1,000 dealers share their thoughts about chat, text and messaging in general...and how these communications pay off. SEE HOW
Some of you are probably seeing the new ad format that Google is testing out. It's not technically new - they've been testing it on mobile devices for some time now - but it's relatively new to desktop searches. The shading in the background to identify ads is gone, replaced by a big yellow "Ad" tag.
This is potentially good for two reasons. First, it highlights the fact that it's an ad (even though some will say that taking away the shading is just another Google ploy for more ad clicks) very nicely, meaning that you have an opportunity to craft an advertising message for your PPC campaigns a little more specifically than before.
The second potential positive is that it may reduce wasted clicks and irrelevant visitors to your site. Psychologically, people are more careful about what they click on when they're clearly tagged. This is a minor point, not enough to make anyone worry about drops in traffic, but enough to make a minor dent in conversion rates on those visitors.
If you aren't seeing it yet, I posted a quick tutorial on how to adjust your settings to see them.
One thing is certain. You should use this as a reason to increase the personalization and relevant messaging in your ads. The tag means that more people will at least look at the ads. So many skip right passed the shaded sponsor area. This change (any change, really) will draw eyeballs back to it.
Now, it's time to adjust. Make the message resonate against the search rather than just focus on the keyword itself. Give them something to read and a reason to want to click on yours rather than a different ad. In the example above, the 2nd listing from the top is almost certainly getting the most clicks because the message resonates much better than the other choices.
Things are getting more competitive in search marketing. Going into 2014, the old bulk methodology behind most PPC services are becoming less effective. If you really want to improve your ROI on PPC, your best bet is to get creative. It's more work but the results are definitely worth it.