- Google Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) are essential for advertisers to display ads and gain insights on competitors, products, ads, prices, and promotions
- To improve the overall share of voice and avoid drops in visibility, clicks, and revenue – advertisers need real-time tactics for a search-scape that evolves by the day
- Search expert and Managing Partner at GrowByData, Prasanna Dhungel shares competitive tactics to effectively maximize your share of voice and boost search ROI
- More on the SERP trend report that shows the rise and fall of different industry-specific SERP features at different times of the year
The importance of Google Search Engine Result Page (SERP) cannot be overstated. Advertisers heavily rely on this platform to showcase their ads to potential customers. Interestingly, advertisers also use SERP data to derive insights on competitors, products, ads, prices, and promotions to refine their marketing strategies and stay ahead of competitors.
That said, Google SERPs are highly-volatile as it frequently updates its algorithm to provide the best possible results to its users. These changes range from minor tweaks to major updates, like the introduction of Google’s ‘Helpful Update,’ which prioritizes conversational and human-focused content rather than machine or SEO-focused ones.
It is crucial for brands and advertisers to stay on top of the SERP changes by monitoring and adapting to changes in the SERP. A brand’s visibility on the SERP can have a significant impact on its online presence, as the majority of consumers tend to click on the above-the-fold SERP features. This means that brands that appear above the fold have a higher chance of attracting clicks, traffic, and ultimately, customers.
Moreover, the appearance and features of the SERPs are constantly evolving, with Google introducing new elements like featured snippets, local packs, and knowledge graphs. Brands that take advantage of these features and optimize their content accordingly can increase visibility, clicks, and conversion on the SERP.
We analyzed the SERP trends of Apparel and Accessories related keywords in 2022 and found that the SERP had been constantly evolving over the past year. The SERP trend report below shows the rise and fall of different SERP features at different times of the year. As shown in the graph below, the first quarter of 2022 saw an increase in SERP space occupied by Organic, People Also Ask (PAA), and Popular Products, while the SERP Share of Voice for shopping ads declined. In the second quarter, there was a gradual expansion of shopping ads’ share of voice before they started to decline again in the third quarter of 2022. Moreover, both organic and related searches experienced a decrease during the fourth quarter.
Understanding the fluctuations across Google search elements
These dynamics in the SERP landscape demand brands and advertisers to not rely on a single and static SERP strategy. With constant fluctuations in SERP features, it is essential to stay vigilant and evolve the strategy to constantly improve the overall Share of Voice. Failure to adapt and remain vigilant to SERP changes can result in drops in visibility, clicks, and ultimately revenue.
Additionally, the search results that appear above the fold on the Google SERPs have a higher chance of getting clicked by users. Almost 45% of the clicks made by Google searchers are on the top two ranked listings on the Google SERP. This highlights the importance of visibility and position in the SERP for brands looking to attract more customers. To stay ahead of the competition, it is crucial for brands to appear above the fold to have a higher chance of attracting clicks, traffic, and ultimately, more customers. Therefore, brands and agencies must understand their above-the-fold SERP competition and trends and monitor their share of voice on Google’s SERP to drive more traffic to their website.
Above the Fold SERP trends in Apparel and Accessories category
The landscape of advertising has evolved significantly, and merely spending money on ads and content is no longer sufficient to consistently achieve a higher share of voice and gain clicks. Things are different now. Today, with the constantly changing landscape of above-the-fold SERP features, and constant changes competitors are making, advertisers must take a more holistic approach to have a sound search strategy.
Power dynamics Q1 through Q4
For instance, in Q1, when organic listings dominated the search results in apparel, advertisers such as style craze had the highest above-the-fold share of voice. However, during Q2 and Q3, when shopping ads were prevalent, big spenders like Amazon, Lulus, and Shein captured a larger percentage of the above-the-fold share of voice. Come Q4, when the organic SERP feature was on the rise, other advertisers like Chrono24 and Monochrome-watch emerged as the top share of voice winners.
Therefore, it is important for search marketers to consider their total share of voice and not just focus on either paid or organic ads.
Amazon is the top advertiser despite search’s dynamic nature
Now to spot the brands with the highest share of voice, the graph shows that the advertisers with top spots are consistently changing throughout the year, apart from Amazon, which consistently appears in the top five all year around. This highlights the importance of holistic search marketing that considers the total share of voice rather than solely paid or organic ads.
Therefore, Search Marketing teams should have visibility into below critical questions for winning search strategies:
- What SERP feature is visible above the fold for a keyword?
- Who are the advertisers winning these valuable positions?
- Which SERP features are trending up and which ones are trending down?
The bottom line is it is essential for advertisers to remain vigilant, agile, and adaptable to the ever-changing SERP landscape. The importance of this is bound to rise in the days ahead as search platforms evolve with chat-driven capabilities embedded in search.
Prasanna Dhungel brings 20 years of experience as an executive at GrowByData developing data-driven business models across verticals. He is committed to adding client, partner, and community value.
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