What and Where to Display in Search Ads ? Evidence from Field Experiments
Information Systems and Operations Management
Speaker : Ting LI
Endowed Professor of Digital Business
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
HEC Campus - Jouy-En-Josas - Buil. V - Room Bernard Ramanantsoa
The type of information to display in search ads and how to manage them across devices are some of the questions advertisers face. We help answer these questions using field experiments. In one experiment, we randomly expose consumers to either an ad campaign that included the product price or to a similar ad that did not include the price, and find that price in search ads decreases the odds of clicking by 21% but does not affect conversion odds. Consumers’ search motives may explain these effects, as bounce rates decreased and time-on-site increased when price was included in ads. In another experiment, we explore how increasing the amount marketers spend on mobile search ads affects performance across devices. To do so, we geo-split consumers into treatment and control groups to detect lifts in impressions, clicks and conversions on mobiles, tablets and desktops in the treated regions. We find that mobile search ad effects exist and spill over to tablets and desktops: when mobile ads received increased spend, impressions, clicks and conversions rose on all devices, implying mobile ads can stimulate search across devices. One explanation is that as consumers travel down the purchase path, they move from smaller to larger devices due to differences in device capabilities. Taken together, our findings highlight how search ads can shape consumers’ online path to purchase.