2016 has been big for PPC. Right-side text ads became no more and were replaced by expanded text ads. Social networks, primarily Facebook, rose to be the primary channels for paid ads. Google also moved from desktop to mobile-first indexing, and local searching became the norm.
With the said PPC updates, 2017 definitely leaves a lot of room for growth for PPC strategy and campaigns. Below are some of the possible pay per click updates that are likely to blow up this year.
1. The rise of the mobile users.
With Google’s announcement of mobile-first indexing, it is clear the attention has now shifted to mobile after decades of prioritizing desktop search. This trend is evident in the source of traffic for sites’ organic and paid sites. Moz stated that out of 24 industry niches, which include Arts & Entertainment, Health, and Food & Beverages, 20 consider mobile as their primary source of traffic.
In the graph below, we can see how much mobile search advertising spending in the US is expected to grow by 2019:
What does this mean for PPC campaigns? Simple — creating mobile versions of desktop sites and optimizing pages for both mobile and desktop use is the right way to go this year. Develop a new link building strategy with your mobile’s site silo in mind, but make sure you still have inbound links to desktop versions of your website.
2. Hybrid campaigns.
This year, the barriers between mobile and desktop use will possibly blur even more. Mobile users check email messages on their smartphones, while desktop users use social media coupons on their computers. In return, those clicking on your PPC ads are expecting a seamless experience when they land from one page to another. So much is the blurring of borders in PPC that 80% of digital marketers will likely create and run hybrid campaigns that span both mobile and desktop use this 2017.
3. The growing relevance of voice search.
Voice recognition services, such as those offered by Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Echo, are expected to become the go-to option in making queries. This means that there will be more emphasis to making articles sound less robotic and more similar to those asked by a user’s voice.
With search engines becoming smarter, it may only be a matter of time when search engines start to develop a way of indicating whether queries were typed or voice-generated. This means messaging should be tailored, not only to the user, but also to the type of search.
4. Micro-segmentation targeting.
Micro-segmentation will blow up in 2017. This is the year where micro-segmenting will help deliver efficient and customized messages to individual users. This entails improved targeting, specifically behavioral targeting as well as improvement in PPC budget tactics to allow digital marketers to focus on key targets while considering precise scales.
5. Google SERP Changes.
Google started trying to experiment with SERPs the past year, specifically by changing the number of characters in titles and Meta descriptions.
Long title tags being tested again in the SERPs. Seeing 69 and 70 character results today. pic.twitter.com/esiKTctV96
— Ross Hudgens (@RossHudgens) May 6, 2016
Though it hasn’t been formally rolled out yet, this change offers better opportunities for marketers because they can add more keywords and cook up better ad descriptions for better PPC results. In this case, marketers are advised to use the extra spaces to expand their description if the original character limit is expanded for more click-throughs.
Justin Freid, CMI Media’s Senior Vice President for Digital Marketing & Emerging Media, also advise the use of all the right ad extensions to make sure PPC ads are taking up as much real estate as possible.
6. Changes in programmatic search.
[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]2017 is shaping up to be another monumental year for PPC updates…[/perfectpullquote]
A lot of professionals like Jennifer Johnstone Lopez, Global Director of Biddable Media of Piston Agency, believe that 2017 will see the start of creating, buying, targeting, optimizing, and fully-managing paid search ads similar to programmatic displays. This means that marketers can target a wider audience – even those beyond their search term – for more potential customers.
2017 is shaping up to be another monumental year for PPC updates, most of which are follow throughs from trends and changes that have already started last year. While a lot of the trends are still under testing and development, it is a wise move for websites to start steering the direction of their campaigns and strategies to these changes.