Google Launches Instant Previews for Ads

Another day, another new feature on Google. This time, it’s the ads that are getting a spruce.

In November last year, Google introduced Instant Previews within its organic results. Enabled by clicking the little magnifying glass to the right of each result, it lets you see what a page looks like and highlights some of its content before you click through to it. In theory, this helps users decipher which page will give them the best results for their query – a little like flicking through a magazine and deciding what story to read based on its headline, pictures and pull quotes.

As of yesterday, Instant Previews has come to Google’s Ads too, allowing users to see each landing page, check it contains the information they’re searching for, and filter the results accordingly.

In theory, this should be a great thing for brands using PPC – on many levels. Firstly, the Instant Preview ‘click’ won’t cost a penny – you’ll only get charged when someone actually clicks on your ad and goes through to your landing page. Secondly, users who do click through to results are more ‘qualified’, having already seen a snapshot of the landing page and decided it is relevant to their needs – which should hopefully mean higher conversion rates. And thirdly, it should also ensure that those who aren’t likely to find what they’re after won’t cost you a click, as they’ll give your ad a miss.

There are, however, a few things you should bear in mind. To make sure you benefit from Instant Preview, it’s crucial that your landing page is clean, well-designed and easy-to-navigate, even in miniature. It’s also critical that it gets your key messages across clearly as pages which are cluttered and confusing will put users off.

So, now might be the time to reassess whether your designs need a revamp. Almost certainly, we reckon it’s going to be a case of ‘less is more’… But let us know what you think – and how the change is affecting your click-through and conversion rates!