How to use the top 5 PPC trends in 2023 for success
2023 is going to have its challenges, for search marketing teams. And we’re not just talking about the sunsetting of Universal Analytics in favour of GA4. With a backdrop of a slowing economy and rising CPCs, it’s never been more vital to be on top of maximising ROI.
Find out about our top 5 PPC trends for 2023 and most importantly, how you use them for success.
- PPC automation
- Audience targeting
- Video ads
- The world beyond Google
- Getting used to GA4
1. PPC automation
Before we dig into PPC automation, let’s be clear on the definition of automation in conjunction with other terms we associate with it - Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
- Automation is software that uses pre-programmed rules to perform tasks.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) is software that simulates human thinking.
- Machine Learning (ML) is a subset of AI. Computer systems that start with no knowledge (data), and then learn (gather data) over time using algorithms and statistical models to become ‘intelligent’.
Definition of PPC automation: the control of Google Ads campaigns using machine learning.
You can automate the management and optimisation of your Google Ad campaigns, including research, bidding, ad copy, and reporting.
The benefits of using PPC automation tools include:
- Saving management time, for example on manual bidding
- Increasing performance through complex, efficient algorithms (e.g. Smart Bidding)
- Faster A/B testing so you can apply learning immediately
- Scaling faster - grow your PPC campaigns more quickly
- Automated reporting from various sources to create a more efficient process.
Smart Bidding is one of the PPC automation options available. It uses machine learning to automate bid strategies for the auctions ads - called 'auction-time bidding'.
Smart Bidding strategies include:
- Target CPA
- Target ROAS
- Maximise conversions
- Maximise conversion value
Automation within ads and campaign types
Dynamic Search Ads: have headlines and landing pages which are dynamically (automatically) generated based on the user's search. Meaning the correlation between the search, the ad, and the landing page is left to chance.
Smart Shopping Campaigns: automatically pulls product data from a feed and uses it to create Shopping ads specifically designed for your customers. Then, the campaign intelligently places these ads across different Google surfaces using the bidding strategies that you choose.
2. Audience targeting for PPC campaigns
We’re expecting a shift in audience targeting. As user intent grows in relevancy in the organic search space, we predict that there will also be less focus on keywords in the paid search arena. Marketers honing in more and more on demographics, interests, and behaviours to define their target audiences. This should improve ad relevancy and therefore increase ROI.
3. Video ads in PPC campaigns
We don’t need to tell you about the explosion of video. It’s been gaining traction the past few years but in 2023 it really will dominate. With ever-expanding user bases and a never-ending supply of video, platforms like TikTok and Instagram have transformed the content we consume. With so much vying for our attention in general online, combined with ever-decreasing attention spans, it’s only going to become more challenging to stand out.
It’s hard to see how video ads aren’t going to become an essential part of your paid strategy. Especially when you consider that the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text.
Google video campaigns let you show ads in videos on YouTube and on websites and apps running on Google video partners. With video you can convey much more in the short space of time you have with someone’s attention.
4. The world beyond Google Ads
There’s a shift towards a world beyond Google happening. Yes, you read that correctly. With increasing CPCs, search teams have started looking elsewhere for more cost effective opportunities including:
Microsoft Bing: the forgotten search engine but one that still has millions of searches every day to tap into. It’s widely used by an older demographic - statistically a lucrative one. Perhaps not one to forget about after all.
Amazon: we all know the retail giant has huge reach and a range of advertising opportunities. But the main positive is that these are users with a high purchase intent. Yes, Google’s Display Network attracts a larger audience but depending on where your ads show, vast proportions of them won’t be in market when they see your ads. Amazon is definitely one to consider.
5. Getting used to GA4
This could be a whole article (let’s face it - multiple articles) but the main point here is that you need to be on board if you’re not already. From 1st July 2023, Universal Analytics will stop processing data.
Thankfully there are tonnes of free resources out there to help you make the switch. Google’s YouTube channel is flooded with how-to videos. There’s also a demo account you can play around with to get used to it.
Our advice is - always to get the basics right first
Start with the implementation and look at all the pre-loaded reports you’ll have at your fingers tips automatically.
- Play with custom reports once you’re more comfortable with the new interface
- Grow your understanding bit by bit
- A mindset shift is needed. In the same way you’d type a prompt into ChatGPT, GA4 also uses AI to take analytics to another level.
Top tip: use the natural language search at the top of the interface. You can ask it anything. For example - what percentage of new users return to my site each week. And simply watch the data appear.
Round up on 2023 PPC trends
In short, we'd advise embracing the benefits of automation; investing time in the set-up will pay off. Shift your thinking when it comes to audience targeting from keywords to behaviours. Video, video, video. It's only going to get more important. There is a world beyond Google and it's one worth investigating. And when it comes to GA4 it's time to get serious and embrace the benefits. If you need help with it, we're here for that.
- Find out more about our paid search services
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