Search marketers cringe at the thought of paying hundreds of dollars for one accidental click. Up to 50% of clicks are accidental, per Google, citing a third-party study. Accidental clicks have become more common, especially on small smartphone screens. Just ask search marketers at some of the top retailers that sell exclusive items like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave, and Williams-Sonoma. The ad feature, unfortunately, only applies to display advertisements.
This week, Google's AdWords team outlined three important changes to how users interact with mobile ads and in-app interstitial ads, and the ways that marketers can reduce accidental clicks on display ads as they browse the Web or try to remove an advertisement.
In 2012, Google introduced Confirmed Click on banner ads to prompt users to verify that they actually intended to click on an advertisement, and now the company added a feature to automatically block ad clicks in several instances that frequently lead to accidental clicks, explains Pasha Nahass, product manager, mobile display ads.
On mobile image ads Google will block clicks that occur close to the image edge. Consumers now must click on a more central part of the image to navigate through the ad to a brand's site after Google identified the image border as an area prone to accidental clicks when users are trying to click or scroll to adjacent content.
On in-app interstitial ads, users can no longer click on the app icon of an install ad given its proximity to the ad close button. They must click on the call-to-action button to visit an app store page and install the app.
Finally, ads only become clickable after they have been onscreen for a short period of time. This gives users enough time to examine the content of an ad and helps eliminate accidental clicks from users who didn’t expect to see an advertisement.
Nahass points to early tests that suggest the updates drove a 15% average conversion rate lift on display ads by driving more qualified clicks.