The paid search realm has become increasingly competitive, leaving no room for digital marketers to slack off in their PPC strategies. Stay ahead of the curve with these top pay-per-click marketing trends for 2020:
The Power of Google Paid Search in Boosting Your Online Presence
Numerous marketers and business owners have heard of Google Ads, but not everyone knows how it works.
Google Ads, formerly known as AdWords, is Google’s PPC advertising system. It allows businesses of all types and sizes to bid on specific keywords for their clickable ads to appear on Google’s search results.
Pay-per-click marketing is an excellent strategy to acquire rapid, highly targeted and measurable results. Paid search ads work faster than SEO. A well-optimized Google Ads campaign can get your brand to the coveted top spot in the search results much faster than using SEO to generate traffic and leads.
Google Ads promote business growth by:
• Allowing advertisers to target multiple keywords at a time
• Increasing brand awareness by targeting a broader audience through the Google Display Network
• Outranking competitors’ Ads through “Target Outrank” automatic bidding strategies
• Increasing Ad visibility to a high-quality, target audience
• Driving the intended market to the purchase funnel
• Boosting remarketing efforts based on the pages visited by the user
Your competitors are using paid search advertising, and you should, too!
PPC Goes Beyond Search Engine Tools
Running an effective Google Ads campaign requires intelligent work. You can’t simply invest $5,000 in your PPC strategy and expect to get leads. As a digital marketer, you need to do your homework and maximize the targeting tools at your disposal.
Here are the top 15 PPC marketing trends in 2020 to get you started:
1. PPC Automation
Paid search automation is not something new. Google introduced automated bidding strategies in 2008, which allow algorithms to adjust an advertiser’s bid automatically based on historical performance data.
To improve your campaign performance, it is imperative that you use available PPC tools and features to your advantage:
• Utilize the tools to accomplish the minute tasks that have a small impact on your PPC marketing efforts.
• Help the algorithms work to your advantage by assisting the machines with their learning.
• Build lightweight automation using ad scripts, alerts, rule engines, etc.
The key is to devote your headspace to improving your paid search strategy. With some hands-on management, automation can save you time — and potentially money — and allow you to focus on core PPC marketing projects and strategies.
2. Audience Segmentation
Online users have different goals and personas, and using a one-size-fits-all marketing campaign may not be your best option. Among the latest features of Google Ads is the ability to add target audiences based on their interests, demographics and brand interaction, among others.
Segmenting your audience narrows down the scope of your ad and allows you to get the most of your ad budget. Create targeted campaigns for audience segments that are at various points in the sales funnel, including:
• Customer Match — Uses data points to capture segmented audiences
• In-market Audiences — Those who are actively researching and comparing products online
• Remarketing Audiences — Those who have browsed your products and showed interest but did not make a purchase
3. Hyper-Specific Landing Pages
With more businesses advertising online, it can be difficult to cut through the clutter — but fret not. Increase your ad’s success by creating a hyper-specific landing page that addresses the consumer’s specific needs and queries.
For instance, businesses that offer real estate services can create different ads depending on their target location and intended market. Remember that effective ads and landing pages provide consumers the information they need without requiring them to work too hard to get it.
4. Voice Search
Experts predict that 50 percent of searches in 2020 will be done through voice search. This means that you need to optimize your Google paid search content for voice-enabled queries.
There are key differences between voice search and typed search. For one, voice search optimization is about understanding the subtle differences between how online users type and speak when seeking information. Voice searching is more conversational, with longer keywords and phrasing than typed search. Targeting both traditional and voice searching can give you an upper hand in this cut-throat competition.
5. Visual Search
Visual search uses a picture as the search query as opposed to voice or text. For example, a user searching for a soccer ball can simply drag or take a picture of a ball, and the visual search will show links of stores that sell the product.
Instagram, Pinterest, and Amazon have shown the value of visual search. To stay ahead of this paid search update, create a photo catalog of your products and services. Don’t forget to add metadata to the images to make sure they are categorized properly by the search engines.
6. PPC & SEO Integration
PPC and SEO go hand-in-hand. An excellent way to integrate your PPC strategies with SEO is to analyze your top-performing ad copy. Create content and blog posts based on that copy to improve your site’s ranking.
