar ads. This, Google stated, was to create a more unified experience across all devices.
With expanded text, headlines will now get much larger. Soon we can expect to have two, 30-character headlines, which takes place of the original single 25-character headline. Many in the industry have already started to experience this change.
Description line text also changes to a single 80-character line, versus the original two 35-characters lines. These changes will be effective on both desktop and mobile ad versions.
An example of the major changes with expanded text ads:
Responsive Display Ads
Responsive design shouldn’t be anything new. For the past few years this design concept has become the standard for web development. AdWords now follows suit with responsive display ads. Possibly one of the most welcomed changes that we see is the ability to have a single ad that adapts and changes for the various placements within the Google Display Network (GDN).
With this change, advertisers will now be able to upload a single ad image, specify a URL, headline, description, and Google will create the responsive layout for you. A similar play to what can be found in Facebook’s ad platform already. Thus eliminating the need to create a number of different individual ad sizes.
Local Search Ads on Google Maps with Promoted Pins
The next generation of local search ads will be a feature of Google Maps, with what they call Promoted Pins. Both in-app and browser versions will receive this treatment. For many a local business, the in-app provides the most valuable of placements to drive traffic to your door.
Advertiser’s logos and offers will appear on the map, accompany the search results. The number of location-based searches performed in Google alone is staggering. Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are location based.
Bidding By Device
In 2013 Google developed what are known as enhanced campaigns, making it easier for advertisers to operate a single ad campaign that targeted across all devices and browser types. While we have been able to adjust bid strategies based on mobile-only devices and locations, this approach could never be applied to the likes of desktop and tablet users. In the near future, Google will make changes to this and allow advertisers to adjust bids across all devices.
Change is good, right? Many of these changes highlighted should have a positive impact on the way advertisers are targeting audience members, and managing campaigns in an effective manor. We anticipate some changes to take shape in the next 2-4 months, with the remaining major changes rolling out over the next 18 months.