With touch screen devices it's getting harder to avoid accidently clicking on mobile ads, but a new tool from Google aims to remove this problem by changing the way these ads work.
With the boom of mobile devices over the past few years, mobile advertising has become a key marketing tool. Companies like Facebook, Apple and Samsung have all introduced their own mobile-based marketing platforms.
Google, not wanting to be left out, has also started to tap into the mobile marketing realm by adding mobile advertising tools to their web-based empire. In 2011, they launched Mobile Now!, an advertising initiative, while earlier this year they invested in a mobile analytics company.
The Mobile Ad Problem
Despite an industry wide commitment to improving mobile advertising services, there is one problem that plagues all mobile marketing platforms: the way ads are designed.
In the past, ads have appeared at the bottom or top of a mobile site where users could read the site's content and not be overwhelmed by irrelevant content. Despite this positioning they can still be clicked upon –- even if the user didn't mean to.
Google has found that despite advertisements being on the edge of a mobile website or news article, users navigate through information touching the sides and corners of their devices, resulting in these accidental clicks.
The Google Solution
To combat this problem, Google has introduced a barrier feature for in-app image ad banners on smartphones. If a user accidently clicks on an ad, a window will appear asking them if they meant to do this and if so, take them to their destination.
In addition, ads will also have a blue arrow button which will automatically take a user to the the ad’s service, product or company website, instead of prompting them about their decision.
Despite the fact that this could decrease ad revenue for marketing teams, Google maintains the belief that these in-app ad banners will improve the customer experience as users won’t get frustrated by clicking on ads they don’t want to visit. Customers can then choose if they want to click on an ad, which will give marketing teams a better picture of who exactly their customers are, and weed out visitors who may have clicked on something they didn't mean to.
“In our initial tests, we found that confirmed clicks notably improve mobile conversion rates, with a slight decrease in click through rate as accidental clicks are avoided,” said Allan Huang Google’s Product Manger for Mobile Display Ads in the blog post announcing this new feature.
This new feature isn't the only update that Google plans for it’s mobile ads system. While they haven’t released specific news on any other products, they did say that they are going to continue to improve the customer experience, as well as the publisher and advertiser experiences.