3 Key Changes to PPC Campaigns

Google is constantly updating its algorithm to provide better search results to users, so it can seem overwhelming trying to stay ahead of the game.

At the end of last year, we saw the cutesy-named “Possum” update rolled out, which aimed to boost the exposure of local businesses so searchers could easily find local information on a product they needed and could then go out and quickly get it.

This wasn’t the only major update that took place in the last year, though.

In fact, there are a few major changes that you might want to get onboard with if you're running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, as well as a few more in the pipeline for 2017.

1. Changes to Ad Layout

You might have noticed that when you used to search for something on Google, you’d see three sponsored results at the top and then a list of other sponsored results down the right-hand side of your screen.

Before: search engine results with adverts sidebar

Those right-hand ads have completely disappeared now.

Instead, four ads are served at the top of the page and another three at the bottom. This means there are less ads on a page, but they push organic results further down.

After: an additional PPC ad, and no sidebar

This new layout means there’s more competition for top spots, as the extra slots down the side are no longer available. You might find there are higher costs-per-click (CPC) for those much-coveted top spots, but it is still to be seen whether higher costs will be a thing for everyone.

The changes also mean there will be more keywords dropping off the first page, and you’ll see shopping takes up more precedence thanks to the emphasis on local businesses. For certain keywords, organic results will be less visible and buried beneath paid ads – sometimes even below the fold.

2. Expanded Text Ads

The changes to PPC have also seen ads get bigger – as in, you have more words to play around with. Taking a leaf out of Twitter’s book, Google now lets you include up to 140 characters in your ads, which is a 2x increase on the previous design.

New: expanded text ads allow you to say more about your service or product

The idea is that these new, bigger ads will maximise presence and performance, particularly for mobile results.

This change is a good one! Your ads will get greater visibility because they’re larger in size and have space for more copy. Early reports have shown that the expanded ads encourage more clicks throughs – an increase of around 20% has been documented in some cases.

3. Responsive Display Ads

PPC campaigns aren’t just dished on out Google.

In fact, there are options for your ads to be seen in numerous different places, including competitor websites and highly relevant blogs.

This change focuses on creating responsive ads that blend seamlessly with the platform they’re served on. All you have to do is provide a URL, headline, description, and an image and Google will create a responsive ad that fits the content of the site it’s shown on.

This means your ads will blend in with the content on other sites, and they won’t look as much like ads and are more likely to be clicked.

Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm and rolling out updates to make the search process more intuitive for users. This means there are new features to PPC campaigns and ads that pop up every year – most of which mean positive things for you as an advertiser. 

If you need help improving the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns, or don't know where to start, give us a shout and one of our qualified AdWords experts will be happy to advise.