Google are rolling out a preview function for Adwords search ads that will let users see an image of the landing page. As an Adwords Company we have had lots of ideas on how to make sure this feature works hard for you.


1. Relevancy – said it before, said it a million times. In a competitive environment, your campaign, keyword, ads and landing page need to be focussed around a single theme relating to the search terms people use. Not only will this help your quality score (i.e getting more for your money) it will let you control budgets etc. Now though, you have a chance to display the fruits of your work to potential clickers – your Instant Preview could stand out against the competition if it looks like the ideal result to the search. And more importantly, it will discourage a click from those that are off-target. So, get cracking with those multiple landing pages. Dont take any short cuts – keep the content unique and relevant, meta information fresh. This will help both the Adwords and Googlebot crawlers to see the good content on your pages, bumping up quality score and SEO potential.

2. Headlines – time to be bold. Ensure your design incorporates a large-ish headline in a clear font, with contrasting colours.

3. Content – think of the preview as an extension to the test ad.  For instance, if your Adwords ad mentions a download, ensure the download action is big enough to be seen clearly on the preview. People are (quite rightly) sceptical of sponsored ads, so showing clear path-to-action in the preview will encourage confidence.

4. Images – obviously detail will be lost in the preview, so choose close up, cropped shots.

5. Dynamic areas – Google are not yet able to render flash into the preview so it might be wise to avoid this (or make that switch to HTML5)

6. Dynamic Keyword Insertion – there’s a number of ways to implement custom headlines depending on the source keyword, and it would be wise to test that previews render these correctly. We favour individual landing pages for competitive keywords, but it will be good to see how this stacks up on long tail campaigns.

7. Generate Call Traffic – maybe having a large clearly visible number on previews will help users call if this is important. Especially nice if they do it prior to the click through!

8. Think Mobile – the ad previews work for mobile too, and this might be especially important given that people might want a quick idea of landing pages without commuting to a slow load over mobile networks. If your product is location based, why not have a simple ”diagram map” that works well in a smaller image preview – for users on the go, this might be all they need to get to your location.

9. Track it? – yes some of you (like us sad Goldladder Geeks) out there may be thinking – ”can I get a metric on how many people preview my page, to how many people click?” or, a Preview CTR. When Instant Preview launched in the organic serps, many people saw an increase in analytics pageviews that were attributed to the preview rendering pulling content. I’m thinking that it’s a rocky road to go down just now to try and setup and establish a metric, although I advise watching out for high pageviews per visit while unique pageviews remain unaffected, and then looking at service providers to identify Google requests. But for now, working on the above tips may seem the best policy. It would not surprise me if eventually Google did publish some sort of Preview CTR in adwords – after all, if they could point out to advertisers on what page designs best encouraged clicks, they would be able to shape up the quality experience for Adwords users.