What Google’s Latest Changes Mean For PPC Customers

If you’ve done an online search using Google in the last month, you might have noticed the right-hand side of the page looks pretty empty. Google’s latest update significantly changed how ads are displayed on the search results page. Rather than a row of ads along the right-hand side, Google now displays three or four ads at the top of the search results and a couple at the bottom of the page. This may make navigating Google a bit easier on mobile devices, but this update means big changes for advertisers. PPC Customers Experience Changes With Google Update

Mark John Hiemstra wrote an in depth analysis on the Acquisio blog about how this update impacts customers who pay for Google ads. Data was taken from roughly 90,000 campaigns running on the Acquisio platform from four weeks before the change to two weeks after the change (spanning January 21, 2016-March 3, 2016). The findings are as follows:

  • Cost Per Click (CPC) for ads in the top 4 has increased by up to 10.5%
  • Click Through Rate (CTR) for ads in the top 4 has increased by up to 4.5%
  • Links below the top 4 are seeing significantly less clicks and impressions
  • CPC has also increased for spots below the top 4

Since there are no more side ads ‘above the fold’ on the results page anymore, much more weight is being placed on the top 4 ads. They are receiving much more attention, but the cost to show up there has also noticeably increased. Conversely, spots below the top 4 are getting less views but the cost to appear there has still increased. As a result of these findings, managing budget for your various ad campaigns will be even more crucial to ensure your practice gets the best visibility in the search results. Trust our marketing managers at ProspectaMarketing to help you navigate this new change and please contact us with any questions.

Can Consumers Tell Which Search Results are Paid Ads?

In a recent study by recent study by SEOBook, 1,000 people were shown screenshots of Google search page results and asked whether or not the page featured ads. The surprising results? Although all the pages shown had ads, nearly half (45.5%) of the people surveyed said there were no ads.

Later when showed search results that had no ads, but included a Google Plus menu bar, 56% of participants incorrectly answered that the search results did have ads.

When asked where ads might appear on search results at top search engines like Bing & Google nearly 20% of people replied that search results do not carry ads.

Results were higher when people were shown search results with a sidebar ad, with 62.9% of people correctly answering that the page had an ad.

What does this mean for my business?

Organic listings and pay per click ads are both very important in directing traffic to your website. As illustrated by this study, people are often unaware of ads if there is no right column ad in the search results.  Sometimes doctors will say that they are not inclined to click on ads but they would look at the organic listings.  The fact is, users are not always clear which is which.  Having both on the page helps improve click through to your website.  We may be thinking about more of a distinction between the two than is warranted.

If you have questions about how to improve results with your internet dental marketing, please give us a call at 877-322-4440 ext. 101

Choosing the Right Media for Your Message

When evaluating media alternatives, there are a number of considerations.  One question that arises from time to time is the effectiveness of TV advertising for a dental practice.  Doctors we have worked with have had success and disappointment with TV.  Having worked in a media department of an ad agency and as a marketing manager earlier in my career, there are three things worth considering when evaluating TV or any other media for advertising.

1. What is your objective and message:  Depending on what you want to accomplish, TV may or may not be the best way to deliver the message.  TV can be good practice name and positioning reinforcement.  It can also be a great way to showcase the benefits of your work with the live video.  However, will the ad format give you enough time to deliver the message you need to send?

2, Evaluate what you are really buying with the TV schedule:    When are they running the spots and what is the expected audience for the ad schedule.  The three common measures for a media buy are     * Reach (percentage of audience reached during the schedule), Frequency (avg. number of times someone is likely to see the ad) and CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached). This should all be measured against the type of patient demographic you are trying to reach (ex. women and men ages 25-64).  It is a good idea to also  look at the geography of the TV coverage and determine how much of it is your market area (where patients will realistically drive from to reach your office).  There is a level of waste in TV and any marketing.  Consider then how much of that coverage will be helpful to you.  If you are wasting 80% of the coverage on people too far away to drive to your practice or on viewers who are not your target demographic, there may be better options that are more targeted to your practice.  Much of the effectiveness will also depend on how good the ad is.  Then look at the cost per thousand, and you can more easily consider the cost against the costs of other marketing options such as internet marketing or direct mail.

3. Consider the value of the TV spot production:   Just the production of a quality TV spot can often carry a large price tag.  If you have access to the ad video (which you should be able to do) you could use it on your website (becoming increasingly important on websites now) and also post it on YouTube for additional visibility online. So, there may be some value in the production itself to consider.

If you are still unsure, conduct a test and track the results.  Make sure you run it long enough to fairly evaluate the results but contain your commitment until you have a better idea how it will perform for your practice.