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Google Ads 4-Pack; How Common Is It And What Does It Mean?

Posted in Pay Per Click (PPC) by Promote on 22-Jul-16

The world of pay-per-click marketing has undergone a lot of upheaval in recent years. Today, it accounts for as much as 95% of Google's total revenue and spending on PPC marketing has risen by12% in the last year alone! It has never been more important to make sure that you are working with a specialist PPC agency to keep your costs down and still attract clicks, conversions and sales for your business.

Google AdWords changed the game not too long ago by removing all right-hands ads from search engine results pages. Instead of combining ads on the right and above the organic search results, Google decided to create a PPC 4-pack above the organic results. In many circumstances, less than 4 ads are shown, but when they are shown it can often push all organic results down and past the fold.

PPC offers the potential to drastically improve the visibility of any online business. Thanks to the 4-pack, pay-per-click marketing is more valuable than ever.

How Common Is The Google AdWords 4-Pack?

The 4th paid search result for PPC regularly appears for highly commercial search terms. In fact, it appears for almost a quarter of all commercial search results (23%). This makes a lot of sense, as these adverts will direct the user to landing pages which are specifically designed for a quick and easy sales process. Thanks to this extension of paid search results in-line with the actual organic results, Google is working to provide the optimum experience for the user based on the reasoning behind their search query.

What has come as a surprise to many in the eCommerce world is that even if your ad sits in position 4 for the search results, it may lead to as high a click-through rate (CTR) as if it was in position 1!

Why Are People Worried By Google's PPC Extension?

This change has caused a lot of worry amongst the search engine optimisation and content marketing industries. It isn't hard to see why; as the paid search results have become more popular at the top of the page, organic results are being pushed down – often below the fold which means that the user is actually forced to scroll in order to access the content.

As paid search results become more competitive, it has been suggested that Google is actually abandoning its focus on user experience in order to make higher returns on their search engine. This decision was, quite clearly, commercially driven. However, does that really mean that Google has taken the first step towards sacrificing their user's experience in favour of higher revenue?

Is Google Getting Greedy?

One of the biggest concerns for any PPC agency or SEO specialists is that this extension actually represents the start of a trend. If the entire first page, eventually, becomes nothing more than pay-per-click adverts and marketing, then users will instinctively scroll to the second page before they start clicking on the results. That will not only weaken the user experience, but it will make SEO and PPC much less rewarding altogether.

Google has only maintained its dominance of the search engine world, staying ahead of Bing and Yahoo to name but a few, by focusing on the user experience. People use Google because its algorithms are dedicated to finding the most relevant and effective content for all search queries. Google's crawlers also specialise in discerning the purpose behind a search, and providing links to content which can be informative or commercial.

What Does Google's Increase In Top-Page Paid Search Results Mean?

If this change has taught us anything about Google's focus, it is that the intent behind a search query is hugely important. Their crawler algorithms are even cleverer than we thought and are able to understand a complete range of customer intentions.

If you've been paying attention to what Google's been saying for the past few years, you'll know that they are increasingly becoming focused on ' micro-moments' for all kinds of online retail.

What Are Micro-Moments?

Google has previously said that micro-moments are ' critical touch points within today's consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends '. Understanding these moments is absolutely essential for any eCommerce business as they effectively control the outcome of your potential marketing strategies and techniques.

Put simply, these micro-moments can be broken down into four different categories:

  • I Want To Know Moments,
  • I Want To Go Moments,
  • I Want To Do Moments,
  • I Want To Buy Moments.

Each one of these micro-moment categories will have three things in common; immediacy, intent and context.

Why Are Micro-Moments Related To Paid Search Results?

Any SEO or PPC agency worth its salt will be able to tell you that Google's is actively working to create a premium battleground for businesses. Think of it like Gladiator – your PPC tools and content marketing techniques are your weapons and you're fighting against your competitors for your customers' attention.

The only way you're going to be able to appeal to your customers is to make sure that your content marketing and PPC aligns with their intent. Commercial queries are becoming more and more competitive every single day, which is making it equally as hard to effectively rank for both paid and organic search results.

You need to make sure that your organic and paid search marketing efforts work together to fully work alongside these micro-moments. It's your job to interject your business into this space and offer your customer the opportunity to satisfy that desire; that 'I want to...' moment.

How Can Organic And Paid Search Marketing Work Together For Micro-Moments?

