Google announced brands will be able to enhance paid  search ads with images, a change that improves user experience and promotion performance.

Brands using paid search campaigns will be able to make their ads more visually appealing to internet users with the new Google AdWords image extension feature. Although its still in beta launch, the search engine aims to roll out photo-rich ad impressions to improve brands’ promotional success via search marketing. This is evidence that Google thinks images are important for user experience and SEO – marketers must keep this in mind as they develop new content marketing strategies.

Brafton previously reported that four in 10 people prefer to read text that’s displayed with visuals, such as video content and infographics. Perhaps more importantly for a promotional campaign’s success, internet users are 80 percent more willing to read content when it’s paired with pictures.

The AdWords blog announcement explains that search ads with pictures sometimes provide more relevant answers for individuals’ queries, but photos will only be served when a person submits an appropriate query. For instance, a search for “VoIP phone vendors” does not warrant images as much as one for “VoIP headsets.”

That being said, images are becoming more integral to search experiences. Approximately one in six queries generate domains with visual digital content because showing users details is better than telling them.

Marketers can now ad image extensions to their paid search online content.

“Image extensions enable you to more accurately convey the body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans, or a particular shade of eyeshadow, making your ads richer and more informative so they stand out in a crowded marketplace,” the blog explains.

In the latest Webmaster Help Channel video, Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts said content marketing and SEO will continue to advance. Google wants to provide its users with increasingly better experiences and to do so, it’s rewarding brands with engaging websites that feature a mix of relevant images and text.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.