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Be A PPC Leader in 2013: 5 Top Trends

Lisa Raehsler
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People are always looking to the future marketing trends. Well, let’s face it, it can be pretty exciting and exposes new possibilities, opportunities, and growth potential.

Don’t just be a follower! Be ahead of the trends in PPC for 2013. Here are the five top trends to strongly consider implementing this year.

Go Mobile or Go Home

In 2013, more people will use mobile devices than PCs to access the Internet. This trend shouldn't surprise anyone, especially for those of you who are reading this column on your mobile device right now! What is surprising is the number of advertisers who are neither engaging in mobile nor preparing for what’s to come.

2013 goals:

  • If you're already testing mobile PPC, take it to the next level by incorporating display banners, mobile ad extensions, and fine-tuning conversion rates from mobile device sources.
  • If you aren’t trying mobile PPC, evaluate if this is feasible for your business based on market needs and resources. To do a simple evaluation, look at visits, transactions, and behavior in your web analytics. Is there potential to expand here? Can you anticipate an ROI based on what is already known?

mobile-ppc-transactions-conversion-rate

For example, this advertiser is seeing transactions from mobile devices, indicating an opportunity. The conversion rate is very low. This will be a key focus point for them in their mobile PPC strategy.

To learn more about mobile PPC, here are a few tips for mobile holiday PPC that also can be applicable to many other industries.

Microconversions Will Max Out

Microconversions are all the rage with savvy advertisers – and it's starting to shape up as the next big buzz term. But microconversions aren’t a new concept.

Microconversions are actions taken on a website that aren't the main conversion goals; rather, these could be things such as brochure downloads, blog comments, views of a certain page, newsletter registration, or location look-up, to name only a few. Microconversions can have a very significant value to your business, especially when you consider that most people don't take action on one click to convert on your site.

2013 goals:

  • What is the value of each touch a customer has with your PPC ads and website? For example, besides a click conversion, what actions on the site can help keep your product top-of-mind or encourage engagement with the consumer?
  • Read up on microconversions and how to implement.

Video and YouTube Aren’t Just for the Kids

A whole world of video ads are available on YouTube, including retargeting people from YouTube. The integration of the YouTube ad platform this year with AdWords was clunky and it currently seems to be hidden behind AdWords so most people don't even know about it.

adwords-hidden-youtube-platform

Behind this button is an entire video advertising portal for YouTube. Despite its hidden location, you'll discover a lot of opportunity to expand and engage in this area, even if your company isn't “the video type.”

Don’t worry about making videos that are big brand, “viral”, or super sexy. Think about the kind of content your audience would be interested in (e.g., tips, product demos, technical support, or how-to).

2013 goals:

  • Is there a way to incorporate video into your current strategy? How can you make this video component useful and relevant to your customers?

Dynamic Will be the Default

PPC managers have been searching for ways to make ads more relevant and tightly connected to searchers. Current features like DKI and sitelinks (as in they choose the sitelink to present) are as dynamic as we could get for a very long time.

Now, new features like Dynamic Display Ads offer ability to see creative dynamically generated to specific users or websites. While this is in limited release, it's something to keep your eyes on closely if you're a display advertiser. This tool will rely on Google's Display Ad Builder and Merchant Center to create ads via a template with products from the merchant feed.

A new, second dynamic ad type is called Dynamic Search Ads and this matches up relevant searches with ads generated directly from your website.

2013 goals:

  • Determine if dynamically generated ads could work for you. You’ll need to have:
    • Very tight and specific campaigns/keywords structure.
    • A number of template ads planned to work across products.
    • Landing pages to match up with dynamic content. For example, you can’t have dynamic product ads landing on category pages.
  • Resolve any of the above that will be a barrier to dynamic ads. This will grow and become highly competitive so your competitor ads will become more relevant while you're slowly left behind.

Savvy Shoppers Rule

Shopping behavior has changed dramatically in the last few years, yet many small- to medium-sized business haven’t changed their strategies to adjust. For retail, more shoppers are making their decisions before going to the store or buying online, and search plays a critical role in the reach and consideration phase.

Reviews, coupons, and local searches are big influencers and can all be incorporated into PPC advertising. Even B2B advertisers should think about how to leverage these features for their products or services.

  • Break out how your customers are behaving and select features you can be reasonably able implement. For example, if reviews are an area to expand, this will involve identifying review sites, asking customers for reviews, and incorporating into PPC.
  • For B2B, for example, if you offer professional services like accounting, where are your prospects likely to find you: LinkedIn, Angie’s List, Yelp? Focus on where your B2B customers will be, keeping the savvy shopper persona in mind.

yelp-accounting-example

In the example above, the listing that appears first has some reviews associated with it. On the right side, we see great opportunity to target Yelp in the Google Display Network.

Summary

PPC will only continue to grow and become more complicated. Advertisers will reap benefits from new trends and technologies with solid plans to integrate into current PPC efforts.

What are your predictions for what will be hot in PPC in 2013? Tell us in the comments.


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