10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2020


10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2020
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What does the longer term maintain for PPC?

This is a query we ask yearly right here at Search Engine Journal.

Last yr, audiences and automation have been only a couple tendencies PPC advertising consultants anticipated to dominate.

But what shall be an important PPC tendencies in 2020?

That’s the precise query I requested 39 of the highest PPC advertising consultants.

Here are the highest 10 PPC tendencies you want to know for 2020 – from paid search, to paid social, to remarketing, and past – in accordance to the consultants.

Want all of the tendencies now? Download our new e-book: The Biggest PPC Trends of 2020, According to 39 Experts

1. Less Control: Automation, AI & Machine Learning

Automation is the largest PPC development of 2020. It appears to be on the thoughts of almost each PPC marketer.

Julie Friedman Bacchini, President & Founder, Neptune Moon, thinks the automation and machine studying prepare will proceed selecting up pace in 2020.

“The key for paid search pros will be figuring out how to use these tools/features as effectively as possible, while also retaining our value by doing things the machines cannot do,” she mentioned.

Ed Leake, Managing Director, Midas Media, mentioned comparable, noting that machines and synthetic intelligence can produce judgments and carry out routine duties quicker than people.

“That means if you’re not at least using some form of rules or scripts in your workflow, you’re way behind,” Leake mentioned. “You might have heard of the Eisenhower Matrix. Using that principle, start with the one thankless task you do regularly. In other words, it takes a lot of time and it has a small impact on results. Take that task and find a machine to do it for you.”

Jeff Ferguson, CEO, Fang Marketing, mentioned PPC managers will lastly be taught their place in the brand new world order of digital promoting in 2020 – to present a clear working setting for his or her robotic overlords.

“The role of the PPC manager will not go away for at least another five years, but the days of spending hours tweaking bids are gone,” Ferguson mentioned. “Keywords aren’t going anywhere anytime soon – the robots still need us to speak to the other humans properly; however, whatever can be made into a math problem is now the domain of the machines.”

A few consultants talked in regards to the lack of management due to automation, and what it means.

Jon Clark, Managing Partner, Moving Traffic Media, expects the development of decreased management to proceed as Google pushes customers towards automation and minimized transparency. He speculated that we might even see handbook bidding eliminated solely in favor of automation.

Also, Brad Geddes, Co-Founder, AdAlysis, mentioned:

“We’re going to see Google continue to take control away from advertisers in the name of ‘better targeting & intent’. Unfortunately, Google has not figured out intent in any meaningful way, so these changes will leave you with more work to do in order to keep seeing the same results.”

Some consultants anticipate some pushback in opposition to Google’s continued drive towards automation.

“While Google will introduce more audience capabilities and more automation, advertisers are becoming leery of Google’s automation and won’t as blindly adopt it but rather dip their toes into Google’s new features to see if they really work as intended,” Geddes mentioned. “This will leave more advertisers to create automation on their own or leverage third-party automation and evaluation systems. We’ll see automation continue to rise, however, Google won’t always be the one driving these changes.”

Andrew Lolk, Lead PPC Manager & Founder, Savvy Revenue, mentioned he’s not prepared to simply hand over accounts to Google’s automation.

“I don’t advise outright rejecting Google’s automation, but knowing its strengths and weaknesses intimately instead,” Lolk mentioned. “By knowing the weaknesses in Google’s automation, you’ll know what to do to beat other advertisers that aren’t privy to it.”

According to Nikki Kuhlman, Senior Account Director, JumpFly, it comes down to this:

“What marketers will need to do is be the gatekeepers on whether these automated options are best for the clients or best for Google.”

Aaron Levy, Group Director, SEM, Tinuiti, is hopeful that 2020 shall be a yr of automation refinement, the place the engines and power companions will take time to get the automation proper.

“They want to make sure that us advertisers are set up for success, for growth and to devote our headspace to strategy rather than pushing buttons,” Levy mentioned. “All aided by the help of great data.”

Ilya Cherepakhin, VP, Media Operations, Acronym, extremely recommends testing goal ROAS, dynamic search adverts (DSAs), responsive search adverts, max conversion worth, and any of the opposite PPC automation choices.

One different side of automation Frederick Vallaeys, Co-Founder, Optmyzr, mentioned is “automation layering,” an idea he believes is the way forward for PPC.

“The idea is simple… we need to teach, monitor and guide the automations to deliver the best possible results, but instead of devoting more of our already limited human bandwidth to it, we can build lightweight automations using ads scripts, rule engines, alerts, etc. to restore some of the control we used to have before Google, Microsoft and the other ad platforms took over with their artificial intelligence,” he mentioned.

