Marketing and Sales

11 Important PPC Trends to Look Out for in 2023

10 minutes

11 Important PPC Trends to Look Out for in 2023

Although PPC campaigns aren’t optimal for all businesses, for most, they are essential. Here’s a glimpse into some of the weighty PPC trends and improvements to keep an eye on to help ensure your company’s success.

PPC trend #1 Content switching focus to the audience’s needs

We’ll begin with a potential game-changer for marketers: the switch to focusing content more on the audience and buyer’s journey rather than pleasing current algorithms. Algorithms, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, are rapidly evolving. To align with sophisticated transformations currently underway, PPC campaigns must re-evaluate their approaches in terms of content and strategy.

Check out our guide to get your first paid ads up and running!

Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture will be a must as algorithms prioritize client-focused content over the parameters we’ve become accustomed to. Developing content that enhances the audience experience, satisfies their desires, and rewards them for taking notice will get more consideration and, therefore, more clicks.

This can be achieved through gamification — applying a game element in the structure of a non-gaming business niche. The gaming element can provide an enjoyable experience for customers, encourage them to come back and play the game again, and reward them with a purchase discount or a free item for completing or participating in the game.

An example of this is the Nike Run Club, an app that allows athletes an online community to track their progress, earn trophies and badges, and celebrate their wins. The social support, motivation, and progress the athlete gains through using the app create a deeper connection and loyalty.

Nike Run Club
The Nike Run Club App’s 5K January weekly challenge

PPC trend #2 The amplified use of artificial intelligence

AI rapidly develops and is expected to shake up nearly all industries, including eCommerce marketing. How? By introducing countless advantages and sophisticated techniques. Some ways, such as helping to automate bids and analyzing advertising performance, are already in play.

With a little further advancement, we’ll see AI modernize the field by:

  • utilizing predictive diagnostics to get more traffic;
  • optimizing ineffective keywords;
  • predicting click-through rates (CTR) for future ads;
  • calculating specific customer conversion rates;
  • better determining ad impact and quality.

No matter your plans to utilize AI this year, staying in the know and keeping up with AI trends in 2023 and beyond are essential.

PPC trend # 3 Transferring focus to mobile

Mobile users make up a significant percentage of paid search impressions. If you’re not yet optimized for mobile, you’re missing out big. Whether you are interested in making your current website more mobile responsive or creating a separate mobile website, your brand’s platform must be mobile-friendly. Now and going forward, PPC campaigns need to be tailored to mobile platforms to stay in the game.

Check out some of the best mobile landing page examples!

Video is the top dog and will continue to dominate in terms of the best content for these mobile users. To be successful, video advertising should be high-quality, aesthetically pleasing, and relevant to the mobile audience as Google extends its direct video ad preferences in 2023.

According to Wysowl, 73% of survey participants said they’d prefer to watch a short video to learn about a product or service. Of that group, 11% said they preferred to read a text-based article, website, or post, 4% preferred to view an infographic, 3% preferred to download an eBook or manual, 3% preferred to attend a webinar or pitch, and 3% preferred a sales call or demo.

As the graph below shows, online video viewership has also increased significantly over the past few years.

online video viewership
From 2018 to 2022, average hours of online videos watched per week increased by 8.5 hours

PPC trend #4 Integrating voice search into PPC campaigns

According to Statista, the total worldwide transaction value of eCommerce purchases made through voice assistants is predicted to grow from 4.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 to 19.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2023. This is over a 400 percent increase in just two years, inspired by the growing opportunities for voice assistants to buy items, primarily through smartphones and smart devices in the home.

More and more households are utilizing personal smart speakers throughout their day-to-day searches. Marketers and PPC campaigns will need to consider the importance of voice search if they haven’t by now.

These voice search queries carry over to the question-oriented keywords previously in place in many search engine optimization (SEO) and PPC strategies.

Below are a few strategies you can use to optimize your PPC campaign for voice search.

Look at the current search questions

Utilize search query reports to explore the terms people have searched to view your advertisement. Pay attention to the terms that show your advertisement was activated by a voice search. Some examples of this would be, “Hey Siri…,” “What are some….” Once you recognize voice searches are activating your advertisement, organize those queries, and use them to customize campaigns and advertising copy.

Do more research

Research question-centric phrases and user intent keywords. Most voice searches focus on question-answer intent and are conversational, so it’s important to explore how these queries showcase search intent.

When a searcher uses words like “who” and “what,” it suggests they are more in the initial research stage of their journey. Likewise, using terms like “where” and “when” means they are closer to the conversion stage.

Make your content short and effective

When optimizing your content for voice search, keep it short and effective. Keep your answers 30 words or fewer if you can. This helps make the information smaller and more digestible for your searchers. You can also use a tool like Hemingway App to optimize and simplify your sentences.

Use call extensions

If applicable, include call extensions in your voice search results. Users are often trying to locate a business’s contacts, so including this feature will save users the time and hassle of trying to find these contacts themselves.

PPC trend #5 First-party data and benchmarks

As we continue to move forward with developments in technology and the internet, there is a greater emphasis on protecting consumers’ privacy and personal data. Because of this, collecting first-party data will be essential for brands trying to connect with both their current and future customers. More brands are expected to invest in processes that help them attain this information from consumers.

Some techniques for collecting first-party data include:

Although making money is the main goal of advertising, you can’t just measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaign in dollars. As time continues, businesses and marketers will have a better understanding that measures like brand awareness are just as important as the amount of returns they make.

Some campaigns take more time to bring in a significant profit for a company, but they can still have a large positive impact by increasing the awareness of the brands they’re showcasing. This is because brand awareness can help businesses and marketers gain more attention within the online marketplace, helping to facilitate repeat purchases from customers, as well as increased customer loyalty.

