February 2016, Google unveiled major changes in its lucrative Adwords platform. The search giant is no longer showing ads on the right side of its results pages (SERP’s) and has instead replaced it with 4 ads at the top of the page and ads at the bottom of the SERP. This has without a doubt stirred its fair share of panic and doubt for many advertisers who count on PPC as its primary source of web traffic and lead generation.
The million-dollar question asked by most advertisers this week is “How will these changes impact my online business and what affect will it have on my Cost Per Lead?” Truth be told, I too had my doubts and concerns as to how this would affect our digital marketing business as PPC is a big part of our portfolio and most of our clients have been blessed with PPC success. After many hours and dozens of conversations within our WSI network of consultants the following was concluded.
1.We expect Google CPCs to rise for most advertisers.
With the elimination of right side ads, advertisers that want visibility beyond the bottom of the page will be forced to increase bids in order to show in ‘top of page’ ad results.
2. Daily spend at Google may get volatile.
Fewer available ad positions on the first page and higher CPCs mean it will be difficult to control spend at Google for small budget advertisers. ‘Top of page’ ads with high CPCs will consume ad budgets quickly, and ads below top page results will see significantly less traffic.
3. The importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will also increase.
With no ability to show ads on the right side of the search results page, ‘top of page’ ads and top ranked organic results will see an increasing amount of traffic.
The flip side…It’s widely accepted knowledge that the top three PPC ads at top left centre of page have always accounted for about 80%+ of PPC clicks. Now, we will have up to 4 ads in the top left centre of Google SERPs, which surely means that the total contribution to PPC traffic from this area will increase to 85-90%. More good news is that all ads can use call-out extensions, site-link extensions, location extensions and so on, which were previously only at the ‘top of page’ ads.
WSI’s very own head of Paid Search and Google Top Contributor Jack Porter Smith also had this to say about the recent changes last week.
Google very rarely makes fundamental shifts to its SERPs or advertising platform without being VERY sure that it will make more money from doing so. Google makes almost all of its money via PPC ads – and it will continue to do so for as long as its SERPs evolve to make PPC advertisers more successful so that they can spend more money on ads.
Changes like this reinforce the value of working with WSI due to our publisher agnostic approach.
Myself personally and our Pay-Per-Click/PPC team at WSI eStrategies in Ottawa will be closely monitoring campaign performance to confirm the impact of these changes.
For more information on how PPC can help generate leads for your business, contact us today!