Back in Late October I discussed my early thoughts on the flashy, new Google AdWords' PlusBox product (while it was still in Alpha stages). Now, with a little over 6 months of data, I wanted to share my early impressions of the product’s performance.
(Sample Google PlusBox Ad; Before and After Expansion)
1)Google has gradually increased their PlusBox “show rate” among eligible AdWords campaigns. Over the 6 month time frame, we’ve seen this rate increase from 38% to a more recent mark of around 70-75%.
2)PlusBox “expansion rate”, users who actually expanded (clicked) on the PlusBox component of the ad once shown, is 0.5% or about 1/10th the standard ad’s CTR, (sans PlusBox).
3)The overall CTR of ads containing PlusBox, click-through on headline or PlusBox offer component, had a slightly better rate as compared to the standard ad.
4)Of users that expanded the PlusBox, 1 in 15 actually clicked on an offer (product) to follow through to the site. Furthermore, of those clicking the PlusBox only 1 in 7 actually made it to the advertiser’s site. (by virtue of headline or product listing)
5)The CR of users who did follow through to the site once expanding the PlusBox was on par with the standard ad.
Here’s how I view the above;
A final thought:
If Google’s intent for PlusBox was to give the user a quick glance at a number of retailers product offerings without leaving Google.com, I believe this product could lead to a minor loss in order volume for the advertiser due to the pre-click “abandonment rate” phenomenon. If however this negative attribute is offset by increased interaction with the ad, both Google and the advertiser win (This is true to what I've seen so far). The success of PlusBox then, has little to do with the expansion of products within the ad itself, and is mostly a result of the CTR boost by merit of having a PlusBox next to your ad, while other advertisers do not.