For Google, 2016 has been a year focused on the customer experience.
Google is the first site many consumers visit when starting the browsing process, especially when searching for a vehicle. Though it’s mostly up to dealers and other retailers to optimize digital advertising, Google has taken matters into its own hands this past year and implemented a number of changes that will change the way businesses advertise and consumers search and shop, from the removal of desktop ads to speedier ads for mobile devices.
The Decline of Desktop Ads
We’ve shifted to a mobile-first economy, and Google’s elimination of right-rail desktop ads only validates this. Now, display ads are only placed on either the top or bottom of the screen, making ad space more limited for retailers. This new model allows for more relevant results, a more effective structure for advertisers and a more seamless mobile design, all adding up to a better user experience for consumers.
To make the most of their limited ad space, dealers must ensure that every ad they display is relevant and personalized to each consumer. With the dwindling amount of ads shown on Google’s search, every ad needs to count. Considering mobile search is one of the most-used methods of the automotive buying process, optimizing the ads that are shown is crucial. As Google tries to make ads more relevant to the consumer, so should dealers.
More visual display ads
According to Google, more than 40 percent of shopping-related searches are for broad items, such as “living room furniture” or “women’s shoes.” In response to these more general queries, Google’s new “Showcase Shopping” ads are designed to help consumers find exactly what they’re looking for when the search query is vague, making the search process significantly more assistive. Retailers can now choose which images will appear when certain keywords are used within a query.
To benefit from this, dealers need to utilize SEOs and keywords. When consumers begin their search for a vehicle, not many know the exactly model and name that they’re looking for. As dealers try to bring the dealership to the consumer virtually, understanding how to use keywords is central to successful digital advertising. The “Showcase Shopping” feature will open the doors for dealers to draw in a broader group of consumers to specific vehicles.
Speedier Ads for Mobile
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) program, initially designed to create articles that load more quickly on mobile, will now be paired with equally optimized ads. Because brands do not have ads that are necessarily fit for mobile, AMP for Ads lets advertisers build better ads using AMP’s platform so that both the article and the ad load at a quicker speed on a mobile device. This allows for better mobile browsing and advertising conversion rates.
This program highlights the problem with a lot of digital campaigns: They are not fit for the mobile experience. AMP for Ads opens the doors for more creative and personalized ads, which will only strengthen a dealer’s campaign. Additionally, the speediness of these ads makes them more appealing to consumers and will boost conversions. Dealers can take advantage by ensuring that these speedier ads remain relevant and tailored to each consumer viewing them.
Sometimes, the bar needs to be set higher to inspire growth. Dealers will have to adjust to Google’s advertising changes in order to maximize campaigns but in the end, it’s all for the consumer. Dealers should focus on working alongside Google’s changes and not becoming stagnant with them because a happy consumer makes for a happy dealer.