“Zero-click searches may mean that users’ queries are resolved right on the results page.” Search Engine Land, George Nguyen, 03/22/21. As Google adds more and more features to its Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) your website’s listing gets pushed farther and farther down the page. Consider:
- Some of you are in industries where “Google Guaranteed” appears at the top of results for those businesses interested in phone-in leads. The cost of these varies greatly from $35 to $101 per phone call lead. Cost is based on the number of businesses bidding at any time.
- Many searches will have Google Shopping Ads at the top of the page with images of the products at various retailers.
- Next is Google Ads (AdWords). Google is getting better at getting conversions with their use of AI; however, setting up and managing these ads is a daily, full-time job now.
- Google Maps listing of three relevant businesses follows Ads. This listing is based on which relevant businesses are within, or nearest, to its 5-mile radius of the city searched. Google won’t tell anyone the exact radius, but based on anecdotal research, 5 miles is close.
- Then we get to the first couple of Organic listings before Google throws in “People Also Ask” which can be anywhere from 3 to 5 listings, and these count against the total of the first 13 or so search results on the first page on Mobile. Now that Google has added Continuous Scrolling to Desktop, the first 60 results or so may appear, or your category may still be limited to less than 20 results.
The issue then becomes whether the user finds what they are looking for in these results without clicking to another page. Apparently so, according to much of the research.
What does this mean for your marketing? We believe that a mix of SEO and Google Ads is important to cover your bases. There is no question that the lead from SEO has a better chance of closing because the user has spent a longer time on the page and therefore is more familiar with your product or service. We generally see two minutes and more average session duration for SEO, where a pay-per-click ad is around 30 seconds.
At the end of the day, though, your company has to be seen to get a click, and that’s where Google Ads come in. Google places them in a prime position, so they can’t be missed. Depending on your website’s Organic Rank, Google Ads may be an important strategy.
Onward & Upward!