28 Apr 2011

Instant Previews for Ads

April 28, 2011PPC Advertising

This week, Google implemented its Instant Previews feature for AdWords ads. Released earlier for organic results, Google Instant Previews shows a graphic preview of a search result while highlighting relevant text sections related to the keyword query.  The intent is to enable searchers to compare search results more quickly and better pinpoint relevant content. For advertisers, higher quality traffic can be expected as a result.

Now that users are able to get a glimpse of your web page before clicking, this puts a much higher importance on your landing page design in relation to your competitor’s. Here are some tips we recommend and are currently implementing with our clients:

Replace rich media and video content with static images

In its current state, Google’s preview generator does not support Flash, Silverlight or Java applets. This content may be displayed as a “puzzle piece” in the preview graphic and could deter clicks. Develop a strategy that accommodates both potential clicks and visitors once they’ve landed on your page.

Create PPC specific landing pages

One strategy we always suggest is creating landing pages specifically for your PPC campaigns. This helps you to optimize and control your results for specific ad groups in your campaigns. Now with Instant Previews, the benefit is even greater by giving you more control over your competitors to improve your clickthrough rates and preview display.

No Opting Out Allowed

Unlike Instant Preview for organic results, Google will not allow you to opt out from showing a preview of your page in your ads. “Nosnippit” tags are ignored for AdWords, and although an AdsBot-Google exclude in your robots.txt would be a work-around you will greatly impact your Quality Scores, so this is not recommended.

Google Instant Previews is here to stay, so I recommend you use it to your advantage. Take some time today to search your keywords on Google and take a gander at what the competition is putting out there.  Use what you learn to improve your pages and help increase the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns.