How Much Did Countdown Ads Play Into Search Advertisers’ Strategies This Holiday Season?
Many advertisers have seen great results using the countdown customizer in AdWords, but just how many utilized them during the holiday season? Columnist Matt Umbro sought to find out.
At the end of 2014, I wrote that dynamic copy needed to be an integral part of paid search advertisers’ 2015 arsenal. I spoke to the positive results I had seen with Google AdWords ad customizers.
Then in June, I presented a case study of the AdWords countdown customizer that showed the CTR and conversion rate to be higher on dynamic ads than on their static ad counterparts. Needless to say, I’ve seen great results with dynamic copy.
As a follow-up to these posts, I wanted to see if advertisers made use of countdown ads this holiday season. As a reminder, here is what a sample countdown text ad looks like:
Along with the countdown customizer, I looked at Shopping ads to see if advertisers were using Merchant Promotions. This feature allows Shopping ad units to include a “Special offer” link, which opens a pop-up that contains the promotion. In this pop-up is a countdown of how much time is left until the offer ends.
On a daily basis from Nov. 23, 2015–Jan. 1, 2016 (a total of 40 days), I reviewed the text and Shopping ads for 10 unique queries. I recorded the total number of ads and how many of them made use of the countdown features.
For example, a sample search may have yielded 11 text ads and eight Shopping ads. Of the 19 total ads, I recorded how many times a countdown was utilized. The 10 queries I used were a mix of generic and specific terms:
- snow boots
- cubic zirconia engagement rings
- superhero t shirts
- square picture frames
- queen bed sheets
- baseball batting gloves
- martin guitar strings
- kitchen window curtains
- ceiling fans
- gas grills
All searches were conducted on a desktop computer between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET from Massachusetts. Additionally, searches were conducted through Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
Finally, ads with dates and/or events were not counted in this study. An ad may have referenced a sale ending on a specific date or a Black Friday promotion, but if a countdown was not used, the ad was considered static.