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Mobile Ads Are Getting an Overhaul

Big(ger) things are coming to your mobile ads! Google released a recent statement that starting on October 15th mobile ads will have a new potential that supports ad extensions, rather than the previous short description lines. It’s no surprise that this will have some effect on how mobile ads will be created in the future, so what will this mean for new mobile strategies? Mobile PPC isn’t going to be an afterthought any longer. While mobile PPC may not encompass a huge chunk or your marketing strategy, it needs to be acknowledged in a way it hasn’t been before. Whether it has been before or not, mobile is going to be a part of your PPC game from choosing to aggressively target mobile users, only allowing calls, and more. With mobile ad extensions potentially taking over your second description line, you need to start re-thinking the fluency of your copy within your ad space.

Thinking Comprehensively

Think about how you use a mobile phone. With smaller screens and multiple app distractions, your attention span for mobile use is shorter and less defined than other mediums. Therefore the ads you place for mobile use need to be clear and succinct from first glance. Most mobile websites already have taken on this concept as they are thinned out versions of the full-desktop site, so it only makes sense to do the same for the ads for mobile as well. As a general rule of thumb, keep description lines (both line one and two combined) around 60 characters. You may also consider ending the first description line with a period to create a more attractive ad.

Here’s an example of an ad that uses this “extended headline” (description line ending with a period) and the description in that line contains the call to action.

Image of mobile ad

With this method, you’re getting a message, and a call to action across in the first line, keeping the important information in tact in case the second line is removed for the ad extension(s). The pitch still gets across in a short and sweet manner.

Ad Extensions Specifically for Mobile

Similarly to how desktop ads work, mobile ads have extensions as a second part of the ad equation. However, with a different platform, specific tailoring needs to be done to work with mobile ads. Remember, short and to the point is the goal on the smaller mobile user experience. A few mobile specific extensions include, but are not limited to:

  • Location
  • Call
  • App
  • etc.

You’re always going to need a second description line in mobile ads, however with improved ad extensions, they can be a great substitution. You’re going to start getting more options for your ads, rather than the usual headline and couple description lines. So how is this different than what you’re already used to? For starters, there is a line less of text that is not clickable, and more importantly for your users, it will be a much more fluid appearance and make more sense to the clicker. That is, if you’re designing a well thought out description and extension. You’ll have an abundance of clickable choices for you to customize your extension appearance.  Why else are ad extensions for mobile so important to your strategy? They are factored into the quality score algorithm for rankings. Don’t drag your feet when it comes to getting on board with this update. The extensions are going to have a serious impact on your ad ranking ability, and in the end: your success in the mobile ad world.

The Verdict?

While we’re certain this new update won’t decide your fate in mobile performance, it will help give you an edge against the competition. Ultimately, the goal is to have clean descriptions, clear action points, and designs that are going to drive engagement. With a smaller attention span on mobile, you need every weapon in your arsenal to get ahead.