Factors That Will Influence Paid Advertising in 2019
In this article, we will identify the areas that will pave the way for paid search marketers in the New Year and explain how we can leverage them to our advantage.
There were momentous shifts in SEM throughout 2018. As a result, now every aspect of paid search marketing is being redefined.
The elements that have clearly emerged as the stimulating factors in majority of the scenarios are - automation and machine learning.
The Name Shift- Adwords to Google Ads
The first explicit change that appeared in 2018 was the name change - "Google Adwords" is now "Google Ads".
So, we can safely assume that Google Ads will not be all about keywords after all in 2019.
We take this as an indication that keyword selection will play a minor part in paid search marketing from now on.
Broadly, we can say that name change symbolizes the platform's maturity as a medium of paid advertising.
Google Ads does not simply comprise of plain text ads. There are dozens of other ad formats that made their debut across Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and other partner networks in 2018.
Even the head of Ads and Commerce at Google - Sridhar Ramaswamy, while making the announcement said that name "Adwords" added a slight cognitive dissonance and overshadowed all the other things that the platform was rendering.
With name also comes the new interface. This means we have dozens of new things on board including new Youtube reach planner and notes.
There was no cut for Display Planner, however, we now get the ability to make modifications to the overview page. If you are still not cognizant with the new features, it is time to explore and start learning.
You need to understand that the sudden UI change is core to many other points. Now we have million new ways to segment data and we are finally moving away from keywords and text ads.
Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)
Responsive Search Ads is another element in the sequence that we have been witnessing with Google Ads lately. Google is shifting towards machine learning models to do the work for Ad creative optimization.
We have testified many initiatives in this continuum including dynamic search ads, automated Ad suggestions etc. We also observed how Google requested advertisers to give up manual A/B testing and asked to add at least three ads per ad group.
RSAs were labeled as one of the biggest developments of 2018 as these are less about performance and more towards striking a balance between automation and control.
There was an ad strength indicator and an extended reporting feature that was launched in August for RSAs. Immediately after, Google announced to expand RSAs to more languages. In meanwhile, it extended extra character benefits of RSAs to text ads.
Moving Towards Exactish Match
With Machine Learning taking over, many experts reflected - how keyword-to-query matching would perform.
One thing other that clicked in 2018 was - how the inclusion of same meaning words and close variants worked with exact match keywords.
If the match type is losing its literal meaning, the question here would be how match types would be used altogether. This is where experts dub that PPC now need to focus on the entire customer journey.
You need to surrender depending heavily on keyword targets. Instead, one should continue to focus on employing demographics, firmographics and engagement data to chalk out campaigns.
If you want to take preference over your competitors, it is more than preeminently critical to understand your market and customers. The release of audience reports in Google Analytics and accent on YouTube target settings is a definite indication to it.
Smart Bidding Powered with AI
You will find that there is a burgeoning list of machine learning-driven bidding strategies. This apparently means that manual bidding is "Not a Thing Anymore".
Smart Bidding is now accompanied with Target Impression Share, Pay for Conversions with display campaigns, if you opt for Target CPA as the bidding strategy. Smart bidding is now available with search partners as well.
Ask the experts and you will apprehend that Pay for conversions options is like training features for advertisers, who want to experiment with targeting options.
You will now have a safety ground for testing without the risk of spending big from your advertising budgets with no leads in return.
In The End…
Last some years have conceded a consequential turn towards artificial intelligence and machine learning in paid searches. These technologies underpinned every paid search update in 2018.
We expect that the shift will be more pronounced and pervasive in 2019. Though, 2018 was the turning point in terms of search engine marketing.
Nevertheless, keywords are not totally gone, however, its usage will be depreciated considerably in 2019. All in All, we can say that we will get closer to modern programmatic in the new year.