Last week was full of big news from the Google+ Project. Not only did Google announce that they would finally be opening Google+ up to businesses via Google+ Pages, but they also unveiled the new Social Extensions feature in AdWords. Social Extensions will be rolled out to advertisers this week and will allow advertisers with Google+ Pages to link their Google+ Page to their AdWords campaigns. This means that all brand +1s that are received, whether via the website +1 button, ads or organic search results, will be complied and added together to be viewed as ONE single total visible to consumers.
How does this have the potential to affect the PPC advertising efforts you have in place for your business? Google believes that adding Social Extensions can potentially improve the ad performance for PPC advertisers. According to Google (via Harris Interactive, June 2010), recommendations from friends and family impact the purchasing decisions of 71% of shoppers. The AdWords ads for current campaigns that do not have Social Extensions enabled only show the +1 recommendations for the specific landing page of the ad. Once Social Extensions are enabled in your Google AdWords campaign, potential customers will be able to see all of the +1 recommendations that your brand has received and make their purchasing decisions accordingly.
Now that they are able to show more highly targeted and personalized ads, how will advertisers be able to study the performance data of this new feature and gauge whether or not it is working for them? Of course Google has an answer for that! Google has enabled a new +1 annotation AdWords reporting segment for any campaign, ad group, keyword or ad. This new segment allows advertisers to view performance metrics by three categories. The first performance segment category is impressions with personal annotations. A personal annotation means that a personal contact of the searcher has +1’d your brand (your webpage, Google+ Page, organic search result or PPC ad). The next performance segment is impressions with basic annotations. Basic annotations are impressions that included an anonymous count of people who have +1’d your brand. The third, and final, performance segment is for impressions without social annotations. While both personal and basic annotations make your ad socially relevant, viewers that see people they actually know and trust +1ing something they are interested in purchasing will, in theory, be more likely to purchase said product.
If you are a PPC advertiser interested in making your brand more socially relevant, then you have some homework to do. First, set up the Google+ Page for your business here. Setting up your Google+ Page will not only allow you to get closer to your customers, but will allow you to create your business’s identity on Google+. Next, you will need to use your Google+ Page URL to enable Social Extensions from the Ad Extensions tab in your AdWords campaigns. Finally, after you have let the data accrue for a bit, use the +1 annotation reporting segment to see how the +1 features are affecting the performance of your advertising efforts.
Here at JumpFly we are very excited to see how these new Google+ enhancements will affect our clients ROI. We expect nothing less than big things from the ever evolving Google!