Are Sitelinks Morphing into Tiny Landing Pages for Searchers?
The first thing that comes to mind when I see Google's example of the latest enhanced Sitelinks, it reminds me of typical Landing Page Optimization techniques. I know this is a stretch, but all of this customization being allowed for Advertisers is creating a much more persuasive representation of their business's identity. I mean, who woulda thunk it that sitelinks would become such as focus of enhancement at Google. Yes, it's an additional source of $$$ to take from advertisers, however the recent upgrade announced by Google will allow advertisers to add specific text for sitelink descriptions which will change this dominant piece of PPC real estate. This latest upgrade may not sound like much, but from my perspective, this is a HUGE improvement and will force Advertisers to re-think their sitelink strategies.
Why Reference Landing Page Optimization?
Well, lets take a step back. An important element of Landing Page Optimization is putting all the most important aspects of your business offering in a clear, "to the point" and "above the fold" format. With the screenshot shown above, advertisers can now utilize the same elements of a Landing Page within any given search result. Instead of the traditional bullet points and links to go deeper within the website, searchers can now do this from a search result.
What is Google's Perspective
In typical fashion, Google claims that through testing, users have said that sitelinks with additional detail were more useful and relevant, and CTR% rates were significantly higher than the same ad with traditional sitelinks. This is most likely true, but we must not forget about the importance of conversions, as well as branding, seasonality and testing.
Let's Take a look at the interface:
Revisiting Enhanced Sitelink Requirements
- Sitelinks cannot violate the duplicate sitelink URL policy
- Sitelink text cannot use keyword insertion
- Sitelink text cannot be the same as other sitelinks in the same ad group/campaign or the main ad that’s serving
- In addition to this 4 sitelink view, there is also a 2 sitelink variation
As someone who lives in PPC Geekdom, many might not understand the excitement of this latest enhancement. However, when it comes to performance, testing, increasing competitors and anything that can be done to win those conversions, this little upgrade does have the ability to "move the needle". Furthermore, this latest enhancement will force PPC marketers to rethink their past sitelink strategies and quite possibly their landing page strategies as well to reinforce consistency from "before" and "after" the click.