Google: PPC Instant Preview – How will it impact CTR?

Google instant serps preview

Instant preview magnifying glassMost browsers (searchers that is) will have used, seen or at least have been aware of the instant preview option available for search results (the little magnifying glass alongside page title).

What impact it had on click-through rates (CTR) is difficult to define although it it was suggested that layout, design and overall aethetics might become more of an important element in the process.

The thinking was that more attractive previews would encourage a higher click rate. Google’s main search results criterion is relevancy and how an instant preview based on how a page looks contributes to that is still not entirely clear.

I have to say that I don’t use it a lot and the images in this post are probably the first time a preview has been activated in the last month, at least.

Now instant preview for PPC

Google PPC instant previewWhether successfull, beneficial or even used regularly Google has just introduced the same option for its PPC Adwords platform.

Searchers will now be able to preview the landing page of the ad before committing to click so it won’t cost advertisers any more or, in fact, it just might have a cost impact.

Adwords quality score (qs)

Landing pages are an element in the overall assessment of QS (quality score) and Google now factors in, not only the relevancy of the page itself, but also has recently been factoring in page load speeds as well.

The introduction of a look before you leap option with instant preview could also impact on QS as more appealing, enticing and relevant landing pages should attract higher click-through-rates (ctr) which in turn directly affects the CPC (cost-per-click).

Landing pages considered less relevant, as measured by their CTR, are likely to have a negative impact on QS, which it turn will drive overall campaign costs up.

A/B test alternative landing pages

The only way to reach any real understanding of the impact is to A/B test alternative landing page options and monitor CTR, ad, ad group and campaign costs.

Do that and you could save money on your PPC marketing budget.

How often do you use instant preview? Do you find it useful? Helpful? Comment and let us know!

About Rob Willox

Inbound Marketing and SEO professional working and living in Scotland. Owner of Search Marketing company, WebMedia Inbound Marketing dedicated to helping small businesses get more from the internet and improve their profitability.
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