The New Google SERP – Brace Yourselves, Marketers

March 07, 2016

You’ve probably heard that Google has removed all right-hand-side ads on its Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Here’s how ads on Google’s search engine used to look like:

old-serp

And this is what you’d see from 19 February 2016:
new-serp

This move by Google may be an attempt to standardize advertising on desktop and mobile, bridging the difference in experience for both platforms. However, the right-hand space on desktop will still be used for Product Listing Ads (PLAs), as well as Knowledge Graph Boxes, so some users may not even notice the difference.

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What Does This Mean For Your Search Campaigns?

Google will show up to 4 ads at the top of the SERP. With lesser positions to rank on top of the SERP, we expect marketers to be more aggressive in their Google Search ad bids. This means that cost-per-click (CPC) for lead generation keywords is expected to increase exponentially.

Optimising your ad copies will improve click-through-rates (CTR); optimising your landing pages will reduce bounce rates. These will lead to an increase in your search ads’ quality score, and when that happens, you will pay less than your keyword competitor for the same rank.

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With the possibility of an extremely costly CPC in the near future, a high organic search ranking is now more valuable than ever.

Leads generation could also be more focused on inbound marketing, such as SEO, whitepapers, videos, e-newsletters, blogs, etc.

Campaigns With A Modest Budget

If you have a modest budget, and lead generation is your main objective, here are two options you may consider:

Bid On Keywords With High Conversions

If you have experience in a Search Engine Marketing campaign, take a look at the keywords you’ve been bidding, and identify the ones with a high conversion rate. Bid on keywords with a high conversion rate to maximise your budget.

You can also look at the search terms to identify other potential keywords your audience may be using.

Bid On Long-Tail Keywords

Generally, users searching long-tail keywords have higher user intent – for example, as a digital marketing agency, a long-tail keyword such as, “digital marketing agency Singapore”, is likely to bring more relevant traffic over, “digital marketing”.

However, the downside is that there will be lesser people searching for such keywords, so you should expect a smaller pool of people visiting your site.

Be Objective

Ultimately, it is important to establish a clear digital marketing objective (e.g. increase brand awareness, boost lead generation by 50%, etc.), so individual strategies can be mapped out to reach your goals.

If you’re interested to find out how we can help you, Contact Us.

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