Top 10 PPC Tips for 2017

New Year, new flood of changes as to what’s in, what’s out and what’s upcoming in the world of PPC and your campaign effectiveness. Here’s all that you need to know for the coming 12 months.

1. Social media marketing is going to become even hotter property

 

September 2016 marked a first for Facebook PPC – it sold out of its advertising inventory, something that Facebook had predicted back in June. The fact that demand outstripped supply illustrates just how much is being invested by businesses into social PPC; in short, this branch of paid placement now demands your attention if you’re yet to consider including it in your overall marketing strategy.

2. Grabbing attention is going to get tougher

 

Google is continuing to implement landscape shifting changes. Their focus on the knowledge graph and ‘instant answers’ means that businesses will need to work harder, and more intelligently, if they’re to compete with the space now taken up by elements such as these. Using expanded text ads and appropriate ad extensions is now a must if you’re to achieve the largest PPC real estate possible.

3. 2017 is all about making it personal

 

PPC has been, for quite some time, an art form increasingly focussing on a personal advert experience – and whilst we have yet to see any defining year for a significant milestone, experts are predicting that 2017 will be the year where more advertisers capitalise upon ads created specifically for set groups – crafting them based on age, behavioural signals and gender.

4. Businesses are going to be committing to bigger PPC budgets and higher CPCs

 

2016 saw budgets and CPC rise steadily, and this will be seen once more in 2017. For those businesses that find themselves outpriced (or who fail to see the value in committing more of an investment), alternative strategies will be needed – such as opting for formats including customer match, GDN campaigns and video ads.

5. Bing is going to become a worthy contender for your PPC spend

 

Google has been the undisputed king of PPC since day dot. However, as Windows 10 has rolled out, Microsoft have moved onwards and upwards in terms of user count, from 5.93% as of March 2014 to now accounting for a surprising 21.6% of desktop market share.

Moral of the story? Make sure you consider Bing when putting together your PPC strategy, and not only because of the surge in numbers, but also because Bing, as compared to Google, is…

  • Home to conversion rates similar to Google
  • Boasts a higher average age demographic
  • Benefits from lower competition
  • Cheaper Per Click

6. Remarketing – Now is the time

 

If you’re yet to put together a remarketing strategy, 2017 is as good a time as any (especially since research shows that sales completed following a basket abandonment can be driven upwards from 8% with no involvement, to 26% with re-marketing). What also makes for a compelling argument for doing this now, is that the tools at your disposal have never been more advanced – allowing you to create custom audience lists from your finely segmented website traffic. The upshot of which is incredibly effective, granular marketing targeted on unprecedented scales.

7. Message extensions, mobile searchers and money

 

2016 saw Google taking their mobile-centric strategy up a gear, with the launch of their message extension. If you’re yet to use this tool, consider this: a click to contact you costs the same as a click to visit your website – a guaranteed conversion, there and then, yours for the same budget.

As more and more searchers move over to mobile (now totalling to 60% as compared to desktop), it’s never been more important to make contact on the move in a matter of a tap. And don’t overlook the copy of the message text either – “I’d like to know more, text me” may be more effective than a CTA that seemingly involves a higher commitment level, such as “I’m interested in purchasing, call me back”.

8. Voice search – It’s entering our homes on AI scales

 

You probably addressed your PPC approach some time ago in relation to the different language and words used by voice searchers as compared to those who type their searches out (you did, didn’t you?). This has impacted on behaviour, with longer string search terms and unique phrases.

Now, however, there’s a whole collective of searchers who many are overlooking – those who are using Amazon Echo and Google Home. The challenges of capturing and predicting these notoriously unpredictable search terms remains – and the answer, just as with traditional voice search, is with broad matches.

9. Video – It’s growing in importance

 

Video ads – they’re cheaper than traditional search ads, more engaging and provide for plenty of options, freeing you from the restrictive text-format of traditional adverts. What’s more, YouTube (Google owned YouTube that is), holds 22% of all social traffic and reaches an almost impossible to believe 62% of the UK online population each day.

Video is also a natural partner for re-marketing, and AdWords empowers users by integrating video campaigns with traditional PPC adverts.

10. Google Shopping – If you sell products online, this is a non-negotiable

 

Google Shopping ads are set to become bigger and better in 2017, also increasing in SERPs. Experts are tentatively predicting that they could even incorporate more than one image per advert, as well as potentially featuring video. Despite this, and regardless to the fact that Google Shopping began some 5 years ago, even some of the largest retailers are yet to get on-board.

However, businesses shouldn’t be solely investing in this new, shinier version of Google Shopping alone, they should also be considering how they can streamline the process from Google search, to checkout. This could and should include the ability to save items to cart, easily, for coming back to later, as well as one-click payments and minimal checkout processes.

 

So, that’s it – 2017 presents quite the tick list of chores to get through if your business is to grapple and grasp all that the likes of Google and others continue to offer up by way of ever more advanced features and options. Get it right, and a finely-honed marketing strategy, and laser precise targeted consumers await; ignore the advancements and you may quickly find that your PPC budget, and CPC outlay, becomes only ever less effective and all the more expensive.

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