2020 has been a different and difficult year for all of us, including search marketing professionals. The pandemic presented just as many opportunities as challenges and made us try new strategies and techniques. For the fortunate few industries and digital businesses, their profits grew. But even these businesses had to learn to think differently and try new things.
Well, now is the perfect time to take a good look at your PPC campaigns and analyze them to plan your marketing strategy in 2021. Here are five things to consider.
1. Website Traffic
The first thing to do is head over to Google Analytics and compare your website traffic in 2019 and 2020. Take a note of the following:
- Did website traffic rise or fall during the last 6 months of the pandemic?
- Have any specific traffic sources dried up or skyrocketed?
- Can you notice any changes in user acquisition and behavior?
- Did any specific landing pages work better than others?
Once you have this data, analyze the reasons for the changes you've seen and use the insight for future planning.
The next step is to check Google Analytics and Google Search Console for keywords.
First, check organic and paid search keywords trends over the period of 12, 6 and 3 months. Here's what to check:
- Did your targeted keywords perform as expected over the above-mentioned periods?
- Are there any other keywords that look promising for your 2021 paid search campaigns?
Make sure you review your campaigns for cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion. Doing that will provide some interesting data you can use.
3. Review Your Content
Use Google Analytics behavior section to see which content resonated with your audience and which caused people to leave your website. Also, take a look at the articles you used in your content marketing strategy and see:
- Which pieces got the most visits?
- Which pieces got the most conversions?
- Which posts got the most shares and likes on social media?
- Which content led to the most newsletter signups?
These touchpoints will help you to plan your content strategy next year and focus on the type of pieces that bring results.
Use all the insights you get from your audit to plan a smarter 2021 PPC strategy where you'll focus on the right type of keywords and content. This will help you to save your budget and get the maximum out of every dollar spent.
We're nearly at the end of 2020 and it has been a hectic year for pay for click advertisers. More and more businesses have turned to e-commerce in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, using PPC advertising to entice customers into their online stores.
There has also been a range of changes on our PPC platforms of choice. Google brought in free product listings for companies earlier this year while Microsoft Advertising upped its game substantially with a range of new features, including cookie-based A/B testing.
At this time of year, we like to take a look at the PPC trends for the upcoming year, and we have picked five of our favorites for 2021.
1. The rise of PPC automation
PPC ad platforms are pushing automation and encouraging advertisers to let them make advertising and bidding decisions on their behalf. Although some marketers aren't fans and are suspicious of losing control over their adverts, automation is proving to be successful.
For example, Google's responsive ads perform nearly 6% better than standard ones.
The bonus of this approach is that you will have more time to perfect your ad copy, keywords, and audience targeting while your ad platform of choice does all of the dirty work in the background.
2. The increasing popularity of video ads
Video ads are going from strength to strength on PPC platforms and we think they will be huge in 2021.
People love engaging content that is easily snackable, making video a perfect channel to promote your marketing message.
3. The growth of ads on social media
2020 was a busy year for social media, with the rise of TikTok, the introduction of Instagram Reels and the launch of LinkedIn stories.
If you are looking to appeal to a captive audience, it may be worth diversifying your marketing budget and looking into social media advertising next year.
4. Okay Google… What is voice search?
Siri. Cortana, Bixby, Alexa… the use of voice search is skyrocketing, with 1 in 2 searches now voice-based.
This means that marketers need to start factoring voice search into their PPC strategy, focusing on conversational language, long-tail keywords and questions.
5. The return of remarketing
With the PPC market becoming more competitive than ever, it's essential to do all you can to encourage traffic to your website, and remarketing is a great way to do this.
By setting up remarketing lists and creating display ads, you can entice previous visitors back to your site and encourage them to convert.
So there you have it… Our five predictions for what PPC trends will be hot next year!What are your PPC predictions for 2021? Where will you be spending your marketing budget?
