Navigating PPC Marketing in the Era of Google's Search Generative Experience

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January 30, 2024

The unveiling of Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE) in 2023 has sparked discussions among industry experts about its potential impact on pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. According to Search Engine Land, a roundtable discussion at SMX Next revealed key insights from experts, shedding light on how SGE could reshape the PPC landscape and what marketers need to do to adapt.

Understanding Search Engine Experience

SGE marks a departure from traditional search results, where users would click on links to access information. With SGE, users receive direct answers in the search results, eliminating the need to click through to websites.
This shift poses both opportunities and challenges for marketers, as highlighted by Brad Geddes, co-founder of Adalysis. Ads are integrated above and below the SGE results, with potential changes in placement expected as the feature evolves.

Outlook and Challenges

While the impact of SGE on search and digital marketing is anticipated, the experts don't foresee widespread adoption in the near future. Jyll Saskin Gales, a marketing consultant, emphasized that digital marketers are tuned into SGE, but the general public may not adopt it as quickly.
One major challenge discussed was the accuracy of SGE responses, particularly in proximity-based searches. The group agreed that SGE needs to reach a point where correct answers outweigh inaccuracies, which may take several years.

Impact on Click-Through Rates (CTR)

Once SGE is fully implemented, advertisers will likely witness a substantial impact on click-through rates (CTR). Aaron Levy, VP of paid search at Tinuiti, noted a shift in focus from traditional metrics like CTR to more outcome-centric metrics, such as cost per action (CPA) and return on ad spend (ROAS).
This transition is expected to influence advertisers' strategies and could lead to a decreased emphasis on CPCs.

Convergence of PPC and SEO

While immediate changes to PPC metrics aren't anticipated, Jyll Saskin Gales predicts a closer collaboration between PPC and SEO experts. As search behaviors evolve with SGE, marketers will need to work more closely to provide users with a unified and intent-rich experience.
Specializations will merge, emphasizing the importance of collaboration among different marketing disciplines.

Changing Landscape of Keyword Research

The era of heavily relying on specific keywords may be fading. Instead, a dynamic, feed-based approach is emerging, where optimization for Google's algorithms and human understanding becomes crucial.
The focus is shifting from selecting the perfect keyword to optimizing websites comprehensively.

Adapting Ad Writing for SGE

Writing ads for SGE presents the challenge of seamlessly integrating ads in a natural, conversational manner. Unlike traditional ad formats, where call-to-action phrases are condensed, the new approach demands that each ad component stand alone.
The need for a more natural tone in ads requires marketers to rethink their strategies and potentially adapt to a rewriting of ads by Google.

Competitor Research in the SGE Era

Competitor research remains valuable, but in the SGE era, standing out has become more crucial than ever. Greg Kohler, senior digital marketing manager at ServiceMaster Brands, highlighted the importance of positioning and differentiation in a competitive landscape.

Developing New Skills for Success

In anticipation of SGE's rollout, PPC marketers are advised to broaden their skill sets. Skills in video creation, copywriting, and comprehensive marketing strategies beyond traditional ad platforms are becoming increasingly vital.
The evolving nature of the digital marketing landscape necessitates a commitment to excellence, with a diverse skill set being the key to success in the SGE world.

The Final Takeaway 

Google's Search Generative Experience won't only redefine SEO but PPC marketing as well. By staying informed on the latest changes and diversifying skill sets, your business will be able to attract more customers online and strengthen its competitive advantage.
Schedule a free 30-minute call now! Talk with our digital marketing experts to refresh your strategies and drive better results.

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