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How To Win Over Google’s New SERP Format

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Google ever since its establishment has continually upgraded itself. Be it major changes like Google Panda or slight tweaks or updates, this gigantic search engine always tries to give its visitors a high-quality experience. Following the same path, Google changed how its Search Engine Result Pages looks on 23rd February.

The announcement of the changed AdWord Layout came as a shock to many advertisers. Google has been examining Search Engine Result Pages with 4 ads at the top of the page above organic page which led to great amount of speculation in the PPC community. Before implementing these changes, Google has been testing them since 2010 and therefore, it is safe to assume that such a huge modification to the SERPs will not impact users negatively. Also, it will add to Google’s revenue. According to recent studies, 40%of visitors can’t differentiate between paid and organic results after the implementation of the new AdWords. The searchers more likely will click the top most results and Google knows how to make profit out of it. But what about marketers?

After the elimination of the sidebar ads, both Google and searchers are in  a win-win situation. However, with 4 sponsored results, there are lesser slots available for organic results above the fold. This change in the layout will have consequences in two areas. One is changes in the marketing strategy of the businesses and the other being the layout itself.

Impact on PPC marketing

With the removal of ads on the right-hand side and increased number of ads appearing at the top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), it still accounts to comparatively lesser ads overall on the page. This implies that there will be increased competition for the top slots which automatically results to rise in the paid ads. With this new layout and the increased competition, companies will pay more and more to enjoy the top position on the resultant page. With the increase in the price and competition, some companies, particularly those with smaller and restrained budgets, to shift gears. The consequences will be to focus on lower cost keywords and movement towards organic search performance optimization. Thus, more and more focus will be towards organic search results. With this changing trend and the level of competition, one needs to ensure that their content and organic strategies are framed in a way which gives maximum performance.

What marketers can do to stand out

With the new layout of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), many marketers have forecasted doom for themselves. However, they should not panic. For standing out in the new SERP and to make content stand out, you will have to take a complete and comprehensive view of your content as well as customers. The need for entire brand reputation will have to be revised. Success can come if your customers already have trust in you and see your brand as ultimate. This will bring you organic search success which can help you in the long run. Producing high-quality content that helps the customers and answers whatever they are searching for will build the niche for your business.

For that, you will have to tap the areas that interest your target audience. Identify the topics that are trending and your visitors will find interesting. There should not be monotonous content which might increase the bounce rate and hence degrading your brand value so far established. Produce content of various types which should include infographics, videos, and articles to address the questions of these users.  Keep a track of your success with each piece of article, have a knowledge of the conversion rates and engagement rates. With this, you can trace which type of content is working and is serving the needs of customers the best in every possible way. So it is essential to be user centric rather than going haywire.

Once you have got the hang of how and which content works among the masses, it is essential to spread it. Taking time out to create a strong social media presence is highly recommended. If you have produced content that is informative and appreciable but it do not reach the  audience then it is more or less useless. Having a strong presence on social media platforms helps you in the following ways:

  1. Direct interaction with your customers as well as potential customers via the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and many more.
  2. On the social media platforms, you can share and promote the content you have published and have an opportunity to build your audience.
  3. Via social media portals, you can answer people’s questions which can help you establish as an authority.
  4. When you attract huge attraction to your content, this helps you to improve the ranking via traffic rates, engagements, and backlinks. Amalgamating content, search and social will help you gain more and more organic traffic and thereby, improve your SEO ranking.

Providing user-friendly experience online will help you gain reputation. However, it is not enough. For having an upper hand over others, you will need to stretch beyond what you do on online forums. This can help you polish your reputation and bring in new customers to your business. Go for review sites like Yelp. Customers learn about the trending companies and the least popular companies via sites like these. With the help of excellent user experience, you can spread awareness about your company and improve reputation through these sites.

Local optimization

Once you are done with tapping the topics that are in demand, you need to make sure the content is fully optimized. Since Google’s new AdWord layout has been changed so drastically and ads at the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are so prominent now, it is important to take care of your content. Marketers need to make sure their results can compete with these ads logically. The marketers need to use all the resources that are feasible in order to compete with these ads since ads are visually pleasing and are engrossing. This implies that you need to use meta tags and schema whenever possible in order to present your site accurately. With this apt representation, you can seize any opportunity for rich snippets.

By optimization, it also means considering all the available options from every possible angle. For instance, local optimization might not seem to be as important as any other aspect would possibly be. However, if you have an actual location, it can add up to your valuable resources. According to BrightEdge research, local optimization can improve the traffic on your website by 21%. So, consider adding these kinds of optimization.

How Can You Overpower The New Google SERP

  1. First of all, do not ignore local optimization and places. It might seem invaluable among other major areas. But it is important since it can increase the traffic to your website.
  2. With the help of data, identify what kind of content is desirable and is in demand among your audience. Develop material according to the preferences of your users. Don’t let monotonous content overpower your site. Remember to incorporate variety of content and keep a record of customers’ reactions and analyze the trend. See what your readers like the most and to what they respond to best at various points of times.
  3. Meta tags and schema are important, very important. Make sure your content includes meta tags and schema in order to attract as much as attention to it as possible. Remember ads are going to have a makeover and will be more and more visually pleasing, so make sure that you make content in such a way that it answers everything that the readers are looking for.
  4. With the help of content, search and social mixture to publicize your content. The amalgamation of these three ingredients will attract attention and improve the quality parameters like backlinks, engagement rates, and conversion rates. You should actively engage with your users on social media platforms so as to improve your reputation and build yourself as a trusted and credible authority.
  5. Once you have incorporated and build yourself as a brand which can be trusted upon, you need to measure your results and take necessary steps whenever and wherever needed. Track and trace your rankings, your Click Through Rate (CTR) and engagement rates to have an overview of how this new 4 ad layout has impacted you and your success.

Google has been changing ever since its establishment in 1998, and it is obvious that it is going to change in the near future too. There are positives as well as negatives too around this new change in the Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) in stored for marketers. The prime objective from the marketing point of view should be to adapt to this change and learn on how can they perform better and succeed in this new and changed system by Google.

You need to remember customer is god to you. A happy customer can bring in more customers to you. Work smart with your search and content strategies which can improve your performance. This will help you have an edge over the ads and improve your brand. Drop a comment and let us which point worked out for you!

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