Above the fold is the place to be online. What does that mean? It means that when Google delivers a search results page, you want your listing to appear on the screen – without making people scroll to find you.
Let’s take a look at the Google search result for “Chicago home improvement” on a typical monitor resolution (1600 x 900, if you’re keeping score at home).
It seems like a pretty average results page. But does anything catch your eye? If you noticed the little yellow “Ad” tags, pat yourself on the back – eight of the 10 immediately visible results are ads. Search for another industry, like hotels, and every result will be an ad. Google has achieved 100% monetization for above the fold search results in some industries, and it seems like it will only be a matter of time before home improvement is included.
That’s great news for Google’s accounting department, but what does it mean for you? The obvious implication is that paying for an ad will be a great way to generate leads. You literally can’t get that kind of exposure in any other way, regardless of how good your SEO is.
But that leads to another question – is the cost of such a high profile ad worth it? That’s not easy to calculate, but it’s something you’ll have to think long and hard about because prime ad positioning doesn’t come cheap.
In other words, it’s time to make a spreadsheet. Sorry.
Being at the top of the search results page is not easy – even if you’re willing to pay for it. It requires bidding, quality score, ad text, landing page strategy…all of the things we at Keyword specialize in. Then, you need to judge whether the expense of leads generated at the top of the search results pages meets your marketing and advertising threshold.
If you don’t have the money to spare, well, this is a pretty easy decision. But don’t despair – there are many ways to generate leads, and while high-profile Google ads can be a great – they are not your only online avenue. But they are prolific and do drive volume. Not even the best SEO campaign in the world can compete with paid ads, so you’ll need to look at improving your other methods of home improvement lead generation.