Top 5 Paid Search Trends of 2019
Google is constantly updating aspects of their paid search ads platform, and it’s important to stay on top of these changes to optimize your search ads and drive the highest performance. We’ve compiled five top trends to watch as we move further into 2019.
1. Google is saying “see ya later” to average position.
“Average position” refers to the order of your ad in comparison to competitors; it doesn’t give you the actual location of your ad on the SERP (search engine results page). Now Google is rolling out new metrics to help more accurately measure where you’re showing up in search results. They include top impression rate, absolute top impression rate, top impression share and absolute top impression share. Google has provided us with these handy metrics now, so we’ll be used to them once average position says “sayonara” later this year. We’ll dive more into each of these another day, just know for now that successful measurement will rely greatly on these new metrics.
2. Google continues to expand on its automation tools.
Paid search automation continues to expand going into 2019 with new tools from Google. Paid search pros like us used to have to manually enter bids and other optimization strategies – but with those features now automated, we can spend more time focusing on other key optimizations needed to enhance your KPIs and tailor campaigns to your specific goals. Whether you’re trying to gain brand awareness, website traffic or conversions, Google covers each of these and more to ensure your paid search dollars are used in the most efficient way possible.
3. Don’t forget to utilize match types for keyword targeting.
If someone offers you something that will guarantee more positive results, are you going to turn it away? No. This is what Google has done with keyword match types. By changing regulations and adding new match types, Google has given us a golden tool that will provide positive results – as long as we use it in an informed and strategic way. Otherwise, these can do more harm than good.
- Exact match keywords. Google has changed the regulations on exact match keywords to include close variants, such as misspellings and plural/singular forms, as well as same intent and different order. This is good for matching with a wider range of search queries but still tailoring to specific searches. However, this does mean that we have to make edits to other match types so internal competition isn’t an issue.
- Phrase match modifier. Google also added an additional match type, which allows you to specify the order of searched phrases when necessary. Regular phrase match keyword types can be any order of the words included in the designated quotations, which can be a problem if you ever use keywords that, in any other order, wouldn’t mean the same thing or wouldn’t make sense. For instance, if we were advertising a business called Real Deal Electronics and a user searched "Real Deal" along with additional words in the search query, such as "Real Deal laptop repair", even if our keyword list didn't include "laptop" and "repair" we would still show in the results. This is another option to an exact match keyword [real deal] so if the search query is long-tailed, the ad will still show in results. Using phrase match modifier in this instance gets rid of unwanted traffic from those searching for the keywords "real" and "deal" and are searching for something completely unrelated.
These match types, along with broad match and broad match modifiers, allow us to best match the things people are actually searching, so we gain the most relevant traffic and drive more conversions.
4. Responsive search ads.
Google has started rolling out responsive search ads in ad accounts. They now recommend two expanded text ads and one responsive search ad (at minimum) per ad group. Responsive search ads provide much more space for interchanging headlines and descriptions, allowing you to include up to 15 headlines and four description lines. You’ll want to ensure each headline you write makes sense with all the others; Google optimizes these ads by interchanging the headlines and descriptions, and watching which combinations perform best.
These responsive search ads are still in the beta stage of development, but Google expects to release them later this year.
5. Audience targeting along with keywords.
Audience targeting involves serving ads to people in your target demographic who may not be actively searching for your product or similar products but are most likely interested. Audience targeting has evolved so much in recent years that some experts argue the age of keyword targeting is on the decline. We beg to differ; it’s becoming essential to use both types of targeting to get closer to our ideal consumer to drive leads more effectively.
If this all seems like too much to keep up with, just know your search pros at Balcom are keeping track for you. Plus, check out these other new tools Google announced at their marketing live event. Many of these new features will be available this fall with a few already being rolled out. We can’t wait to put them to use for you!
Tags: Media Planning & Buying