Do you see those little arrows on Google search pages and ads? That’s Google Preview. It’s a handy feature that allows you to see where you’re going before you get there. When a user clicks the arrows next to an organic web search or Adwords Ad they get a little popup of the landing page. This is a big deal if you have a less than presentable website.
It used to be PPC marketing and landing page optimization were separated by the blind click. Before, you had to judge by a few lines of text and/or the position of the search or ad – hardly a way to appraise if you were going to have a good experience in return for the click.
That structure let a lot of websites and advertisers get away with poor post-click marketing experiences. As long as the text was tempting enough, the unwitting visitor would click – and yes, some hapless portion of them would read on and stay, but no more. Bad websites and landing pages are now there for all to see.
Now, upon entering this “preview mode,” a user can hover over any ad — or organic listing — on the search results page (SERP) to see what that landing page looks like. They can read snippets of text from the actual page to see how closely it relates to the text of the ad. And by navigating their mouse around the SERP, they can quickly compare all of the different websites before they pick and click.
Test Your Own Preview
Google Instant Preview for websites and Ads should encourage you to test your own website. Type a search term that will bring up you and your competitors on a page. Now start to hover over the magnifying glasses. Which would you pick to visit?
Now, hover your mouse over arrows and take a close look at your own website:
- How does your design look in that popup rectangle?
- Is it clogged with clashing junk from years of ill-thoughtout additions?
- Is is a long, dull form?
- Are there too many graphics? Too little?
AdWords: This move by Google now makes the click-through rate (CTR) metric relevant to landing pages. As people become aware of this feature, previews of good landing pages will receive more clicks than undesirables.
The more people get used to this feature the more they will use it. Will your website or ad be the one that’s clicked?
Good user experience on the web is what we all want. After all, we’re all searchers at one time or another.