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The New Adwords Format – Are You Behind the Curve Again?

Google Give Us More Room in Our Ads

Adwords policy on the ad format changed recently. The promoted reason from Google was to bring the ads in line with the mobile view of things. This of course makes sense given the fact that recent data shows over 50% of all web content is now being viewed on mobile devices.

The differences in numbers:

Old adwords format:

  • 25 characters in the headline
  • 2 description lines with 35 characters each
  • 95 characters total

New adwords format:

  • 2 headline fields of 35 characters each
  • one description field of 80 characters
  • 150 characters total

At first glance you’d be tempted to say, ah cool, more room! We all struggle to make compelling copy in such small spaces after all. However, the real gravy in my opinion is the way they’ve changed it, and 2 special little fields I have not mentioned yet.

So first off, the bigger headline should be a good thing. After all, headlines are the make or break part of the ad. If your headline doesn’t catch their attention, adios! Another good thing they did is to remove placing your display URL at the beginning of the headline. This always irked me, cuz sometimes you just don’t want it there! You can see what I mean in the shot of one of my ads below. Even though this ads converts well, I don’t like it:

Old adwords ad format with extentions

With the new format, they have gotten rid of this, now what you enter is what shows up in the ad. Here’s a copy of one I just started to test against the above ad:

New larger headline in adwords

Larger Adwords Headlines Should Mean Higher Click Thru Rates!

Of course as anyone who’s ever used this traffic source knows, there are no guarantees. But having more copy in the headline should be a good thing, time to test.

Now take a look at the display URL in the ad above and notice after the “.com” portion you’ll see “/stop/wrist-pain/”. Google has labeled this as a Path field with two blocks available, see the shot below. This is actually copied from a technique we’ve used for years now. Previously good ad writers experimented with adding a subdomain as a prefix to the display URL, something like this:

“wrist.pain.tigerpawwristsupports.com”

The new format just slides this to the right end of the display URL. In my mind this actually makes for a cleaner ad.

New adwords editing panel

I have ads which have been running for years that I have not been able to beat in tests. I am hopeful that these new changes will give me a little bump for both my private campaigns as well as those of my clients accounts. Of course, the beauty of adwords is you don’t have to guess. The public will let you know if your ad is better or worse than the control you’re testing against. That’s what’s great about the system.

So don’t dilly dally, get at least one new ad in each adgroup written in the new format and see if you can improve your account’s performance. In a game where your performance changes can often be measured by adding a comma or capital letter someplace in the copy,  these new features should generate very measurable impacts.

And if all of this gives you a headache, call or email me. It’s what I do, I have lots of aspirin!

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We Want Our Clients Forever

At SLW Consulting, we are not going to build you a crummy site that doesn’t work, take a check and say good by!

One of the things that makes us very different from other web consultant firms is the complete package that we offer. We want to build your site if needed, or repair your existing site, help you understand your site analytics, assist you with new traffic sources like Adwords and Facebook, and be your web marketing consultant for as long as you own your business.

We’ll help you succeed online. You don’t have to take our word for it either. We’ll show you data from existing clients to prove any claims of success we make. Once we start working with you, we’ll show you the data from your account and explain how to interpret it, every month! The next time you get an out of the city solicitation for services like this, ask them if they have any real data to back up their BS!

The web is an extremely powerful tool to market your business, no matter what you do or sell. It’s also an extremely complicated process. Having someone on your team who spends all of their time studying and keeping up with the technologies and systems is invaluable.

Call today for a free consultation.

Google is adding features so fast I can barely keep up

The host of new Google Adwords features continue to improve marketing for local businesses!

It seems like every week Google hands us a new tool to check out. I don’t know how anyone running a small business can keep up, it’s a challenge for me and I do it full time!

