Lab Weekly: Sitelink Extensions, Ad Customisers New Updates & Instagram

Phoebe Skinner

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We have some fantastic news to tell you about, this week we have made it into The Drum Digital Census 2016. They are partnered with Results International and Merit and they outline the performance of digital agencies across the UK. As an innovative agency, we have ranked 26th in client satisfaction for small businesses and 48th for financial results from 2016. This is a massive achievement for us all as it confirms how well we are performing and how successfully we are growing as a business, we are all proud of our amazing little agency! In other news, in this week’s Lab Weekly we discuss Instagram adding Snapchat like features, Google testing images in sitelink extensions and
Google are Testing Images in Sitelink Extensions
Google tested image extensions back in 2013 but they never took off. However, it now appears that Google are giving it another try, this time in a type of sitelinks test. In this screenshot you can see a mobile ad for including a swipeable carousel of sitelinks accompanied with images. It is not clear whether this test is running on desktop. Google did change the display format of Price extensions from a list to swipeable carousels earlier on last week. We will release more information on this matter when we find out more.
Ad Customisers New Updates
Ad customisers’ capabilities have been available for a few years now. And as well as giving advertisers the ability to insert the keyword into the ad, any piece of text can also be inserted from a spreadsheet that is managed in the Business Data section in Adwords. The new customiser capabilities use simple functions and code to customise the text. Let’s discuss some of the new features.

  1. Customisers reduce the need to maintain multiple campaigns when you want to slightly vary the messaging. For example, instead of managing a smartphone and a computer campaign on two separate accounts you can use customisers to show different ads whilst only using a single campaign.
  2. When using customisers you can now include a default insertion making it unnecessary to write a fallback ad. To include default text you need to add a colon and the default before the closing curly bracket. For example, {=DataSetName.AttributeName:Default Text}.
  3. A very useful addition has also been added, allowing you to countdown how much time remains for things such as promotions or free shipping deals. As the end date comes close, the countdown will go from saying how many days are left to how many hours and the minutes. The feature is available in all languages and allows you to decide when you turn the countdown on. To use this feature insert {=GLOBAL_COUNTDOWN(“2016/11/30 13:30:00″,”en-US”,5)} with the correct details for you into your ad. To break this particular code down, “en-US”  refers to the language that you want inserting into the text and the number 5 tells the system to start the countdown when there are 5 or fewer days left before the end. To set this up in the most easiest way go into the ad builder interface on the AdWords website.
  4. It is really important to make sure all of your data is continuously updated. That’s why using customisers can allow you to schedule the business data to be automatically uploaded to Google. Your data can be sent to Google as often as every six hours, the sources can be Google Sheets or a file on your web or FTP server.
  5. Another great capability of customisers is to connect them with ad schedules and be able to show different ads at different hours.

Instagram appears to be mimicking other features of Snapchat much like when they introduced their stories. Instagram now lets users sent photos and videos directly to their friends that will disappear once opened. This is through the already existing Instagram Direct which has more than 300 million active users. The feature allows users to see when their photos or videos have been opened and if they have been screenshotted. Instagram have another new feature taking after the likes of Facebook and Periscope, they are bringing out a live video feature. The broadcasts will be able to last up to an hour and comments can be turned on or off. Much like when you take an ordinary photo for Instagram, there will then by a Start Live Video option, your followers will be notified and will appear where the stories so but with a Live label. Once the broadcast is over it won’t be saved so won’t be able to be accessed. This is thought to be brought out within the coming weeks whereas the disappearing media is available from now.

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