2022 looks promising for search marketers, especially in the wake of the impressive tech improvements, new releases, and feature improvements we’ve seen in the world of search marketing and other paid advertising platforms this year.
Whether you’re looking for improvements to update your existing strategy or looking for entirely new ways to reach your audience, these trends are great areas to explore as you seek to increase your PPC revenues in the coming year.
1. Transfer procedures
Measuring current goals and key initiatives is the foundation for your PPC strategy. As tracking in ad platforms and analytics platforms becomes more complex, the number and type of actions that advertisers can track increases.
Advertisers usually track multiple conversion actions per account.
For example, common PPC conversion goals include:
- Online contact forms.
- Request a quote or estimate.
- Phone calls: first time / repeat.
- Chat conversions.
- Local actions: directions.
- Offline conversions: corresponds to an ad click.
- Custom goals.
Do you measure everything you can measure?
What value does your company associate with each conversion goal?
2. Your automation man
While ad platforms continue to roll out automation options to simplify ad management, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. Human PPC managers need to direct and control automation to get the most out of it.
For example, campaigns using Smart Bidding strategies should be monitored and adjusted from time to time to adjust your target CPA or target ROAS.
Smart creatives like responsive search ads and responsive display ads should be reviewed for performance on individual assets, which we’ll cover later in this post.
As part of your PPC strategy, identify components of your account that can be automated from bidding to designs to using lead scripts. Then evaluate and monitor the results.
You may want to compare previous “manual” campaigns on different data points.
3. Keyword matching strategies
There have been significant changes in the technical performance of keyword match type from Google Ads and Microsoft Ads this year, and these changes require a slight change in strategy.
The broad match modifier has been deprecated and other match types have seen some the changes, Also. There are so many ad accounts with campaigns still using the “old” version of Keyword Organization that they will need a serious keyword strategy reboot.
Some changes will simplify the account structure, allowing for more flexibility in topics. Grouping keywords by match type or using the same keyword with multiple match types, for example, may not be an appropriate strategy for most advertisers.
Charting how the keywords will match and any structural changes needed will be a necessary exercise in preparing for what comes next.
4. Review the ad copy (again)
That’s right – again! After reviewing your keyword strategy, it’s time to revisit your account’s ad copy.
This seems like a never ending task, but that is because you must regularly test and update your ad copy to get the best possible performance for your PPC ads.
This will be especially necessary in 2022, when ad formats themselves are undergoing such change that earlier formats such as expanded text ads are becoming obsolete.
Both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads are rapidly moving towards the Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) format.
This format includes up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions mixed and matched in different batches for the test. The machine learning component here will serve the best performing asset group.
Two or more ad elements can be ‘pinned’, which means you indicate that a particular asset should be shown.
This is a good way to ensure your favorite call-to-action (or other important message) is there. Don’t overuse Pins, as Google tends to rate these ads as less than excellent.
Google will make recommendations on optimizing your headlines or including more keywords.
Microsoft Ads, meanwhile, displays a performance rating indicating “low,” “good,” or “better” with regard to how its responsive ad assets are performing.
If your PPC program currently includes RSAs, review the ad component ratings to replace the “poor” or “average” assets with a new design – perhaps similar to the “excellent” components.
Consider adding a larger amount or similar assets.
5. Responsive display ads
Some advertisers have used display advertising as an essential part of their PPC strategy either out of habit or out of a desire to control brand messaging.
Responsive display ads can provide better reach while simplifying the creation process while still getting the brand messages that advertisers want.
Besides simplifying the creative process, responsive display ads open up more inventory opportunities on the Display Network. This is because they dynamically combine titles, descriptions, and images to “fit” whatever space on the web your audience is in.
By comparison, static display ads can only be shown in the exact ad space dimensions for which they were created.
Another advantage of responsive display ads is that they give you the ability to use Google Ads performance feedback to improve your ad assets.
Responsive display ads can run alongside any display display ads, giving you a chance to test and compare reach and results.
6. Customer matching
Finding the right audience at the right time has been a mantra for many years, long before pay-per-click advertising platforms improved targeting on display networks. Your 2022 PPC strategy should include a deep dive into these audiences.
With the current crackdown on cookies, first party data is important to advertisers. Enter this underrated targeting strategy: customer match.
Using your own internal data (which customers have shared with you) enables you to reach them again or target the appearance of liking your ads.
Upload your list of clients to the ads platform and it will attempt to match those clients with known users.
The concept of Customer Match is available on almost all platforms, so your new strategies on how to slice, segment, and target messaging can be replicated.
One point to keep in mind is that the match rate on ad platforms will vary, so keep expectations realistic.
Recent improvements in Google Ads have made this happen More intuitive feature.
Additionally, our 9 Ways to Optimize Pay-Per-Click Campaigns With Customer Information would be a great complement to this targeting strategy.
The PPC strategies here were inspired by the newer advertising technologies that were introduced in the last year, so go back to the basics by reviewing the 10 Best Practices for Paid Search and PPC Planning.
Special circumstances over the past two years have led advertisers to get a bit confused about how to interpret past data and what to take away from in developing their PPC strategies.
This great resource breaks it down: Search Engine Marketing Planning for 2022: Because 2020 Didn’t Help You in 2021.
- 10 best practices for paid search and PPC planning
- Pay-per-click trends 2022
- PPC 101: A Complete Guide to the Basics of PPC Marketing
Featured image: Shutterstock / Sammby