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Evolving SEO: Google's SERP Layout Change

Google is at it again: making changes that seem to be designed just to mess with us and change your SEO. Wondering what we're talking about? Well, Google has decided to remove the paid ads that were listed on the right of their search results pages, or SERPs as those of us in the digital marketing business like to call them. You may think this won't affect your business, but we at Smart WSI Marketing are here to explain how to survive the evolving SEO around Google's SERP layout change and tell you how it will affect your business.

This Is Madness

At first thought, it may seem like there's no rhyme or reason behind Google removing side ads from the SERPs, but if we are being honest, once you find out the reason why they did it, you'll be wondering why it took them this long to make it happen. What exactly are the reasons for doing this? Google is vying to be the mobile search engine to contend with and the side ads don't show up on tiny mobile screens. Not to mention even people using large desktop displays were pretty much ignoring that far right piece of SERP real estate. Google even ran tests and found out that people were so used to seeing the ads on the right side of the screen, they started to ignore them and go straight to the organic search results.

Making It All About You

Right now you're asking yourself how this will affect you and we have the answer! Paid SERPs will actually get greater visibility because they will be the first links shown on the page. This can be awesome if you put the time and money into creating great ads that grab your readers' attention and make them click on your ad. As for organic SEO, well, that becomes even more important because those search results have been pushed further down the page, which means you'll have to step up your efforts to rank higher so that people will be even more likely to visit your website.

Don't Freak Out: Help is Here

You know you can count on us at Smart WSI Marketing to keep you in the loop and give you some tips to make sure your company doesn't disappear into search engine oblivion. Here's what you can do to boost your SEO and respond to Google's change:

  • More keyword research- do searches with your keywords to see where they appear in the SERP. If you're not just below the fold but blasted down to the bottom, you'll need to decide how to optimize for your keywords more.
  • Location, location, location- did we mention location? You have to really ramp up your local search efforts, so your business appears in that top three spot both locally and organically because more people want to know about local businesses. Do not sleep on Google My Business!
  • Awesome content strategy- take a look at your website's content strategy and see how you can change it to better showcase your appetite for greatness with E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness, & trustworthiness.) Produce content that helps searchers to answer their burning questions and solve their problems.

With these three things, you can start evolving your SEO strategy to fit to Google's new view for SERPs and get yourself ranking higher up on the page.

Call in the Pros!

Feeling a little overwhelmed? We get it! But we’re here to help navigate the everchanging landscape of SEO. Call Smart WSI Marketing today to chat with our expert consultants about your overall digital marketing strategy.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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