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PPC in 2018 – What we expect

Here at twentysix we’ve been preparing for what we think will happen in the PPC landscape in 2018. Firstly, there’s the advancements of 2017 that will continue to develop, such as focusing on further use of attribution and more intuitive audience targeting to name but a few. There are also a few buzz words that we all associate with Google, “mobile” and “attribution” being two of the most prominent examples, and I’m afraid you’re going to hear them here too.


Google’s mobile-first indexing is expected any day now, though as this is an SEO based shift it shouldn’t necessarily have a heavy impact on our paid strategies. However, if you take into consideration the user’s onsite experience as a key by-product of this change it will undoubtedly effect progress in one way or another. If your site isn’t mobile-first friendly then it’s likely users are going to bounce more, spend less time on site and inevitably look for a more user-friendly site elsewhere. That’s why we are focussing on ensuring all our clients have a clear, strategic plan, such as rolling out AMP landing pages for PPC where possible to mitigate any negative impact this might have on their paid strategy.


Secondly, attribution. With the marketing mix growing day by day it is becoming an increasingly difficult task to attribute correctly if you don’t have the correct process and technology in place. With the new AdWords UI rolling out – and we expect it to be the primary interface at some point in 2018 – it is significant that Google’s 2017 launch of their new attribution product is integrated within this. This will help the PPC industry move away from the legacy last-click model and ensure that accounts are being optimised in line with how the account is impacting conversion performance throughout the whole funnel.

Voice search

According to comscore “50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” and with sales of voice assistants doubling for Q4 from 2016 to 2017 it’s clear that the phrases “Alexa” and “Hey Google” are becoming part of our everyday lives, and search marketers can use this information for more personal and predictive targeting. Historically, we target on what users are looking for but in 2018 we expect a greater utilisation of voice search data and other sources to target more emotional search signals than just keywords.

Ad Extensions

Throughout 2017 there was a constant stream of new ad extensions and updates, which we envisage continuing into 2018. At the end of 2017, Google launched a refresher to the Message extension whereby all messages from users are collated into one document, which is ideal for lead generation accounts that may require a call back at a later date. A further development we foresee is the wider integration of chatbots within message extensions or as a separate extension in itself. Bing has been testing this in Q4 of 2017 and we eagerly await the announcement it will developed further across all search platforms.

In order to be prepared for another big year in marketing, twentysix have created our Digital Trends for 2018 report. Take a read to make sure you’re ready for the year ahead.

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