Noticed a drop – or an unexpected jump – in your CTR recently? You may have been affected by Google’s latest AdWords update. Here’s what everyone using PPC advertising on Google needs to know about the change.
The update is not drastic, so there’s no need to panic. Quite simply Google is standardising the appearance of Display URLs in adverts.
From now on the domain in the URL will always be displayed in lowercase letters. So if previously you had an advert including the URL www.ExampleAdvert.com/Buy-Now it will now show as www.exampleadvert.com/Buy-Now. You don’t need to amend anything, the change will happen automatically.
This AdWords update isn’t in action across the board yet. It was announced on the 10 January 2011, and yet on 18 January 2011 I still saw adverts like this:
So, it may take time for your account to be affected by Google’s update, but all you need to know is that it’s coming.
If you’ve already seen changes in your AdWords performance that concern you – or if you seen any in the future – there are a few things that you might want to do:
1. Use the AdWords Ad Preview Tool to try to work out if you are actually being affected by the update. This tool lets you view your ad as a searcher would, but with the bonus of not generating more impressions, which would lower your CTR.
2. Consider testing new ad copy. If what used to work doesn’t anymore, try something new. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, the drop in CTR may be temporary so always test your new copy against the existing advert to see which performs best.
3. It may be that your clicks have dropped because your ads don’t stand out from the crowd any more. But, there are other ways of getting searchers to take notice, like linking your Google Merchant Feed and AdWords accounts to “Show Products” in your ads.
This latest Google AdWords update is just one of a series of changes – some major, some minor – to have taken place in the past year. While the new features are opening up new possibilities to advertisers, the speed at which they are coming means business owners and managers using AdWords will have to stay on their toes to keep up.