A lot of builders out there might be saying to themselves “what the what?”. Let me explain a little bit more. SMX is a SEO/SEM traveling convention. We go to the SMX West show every year and get the best information. Earlier this week at the latest SMX Google shared a little bit of information that could make a big difference for your communities. They will start showing ads within the local search results. See an example here:
When a user searches something on google and their search includes keywords like “nearby” google automatically displays what is call a 3-pack. It used to include a map with 3 of the most likely locations below it. The new local ads are now displaying above the map when available. They are identical to the normal format except that they have a green “Ad” and “Nearby Businesses” notification above it. However, you can see it is easily missed by any user.
One of the more interesting things we noticed is that Google striped the organic listings of directions. The paid listings have a direct link to get directions while the organic do not. Huge advantage to those builders that are paying.
Going to a step further, clicking on a community in the ads-pack will lead a user to their website while clicking on the organic 3-pack send users to their Google business page.
This will most likely impact the CTR of those communities that are in the regular organic 3-pack. It will be much easier for someone to click to the website link from the ads-pack or get directions then scroll past the ads and the map to get to the regular organic results.
The ads-pack also include the typical items like neighborhood, distance, closing time.
TO dive even further and put on our analytical marketing hat we notice that the ads-pack only display communities that are open. This is a bit strange and could possibly lose some buyers… BUT it will most likely also improve the KPI and ROI of each dollar spent.
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