As 2014 has just drawn to a close and 2015 is beginning, it is important to stop and take some time to reflect on the past year and look at what has happened in the world of paid search. I also feel it is important to think about the plans for 2015.
So, 2014 has been an eventful year in paid search. AdWords made some fantastic new advancements in their interface, making aspects of my job easier (thank you Google!). But they have also improved advertising opportunities for advertisers which has been fantastic for our clients.
So, what have been some highlights AdWords in 2014?
Remarketing (or retargeting) is still, and continues to be, as powerful as ever. Depending on the level of traffic you are getting to your website, you now have the ability to be extremely granular in the type of remarketing you can perform. For example, you can choose to remarket to someone who has viewed a specific page on your website, viewed a particular product (dynamic remarketing is a game changer), or been on your website for a specific amount of time. Even basic level remarketing is getting fantastic results, and heres the kicker…. it is at a fraction of the cost! So, if you are running any kind of paid traffic, remarketing is a must have.
It is 2015 folks and mobile is something that can no longer be ignored. 2014 has seen a significant rise in the use of mobile website traffic and there have been many studies conducted in 2014 with varying results. What is conclusive, is that mobile website traffic is going up…. and fast!
Mobile website traffic, especially paid mobile website traffic, can be very unforgiving. If your website is not mobile responsive (i.e. the size adjusts to fit on multiple devices), you are simply going to lose that visitor. It is just that simple.
So, at the very least, determine how much of your traffic is coming from a mobile device and importantly, what does that traffic do? Do they leave straight away? Do they pick up the phone and call you? They are important metrics you need to know so you can respond accordingly.
Google Shopping (PLAs – Product Listing Ads)
Google Shopping continues to prove to be a great return on investment. It continues to have higher click-through-rates and conversion rates that standard text ads and in most cases, even costs less per click.
2015 and Beyond
So, where do I see the PPC landscape heading in 2015 and beyond?
Well, firstly, given the rampant rise and success of remarketing, I can only see it developing even further. Really, same goes for mobile. These are two aspects of website traffic that are only going to get more and more sophisticated. Especially with the rise of mobile apps such as WhatsApp, Spotify etc. Development is inevitable.
I also anticipate to see an increase and sophistication of cross platform remarketing. By this I mean, remarketing to people on different platforms. For example, buying traffic on Facebook and just remarketing on Google. Whilst this happens now, I envisage a sophistication of this process.
But really, if anything is a certainty, it is that change is always on the horizon.
And as always, pay-per-click marketing should really be just one part of a complete marketing strategy.