Big bets for the future of paid search
During the past years, the media buying world has changed dramatically. Major advances in Advertising Technology and consumer electronics have opened up the doors for never-before-seen targeting and measurement capabilities. With 85% of Google’s revenue coming from their AdWords platform in 2013, it is also clear that paid advertising isn’t going away anytime soon. However, the sector is changing significantly, and Google has now competition like never before, from other search engines but also other advertising channels. In this article, we will discuss where the paid search world is heading, with a shift towards non-branded keywords, the emergence of Search Retargeting and Google Shopping, and the rise of mobile search.
The shift towards non-branded keywords
As discussed in my recent article on generic keywords and branded keywords, I believe that in the near future, search marketers will use more and more generic keywords, rather than branded keywords. Indeed, branded keywords have less value on the customer journey, as they are used by clients who are already aware of the brand and of its products. In contrast, generic keywords have the power to create awareness and to really boost sales, especially when the messages focus more on the value of the products than on prices or discounts.
Using engagement metrics like the time on site, video views, or abandoned shopping cart rate can also be extremely useful to better optimise the campaign, in addition to the conversion metrics. paid search is heading towards this double optimisation standard, which would give more accuracy in the management of the campaign, and help maximise results.
Search Retargeting and Google Shopping campaigns
We can see audience-based search optimisation taking more and more importance in 2015. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs), or ‘Search Retargeting, is a way to target ads to a select group of users, also called an “audience”, is getting bigger with the improvement of tools dedicated to manage these audiences. The benefits of search retargeting are clear: it is cost effective, provides better targeting, and the audiences can be used again for display campaigns.
We can also predict that more industry-specific ad formats are likely to emerge. Richer and more relevant ad formats are the future of paid search, as the massive adoption of Google Shopping by retail advertisers and shoppers has shown. Google Shopping has also given clear evidence that this type of advertising format provide more visibility, a better user experience, and that more and more advertisers are willing to subscribe.
The rise of Mobile in Paid Search
Finally, the growing influence of mobile can’t be ignored, and will keep on gaining importance in 2015 for SEM campaigns. As consumer engagement and spend continues to shift away from desktop and toward mobile devices, advertisers need to work on their mobile strategy today to capitalise on this growing revenue opportunity tomorrow. Strategies like integrating mobile-app campaigns, call tracking solutions and mobile-optimised ad creative and landing pages will take priority in 2015.
In conclusion, paid search is evolving fast and search marketers need to adapt to these new changes. Counting on a simple bid management process is not enough anymore, and it is now necessary to use a tool, such as Adobe Media Optimizer, capable of managing multiple audience groups and optimising to on-site engagement metrics.
What do you think, how do you see the evolution of the web impacting the search world? Do you agree with our predictions?