PPC trend #6 Jumping on the TikTok craze

You already know the importance of PPC advertising on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. However, the newest obsession cannot be ignored. TikTok is growing bigger every day and offers amazing opportunities for PPC marketing.

tiktok users
TikTok users worldwide and growth forecast (2021-2025); source: Insider Intelligence

According to Insider Intelligence, TikTok has more than doubled its worldwide user base between 2019 and 2021 (291.4 million to 655.9 million). It will have 755.0 million monthly users this year, and by 2025, TikTok will approach 1 billion users.

tiktok ads
How advertisers use TikTok to showcase their products; source: TikTok Help Center

The platform has created limitless openings to engage with audiences through emotive, full-screen ads, and it has recently partnered with Shopify to streamline the advertising process and uncomplicate marketing on the platform.

Get some inspiration from our list of TikTok video ideas for businesses!

PPC trend #7 PPC automation innovation

Advanced automation is rapidly maturing in marketing practices alongside other booming industries. According to ReportLinker, analyzing the global business process automation market for 2020-2026, market size is expected to reach $19.4 billion by 2026, rising at a market growth of 13.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during this forecast period. PPC has been somewhat left behind, but help is on the way in 2023. How so?

Through advanced ad testing applications, campaigns can better identify and discard unsuccessful ads. What’s more, automation can be used to improve call to action analysis and establish the most successful ads using statistics. PPC automation is shaping up to be one of the most significant marketing trends in 2023 as it enhances data diagnostics and campaign improvement capabilities across the board.

PPC trend #8 Bing and Yahoo

Google’s policy changes aim to reduce web visitor tracking, which has intensified the need to diversify PPC marketing. By incorporating Bing, marketers can once again use the crucial data they need to push ads better.

Long neglected in Google’s shadow, Bing is set to expand its reach and capabilities in terms of gathering data, advertising, and identifying the audience. As of December of 2021, according to Statista, Bing holds 7.2% of the market share of leading search engines. Ignoring this re-emergence in the face of Google’s privacy changes may cost marketers in 2023 and beyond.

As of December of 2021, Yahoo holds 2.77% of the market share of leading search engines, and expanding reach into this search engine, although small, may also benefit an organization. According to Statista, a 4-week study looking at internet users in both Japan and Mexico showed that nearly 55% of respondents in Japan, and 30% in Mexico, said they used Yahoo. Information like this may be viable for companies focusing on advertising to specific countries or areas.

Leading search engines
Leading search engines from January 2010 to December 2021; source: Statista

PPC trend #9 The increased use of smart bidding

Smart bidding is a group of automated bid strategies in Google Ads that use machine learning to maximize conversions. Google does this by examining documented search behavior and contextual data to forecast the likelihood of a conversion and then boosts your bids when a conversion seems more probable.

Examples of contextual data are location, time of day, user devices, and your ad’s historical performance. There are also many other aspects, depending on each inquiry.

Here are five different smart bidding strategies that each focus on a specific conversion goal:

  • Maximize conversions: optimizes bids to maximize conversions from your budget.
  • Target ROAS: optimizes your bids to achieve your target return on ad spend (ROAS) from your budget.
  • Target CPA: optimizes bids to maintain your target cost-per-action (CPA) from your budget — in other words, the amount you pay for each conversion.
  • Target impression share: sets bids to show your ad at the top of the page as often as possible.
  • Enhanced CPC: optimizes your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) to maximize conversions.

Instead of the manual tracking processes used today, smart bidding will do the work for you and provide actionable insights in a fraction of the time.

PPC trend #10 Integrating SEO and PPC

Search engine optimization and PPC can be harmonious. Organizations presently combining the activities of each are seeing results. Through effective ad copy analysis, PPC campaigns can produce content with improved quality. Additionally, long-tail keywords can be used to improve rates as well as the successful application to paid bidding strategies.

In the not-so-distant future, the integration of SEO and PPC will assist with finding more competitive keywords through comprehensive reports. Such integration sees many exciting possibilities as the two practices boost each other’s efficiency and audience impact.

seo vs ppc
The differences between SEO and PPC, and why it is wise to use them together; source: Mangools

PPC trend #11 Expanding to virtual reality frontiers

The virtual reality (VR) space is still very new, and much of the technology is rudimentary. That being said, it will be fine-tuned in time, and companies need to get their feet wet in this space to stay competitive in the future.

Virtual reality will be adopted by more PPC campaigns and companies as its functionalities improve and expand. The major advantage of VR technology is that it focuses on users’ eye movements. Someone engaged in VR can trigger an advertisement by staring at it for a few seconds. The viewer’s gaze and focus will act as the “click” element in PPC.

Another advantage of VR is that users can better understand the product they are thinking of buying. For example, you can view the size of a product, look at it from different angles, and potentially even try the product out (again, varying with the degree of technological advancements) without having to buy it or physically be in a store that sells it. This convenient and fun way of marketing could potentially lead to greater sales, as well as speeder purchases.

Lastly, this experimentation in VR will create rich data that researchers can explore. They can see what advertisements were most successful, which fell short, and then continue to grow mastery in this new field of PPC advertising.

Staying up to date

PPC trends will continue to change and evolve. To stay competitive, it’s essential to keep on top of the changes and the exciting technological developments to come. Be sure to stay on the lookout for more of what 2023 has in store for the world of PPC and eCommerce marketing.

Date of publication:

March 18, 2022

Brad Shorr

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, a Chicago-based Internet marketing company that specializes...

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