We all know that digital marketing is an industry that evolves every day – what was an industry-standard last week can be old-hat and frowned upon the week after. That is why it's particularly important for businesses looking to take advantage of pay-per-click advertising and search marketing to choose an agency at the cutting edge of online marketing technology.
Even though we're only a little only over half way through the year, the paid search platforms that dominate the industry have announced some real changes which have affected and will continue to affect pay-per-click advertising over the next few years.
How Has PPC Evolved In The First Half Of 2015?
- The Decline Of Google's CPCs – In the first quarter of this year, Google were quick to point to the extremely cheap cost-per-clicks of YouTube and claim that they were the reason for the declining cost per clicks on its own sites. Before this, many industry-specialists presumed that the declining CPCs were a result of the growth of mobile search, rather than clicks gained through YouTube.
- Mobile Search Surpassed Desktop – Everyone knew it was coming, but it was still something of a surprise to hear that more searches are conducted on smartphones than on desktops and tablets in multiple countries, included the United States and Japan. Google made the announcement official during a livestream, where it also introduced a range of mobile-centric ad formats and tools.
- The Death Of The Linear Path – Google also confirmed that the traditional 'Linear Path' of conversion, from discovery to purchase, has been replaced by a series of 'micro-moments', brought about by the increased amount of mobile phone usage in small bursts of activity.
Times spent per overall web visit fell as much as 18%, whilst mobile search's share of web sessions has risen by 20% in the past year alone, and 'Near Me' searches doubled in the past year alone – more than 80% of those searches came from mobile devices.
- The Rise Of Mobile-First Ad Formats – Google has introduced several new mobile ad formats as a result of the increased usage of mobile devices.
- Verticals: Hotels, insurance, automotive and mortgage businesses all got to enjoy new, mobile-centric ad treatment earlier this year. Automotive ads are heavy on car interior and exterior images, that users can quickly swipe through and include a link to a list of nearby car dealers.
Hotel ads feature 'Book A Room' ads for hotel and online travel sites. For mortgage and insurance searches, which have always been huge on mobile devices, users can now enter their zip codes to start the quote comparison process directly from the search engine results page itself.
- Nearby Businesses: Search for businesses 'Near Me' and you'll more than likely see a pack of up to four local business ads. The user can easily tap on the ad to get directions or call the business directly. This is particularly useful for emergency service businesses, like locksmiths, and other businesses such as taxi companies and takeaways.
- Call-Only Ads: Whilst they need to be set up in their own campaign formats now, call only ads display a phone number in the headline, and clicking anywhere on the ad will prompt a phone call. For these forms of advertisement, calls can be counted as conversions.
- Yahoo Gemini – In April, Yahoo and Microsoft renegotiated their ongoing 10-year search deal. In the original agreement, Yahoo agreed to give up its search technology and desktop search ads were delivered by Bing Ads. Until the launch of Yahoo Gemini last year, Bing Ads also served as Yahoo's mobile search ad inventory, despite the fact that mobile searching wasn't included in the deal.
With the new arrangement, Yahoo can serve ads on a mobile device and up to 49% of desktop traffic from Gemini or other partners – like Google – on its sites.
What Can We Expect In The Next Year?
With the recent announcement that Google are undertaking a massive organisational restructuring, under the new name 'Alphabet', we can expect the teams behind Google's various industrial areas to be more independent and create unique brands beneath the overall umbrella term, Alphabet.
Google will continue to operate search marketing and most online content, but the new CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, was the previous chief product officer – as a result, industry experts are expecting the Google team to have an increased focus on aligning their SEM efforts with a wider range of products and specifically focusing on the user experience.
The Buy Button
For eCommerce marketers and specialists, 'purchases with Google' is the most anticipated development of the year. It will be a fascinating experiment, as certain ads, from various industries, will now features a 'Buy On Google' next to the product image in Google PLAs on mobile devices. With this feature, users will be able to click on the ad and buy the product right from the gateway page using payment information stored in their Google account.
'Buy Buttons' are becoming more and more common across a range of online services, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The end goal is to completely align social media and shopping, to provide an unbelievably simple experience for the end user.
The PPC World Is Evolving – Is Your Business Ready For The Change?
If you're looking for the leading PPC Agency in Reading, you need to look no further than Promote. We are proud to offer a range of services for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team directly on 0845 050 2500.