Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can save marketers money while still achieving the desired results. With PPC marketing, advertisers only pay a fee when users click on the advertisement. It is one of the most popular types of digital marketing for companies that do not want to rely solely on earning visits organically.
2018 brought a lot of significant changes to PPC marketing. Google made major updates to its algorithms and created the “new Google Ads experience” to replace Google AdWords. New campaigning tools became available at Bing Ads, along with LinkedIn profile targeting. 2019 promises even more changes to PPC. Whether you’ve already joined the PPC train or you’re just thinking of starting out, learn the top trends for 2019.
Search Intent Replaces Search Terms
Keywords are still heavily important in PPC advertising, but the trend is beginning to shift more toward search intent than individual terms. Search intent refers to the reason why users are conducting the online search. Search intent may be to purchase something, to go somewhere, to do something, or to learn something. Customers may use keywords during search queries, but the keywords might not represent their main goal. Identifying search intent can help you tailor your PPC advertisement campaigns toward what users actually want.
Google has always wanted what’s best for search engine users. Search engine optimization (SEO) came about to help business owners climb to the top of the results pages, not because Google wanted to help websites improve. In fact, Google keeps its algorithm tightly under lock and key. Google does not want website owners to have an equation for what works. They want companies to work toward fulfilling the needs of customers – no more, no less. Keep this larger picture in mind during a PPC ad campaign for the best outcome.
In 2019, Google is prioritizing search intent and concepts, not just keywords. Optimize your PPC campaigns by targeting your audience, not search engines. Although keywords are still a mainstay for advertisers, start placing the emphasis on search intent as well. Find ways to answer your target customers’ questions and needs. Make the goal of your PPC ad to fulfill search intent rather than to get hits for a specific keyword.
Google Is Not a Monopoly
Google does not have the monopoly when it comes to pay-per-click ad campaigns. In 2019, spread your horizons to advertise across other channels. Some other search engines with enormous market shares include Yahoo, Bing, AOL, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, and Ask.com. You should also expand to channels such as social media. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit all offer PPC advertising opportunities. Test out different ad outlets this year to see if one gives you positive results.
One channel not to ignore this year is Quora Ads. Quora Ads lets you put your content on a site where users come to get answers to their questions. You can have your content appear when someone asks a question relating to your industry. Quora has over 300 million monthly active users, but not that many marketers have taken advantage of Quora Ads. It is a new ad platform that doesn’t have a lot of competition yet. Taking your PPC campaign to Quora could give you an edge in your market.
Amazon is also a hotspot for pay-per-click advertising. As of 2018, more user product searches start on Amazon than Google (46.7% vs. 34.6%, respectively). Do not ignore this significant departure. Make use of it by paying for a few PPC ads on Amazon. Diversifying your PPC ad spend and including Amazon can expose your brand to thousands of new consumers. Amazon also gives you the opportunity to attract clicks with greater levels of personalization than Google.
Quality Wins Over Quantity Every Time
In 2019, low-quality ads that read like spam are not winning any conversion contests. PPC advertising will only be worth the investment if your ads have all the components of quality marketing. Just because you’re paying for visibility rather than achieving it organically does not mean you can afford to lose quality. Optimize your PPC campaign results and grow your business with a few modern best practices:
- Drop the gibberish. Too many PPC ads focus entirely on keywords and not enough on targeting users. This can lead to meta titles that sound robotic, or that don’t make sense at all because they are just keywords strung together. Keep your focus on your audience when writing your ad content instead of only optimizing for search engines.
- Target the right keywords. Keywords are still important to the overall success of your PPC campaign. Target the right keywords for your ad by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. What kinds of phrases are they using to find information? Include long-tail and conversational keywords to target voice queries as well.
- Make every word count. Your goal is to convince readers to click on your ad – and ideally follow the sales funnel through to a conversion. The only way to get clicks is to ensure the incredible quality of your content. Your ad must be poignant, concise, and compelling. It must not contain any spelling or grammar issues.
Today’s customers support brands they can trust. They do not waste time clicking on ads that look like they are only out to get the customer’s money. In fact, modern consumers are so fed up with ad speak that Google changed its algorithm to penalize brands that use pop-up ads on their websites. It is more important than ever to talk to the humans reading your ad, rather than only to sell to them. Your customers want information of value. Fill this need and you’ll receive the best results.
Retargeting Gets More Personal
Automation Comes on the Scene
Automation is not a marketing tool of the future. It is here and already making changes to PPC campaign strategies. Search engines are relying more heavily on automation to make page rank decisions. Google and other leaders are rolling out new built-in automation features that will change how marketers advertise. Learning how to use search engine automation tools is a must in 2019, as engines push marketers to use more data points while bidding. Don’t ignore automation or think you can “wait it out.” Learn Google’s tools now to get ahead of your competitors later.
Fine-Tune Your PPC Strategy in 2019
Each of these trends for 2019 has the power to change how you advertise through pay-per-click. Whether you’ve already built a foundation in PPC advertising or you have yet to venture into this marketing channel, let these current trends guide your decision-making journey. Improve your PPC campaigns this year for increased brand awareness, more click-throughs, and better conversion rates long into the future.