What’s New for PPC in 2018?

Here we are in the home-stretch of 2017 with the view of 2018 appearing larger and larger from around the corner. A new year always presents the opportunity for change, growth and innovation, and this is no different for paid search or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing. So what’s new in paid search for 2018? Tons! And don’t worry, you don’t have to pull your hair out trying to figure it all out; Let us break it down for you.

If you’re new to Paid Search or just need a recap about the fundamentals, please check out our blog here.

New Interface

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First, and foremost, AdWords has a completely new interface.  Now this may seem of little importance to a business that outsources their paid search marketing, but it’s actually very important! This new UI is designed to make analyzing & reporting PPC campaigns faster and easier. With a new visual display system that breaks-down conversions, clicks and costs seamlessly across desktop, tablet and mobile devices, your PPC strategists can now efficiently expedite this precious time towards testing and developing your campaigns and landing pages. Ultimately, this means better lead generation for you and your business.

Data Studio

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No need to break out the sweat bands for your end of month reporting, there’s a new method of reporting thanks to Google. Ask your PPC Strategist if they’re utilizing Data Studio for their reporting. If they are, that means they are saving valuable time on reporting, which can now be used researching and implementing new and improved strategies towards your ad campaigns, bidding strategies and landing pages. Data Studio integrates with each AdWords account which automates data, computes percent change & conversion rates, and visually shows data through graphs and charts just by simply clicking and changing the timeframe. No more time-consuming reporting, human error or calculators, my friends.

In Market Audiences Now Available for the Search Network

This is great news! In Market Audiences was a feature available for the display network only (i.e. display ads/ images shown on a large networks of sites across the internet). The Market Audiences feature helps businesses locate ideal leads who are nearing the end of their buying cycle through activity analysis and search query data. In addition, this very valuable feature can now be applied to advertisers on the search network (i.e. through specific search inquiries on products through the Google search network). This is HUGE for businesses that gain to benefit most from advertising specifically on the Search Network, as their target demographic can be reached through methods other than just keywords and negative keywords. A big win for financial advisers and lenders.

Amp Landing Pages & Ads

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Would you be disappointed to know that your PPC marketing dollars are being wasted due to slow landing page load time on mobile devices? You should be! According to Google, there is a 20% dip in conversion rate for every additional SECOND of landing page load time. Yes, yikes. Enter AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) landing pages. These ads can loan up to 5 times faster, improving your ad campaign health and conversion rate.

Expanded Ads

Be on the look-out for expanded text ads. This gives a strong visual advantage leading to a higher click-through rate and conversion rate. However, this is can all be undone with poor focus, irrelevant keywords, inefficient bid strategy or lack of creativity. Your text ads can now be more informative with:

  • Two headlines vs one
  • Two description lines merged into one field
  • Flexibility with domain display URL which can contain up to 2 optional path fields:  add enticing call-to-actions like “apply here” or “get started” in the URL
  • Text Ads are highly mobile optimized
  • Ad Extensions including: structures snippits, call outs, call & location as well as review extensions
  • And much, much more

Smart Bidding Strategies

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One new smart bidding strategy that we’d like to highlight is called maximize conversions. This strategy is a smart bidding strategy, unlike maximize clicks which was used (and is still being tested) prior. Maximize conversions takes historical data and performance into account and uses this to pursue better quality conversions as opposed to the prior bidding strategy, maximize clicks, which has the goal of attracting clicks to the ads.

New Demographic Targeting for Search Ads

Finally, Google has also added a key feature to further the control over who your ads reach, beyond just keywords. We can now target demographics based off: age, gender, parental status, interests & household income. What this does is gives more control over your budget by further eliminating unnecessary clicks. Your ads will now be displayed to your ideal audience.

Interested in learning new SEO trends for 2018? Check out our blog: What’s New for SEO in 2018? 4 Trends to Look For

Jump start your 2018 digital marketing efforts by implementing these newest trends in paid search. Interested in learning more? We’re here to help! Contact: jessica@financemarketing.com or taylor@financemarketing.com for your paid search inquiries.