PPC marketing is just like any other marketing platform in that it’s susceptible to change.
As consumer behavior continually switches directions and evolves, so does pay per click marketing.
And in 2019, we can expect (and are already seeing) some significant changes.
Namely, with automation.
Automation is a powerful tool to increase speed, efficiency, and growth.
But it’s complex, sometimes expensive, and even creates problems for existing PPC marketers.
Here are four key ways that automation will change the outlook of PPC in 2019, for the good or bad.
1. Machine Learning Will Improve Ad Relevance On the Fly
If you have ever had the pleasure of sitting down to write ads for a campaign on Google Ads, Facebook, or pretty much any other PPC platform out there, you know the pain.
Trying to fit paragraphs of potential value into just a few hundred characters maximum not only is it tedious, but it’s tiresome.
Trying to write ads that people enjoy reading enough to click to your landing page is hard. And writing them at scale is even more brutal, not to mention developing ads for different audience segments.
You get the point:
Writing ads for several campaigns sucks. Big time. Thankfully, automation and machine learning are set to provide relief in 2019.
One sign of this is Google’s already existing Ad Strength tool.
The Ad Strength tool uses machine learning to understand your audience, keywords, and even intent to help you develop more targeted ads.
This tool is directly available for any advertisers using responsive search ad campaign types.
Beyond general tips, like “add new headlines” and “make your descriptions more unique,” the tool can even generate ideas for you based on ads that have performed well in the past and competitors!
Pretty amazing, huh?
Here is how Google describes ad strength:
You’ll see ad strength both when you write a responsive search ad and as a column in Google Ads. Ranging from “Poor” to “Excellent,” this metric measures the relevance, quantity, and diversity of your ad copy. Combined with actionable feedback, ad strength makes it easy for you to improve the effectiveness of your ads.”
Anthony Chavez, Director of Product Management, Google Ads
According to Google, “On average, advertisers that combine Google’s machine learning with multiple creatives see up to 15 percent more clicks.”
Yep, that’s right, using this new tool to automate your ad copywriting can result in 15% more clicks on your campaigns!
That’s a surefire way to overtake competitors in the SERPs who could be outshining you or writing better ad copy.
Currently, this tool and responsive search ads are in beta testing.
To see if you have the feature available and ready to use, head to your Google Ads account.
Select a live search network campaign on your dashboard and click to the ads and extensions tab.
If you see the responsive search ad type, you can start using it immediately!
If you don’t, you will have to wait a bit until Google polishes the beta and releases it for all advertisers.
Machine learning and automation with this tool will dramatically change ad copywriting in 2019.
Now, we can reach searchers with more targeted copy that increases CTR and improves results.
2. More Businesses Can Run PPC Ads Without Hiring Experts
Google Ads’ lesser-known family member, Google AdWords Express, is making moves.
If you have not been keeping up with the latest and greatest Google news, you might have missed the updates and developments in Adwords Express.
Now, advertisers who use AdWords Express have almost zero work needed to launch impressive campaigns that generate a return on investment.
If that’s not a compelling value proposition for small businesses strapped for cash and time, I don’t know what is.
But hasn’t AdWords Express been around for a while now? Yep. What changed? Well, just recently, Google added the Express campaigns directly into Google Ads, rebranding them as “Smart” campaigns!
While AdWords Express was its own platform, it’s now directly integrated, giving advertisers direct access and opening the floodgates for more usability.
And AdWords Express is a powerhouse of automation.
With smart campaigns and AdWords Express, all you need is 15 minutes to create a campaign that Google handles.
Simply type a few basic lines about what your business does or sells…
…and Google will develop multiple variations of high-quality ad copy to showcase to select audiences who they think are most interested in your product.
These new smart campaigns and Express as a whole pack some powerful automation features:
- Zero maintenance:
Setup your account once in 15 minutes and Google handles literally everything from keyword management to bidding and everything in between. You don’t have any keyword lists to manage, no audiences to control, etc.
- Automatic ad writing:
just type three lines about your business offering and Google handles the ad copywriting for good.
- Pay only for results:
that’s right, this isn’t costing you extra money to do. This is a big selling point when compared to expensive PPC agencies or hiring an in-house PPC marketer to your staff. With PPC agencies, you are paying both for PPC budgets and the service. With this, you just pay for results.
Still confused, here is how Express is differentiated from Google Ads:
These new features being directly integrated into Google Ads as smart campaigns mean one thing:
Automation is getting easier and more mainstream.
Google wants to handle the heavy lifting normally held by agencies using third-party tools. And this means that agencies and PPC marketers alike will have to master the platform to stand out in 2019.
If you are currently offering services, prepare to master your craft and be able to showcase how you can deliver better results than machine learning and automation.
3. Reporting is Becoming More Automated (HOORAY)
Google Ads has for years been filled with repetition.