2. Blurred Lines: PPC & the Bigger Marketing Picture

Many of our consultants talked in regards to the significance of figuring out and interesting to your target market throughout a number of channels and platforms, in addition to creating cross-channel plans to guarantee your campaigns all play properly.

Search, social, ecommerce? They’re all blurring collectively, mentioned Wesley MacLaggan, SVP of Marketing, Marin Software. He mentioned the rise of Amazon as an advert platform will undoubtedly proceed to shake up the advert trade.

What all of it means: in 2020, channel integration and diversification shall be large.

Put merely: “If you’re not looking to new channels in the coming year, you’ll miss out on new business,” mentioned Michelle Morgan, Director of Client Services, Clix Marketing.

“All marketing works together – no channel is an island,” Kuhlman added. “Instead of looking at each channel as a separate standalone entity, advertisers in 2020 will focus on overall, bottom-line results. I know I will be.”

Integrated campaigns shall be on the forefront of 2020, mentioned Liam Wade, Head of PPC, Impression

“Just look at Google’s Smart Shopping to see how channels work better together; rolling PLAs, dynamic remarketing and cross-network audience targeting into one,” Wade mentioned. “A signal of more to come!”

In 2020, entrepreneurs and companies want a correct understanding of PPC’s place in their total advertising technique and the way that truly works itself into course of, mentioned Kirk Williams, Founder, ZATO.

“Marketers need to care about all of the ways (even when untraceable) that a business grows in its totality, and then determine how to fit the PPC channel into that overall business growth, including strategy, creative, and reporting,” Williams mentioned. “The best thing for PPCers in 2020 may be to blow the dust off those old traditional marketing books.”

Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor, gyro, mentioned we’ll additionally see an extra blurring of the traces between paid social and paid search options and concentrating on.

“We’ve always seen feature adoption across platforms within search engines (Google Ads, Microsoft Ads) and within social ad channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), but now we’re starting to see search engines adopting social targeting, and social channels adding keywords,” Mackey mentioned. “Blurred lines between search and social causes one to wonder: who will end up the winner? Only time will tell.”

three. More & Better Audience Targeting

Smart entrepreneurs and companies should strategically converse to their goal audiences at particular touchpoints alongside their client journey in 2020, in accordance to Ferguson.

“If 2019 was all about audience targeting, 2020 will be the year that we speak to those audiences the right way at the right time.”

The key in 2020 shall be your messaging and providing, mentioned Greg Finn, Digital Marketer & Partner, Cypress North.

“Instead of cramming a marketing message in the face of others, advertisers need to worry less about the direct sale, and more about how our offerings can help others,” Finn mentioned. “Gone are the days of overpaying for top positions with poor offerings, today we need to embrace helping our customers learn, and grow – even if we have to pay to do it.”

Audiences will proceed to be essential as Google pushes for increasingly viewers alerts, and rolls out Affinity Audiences for Search and Seasonal Event concentrating on, in accordance to Kuhlman.

“Where we’re seeing the most exciting results are on the Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN), especially with prospecting using LinkedIn profile targeting and In-Market Audiences, and with fully automated MSAN Shopping campaigns that use the power of the Microsoft Graph,” she mentioned.

Audience concentrating on will stays as essential as ever in 2020, in accordance to Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism for Search, Microsoft.

“It’s not audiences or keywords,” Olson mentioned. “It’s audience targeting layered on top keywords.”

four. Privacy, Tracking, First-Party Data & You

GDPR, and comparable laws, is proscribing monitoring capabilities and has catapulted privateness from the “nice to think about” to “an absolute must” for any marketer, in accordance to Cherepakhin.

As a outcome, Arianne Donoghue, Associate Director – Digital Strategy, Edit, mentioned we’d like to discover new methods to observe, however we additionally want to revisit components of how we method campaigns in a world that’s more and more knowledge and privacy-conscious.

Until platforms discover methods to adapt, entrepreneurs want to keep away from straying down the trail of attempting for 100% good attribution.

According to Tim Jensen, Campaign Manager, Clix Marketing, meaning “getting the messaging on point for the right audience” and “tracking the top-level ROI metrics that matter to the business’s bottom line.”

Purna Virji, Senior Manager, Global Engagement, Microsoft Advertising, mentioned in 2020 will probably be all about leveraging all the information with out exploiting the individuals behind the information.

“PPC advertisers have seen successful results with more contextual and demographic targeting options such as In-Marketing Audiences offered by both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising,” Virji mentioned. “We’re increasingly seeing new ways to leverage more understandings and insights – while still protecting people’s privacy- to connect brands and their customers differently.”

