Google Adwords: The Guide to Google’s New PPC Layout

It’s no secret that Google is constantly changing, and those changes stem anywhere from its algorithm to its search engine results pages. In recent months, Google has changed the way that pay-per-click (PPC) ads are displayed amongst varying devices, and it plays a role as to how your ads are viewed by your customers.

The biggest change is that PPC ads with Google Adwords are no longer displaying on the right side of the screen. For years, the default positioning for many PPC ads was within a column on the right side of the screen and the top of the organic search engine results. Now, Google is displaying four PPC ads on top of the organic results—and that’s it.

Google told Search Engine Land that this change is not permanent, but it has now been over two months since the format has changed.

What Does This Mean for Small Business Owners?

At the time of the initial announcement in February, the switch caused an upset within the organic SEO community. The reason behind this was due to the PPC ads pushing the organic search engine results further down the page, making many results appear below the fold.

While this situation was frustrating to professionals in organic SEO, it was a welcomed change for those investing in Google Adwords. The “top four” ads are displayed front-and-center for your customers, and it is now a little more difficult for your customer to automatically jump to the organic search engine results. Google considered most PPC ads as “commercial”, meaning that people are generally searching for your specific keywords with an intent to purchase. There is no official definition in terms of what Google views as a commercial term, but several examples include “auto insurance” and “dog food.”

It’s also worth mentioning that shopping campaigns have a more prominent position on the first page on Google. As of April 2016, Google shopping campaign ads display on the right sidebar of Google’s search display results—essentially taking the place where Google Adwords displayed its standard PPC ads.

How Can You Get Your Ads at The Top of Google’s PPC Display?

Just because you are simply bidding on a keyword, it doesn’t mean your ad will skyrocket to the top. In fact, Google Adwords and its PPC campaigns still require strategizing and testing as it did before the change.

Google chooses the top four ads based on several criteria, which is generally determined by your Ad Rank. This is a combination of click-through-rate (CTR), relevance, landing page experience, and more.

There are several ways that you can increase your odds of being in the top 4 of the Google Adwords display. These methods include:

  • Focusing on relevance for the customer. Make sure that there is an obvious connection between your ad’s copy and the offer that is presented on the landing page. You also want to be sure that your chosen keywords are related to your ad and your campaign.
  • Strategize new keywords on a regular basis. Over time, you’ll want to stay on top of your keyword list to be sure that it’s getting the best results for your campaign. Furthermore, it’s important to be aware of your chosen keywords are actually being searched by customers. If you choose the wrong keywords, it will negatively impact your quality score and CTR.
  • Properly track and manage your account. One of the most important techniques for managing a successful Google Adwords campaign is to regularly track, test, and change your campaign. Unfortunately, many business owners are under the impression that pay-per-click advertising is a one-and-done advertising technique. The truth is that you must stay on top of your ad’s performance at least every 24 hours—possibly even more if your campaign is brand new or very complex. In the world of Google Adwords, autopilot is not recommended.

How Does Google Choose the Top Four Ads?

While Google won’t give away all of its secrets, it does give away some inside tips on how it chooses the top ads:

  • The top four ads are highly relevant for customers’ search queries. The ad copy matches the text on the landing page.
  • The top four ads consistently perform well and have a healthy click-through-rate over the duration of the campaign.
  • The top four ads also have competitive bids for each keyword. These keywords exceed the top of page bid estimate.

Become One of the Top Four on Google Adwords with Bigfoot Media

Even though the Google Adwords display has changed, for the time being, Bigfoot Media has stayed on top of the trends to bring you the very best PPC management available. Launch your Google Adwords campaign by contacting us today at 864-214-5504.

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