To get the same tasks done just a few years back, you’d have to repeat the same process over and over.
And thankfully, Google Ads is changing the game when it comes to reporting.
Not only is automation for reporting becoming easier, but the metrics of focus are becoming better.
Ilya Cherepakhin, the Executive Media Director at Acronym, said this about reporting and automation in 2019:
If you spend a lot of time on repetitive tasks such as bid tracking, or reporting, you can start to automate it even further, so you can spend more time on where it really counts: your customers.”
Ilya Cherepakhin, Acronym
So, what are some easy ways to take advantage of automated reporting in 2019?
Thankfully, these are already here and ready to use for any advertiser on Google’s platform.
Reporting in Google Ads can now be automated for almost any report or metric.
For example, do you sift through the search terms report on a frequent basis to find negative keywords and new campaign ideas? If you don’t, you should be.
And if you are, you can automate the search terms reporting via email to highlight the best candidates and save you hours weekly.
How? Head to your search terms report on the keywords tab. From here, select to filter the report.
This will bring up a giant list of key metrics that the search terms report can display for you.
Things like clicks, impressions, cost, CTR, and more.
Sort by your high-level key performance metrics and select the few that are most important to your data.
For example, if you select impressions, you can ensure that your report only shows terms with impressions over 100 in that given time-frame:
Once you have filtered the data, you can then schedule emails to be sent to your inbox daily, weekly, or monthly:
This is amazing when it comes to automation because you can create dozens of reports like this, giving them specific names.
For example, two great reports that I automate each week are:
- Search terms with KPIs:
I first filter for the top search terms based on performance metrics like CTR and clicks. This gives me a weekly report that I call “campaign ideas.” Why? Because the keywords are showing solid performance already, indicating that they could perform even better if a campaign was built around them!
- Negative keywords:
My second report is filtered by search terms with poor performance. This usually involves filtering for keywords that have high costs with low-performance metrics, like poor overall CTR. These get sent to my inbox and all I need to do is copy and paste them into my negative keyword list and hit update.
Want to take reporting one step further?
Integrate directly with Google Sheets:
Using the Google Sheets integration, you can automatically refresh reports that pull data from your Google Ads account with the click of a button.
Are you sick of going into Google Ads and filtering each time to get the same data?
Look no further. In Sheets, you just need to filter once. When it comes time to collect new data, simply refresh the report and it populates each column and row with updated data!
Google automation has changed the reporting game.
If you are still generating reports directly on the platform, you are spending more time and effort than needed.
4. Automated Bidding Will Be Critical for Success
Google Ads features a bunch of different bidding types, options, and strategies to utilize them.
But it’s clear that they are putting more stock into automated ones.
With advancements in smart bidding, using anything else takes much more work and only produces better results if you have tweaked and tested enough.
What’s smart bidding?
Smart bidding can be used on a bunch of different bidding types on Google Ads:
- Target CPA
- Maximize Conversions
- Target ROAS
- Enhanced CPC
Essentially, with smart bidding enabled on these bidding types, Google does most of the work for you.
For example, if you select Target CPA, or target cost per acquisition, you set a specific number that you want to spend to acquire a customer.
Then, Google puts machine learning to work to optimize your bidding. It can lower bids when searches aren’t bottom of the funnel and ready to convert, or it can crank bids up when a user is moments away from buying to help you close the sale.
Automated bidding features with smart bidding have been producing stellar results for Google, and they are continually improving it.
Using most other bidding strategies will leave you to do most of the work. And while that can be excellent for advanced PPC marketers, for just about anyone else, smart bidding features will take over.
They are best for campaigns where you have extremely clear-cut targets to hit.
For instance, if you need sales to flow in at $50 apiece, capping your CPA to that would ensure you hit that target goal.
Without this bidding strategy, it’s up to you to tweak your bid adjustments to hit that goal. And if you don’t, you pay more.
Want to prepare your bidding strategies for 2019 and beyond?
Start getting more familiar with those four different bidding strategies.
Automation, whether you like it or not, will continue to grow, develop, and change fundamental aspects of pay per click marketing.
PPC isn’t immune to change, and we have to be prepared for it.
Automation can bring changes to PPC that are both useful and negative, depending on your circumstances.
A few things are for sure in 2019:
- Ad copywriting is going to get dramatically easier and become a more accurate, sales-driven tactic that seeks to improve relevance and searcher experiences on the fly.
- More businesses will be able to run automated ad campaigns with little setup work, meaning PPC marketers will have to differentiate their abilities to get more business.
- Reporting is becoming more and more automated, eliminating the need for repetitive, lower level tasks.
- Automated bidding is on the rise with increases data points and strategies to use, giving advertisers more options and less control.
It’s time to get prepared for the future of PPC with further automation.
How are you preparing?