It has been recently confirmed that Google is going to stop displaying ads down the right side of the search engine results page (SERP). This is a major change that is going to affect every single Adwords user. The change in the ad layout will finish rolling out Monday, February 22, 2016.
The new ad layout will feature 3 to 4 ads at the top of the SERP followed by another 3 to 4 ads at the bottom.
With the increase in users using mobile devices to search the web, we believe that Google is making this change to bring the desktop search experience more in line with the mobile experience.
What does this mean for your ads?
Depending on your account’s quality score and ad position, it could mean even more clicks, or significantly less. If your ads were showing in the third or fifth position, or lower, there is a chance your ads will now be bumped to the bottom of the search results page, leading to a lesser amount of clicks and a lower CTR.
Since your ads will likely have the same amount of impressions, we may see a drop in quality score unless Google revises its algorithm for ad ranking. Since the current algorithm is based around expected CTR, you may see a decrease in CTR and a subsequent increase in cost-per-click.
However, on the flip side, if you are ranking in the top two positions for your ads, you may see a significant increase in clicks due to the removal of your competition within eyesight. This may lead to a lower cost-per-click due to the increase in CTR, which should greatly improve your campaigns success.
It is hard to tell exactly what will happen with PPC, especially surrounding the cost-per-click, without any data yet, but as soon as we collect enough information we will update our blog with its effects on the legal industry.
But is PPC still worth it?
If you can maintain a consistent quality score and serve eye-catching ads with a relevant landing page, PPC is still a great source of lead generation. If you find yourself struggling to crack the top three ads in Google, you may want to invest in link building campaigns and PR plays in order to ensure your long term success. While these link building campaigns and other SEO strategies may not generate leads right away, it is a more stable, consistent, and long-term play that will set your law firm up for future success.
With these updates in mind, it is more important than ever to have a consistently managed PPC campaign. Google’s update reminds us that anything can change, and quickly.
If you have questions about how this could affect your law firm PPC campaign, email email@example.com.