At the end of May, Google held its Performance Summit and announced a number of PPC updates that impact the search results page and paid advertising via Google AdWords. It can be difficult to cut through the excitement and identify the main updates and what they mean for local businesses. So, we’ve identified three updates that stand out the most: 1) Expanded Text Ads, 2) Google Maps Promoted Pins, and 3) the ability to modify bids for all devices. Here’s a rundown of the latest PPC updates and what they mean for local businesses.
1. Expanded Text Ads in Search Results
Google is expanding its search ads, which will now feature two headlines of up to 30 characters each and a longer description line of up to 80 characters. This change gives advertisers more space to describe their products, services, offers, and provides more value to a searcher. No release date has been provided for when expanded text ads will roll out to all users, but the announcement enables businesses to start planning for this major change to Google’s search ads. See a snapshot of the changes below, and read more about this update in our recent blog post.
2. Google Maps Promoted Pins
In Google Maps, users will start to see what has been referred to as “promoted pins” along their route when they search for directions or are looking at a specific area. Google is still testing and experimenting with ad formats, and this ad type is not yet available to the majority of business owners. Google’s “promoted pins” is different than search ads shown in Google Maps and Local Finder results. These are branded pins in the vicinity a user is viewing that are designed to stand out from other pins on the map itself. They appear to driven by a user’s proximity to the location rather than their search query. They will likely include details about the business as well as an offer or promotion that encourages calls and in-store traffic. Search-based ads are already available in Google Maps and Local Finder results for businesses that have location extensions enabled in their AdWords campaigns. In the below image from Google, you can see an example of this ad format.
3. Differentiated Bidding for All Devices
When setting bid modifiers, advertisers were previously unable to modify bids on desktop devices and tablets, and could only modify bids for mobile devices. Google announced it would soon allow differentiated bidding – or the use of bid adjustments or modifiers – for all device types, including mobile, desktop, and tablet. What this means is that now you can take advantage of device-level bid modifiers, which provides you with an opportunity to reach even more targeted users when they’re using the device of their choice. Make sure that if you are leveraging mobile bidding, that your landing page or website is optimized to provide a great mobile experience.
At ReachLocal, we’re committed to making sure our clients’ campaigns are optimized to get the most out of these and any other PPC updates as they are announced. We’re excited to see how Google and other search engines will continue to innovate to provide searchers with the best possible experience.