The SERP Advertisement Trilogy: Part 1

Part 1: The Marketing Approach

The following blog is a part of the SERP Advertisement Trilogy. Stay tuned for the rest of this thrilling saga.

Creeping through the digital jungle, eyes constantly on the lookout at SERP experiments and clicking behaviour on SERP’s, the leader of Predikkta’s expeditionary team noticed an interesting pattern on most SERPs. At first, slightly deprived of sleep and of necessary supplies (coffee), they thought that it was just a trick of the light, or maybe it was from working for almost 18 hours straight without going outside for air.

But the pattern was there. When this expedition leader returned to base camp, babbling about some truly unique pattern that they had come across in the digital wilderness, the rest of us quickly put on our searching hats (as a side note, these hats exist – they’re great fun) and went to see for ourselves. Turns out, there was a pattern.

A pattern in the SERP ad titles.

After research began, it was quickly established that Google Ads are able to categorized into three categories. The three types of Google SERP ad titles:

  1. The Marketing Ad: if pulled off successfully, this variety of SERP ad tends to have the highest Click Through Rate (CTR).
  2. The Trademark Ad: a rarer creature, this tends to encourage trust in the user, and as a result has the second highest CTR.
  3. The Standard Ad: by far the most common type of ad, this style tends to have a slight hit-and-miss with audiences, although if worded correctly can still draw enough attention away from the other types.

The following accounts are an examination of these three types of Ads. There will be no judgement cast on any of the different types, although each will be examined for their merits and weaknesses.

The first method of SERP ad titles that will be examined will be the Marketing Approach.

Marketing Approach: What is it?

In its simplest form, the Marketing Approach refers to those SERP ads which have offers in their titles. This includes advertisements such as this ad, with 50% off the product that it is promoting.

More generally, the Marketing Approach relies on encouraging people to click on the ad by enticing them through price and discounts. In the physical world, its closest equivalent would be those shops such as EB Games in Australia that drown their storefront with “SALE” signs. Notwithstanding the general success of Marketing ads they are generally not sustainable long term as they offer a discount or prize with purchase in short reducing the profit margin of the company advertising.

Why is it used?

Online businesses need to attract customers, just as businesses in the physical world do. And considering that the internet is a wild and dangerous place, full of bigger and hungrier corporations with brand power and a “survival of the fittest” mentality, most businesses have to attract the attention of lonely travellers as best as they can. Which can include heavily discounted prices.

It is also a great way of promoting a new good or service. And considering that most businesses are aware that people look at the ad title before reading the description, they have figured out that if you place the price or discount there, you will certainly grab the attention of a potential customer and just maybe the click.

Getting attention and promoting a new product or service: just like advertisements everywhere. Looks like the untamed landscape of the internet is not too dissimilar to the physical world.

Benefits and Costs

One of the biggest benefits to the Marketing Approach is that it does work, usually. Out of the three trends, it tends to have the highest CTR – but only when done correctly. Furthermore, ads that engage with the Marketing Approach usually are able to grab the attention away from other ads on the SERP.

It seems like these ads are the way to go, but it does come at a margin cost.

There are some downsides however. Although they often have a higher CTR, that only works when the rest of the ad copy is optimized. If the ad looks messy or untrustworthy in the slightest, the use of prices or discounts can come across as spammy – even if the website itself is perfectly legitimate. So watch that one.


There are two conclusions that can come from this:

  1. There are multiple types of SERP ad titles out there. Of these, one of the most prominent types is the Marketing Ad.
  2. The Marketing Ad can be one of the most successful styles of advertising – better still if the rest of the ad copy is optimized.