I’ll just mention a few of the cool things Google Adwords has given us lately. For starters, they now show us data that tells us how many clicks or ad gets in the various positions that the ad is displayed in, i.e. – top vs. side position. This is a huge thing to consider. In almost every case the difference in CTR (click through rate) between top and side is a factor of 10 or better. Why does this matter so much? Because the price you pay for your click is directly related to something called Quality Score, and Quality Score is largely determined by your CTR. High CTR = High QS = Low cost per click = big savings for you!

The next logical question you should be asking yourself is how do I get my ad to show on top? I don’t want to give away the farm here, but it boils down to your bid price, copy writing skills, and keyword relevancy. Master this skill set and you will get lots of clicks and traffic to your web site for less per click than the guy who is listed below you! Now, this is certainly no simple feat, but it can be done in any market, and I have data to prove it if you’d like to see it.

Adwords has also done some cool things that show us a lot more about different platforms that people use to find you, I’ll save that for the next post! 🙂

Google Adwords Express for Local Business Advertising

If you haven’t heard of Google Adwords Express you’re losing business!

I call it Adwords for dummies. There is certainly no question about the difficulty of trying to master a normal Google Adwords account to promote your business. I run several accounts for clients and it’s just about a full time job. How many business owners have that kind of spare time? None that I know of. But if you want to get your feet wet with Adwords, Adwords Express is a great place to start.

Adwords Express is a fairly new feature for advertising a local business that is built right into your Google Places account (don’t have a Places account – better get on the stick!) The way it works is you log into your Places account and find the fairly obvious link that say “create an Adwords Express ad”. You create a few lines of copy for your ad, choose a category for your business, set a monthly budget and say go.

Usually within a couple of minutes, the Google bots will build several ad groups, load up several hundred broad match keywords and you’ve got traffic! Now it’s important to understand that this is not the most efficient means of buying traffic from Google to promote your business. A well managed Adwords account will out perform an Adwords Express account hands down.

However, if you would just like to see if Google can make your phone ring, this is a great place to start. Using the data you get from an Express account, you can build a regular Adwords account, and drive sales and customers to your business.

As always, if you have any questions or need some help, just give drop me an email. My address is on the “About SLW” tab!

Is Adwords worth it for my business?

There a lot of people who will tell you that Google Adwords doesn’t work, that it’s just a scam for Google to rake in cash!

Having used Adwords for several years now, I can understand how some people who tried running ads with Google were not happy. It’s not easy to do well. But just so you know that it works, I have uploaded this screen shot from one of the campaigns I manage:

adwords works

If you’re a business owner who doesn’t use Google Adwords, you should look at this carefully! First know that I pay an average of $0.22 per click or visit. That means that for this period, 30 days, I spent 883 x $0.22 or $194.26 for traffic. Now look at the revenue generated – $4343.27. Now look at the conversion rates for some of my search phrases, several are around 20%. One in every five persons that clicks my ad after searching on that phrase buys! I have two phrases with a per visit value over $8.00, it costs me $0.22 cents to get them to my site!

If these kinds of numbers would help your business, call me or drop me an email. I’d love to talk to you!  🙂

Google Adwords introduces new instant preview for your ads!

I just wanted to take a couple minutes and tell you about a cool new feature in Google Adwords.

Look at this screen shot-
The graphic you see on the right section of this screen shot pops out when the searcher clicks on that little magnifying glass at the end of the first line of my ad. This feature has been available on organic search results for a short time now, but the Adwords option is very new. In addition to giving the searcher a preview of the landing page for the ad, it shows a short text snippet as well. It’s up to Google what text it thinks is most relevant but some experimentation cold be done to optimize this.

There are a couple of things to note here. First is that gray box on my home page. For some reason Google doesn’t capture the still image from my Youtube video. You wouldn’t want that to be at the top of the page, too ugly. Also, the image at the top right of my page isn’t showing, but the buttons are. They’re just linked images, not sure why the difference.

I think the main take away is that if your running Google Adwords (and you should be, more on that soon!) you should check your preview and optimize your landing page so that it is attractive and compels the searcher to click on your ad.