Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Trends 2020

Updated: Mar 12, 2020

Stay on top of the latest advancements in paid search by taking a look at the big PPC trends for 2020 that are set to take the digital marketing industry by storm.


As the world of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) becomes increasingly competitive, it has never been more important to ensure you are spending your budget efficiently and maximizing your Return On Investment (ROI). But with new PPC strategies and opportunities emerging all the time, which ones should you pay attention to?


Take a look at what we at Smart Insights and industry experts believe are the top PPC trends to pay attention to, as we cut through the noise and give our top five trends you definitely need to add to your PPC strategy for 2020.


PPC Automation


Pay-per-click advertising has changed digital marketing forever. According to Alphabet Google has reportedly generated $32.6 billion in revenue from advertising, a jump of around 16% over the same period last year. Now throw in the opportunity to reach your target audience when they’re ready to buy through automation and AI and it’s surely a digital marketer's dream.


The idea of vast amounts of data working together to identify the best possible audience for your campaign is an exciting prospect. It will save businesses money by targeting audiences that are more likely to buy and enrich customers' lives by seeing advertising that will be more relevant to them. A win-win!


Companies like Google have invested heavily in automation, leading to a wide variety of automation options available depending on your campaign goals. To really benefit from PPC automation you will need to help it by ensuring your goals are set up correctly for your business. This will make sure Google is learning correctly to target your ideal customers and are driving the required goals.


Automation will save you time - and potentially money - while giving you extra time to focus your attention on other projects and strategies. However, it’s worth noting that this method may not be right for all businesses and whilst it has come a long way, it isn’t 100% perfect, so it will still require regular maintenance and checks to see if your campaigns are meeting their desired KPI’s.


With the rise of home internet-dependent devices to control home functions Google has an enormous amount of data and can use it to present personalized, relevant ads and experiences based on your previous actions. This is a form of automation. Google uses this information to create automation systems in order to understand patterns of users behaviour. As a result, Google can offer advertisers highly targeted audiences. Meaning you will be able to deliver your message to the right audience at the right time, reducing wastage and increasing conversion rates.


“The rise of automation puts manual bidding in the shade. We’ve seen automation become more and more prevalent in the Google Ads eco-system and over the course of 2020, I can see these automated features eclipsing manual bidding to the point where Google may just close down manual bids entirely.


"The automation tools that Google has introduced of late - the most recent being ‘maximum conversion value’ - have made real-time bidding not only more powerful but much more efficient than any manual bidding strategy. For most campaigns, it really is a no brainer. It would not surprise me if, at some point in 2020, Google announces that it is pulling back or even removing the options for manual bidding.


"However, there is still a lot of work to do before that happens – both on the part of Google and on the part of advertisers.


"For advertisers, the adoption rate for real-time bidding remains low and it will take better education and understanding to get more brands to embrace (and trust) the automation. On Google’s part, it needs to offer more sophisticated bidding strategies that take into account multiple objectives & a lack of data. I for one would like to see an “enhanced maximize clicks” strategy that would strike a better balance between clicks & conversions rather than chasing cheap, low-quality traffic.”


Jack Burton, Biddable Media Lead, Stickyeyes.


Artificial Intelligence


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an exciting development that seems to be cropping up in all areas of Digital Marketing, and why wouldn’t it? The prospect of AI automation taking care of the repetitive daily tasks, (and in some cases better than before due to the complex algorithms) freeing up time to focus on strategy, testing and their clients is an enticing prospect.


So How Exactly is AI Benefitting PPC?