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AdWords Changes Are All Right

Google AdWords was recently altered at a grand scale and your business could be too if you’re not on top of the PPC game

Judging by the immediate panic resonating from Google’s biggest change to its SERPs in a decade, one would think a major crime against humanity had been committed. Phones rang feverishly, email boxes overflowed and bloggers churned out all sorts of rants. All the while advertisers were left to wade through a sea of instant evaluation and too often misleading information.

Let us state clearly that now is NOT a time to panic, but rather an opportunity to make more money.

Yes, Google went all in. Adhering to the ever swelling mobile tide, it created a more universal search experience across all devices. With one flail swoop they axed all the ads from the right-hand rail on desktop results. The shift includes a fourth ad position to appear just above the organic listings. Paid results ranking five through seven fall below SEO to the bottom of the page, while all other PPC results are shoved into the abyss of Page 2 and beyond.

But what did all this really mean to you the advertiser? Well, based on the plethora of research out there here are some top nuggets to consider:

  • Since Google’s change, clicks on top 3 ad placements are up 10-15% overall. (Wordstream)

There are actually MORE clicks on paid ads coming in for the best advertisers. This is leading to more revenue across multiple industries. Fact of the matter is, roughly only 10% of all clicks came from right side ads. Now those clicks are shifting to top positions.

You MUST attain top 3 ranking for profitable keywords. While 4 ads are showing more often, it’s still quite common to see just 2 or 3 in spots. However, the cost for being ineffective is steeper too as competition increases. You could use lose money just as fast as making it by pursuing the wrong terms or possessing a poor conversion strategy.

  • PLAs from Shopping Campaigns are actually appearing at the top of the page more frequently than ever before. As a result, PLA click share has increased, in comparison to text ads (Merkle/RKG)

google-adwords-changes-blog

If you’re an e-commerce company, Shopping Campaigns should not be new news to you. You knew getting more out of them is critical to sustaining PPC success, but in most cases have been unable to attain solid ROI. While these campaigns look simple to launch and manage, it’s really a place where the strong thrive while others struggle to survive or worse.

The difference between good strategy and execution can mean a consistent revenue stream or a loss of countless daily sales opportunities.

  • After scouring dozens of “early returns” from PPC pundits, it’s pretty clear since late February, CPCs have been rising slightly faster than they were prior to Google’s change, but nothing significant.

There is no need to expand budgets until you realize that you can increase revenue and/or ROI in return. Don’t fight a bidding war because of media hype or executive panic. Let the numbers speak for themselves . Success will come from managing more actively and wisely than ever before.

The change from Google (it’s biggest in more than a decade) is by some estimations rewarding the top 1% of advertisers with 10% more revenue. I can personally validate that claim as our clients have already seen revenue and ROI shoot up considerably.

That’s the good news!
The bad news?!?!

  • It’s going to take more time, effort and expertise to stay atop the mix. There are many nuisances in AdWords to exploit and being on top the changing game will be critical to success.
  • Competition will rise quickly with some big budgets coming after your ROI. Winning battles will come through flexible budgeting, diverse strategy, creative copy and nimble PPC skills.
  • PPC strategies will need more breadth of coverage across channels. You need to go beyond SERPs to develop a multi-pronged plan that keeps your brand, product and services atop prospects minds (and screens).

Experts across Google Analytics and Adwords portals are seeing exponential value in moving users between channels. Having your brand is seen and engaged across Google Search, YouTube, Facebook, and sites they frequent (via retargeting) is no longer a luxury. Longer conversion path lengths and multi-channel touch points have been trending, but are quickly accelerating.

To boil it all down, what you need now more than ever is PPC expertise, experience and manpower. Don’t go this alone and don’t continue to spend on managers who are not showing you the money. Amazing results are out there to be had for those prepared to do PPC the right way today and tomorrow. You just need to hire the right guides to manage your efforts and lead the way.

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