The present panorama means first-party knowledge is extra essential and beneficial than ever, in accordance to Cherepakhin and MacLaggan.

“Update your first-party data processes and policies, to meet the latest requirements for regions you target,” Cherepakhin mentioned. “That will position you for success to leverage customer match, remarketing and a growing range of strategies driven by first-party data.”

Added MacLaggan:

Gone are the times of optimizing to CPA, to get an edge advertisers will want to incorporate buyer worth (together with) lifetime worth into their optimization technique. With offline conversion, it’s already potential to add offline or follow-on conversions, however anticipate Google to proceed making this simpler subsequent yr.”

5. PPC Strategy Becomes More Valuable

As automation eliminates among the extra tedious duties, there shall be a higher want for PPC entrepreneurs who can assume strategically, in accordance to our consultants.

Amy Bishop, Owner & Digital Marketing Consultant, Cultivative, mentioned that PPC of us who can strategize may have probably the most success.

“In a changing landscape, strategy only ever becomes more and more valuable,” Bishop mentioned.

Donoghue agreed.

“Focusing on helping clients set strategy, really understanding who our audience is and what it’ll take to solve their problems is going to be key,” she mentioned.

Amy Hebdon, Founder, Paid Search Magic, mentioned management in this space is much more essential when environment friendly administration is desk stakes.

“Leadership requires big-picture thinking. It involves understanding consumer wants and needs, knowing how to target beyond the “local maximum,” and making strategic choices for purchasers,” Hebdon mentioned. “Marketing leaders who drive strategy and leverage automation to accomplish their growth goals will have even more success in 2020.”

Similarly, Mark Irvine, Director of Strategic Partnerships, WordStream, mentioned you have to discover the place you’ll be able to peacefully companion with automation

“Whether it’s with software, scripts, dynamic search, automated bidding, ads written with AI/ML, or even various smart campaigns – the time saved on the minutiae of managing fundamental elements of campaigns can be better spent managing the strategic elements – such as audience, targets, and creatives,” he mentioned.

6. Going Beyond Google & Facebook: Alternative Platforms to Watch

Duane Brown, Founder & Head of Strategy, Take Some Risk, and Lisa Raehsler, Founder & SEM Strategy Consultant, Big Click Co., famous that folks spent extra time on platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok, in 2019 – and the income at these firms is rising.

That development is not going to decelerate. So manufacturers will want to go the place their prospects are in 2020.

“This does not mean you need to be on every ad platform above. It does mean you need to have a better understanding of where your customers spend their time online,” Brown mentioned. “If your audience is on one of the ad platforms above then you should at least test it out and see if you can make it work for your business.”

Clark agreed. He mentioned budgets shall be extra dispersed than ever.

“From Quora, to Reddit, to Pinterest and, especially Amazon,” he mentioned. “Budget management and keeping a fluid allocation based on performance across platforms will be paramount.”

Akvile DeFazio, President, AKvertise, mentioned ecommerce manufacturers ought to start strategizing for Instagram Checkout.

“Though it is currently only available in organic posts, it’s only a matter of time until this new format will be available as an ad,” she mentioned. “Plan now to stay ahead and launch when available for maximum exposure.”

Elizabeth Marsten, Senior Director, Marketplace Strategic Services, Tinuiti, steered paying consideration to the enlargement of choices in promoting that blur the traces of “paid search” – particularly Amazon and Walmart.

“Their marketplaces have millions of visits a month to their site and searches being performed on those sites, too,” Marsten mentioned. “Additionally, product detail pages that are being built out with robust content like reviews, attributes, video and product comparisons are getting picked up in search engine results and will be competing for eyeballs. Design a strategy or position that addresses that now, rather than halfway through 2020.”

Bottom line?

“While Facebook still has the majority of users, paid ad managers should be closely following these user trends in 2020 to ensure their ads are reaching the right people (or for new opportunities) as they shift platforms,” Raehsler mentioned.

7. A Focus on Brand Affinity, Awareness & Safety

Pauline Jakober, CEO, Group Twenty Seven, expects PPC entrepreneurs to take branding to the subsequent degree in 2020.

“More and more, I’m seeing marketers move beyond brand awareness and aim for brand affinity,” Jakober mentioned. “Marketers are no longer satisfied with familiarizing potential customers with their brand. They also want to influence how potential customers feel about it and respond to it.”

Donoghue agreed that model choice and constructing relationships shall be key in 2020.

Bacchini additionally hopes to see a return to branding in digital promoting.

“Building a connection to your brand has always mattered, we’ve just largely ignored it for the past 15 years,” she mentioned.

