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Google Changes the Game of PPC and SEO (Again)

Earlier this week, Google announced that it would be changing the appearance of SERPs (search engine results pages). Now to the layman, this change is probably unnoticeable…for now. But like anything Google does, it’s about to change a lot of what the normal consumer does online.

Google’s latest update initially looks small: 1 more paid advertising space at the top, and completely eliminating advertising space to the right side of SERPs. While Product Listing Ads and the Knowledge Box will remain, for most devices and screen sizes this still means even less screen space, above the fold, for organic listings.

What does this change mean for your digital marketing strategy?

A few different results will come from this change, but industry leaders are remaining positive. We already know that ads within the original top 3 positions have a higher click-through rates which (if you are doing things correctly) should lead to more customers. Because of their position, ads in top spaces are given more space to show Adwords’ many additional features such as: sitelink, location, callout, and structured snippet extensions. When ads feature these things, they are, in essence, given more room to show users more promotional features of their brand or business. This increases click-through rates, increases traffic to your website, which incidentally gives your account better consideration from Google.

It goes without saying that every advertiser wants to be in the first position. You can share more information, you are the first link that a user sees, and you have a better chance of expressing credibility. That is why this display change is such a big deal. Not only is Google eliminating all right sidebar ads but it is giving one more space for advertisers above organic (non-paid) results.

People Pay 400 Dollars Per ClickThese changes effect 2 main tactics of an organization’s digital advertising platform: paid advertising (PPC) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The only ad space available for PPC advertisers on Google is now either at the top of bottom of SERP. By basically cutting available ad space in half, the PPC landscape is set to become even more competitive. That means for industries such as personal injury attorneys and insurance, the cost-per-clicks could see more increases. Current pricing for these industries in Louisiana can go well over $400 per click!

But just because Search campaigns have seen changes, this could mean bigger things for those using Display or Video campaigns as part of an advertising strategy. While this market is gaining in competition, display and video advertising run through different kinds of auctions and networks. When done properly, these kinds of campaigns have major impact on a business’s goals.

How Does This Affect SEO?

Google has essentially pushed down organic results in favor of their own revenue-producing advertising method. It might be good for their bottom line, but as usual, it’s making businesses question their investment in past tactics. In the end, though, until Google decides to make the front page ad-only (a la AOL circa 1999,) SEO will still need to be in your digital toolkit. That top organic listing is still too clickable for many users, and the race for it will get even more intense in following these new PPC skirmishes.

Have questions about what this means for your business?

At Online Optimism, we are Google Partner Agency with certified staff capable of handling any of your online marketing needs. Whether you’re looking to increase your PPC, SEO, or both following these changes, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at 504-521-6222 and we’ll get started with you today!

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