There was a day when companies only had to worry about having a working website. Then along came smart phones capable of not just calling your child to remind them when curfew was, but to play games, take pictures, and surf the internet. Over time, Google started ranking pages for the number and quality of links to a page to determine an estimate on how important a website was. The idea was that the more important your website appeared to other companies, the more links you would get from those companies. Over time with the rise of smartphones, websites had to be adjusted to be viewed on much smaller screens, giving the user the same easy navigation they found on a traditional desktop. The page rankings continued to be rated for the desktop version of the website, until now. Google is testing what they call mobile-first indexing.
Google has started experimenting with making their indexes mobile friendly to make results more useful. Even though they are moving to mobile, they want a great search experience no matter what device a user is using. If you have a responsive or dynamic serving site where the primary content is equivalent on both desktop and mobile, you shouldn’t have to change anything. But if your primary content is different between the two, you may want to consider making changes to accommodate the ranking change. If you are unsure if your site is mobile friendly Google has a tool to test your site. Google has not set a firm date as to when this will take place. They will be experimenting on a small scale over the next several months before ramping it up when they are sure they can still deliver a great user experience.
New Ad Extensions
In an effort to help advertisers add more tempting bites to their ads, Google has announced Price Extensions. Whether you are selling a product or a service you can now use and extension instead of using valuable ad text space to let consumers know what they are going to pay for movie tickets, a pair of shoes, or even house cleaning services. As with all extensions, the link will take a user to the landing page for the product or service you are advertising.
Price Extensions work with most other extensions with the exception of Sitelinks. If you are utilizing call extensions, now you can create price extensions for a service that can better influence the consumer into making that call to get more information or schedule an appointment.
To setup a price extension go to the Ad Extensions tab and select Price Extension, the following screen will display.
The Type of price extension you choose determines what example ads you’ll see. While the Price Qualifier can be prices starting at or up to a certain price but is not a required field.
As with all extensions you can schedule when you want them to run with start date, end date, and time of day. You have 25 characters to work with in both the header and description fields. You must have at least 3 entries but no more the eight for each extension. With this being a new item there are restrictions that apply, even though a language field is available only English can be used at this time. Also, price extensions will only show for mobile text ads in the first position at this time.
Affiliate Location Extensions
If you are a manufacturer you have a team that looks for reputable companies to sell your products. Now that your products are available to the public, retailers advertise your products to bring business into their stores. What if John Doe hears about one of your products from a national ad you ran on television or radio but a retailer wasn’t listed. John hits his desktop or mobile device to see where he can buy it locally.
With affiliate location extensions John can see which retailers in his area carry the product. Affiliate location extensions are similar to location extensions with a slight difference; they do not need to be listed in a Google My Business Account. If you do not have a My Business Account your affiliate extensions will still show with your ads since they do not have a physical location associated with them. When setting up your extension Google has a list of retailers to choose from and Google will display either an address or a marker on a map. If you are on a mobile device, you can tap to get directions. If you have your own store front and want to advertise it you should use location extensions instead.
If you have a smartphone you have more than likely texted a friend to ask a question or invite them to a party or function. Similar to the Live Chat on desktop, click-to-message ads give mobile users a way to talk with a help desk or ordering department. The screen shot is from a blog Google issued on the click-to-message ads.
By tapping on the texting option the user launches the SMS app on their device. The message displayed in the ad is tailored to the product or service you are advertising. Once the app is open, the user can communicate with you specialist to get product / service information or place an order.
Google lists reviews by companies that were in the beta testing as having conversion rates up to 80% higher compared to similar channels and 40% higher than other ad extensions.
A quick review, we discussed Google’s upcoming change to mobile indexing to rank sites instead of desktop due to the increase in mobile device use. The new ad extensions being implemented of price extensions, affiliate extensions, and click-to-message ads, all giving the advertiser new ways of grabbing a little more traffic and more opportunities to score conversions.
What is Coming Down the Pike next? Stay tuned…
– Gary Harvison, PPC Manager