Google has been recently (well I was first told about them directly from Google in May 2011 but anyway…) playing around with a new ad format called ‘the adwords communication ad extension’. As my screenshot above shows they essentially allow you to collect leads directly in the Google PPC results.
I think this development has 2 major ramifications:
1/ Google, by creep, are fundamentally changing search engine usage as we know it so you no longer have to leave Google to get what you want. When you add this extension to others such as product plus and other ventures such as Google compare and then mix in natural SEO amendments e.g. serving address, phone number, maps, etc in SERPS means people no longer have to click to a website for the information they require.
Just think about how Search Engine Marketing could look then in a few years time.
If I were searching for ‘curry’; Google could serve me videos on how to make one, curry recipes, nutritional information, images, local curry houses (with reviews of the establishment, address, map, phone number), local news, social data from your network about curries, etc.
2/ How big an amendment is this for B2B marketing!?
With B2B PPC being well utilised and still pretty expensive (e.g. ‘Hosting ms exchange’ will cost you around the £9 mark per click) how easy to collect yet still valuable are leads collected via communication ads? Very is the answer.
Whilst nowhere near as pre qualified as when collected on the website itself you can imagine the increase in fill out rate this type of lead will generate and hence the number of additional B2B leads companies could generate. Communication ad extensions clearly are not always a perfect match for many transactional B2C sites however are a match made in heaven for many B2B marketers.
Watch this space to see if this new extension goes mainstream.