Friday, August 19, 2016

AdWords Flips the Script on the Well-Known Ad Specs

“If it’s not broken, why fix it?” might be one of the worst phrases to say to anyone involved in the advertising industry. A more accurate phrase would be, “if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, if you’re late you’re running”. Well, that’s what my high school softball coach used to tell me, but hey, it applies to advertising as well.

In this case, Google AdWords would be running several laps for being so late to the game.

Anyone familiar with the traditional 25-35-35 character rule for AdWords has probably already taken note of this recent change. If you’re also late to the game, here’s the 4-1-1: Google has traded in its 15 year old design for a new and improved model. This new model lets advertisers have two headlines of 30 characters each followed by one description line of 80 characters.

This facelift allows for more prominent headlines, longer description line, and a relevant display URL that is automatically extracted from the final URL of the ad.

So what do we do with all the added real estate? Google suggests that advertisers focus on the headline saying, “big blue headlines are more prominent than your description text” which drive clicks and increase performance. Google also suggests that the second headline be cohesive with the rest of the ad. Use this space to deliver a call to action that previously was placed in the description like, “Attend Today’s Event” or “Sign up Here”.

So, why the sudden change after fifteen years? Well, Google announced that through their tests, “some advertisers have reported increases in click-through rates of up to 20 percent”.

The change might be hard though… especially for folks like Kirk who suddenly feels like he’s on an island in the middle of the ocean with no outside contact, that’s rough Kirk, real rough.

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