So, I’m sure you’ve all by now heard and seen that Google removed the right hand side ads and of course read our article about it (If you haven’t shame on you and read it here.).
Well what does it actually mean for most advertisers? We have looked through hundreds of accounts and mashed the data to see what is what.
The answer is a real mix of conclusions, some of which you would not of expected at all!
So before we go through the findings, a quick recap of the effects of the change:
Having access from hundreds of customers, from a huge variety of sectors, we have been able to aggregate the data comparing 3 weeks after the change, to the 3 weeks before. Obviously the change will impact businesses depending on their average position so we have broken this down to positions 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4th and below. The results are as follows:
So far there is no considerable effects we can pinpoint. Slight fluctuations across most stats are of course expected when dealing with any Adwords comparisons. Slight rises in CPC’s by 2p or 2.3% have been noted causing CPA’s to rise nearly 5%. Whilst this does seem small, if the click price has risen, even by 2p, that’s a huge increase in revenue to Google on a global scale.
For SME’s in this case study so so far there is no major impact on any advertisers positioned 1-2nd position.
Looking at position 2-3, again there are no real stand out fluctuations. Any advertiser sitting between 1-3rd should now be a little more relaxed and see there is no need to press the panic button.
If you have strong history and maintained a healthy position in this space then the only impact thus far is an actual drop in CPC’s by 3p. Conversion rates have slightly fallen and the positions have dropped by a 0.1 but again no major changes.
However once we reach the 3rd & 4th spots, we can start to actually record some tangible changes as the effects are far more evident.
CPC’s rise a huge 11% and clicks for ads decrease nearly 14%. Now if these figures represent your top ‘bread and butter’ keywords generating a significant chunk of your conversions, we have a serious problem.
Ads will now be floating in and out of the top 4. Conversion rates have slightly risen, probably due to better messaging with the increased impact of callouts, sitelinks and extensions, but actual conversion numbers are down 11%. If you are in this position, it’s likely you need to have a careful look at your strategy and considering boosting the bids and budget allocation for top converting terms. Even if it is at the expense of others.
Now, the most surprising results of the investigation! At first sight the results look completely damaging, catastrophic even! If your ad is below position 4 you are off the top of the page and dumped to the bottom. An incredible 50% of your impressions are now gone. 43% of your visitors have disappeared. Surely no business can run like that?
Well, campaigns hit in this way also saw a 39% uplift in conversions and a 65% decrease in CPA’s! That’s a massive improvement on ROI.
In our opinion the opening of opportunities far exceeds the fear of damaging results. Of course if you’ve based your business on the low hanging fruit of positioning yourself in the less coveted positions along the right hand side that’s a different matter, but even then there are fixes for that…..
In any case, all activity should be focused on making full use of all the extensions available as we first predicted months ago, having a clear strategy on what to bid in top 4 positions, and what terms you can afford to show less for in the bottom results.