The secret to comprehensive search marketing is combining organic SEO with paid advertising using Google AdWords. By using these two forms alongside each other, you'll be able to fill in the gaps between on-page SEO and traditional content marketing.

Today, Google is more focused on user experience and quality than ever before – you need to make sure that everything you create is of the highest quality, relevant and completely trustworthy. However, even if you follow the best SEO techniques and best practices, the rise of pay-per-click marketing has made it harder than ever for organic search to offer real results when it comes to commercial searches.

If you want your search engine optimisation and PPC to offer real results for your business, you need perform more research regarding your keywords and targeted terms than ever before. As we said, there are 23% of all commercial search results featuring Google's 4-pack of adverts. That means that there are still 77% of all commercial results which are still a great target for organic SEO.

By choosing the right strategy to target the right keywords and phrases, you'll be able to reap the full advantages offered by each marketing technique. For example, if there is a particular term which doesn't feature four different PPC advertisements, then you can use your content marketing and SEO techniques to beat your competitors to these extremely valuable SERP positions. Similarly, you can work to improve your PPC campaigns for those commercial terms which do provide four different PPC advertisements.

What Do You Need To Know About Micro-Moments?

Although a relatively new concept in the world of search marketing, targeting for micro-moments is going to play a huge part in the future of onlineadvertising and content creation. The following statistics were collected by a Google survey last year:

  • 91% of all smartphone users turn to their mobile devices for ideas.
  • 90% aren't always certain of which brand they want to buy from.
  • 82% use their phones to check out and research prospective in-store purchases.
  • 65% look for the most relevant information to their query, regardless of which company provides it.
  • 51% have discovered a new product, or company, when searching on their smartphone.
  • 33% have purchased from a different brand than the one they had in mind, thanks to new information.

So, what does that tell us? Well, to start with, we can see that mobile users aren't necessarily loyal to any brand, but they are highly active. It's quite easy to see that mobile device users are looking for the most reliable and convenient way of getting the products or information that they are looking for.

What Does The PPC Advert Update Mean For You?

As we've said, these changes are only designed to target highly commercial queries, which are motivated by an express desire to buy. An example would be 'buy laptops'. Typically, these are often the highest value keywords as well as they are regularly fairly generic. As a business owner or PPC agency, that means that you'll need to focus on improving your quality score to lessen the damaging impact of a high cost-per-click (CPC).

Less PPC Ads Overall

Despite all the worries about Google becoming driven by revenue rather than user experience, it is worth pointing out that there are now less adverts on the SERP than ever before. Since sidebars have been removed, which could often show another 6 adverts, there are much less adverts on the page than ever before – they are just better placed to grab user attention. Competition for these ads just got much, much tighter, so your AdWords quality score is more important than ever.

AdWords Extensions

Despite introducing the 4 ads format, Google will still display some extension for high-ranking PPC adverts. These can include sitelinks, rating/reviews, extended ad content and more. These extended ads could actually be even more rewarding than before, as they seem to take up a much larger percentage of all the PPC ads displayed.

The Pay-Per-Click World Is Changing – Make Sure You Don't Fall Behind

Paid search marketing is an essential part of online business. If your business isn't primed to take advantage of this high-value strategy, you could really be putting the future of your company in jeopardy. You need to make sure that you work with the UK's leading PPC agency if you hope to take advantage of truly effective search engine marketing.

Online commerce is one of the most important facets of the modern business. If you aren't taking advantage of every opportunity to present your brand,products and services then you'll quickly be overtaken by your competitors. Omni-channel marketing is extremely important, but you need to make sure that you don't become stuck in a marketing rut. When you choose to work with a professional SEO and PPC agency, you'll be able to make the most of the best techniques and practices to ensure that your products and services are the first that your audience discovers.

Choose Promote For Reliable SEO, PPC And Complete Content Marketing

Here at Promote, we have been working alongside businesses up and down the country for many years. As an experienced search engine optimisation and PPC agency, we also specialise in comprehensive omni-channel marketing. We can help your business to grow through the latest white-hat SEO techniques and lower your costs by improving your PPC quality score.

We specialise in driving clicks, conversions and sales to all kinds of businesses. Our experienced team are here to help your business grow and appeal to a much larger audience. For more information on any of the services that we can provide, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team today on 0845 050 2500. Alternatively, you can email us at hi@promote.agency , and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

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