13 PPC Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2020Blog
In an increasingly competitive world, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your ad budget. But with new Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies emerging all the time, it can be hard to know which ones are worth paying attention to.
1. PPC Automation
PPC automation has emerged as a powerful way to improve campaign performance. Companies like Google have invested huge amounts into fleshing out their automation options.
To make the most of PPC automation, you need to help the algorithms work to your benefit and assist the machines with their learning. Set up accurate and effective conversion tracking and write good ad copy. Make sure you identify target audiences and keywords.
Pass a lot of the work to the machines and save yourself time and money. Even though you’re automating a lot of the work, you don’t want to be completely hands-off. There have been improvements, but not every option is good for your business. With some hands-on management, automation can free up your time allowing you to focus your efforts elsewhere.
2. Evolution of Smart Bidding
Smart Bidding is a machine learning-controlled automated bidding system. It uses machine learning to optimize conversions and conversion values in auctions. Some examples include Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Target Cost-Per-Aquisition (CPA), and Target Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS).
As we move into 2020, smart bidding is only going to become more powerful, and strategies utilizing it are set to become more prevalent. We could actually see manual bidding become a relic of the past! This won’t be a bad thing, as it will allow marketers to focus on areas like analytics and strategy.
3. Amazon’s Emergence into Paid Advertising
While Google and Facebook still dominate paid advertising, Amazon is nipping at their heels. They are now the third-largest and fastest-growing advertiser. Amazon ads are displayed on and off of Amazon, which has skyrocketed their popularity with online retailers.
The other reason they’ve grown in popularity? Buyer intent. It’s largest advantage they have over Facebook and Google.
Facebook and Google give access to the largest audiences but users aren’t usually looking to buy something. When compared to Amazon’s perceived buyer intent, this could mean lower conversion rates on these platforms. This means you could be spending more for less.
4. Going Social
Around 70% of people check at least one social media platform a month and these numbers are growing. If you are ignoring social media in your PPC strategies, you are missing out.
Most people are checking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest daily. Many of these demographics are on multiple platforms, especially younger people.
This means that PPC marketers will be focusing on ads for social media platforms. Since most people use several social media platforms, you’ll want to cash in on this multi-platform trend. Facebook and Google are still the bread and butter of paid advertising but you should look to expand your horizons in 2020.
5. Audience Targeting
One of the latest features from Google Ads is the ability to add target audiences. This narrows down who you want to see your ads. Taking advantage of this feature allows you to get the most out of your ad budget.
Audience targeting allows you to specify things like the age group or household income that your product is targeted at. You can even set ad preferences to exclude audiences that you don’t think your service appeals to. For instance, if you sell fine jewelry, you might exclude people with incomes less than $100,000 per year because they will be less likely to spend big bucks on a necklace or earrings.
The latest Google Ads updates also gave advertisers the ability to layer audiences on top of each other. This means you can use keyword targeting and demographic targeting together to create extremely relevant ads.
6. Bumper Video Ads
When it comes to mobile content, video is king it will continue dominating the market in 2020. In fact, search engine marketers without video experience are finding themselves behind those who do. Video ads are great for business reach, aesthetic appeal and are relatively low cost.
With the recent introduction of the bumper machine from YouTube, Google’s latest video marketing tool, you are able to turn videos that are shorter than 90 seconds into a variety of bumper ads ready for display on the YouTube network.
Platforms are going to encourage advertisers to adapt to things like Google’s vertical video ads. Even if you don’t want to pay for video advertising, YouTube or similar video hosting sites are an excellent target for your search campaigns.
7. The Rise of Voice Search
Smart homes and personal assistant speakers such as the Google Home or Alexa Dot have taken off in a big way. (And let’s not forget Siri!) By the end of 2020, it is estimated that 50% of all online searches will be initiated by voice.
Paid voice search advertising hasn’t yet made it to the mainstream, but due to a rise in technological changes, it’s nearly certain we will see these advancements start to emerge soon. Until then, you can get ahead with some preparation strategies.
One good strategy to get ahead of the game is to adopt a more conversational tone on your website. People are more conversational when making voice searches, so it will improve your chances of a hit. Updating FAQ pages on your website with using ‘long-tail’ keywords is another way to set yourself up for voice search success.
8. A Surge in Visual Searching
Visual search works by using a picture as the search query as opposed to text. For example, you take a picture of a vase you like and the visual search will output links to buy it. People want results faster than ever and visual search helps people get exactly what they want faster than typing in something like “blue vase with painted white flowers”.
While still new, major advances could be coming in 2020. We have already seen Pinterest and Instagram launch products in the visual search arena. Amazon has also shown the value of visual search by partnering with Snapchat.
To stay ahead of this trend, create a photo catalog of your products and services. Add metadata to the images to make sure they are categorized correctly by search engines. For example, a photo of a jade green vase would have alt text like, “small jade green vase.”
9. Collaborative Filtering
Collaborative filtering is a grouping system that groups users by shared tastes or preferences. If Bob has similar reactions to content as Sue, it is likely they could have other similar tastes. Filtering can be based on almost anything from age, interests, locations and more to guide them to content that would appeal most.
You can see this when you Google something abroad. While Google will normally send you to google.com, if you are on vacation in the United Kingdom you will instead see google.co.uk. Google does this by checking your IP address when you make a search.
Collaborative filtering goes further, tailoring your content to your recent likes, browsing history, or trending topics. This allows websites to remain interesting, new, and relevant to individual users.
At its simplest, remarketing is tracking and displaying ads to users once they leave your site. It can be very targeted and personalized, making it a very effective marketing tactic. Showing people ads for things they’ve shopped for in the past, whether they actually made a purchase, tends to result in higher conversions.
Remarketing is about keeping your brand in people’s minds. Things have moved on from trying to appeal to people who are not ready to buy. The focus should be on finding out where your potential customers are in the buying cycle. Then creating personalized, targeted ads that will help them decide to convert.
11. SEO and PPC Integration
PPC and search engine optimization go hand in hand. You’ll see better results when you integrate your SEO and PPC campaigns. This is a universal fact that will continue to be true in 2020 and beyond.
A good way to sync up your PPC and SEO is to analyze your top-performing ad copy. Create your content and blog posts based on that copy to boost your ranking.
You can use long-tail terms not only to boost your rankings but also in paid search bidding strategies. SEO and PPC integration allows you to target competitor’s keywords by looking at the PPC Auctions Insights Reports and more.
12. ROI is No Longer the Benchmark
When measuring campaign success, ROI has traditionally been the go-to figure to look at. Going forward into 2020, this will no longer be true. In 2020, the focus will shift to diversifying and launching different kinds of campaigns all with different goals.
If the goal is to build brand awareness, you might keep those low-performing keywords that you previously would have ditched. And brand awareness is key for effective advertising. Repeat purchases come from brand awareness and every business wants repeat customers instead of one-off purchases. This means campaigns that cost more than they make in the short term could be the norm as more focus is put into brand awareness.
13. Bing, The Little Search Engine That Could
Bing is back! With it’s revitalized focus on ad inventory, data, and audience targeting capability, Bing has become a sleeping giant. Recently, Bing Ads rebranded itself as Microsoft Advertising. The latest numbers, as of September 2019, show that 1.3 billion people use Bing worldwide each month. In 2020, ignoring Bing could cost you money.
PPC Marketing Strategies for a New Decade
As you can see, PPC strategies are constantly evolving. If you want to stay competitive, your marketing strategies need to evolve, too.
Make sure you are always at the forefront of new technologies and best practices. Just because something worked for you last year doesn’t mean it will have as good results in the next.
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