As we nearly hit the halfway mark in 2017 I thought i'd pen some quick thoughts on whats going on in the world of PPC! Having just finished this I realise that it is not the quick read I was planning.....apologies!
For the last few years, there has been a rise of audience targeting features and now in 2017 we are finally seeing marketers take advantage. We starting to see a rise in personalised ads with audience targeting options being integrated directly into
Adwords and other advertising platforms. Ads are increasingly targeted by devices, age and behavioural signals with an emphasis on demographic and interest-based targeting options.
Marketers will have to give audience targeting just as much importance as keyword targeting. Keyword, location and audience will all play critical roles in a strong PPC marketing strategy.
The overall purpose of personalized targeting for ads is to build relationships before customers buy. This transformation will be reflective of the growth of sequential advertising – finding potential customers in to the top of the funnel and channeling them through to the purchase stage. It will help marketers focus on a strategy that is not just dependent on the last-click attribution strategy, but investing in all areas of the sales funnel. In creating an end-to-end paid search strategy, marketers are realizing the importance of building loyalty and trust for consumer retention.
How to Respond
If you're not already using audience targeting, this year is the time to start
Use social media platform data, search query data, and demographic data together to improve your strategy
Focus your paid search strategy on the entire sales cycle, not just the buying phase
PPC taking up more space?
In 2016, we saw typography and styling shifts that make Google search ads blend in with organic results as organic results get pushed further down in the page. We also saw the removal of right hand side ads, the addition of a 4th ad before the organic results and the release of Extended Text Ads (ETAs). Now in 2017, we are seeing ads taking up even more space on the search engine results page (SERPs). Using ETAs and ad extensions continues to be non-negotiable, allowing paid search ads to take up as much real estate as possible in the SERPs. In the coming months, there are predictions that Google may be adding more types of ad extensions. Google has used unique attributes in ad extensions over the years as a means to use space in the search results more effectively and we don't see this slowing down in the future.
We're also seeing growth in the types of ads outside of display and text, especially in product listing ads and video ads. The good news for e-commerce marketers is that the increased popularity of shopping advertising means product listing ads will continue to hold more value and space in the SERPs and display more product information. Video ads continue to be on the rise with user engagement increasing when we add visuals to our content. Video advertising also has the advantage of being more affordable than search ads. With search ads getting more and more expensive each year, we expect the price point of video to help shift advertisers in this direction.
How to Respond
Make sure you're using Extended Text Ads and all relevant Ad Extensions
Watch for new Ad Extensions and other ad feature releases
Take advantage of shopping ads and video ads
I've talked about voice search for years and how it will continue to rise and take over users physically having to type in what they are searching for, and 2017 so far, is no exception. With increased accuracy rates on mobile assistants this is looking like the year we start to see a major shift. Although we will have to see a tremendous increase of voice search for it to be embedded into an AdWords platform, there is the possibility we may see an integration of voice search in PPC in the near future.
This means PPC marketers will be able to pinpoint whether the queries are coming in from voice or typing through analytical data. This information can help us tailor messaging not only to the user and keywords, but to the type of search (audio vs visual).
How to Respond
Make your site information is voice search friendly
Watch for voice advertising releases
Thats about it for now - hope this was of some use and best of luck in the second half of what looks like a pretty exciting year!
Did I mention that we have been shortlisted for 5 awards at the MENA Search Awards 2017?! :)