What is going on in Paid Search these days? What strategies and tactics are being used? What new functionalities in Google Adwords are Search marketers using for themselves or for their clients?
I have analyzed 25 of the best entries in the European Search Awards in order to identify the major trends in Paid Search. I will be presenting the results on the European Search Conference in Liverpool next month.
Paid search was such a powerful marketing tool at its inception. In the early 2000s, Search Marketing would be a challenger to all media and communication budgets as it could drive volumes, drive conversions and even prove its value. Since then, Paid Search has become a bit more humble and opened up to the marketing mix and it is fascinating to see how Paid Search integrates with other channels; Social media, of course, but also Shopping engines, email and even offline.
Strategies, tactics, functionalities and hacks
I have structured the analysis around 4 different categories:
Strategies: for many years a Search Strategy would be built on 3 elements: Granularity, Expansion and Optimisation. We still see this approach in entries in 2018 but the more advanced strategies are looking at the wider user journey and are pulling data or inspiration from outside of the Search channel.
Tactics: it is at the tactical level that most of the trends are visible. The spectrum of tactics used seems to be expanding quite a bit. We see several tactics deployed within one entry.
Functionalities: the search engines are adding a lot of functionalities and Paid Search has become a complex beast. It was never really « 15 minutes and a credit card » as Google originally announced on the Adwords entry page. Extensions are some of the most adopted functionalities and we also see mentions of machine learning.
Hacks: some of the entries are using innovative techniques. I am hoping to be able to share some of these hacks in my presentation but can’t reveal anything at this stage.
I have been a Judge on the European Search Awards for the past 4-5 years. That has given me the priviledge to see some of the best work in Search Marketing carried out across Europe. The judging experience is very rich but also time-consuming and I believe these awards are doing a wonderful job of compensating excellent work and also of making a whole industry aim for excellence.
The Awards ceremony is a great celebration but there is no time available for celebrating the content of individual entries. Each year we see new ideas emerge and each year we see quality improve.
This presentation is an aim to share some of that experience so that the industry can build upon an even stronger foundation for coming years.
I hope to see you there.
European Search Conference 2018
27 June, 2018, Liverpool International Business Festival
Discount code: ESC20SP