Freshwater

PPC trends 2019: What should you be focusing on?

30 May 2019

Freshwater has picked some of the biggest Pay Per Click (PPC) trends to watch in 2019. Read on to learn how to give your PPC campaigns the edge, and stay ahead of the competition.

PPC trends in 2019 that help with targeting

Audiences

Keywords are a well-known form of pay per click targeting, certainly in terms of Google and Bing. Keywords can be very influential in terms of getting the right traffic, but using them as your sole form of PPC targeting means anyone using those keywords could come across your ads – even irrelevant users. Using audiences to also inform your targeting allows you to better pinpoint the people your campaign is trying to reach.

Audience targeting is not new. Social platforms like Facebook and Twitter rely on using audiences – rather than keywords – to decide which ads to show to which people. For example, instead of using keywords, you could target your ads to appear for users who visit a certain page or certain sequence of pages. Or you could target users who haven’t completed the conversion journey.

Using audience targeting helps to show your ads to the right people, meaning you spend your budgets more wisely and avoid wasted costs as a result.

If you’ve previously relied on using keywords, introducing audience targeting to your 2019 PPC campaigns could pay dividends.

Remarketing

Not every person who visits your website will convert. Remarketing is a way of connecting with visitors to your website who may not have made an enquiry or purchase. It is a powerful tool in the modern digital marketing arsenal.

Think about it. If someone clicks on your advert and visits your website you can safely assume that they have some interest in what you have to offer. Maybe you offer them all of the information they need in order to make an informed decision about your product or service, and they convert into a lead – maybe they click to call, place an order, request a call back or make an email enquiry. Or maybe they need more time to think, or to shop around. Getting repeat website visits is key to many website strategies. That’s because returning users typically have much higher click through and conversion rates.

Remarketing enables you to create a bespoke audience of repeat visitors, or returning users. You can create tailored ads for this group of users specifically designed to help drive them down the funnel towards conversion. Remarketing enables you to serve gentle reminders to your audience of the product or service they’ve previously shown an interest in and in doing so, helping to influence their decision-making.

Automation

Google has been developing and fine-tuning its automation options for a long time. Its goal is to use machine learning to identify what works best for your campaigns, and how to optimise results. But, while automation has its part to play, contrary to popular belief – Google doesn’t always have all of the answers.

Despite advances in artificial intelligence (AI), it is important not to become complacent. Thinking “Google is looking after it and has my PPC needs covered” could turn out to be a costly mistake. Automation or no automation, here are some things digital marketers still need to think about if they want to establish solid foundations for PPC campaigns:

  • Set up your conversion tracking data correctly from the outset
  • Fuel campaigns with stand-out advertising copy
  • Focus on developing clear calls to action
  • Map your target keywords
  • Identify your ideal audience by digging into the detail.

For now, we’re choosing to reserve judgement on the impact automation will have on PPC. While automated suggestions from Google can help, a smart digital marketer will still need to know when to take them on board, and when to dismiss them.

Which PPC trends in 2019 can help you to understand your data?

Evaluate your ads

Don’t keep posting the same repetitive message – create variations. Google recommends three variations per ‘Ad group’ and deploys automation to display your best performing advert based on user feedback. It will of course cycle through the variations but will determine which has been the best performing advert. Even though you could have a variety, refresh your ads every so often. You could create seasonal ads, ads based on conversion data or ads dedicated to an audience you have created.

Attribution

Multi-channel campaigns are popular because they reach people across multiple platforms, but can be challenging to evaluate. How do you attribute value to each aspect of the campaign without knowing which specific ads or platforms played the biggest role in a user’s decision-making process?

The challenge for attribution is where to assign a conversion. Take Facebook for example. A user may have seen a Facebook ad, clicked on it but not necessarily converted. They then take to Google, type in their keyword, come across another of your ads and then convert. Facebook has certainly contributed, but how do you attribute its value?

If social media solely delivered the conversion with no other influences from direct, paid or email, then that should take full credit for the conversion. Using the example above of Google and Facebook, ‘paid’ as a channel and ‘social’ have both played their part for the conversion so should they share the credit?

Some marketers may only care about the last click as the ‘final’ touchpoint but as integrated campaigns become the norm, many more are interested in the nuances of campaign performance. A linear attribution may make sense if paid, social, email and direction channels contribute – this model would share equal credit across the channels. Not every attribution model has the same effectiveness to every business, so it’s important to consider the best fit for yours.

Accurate attribution is key and can help to inform sensible PPC budget allocations for different channels.

Which PPC trends in 2019 are worth exploring?

Video marketing: say it in six

Video marketing is becoming more and more popular as a tool to engage users. It certainly requires more work than a Google search ad or even the auto create for a display ad. Have you thought about bumper ads? These type of adverts are fantastic. They are Google’s six second ads on YouTube that cannot be skipped. Six seconds may seem short but if you have a strong brand message that is ample time. They drive efficient reach and offer a great canvas for creativity.

If you’ve not yet considered integrating video marketing into your PPC strategy, 2019 may be the time.

Diversify your ecommerce spend: Amazon ads

Google and Facebook are already very good at selling ecommerce products. Bing, whilst in pilot, is also catching on. While they may be traditionally considered the ecommerce ‘big three’, Amazon advertising is hot on their heels.

Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ads behave in a similar way to ads run through Google Shopping. They target people searching on Amazon with a specific product being advertised on Amazon. Equally, it can operate in a similar manner to Google Search, where you type a keyword in the Amazon search box and results then appear.

Our advice for 2019? Don’t just stick to what you know – diversify your spend. Amazon is constantly growing and at a rapid pace; it has over 300 million users to date. According to Business Insider, advertising is Amazon’s fastest growing segment. This means that more and more people are taking advantage of this platform to engage users, should you?

Which PPC trend in 2019 will pay off for your business?

Twenty nineteen brings with it huge opportunities for businesses looking to use PPC to grow. We hope this blog gives you an overview of how to take advantage of some of the key drivers effecting change in the paid digital marketing landscape. If you’d like advice on how to optimise your PPC campaigns, get in touch to speak to our digital marketing specialists.

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