Paid Search Advertising in 2020

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24th June 2020

For our July Rural Roundtable, we brought in our Paid Search Advertising guru Mark Pritchard to give his insight into PPC. Thank you to everyone who joined us. We really hope you found the session valuable, and if you have any other topics you’d like us to cover in the future please do let us know. Below is a summary from our session and you can also re-watch the webinar – link at the bottom of this page.

Paid Search Advertising

The internet is the home of paid search advertising – The world’s largest shopping centre in a 6-inch box, who’d have thought it! According to Valve & Metre, for every $1 spend on Google Adwords, businesses earn an average revenue of $2. So, if done well, there really is every opportunity to see great return on investment (ROI) from this method of digital marketing.

Are you wanting to start out on your paid search journey? Google makes it extremely easy to set up and manage your PPC account, but it’s also extremely easy to get lost in a spiral of spending and see very little return. Our biggest piece of advice is to make sure you seek the help of true specialists – This is how you will see maximum results.

How to identify paid search?

Unless you’re actively seeking them, you’ve probably never noticed the ads in your search results before. And that generally means that Google is doing something right! The only way to truly identify what is a paid placement, and what is an organic ranking is to identify the small green ad box, as highlighted in the graphic below.

If you click on a search result with an ad mark, this will cost the advertiser whereas the organic links are free.

The core reason to use PPC is to improve the position of your business within the search results for specific keywords. Simply using organic search will take a longer period of time and isn’t always as effective. 

Paid Ads have come a long way in the last 10 years where it would have been largely text ads. Now a days, ads are everywhere. If you run an Ecommerce business this will be a great advantage to you!

Beating the crowds

Even before Covid-19, people were shopping online more and more. Google shopping ads have been around since 2015 and their use has grown massively in that time. Shopping ads are image led as Google found that they were much more beneficial in this format than in text. This does mean that as an advertiser you can advertise through both the text ads on the left-hand side and the shopping ads. This allows you to occupy multiple spaces. The more space you can take up above the fold, the more likely to you are get clicks.

Graph below shows Google Shopping impressions over time v. Paid Search impressions, highlighting the significant growth here:

The amount of spend on Google shopping ads has increased significantly over the last few years. We would recommend that if you so sell physical products online, that you make use of Google shopping.

Unlike text ads where you are working with keywords, Google shopping works off a feed of your data. All you need to get started is a catalogue of your products, descriptions and where they’re going to.

How much does paid search cost?

There is no easy answer to this question. Every business and individual account is different, and costs can vary greatly. Paid search is an auction, so it is highly dependent on supply and demand.

Where a market is more competitive, it will inevitably cost more to try and compete with a higher number of competitors to get your ads shown. The demand refers to the number of users searching and when we talk about supply, we are referring to the number of advertisers advertising against those keywords.

When starting out with paid search, there are ways that we can forecast spend for you by looking at individual cases. When we look at potential keywords, there are tools available to help forecast what you would be looking at in terms of supply and demand and this can help us estimate costs for you.

It’s important to note that this is another reason we would always recommend having a specialist managing your paid search. Supply and demand can change very quickly and if you don’t have the resource constantly monitoring and keeping a close eye on your ads, then it is very easy for costs to spiral.

PPC in 2020 and beyond

It’s no surprise that the advertising market in 2020 has been impacted by the global pandemic. But there is a wealth of data available to help us look into the impact of individual markets, companies and potential future trends. One way of doing this is by looking towards the European markets which are currently ahead of the UK. By identifying trends and patterns in behaviour in European markets, you can see certain trends which can translate to the UK. This will help with planning.

Although PPC is one of the oldest platforms for online advertising, there is no sign of it letting up. Google has increased ad revenue by at least 13% YoY in the last 10 years.

A couple of markets that have been strongly impacted by recent events include the travel industry and food delivery services.

The holiday market has been severely impacted across businesses of all sizes. However, the UK holiday market is seeing a huge opportunity as a result. Cottage rentals, self-catering and related terms are predicted to hit their highest point in the last 12-month period.

Food delivery services and home delivery for food saw unprecedented demand during lockdown. Where this demand has reduced more recently, the search volume is still 125% higher than it was this time last year.

There are several resources and training assets available within Google which are worth looking into further.

For any more information or if you would like a bit more guidance on paid search for your business please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Watch Our Rural Roundtable

Useful Links

Google Trends

Office for National Statistics

Google Digital Garage

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