This month Google is rolling out significant changes to its AdWords format. The revamped ads will only appear on mobile devices, but as the company points out in a blog post announcing the changes, that covers a large and growing segment of internet usage.
Sitelinks, callouts and structured snippets are all part of the refresh, with sitelinks getting the most dramatic treatment. Instead of a single link to your accounting firm’s website, ads can now include a row of links to specific pages (like individual services, industries or practice groups, perhaps). The row itself scrolls horizontally, allowing you to direct web searchers to the page they need right from the search results page.
Google claims that internal data shows the scrollable internal links double the chances of viewers interaction, which is quite impressive if accurate. It certainly sounds like an effective way to increase clickthrough rates, since web users frequently skip through ads in search results in an attempt to find the specific page they need rather than a site that may or may not take them there.
Callouts and snippets are going in the opposite direction, moving from their current position below the ad to the main body of ad copy. Both elements will now appear in paragraph form above the scrollable bar of internal sitelinks. Google says that “on average, more of your callouts and structured snippets will be available to show with your ad.” The company also reports that “people have found this new formatting to be more informative and engaging,” which is encouraging even if unquantified.
Plenty of updates and redesigns are nothing more than fluff, but this one does seem to hold the potential to meaningfully enhance click rates on Google Ads. Of course, I say that as someone who has never invested in the strategy to market my own accounting firm. If you have a more educated assessment of Google’s new AdWords format, by all means feel free to share it – either yay or nay.