For retailers who are heavily invested in natural search marketing, the recent decision by Google to switch the location of paid ads from the right side of the search results page to the top of the page, was a blow to the gut.
Because it means that natural search results will be pushed further down the page to further accommodate the paid ads, making it more difficult for marketers relying on organic search results to get their sites to rank high. In what was already a challenging shell game, SEO strategies will have to kick up another notch to make up for the lost space that is now taken up by paid search results.
So how should retailers react to Google’s latest change in its algorithm? Well, the best strategy is to shift to marketing that is a blend of natural search or organic results, and paid search results. Because relying solely on organic searches to drive your SEO will likely put you behind the eight ball. But when you add a paid search strategy to your marketing efforts, you are ensuring that your company won’t get lost in the shuffle.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking: won’t I be devaluing my organic search strategy if I also invest in paid search ads? The answer is “yes,” but given Google’s shift, you really don’t have a choice, because your natural searches are going to get pushed down on results pages no matter what. You need to combat that by at the very least maintaining the status quo with a paid search ad strategy that will keep your company’s name ranking higher on SERPs.
And here’s another thing to consider. If you’re running a storefront business that is also active in digital marketing, your local ads will appear before the organic search results, so that makes paid ads even more important for brick and mortars that rely heavily on geographic marketing to boost their bottom line.