Instant Preview Now Live for Paid Ads

Instant Preview launched for Organic results in November of last year. Knowing how Google works, we knew it would only be a matter of time until it was rolled out to the Paid Ads as well. Over the past few weeks sightings have been reported and we are now seeing it live!

Now that it’s live for Paid Ads, the big debate is how will this impact PPC performance?

The importance of a “scent” from keyword to ad copy to landing page has always been critical, but this change has just put extra emphasis on it. Potential customers now have the option to preview an advertiser’s landing page after only seeing ad copy to determine if they are a match or not. It potentially saves advertisers the cost of irrelevant clicks, but if your landing page is not a reflection of the keyword and ad copy, this could deter users right away.

Let’s look at a quick example.

Example 1: West Elm

Ad Copy: Features relevant copy for the Search Query.

Landing Page Preview: No preview of wine or cocktail accessories. No scent from query to copy to landing page.

Example 2: Rosehill Wine Cellars

Ad Copy: Features relevant copy for the Search Query

Landing Page Preview: Clearly features relevant content based on Search Query. Strong scent from query to copy to landing page.

Granted, this is just one quick example, but from a customer perspective, I would see right away that Rosehill Wine Cellars has exactly what I am looking for. West Elm on the other hand, I would have to take more time to explore the site and find exactly what I am looking for since the page they are sending me to does not clearly feature it.

Potential customers can now clearly see what sites are the most relevant based on what they are looking for and likely will not want to dig through a site to find it. CTR may suffer, which as we all know is an important factor in Quality Score.

While it will certainly be interesting to see how Instant Preview impacts Paid Search, any advertisers should certainly take the time to ensure you are driving traffic to the most relevant pages! You should also check your Instant Preview results to ensure the landing pages are rendering properly. For example, while Flash is supported, Google does emphasize the importance of user experience:

Flash is supported. The preview generator will attempt to render the Flash components on most previewed pages, but some pages are fetched on demand by the Google Web Preview useragent and are rendered without Flash to minimize latency. Therefore it's important that your site has a reasonable, seamless experience for visitors without Flash. This may involve creating HTML-only equivalents for your Flash-based content that will automatically be served to visitors who can't view Flash. Providing a good experience for this case will improve your preview and make your visitors happier.

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How do you think this will impact Paid Search results? We’d love to hear your insights!

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