Let’s admit it: getting organic traffic to your business’ website is challenging. Competition for keywords is at an all-time high, social media is a battlefield for interaction, blogging is a constant requirement, and you have to stay on top of Google’s changing algorithms.
That is not to say that SEO is irrelevant – it’s massively important to your brand awareness – but if you still want to generate leads and earn a profit, you have to consider doing some pay-per-click advertising – specifically, Google Ads.
It can be confusing to start a new initiative without having a solid idea of what to expect from Google Ads, let alone managing your advertising campaign.
It is why we have rounded up four of the most influential trends to help you maximize your Google Ads marketing campaign this year and beyond.
Trend #1: Utilizing Negative Keywords
Just like SEO, you have to find the best keywords for your Google Ad. Choosing the right one requires extensive research and conducting A/B testing. But there is a simple trick to help you eliminate wasted keywords and save you time, and obviously, money:
Adding negative keywords to your account.
By merely adding negative keywords to your Google Ads account, you are eliminating your advertisement from appearing in searches that are triggered by those specific words or phrases.
For example, when you add “cheap” as a negative keyword to your campaign, you are notifying Google not to show your ad when someone searches a keyword or phrase with the word “cheap”.
Therefore, your ad is less likely to appear when your negative keywords match a website’s content, and in return, will only target specific keywords, narrowing down your target demographic in the process.
It might take time to narrow down your list – there is a big list of negative keywords for PPC advertising – but it’s a simple technique that can be super useful for generating leads for your business. Most importantly, it’s one that a lot of companies don’t utilize.
Trend #2: Getting Onboard With Google Discovery Ads
In late 2018, Google released Discovery – its own personalized mobile newsfeed. As Google described it, Discovery was an update on Google Feed, in which users were given relevant content “even when you’re not searching” for it. Getting relevant content on Discovery was difficult, but by no means impossible.
Then Google decided that to make it easier for advertisers – it introduced Google Discovery Ads in 2019. And if there is one thing you need to do this year, it’s to make sure your ads are on Google Discovery.
Google Discovery Ads show up in multiple Google feeds. It can reach millions of people – Google says up to 800 million people use it – and can prove a significant boost to building your brand’s awareness and lead generation.
Most significantly, Google uses machine learning (another word for AI) to optimize the advertisement and its placement. You can use up to five headlines and five descriptions, alongside a landing page URL, an image and a logo before the machine learning takes over.
From there, your ad will be automated and optimized to target more relevant users. In turn, that means a greater scope of building brand awareness and generating interest in your business. All you have to do is come up with a Discovery Ad that is visually engaging, immersive, and interactive.
Make sure that you include Google Discovery Ads as part of your campaign this year. It will be essential.
Trend #3: Optimize Long-Tail Keywords For Voice Searches
With 50% of all searches expected to be voice searches in 2020 , it is no shock that Google has had to adjust its algorithm and search patterns. Instead of keywords, Google is now focused on delivering accurate answers to questions based on those voice searches. Everything from “Who won last year’s Oscars?” to “Where is the nearest Spanish restaurant?”.
The likes of Alexa and Siri have opened up a new way of marketing for businesses to consider. But that doesn’t mean that you should ditch your keyword research. It is now a matter of adjusting your approach.
Instead, it would help if you focused on longer-tailed keywords that allow for more natural phrasing. Incorporating long-tail keywords into Google Ads will reach out to customers on a personal level, open up new marketing opportunities (for example, targeting an area where your restaurant might operate), and, more significantly, dominate a keyword that has less competition than others.
Trend #4: Maximizing Google Ads Smart Bidding
If voice searches didn’t convince you of the power of AI, then Google’s new Smart Bidding addition will.
It is defined by Google as a “subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction — a feature known as ‘auction-time bidding”.
In basic terms, it means that the guesswork that arises with Google Ads is gone, thanks to Google’s investment in AI.
With the use of machine learning, Google Ads will now be optimized for conversions for each auction. All you have to do is tell Google your advertising goals and the Smart Bidding will decide what to do with your budget so you can get the best results.
It sounds easy for your Google Ads, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do any work.
You will have to consider the location of your Ad, the timeframe in which you want to use it, the remarketing list, the different characteristics of the Ad, and its interface. You will have more options for optimization, but you will have to do the hard work before Google takes over. The only downside? You lose control of the finer details of the Ad, and which third-party sites your ads display on.
Google’s Smart Bidding is an excellent option for new businesses looking to get started with Google Ads. It can be beneficial in the long-term and is a sign of things to come in 2020.