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2017 PPC trends: Be there or be square

What’s fascinating about the ever-changing landscape of paid search is that there are always new features and trends that have to be taken into consideration when building a digital strategy. In 2016, the removal of right-hand side ads, extended text ads (ETAs) and the return of having full device bid control were a few of the big changes. So what’s around the corner and what will 2017 look like?

1. Audiences

Over the last couple of years, there has been a rise of the different audience targeting features. With cost-per-click only increasing year-on-year, this is a smart way of investing your money in people who are more likely to convert. For example, being more targeted and at the same time aiming for further personalisation; two birds one stone.

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) customer match (based on 1st party data) and similar audiences are available across all advertisers and offer a plethora of opportunities to increase your prospecting pools.

2. Ad formats

Google is number one for a reason: when you search for something, you’re most likely to find it. The Knowledge Graph and instant answers are proof of their constant effort to stay on top of the game. With these taking up real estate, it is important more than ever to make sure your ad is in top shape as this is the connection point with the potential customer.

New types of extensions are expected to be developed to complement the still new ETAs (e.g. message/promotional/video ad extensions). Dynamic product ads will also be developed further, giving more control to the engine to provide the best possible result to the search term. Finally, we might also see the first voice search campaign. It will most likely be advertisers such as B&M who will first dip their toe so they can benefit from their shopping and local search campaigns.

3. Hybridisation

Next year, Google and Facebook will still continue to dominate as essential paid channels. Using the synergy between social and search ads can deliver a better return as you can effectively reach an expanded market driving better overall conversion metrics.

A straightforward way to implement this is to use Facebook (for its amazing demographic and interest based targeting options!) to drive awareness and then add those who visit your site to the relevant RLSA. Then these prospects will be targeted on search results pages with more relevant messaging and more appropriate bids.

All Response Media Viewpoint

New and exciting features are always in the spotlight but let’s not forget: keywords are the core of PPC and this is unlikely to change in 2017. It is still by far the strongest signal revealing the intention of the searcher and what they’re after. The percentage of voice searches is certainly rising, but people will continue to type search queries.

It is important to take all of the above into account when putting together the strategy for our clients across all digital platforms. On top of that, we are working even closer with our recently founded Social team means that we are able to start off 2017 on right foot.