Google +1 PPC impact

In my last post I mentioned how Google +1 will affect SEO. What I did not detail was its impact on PPC. As I see +1 as being an important factor affecting PPC it’s about time I put something down in writing.

Current and Future +1 impact

Google +1 is essentially a Facebook Like and the equivalent of telling friend(s) that you like a brand or product. Now we know that word of mouth recommendations/ reviews impact sales and Google has given us some nice stats to support this statement:

·         90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know

·         71% say reviews from family members or friends influence purchase decisions

So whilst, at present, +1’s do not affect quality score directly they do affect quality score indirectly.

As Quality Score is a direct result of an ad’s performance, PPC ads with +1’s (and more importantly, +1’s from your social network) will see higher CTR. This higher CTR will therefore impact quality score and thus the position/ price you pay.

A second key point is that 71% survey finding above. Not only will +1’s affect quality score but social circle +1 recommendations will also affect conversion rates and your ultimate PPC CPA.

Also worthy of note is that standard text PPC ads will be affected but also ads run through the display network will start to show the +1 button as well.

It will be interesting to see how they score +1’s impact when it does become a direct contributing factor to Quality Score. My hunch is that with some clever jiggery pokery it could affect PPC ads on a per case basis. Twitter links affect SEO in terms of the number, quality and relevance of those tweeting/ retweeting and +1’s could affect PPC in a similar way.

Therefore the race is on to get more +1’s…

How to get more +1’s?

So if the race is on to get more +1’s you surely have to figure out why people are +1 you to begin with. Do they like your ppc/seo ad? Like your website? Love the recent service they received? Love your brand so much that they will become brand advocates? My hunch is that it is a mixture of the later 3 of these factors hence provide great user experience with great service and via a great brand and they will +1 you.

Add the button to the site in a prominent position and definitely on the PPC landing pages.

Test i.e. the location of the +1 button with Multi Variate Testing (whilst clearly balancing your other, likely more important, page KPI’s).

Ask people nicely to +1 you (oh OK that is strictly speaking completely against Google adwords creative guidelines however, and I know it’s a long shot, you could promote +1 in other media).

Not recommended…

Game the system 1: Pay people to +1 you.

Game the system 2: Create some great link bait on your site that results in people +1 you as the content/infographic/whatever is so great and HAS to be +1. Then change the page to a ‘boring’ PPC page and kick-start the PPC money making machine.

Game the system 3: Buy a url that already has a lot of +1’s and start to PPC to it.

Paul Morris note: Understand that whilst this article is all about +1 consumers do not care about certain industries. Would you +1 a debt management company? Or your life insurance provider? Or your power supplier? No! In which case ignore my article entirely.