March 01, 2016

5 Things Realtors Should Know with the Removal of Right-Hand PPC Ads


Google Adwords started almost 16 years ago. And although it remains a black abyss for some people, it's a golden opportunity for most, especially for professional service individuals, like real estate agents. Google Adwords can be one of the best sources to capture qualified leads.

Ad spend is increasing year over year and this year spend on search ads will increase by about 3 billion dollars. And recently Google made an major change to their Adwords platform and removed the right-hand PPC ads.



There is a lot of talk in the marketing industry because it directly effects marketers who spend a lot of time and money on Google Adwords. However, how does this effect a whole business? Or more importantly with you, our audience, what does this mean for real estate agents? Here's what you should expect with this change and the ways to use this epic change to your advantage.

5 Things Realtors Should Know with the Removal of Right-Hand PPC Ads

1. Mobile First

A mobile first attitude is absolutely essential in any digital activity. When a front-end developer is designing a website, they go in the with "mobile first" mindset and that's to everyone's advantage. Let's say if you went with a desktop first attitude and you were able to add on all of these awesome things to your desktop site. Then you need to design your mobile website experience, but it's a much smaller screen. So all of those bells and whistles must go. Do you see why you need to start with mobile first? It's much easier to add things than to take things away.

Although this isn't developing a website, it's extremely important keep mobile first top of mind with all of our digital marketing initiatives. Knowing that Google potentially made this change for consistency on their mobile ad units to their desktop ad units, you can rest assure that many other platforms will follow suit. In fact, we're making mobile much more of a priority in the coming months. Take this mindset back to your activities, so that you are proactive with any other changes that may come your way.

2. SEO Opportunities

Previously, getting placement for an ad on Google search wasn't difficult. However, getting a top placement was even harder. Now, the competition is a little more steep, but there seems to be implications on Google search results as well. Now that the right-hand side ads are kaput, the ads have moved to take more competition. The four slots at the top are prime territory and even the bottom four are as well. Squishing the organic search results in the middle.

Although there are still the same number of spots, the actual area seems smaller and more condensed. Your audience could be distracted and click on the ads above.

Maybe you're not spending money on Google Adwords today, but monitor your organic keyword rankings, your CTR, and impressions. Remember, most people will begin their search online for a new house and you want to make sure to capture that. If you are looking for some of the info described above, you can take a look in Google's Search Console as long as you have your site connected to the Search Console.

3. Quality Goes Up and Quantity Goes Down

Just casting a wide net and hoping you catch a large quantity to fish through will no longer work, not they ever really have. Google has championed quality content even more so in the last few updates and they've made this shift even more so with this change in PPC ads. Removing the righthand side ads made a huge swing in that direction because quality placement on Google Adwords was landing on the top four spots in the PPC results.

Your search ads must now have a high quality score, compelling copy, and a great landing page to even try to make it at the top, especially with competitive keywords.

4. Cost Will Increase

Before this change there were about 12 opportunities to get an ad placement on the Google search results, not there are only up to number of positions before the change and only 9-10 now, that will naturally increase the competition; which, will then increase the costs. Before you go raising your pitchforks to Google, this is actually better for you.

The average CTR for the right hand side ads was lower that 1%, which can then affect your quality score. By focusing on the right keywords and your efforts to make more compelling ads, you'll be able to drive the most qualified leads for your business. Having more qualified leads will also make your ads more cost-effective in turn.

5. Focus on Your Audience

Rolling up all of the previous four points, Google is now making it imperative for you to focus on your audience and its needs. Blindly targeting irrelevant keywords that your audience doesn't search, won't yield the results you need for you business anymore. Not that it was having a positive ROI for you anyway, but now there is even more importance placed on the quality for your audience.

The path forward...

Technology is consistently changing and platforms that we've used for years now are completely different. These changes probably won't ever stop. It's important to keep in touch with these trends because you never know when it will affect your bottom line. With this recent change on Google Adwords, all of these implications show the direction that Google is heading in with paid ads and more. You may use Google Adwords and you may not, but paying attention to these changes is important to your real estate business and beyond.