Predicting the future is never easy – particularly in the world of PPC. Even with all the campaign data in the world, you wont know the latest trends until they hit.
It’s a daunting task staying on top of all the updates released by the likes of Google, Bing, and YouTube. It can be even harder to learn new things and quickly adapt to the changes.
We’ve all seen the developments happening in the paid search front over the past 18 months from both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising. Some of the changes involve:
- Ad copy
- Smart bidding
- Machine Learning and AI
- Average position
As innovation in marketing continues to grow at an exponential rate, smart PPC pros need to keep up with the market for these changes to be successful..
Here are the five trends you should be looking at in 2020 in order to stay ahead of the game.
1) Audience Segmentation
Audience segmentation is based on taking a group of people who have interacted with you online – either on your website, your CRM database, through a YouTube channel or one of your other social media channels.
These people are then segmented based on:
- What URLs they’ve visited on your website.
- How they’ve interacted on your site (i.e., whether they’ve purchased).
- What videos they’ve watched.
Then they’re placed into buckets that serve specific ads based on how they interacted with you.
This allows you to increase or decrease bids to make sure you’re more or less prominent to your audiences based on the value that they have on your business.
Although it seems very in-depth, this is still the most basic way to use audience’s.
However, as we gather more and more data on our customers and audiences, we can begin to break them up into specific buckets and thereby making our messaging even more personalized and our bidding strategies more informed based on specific data points that we see.
- What type of user are they? Where did they leave your site? Did they purchase something?
- What are your audiences interested in?
- What age and gender are they?
- What demographic group do they fall under?
- Where are they searching and browsing for you or your products? What device are they on?
- Are they coming from other websites? What keywords are they finding you through?
- Where are they in their life? Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they angry?
The inclusion of specific data sets, as well as inferred emotional data, means that you can make your ads extremely bespoke to the people you want to target.
You can also identify exactly which type of person you should be spending your resources on to grow your business.
Make sure to create audience lists in Google Ads to leverage this opportunity.
2) Automation & Account Management
Automation has already started – but it’s going to be even more important in 2020.
We’re already seeing it in:
- PPC optimization: Automating the ability to identify opportunities within your PPC account to make changes and improve performance and account hygiene.
- PPC account management: Automating rules within your account to manage bidding and daily account management tasks.
That said, not enough automation is being used in the industry currently. Automating processes, such as bid management, can help marketers harness the power of automation.
Target CPA and ROAS are great examples of how this has been implemented already in day-to-day account execution.
And even if you’re reluctant to let go of manually managing your bids, then there are other areas where you can apply automation to.
A number of companies are emerging to knit together optimization across properties such as Albert, an AI tool that takes data from across all of your marketing activity and decides where investments should be focusing.
What will be different in 2020?
In 2020, there will be an even bigger light shined on marketing performance, with clients and businesses requiring more data analysis, reporting, planning, and servicing.
With more businesses advertising online, it will become more difficult to cut through the clutter.
There will also be a higher prominence of automation tools to help you with optimization, daily tasks, reporting, project and account management.
What will be different in 2020?
- There are plenty of ways to leverage automation in paid search:
- Use scripts in Google and Bing to automate account management alerts and changes.
- Use bidding rules to manage the performance of your campaigns.
- Set up alerts across all your activities to inform you of major changes.
- Set up automated reporting, reduce manual reporting time.
- Spend more time analyzing your data and audiences to deliver the best experience for your customers.
- Test Smart Campaigns in Google Ads to hit your target KPIs.
3) Voice Search
ComScore predicts that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
So what does this mean for PPC?
This means that the search terms that trigger ads to appear are going to change as people interact in a more conversational way with their voice-enabled devices.
Obviously, we’re still quite a long way away from seeing paid search within voice.
4) Visual Search
Search is becoming more visual. Now, you can upload an image to a search engine and use the engine to find you relevant results based on other images similar to the one you uploaded.
Surprisingly, this development first came from the social media world with Pinterest releasing its first visual search tool in 2015. They have since refined their visual discovery tools with the introduction of Pinterest Lens in 2017.
Other social channels such as Instagram and Snapchat followed suit, allowing users to search with images.
Last year, Snapchat announced a Visual Search partnership with Amazon which allows users to search products on Amazon straight from the Snapchat camera.
So what does this mean for PPC?
Bing has also released its own visual search engine which allows people to do the same thing but use their entire index of the web as their source of information – much of the info that is on a retail site or social network platform.
What to do to get ready
Preparing for the growth of visual search now will make it easier for people to find you in the future. You should:
- Start thinking about images that showcase your offering on your website.
- Ensure they have the correct ALT text on them so the SERPs can pick them up.
- Ensure you’re using the best images to showcase your products or services.
- Use multiple images where possible so the SERPs have a choice of what to index.
5) PPC & SEO Integrations
The relationship between PPC and SEO will be an important area to address moving forward. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, yet they can be used together to maximize your results.
In 2020, make an effort to integrate PPC and SEO through:
- Keyword unearthing.
- Efficient position strategy.
- Data and information sharing.
- Increased SERP coverage.
What's the best wy to do this?
- Use PPC data to inform SEO of the most viable and profitable keywords to target for organic ranking boosts.
- Use SEO ranking data alongside PPC bidding to identify which keywords you should be paying for and which ones you shouldn’t.
- Use PPC copy data to help identify the best messaging to use for meta data in SEO.
- Use PPC advertising alongside SEO organic listings to make your brand more prominent on the SERP against competitors.