In recent months, Google has rolled out an intriguing feature to its search line up, Dynamic Image Extensions. This extension allows your regular expanded text ads (ETAs) & dynamic search ads (DSAs) to develop more interest and exposure among searchers.
Image from Google Ads & Commerce blog
Dynamic Image Extensions enhance your ETAs by adding an existing image from your landing page onto your current copy messaging. This image is curated by Google from the keyword URL your ETA is directing your searchers to. Google collects select images that meet this extension’s size requirements & appends the image to ETAs in mobile view at the absolute top of page position. This extension has since expanded to desktop view as well as mobile following the time of this case study.
This stimulating extension provides different prospecting, but is it applicable to everyone?
Is this feature appropriate for my business?
When a tech giant like Google produces new features, it is best to weigh if the innovative and exciting formats are valuable to your business. Since Dynamic Image Extensions are image based, the advertisers who offer tangible information/experiences or clients who are more creative and visual centric would see the most benefits from this extension.
While the format could capture searchers’ attention in any vertical, some businesses, like those in financial services, may have relatively few relevant images to show. Verticals with high CPCs, like insurance, might want to avoid any less-qualified clicks that the visual elements could produce.
Verticals more likely to see significant performance improvement from the format include: travel and hospitality, retail and consumer goods, and media and entertainment. Within these verticals, the advertisers who are more mobile friendly, with higher impression share, will also have an increased likelihood of better Dynamic Image Extension performance.
The image extension only displays in the absolute top position on the search engine results page (SERP) while the searcher is on a mobile device. A decent mobile presence and impression share can set ads apart by implementing this extension.
The Dynamic Image Extension implementation process is simple to opt into. After deciding to adopt this feature, brands can remove unwanted curated images at any point in time using the Google Ads UI. Reviewing all site images can mitigate risk of showing a suboptimal image to users.
A case study on anticipated and actual performance
As a brand in the travel vertical prepared to implement this Dynamic Image Extension opportunity, we did not expect to receive high traffic volume but did expect a high CTR as an image is presumed to better grab a searcher’s attention and complete the click goal.
We also anticipated that Dynamic Image Extensions could potentially reduce organic and other ad space on the SERP due to the larger display of an image, especially on mobile display. This aspect should be considered if brands are concerned with pulling traffic away from other sources, especially organic, on the mobile SERP. From our testing, these Dynamic Image Extensions do pick up incremental exposure compared to our overall influx of traffic.
Within the first two weeks of implementation, we analyzed performance of our A/B test comparing sitelinks and structured snippet extensions to our Dynamic Image Extensions. Our Dynamic Image Extensions earned an overall CTR of 26.9%, which was 14% higher compared to sitelinks and 84% higher than structured snippets.
Despite strong CTR and CPC metrics, these extensions showed inefficient performance for CR & CPA. We believe this was due to searchers viewing and researching on mobile while converting more frequently on desktop than mobile ads. The format might also drive some less qualified clicks from users drawn in by the image without much buying intent.
Through thorough discussion, the decision to implement Dynamic Image Extensions will allow advertisers to capture searchers’ attention and engage landing page creative on the SERP. We hope this case study can lend important support as advertisers navigate their specific value-add from Google’s Dynamic Image Extensions. As always, individual results can vary greatly across advertisers, so testing in is the best way to find out if this format works well for your business.
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