Google has made a number of minor tweaks to their Adwords pay-per-click advertising program. The aim is to increase clicks, thus driving more revenue to Google, while it is hoped it will also drive more revenue to advertisers. Whether or not it does is open to debate although one change, relating to site links for those that use them, should see improved CTR and with it improved sales.
Do you include site links in your Adwords campaign? It is certainly worth having a closer look if you don’t. Site links allow you add extra links to your Adwords ad unit – up to ten for a campaign. Google has, in the past, shown the top four links in any ad unit displayed. Google has now changed this and will automatically rotate these links based on historical performance. This is good news for website owners who have several pages they want to drive traffic to.
In other changes, Google will change the way that domain URLs are displayed. Over the next week Google will modify all ad units displayed in search results so that the domain URL is all in lower case. This is to match the way domain URLs are displayed in search results. According to Google:
In any given month, we experiment with hundreds of subtle variations of the Google search results page, testing everything from font sizes and colors to layouts and spacing, as well as dozens of other variables. Recently, we found that by standardizing the look of the URLs on the page, we were able to improve many of our user metrics, including ad clickthrough rates
I am not sure that a change in the display of URLs will make a huge difference in click through rates, but then, any improvement is bound to be welcome.
The final modification will be a welcome one for those who have drilled down to really fine tune their ads. Negative keywords, in other words keywords, or parts of keywords that your don’t want associated with your ads, had to be set campaign by campaign. Now you can create a set of negative keywords that can be used with multiple campaigns. That will make life a little easier for Adwords users.
Of course, there are many Adwords users that don’t use site links or negative keyword lists when they really should. This could be costing them a significant amount when it comes to wasted or lost clicks. If you don’t completely understand how to use them, then consider working with a team of pay-per-click management specialists to fine tune your Adwords campaign.