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Google Ads to Begin Testing Images in Ads

By Snap Agency October 5, 2020

Google has always wanted to be the most popular and effective search engine out there, and we can’t help but admire their ambition. But staying the biggest and best means rolling out new features to keep customers happy and the site running smoothly.

The same goes for Google Ads. If you’re up to date on advertising and digital marketing trends, you may have seen Google throwing around terms like “responsive search ads” and “Google Search image ads” before. And no, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill Google image searches or sidebar ads, even if the phrases do sound similar. The development is a bit bigger than that, so let’s examine just what Google means by “testing images in responsive search ads.” Buckle up; there’s a lot to unpack.

First of All, What Are Responsive Search Ads?

What does a traditional search ad look like? Static headlines with equally unmoveable text are probably what come to mind. Marketing experts craft the ad, and the finished product appears the same way to anyone who makes a relevant search.

But what if you could mix and match headlines to narrow in on your demographic? With responsive search ads, you’ll be able to enter multiple headlines and bodies of text from the get-go. Google Ads tests different combinations of headlines and text bodies to see which are the most effective to audiences.

For example, let’s say that you’ve created several headlines and text bodies—we’ll have letters represent headlines and numbers mean the text. For some audiences, Google would use the header “A” with text body “1.” On others, “A” may be paired with text bodies 2, 3, or 4. Bodies 1, 2, 3, and 4 could instead be paired with the headers B, C, and D you’ve created. Mind-blowing, huh? At the end of the day, it’s all about adapting your message to your audience and figuring out which ad combos (ahem, which responsive search ads) perform best. It’s on you, the creator, to come up with eye-catching headers and text bodies, but Google does the shuffling for you. The more options you provide, the more Google has to work with and test out.

Clearly, this is search engine optimization at its finest, even though responsive search ads are still pretty new territory. But what if we told you that, on top of these flexible ads, Google was adding images to them, too?

What Will Responsive Google Search Image Ads Look Like?

As crucial as the right keywords and keyword combos are in SEO, we’re still a visually-oriented species. This means that even if your search ads appear in response to the right keywords, your customer’s eye won’t necessarily gravitate toward your ad. Don’t get us wrong, positioning your ad right at the top of the search results gives you some major clout. But images can provide ads with that little extra push to pique a customer’s interest and get them clicking through to your site.

Let’s say, for example, that you’re a high-end bridal shop. Your customer is in search of a snazzy three-piece suit for their friend’s wedding. Pairing an image of a sharply-dressed model with your search ad is sure to catch their eye. In the case that your business sells more than just three-piece suits, you’ll want to prepare different headers, text, and of course, different images in response to those customers’ queries. Sure, you’re still advertising the same business, but you’re highlighting other aspects of that business for other customers. The bride of said wedding, for example, would probably rather see the image of a wedding dress, paired with subtly different text, than the wedding guests. Make sense?

Benefits of Images in Google Ads

There are all sorts of perks in this new development, many of which will only become evident over time. We’ve compiled a list of the benefits of images in Google Ads below; go on, give it a look!

  • The ability to emphasize time-sensitive deals
  • Grabbing the attention of a 65% visually-oriented population
  • Even greater ad variety keeps potential customers engaged
  • Honing in even further on the right demographic by curating images as well as text
  • Images breathe life and authenticity into what could quickly become just a bunch of shuffling headers and text bodies

And that’s just the beginning! As Google continues to roll this feature out, we’ll have even greater insight into how images interact with responsive search ads. It’s difficult to say just yet, but we can’t imagine this development being anything other than successful.

What Other Elements Can We Predict for Google Ads?

Again, we don’t want to do too much predicting without substantial evidence, but we’re 99.9% sure we’ll see an uptick in personalized, image-centric ads in the future. Clearly, Google is having some fun with responsive search ads as a whole, so we’ll be keeping an eye on those to see what gets added, tweaked, or removed from this feature entirely. We’re excited to ride the wave of change as Google Ads rolls it out from under us.

Your Business + Snap: An Image We’d Love to See

Want to stay up to date on ad trends like this one? Want some help preparing those headline and text body combos—and finding the most visually striking images to match? Well, you’re in luck, because that’s what we here at Snap do best. What are you waiting for? Message us today; let’s stay on top of the trends together.