Have you seen the PPC industry get shaken in 2018? The year’s about to finish, so if you were unaffected by the changes in algorithm, you’re in luck.
Google changed their ranking algorithm a dozen times over the last three quarters, with three-fourths of them breaking the entire landscape.
The Mobile-First Update. The Medic Core Updates. The Video Carousel changes. These are trends that are important to your business.
Do you want to know the upcoming paid search trends in 2019? The year’s about to end, and it’s about time you prepare. If you don’t, you’re opening your CPC marketing strategies to high-risk.
If you want to keep your PPC marketing ROI on its trajectory, here are the 10 things you need to know about PPC marketing trends of 2019.
1. Focus on Audiences and the (Slow) Death of Keywords
All of the authority figures of the PPC industry just declared the keyword dead in 2019. For our entire lives, our strategy for PPC was simple: laser target keyword verticals. This gets the messages out, and it works.
This strategy is also dying.
You see, if you are not yet targeting Audiences, you should start doing so now. Audience segmentation means you’re dividing your potential leads into audience types. These audience types will then receive different types of ads, depending on what you think they need.
We don’t think it’s realistic to dump keywords yet. There’s zero chance that a paradigm shift will happen in a year. The more probable period should be 3 to 5 years.
Even then, how do you focus on audience segmentation?
Your paid search advertising should categorise into a rigid sequence of demographics and buying behaviours. This will leave much room for adjustments – at most keep things not cut and dry. You would need to keep recontextualising the buying cycles and fine tune.
If you need your campaign to perform, move on to audience segments. The keyword isn’t dead sure, but it’s best to adapt to the newest trends in paid search advertising.
2. Deeper Pay-Per-Click Branding
People tend to be critical of PPC of its soulless lack of branding efforts. Pay per click marketers care about return on investment a little too much! We would need to move away from this type of thinking.
Why should you focus on branding instead of ROI? Here’s the thing, PPC ads can help encourage customer loyalty. Showing people that we care about them more than how many coins we can shake out of them.
Why should we care about customer loyalty? That’s because in the advent of software and tools that block advertisements, we need to make sure people will unblock our ads. We need to make a good impression on our clientele.
Our PPC marketing efforts should reflect how much of our customers we understand. Proper branding in 2019 can help us lead in our verticals better. This can happen with the right message that fits your goals.
The primary concern of CPC-based branding should be to take care of informational and commercial intent. These should answer their pain points and humanise our businesses in their eyes. Loyalty and sales will come if we make genuine connections with people.
3. Automation in Paid Search Marketing
Responsive ads is Google’s way of throwing everything a lifesaver. Its existence is to help non-marketers to maximise their advertising, up to a certain extent. The idea is that easier ad creation process can help us get more successful ad campaigns.
As a marketer in the PPC business, it’s best to diversify your skills that will take into account new automation systems. This is because as when search engines build smarter features, we need beyond the traditional PPC knowledge to stay relevant.
Being ahead of the pack means learning how to harness the new automation tools and Google’s Rankbrain algorithms for your search engine marketing efforts.
You would think that, in due time, people would give entire campaigns for automation by AI tools. Real people still know that ads cost real money, so leaving it up to algorithm is not ideal. Full automation is not coming yet.
4. Better PPC Attribution Models
PPC attribution is the proper crediting of each click to various marketing channels. This is to know which ones are performing well, and help add context to various touch points.
In 2019, we’re expecting better attribution models than what we have today. This is critical due to the fact that the internet’s multi-channel advertising sources are growing. It now goes beyond Google.
This means that better attribution can help us point to the right direction where the audience is. There’s so many PPC attribution models out there. Their concepts are still clunky and complicated.
We want something that can make everything more clear-cut than they are at the moment. It’s easy to coordinate multi-channel ad experiences for remarketing, but ad silos are still a problem.
5. Moving Beyond Return on Investment
ROI for marketers is the key to success. We can’t blame them. To secure funding for your campaign, you would need to prove to stakeholders that your campaign is profitable.
