People don’t use the internet in the same ways they did even a year ago. The web is a massive battleground, and the prize is your cold, hard cash. It’s filled with competition, with marketing experts always looking for ways to get the edge over their competitors.

Because the online advertising space is a hotbed of innovation, it’s easy to get left behind. Without realizing it, your ROAS (return on advertising investment) can gradually decrease, and you may only notice when you see your revenue isn’t what it used to be.

Read on to keep ahead of the curve with our rundown of the top PPC trends to embrace in 2022.

Review Your Audience

When you devised your marketing strategy, you undoubtedly identified your target audience. But how long ago was that? When did you last check that your marketing campaigns are still well-aligned?

Even in normal times, much can change in the marketplace. Here are some of the factors that may have altered your target audience.

1. COVID-19

Much has been made of the fact that many millions of people have been forced to spend extended periods at home. The stratospheric increase in online shopping is also well documented. Whether through necessity or boredom, people have rapidly gravitated to it.

Of course, the increased spending figures indicate the increased volume of online spending. Even so, that’s only part of the story. The global pandemic has increased the diversity of online shoppers. Nowadays, there’s a far wider variety of demographics within your potential audience. 

The restrictions brought about by COVID-19 have meant that people of many age groups, professions, and socio-economic backgrounds are more exposed to online advertising than ever before. You need to maximize your opportunities from this new and extended pool of potential customers.

2. Search Criteria

Companies are always innovating to try and ensure that their product or service stands out from the crowd. As the market offering evolves, so too does language. As new terms come into common usage, they’re increasingly used in searches.

A good example is when millions of people began working from home. Many needed to get themselves set up to do so, while others needed to upgrade their equipment and adapt their homes to meet the new demands. As a result, they were using search terms and vocabulary that they didn’t habitually need to use.

This happens naturally over time. However, with the seismic changes society is going through, it’s happened more dramatically in the last couple of years or so.

Do your keywords and key phrases still reflect the language that people are using when carrying out web searches? If they don’t, you could be missing out big time.

In OrbitalAds we specialize in search query automation to avoid losing any opportunity that might be generated over time. Learn more about OrbitalAds.

3. Touchpoints

Is your website traffic still arriving from the same channels as it did when you set up your marketing campaign? It’s likely that preferences have changed.

For example, as online shopping becomes more secure, and therefore more trusted, consumers become more confident in navigating online advertising. Tech firms also help this by providing greater security in their software, including their browsers. That’s without considering specialized security software.

The takeaway from this is that you should re-examine the sources of your site’s visitors, because your PPC balance may have become off-kilter. 

A Big Change to Google Broad Search Terms

During the first quarter of 2021 Google made an important change that you may have missed unless you were paying close attention.

They changed the way in which broad match and phrase match search terms work. Now, Google search results are more effective at understanding the meaning in your search terms. In conjunction with auto-bidding (which we’ll discuss later), it means that your ad can be triggered by search phrases that don’t necessarily contain your priority keywords.

For example, you may have the keywords “lawn,” “mowing,” and “service.” On its own, the term “service” is a general one. However, with the increased use of AI and machine learning, a search phrase such as “grass-cutting service” could trigger your ad.

It’s worth paying attention to this change if you haven’t already because it reduces the need to micromanage keyword lists. They’re still necessary, but broad search terms are now more useful than they were before.

Alternative PPC platforms

It’s no secret that Google is by far the biggest and most successful platform for PPC advertising. However, there are other excellent options that can also get you great exposure. 

Let’s take a look at three of the best-known ones. We recommend any or all of these to complement your Google Ads campaigns. Before deciding on using a new channel, is key to analyze which channels you need to target to reach your audience.

1. YouTube

Yes. We know that YouTube’s owned by Google, but video advertising is its own segment. It’ll usually have a highly-targeted audience and, because it’s a different medium to text advertising, it requires a different kind of creative thinking.

You don’t need to be Steven Spielberg to create an excellent video ad for YouTube, but here are a few tips to help maximize your ROI:

  • Make it searchable: Use words and phrases in the script, title, and video description that will make it easy to find.
  • Connect with the viewer: Instead of making it a video sales pitch, present it as a story that the viewer can relate to.
  • Make it snappy: Your video should be short but immediately impactful to create a memorable moment.
  • Add value: Viewers are more likely to remember an advert that was useful to them.

2. Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads is an interesting platform with some major advantages over Google Ads. By its very nature, Facebook Ads can supplement your Google advertising in the following ways.

– Data… and lots of it

Because of the vast quantity of highly-detailed information, Facebook has on its users, you can target very specific audiences with your ads. As long as you properly understand your target market, it can give a real boost to your ROI.

– Persistence

If you use an ad blocker in your browser, it’s easy to prevent paid ads from appearing. By contrast, Facebook makes it very difficult to block them on its platform. They’re merged into the user’s feed, so you get far more exposure and, thus, you’re more likely to experience a higher clickthrough rate (CTR).

– Instagram

In case you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram. That means you have a second platform available to you for your online ads. Like Facebook, it’s not easy to block paid ads that appear there.

Also (believe it or not), there are people who don’t have Facebook accounts but do have Instagram, so you’re appearing in front of an additional audience.

3. Bing Ads

Whether you want to extend your reach to users of the third most popular browser in the world, or you just don’t feel that Google Ads is for you, Microsoft’s Bing Ads is a solid option, too.

Since the launch of their new chromium-based Edge browser in 2015, Microsoft has become increasingly aggressive in its efforts to push Windows users to the Bing search engine. 

If you consider the increased number of people based at home these days, and the fact that on PC’s and laptops, the Windows operating system has over 1 billion users, that’s a lot of eyes on ads.

Say It Loud - Voice search

Although speaking to your PC or laptop can still be impractical or feel uncomfortable, it’s far more natural to do so with the device that you’ve always been accustomed to speaking into. That’s why voice search is increasingly popular on mobile devices.

Google is the default search engine on Android and iOS mobile devices, which accounts for the vast majority of mobile users. Therefore, coupled with the usual requirement of ensuring that your website is 100% mobile-friendly (for example, having an adaptive website), it could be time to adjust your marketing campaign accordingly.

Automatic Bidding

With the ongoing evolution of AI and machine learning, there’s a real opportunity to let technology do some of the heavy liftings when it comes to managing your online marketing campaigns and expenditure.

For example, if you completely optimize your Google Ads campaigns, auto bidding is an obvious component to include. Based on the information you provide in the setup of your campaigns, it will automatically adjust your bidding priorities to make the most of each one.

Summing Up

The key takeaway from all this is that if you don’t pay attention to your online marketing campaigns, your return on investment will deteriorate.

However well you think your current plan’s working, the world keeps moving. Lifestyle changes, technological developments, and media-driven trends never stop. 

If you want to keep your PPC working for you at the best possible level, you need to make sure you keep yourself informed about what’s going on in the outside world and adjust your marketing strategy from time to time to keep it relevant.

Maybe you’re already following some of these 2022 PPC trends, but the remaining ones are bound to be new ideas you can explore. What’s clear is that the Covid-19 pandemic has flipped the world on its head and advertisers can’t do business as usual if they want to effectively reach potential customers this year and beyond. 

If you feel like trying new ways to take your ad campaigns to next level in 2022, don’t hesitate to reach out to us

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