Digital marketing news update: Google extends the deadline for expanded text ads and introduces demographic targeting

Welcome to Tech Treats, our weekly feature where we provide our clients with the latest news on all things digital marketing. From current trends and innovations, to fresh tips on getting the most out of your marketing spend, we’ll ensure you’re always kept in the loop!

Twitter adds verification for brands that provide customer service

On Thursday, Twitter released a number of new features to improve how customer service is delivered by brands on the platform.

As Mashable UK reports, businesses are now able to display a “provides support” indicator, their hours of availability and their typical response time on their pages. The direct message button has also been enlarged.

If a brand has two accounts (such as T-Mobile), the new “provides support” indicator will enable users to quickly find which one is the best option for providing customer support.

The TJM take: Twitter has not managed to get it’s monetisation story right yet. Not by a long shot. It does now seem to have a strategy though.

The previous update to verify business accounts more easily and now this suggest that they are laying the foundations for a ‘sales ready platform’. However, there have been sharks circling for a while as investor confidence has dropped. Unless we see a compelling strategy by this time next year, our bet is that Twitter will be snapped up for a bargain.

Although this is nothing new, but it does seem to be a step in the right direction.

Google extends deadline to upgrade to expanded text ads

To allow for a smoother upgrade to expanded text ads, Google AdWords users will be given more time to test and iterate their adverts.

Although originally planned for October 26, 2016, the transition from standard to expanded text ads will now take place on January 31, 2017. As the official Inside AdWords blog explains, this means that from this date, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads. However, existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside the new expanded format.

The TJM take: We think there will be an early adopter advantage. Here is why:

  • Google are unlikely to show an expanded advert next to a normal advert. They will therefore have to split the searches into ‘expanded auctions’ and ‘non-expanded auctions’.
  • Where most people will be behind the curve, there should be less competition on the new adverts for a period. This means cheaper CPC, and cheaper conversions.

As we said in a previous Tech Treats update expanded text ads are very good news for advertisers as you can include more information, encouraging shoppers to make more educated clicks (and increasing your ROI).

We will be updating our clients in the run-up to the January update.

Google is testing 50 shades of white. Unsurprisingly, its rather vanilla...

As Barry from SEO Roundtable reported last week, Google is testing a new layout for the search engine results page (SERP).

Originally spotted by Twitter user AbhisheK Kasaudhan, the current design being tested is brighter and more spacious. Instead of a blue search button, the new version is white with a blue magnifying glass icon, and the search bar also appears to be lighter in appearance.

The TJM take: Although the potential new layout is only subtly different from that of the current SERP, the whiter pages makes it appear cleaner and less cluttered. We theorise that this could be due to the new expanded text ads being rolled out…

Google AdWords brings Demographic Targeting to Search Campaign

Following the lead of fellow advertising platforms, Facebook and Bing, adjustments based on Demographic Targeting is now available for Search Campaigns in Google AdWords.

The new age and gender demographic targeting options, which are available now, can be found in the “Audience” tab under a new subtab named “Demographics”. As Wordstream explains, advertisers can use this data to either create bid adjustments for different demographics or exclude certain audiences from seeing ads.

However, although you can now target users by age and gender, search advertisers are not currently able to target users based on their parental status (unlike the Display Network).

The TJM take: In our opinion, the demographic match-up is questionable. Users will have shared log-ins and why would you even tell Google you real age when there is no win for you? We have said this before, but users only share their personal information with Facebook and LinkedIn. Google need to crack this nut if they are going to get the best out of their platforms.

Are there any topics you’d like covered in future Tech Treats updates? Send us a message on social media or drop us an email.