How many hours each day do you spend on your smartphone? Whether you're checking your email, searching for a business, or reading the latest stories from Inc., most of us are constantly connected.
We've long since passed the time when mobile was a "nice to have" for businesses. Are you doing all you can to attract and convert mobile searchers when they're looking to find a business fast? A mobile marketing strategy is a must if you want to reach consumers in today's digital world and grow your revenue and profits.
Google has unveiled four powerful new AdWords features that will help businesses reach consumers whether they're ready to buy something or go somewhere. Read on to discover how you can use them to make more money and grow your business.
Why is Google Making These Changes?
Google says that "trillions" of searches are conducted every year on Google.com globally (Google didn't provide a more exact figure - and the last official figure Google revealed was 100 billion searches per month in 2012, or roughly 1.2 trillion per year). But more than half of those searches are being done on mobile devices.
Google actually began the process of rethinking its search results and ads earlier this year, with a goal of creating a more unified experience for its users across devices. Our first glimpse of the future came when Google removed text ads from the right side of search results and added a fourth ad spot to the top of results for highly commercial queries.
But now Google has completely re-imagined advertising for a mobile-first world.
Change 1: New Ads on Google Maps
Some new types of ad are coming soon to Google Maps (which includes the app, mobile site, and desktop site) and Google.com.
These new ad formats, which include promotion pins, will give businesses the opportunity to integrate brand logos and in-store promotions directly on the surface of the map, rather than just next to it.
Here's an example of how Walgreens used the new format to showcase an offer for $3 off contact lens solution:
New local business pages will also allow users to search local inventory.
All of this is significant because:
- Google Maps has more than a billion users.
- People visit 1.5 billion businesses based on their searches (on Google.com and Maps)
A third of mobile searches are location-based. Location-based searches are growing 50 percent faster than all mobile searches.
So if you want to drive more foot traffic to your location to buy the things you know they want, then you need to think about investing in these ads when they become available later this year.
Change 2: Bigger Text Ads
Wouldn't it be awesome if 20 percent more people clicked on your ads? Well, according to Google, a big change to text ads should help accomplish just that - and also send more qualified traffic to your site.
Here's a before and after look at the changes coming to mobile and desktop text ads:
What's changing specifically? Instead of one 25-character headline, advertisers will soon have two 30-character headlines. Advertisers will also benefit from a longer 80-character description line. These news ads wrap automatically, based on device size.
This change to text ads is important because:
- Two ad headlines will take up much more valuable real estate, which will be a huge boost on mobile devices screens.
- More people will click on your ad.
- A longer description gives you more characters to convince searchers why they should tap on your listing.
You'll definitely want to jump on this opportunity before your competitors do!
Change 3: New Responsive Display Ads
If you've ever had to create banner ads for campaigns to run on the Google Display Network (GDN), you know what a pain it can be. So many different sizes to think about-leaderboards, skyscraper, half-page, and an assortment of rectangles and squares.
Wouldn't it be great if you could just provide with a headline, a description, an image, and a URL to Google, and let them worry about the best format? Yes!
Say hello to Responsive Display Ads. Just give Google the required information and you will be able to run ads that adapt to the content of the websites they're on and apps in the GDN.
Here's what Responsive Display Ads will look like in different scenarios:
Mobile ads can drive consumers into your business and result in sales. But how many people exactly? Understanding the impact of digital on a physical location has been a huge challenge for many businesses.
Did someone who did a search and clicked on your ad actually walk into your store? Well, Google has been tracking this critical metric (1 billion store visits so far over the past two years), but only for a limited number of advertisers. Good news though: Google will soon make in-store conversions more widely available to more businesses.
How does Google track in-store conversions? They simply look at phone location history.
This metric is so critical to businesses because Google says 90 percent of sales will happen in stores, not online.
In-store tracking is important because it can help you understand which ads and devices are driving the most business, and where you should invest your marketing dollars to see a higher return on investment.
All of these changes will roll out later this year. So start working on your PPC strategy now!