Google’s next big change is here: it’s time to say “goodbye” to right-side ads on desktop search landing pages. In an effort to align the mobile and desktop experience, the search giant will be reducing the total number of text ads shown on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) from 11 to 7. The right-hand rail will be removed, except in instances where Knowledge Panels and Product Listing Ads are relevant, and an additional ad placement will be added to the top of the SERP. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can do to stay top of page and top of mind.
- Don’t freak out
Chances are those right-hand reads weren’t delivering quality traffic to your site anyways. This change will mostly affect queries in which Google perceives an intent to purchase, making this a mutually beneficial update for both marketers and consumers.
- Check your AdWords account
You should be doing this regularly, but now it’s more important than ever to make sure that your average page position is 1-4. If you’re not, start working on improving your quality score and increasing your bids to make sure you stay at the top of the page.
- Be prepared for a budget increase
Less ad space inventory means more competition and higher prices. Don’t be surprised if the average cost per click goes up because of this release. Furthermore, focus on the ROI from those top ad spaces and preemptively determine how much you’re willing to increase your paid search budget to support this change.
Contact Shift today if you need help with your paid search campaigns. Our experts utilize data-driven marketing techniques and technologies that are carefully planned and continuously monitored and optimized to make sure you reach qualified local prospects and achieve a higher return on your marketing investment.