Whether you are a merchant whom has advertised on Google for a long time or your about to start. A couple of days ago (Mid February 2016) the landscape for advertising in Google has changed dramatically for desktop users. In this article we explain what has changed and what you need to do to compete.
Google’s old search results
To understand what has changed, we need to understand how it was before. If you look at the image above, we had text advertising at the top, the right and sometimes at the bottom of the page. With shopping ads showing up in the middle and sometimes on the right. This allowed you to have a balance of text advertising and product advertising. In total there would be up to 10 text ads and up to 6 product ads on a search result.
This means that you had around 8 text ads and up to 6 product ads above the fold, depending on-screen size.
Google’s new search results
With the new design, we will only be able to see 3 text ads or sometimes 4 depending on the type of commercial search results and up to 16 product ads above the fold. Where 3 additional text ads will be show at the bottom of the page. This has shifted the landscape dramatically in favor for product listings. In the example above you see the ads being displayed at the right, but these will sometimes show at the top and potentially show up to 16.
So what does this really mean?
Over 37.5% of text ads have disappeared from above the fold on all search results, meaning, having ads position displayed 5 and beyond will mean you are at the bottom of the page or on the second page listing. Not a single merchant would want that, so the only logical step is to improve ads, landing pages and increase the overall CPC. Wow ok, now we understand one part of the reason, Google has shifted to this format to increase its revenue. I do not feel there is anything wrong with that, it is their business model and I think if Google did not try to gain revenue it would not be a business.
The second part of the big change means how important Google Shopping has become. With the reduction of text ads and the focus towards visual ads, we will see allot more competition in Google Shopping than ever before. In the example above we can see 4 products being listed, depending on the screen size or product results there can be up to 6 displayed.
Google has also started to show up to 16 product listings. You can view a larger list by click on the arrow in the bottom right corner of the product listing box, this will expand the normal view to a full width view.
The competition and the overall costs will increase from now on. If you are a serious merchant than the following has become even more of a priority :
- Ensuring your data feed quality is at a high level
- Landing page optimisation
- Setting up a highly focused campaign
- Have your text overall ads position less than 3
My client entrusts me with a yearly budget of over half a million dollars in advertising. It is now more than before how important having your account maintained on a weekly basis if not more. Neglecting your Adwords account will simply result in lost sales, wasted budget and more… Recently I assisted a client and improved the data feed which resulted in 37% increased conversions in just 7 days. There are so many aspects when it comes to advertising. Hiring a Google Shopping specialist simply pays for itself.