By Ryan Faria, Senior Marketing Manager, BGT
When will pale, lifeless corpses take over the world? We’ve all heard theories about the inevitable zombie apocalypse. While I’m not going to rush out and buy survival gear anytime soon, sadly, there is a very real zombie apocalypse occurring right now in search engine marketing.
Search engine marketing is typically associated with text ads that are generated within the search results of popular search engines. The shelf life of text ads is not long. The ads tend to stammer around aimlessly within the search algorithm hoping to occasionally attract a nibble. Some advertisers attempt to revitalize their zombie-fied text ads by incorporating new offers or creative, but those efforts often have little impact.
When display ads were first introduced within search engine platforms, they were a welcome alternative to expensive media buys. Immediate access to well-known, respected sites was a big draw. Today, that once prestigious and desirable Internet real estate is saturated and overrun. Although display ads remain a popular method, cost per click and cost per impression have become inflated.
Search engines then unveiled a new weapon – remarketing. While advertisers drooled at the opportunity to stalk, hunt, and chase down searchers who once visited a specific site, consumers saw this as creepy and unsettling.
So how can you prevent your marketing efforts from becoming the living dead?
You need to evolve together with the searchers and utilize new technologies as your biggest weapon against undead ads. Search engine marketing is a living, breathing being. With the development of new features constantly rolling out within the digital advertising arena, it is vital to evolve. And if you are neglecting mobile devices, you are even further behind.
We’ve seen advances in the industry that have gone far beyond text and display ads. For example;
- Mobile Ads –90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal. Mobile ads can appear on mobile devices in search results, content sites, apps and video.
- Video Ads – Searchers can view your video ads while they’re watching or searching for videos or browsing related web content
- Product Listing Ads – When a search is conducted for a product, the search results page will display a product image, price, and store name. A recent study showed the click through rate for product listing ads were 21% higher than text ads.
These are just a few examples of the many options available today. Next to these lively ad formats, text ads are banal and lifeless. Does this mean that one day text ads will disappear completely and we will only see visual search result advertisements? While no one can predict exactly where the industry will go, one thing remains clear; allowing your ads to linger around as stiff mindless corpses could lead to your own online marketing funeral.