Google will be phasing out third-party cookies on Chrome by 2022. This will protect web visitor’s privacy but will have significant implications for marketers.
In this article, we will take a look at the changes, how they will affect PPC marketing, and how you can prepare for the removal of cookies.
What is changing?
A cookie is a small file that is downloaded onto your computer when you visit a website. These cookies are used to identify your computer so the company that owns the website can see the actions you take. For example, how long you stay on the site, what pages you visit, how often you come back.
Like the traditional cookies we eat, HTTP cookies come in a variety of different flavors. First-party cookies are created directly by the website, while third-party cookies are created by other parties such as Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.
Google Chrome announced it would be phasing out third-party cookies in Chrome in 2020 to protect user’s privacy and help Google adhere to data protection regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
What does this mean for marketers? This means that after 2022, Chrome will no longer generate third-party cookies. It is actually one of the last browsers to do this, with Firefox and Safari already no longer using them.
However, with Chrome accounting for over half of all web traffic, it will have the most significant impact.
How will this affect my PPC campaigns?
Let’s say that you have set up a remarketing campaign, so people who visit your site are served a display ad that follows them around the web.
Your visitor will visit your site, and a third-party cookie is placed on their computer. This is what powers the remarketing campaign and shows ads that are relevant to them.
This means that display remarketing will be impacted by the changes to third-party cookies.
What steps do I need to take?
The good news is that remarketing can still take place; it will just take place in a new (and potentially better) way.
First-party cookies and data are not affected by the phase-out, so there is nothing to stop you from collecting customer emails from form-fills and using this information to power your remarketing campaigns. As users have expressed an interest in your product or service, you should see a better return on investment.
We predict that lead capture will become more important than ever over the upcoming months. Just make sure that customers know how you will use their data and give them the option to remove their data if they change their mind.
In conclusion… this change may seem like a drastic one, but it will open the door to a wide range of new opportunities for businesses and marketers.Start to build up your first-party data on your own website, and you will reap the benefits.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is becoming better managed and vaccination takes place across the USA, businesses are slowly going back to normal. However, the business world changed quite a bit because of the constant lockdowns and restrictions - some closed down, some are struggling, and some are booming in this new environment. For those who use PPC advertising, this means you have to adjust your targeting and strategies to stay on top of things. In this article, we're going to discuss what you can do to manage your PPC campaigns during the time when the world is recovering from the pandemic.
Evaluate business value messaging
In most cases, your campaigns will be able to keep using your old value propositions with some messaging adjustments. This largely depends on the type of business you run but the main trends for new messaging are the following:
If your business can be tied to one of these subjects, consider taking advantage of them and adjusting your messaging. This applies to both the ad copy and the images: avoid images of groups of people and emphasize "online", "free shipping", "fast shipping", and "safe collection".
Remember to not only adjust your ad messaging, but also edit your landing pages, website copy, and social media posts where necessary.
Optimize your spending
Now is a great time to review your PPC budget and spending, and optimize them for better ROI.
It may be a good idea to shift budgets between different products and services, and invest more into your top-performing campaigns to maximize results.
Depending on the advertising platform you use, you may be able to configure monthly budgets instead of daily budgets and thus increase ROI even further. You should also be able to optimize your campaign's pacing, automate bidding, and apply other hacks to let the PPC platform make intelligent decisions while saving you time and money.
Review your channels and content
Despite anti-COVID measures becoming more relaxed in some places, people still spend a lot more time online compared to pre-pandemic years. They consume more news pieces, watch more videos, and use video conferencing software more often.
Even those who vouched to ditch Facebook forever because of privacy concerns (and for their personal reasons), came back to it and used Facebook Messenger extensively. The problem with this behavior for you, the advertiser, is that Facebook Lives, groups and messaging aren't monetized. However, it means that overall there's less competition, which is an excellent opportunity to try new channels and experiment with new content for your ads and landing pages.
Here are some opportunities worth checking out:
Be optimistic. Now is a great time to review your PPC experience during the pandemic, reconsider some things, and try new strategies!
Marvel vs DC. Red Vines vs Twizzlers. Baseball vs Football. We're all in two camps about something or other!
This rivalry also applies to Google and Bing's respective pay-per-click (PPC) platforms too.
Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly known as Bing Ads) have both been around for several years. Both PPC platforms allow businesses to promote their products and services across the two different search engines. Many PPC specialists prefer one platform to the other.
The question needs to be asked… which advertising platform is the best one? Let's take a look.
Google Ads is bigger, but Microsoft Advertising is wider
If you ask people which search engine they prefer, they are likely to say Google. In fact, nearly 82% of desktop search engine results come from Google!
However, Microsoft Advertising allows you to advertise across three different search engines – Bing, Yahoo, and AOL. Even though it is smaller than Google, Microsoft Ads still reach 63 million people worldwide!
Google Ads is more generalist, but Microsoft Advertising is more niche
Did you know that Bing has a higher click-through rate than Google for shopping and financial services? This is because search engines like Yahoo have a very strong focus on economic and financial news.
This means that if you focus on a particular industry, you may get better returns and more focused targeting from Microsoft Advertising.
Google Ads appeals to a broader range of people, but Microsoft Advertising is good for an older audience
If your target audience is millennials, you may not get a lot of benefit from Microsoft Advertising. However, many Bing users are in their forties and fifties.
As Bing users are older, they are also more likely to have a household income of $100,000 or more. This makes Microsoft Advertising a potentially lucrative option if you are selling high-value products like cars or houses.
Microsoft Advertising can be cheaper
Microsoft Advertising is generally more cost-effective than Google. This is because fewer people use it, and there is less competition for keywords.
Depending on the keyword you choose, Microsoft Advertising can be up to 60% cheaper. This can result in more traffic to your website and potentially a better return on investment,
Many people see Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising as bitter rivals, but the reality is that you can use them both in tandem.
In our experience, Google Ads is a great all-rounder, but Microsoft Advertising can be an excellent option if your business focuses on a specific industry or target audience.
Both platforms have a remarkably similar interface so if you have experience in using Google Ads, you are likely to pick up Microsoft Advertising very quickly. You can even import your existing campaigns from Google Ads.
Take a look at your website stats and see which search engine your customers are using. This will help guide your knowledge as to which platform is the best to focus your efforts on.
You've carefully researched your target keywords, written your ad copy and pointed everything to your website. However, when you check your statistics, you find out that your impressions, clicks, and conversions are a lot lower than you expected.
This is frustrating and is something that every PPC specialist has experienced at least once in their career.
However, there are steps you can take to boost your targeting and supercharge your engagement rates.
1. Ensure that you are targeting the right audience
Let's say that you run an eCommerce store selling shoes to women. When you look at your stats, you find that 50% of your ads are being shown to men. This means that you are wasting resources showing your ads to the wrong people.
You can make changes to your ads, so they are only served to your target audience. You can drill down by location, age, income and parental status… even personal interests!
By drilling down, you can make your ads more targeted and ensure the right people interact with your advertising.
2. Focus on the right devices
As well as targeting audiences, you can target different devices too.
Let's say that you have a website that sells bespoke accessories for iPhones. If your ads target Android users, you will waste money showing your ads to people who may not be interested in your product.
You can set it so your ads only show on desktop, tablet or mobile. You can even target specific devices and service providers.
3. Audit your ad copy
You want to ensure that your ad copy resonates with your target audience, so take the time to create relevant ad copy.
Ensure that your ad copy is focused on your target audience's needs and is clear and concise. You want to ensure that your advert tells them how you will solve their problems.
A/B testing is your friend here. Try two or three different adverts, see which one has the best-click through rate and make amends as appropriate.
4. Look into remarketing
Remarketing is when you advertise your brand to people who have already interacted with you in some shape or form. For example, someone who has visited your website, downloaded your mobile app or is an existing customer in your CRM database.
As these people have already expressed an interest in your product or service, remarketing will encourage them to return to your site and buy from you.
It's an easy and cost-effective way to appeal to already engaged customers.
5. Regularly check your stats
When you have made changes to your campaign and are happy with your engagement rates, you still need to keep checking your metrics.
Your competitors' actions and changes to search engine algorithms can impact your targeting, meaning that it can frequently fluctuate.Take the time to review your ads at least once a week. That way, you can make small changes to your campaigns if needed and help ensure your engagement and targeting stays on track.