I’m constantly on the lookout for new tools, tips, and tricks to make Google AdWords perform better for marketers. Recently, I learned that Google has added an awesome new feature to the Google Display Network – it will now automatically convert text ads to image ads!
Earlier this week, we discovered this strange new ad format in a client account – I mean, the format itself wasn’t strange, but suddenly they had visual ads where only text ads had been running for that particular display campaign.
After much head scratching and cruising the web looking for an announcement or news coverage, we found only one little mention of this new format, “Richer Text Ads,” on the Google AdSense blog. I reached out to a friend at Google to see if we could learn more.
GDN Converts Text Ads to ‘Richer Text’ Image Ads as of July 2015
Our source at Google was able to confirm that YES! Google Display Network is converting text ads to what they’re calling “Richer Text” image ads and that this began last month.
So what is it? Google explains: “Richer Text is the most brand-safe ad type within our text ads family. This ad type runs on text + image and image only inventory. A logo (from Google+) is paired with this ad layout to add further brand and aesthetic value. Please contact your account manager if you wish to provide an alternate image. Unlike Simple Text, publishers do not have control over the color of this ad type. Instead, the color is derived from the primary and secondary colors of the logo used by the advertisers.”
(Note: My source at Google says manual controls are coming soon.)
Here’s an example of an auto-created Richer Text ad, from one of our client accounts:
But how does the platform decide which ones to automatically convert to image ads?
According to our source, the following factors are part of the decision to convert a text ad to image:
- Conversions per dollar
- Deep conversion rate
- Landing page dwell time
Further, our source at Google says, “We only use the ‘richer text’ (image) ad type in text+image and image-only slots and only when our predicted CTR model proves that for that advertiser and publisher the CTR increases when using that ad type.”
How It Works: What You Need to Know About Richer Text Ads
Across the Google Display Network and AdMob, text ads are optimized across three primary ad types: simple text, richer text, and native text. Google wants to choose how your ads render to optimize performance, because better performance for you = more revenue for Google.
Wondering just how Google is converting the ads? We were, too. Here’s what we found out:
- For richer text image ads, Google pulls the logo from a verified G+ account. If no verified G+ account is available, they will not run a richer text ad.
- For native, they first look at the G+ account and if that is not available, they use a third-party image repository to contextually pair a relevant image.
- Colors for the richer text ads are pulled from the primary and secondary colors of the logo. In the future, Google will allow customers to define their own colors.
- Google is also testing a new text creation process internally that will allow customers to upload their own image.
- Richer text ads are reported as rich media in the Ad types report.
If you don’t like the idea, you can opt out of Richer Text ads by disabling them through the “Enhanced display ads” option in the “Allow & block ads” tab in your account.
All in all, I think this new format is awesome – it retrieves your branding for you without any extra work! Of course, it’s best to use your own custom ad images if you have the budget and skills to do so, but we know many marketers don’t.
When you consider the potential effect on your Quality Scores within the GDN, this actually has the potential to save you money. Higher CTR = Lower CPC!
Have you seen Richer Text ads popping up in your account? Let us know what you think!
This post originally appeared on Wordstream, and is re-published with permission.