Is Google’s New Ad Layout Impacting Your Marketing Results?

Mar 14, 2016 | B2C / HCP

As of last year, Google searches completed on mobile devices significantly eclipsed the number of searches initiated on desktops. Google’s continued efforts to optimize the mobile experience and keep up with users’ changing needs is impacting desktop displays in a major way. The ads users normally saw to the right of their desktop searches have been phased out, and the result could impact your marketing efforts.

Although ads on the top and bottom of the search results remain, this change decreases the maximum amount of ads users see by over 30%. Many marketers are already seeing paid advertising and organic search click-through rates being affected by the change so here are a few things you can look out for to stay ahead of the curve.

“A hike in cost-per-click prices is speculated but has yet to be seen”

Fewer ads = Less paid ad exposure: The maximum number of paid ads currently showing above and below Google searches is being reduced, and the positioning is changing. Many have speculated a hike in cost-per-click prices because of the increased competition for the remaining spots, but that has yet to be seen. Paid ads falling below the fourth rank are now displayed below the search results and have reduced visibility. While we watch for a difference in ad costs it is now more important than ever to focus on your ad ranking to remain above the fold in the prime real estate area for optimal results.

Focus your attention on the quality of your ads and landing pages and make sure your keywords are highly relevant. By remaining a contender with solid ad creation and performance, you increase your chances of winning a higher position even if ad rates increase.

“Adopt a comprehensive plan to increase paid and organic ranking to reach your target audience above and below the fold.”

Reduced Organic Listing Results Space: Because of the sometimes four paid ads above Google search results on mobile devices, some searches are displaying no organic results above the fold. Local brick and mortar businesses should be acutely aware of this change because now local SEO and top ranking pages alone may not be enough to reach mobile users.

Adopt a comprehensive plan to increase paid and organic ranking to reach your target audience above and below the fold. Make sure your page is ranking in the first position on the second view beneath the scroll line if paid ads are taking up the top space. When creating your ads and website content, stay away from “highly commercial query” keywords, or searches with a high intent for direct purchase. Theses searches produce more paid ad results while pushing organic results further down. Instead, narrow your keywords to those specific to your brand to avoid decreasing page visibility.

Another great way to increase your organic search result click-through rates is to focus on producing content that offers answers to the questions your target audience searches for as they move through the customer journey funnel. These searches usually contain no commercial keywords and give you a higher probability of ranking above the fold because fewer ads are displayed. You will need to diversify content on your organic landing pages to achieve this but the effort should result in higher visibility.