May 18, 2011

Google turned on Instant Previews for Ads which adds a little magnifying glass next to each search ad. A user can click on to see a preview of the landing page for the ad before even landing there.
Message match with landing page preview
This Instant Previews for Ads by Google may potentially change the game of paid advertising on Google. Following are some of the impacts it may have on online paid adverising:
  • Until now, PPC marketing and landing page optimization were separated by a gap: the click. The only influencing factors to make a user click an ad wasad text, ad positionand brand equity of advertiser. 
  • Now a user can hover over any ad to see what its landing page looks like and how closely it matches their specific requirements.
Landing Page Best Practices in "Google Instant Preview for Ads" era:
  • A landing page that looks good can now send a signal of the quality of the advertiser even before the click.
  • Claims made in the ad should be reflected in the copy and imagery of the landing page.
  • Long forms on your landing page are unadvisable since users who preview a page with a long form and very little other content are likely to be reluctant to click through. This can be replaced by shorter forms asking just name and email address or postponing the form to the second page of your landing page or implement “progressive conversion,” just asking one or two fields on page one, and then following up with subsequent questions on page two or three. 
  • Be carefully about your A/B and multivariate testing when experimenting with significantly different offers on your landing page since Google has not made clear exactly when and how they capture these preview thumbnails. If they happen to capture a thumbnail with a big “40% offer” banner, but then when the user clicks through they don’t see that in their version, that would not be good.
Impact on Reporting / Success Metrics
The value of the clicks essentially increases now since the click happens after one level of filtering. Ideally it may remove the absolute irrelevant audience completely but a lot can be said only upon further testing and results.

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