From Cornwall to California

Launch Online took to the skies for a conference at Google California and a cheeky sightseeing trip to San Francisco. It was a “super awesome” trip, as they locals would say, and we’re excited to share some of the key take aways with you here (along with some cheesy snaps!).

Expanded Text Ads

The results are in for Expanded Text Ads and they are exceptional! With few exceptions they are seeing hugely higher click through rates and in many cases, lower costs per click. They look more like organic search results and enable advertisers to include more copy to encourage users to click on the advert and communicate about the product / brand in more detail.

To emphasise their importance, the inspirational Larry Kim, founder of WordStream and internet marketing guru, gave a headline session all about Donkeys vs Unicorns. ‘Donkeys’ being terrible text ads which show little or no imagination vs ‘Unicorns’, which are adverts which stand out from the crowd and are rare to see in Google search results.

Google have dealt advertisers an opportunity to finally communicate a decent amount of information in search adverts and it is our responsibility to take this and use our creativity to produce ‘Unicorns’!

Writing adverts was only a small part of what we did as an agency, most of our time is taken on optimising bids, adjusting keywords and influencing quality score – now we have copywriting to add to the list of skills.

Bring it on, we say!

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

Oh no, you say, please do not bring up smartphones. Sorry, but we have been banging on about it for years but not enough businesses are taking it seriously. Mobile devices have now taken over as the number 1 way to go online and your marketing strategies need to reflect this.

Is your website fast enough on a mobile? Are the calls to action appropriate? Are the forms easy to complete?

As advertisers we need to prove ROI, but if users struggle to use your website on their mobile then this will impact their ability to convert online. Don’t get left behind!

Google California
Google Bikes

Golden Gate Bridge
Balmy Alley
Girls on Tour

Emotion Sells

One of the topics which we were most intrigued by was emotive advertising. Advertising campaigns have always used emotion and feelings to communicate through television and print advertising but as the text only poor relations, search advertisers have rarely adopted this style of advertising. With the launch of Expanded Text Ads we suddenly have the room to communicate more than a keyword phrase and call to action.

Take a look at these adverts – do they inspire you?

Caribbean Holidays Search Results

Does that make you want to take one of their amazing Caribbean holidays?

Larry Kim used the example of a divorce lawyer – the dud ads all used the search term as the main headline “Need a Divorce Lawyer” or “Divorce Lawyers in London”. This was always what was required to get a good quality score, the keyword text must be prominent in the advert. Once that was included there was very little room for anything else.

Now we have 30 characters in two separate headlines, plus 80 characters in the description we can be more creative. This was the example he gave!

Divorce Lawyer Advert - Larry Kim

Well that would certainly provoke emotion – is this a route we should be embracing?

I certainly think that holiday companies need to revisit advert text and it is something we are doing now, having been inspired by Larry.

Let me know what you think – jaye@launchonline.co.uk