Another effective method is to use long-tail keywords to boost your paid search bidding strategies. You may also target your competitor’s keywords by analyzing the PPC Auctions Insights and more.
7. Marketing in Virtual Reality
Virtual reality advertising enables users to see and evaluate products from any angle. It also allows users to test the product in the virtual world.
With a predicted 54.1 percent increase in VR sales, this market promises an exciting opportunity for paid search advertising. Virtual reality can be a powerful tool to accelerate the buyer’s journey — one that innovative marketers should monitor.
8. Increased Social Media Platforms
Statistics show that there are approximately 3.2 billion social media users worldwide — and these numbers are growing fast. Ignoring social media in your PPC strategies will only hurt your marketing efforts.
This year, PPC marketers should cash in on the multi-platform trend. Focus on ads for various social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Although Facebook and Google are still the bread and butter of paid search advertising, you should expand your horizons in 2020.
9. Rise of Search CPCs
Experts predict that the cost-per-click (CPC) will continue to rise until we reach a saturation point where the next click is no longer profitable. This is not a positive trend, but it is a realistic prediction you need to watch out for.
Be ready to adjust your ad budget and expect search engine results pages (SERPs) to get more competitive as the years progress.
10. Focus on Brand Affinity
As technology improves and consumers become wiser each day, more and more marketers are aiming for brand affinity. This pertains to making an emotional connection with the customers to boost business growth.
A customer demonstrates brand affinity through some of these indicators:
• A likelihood to choose and stick with the brand
• High probability of purchasing the brand’s products or services given any situation
• A good chance of referring the brand to others
In order to build a connection to your brand, you need to analyze the users’ online behavior and preferences, stay connected with targeted messages and provide them with an enjoyable and smooth transaction process.
11. Enhanced Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) Programs
The goal is to create a sales funnel that allows you to outperform your competition and keep customers. The biggest wins in paid search advertising will come from optimizing your ads by creating a unified brand message across channels that connect to your target market.
Don’t just build a data collection. Use this information to figure out where your customer experience is solid and where it can improve. Often times, it’s also smart to seek professional CRO help in evaluating your content and calls-to-action (CTAs) to ensure you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI).
12. Smart Bidding
Smart bidding capitalizes on user intent. It uses machine learning to optimize for conversion, save time and improve campaign performance.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), it optimizes paid search campaigns aimed at a specific goal, such as outranking searches, maximizing conversions and augmenting cost-per-acquisition (CPA), among others. Before jumping right in and changing your existing bid strategy, be sure to test smart bidding with a campaign experiment.
13. Amazon Advertising
Amazon is now the third-largest digital advertising platform, behind only Facebook and Google. Studies show that in the U.S. alone, advertisers are likely to spend about $4.61 billion on Amazon’s advertising platform.
Because of its growth, it is now considered the fastest-growing avenue in digital marketing. Paid search marketing in Amazon is an excellent strategy if you want to target consumers who are in the purchasing funnel. This is because most of the users browsing Amazon are prepared to buy immediately.
You can create Amazon sponsored ads or offer Amazon sponsored branding and displays.
Remarketing is an advertising strategy that targets online users who have previously browsed your site or are already familiar with your products or services but did not make a purchase.
This is a useful strategy in reaffirming the users’ desire to buy a product without them noticing. Studies show that remarketing campaigns have 4x lower CPA compared to traditional display ads options.
Keep the following in mind when remarketing your PPC campaigns:
• Understand your buyer’s journey and online activities.
• Align ad placement with your buyer’s journey.
15. Increase in Technical PPC Marketers
The waves of automation available to both advertisers and platforms are reshaping the role of PPC managers. This year, we can expect marketers to become more innovative and more technical in terms of adopting PPC updates, tracking the lifecycle of leads, predicting campaign performance and optimizing Google Ads at scale.
Harness the Power of Google Paid Search Advertising
Stay on top of these paid search updates in 2020 and change the way you acquire new customers! Reach more targeted, relevant audiences by adapting your digital marketing strategies to the latest trends and developments in the digital landscape.
Always keep an eye on new developments, research and implement new strategies to get ahead of your competitors. Partner with a digital marketing agency that can ensure your strategy is up-to-date, effective and backed by data.