I wrote recently about how Google is updating AdWords at a breakneck pace, and that it’s tough, even for us “AdWords Specialists” to keep up with the changes.

I mentioned Media Ads, Product Listing Ads, Enhanced Sitelinks, and Remarketing for Search as just four of the recent changes.

Let’s look a little more deeply at the Media Ads.

Media Ads started to show up in March 2011, but are still in limited release to major motion picture studios to help them promote their movie trailers.

This is something that is quite a bit different, and isn’t applicable for most of us, at least not for a while, although Google says they plan to offer Media Ads more widely in the future.

First of all, there’s no targeting. When Google determines that a search is directly related to the title of your movie (video), your Media Ad is displayed at the top of the search results.

Here’s an example:

 

Someone searched on “hop.” Your ad appears right under the search box. When someone clicks the thumbnail, or the “Watch” link, your video expands to the center of the screen, enlarges, and dims the rest of the page, like this:

 

The idea is to capture the viewer’s full attention, and to create a more “theater-like” experience, according to Google.

You’re not sent to another page, so it’s real easy to check out the video, and go right back to the search results.

So, for example, someone does a search for “football video games”. The search triggers your ad. The searcher can click the thumbnail, watch a few seconds of the game and your pitch, then easily click through to your site for more information or to purchase.

Given what we’re all learning about how people love video…Media Ads, when rolled out more fully, should be huge for any business.

If you own a bookstore, or an air conditioning company, or a sign company, or if you’re promoting an e-book . . . a quick video right there in the ad (that expands to the whole page) that arouses interest, or gets people to see your facility or explains something visually that’s difficult to explain in words, or just gets people to like you, will surely be powerful.

Which leads to another issue.

A study recently demonstrated that 82% of a Google search results page is taken up with paid ads, leaving only 18% of the page for non-paid, or “organic” results. Furthermore, it’s clear from some of Google’s recent moves that this trend is only going to increase.

This is not good for small business.

The organic results are how small businesses could compete with large advertisers. Focusing on long-tail keywords that the big advertisers ignored could get you a listing on the first page—but if less than 20% of the page is “available ” you really are going to have a struggle to show up in one of the first three positions.

And remember, the first three positions garner about 60% of the organic clicks.

The bottom line is that you had probably better be thinking about a smart, cost-effective AdWords campaign as part of your overall marketing strategy, and the Media Ad may be one way to accomplish that.

You also need to be thinking of alternative ways of getting website traffic, and of improving your site so you convert more of that traffic you do get to paying customers, but that’s a subject for about another hundred posts.

We don’t know much about the cost of the Media Ads. We know they’re charged at a flat rate—there’s no bidding—but I haven’t seen anything at all about the costs.

Nothing to do about Media Ads just yet, but do be thinking about it.

And about whether you should be doing some (or more) AdWords advertising in general.

And about whether you need to be doing some strategizing about all the other ways, online and offline, of getting more visitors, readers, and business.

We can help.
Scott