There are hundreds of millions of Google Image users generating around a billion page views each day. Ben Ling, Google’s Director of Search Products has stated that “people often search images for queries about shopping, travelling and entertainment, which lend themselves well to advertisements”. Advertisers can now take advantage of this through Google Image Search Ads. But what are they and how do they work?
Image Search Ads are only shown on Google Images. The new ad format combines a thumbnail image with the typical components of a text ad (namely, a headline, description and display URL). When a search query is performed by a user on Google Images, the relevant ads will be shown at the top of the results page and marked as sponsored links. According to Google, Image Search Ads are priced as a standard AdWords ad with cost-per-click (CPC) pricing. They can be created in Google’s Display Ad Builder and can use keyword insertion.
Apart from the best practice of selecting keywords relevant to your ad and adjusting your bids according to return-on-investment (ROI), there are a couple of other issues you need to consider when running Image Search Ads.
The first of these is the content on your landing page. When people click into a thumbnail they expect to see a bigger version of the image. By ensuring the landing page has this as well as relevant content users are more likely to stay for longer thereby improving the bounce rate of your website.
The other issue is the image content itself. A visually complicated image or one with much text may not convey the details well when displayed as a thumbnail. Google recommends choosing a simple image that expresses the essence of what your ad is offering.
Google Image Search ads are available in Australia and provides a great opportunity to reach audiences like never before. It is interesting to note that there are few Image Search Ads shown on local search queries in Google Images. Is it because the ad format is so new that there is a general lack of awareness amongst Australian businesses and organisations?
The other explanation may be that the ads have been created but are still pending review. Sometimes it takes a while for ads to get approved. Maybe a few days from now Australians will start seeing more Image Search Ads appear on Google Images. If not, then you may have a window of opportunity to get your ads running first before everyone else does.
For more information on Image Search Ads please see the Adwords Help Centre