Jonathan Kagan, VP for Search, Cogniscient Media, mentioned model security will proceed to be extremely essential in 2020 to guarantee your adverts don’t seem to be endorsing extremist content material.

“Advertisers can no longer allow the platforms to ‘do their own things.’ They need to continue to police your ad placements that are operating on automation. Otherwise, you may appear that your brand is supporting a horrific event,” Kagan mentioned.

eight. More SERP Competition + Search Stagnation = Rising CPCs

Jeff Allen, President, Hanapin Marketing, mentioned the largest development to listen to is the shortage of search question progress in latest years.

“2020 will see this come to a head due to platforms lacking additional SERP space to monetize,” Allen mentioned. This will outcome in the continued rise of search CPCs, and a possible for elevated CPAs and an absence of progress in gross sales quantity.

Leake agreed, saying that competitors will solely enhance and CPC inflation will proceed.

“I’d suggest you adjust your 2020 budgets and expectations to suit,” Leake mentioned. “Not a fun trend, but a realistic one.”

Levy additionally believes the U.S. search market has turn out to be saturated.

“Everybody already searches just about as much as they’re going to. There isn’t going to be 25% YoY query growth anymore,” Levy mentioned. “The SERPs will continue to get more competitive and the CPCs will continue to rise until we reach a saturation point, a point that the next click is no longer profitable.”

9. CRO Is a Must Do

While advertisers ought to have been investing in conversion price optimization for years, 2020 stands out as the yr it strikes from “should do” to “must do,” in accordance to Allen.

“Smart advertisers will continue to develop other channels, such as display and social, but the main lift in their sales numbers will come from robust conversion rate optimization programs,” Allen mentioned.

But as you’re doing CRO, Leake reminds us not to neglect about one other sort of optimization: buyer optimization.

“Conversion optimization is lauded, but customer optimization is underrated,” Leake mentioned. “You’re paying to acquire customers, so make sure you’re paying (investing) to keep them, too!”

Levy added that optimizing past clicks is important.

“In the next decade, the biggest wins will come from those who optimize beyond the conversion,” Levy mentioned.

10. The Year of the Technical PPC Marketer!

AJ Wilcox, LinkedIn Ads Expert & Founder, B2Linked Marketers, believes that 2020 would be the yr of the technical marketer.

“We’ll see marketers becoming more technical, leading to things like wider adoption and reliance on CRM data in conjunction with their advertising efforts,” Wilcox mentioned. “Marketers will be tracking the lifecycle of leads and will be the ones predicting performance, and not Finance or IT.”

Likewise, John Lee, Learning Strategist, Microsoft Advertising, mentioned gaining technical experience will assist you might have the power to handle, optimize, and analyze digital promoting campaigns at scale.

“These skills are fundamental to the use of tools like Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising Scripts or feed-based features like Shopping, Ad Customizers, etc.,” he mentioned. “Let alone how these skills can help you in piecing together data sets in BI tools, etc.”

Want More PPC Trends & Insights for 2019?

This solely scratches the floor of what you’ll discover in our new e-book, The Biggest PPC Trends of 2020, According to 39 Experts. Ready for extra?

Click right here to obtain The Biggest PPC Trends of 2020, According to 39 Experts

You’ll get extra uncensored and unfiltered insights and ideas straight from these PPC consultants on how to succeed at PPC in 2020:

  • Jeff Allen
  • Amy Bishop
  • Anna Blanken
  • Duane Brown
  • Ilya Cherepakhin
  • Jon Clark
  • Akvile DeFazio
  • Arianne Donoghue
  • Nicole Farley
  • Jeff Ferguson
  • Greg Finn
  • Justin Freid
  • Julie Friedman Bacchini
  • Brad Geddes
  • Daniel Gilbert
  • Andrew Goodman
  • Amy Hebdon
  • Mark Irvine
  • Pauline Jakober
  • Tim Jensen
  • Jonathan Kagan
  • Nikki Kuhlman
  • John Lee
  • Ed Leake
  • Aaron Levy
  • Andrew Lolk
  • Melissa Mackey
  • Wesley MacLaggan
  • Elizabeth Marsten
  • Michelle Morgan
  • Samantha Noble
  • Christi Olson
  • Brooke Osmundson
  • Lisa Raehsler
  • Frederick Vallaeys
  • Purna Virji
  • Liam Wade
  • AJ Wilcox
  • Kirk Williams

Plus, from our sponsors:

  • Adzooma
  • Group Twenty Seven
  • WordStream

10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2020

Past Editions of PPC Trends:


Featured Image Credit: Paulo Bobita



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