Paid Search for a Multi-Device World: New Rules to Drive Clicks, Calls and Customers

Posted on June 27, 2019

A lot has changed in the past two years in the world of paid search. The strategies marketers used for driving and optimizing conversions in AdWords and Bing are not enough anymore. Today is a mobile-first world, and we’re just living in it. We must adopt new ad formats, targeting strategies and optimization to help drive clicks, calls, and customers.

Hi I’m Natalie Brodjeski-Palini, and I’m the PPC Team Lead here at Top Floor. I’m going to be touching on paid search for a multi-device world. So David Bowie fans… there are so many ch-ch-changes that have happened over the past few years.

Local Search Ads

These are a great way to showcase your brand if you have a brick and mortar for showing your hours, business info, etc. Make sure your business information is all complete and correct on your Google My Business page. Make sure to use location extensions in your Google Ads account, that you’re targeting those locations and you have bid modifiers to increase your bids for those locations. Even if you have all of that in place, you’re not guaranteed that your ad will show up but it’s a very prominent place to show up.

Local Service Ads

These only really pertain to a few categories of companies (cleaning services, garage door services, HVAC, etc.) It is a pay per lead so you work with Google directly. They vet your business and all of your employees that go to homes to provide services need background checks. Google gives its “guarantee” and it’s basically their stamp of approval. Local service ads appear at the top of the SERP – if they have the green checkmark it means Google has guaranteed the company.

Local Extension for Display

With these, you are reaching more consumers outside of, so it’s wherever the Google Display network can deliver. You have a great visual and can display your business information, feature your own photos, you can manually create these within the system or if you are currently on the Google Display network – Google may already create these for you.

Expanded Text Ads

Google has created two headlines for a total of 60 characters. One description, for a total of 90 characters. Google did a lot of testing and found that this ad format performs very well on mobile devices. Google is moving towards a mobile-focused ad platform every day.

Expanded Text Ads 2.0

Google has also added another headline – for 90 characters total plus another description, making it a total of 180 characters, which is really great. You’re able to add so much more information within the description, giving you more value-add. I would recommend testing these out and seeing how they perform against the regular expanded text ad and also the standard format.

Responsive Ads 

These give you the ability to actually input into the system: 15 headlines and 4 descriptions. What Google does is it will mix and match those headlines and descriptions to come up with the best combinations that will get you the best performance. This is the one stop shop to put all of your testing ideas, to see what works the best. You have the ability to make requirements about which elements you want to appear, and the same goes for descriptions – this is called “pinning”.

Additionally, Google has provided a great report that shows all combinations of ads that are generated to tell you how many impressions have been served as well as clicks. This makes it easy to determine (based on volume) if these results are significant enough.

Local Inventory Ads

These are fantastic for brick and mortar – can take up to 8 weeks to get launched, so it’s a bit more extensive setup process. You work with Google by providing them with your inventory list and store locations. They will verify all of the information. When someone searches for a product “near me” Google will serve up the product based on location and all the information about that product. These ads are driving people directly to stores to make those purchases.

Local Catalog Ads

These feature your product catalog dynamically, it goes across all apps and all sites within the Google network. They will show people the nearest store, product listings and price and whether or not the product is in stock – just another great tactic to get people in the store and make purchases.

Driving Calls

So we have all of these great new assets that are driving calls and traffic to in store but we also have our tried and true call only ads. They will bypass your website and feature your business information – allows people to click and call.

Call Tracking

So within Google, if you’re using call extensions or call-only ads, there is call recording within the platform so you can see how many calls are generated, day, time, etc.

There are call tracking technologies out there that are fantastic to use as well – some of these include Call Rail, Marchex and DialogTech and these are volume based. To get a better picture of where your calls are coming from, these services can be set up to track by channel (paid search, direct call, social.)

Most frequently Google has come up with their own tracking solution – it operates in the same way that the previously mentioned, but the downside is that it is one channel-centric.

The great thing about using call tracking technology is that you can integrate it with your reporting systems to see all of your marketing in one place.

Thought Starters
Are you testing any of the new ad formats that we covered? Do you utilize call-only ads or call extensions? How do you evaluate your channel performance?

If you have questions, check out our free eBook: A Marketer’s Guide to Search Engine Marketing or contact us!