SEO has dominated most of the search engine marketing conversation this year due to the bevy of changes made to the industry; everything from a new algorithm that focuses on semantic searching to encrypting keywords used in search made marketers and industry insiders focus on SEO. However, 2013 was an interesting year for PPC as well, with the widespread adoption of Enhanced Campaigns in July leveling the playing field for many brands. But as the year comes to a close, we are looking ahead to see what will be new in the world of paid search in 2014. Some changes that brands need to be aware of include:
More Visible/Obvious Ads:
A recent FCC ruling declared that search engines need to be more transparent in separating organic search results from paid ads. As a result, Google has been testing a new ad option that adds an orange badge labeled “Ad” to PPC ads. Many marketers are worried that this change will cause click-through rates to drop, but the badges are very attractive, and naturally draw the eye to the ads; they might actually end up working in brands’ favor.
Images Will be Everywhere:
Google has been testing Image Ad Extensions, which includes up to 3 images in ads. Additionally, Google has also started testing large banner ads on brand search terms. These new updates will certainly give advertisements more space on the search results page and increase click-through rates, but they will also clutter up the search results page. Additionally, there is no word when these extensions will be implemented.
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) Get More Love:
PLAs are moving from the right hand side of search engine results to the top spots on the left hand side, which will increase traffic for those campaigns significantly. However, competition for PLAs will almost certainly increase, which will make CPC go up as well.
Google Services Takeover:
Google has already started to integrate many of its services, with varying degrees of success; for example, the recent merge of YouTube with Google+ outraged many users who wished to keep the anonymous commenting system on YouTube as it was. However, it looks like this sort of integration is going to roll out on more and more Google products, so PPC marketers should make sure that their brand’s Google+ accounts are up to snuff.
Keeping up with and adapting to new trends and changes in search engine marketing can be difficult even for an experienced PPC manager. That’s why inSegment’s Demand Generation team is here; let us help you get the most out of your digital presence.