Google Gallery Ads Are Nearly Here: This Is What You Need To Know

When set up correctly, paid search is an incredible advertising asset that will explode your sales. In fact, as a business that has managed Google Ads accounts for hundreds of businesses, we swear by them! However, how great would it be if we took ads that were performing quite well to a whole new level? Google’s latest addition to its paid search ad portfolio has been touted to do just that: they introduced Gallery Ads into the mix. 

 

What exactly are Gallery Ads?

Gallery Ads are a new ad format, designed to run in your existing search campaign ad groups along with your standard text ads. This format is similar to the Facebook and Instagram carousel ads, in that it is a set of swipeable image based ads (minimum of 4, up to 8). These images help in building a visual brand story, with each image sporting its own caption. At the end of the image set, a call-to-action button can be used to encourage audience click-through. 

In addition to the ad’s headline, each individual image is accompanied by a tagline. The headline (which, as always, directs people to your landing page) remains at the top of the screen as the user swipes through your carousel. You can include a minimum of four images and a maximum of eight, and each tagline caps at 70 characters. Best of all, because you’re allowed to write up to three unique headlines, you can test all kinds of combinations of different value propositions and CTAs.

The major differentiator between Google’s Gallery Ads and Facebook and Instagram Carousel Ads (or even Banner Ads that use visual imagery) is that Gallery Ads are intent-driven – they actually show up as a response to a search query.

 

But don’t text ads do the same thing?

In essence, they do, but gallery ads are a huge step above. With a text ad, you’re trying to do so much in a restricted space that limits your ability to answer the query while showcasing your point of difference and drive action all at once. Gallery ads allow you to use the perfect image to go with a headline variation that can drive sales with your perfectly targeted audience. This is also a definite step up in image based ad formats that are not banner ads.

Whether you’re aiming to drive sales or generate leads, gallery ads – by combining the intent of search with the creative of display – are poised to deliver some serious returns for your business once they fully roll out in Australia (by next year) and beyond.The ad format is currently being tested and is available in 11 languages.

What kind of businesses need to jump on to gallery ads?

The short answer? Everyone who has great visual content! We can guarantee your competitors are waiting for gallery ads to launch so that they can jump on it, and we would recommend that you jump on them as soon as they are available. If you don’t, you may be losing out on some valuable clicks. If you’re already using text ads, this will be an addition to the campaigns you are running – you don’t need to create a specific gallery ads campaign.

Even if you don’t have a business that is traditionally visually appealing, it is important to try out this format so that you can build emotional connections with your audience. Time and time again, brands that evoke emotions from their target audience have seen positive growth in their brand loyalty, as well as a steady upward trajectory in sales. The trick to finding what kind of visual imagery is right for you is to get to the core of your business’ “why” and what the value is that it offers.

As we have early access to gallery ads, we implemented it in an account for one of our not very visually appealing clients. They saw a stellar improvement in their return on conversion value, with the value nearly tripling – going from $2.77 to $7.91 return for every $1! Of course, we did perform all the Google Optimisation checks along the way, including RSA, DSA, RDA and improvements to the content they currently had, but there was a significant rise in engagement with search ads as well when gallery ads were included in the mix.

 

Are gallery ads living up to the hype?

Absolutely! Initial tests are showing positive responses to the format, with Google reporting that engagement with the ad format is 25% more than a regular text ad. This is in keeping with their research that images drive engagement (which was why Shopping ads were introduced). Gallery Ads also highlight the evolution in thinking about search as more than a vehicle for last-click conversion. Advertisers can use gallery ads in several ways — telling a brand story, introducing a product line, etc.

 

What are the key factors about gallery ads that I need to know?

So, apart from the fact that they are in beta (for now) and are an addition to existing text ad campaigns rather than a standalone campaign, here’s the lowdown about gallery ads.

As mentioned, each image has a unique caption – these are limited to 70 characters. However, with 4-8 images having their own descriptions, there’s a lot of content that can be pushed out. You are also able to create up to 3 headline variations, giving advertisers more options to test.

Of course, one of the most important factors that drives the adoption of an ad format is (more often than not) the cost. For gallery ads, the charges are levied by either cost per click or cost per swipe. Cost per click is the same as how search ads are charged for, meaning if a user clicks on their ad, they will get charged. In the case of cost per swipe, a charge occurs if a user swipes through more than 3 images, and there is no double cost if they then click on the ad.

Gallery ads compete with all other ad formats in an auction as usual, as they run in your search campaign ad groups along with text ads. For instance, if you have enabled gallery ads and your bid wins top placement, your gallery ad will be shown. However, If you win the second position or lower on the page, only your text ad will be shown regardless of if you have Gallery Ads in your ad groups.

As a Google Premier Partner, we are privileged to get this information directly from the horse’s mouth. We also have exclusive beta access to the ad format, and we honestly believe these will truly change how a Google budget can be used more effectively.