Every time marketers get comfortable with Google's secret sauce, the search-engine giant changes its recipe yet again. Recently, Google announced that it would remove its right-side ad spots from the SERPs (search engine results pages), which of course meant that half the Internet marketing population experienced a temporary mental breakdown. Now that the news has sunk in, however, it's time to examine what this move means for your digital strategy.
Ads Will Get more Competitive
It's simple math. Google's product is advertising spots on the SERPs. Before this change, the search engine served up ads above, below, and to the right of the organic listings. Now they've removed one-third of those ad spots (one-third of their product), which means supply has dropped.
If you paid attention during Economics 101 in college, you remember that a decrease in supply means an uptick in demand. Companies will pay more money to bid on keywords with fewer slots available, which means that search engine advertising's landscape will grow more competitive.
Organic Search Results Might Change
When consumers search for keywords related to your business, your website might move further down the list.
Although Google has said that additional ads will only appear above the organic listings in special circumstances, it's reasonable to assume that the organic search results will change moving forward. Businesses will likely put even more emphasis on SEO as they develop their websites because organic real estate becomes more valuable.
It's like a series of billboards on the side of a highway. If three fast food restaurants advertise their businesses in succession and you pass them while you're hungry, you're likely to get off the freeway in search of the first restaurant you saw advertised. People don't like to wait or work for what they want; consumers will always take what's easiest -- or, in this case, first.
Now's the Time to Address the SERPs
It's impossible to know how Google's right side ad removal will impact your specific digital strategy. It will likely affect industries and business models differently, so it's time to address your position in the SERPs.
Run Google searches for branded and non-branded keywords to assess your ranking. How are you performing now? If you don't appear until further down the page (or, worse, on subsequent pages), you'll need to find a new strategy. The lower you rank in the SERPs, the fewer clicks you get.
Boosting your SEO efforts might help you avoid any of the negative consequences of Google's decision. If you can rank organically, you're better poised to funnel traffic toward your website instead of to your competitors' sites. Focusing your efforts on inbound marketing and performance optimization will ultimately insulate you against Google's most recent pendulum swing.
If you're looking for a better way to boost brand visibility and increase your conversion rates, we're here to help. Simply request a consultation so we can discuss your unique needs.