The PPC landscape is definitely changing and with a host of new measures such as privacy protections and responsive search ads being brought in, it can feel like there’s a lot to keep on top of. Thankfully, we’re here to let you know what to expect from PPC this year.
Privacy Protection Changes
There’s a growing concern amongst users surrounding privacy protection. In recent years we’ve seen governments step in to address these concerns through measures such as GDPR and last year we saw private companies launch their own initiatives such as Apple and their controversial IOS 14 update, which required apps to receive user permission to track their activity.
With Google due to completely phase out third party cookies by 2023, 2022 is going to be a big year for user privacy protection. Unfortunately for us, this presents new challenges for PPC. Remarketing campaigns will become near impossible in their current state, resulting in a likely loss of revenue and conversion tracking will also take a hit.
To try and counteract this, you will have to pay closer attention to first party cookies and look at different strategies such as contextual remarketing and targeting options. Google has also brought out Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), its replacement for third party cookies – although the jury is still out on this as it’s still in the early stages.
Responsive Search Ads
As of June 2022, Expanded Text Ads (ETA) will be a thing of the past. From the 30thof June onwards, Responsive Search Ads (RSA) will be the only type of Google search ads that you can create or edit.
If you’re not sure what RSAs are, they’re a new ad format that automatically tests different combinations of headlines and descriptions, based on the user’s search query. You can use a maximum of 15 headlines and 4 descriptions per ad.
Of course, you may already be familiar with RSAs, as Google has been preparing us for this shift for a while now. Since February 2021, they’ve been the default ad type with Google’s UI. However, if you’re recently picking back up your PPC campaigns, or you still have some old ETAs running, now is a good time to start making the switch.
RSAs aren’t the only move towards automation that Google is making. Google is increasingly incorporating their AI tools with the PPC landscape. Recently we’ve seen changes to bid strategies, as well as the introduction of dynamic search ads (DSA), responsive image ads, scripts and more. RSAs are the predicted biggie for 2022 so far, but there’s almost certainly more to come. Learn to work with this automation, particularly for large, multi-market and/ or multi-lingual campaigns. Recognise where automation makes your life easier and where it doesn’t. Whilst AI is largely helpful and certainly unavoidable, human abilities such as strategy, empathy, instincts, cultural nuances, and prior knowledge are still important. As Brad Geddes from Adalysis says:
‘Advertisers need to use some automation but realise Google is terrible at certain aspects of automation, and there are areas the human is clearly superior that should be leveraged.’
Video is on the rise in all areas of marketing and PPC is no different. It’s huge rise in popularity is only expected to continue, as video ad spending is expected to grow annually by 12.55% from 2021 to 2025. This means that a good PPC strategy should no longer just include traditional ads, but also social ads too.
Thanks to the popularity of TikTok, existing platforms have had to innovate such as YouTube’s new YouTube shorts and Instagram beginning to move to a video-first platform. This all has an impact on paid social advertising and paid video social media posts usually receive the most engagement.
To make the most of this paid social trend in 2022, you can look into Google’s new tool that creates multiple bumper ads, for the start of YouTube videos, that are constructed from moments of your longer content. You can also create similar content yourself of course, if you have the editing skills on hand, and create paid video ads on any social platform.
The Need for an Integrated Approach
Just as many PPC strategies should be combined to work with paid social strategies, you should also look to integrate your approach with other channels such as SEO and Content Marketing if you’re not already doing so.
This isn’t just because it helps to align and add value to your overall online marketing strategy, but also because the landscape of the search results is changing. The search engine result pages (SERPs) are getting more and more competitive and with user’s typically requiring at least 4 – 6 different touch points before conversion, it’s more important than ever that you’re providing the content and ads needed to guide them on that journey.
There’s expected to be 60% more users on Google in 2022 and you can take advantage of that new influx and drive traffic to your site. Work together consistently to connect the dots, appear in every area of the SERPs and provide those valuable touch points for users before conversion.
Don’t Forget the Fundamentals
With all that being said, the most important thing, in our opinion, is not to forget the fundamentals. There are new PPC trends every year which can have a knock on effect of things we sometimes consider as basics such as keywords, match types ads and bidding. In amongst all the new trends, make sure you’re taking the time to check back in on these.
For more PPC advice, check out our paid advertising services. Or read our SEO Trends post to see what else to expect in digital marketing for 2022.
Photo Credit: Carlos Muza