With the recent change of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) layout, businesses are discovering that their online marketing campaigns may need adjustments as well. Google has removed paid text ads from the right side of the page, and will now display up to four text ads above the organic listings and three text ads below the organic listings. This a far less cluttered SERP layout, but what does the change mean for your online marketing campaigns?
Searchers are more likely to distinguish listings based on where they land on the page rather than whether they are paid or organic. This is a large win for paid ads that are now listed above the organic results, since users usually only scroll through the listings on the more dominant left side of the SERP (making paid text ads previously displayed on the right side of the SERP often unseen).
This more uniform SERP layout may come at a cost for pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Since the number of paid text ads on the SERP has been decreased to a maximum of seven, the change has created a much more competitive text ad environment. Adwords and PPC campaigns may see a rise in cost and a decrease in impressions. There is now more pressure on your paid text ad budget to compete for the top positions.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns also need to focus on ranking high since the number one organic listing could now be fourth or fifth on the SERP overall. With few and possibly no organic listings appearing above the fold of the new layout, the importance of SEO to a company’s online marketing success has increased. Since the goal of SEO is to rank high on the first page of the SERP, there is greater importance on ranking in the top five of the results. Existing SEO factors and strategies still apply, and have an even greater impact on your online success due to the new SERP layout.
All marketers have heard the phrase “content is king,” and Google still thinks so as well. Content relevancy is still a top ranking factor for Google and other major search engines. Keeping your content desirable and relevant to users will increase the likelihood of a higher SERP ranking. This includes content within your website and landing pages, social media, blog and ad content.
Increasing inbound links to your website and establishing authority are top ranking factors that will also help your business show up higher in the SERP and put it on the map. The following are ways to keep your SEO campaign competitive with the new SERP layout, while also ensuring traffic is being driven to your website:
- Directory Information
Ensuring that your business’s name, address and phone number are consistent across all directories increases the reputability of your brand. Make sure to optimize your Google My Business listing to ensure your business shows up in local searches. Consumers appreciate businesses that have consistent information on the web. Consistency will benefit your SEO by increasing site traffic, while giving consumers the confidence to contact or visit your store.
- Social Media Interaction
Staying active on social media allows you to create original content, and share it across multiple platforms to an unlimited number of users. This gives you more chances to increase inbound links to your website, which impact your ranking on the SERP. This will also show search engines that your business has current and credible content, therefore benefiting your SEO.
- Review Management
Since online reviews are now a main factor of purchasing decisions, major search engines are providing users with overall company ratings on the SERP. Consequently, the reviews that make up an overall rating are taken into consideration when ranking search results. Search engines look for businesses with a large number of quality reviews and list those businesses at the top of the SERP. Review generation and reputation management are crucial to boosting your SEO.
- Mobile Optimization
Online marketing campaigns should ensure ads are optimized for mobile and local searches to maximize online visibility. More consumers today use smartphones to search for nearby businesses, and information that they need on the go. If your website is not optimized for mobile and local searches, your business will lose out on a large number of customers that are searching in your area. Mobile and local search optimization benefits your SEO for both desktop and mobile search results.
Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising agency that helps businesses achieve their digital marketing goals. We provide digital marketing strategies through comprehensive software that exceeds the expectations of our clients. Our technology is proven to make digital marketing manageable, making sure that your business shows up when it counts. From online reputation management to SEO strategies and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today and let us handle your digital marketing needs.