Stay on Your Toes in the Race for Search Success
If you watch a race of top sprinters, you’ll see they are running primarily on their toes. That keeps them light and nimble as they power toward the podium spots. Digital marketers would be smart to employ that same technique since Google certainly keeps you on your toes.
One of Google’s latest changes to its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) layout effectively cut advertising opportunities on the SERP by 30%. Gone are the ads along the right side of the page. The new layout adds an additional paid search result at the top, bringing the total to a maximum of four up there, and three ads at the bottom. As I pointed out in a previous post, these changes put a premium on finishing in the top four. Just like those strong-toed sprinters fighting for the finish line, who remembers the ones who come in 5th through 7th?
So how do you boost your chances of “making the podium”? You must be strategic with your ads and messaging. While none of us know the secrets behind the all-important Google algorithm that determines placements, we do understand that a diverse set of criteria determine who gets those top spots. You can improve your chances (and produce better results) if you make effective use of manual Google AdWords™ ad extensions, such as apps, calls and locations. These extensions can be used to carry a variety of messages to your audiences and encourage immediate action.
Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive
Extensions can be powerful tools, but with so many options to choose from, you must be careful to eliminate redundancies in your campaigns, you want to maximize your exposure by presenting as many options to customers as possible.
This sounds simpler than it often proves to be, especially if multiple people are working on your AdWords account or if you have a large number of campaigns. That’s why it pays to have someone do an ad audit that shows you what consumers are seeing on the SERP. You can then use that information to make adjustments. As we said before, to get the best results you can’t afford to set it and forget it.
Just like those Olympic hopefuls who are constantly tweaking their mechanics and mental game to ensure the best performance when everything is on the line. You should do the same. The more you stand out in this new ad format, the better the ROI will be for your business.
In our next post, we will look at how to improve your ads with targeting.