Ever since the latest Google search results page rolled out in February 2016, it has been creating a stir among advertisers. Before the change, there were three Google AdWords pay-per-click ads above the search results and several down the right side of the page. Now, things are different.
Most noticeably, the ads on the right side are gone. There are 3 or sometimes 4 ads above the search results depending on how commercial the inquiry is. There are also 3 ad spots at the bottom of the search results. That reduces the total number of ads from about 11 to 6 or 7. How does this affect marketers?
Because there could be 4 ads at the top of the search results, organic results will be pushed farther down the page. If you want a good spot on page one of the results, you need to make sure your website is designed well enough to rank highly. This means good search engine optimization (SEO) practices are essential.
Expect a more competitive landscape because of the reduced amount of ad space. In order to get the exposure you want, your Google AdWords campaigns will need attention. Set up your ad campaign carefully to ensure that you can get the top spot with your target audience.
With fewer spots available, there will be more competition and possibly more cost-per-click. With that being the case, you may have to be willing to pay a little more to have your site at the top of the list.
Don’t give up
If you plan your ad campaign properly, you could get a top spot. Because the ads look more like organic search results, you’re likely to get clicks. The ads are clearly marked as ads, but they fit in better with the rest of the results. That makes them less likely to be skipped over immediately.
Whether you’re using AdWords or trying to rank higher with SEO, these changes will affect you. However, it’s best to consider it an opportunity to refine your digital marketing strategy. Doing so will ensure your company gets the exposure you want in digital media.