Google’s announcement that it has removed advertisements from the right side of search results has the online marketing community buzzing. Speculation about the reasons behind these changes range from increased profits, a better mobile experience, and the lower click through rates of right side ads compared to top of page ads. Whatever the reasons for the changes, it’s clear that it will have an impact on search engine marketing going forward. We thought it would be important to discuss exactly what these changes mean for industrial businesses, and what they can expect with their online marketing as a result.
The first thing to note is that Google is making an effort to replace some of the lost advertising space. While there were previously three ads at the top of search results, Google has added a fourth spot for highly competitive search terms. Highly competitive terms are not just for hotels and flight deals, in some cases, industrial businesses may fall into this new category. As a general rule, the more generic the keyword, the higher the chance it has of being included in a highly competitive category.
For example, a Google search today for construction equipment brought up four paid advertisements at the top of the search results, while a more specific search for skid steer hammers brought up only three ads. tweet
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what will fall into the highly competitive category, but businesses should pay attention to the fact that, depending on the industry, there may be an additional top of page advertising spot to compete for.
Despite an additional advertisement being available in some cases, overall ad space has been reduced. This could result in winning bid price increases, and it may be more expensive to secure the top spot than before. Much of the discussion among search engine marketing professionals about this so far has centered on very competitive terms such as car rentals or hotels in New York. For industrial and manufacturing businesses operating in more niche markets, the impact of any price increases will have to be assessed on a case by case basis. It is, however, important for businesses to be aware of the potential for cost per ad increases to ensure that Adwords campaigns and budgets can be adjusted accordingly.
Interestingly, one of the biggest impacts of these changes is not on paid advertising at all, but on organic search results. With an additional advertising spot occupying the top of searches, as well as all four ads being able to use extensions, such a site link and location, that were previously only available to the top ad, paid advertising now takes up more space than ever before.
As a result, organic search results have been pushed below the fold. This decreases the value of SEO overall, but increases the value of being in the first 5 organic positions. tweet
While Google has added additional spots for organic search results per page, they require a lot of scrolling for viewers to find, so appearing on the first page of search results may not be enough anymore. Industrial businesses should be aiming to rank at the top or very near the top of organic search results to ensure they can be easily found by potential customers. With the increase in paid advertising’s top of page position, all SEO efforts should be combined with PPC campaigns.
There are two key takeaways that online marketers should consider:
This isn’t the first time Google has changed their system, and it certainly won’t be the last. Industrial marketers need to be aware of these changes, and adjust their tactics to ensure online campaigns are performing at the highest level, maximizing ROI.
About Samuel Fordham
Samuel brings energy and enthusiasm to the marketing team at ActiveConversion. With a background in communications and digital journalism, Samuel focuses marketing efforts towards the goal of increasing opportunities for business growth.