The problem is you’re risking the effectiveness of your PPC ad campaign by putting your entire faith on the ROI. The problem with thinking ROI is everything is you’ll keep pushing for small campaigns that become ROI multipliers. This removes the boldness and value of your campaigns.
2019 should focus on going beyond the ROI, and adding extra benchmarks that makes the campaign matter to the brand. Some businesses are measuring their marketing effectiveness as it is. We’re still waiting for this to go mainstream.
6. The Power of Mobile Ads
Mobile devices are providing the highest conversion rates for paid ads right now. Every year we’ve talked about how mobile ads are about to take over. If you’ve been following the trend, 2019 is the year that happens.
The domination of mobile searches means there’s also more value to mobile ads. Ads that are mobile-responsive are perfect, and quality ads are important.
People treat paid ads as a nuisance, more so on mobile. That’s the truth and we must accept that. This is why we want mobile ads that are worth the click.
We’re looking towards an uptick in trend of ad quality for mobile. Display ads, in addition, are more valuable now that more people use mobile. Youtube still gets clicks regardless of the “adpocalypse”.
Global video plays in 2018 are at 58% for mobile, which is a net positive for the trend. We expect this to continue.
7. Multi-channel Advertising and Social Media
Social media is growing out of Google’s shadow as preferred paid search advertising platforms. As Google ads are becoming more expensive, social media is becoming a more important component of multi-channel advertising.
For one, Facebook is trying to overtake Google in the paid search marketing sphere. It hasn’t happened yet. Its billions of active users and unprecedented annual growth is a solid reason for their strength.
Instagram is also garnering wins in social media advertising, with various ways of providing value to its users. Influencers love the platform, with its ease of use and message delivery to all the customers.
Social media is not a simple branding or engagement tool anymore. It’s powerful PPC ad channels are a must-use for anyone who doesn’t want to get stuck in yesterday’s trends.
8. Mobile Voice Search is Here
We have been hyping mobile voice search for some time now. 2019 should be the year that it takes on its potential. Unlike years ago, voice search is much more ubiquitous now, well beyond its gimmick status in the past.
Statistics say that mobile voice search will get to 50 percent by 2020, which means 2019 is the springboard year. For us marketers, these are adjustments to our efforts in search advertising.
Confirm that your campaigns have phrases that take into account voice search queries. These are at most long-tail keywords and full questions, and that’s ok.
You would also want to utilise campaign negative keywords to make sure you don’t get false flags. Remove keywords that you know won’t result to the intent you want. You want to maximise the buyer intent and minimise the informational intent in your campaign.
Most of the work related to optimising your voice search for PPC is creating your own voice keywords.
9. Unconventional PPC Search Advertising Tactics
Around a decade ago when Google was not as sophisticated as it is now, many of the advertising verticals have very cheap CPC. 10 years later, the same verticals have now become competitive. The same paid search marketing keywords that cost a few dollars in 2009 now cost a full $100 more than they did.
2019 is the year that everyone will go and look for ways to go around these whacked out verticals. Paid search advertising should move away from the traditional singular network ads, but rather take advantage of the expanded channels.
As an example, Instagram has a similar robust CPC ad network, which has lower prices than Google. Facebook should be the same as well.
There are also keywords that will have the same powerful CTR for a lower cost. You would need some extra exploratory efforts in finding them.
10. Finding New Ad Types
The traditional ad types are still performing, especially the display ads. The industry as a whole, however, is expecting newer, better ad types as the channels grow in number. Nobody is sure what they are yet, but there is potential.
For example, Maps can provide preferred local search offerings when providing results. Featured snippets can be monetised and keep their quality as well. The tri-pack can be another ad resource that provides related, quality answers.
What’s the Future of PPC Advertising
SEO and PPC are still vast and useful tools for marketers to forward their business goals. At the end of the day, marketers like us would need to sharpen our skills in the advent of automation efforts. Without diversifying our skillsets, we’re talking about algorithms replacing most of work.
Without understanding how these trends will affect our work in general, we might as well start throwing money.
If you’re a business owner and you’re not sure how to do PPC yourself, find experts who can.