My my my, Google is at it again! It seems like there has been a flurry of activity around the search engine giant recently, making headlines for everything from new phones and hidden features to killer robots and taxes in France. But among all of the big news have been a few little announcements as well – ones that only really mean anything to people working within the Google advertising platform. We talked about one of these announcements last week, and now we’re back with another – the introduction of Gallery Ads. So in the spirit of our previous few blogs, we want to look at this new feature Google have brought out, and what that means for your advertising efforts.
What Are Gallery Ads?
Put into simple terms, Gallery Ads are a swipeable, image-based ad unit that will be appearing at the top of search results. They’re designed to help businesses showcase their brand in a more visual way, using up to 8 images in a carousel. They are very obviously different from your standard Google Ads, mainly because of the giant featured images. You still get standard text headline, call to action and display a URL, but the focus is more on attracting attention with images. In practice it looks very similar to the ads you’ll be used to seeing in your Facebook and Instagram feeds (which are also carousel ads).
For now, these ads are in beta phase, and only eligible to show in the top spot of Google search results, on mobile devices. Rumours from Google have said that if they go down well they will experiment with bringing them to desktop results as well. The good news though, is that there is no special new ad format you need to learn in order to take advantage of them – this is just a new ad format. That means they are meant to run in your search campaign ad groups alongside text ads.
To set up a gallery ad, you’ll need to upload between 4-8 images, a 70 character description and up to 3 headlines to test.
What Does This Mean For Advertisers?
At the moment, this depends on the industry you work in. The implications for product-based businesses (or any B2C business) are clear – more engagement with customers, ability to showcase several of your services, products of experiences at once (or several features of one thing), and make a more persuasive pitch to viewers than a standard text ad. For B2B customers the benefits may initially be harder to see, but they are still there. Rather than thinking in terms of products or services, think instead in terms of processes. Gallery ads present you with an amazing opportunity to illustrate the victories you help your customers to achieve, engaging them further in your solution.
Why Should I Care?
If you’re in any industry that sells product, this is a big deal for you. Being able to showcase your products in such a visual way on Google means you are likely to get more attention from users, and if your ads display in this format, your click-through rate is likely to be higher. After all, we buy with our eyes!
On top of that, it’s a case of trusting the experts. Google knows that images drive engagement, and has spent a lot of time testing out this format across a wide variety of verticals for nearly a year. From their research, they have discovered that ad groups with one or more gallery ad have up to 25% more interactions at the top of the mobile search results page, and can significantly help conversions further down the customer journey. It also highlights the evolution in thinking about search as more than a vehicle for last-click conversion. Advertisers can use gallery ads can be used in several ways — tell a brand story, introduce a product line, etc.
At Ad-Extra, it’s our job to keep up with what Google are doing so that we can pass the info on to you – including things like the retirement of old features and the launch of new replacements. We’ve been fiddling with the new metrics for a while now, so if you have any questions about how they work, or concerns about how your ads are performing, just get in touch with the team today and we’ll be happy to help.