Pay-per-click advertising continues to be a great way to boost your SEO and to get the exposure your brand needs without the wait.
But just like with SEO, PPC is constantly evolving, and you need to stay up-to-date on the changes to create the most effective strategies to meet your goals.
2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year full of changes for digital marketers. Here are some of the 2017 PPC trends you need to know:
As more data becomes available with the increasing Internet of Things, more options become available for targeting ads and making them more relevant to individual users.
We’re not at the point yet where PPC ads can be fully customized, but they are becoming so targeted that it may almost seem as if they have been customized.
The way marketers can achieve this is to create numerous audience profiles based on interests, times of day, location and so on. These targeting options can be triggered to deliver ads that are created just for that profile.
Eventually, user-intent signals will be able to be incorporated into PPC ads to create truly custom options, but this is as close as we can get for now.
More Shopping Ads
Google Shopping ads have always been around, but they have not gotten a lot of attention.
That’s likely to change over 2017.
Google Shopping ads are going to take up more real estate in SERPs, which is going to encourage more brands to invest in them. These ads are different than traditional PPC ads in that they are more like the other cards or carousel items you’d see in search, with all the relevant information right in the ad. Users can see the price and click right on it to purchase.
If you’re a retailer, expect to shift your focus to include more of these ads.
More Search Text Ads
We’ll also see more Google Search Text ads over 2017.
These small ads appear in the SERPs just like other results, but they have a small icon indicating that they are ads.
These ads get more play because they look like organic results. Users are more likely to trust them and to notice them.
Experts say that Google is going to add more features to these ads, as well, which will expand options for reaching your audience.
Google and Facebook run the game right now, and if you want to get any exposure at all, you are going to have to get through them.
And don’t think that you’ll just use another outlet. These two own many of the channels that you could use to reach your audience, such as YouTube, email (gmail is one of the most popular providers) and app stores.
Both have cracked down on organic reach. The best – and perhaps only – way to get exposure is to pay for it. Since you will be joining everyone else in this dilemma, you’ll have plenty of competition for these ads, which means that you’ll be paying a lot more.
Expect to pay more for your cost-per-click, and expect to have to increase your overall ad budget significantly in the coming year.
When we talk about PPC, we are usually talking about Google. But Google isn’t the only provider for PPC ads.
Facebook is taking a large share of PPC budgets. Google and Facebook are expected to take in about 73 cents for every dollar spent on digital ads next year.
But you can’t abandon Google to focus on Facebook, or vice versa. Instead, marketers are looking at creating ad partnerships and spreading out their budget on both.
Many marketers are using an approach that creates brand awareness with Facebook ads and then drives sales with Google ads. However, you may find a different strategy that works for you based on your audience characteristics and your goals.
Google is expanding far beyond its home page. With the Internet of Things, it is moving into areas like personal home devices (Google Home) and virtual reality.
PPC ads will start being an option for some of these devices, either this year or not too far into the future. Even if you can’t start running these ads now, you should be thinking about putting together a strategy.
Of course, these ads will take on a much different format, so it is important that you start brainstorming options and testing them with your audience where possible.
You have a lot more options for PPC advertising in the coming year. Now is the time to start thinking about how to tweak your strategy so that you can maximize your results. Create a strong PPC strategy in conjunction with a strong SEO strategy and you’ll get the traffic, exposure and sales you need to meet your goals.