Let’s face it, a lot changed in PPC advertising last year. You’re probably wondering how you can win at PPC in 2019 with all the changes.
AdWords was rebranded to Google Ads and its user experience was updated. Bing released a ton of new options and Amazon advertising went crazy. The list goes on and on.
If you’re still struggling to catch up with all the new features and tools released last year, let alone figure out what to focus on in 2019, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
While a lot changed in 2018, there are a few key opportunities you should definitely take advantage of. You don’t have to try every new option out there. But if you can focus on the following, you’ll be well on your way to PPC success in 2019.
1. PAID SEARCH AUDIENCES
If you’re like most advertisers, when you hear “paid search,” you probably immediately think of keywords. For years, keywords have been the air supply of online advertising, but they do have their limits.
As a quick example, if you’re a dentist, the keyword “dental practice” probably seems like something you should be bidding on. If you search for that term, it’s crowded with businesses fighting for your click:
At first glance, this only seems to validate the idea that “dental practice” is a good keyword to bid on. But let’s delete the ads and take a look at the organic results:
Do you see any dental practices listed here? Me neither.
Identifying the Right Keywords for PPC in 2019
Google has spent countless billions developing algorithms designed to correctly identify what people are looking for when they type in a specific search term. According to them, people aren’t looking for a local dentist when they search for “dental practice.”
If the results above are any indication, this term is primarily used by dentists who are interested in things like salaries and software.
So, while the keyword “dental practice” seems like a perfect choice for a dentist, the people using the search term are more likely to be competitors than potential patients.
To date, this has been one of the big problems with paid search advertising. You can get in front of people who are actively searching for what you want to sell. But you can only do so if you can correctly guess what search term people who are ready to buy are using.
Audience-based targeting (the kind of targeting most paid social media platforms use) can help you target people based on their interests, recent life events or even their likelihood of buying. But this form of advertising is usually more interruptive.
You’re hoping that you can run an ad that will interrupt their current social media activities and convince them to click and make a purchase. This has its problems as well.
Paid search audiences are a relatively new option that offers the best of both worlds. Like conventional paid search ads, paid search audiences allow you to target people when they are actively searching for what you offer. They have the added specificity of choosing exactly who you want to see your ads.
By layering audiences into your keyword strategy in 2019, you will be able to significantly improve the performance of your paid search campaigns. By eliminating irrelevant potential impressions and clicks, you can now target additional, higher-funnel keywords that normally might not produce great results or improve the profitability of your lower-funnel keywords.
The sky is the limit!
2. PPC AUTOMATION
Automation has always been an option for PPC advertisers. This is especially the case if you were willing to pay for third-party software. However, the effectiveness of PPC automation was generally hit-and-miss at best.
During 2018, however, native PPC automation inside of PPC platforms really started to hit its stride. At Disruptive Advertising, we’ve experimented a lot with these new options recently and seen some pretty impressive results.
However, to really make the most of these features, you need to set your account up for success. If you just turn on an automated function and hope for the best, you’ll quickly end up wasting a lot of money.
To effectively take advantage of PPC automation, you need to look at it as an adjunct to your own PPC efforts. Automation is great for reducing grunt work or micro-managing various aspects of your account. It isn’t a replacement for good old-fashioned marketing sense.
In general, we’ve found that these new automation features work best when you have great conversion tracking, well-designed ads and proven targeting in place. Automation algorithms are designed to make good things better. So ensure that your account is set up right before you hand it over to a machine.
3. AD OPPORTUNITIES
Last year saw the release of a variety of new ad formats and options. Not every one of these ad types will be a winner for your business. You should invest some time in testing new ads and ad copy this year.
For example, after revamping one of our client’s ads, we saw massive improvements in their conversion rate:
Almost overnight, their conversion rate went up by almost 5x!
Yes, you read that right. That’s their conversion rate, not just their clickthrough rate.
As a result, their cost-per-conversion dropped by over 97%.
With all of the new ad options coming out, there’s never been a better time to reevaluate your ad strategy. This is particularly true if you’re a local advertiser. There are a lot of incredible opportunities available now and in the near future that have the potential to transform your business.
WIN AT PPC IN 2019
Obviously, we’ve just scratched the surface of all the changes that happened to PPC during 2018. These three areas represent some of the biggest opportunities for advertisers in 2019.
If you can layer audiences into your paid search campaigns, take advantage of new automation options and revamp your ads, you’ll be well on your way to PPC success!