Trends in Paid Search Marketing 2017
2016 was a year of big changes in SEM. Google removed right hand side ads and introduced Expanded Text Ads and for many clients it was the year that mobile overtook desktop traffic.
Looking forward into 2017 we have identified 3 Key Trends that will affect Paid Search Marketing.
Increased Mobile Growth:
- The increase in the use of mobile is no longer a trend, it is the norm. Over 60% of all searches in the US now come from mobile.
- The majority of marketers are well on their way to creating mobile friendly experiences on their site. In fact, these updates may become a requirement, as Google now penalises ranking scores of sites that are not responsive. This will becomes a necessary change that will need to be made in 2017 if advertisers wish to maintain their Google rankings.
- Advertisers need to be thinking of ways to engage users across devices in order to maximise conversions. Whilst traffic on retail sites is relatively even between desktop and mobile use, mobile conversion rates are much lower.
- There is huge untapped potential here and strategies to measure multiplatform users should be a focus in 2017.
Shopping Ads on the Increase:
- The growth of shopping ads has been considerable in 2016 and will continue throughout 2017 with the changes Google is making to their visibility, now displayed in a more prominent manner on mobile, Shopping Ads were the fastest growing Google ad unit in 2016.
- Google Shopping ads will certainly continue to be a trend moving forward with many new features expected to be introduced, including local paid product search which will highlight how far a store is from you and show specific store inventory.
- As the popularity of Google Shopping ads increases, so do cost per clicks. Advertisers will need to focus more attention on the set up and optimisation of shopping ads in order to drive strong results in 2017.
Artificial Intelligence will become a more prominent way to engage customers:
Voice searches are more prominent with 20-25% of searches now being voice searches thanks to virtual assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant & Cortana. Comscore estimates that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
Advertisers need to start thinking of how their brand will be found via voice search ie. Moving away from straight keywords to more colloquial based terms. We can expect major changes in the ways ads are displayed and audiences are targeted due to the increase in voice searches.
Currently there is no way to track voice searches or determine its impact on paid search performance. This will however undoubtedly change moving forward.