Top 10 PPC tips for 2017
Whilst your marketing plans might already be ready and waiting in preparation for the new year, now is a great time to assess your PPC strategy to make certain that you are maximising the channel in 2017.
The ways to reach your audience get more exciting every year and advancements in paid search mean that your account can be even more innovative than ever.
We have put together our top 10 PPC tips for 2017 based on some of the best opportunities available. It’s time to look at your campaigns in a new light and review your strategies based on PPC trends set for 2017.
Be keyword ready for voice search
20% of mobile searches on Google are using voice search, a statistic provided by Google in May 2016. Voice search is changing the language people are using to search and voice search is closer to our natural speech than written queries are. Most text-based searches follow a similar pattern containing a broad term with clarifying terms thereafter. Voice searches on the other hand tend to use more words, include a command or ask a question.
It’s a good time to start thinking about how you can answer popular questions relating to your business and industry. It is important to be visible for how-to searches and other question based queries as consumers are shifting to using voice search more frequently. One idea might be to build out keywords relating to the frequently asked questions around your product/service and use your mobile bid adjustments to increase visibility here.
Review device bid adjustments
When was the last time you reviewed you mobile and tablet bid adjustments? Interestingly in October 2016, mobile and tablet usage overtook desktop globally and the real growth area of the two is mobile.
Whilst this has been a trend in the UK since 2015 other markets are now catching up in terms of mobile and tablet usage which has tipped the global scale. Google reverted to having separate tablet bid adjustments as well as mobile ones in early 2016, which means that there is a real opportunity to tailor your bids by device.
Find out how important each device is to your industry and your customers. Do some research into your industry; the mobile usage and device behaviour and incorporate your findings into your PPC campaigns. This will work even better if you compare this with your own performance data by device before deciding upon any changes to your device bid adjustments.
Expand your text ads
Google extended the date when accounts must be using expanded text ads until January 31st 2017 to allow for more testing by PPC advertisers. Bing also launched the expanded text ads feature, which allows for more characters in ad copy with the addition of a second headline (30 characters) and larger description lines (80 characters). Another lesser known feature is that there is no longer a need for separate mobile text ads, instead it is possible to input a mobile final url as well as the desktop one.
For any PPC campaigns not using expanded text ads the clock is ticking to make the switch.
Track in-store visits like never before
In the last month Google has added distance and store visit performance metrics to AdWords reporting tools. The new distance report is capable of tracking store visits based on how far away people are from your store when they begin their search. The second report tracks which geographic areas are driving the most ad clicks that result in a store visit. Both are currently available for Google Search campaigns and in 2017 we expect this to also be available for Google Shopping.
These new reports can help advertisers understand which geographic areas are important in driving store visits. This should help in deciding where to focus budgets by using location-driven campaigns or location bid adjustments.
Test new ad formats
A great new ad format was launched by Google recently which supports advertisers who usually require a conversation with their customers before purchase. This new format is click-to-message ads, which enable mobile users to send a text message from within the ad itself. This is a simple way for users to interact with companies and ask for further information and will be particularly useful for service-based businesses. People are familiar and sometimes more comfortable with texting than completing a long website contact form.
For those advertisers where this feature makes sense, it would be worthwhile testing this and other new ad formats to stay ahead of the curve.
Think about the best structure
There is no harm in auditing your campaigns every now and again. We often see that, especially with mature accounts, campaigns have been added to over time and have therefore grown in size. Take a step back and assess if campaigns are structured in the best way. Are there keywords which you could now split out and manage separately, given that they perform much better or worse than others or perhaps skew your data being mixed in with other keywords.
Structure is so important in creating a top performing PPC account and unfortunately it is sometimes thought about once initially and never again.
Be more competitive on Bing
Bing provides a great opportunity for two reasons: increased marketing share in the UK (currently over 20%) and more ad space available. This is particularly the case for SMB’s who might be less competitive on Google given there are fewer ad slots since the demise of the right-hand side paid results. Often Bing PPC is an after-thought, but have you thought about having a Bing-first approach, optimising your PPC campaigns to stand out in this less crowded marketplace?
Blend in with native ads
Native advertising is essentially advertising which blends into the look and feel of a publisher’s site. It’s an ad that looks like it is meant to be a part of the content of the page on which it is located. Google recently launched the Responsive Ads (beta) which contains an option for native+text or native+image based ads when building display creative using the Display Ad Builder. These responsive ads will adapt based on the publisher site.
Use email targeting in Google Shopping
Google has extended its Customer Match product to Shopping campaigns, which means retailers can target (or exclude) customers and known prospects in product listing ads. Custom match enables uploading customer email lists into AdWords for use with search text ads, display, Gmail, YouTube and now Shopping. These email addresses are matched against signed-in Google accounts to allow for ad targeting and bidding through the above-mentioned channels.
Shopping tends to be one of the best converting areas for many online retailers and so any new ways to segment audiences and therefore improve conversion is welcomed.
Segment further with RLSA
Most PPC marketers will have used remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) for some time, however new features are enabling advertisers to go beyond the typical use cases. RLSA allows advertisers to bid differently on (or exclude) audiences based on their activity on-site. RLSA has been tried and tested in reaching converters, new users and basket abandoners when they next perform a search on Google with the ability to tailor ads based on what action each audience has taken.
There are 3 key updates which might make RLSA more interesting for your business:
- Cross-device remarketing – RLSA now works across devices, so if someone originally visits your site on their laptop you can reconnect with them when they next search on mobile.
- The membership duration of site visitors is 540 days, which makes it easier for businesses with seasonality or high consideration purchases to get to know their visitors and target more effectively.
- Soon to launch is the ability to apply a remarketing list at the campaign level for quicker and easier use.
We hope that our top 10 PPC tips were useful and have given you some ideas on what to review in your accounts to innovate and improve in 2017.
Expanded text ads update: https://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/09/expanded-text-ads-more-time-to-test-and.html
New store visit reports: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GoogleAds/posts/Mom7dcr17cw
Click to message ads: https://adwords.googleblog.com/2016/10/click-to-message-ads-bring-new-and-easy.html
Responsive ads: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6363750?hl=en-GB
Services: PPC Management