As paid search advertisers, it’s our job to get the right information to the right people and the right time. We spend countless hours crafting super-specific keyword lists, setting negatives and writing clear ad copy to ensure we’re attracting a highly relevant, qualified audience. Yet, bad clicks still sneak their way through and can dramatically impact conversion rates.
When it comes to mobile devices, a few additional challenges come into play. Since there’s minimal ad real estate on the mobile SERP, advertisers have limited space to “explain themselves” to prospects. Google often serves fewer ad extensions alongside these ads and sometimes even ditches the second line of copy to make room for them.
On top of this, mobile users tend to click more hastily than desktop users. Consider the last few times you conducted a search on a mobile device—I’d be willing to bet that you were multitasking, on-the-go or needed something urgently. In these scenarios, you probably weren’t devoting much time to scroll down the SERP, read each listing thoroughly and select the one that was the best fit for your needs. Instead, most of us click on one of the first listings we see and, if the landing page doesn’t meet our needs, we head right back to the SERP. This is a troubling phenomenon for advertisers, who are paying a pretty penny to bring people their sites.
The search giants recognize that this is a problem and are exploring new, interactive ad formats to reduce the clicks from unqualified searchers. Interactive ads are golden because they allow advertisers to “run an interference” prior to the click. They have the opportunity to showcase their offerings and show users exactly how they can help them before they click through to the landing pages.
In the past year, Google released dynamic ad formats for the automotive, finance and hotel industry and, just this week, they introduced their latest, most-innovative ad format for the mobile SERP—Trial Run Ads for gaming apps.
When it comes to gaming apps, the goal isn’t simply to convince people to download your product. With most games ranging from $0 to $2.99, this certainly wouldn’t be a very lucrative game-plan. Instead, most app developers make a significant portion of their profits from in-app advertisements. So, their goal is to create games that people want to download AND engage with frequently over a long period of time.
Developers have step one of this process down; people are downloading games like crazy. According to Google, a whopping 41% percent of all apps downloaded in 2015 were games. However, not all of them manage to keep users hooked for the long-term. In fact, one quarter of all installed apps are never even used.
This past December, Google released a brand-new, interactive ad format just for game developers called Trial Run Ads. It’s now extending this format to appear on the Search Network, too (in beta)! With Trial Run Ads, searchers have an option to ‘Try Now’ directly within the ad and test drive the game in a 10-minute free trial before actually downloading it.
Although this isn’t Google’s first foray into interactive ads, it is, by far, the most interactive ad format we’ve seen released thus far.
Good question! Google has hinted that it is prioritizing new ad formats for the industries that spend the most in paid search and this new rollout falls directly in line with that strategy (consumer electronics companies are big AdWords spenders). AdWords has released unique ad formats for various other “big spenders” (buy buttons for online retailers, insurer ratings, credit card and mortgage ads for the finance industry, hotel ads for travel marketers and automotive carousel ads for the automobile industry).
So, if I had to place bets on who is next in line, I’d guess the home and garden industry. How cool would it be to peruse new houses or apartments from directly within an ad? That said, it’s impossible to predict what Google has up its sleeve! Stay tuned.
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