The Search Experts Have Spoken: 2015 Predictions

Whether you’re a prognosticator or a prediction believer, visions of the future are spellbinding. In digital marketing, and paid search specifically, the experts can see the playing field for miles and tell the rest of us what they see coming our way. We interviewed a number of search marketing experts to get their take on what 2015 holds for us.

1. We’ll Finally Have a Different Mobile Conversation: More Mobile-Friendly Please

First, we can finally stop telling advertisers they need to be using mobile:

“I hope we move away from having to tell advertisers to invest in mobile. Those who aren’t providing a good mobile experience for their visitors will be left behind, plain and simple.” – Melissa Mackey (@mel66), Gyro

“We’ll finally be moving away from the tired reminders of the importance of mobile. By now, I think we are aware that a lot of people use smartphones to search for things!” – Andrew Goodman (@andrew_goodman), PageZero Media

“In 2015, mobile PPC will go mainstream because advertisers will start to see mobile traffic increases and perhaps desktop decreases as the query shares continue to shift.” – Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM), Big Click Co.


“Advertisers will be playing catch-up to capitalize on the huge surge in mobile searches and traffic.” – David Szetela (@Szetela), FMB Media


“Obstacles will be removed for advertisers that don’t have the development resources or mobile-friendly sites through additional tools like Shopify, where the transaction and presentation of product info might happen off the main site domain.” – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo) , Portent

“Even if your IT department tells you your site is mobile-friendly, test out your homepage and a few internal pages to make sure it works well – you’ll often find surprises like the pop-over that is impossible to close or videos that autoplay.” – Jen Slegg (@jenstar), The SEMPost

2. Focus on Audience: Across Devices and With New Ads

“One of the big trends is audience marketing and audience targeting. Everything we’re doing is about understanding intent. It’s all about audience – understanding more and more about them and delivering more relevant messages. The areas of display and search are going to become very gray and come together in terms of how you think about buying search and display, and retargeting across all those audiences.” – Steve Sirich, general manager, Bing Ads Product Marketing

“Ads will continue to evolve to be more interactive and engaging. Ads aren’t just about the message anymore, but rather how much space they can occupy and how aesthetically pleasing they look. Additional features will be put in place to enhance the standard ad in order to garner more clicks and provide users with a more pleasing search experience.” – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro), Hanapin Marketing

“Cross-device tracking is going to be huge in 2015. Bing’s launch of University Event Tracking is a harbinger of the importance of tracking across multiple devices, delivering a user experience customized to the individual, rather than to a device or browser session.” – Melissa Mackey (@mel66), Gyro

“The hot play going into 2015 is going to be video advertising, and specifically mobile video advertising. However, in order for content marketing to be effective it has to be customer-centric and data-driven.” – Bryan Eisenberg (@TheGrok), writer and speaker

“We’ll see shopping directly in the SERP with Bing and Google, instead of going to a vendor site. Our crazy instant gratification needs will be met and we’re going to get strangely comfortable with buying through platforms that are not the vendor’s site, like SERPs, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.” – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo), Portent

3. We’ll Need More Automation and PPC Experts, Too

“The PPC platforms will provide more options to automate common tasks, like bid managements. As the features and algorithms mature and improve, there will be less conversation around ‘should we trust these tools?’ and more about using the automation capabilities to the advertiser’s best advantage.” – David Szetela (@Szetela), FMB Media

“I’m concerned about high click prices. Paid search CPC within established markets are at an all-time high. This obviously erodes ROI of paid search. So search marketing managers will need to get creative on how to squeeze more ROI from paid search.” Larry Kim, (@larrykim), Wordstream

“2015 is going to be all about advertisers trying to find additional traffic and conversion volume. We’ll see advertisers looking to features they may have previously avoided or loosely labeled as ‘irrelevant.’ Outside of traditional PPC, advertisers are going to be seeking out their volume in other digital advertising channels like Facebook Ads and Twitter Ads.” – John Lee (@John_A_Lee), Clix Marketing

“The ‘one size fits all’ approach to pay-per-click is one that advertisers should really be moving away from. Advertisers have so many more tools at their disposal to create a customized approach to PPC, but many advertisers still don’t take advantage of it to optimize their ads, campaigns, and landing pages to ensure they are getting the maximum ROI out of their ads and not wasting money on what’s not working.” – Jen Slegg (@jenstar), The SEMPost

All told, 2015 is looking like a nice balance between appealing to the consumer with devices, creativity, and ad formats that engage, and assisting the paid search expert with continued success in the industry. What are your predictions for paid search in 2015? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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