It's great that people are clicking on your adverts on Google and Bing, but if they aren't resulting in conversions on your website, it may be time to rethink your PPC strategy.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is an action that visitors take on your website. This can be anything from spending a set amount of time on a specific page, watching a video, signing up to a newsletter, or making a purchase.
Conversions are the key to help grow your business and will help you determine whether you are getting a healthy return on investment from your PPC advertising.
If your leads aren't resulting in conversions and you are below target, here are three tips to help boost your conversion rate.
1. Review the goals on your website
Only 29% of Google Ads account track conversions correctly, so if your stats are a little lower than you would like, it is a good idea to check they are set up right.
Load up Google Analytics and look at the goals that are set up on your website, one-by-one. Are they tracking correctly? If not, have you don't anything on your website recently that might have disrupted tracking – for example, changing a page name or tweaking your event tags?
Are there any goals that you are not tracking that you should be?
If you have checked your goals and they are tracking correctly, it may be time to review the content on your site.
2. Try directing visitors to another page
If all your ads direct your would-be customers to your home page, making some changes could help boost your conversion rate.
Did you know that 44% of clicks go to home pages? This is not a good marketing strategy.
If you point them to your home page, where there are a lot of call to actions to take in, it's a potentially a missed sales opportunity.
Look at your ad copy and see if the landing page fulfills your prospective customers' needs. If not, experiment with pointing your advert to another web page or better yet, create a brand new web page that will tick all the boxes and encourage people to convert.
3. Look at your page content
Making small changes to your web pages can have a significant impact on your conversion rate.
You only have 0.05 seconds for your website to make the right impression, so if your web visitors can't find what they want straight away, they're going to leave.
Some of our top tips for optimizing your page content include:
Try different things and see what works best on all your web pages.We hope this short guide has given you some inspiration to review your pages and look at the ways you can boost your conversion rates!
Google Tag Manager was recently updated with a brand new preview mode – called Tag Assistant.
You have always been able to preview your work in Google Tag Manager, but many users complained about how complicated the process was. Preview mode was embedded in an iframe, which was incredibly fiddly to access. Now Tag Assistant opens up in a brand new window, and comes with a few extra new features too.
The new Tag Assistant mode will make debugging your work in Tag Manager and checking if tags are firing correctly easier than ever before. And the great thing is, it's simple to use.
Here is a guide to the changes, and how to get started with the new preview mode.
What has changed?
As mentioned, the main change is that Tag Assistant now opens in a new tab.
The previous version of preview mode only tracked tags on the page that you were on. The new version now tracks all tags, only stopping when you close Tag Assistant down.
You can share your preview with other people, as long as they have the Tag Assistant extension on Chrome. Just send them the link of the specific preview, and you can easily get a second opinion on your work.
Tag Assistant has also moved from using third-party cookies to first-party cookies. This is because Google has pledged to remove third-party cookies from Chrome by 2022.
This move has not only been brought in to comply with regulations like GDPR, but will also help make debugging easier when using different browsers, private-browsing modes and extensions.
Bear in mind that you can't switch back to the previous preview mode.
How to use the new preview mode
To start, click the preview button at the top right of the page. If you want to preview a specific version you can access the preview button from the versions tab.
You'll then be asked to enter the URL you want to preview. Click start and Tag Assistant will open.
Bear in mind that with Tag Assistant, at least one version has to be published first. Unlike the previous preview mode, you can't preview anything this is unpublished
The Tag Assistant will automatically open up two new tabs, one for itself and another for the website you are previewing.
There is a tab on the Tag Assistant page where you can see information about the tabs that fire. Click on the tag to find out more information about it.
Our thoughts about the new preview mode
Tag Assistant is only a few weeks old at the moment, so there are still a few bugs that Google needs to fix before it becomes 100% fully functional.
The new version is a lot less complicated to use and will undoubtedly grow and evolve in the coming months.
We're fans of the update and will definitely be testing our work before we publish it a lot more!Are you using the new Tag Assistant? What do you like the most about it?