Can you negotiate the changing digital landscape unaided?Leave a Comment (0) ↓
Trying to set your company’s marketing course across the digital landscape, it can feel as though you are trying to navigate without a route map – or, in digital terms, without the sat nav enabled. No sooner do you think you understand the instructions, somebody changes all the rules…
For example, it can’t have escaped your notice that the architecture of your Google search pages has recently altered. This is no small matter – it’s a true game-changer.
The missing Google Ads
Gone is the familiar right-hand column of paid search ads. It’s the same worldwide. So how will your Google AdWords campaign work now?
Google says that “highly commercial query” searches will yield up to four ads in the prime top spots on the page, above the organic search listings. Another three ads will be displayed at the bottom of the page.
So do the simple maths and the maximum (not guaranteed) amount of paid search ads on page 1 has gone down from 11 to 7: a 36% reduction, out of the blue. Can you imagine the outcry if ITV was to cut its ads per break by a similar amount, with no consultation?
The definitive outcome is too early to call, but logically, if your average position has been 5 or worse, then you stand to be relegated from the equivalent of the Premiership to the Championship, with all that means in terms of lower potential revenues. In other words, you will find yourself on Page 2, where far fewer people visit. Your click through rate (CTR) will suffer accordingly.
Natural searches will be even harder to place on Page 1: we have already reported on how Google has reduced the number of these at the expense of text and image-based ads, and now there is less space on the centre of the (admittedly cleaner) page for them.
Now you may very well think that this has been done to drive up the cost per click (CPC). I couldn’t possibly comment… But as in any auction, the laws of supply and demand apply. Struggling brands will be tempted to increase their bids to regain lost position.
But there are winners in this scenario – and with the right direction, you can be one of them.
If you ever thought that ‘Content is King’ was passé, then think again. If you are scoring positions between 1and 4 already, then you are well placed to achieve better CTRs – so long as you keep ahead of the competition through superior creative treatment and intelligent targeting of every different strand within your audience. A top-quality digital media consultancy will be dealing with this requirement.
And if your audience is rapidly converting to a mobile use of the internet, then the new-style search pages will read better and cleaner for them – providing an easier way for your ads or natural results to be seen. Once again, you need to look your best and have an uncluttered set of words that resonate immediately with the reader. Furthermore, the tiny ‘AD’ boxes and the lining up of all results will make ads less distinct from organic results.
Time for a new manager?
At Hannon Digital, we manage all your digital campaigns social network appearances: and we create social websites that perform across all platforms. We have the tools to optimise your AdWords bidding and we create great content that is meaningful to your target audience. And we know all about how to perfect your SEO to work even harder in pursuit of the coveted Page 1 listing for a search on any of your major keywords.
A final point – you may think that the average London ad agency finds the hard work needed for this sort of digital marketing to be just too time-consuming, and thus charges a lot for their services. You would be right. We have created a new digital solution whereby the heavy lifting is carried out by graduates and MBAs in India and the client-facing roles are in London. It’s cost-effective – and it is extremely effective, full stop. You won’t believe how affordable it is – until we talk…