Website owners seek to drive traffic to their websites to convert users to actual buyers, and eventually to repeat buyers. They can drive traffic to their sites either by working on the various site elements to naturally promote high ranking, which is called search engine optimization, or they can pay to have visitors directed to their sites. The latter approach involves advertisers paying a fee every time one of their ads is clicked on, hence the term pay-per-click (PPC). For effective execution of PPC for a business, you should work with an experienced and reliable service provider to correctly set up your pay per click accounts to ensure both no bad reports from search engines, like Google, and proper monitoring of installation and testing.
Here are some PPC trends in 2018 you should be aware of, which are also expected to have an impact beyond 2018:
A crucial trend that is bound to influence the shape of the future of PPC is machine learning. With the use of this technology in PPC, it will be possible to get real-time signals and measure consumer movement through various channels. Google previously announced some innovations that are powered by machine learning, which include:
- Google Attribution – Enables marketers to quantify the effect of their marketing activities
- In-market audiences – Assists in understanding the buying intention of the customers
- Improved store visit measurement – Plays a crucial role in measuring store visits
It is vital for PPC marketers to understand and take advantage of machine learning to have a better understanding of account performance and the driving factors. This, way, the account managers can make better strategic decisions. The marketers will need to get a grasp of how machine learning and artificial intelligence affect PPC in 2018 and beyond, as indicators show that the industry could be inclined more and more towards the two innovations.
Customers have become informed, exposed, and even selective, and it has become equally crucial for marketers to reach the correct target audience. While factoring these developments, Google has made several changes to give marketers more options to improve their targeting and to have better ads in the online space. Some innovations aimed at targeting customers include similar audience, which is for shopping and search, and in-market audience, which is used in searching and was released to meet the need for more customized involvement to the user. Other search engines like Bing have also come up with their versions of options meant to target a specific audience. All these targeting options will contribute immensely to the success of the pay-per-click campaigns. With marketers placing a premium on each click, audience targeting will continue being an important trend in 2018 and beyond in PPC.
Emphasis on Social media
Social media has taken center stage in PPC in 2018, thanks to the high percentage of ad revenue growth registered in 2017—for example, Facebook registered 40 % growth—and its dominance in the areas of audience targeting and video marketing. This trend is expected to continue in the remaining part of the year and beyond. LinkedIn is also likely to gain traction. Social media platforms have shown remarkable success in tracking users and re-marketing to increase the advertisers’ conversion rates.
Voice search has been an emerging trend and it is gaining ground very fast, with predictions that voice searches will account for 50% of all searches by 2020. This development offers a chance for marketers to look again at their strategies to see how they can make the most of the mobile-led voice searches. It is crucial that advertisers keep a keen eye on the search behavior and buying patterns of the users of the voice search. The progress in this line of voice search is noticeable, as there is observable growth in devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, and some virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, and others. Traction has not yet been made concerning how the developments will be integrated on the paid search media of AdWords and Bing, but it is predicted that there will be additional changes to assist advertisers in growing their search activities with voice search innovations.
The use of automation tools by both marketers and platforms like Google and Bing has been quite significant in 2018 and is expected to grow even more. The forces behind the automation will be machine learning and artificial intelligence. Google may automate campaign management for the final advertisers, thus easing their work.
Unique or enhanced product content
With all forces aimed at making PPC campaigns successful, there is a need to ensure that the product information provided is sufficient and relevant, since other than the price, the information available will determine if the buyer makes the final click to buy. The above trends have been substantially gaining in 2018, and they are expected to get better in the years to come as PPC becomes more popular and well established.