There are more ways to get people clicking, and companies are clawing for market share. In the world of Pay Per Click (PPC), it’s survival of the fittest. If you’re a PPC management top dog or responsible for managing that person, it’s time to look back, and look ahead to the critical Q3 and Q4 buying season.
No doubt, there many things you’re already doing well. But PPC optimization of your Google, Facebook and Instagram PPC campaigns must be a top priority to keep you at the top of the food chain. As a marketing and advertising agency, we’ve been keeping an eye on the latest PPC trends. So here are our top 5 and what they mean for your budget and the success of your business in the second half of 2017.
#1 Expanded Text Ads (ETAs): Become a Real Estate Mogul
With ETAs, you’ll be optimizing your ad dollars by making sure your paid search ads are occupying as much real estate as possible. You’ve asked for it. Now you’ve got it – with more headline characters and more “Path” fields, there are now more opportunities to have your keywords and content found, and your goods and services purchased. So make sure you or your PPC manager cashes in on this trend.
#2 Cross-Platform Marketing: Double Down on Doubling Up
In the IT world, there was an undisputed maxim, “Nobody got fired by going with IBM.” The idea was that IBM was the secure, stable computing platform of choice. Today’s cross-marketing tandem of Google and Facebook are the undisputed leaders of digital marketing. We support this notion, based on the projection that the pair will grab $0.73 of each $1.00 of additional digital spend. Facebook-style audience targeting options will continue to be increasingly integrated in Google Search ads (e.g., Remarketing Lists for Search Ads “RSLA”/Customer Match, Demographics for Search Ads). We urge our clients to use them together for better optimization. Facebook will continue to drive awareness. RLSA enables you to customize your search ads, targeting hot prospects that have visited your site – a critical part of your remarketing strategy to convert newly created awareness into leads and sales.
#3 Voice Search: Listen Here. Click Here.
Nothing has captured the imagination – and the pocket books – of Americans of all ages like the phenomenon of digital assistants enabled by voice search technology. Just about everyone knows Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. They’re like family and their presence will be a major part of PPC management as back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons approach. According to a Google study conducted by Northstar Research, over half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis, with its use continuing to grow every day. What’s more, half of all Google searches are from smartphones and 20% of those are voice activated. As Google continues to explore “conversational search” and its conversion to click metrics (more about Google and its use of “cards” to encapsulate voice searches in another blog!). This increase in voice search requires us to develop PPC ads that are based on natural or conversational language.
#4 E-Commerce: Shopping Ads Are Really Clicking!
In Trend #1, we spoke about becoming an ETA real estate mogul. Well, the same must be said about Shopping Campaigns and Shopping Ads, which will be bigger and dominate the real estate on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages) in Q3 and Q4. These types of product listing ads (otherwise known as PLA’s or Shopping Ads) consistently demonstrate improved conversion rates over other forms of ads, such as text ads in search. So here’s the mixed blessing: more Google Shopping ads means higher cost per click. All the more reason to be diligent about the setup and PPC optimization of your digital campaigns. You’ve got to maintain profitability, while still targeting the right audience.
#5 Internet of Things (IoT): Profiting from Microwaves Talking to Toasters
We anticipate that sometime in the next year, someone will figure out how to best monetize the Internet of Things (and therefore a big chunk of voice search queries). Amazon Echo and Google Home are the go-to devices in this category, but what about all of the other smart devices around our homes (TV’s, refrigerators, microwaves, toaster, you name it.) Yep, we’re not just talking computers, tablets and mobile phones anymore. Connectivity will happen. Big time. And what that means for PPC is TBD! (So stay tuned to this blog!)
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