- Google is constantly testing new pages for SERP components
- Simply put, the #1 spot in organic or paid ads doesn’t guarantee that your paid advertising listing will be visible without scrolling.
- Google Search Console reports organic position #1 as position 1. This is not the real position 1 on the page.
- Many assumptions and anomalies can impact your organic and paid clicks. Is there a way to avoid this?
- Prasanna Dhungel, a leading advisor and expert in performance marketing, reveals four key insights that marketers can use to maximize their performance marketing efforts in 2023
Google’s search engine result page (SERP), has seen a lot of changes over the past two decades. Google’s search engine results page (SERP) no longer only contains organic listings. It now includes dynamic paid ads as well as other organic SERP components.
Google SERP currently has many organic features such as –
- People may also inquire about (PAA).
- These are the most popular products
- Highlighted snippets
- Google MAP
- Image packs
- Tweets and many other things that I think we are only scratching the surface of.
Google SERP currently shows a few paid features:
- Shopping ads
- Text ads
- Local search ads on MAP
These are paid features advertisers shouldn’t ignore if they want better advertising and content strategies to maximize search marketing ROI.
Google allows you to change the SERP composition by keyword, location, time of day and device. Google is testing new SERP components on pages. You may be wondering what all this means. Simply put, the #1 spot in organic or paid ads doesn’t guarantee that your listing will appear without scrolling. This means that the organic position #1 as reported by Google Search Console does not represent the actual page position 1. This means that you will have a lower CTR than expected, which can impact both your organic and paid clicks.
Search marketers need to understand the dynamic nature of SERP and how their brand ranks on Google compared to others. This will allow search marketers to use the best paid and SEO strategies to maximize visibility, clicks, and conversions.
Based on my knowledge and experience with the dynamic SERP, these are four key insights that marketers should pay attention to in order to maximize performance marketing efforts.
1. Analyze the SERP composition for your keywords
Marketers need to be familiar with the SERP features that are visible for keywords. The graph below shows that SERP features such as PAA and popular products, along with organic keywords, are taking up significant real estate for “apparel”, and “accessories.” keywords. Search marketers who do not target these components may miss opportunities to acquire customers at different stages of the buying process.
2. Monitor emerging and contracting SERPs
Marketers need to understand the new features of SERPs that are becoming popular for their keyword traffic. This allows marketers to develop long-term content and advertising plans that target popular SERP features.
We identified Map Local Search Ads (in mobile devices) and App Install (in desktop computers) as SERP features in the “appel” and “accessories” keywords. We witnessed a rise in popularity for PAA and other popular products across many keyword categories.
3. Keep an eye out for above-the-fold features in the SERP
It is crucial to understand the features of SERPs visible above-the fold. These insights will allow marketers to understand the dynamics behind rising and falling SERP click through rates. It is possible to wonder why clicks are falling despite your average position on Google Reports improving. These questions can be answered by true ad positions in SERP.
The graph below shows that the organic component of this keyword landscape is less prominent than SERP features such as PAA or popular products.
These insights help marketers identify the best route to the top of the page. Marketers can create a comprehensive search strategy that will allow them to allocate their search marketing budget between organic and paid SERP features.
4. Monitoring competitor’s SERP features
Google is a highly competitive channel. There are many domains that appear in Google SERP, from publishers to aggregators to actual competitors to your business model. It is essential to understand the top domains based on SERP features, their competition tactics, and how the SERP landscape has changed in order to build the best marketing strategies.
These insights are useful for optimizing search advertising performance, from planning link building to acquiring second traffic to improving authority scores to crafting advertising strategies and content strategies.
You can also monitor the tactics of your top competitors across all SERP formats to optimize your advertising campaigns. The graph below shows that Amazon’s Google Shopping Ads Share Of Voice has dramatically increased from May 2022 to July 2022.
Marketers will need to advertise products in categories that Amazon isn’t aggressively advertising.
Google is sharing less data. Google’s ad data does not show advertisers low impressions that may be creeping up your CPCs. Google search console data does not show the true rank. The organic rank shared is not representative of the actual page location.
It is crucial for search marketers that they use SERP-driven insight to get an edge in performance marketing campaigns going into 2023.
Prasanna Dhungel founded and manages GrowByData. This company powers performance marketing for top brands like Crocs and top agencies such as Merkle. GrowByData provides marketing intelligence for marketplace, product, and search to increase revenue, improve marketing performance, and manage brand compliance.
Prasanna advises investors, executives and board members on product, growth, data strategy and other matters. His clients include Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation and Athena Health.
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Search Engine Watch’s first post, Google market pulse for search marketing professionals appeared on Search Engine Watch.