Google Just Removed Your Dealership’s Sidebar Ads. Now What?

Feb 29, 2016 | SEO and PPC

Google has officially removed the sidebar ads from their results pages and has increased the number of top ad spots from 3 to 4. This change affects both Paid Search and Organic Search and can prevent you from ranking well unless your SEO and PPC providers are up to date. Here are the 4 things you need to know:

Google Just Removed Your Dealership's Sidebar Ads

1. Your Organic Search Results Are Now Pushed Below The Fold

One of the main strategies when running Paid and Organic Search is to dominate as much real estate above the fold of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) as you can. But with this change, organic results are appearing at the 5th position in Google, which commonly falls below the fold.

Ranking 3rd or 4th was acceptable before, but now you need to be 1st or 2nd in order for the user to see your content.

Without Google Sidebar Ads, Your Dealership Might Not Rank

Ask for a monitored keyword report that shows the ranking of each keyword you are trying to rank for. This should include Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.

Dealers, Ask Your SEO Provider For A Detailed Keyword Report


2. You’re Getting Lower Number Of Ad Impressions Overall

Now that Google is limiting the top ad spots to only 4 advertisers, users will have to make it all the way to the bottom of the results page to see the 5th ad.

When was the last time you made it that far?

Ask for your Top vs. Other report from Google AdWords. Look at how many impressions and clicks for each keyword you may be missing out on if you don’t make a change to your bidding strategy.

Dealers, Ask Your SEO Provider For Top vs. Other Report


3. There’s More Value In Being On Top

The new change also adds a new top ad position, which makes it a total of 4 paid options a user must scroll through before they make it to the organic listings.

The quality and relevancy of your dealership Google ads overall, including their copy, creative, calls-to-action (CTAs) and destination URLs, need to be consistently monitored and optimized.

Run the Average Position Keyword Report and look for any keywords ranking over 4.0. Highly consider changing your bid strategy for anything ranking between position 4 and 6. This is a great drill to do every month to ensure you’re always ranking for the keywords that are important to your dealership.

Dealers, Ask Your SEO Provider Average Keyword Position Report


4. Mobile, Tablet And Desktop Are Taking On The Change

Google gives AdWords advertisers the ability to setup mobile-specific ad units.

Ensure click-to-call and call tracking is enabled with your campaigns. This will allow users to click the phone icon when they see your ad and to call your dealership.

Your website should also have Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) enabled. Reputable auto dealer PPC providers will include phone tracking w/ DNI support so you can track phone conversions from your paid search in Google Analytics.

Ask to see your phone leads in Google Analytics and gain access to the recorded phone calls coming from your ads to ensure these are high quality leads.

Dealers, Ask Your SEO Provider For Phone Leads Report


Free Google AdWords Evaluation For Auto Dealers

Blog Author - Pete PetersenWritten By Pete Petersen
As the CEO of Dealers United, Pete brings his leadership skills and passion together to help make work “fun” again. His love for learning is the basis for our company’s culture and deeply collaborative environment.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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