News Update: Google’s Instant Preview Comes to the Ad World

By , Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

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Google’s own Inside AdWords blog announced yesterday afternoon that the ever-expanding world of their Instant Preview feature has finally made it’s way to advertising. Their news release explains that the Instant Preview feature for ads works in the same way it does for organic results. A small magnifying glass now appears next to the headline of each ad that populates for a user query, allowing the user to preview the landing page before clicking the ad.

The above screenshot was taken after I queried ‘wedding shoes.’ I clicked on the magnifying glass directly to the right of the first ad that came up and Google showed me the landing page for that ad. I can easily see by the preview that there are, in fact, wedding shoes available on this website. That is the goal: give users the opportunity to preview what they are about to click on and verify that the page contents match what they are searching for, thereby hopefully increasing user satisfaction and providing more highly-qualified traffic to websites.

But, you may be wondering, doesn’t that mean people can spend your PPC money without actually getting through to your page? Well that wouldn’t be very fair now, would it? Your PPC account is not charged for the Instant Preview clicks, only the clicks directly on your ad, which take the user to your website, so not to worry. However, it is likely that you will see a drop in traffic to your websites from your ads, as users will now be able to see if you are sending them to a generic landing page or to a page without the content they are searching for. To that end, make sure you take a little time to double-check your ad landing pages to ensure they are as user-friendly and content-focused as possible!

It may take some time to see the results of this additional feature, but we want to hear from you! As you monitor your accounts in the next week or so, take a look at overall clicks and report back to us here at PPC Hero! Did you clicks go down or increase? Was there a large change or does the change seem minimal? What about the future? Could Instant Preview for ads hurt or help PPC account holders? Post your ideas below in the comments section!

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/ericpolatty Eric P

    Are there any statistics on how prevalent the use is of instant preview by searchers? Like, what percent of users actively use the IP feature?

  • http://www.hanapinmarketing.com Kayla Stockert

    Thanks for the comment, Eric!

    Google has kept a fairly tight lid on how Instant Preview has been received by users. The only statistic I’ve seen released is that users of the Preview feature have a 5% higher satisfaction rate with the page or site they end up on (check out Google’s official blog for more details!)

    However, what I did find was some research conducted by Simple Usability that included some interesting points about how users actually USE the Preview feature. Their research shows that while users could find benefit in using Preview, many of them are unaware of HOW to use the feature, causing a disconnect. I would imagine the transition into Preview for ads may be a little less rocky as the Preview feature itself is not new, just it’s addition to ads. Hopefully users catch on quickly to the Preview on ads and don’t get frustrated and click away!

    Check out the Simple Usability research here:

    Thanks again for your comment and make sure to keep reading PPC Hero!

  • http://twitter.com/MichaeLoveridge Michael Loveridge

    I saw this a couple days ago… thanks for sharing. I happen to believe it will have a minimal impact on good campaigns while potentially hurting bad ones. My full ideas are fleshed out on my blog here: http://loveridgemarketing.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-googles-instant-previews-for-ads/283

  • Mwk7

    Truthfully, I project the impact to minimal on PPC accounts. I think most people don’t have the patience to click on the magnifying glass to see a preview of the page. They would rather just click the link and go to the page. If I’m wrong, and people are using it, I would hope that it cuts back on low converting clicks by people who are early on the buying cycle. In my companies case, they will be able to see that they are going to a purchasing page and only click on the link if they are wanting to make a purchase.

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