This article is for agencies that provide Paid Search services and have blogging, newsletters, articles as a big part of their marketing strategy. You may know by now that I produce & host a podcast - the PPCChat Roundup, where I do a roundup of the latest news and views from PPC experts as chatted through weekly on Twitter. We have chatted through so many interesting topics that are related to Paid Search and there are so many emotions that come through there. Of course I always try to add my point of view as a PPC professional of over 10 years.
Personally, I thought this year was going to take it easy on us compared to the rollercoaster of a year 2020 was. But the likes of Google, Facebook and other platforms had other plans and there have been so many changes that we’ve needed to keep on top of.
Like any Paid Search professional worth their buck - we are data crazy and want to measure everything, so that is exactly what I did. With the help of Anchor analytics, I have measured the top listened to episodes this year so that my fellow Paid Search bloggers keep on writing about what is on advertisers’ minds.
1. PPC in a Cookie-less world
Surprise surprise - everyone is interested about what’s going on with Data Privacy. It was a very interesting episode where we discussed the possible effects of the upcoming changes, what visibility we predict we are going to lose, what we are excited/worried for and what we should start preparing our clients for. I even did a talk recently at BrightonSEO about the conversations that Paid Search Managers should start having with their clients. Despite the fact that Google is delaying their plans of making Chrome stop tracking users + the date of release of their alternative to tracking solutions - FLoC, there are still conversations to be had. Advertisers are nervous, want to know exactly what is going on/what has led to this cookie upheaval and client’s especially don’t want their accounts to be the test when managers are trying to figure out how the new tracking is going to work (especially through GA4).
2. Automation - learning to work with the inevitable
Behind Data Privacy - Automation has been the second most talked about topic this year. And not just by the #PPCChat community. For me, where some previous years have either been the year of Mobile, Voice Search, etc, this year is most certainly the year of Data Privacy and Automation. With a lot of the automation advances that we feel Google has been pushing down our throats - Responsive Search Ads, Smart Campaigns, Smart bidding, Smart Shopping, Auto recommendations etc., there’s a lot of question as to what to do with it. Who has tested them, what are the results, are Google only caring about their profits or will these changes make a difference for us and what does that mean for Paid Search managers as a role - will our role become redundant?
3. BMM folding into Phrase Match
Oh, the evolution of Match types. First we had to come to terms with exact not being exact anymore - now phrase is not phrase anymore and one of many advertiser’s favourite match type to source new exact keywords to bid on, BMM, was being taken away from us. We were not happy - to say the least. But from a great article from Optmyzr - they did an analysis and showed us how BMM wasn’t actually being used the way it was intended so it may not be as major a loss as we thought it was. Either way - updates in keywords have been needed to be done and i’m sure a lot of people are keen to know what the correct process to phase BMM out of your campaigns are & more importantly what kind of results people are seeing from that
4. PPC Forecasting
The mysterious act of PPC forecasting. This was a very interesting chat that we even needed to bring in a co-host. How do people seriously forecast without honestly just putting their finger in the air to see how the wind is blowing. It is something that needs a proper tool solution and one of those is something that our co-host, Richard Fergie has been working on by developing Forecast Forge. And only some of the challenges discussed were forecasting for new accounts, taking seasonality into consideration, B2B and new platforms. The only true and honest way I have found doing it in the past was always ensuring I put in lots of caveats when setting the forecast for a client. But I am sure there are plenty more advice that can be given on the topic.
5. Big Brands Saying PPC is Worthless
This came off the back of Airbnb’s CEO saying, in February, that they had made so much money in recent times despite cutting their marketing spend by a whopping 95%. Of course this sent our community into a bit of a frenzy. We had a great conversation about the importance of branding and there were some great responses to - “what would you do if a client questioned you about this”. My favourite being - “well, you’re not AirBnB so let’s keep testing some things out”. As most agencies would experience in pitches - proving Paid Search is going to work for them is a mix of art and science. So please keep sharing some of your tips on why it is important in the marketing mix especially for branding.
I am looking forward to the much more interesting topics that we have to discuss in the second half of this year and to really gauge what is one advertisers' minds. Are you covering any of these topics in your content calendar? You'll be happy to know there will be lots of readers taking a look if you pick one or more of these topics to focus on.
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