Starting February 19, Google made a not-so-subtle change to the way AdWords ads are displayed following a search. Gone are the ads on the right side of the page. Google will now only show ads at the top and bottom of the SERP (search engine results page).
What does this mean for online marketing dependent companies?
When most FX marketers opened their Google AdWords (Google’s keyword advertising program) account last week they might have had a jaw-dropping experience. The cost per click (CPC) for the most searchable FX keywords went up significantly and, in some cases, doubled. The first reaction most likely was “is it competition?” However, there is actually a fairly reasonable explanation for this price hike, and it has to do with how Google has altered its website advertising in general.
If you search anything on Google today, you may notice a very important display change in that the ads on the right hand side of the page are gone. Mobile access and usage has increased dramatically and, therefore, having search results adapted to mobile devices is the catalyst behind this Google change. This has had the initial effect of driving up the prices for paid advertising, although some experts suggest that it might be a temporary occurrence, simply until the market settles.
So what can FX marketing experts do?
- Be more strategic in your bidding strategy and make sure that you are not using your entire budget on non-strategic keywords that do not bring conversions.
- Consider investing in other strategies, such as SEO (search engine optimization), to improve organic search results.
- Search your most important keywords in Google and review the results.
- If the most searchable keywords have gotten ridiculously expensive then you may want think about bidding on more specific search queries, also known as long tail keywords.
While Google is continually making alterations to its core algorithms, this is one of the most significant changes in quite some time and points to the growing trend of increased mobile searches. The long term impact of these changes, and how they will impact search results (paid and organic), has yet to be seen, but what is clear is that FX marketers will likely need to make adjustments to their Google AdWords campaigns very soon.
This post initially appeared on the Advanced Markets blog.