PPC Evolution – What to look out for in 2018

8th January 2018

PPC will continue to change, often in ways we have yet to foresee. However, the general direction of travel over the past few years has been towards producing more targeted advertising directing people to more relevant landing pages and content. This is unlikely to change anytime soon.

With those rules in mind, what do top SEO’s think will be the hottest PPC trends in the coming year?


Voice PPC spurs rivalry

PPC has already moved from desktop to tablet and then to the smartphone. Could this be the year when we see the rise in popularity of ads pushed through Google Home and Alexa? The data from SEO suggests that the more conversational style of voice search is likely to yield results for people who use structured data around well-tailored content, but in the advertising market, it lends itself to tailored partnerships between the search providers and companies wishing to sell products.

Imagine that you are in your kitchen searching for a recipe, what could be more natural than your speaker connecting you to a long-form voice ad featuring a recipe from a company that sells the ingredient you are searching for?

The PPC role in such an arrangement would be to provide the trigger keywords (probably as a broad match campaign) That will trigger the audio. If we do see a move to this kind of advertising, agencies that can offer professional partnership to produce the audio content are going to be at an advantage.


Amazon PPC will gain traction – but Google will challenge

If you are a regular user of Amazon you will have noticed an increase of late in the number of sponsored products that appear on the site as you search. This one-click purchasing is something that is proving popular with merchants and customers alike.

What we are likely to see in the coming year is Google and Bing trying to copy this functionality for users of traditional PPC. Google is obviously at an advantage here as it already owns the Google Pay platform that makes it easy for customers to check out.

Given Google’s push towards data feeds for its existing Google Shopping ads, it makes sense to tie things together and provide an end to end experience for the customer, and tie people ever more closely to Google’s Ecosystem.

The service to look out for is Google Express. The company has partnered with some 30-plus retailers such as Walmart, Costco and Target to provide streamlined checkout and free next-day delivery for qualified orders.


More from Facebook and Linkedin

Facebook is growing steadily. It makes sense to take your ads where the eyeballs of your potential customers are. Whilst Facebook has been great for branding, bringing Instagram in-house has been a stroke of genius, as it allows people who are more interested in style and fashion to have ads that are directly related to the clothes being worn by their favourite Instagrammers to be displayed alongside the non-paid content.

We are likely to see far more cross-promotion between advertisers on both platforms as their ad system become more entwined.
LinkedIn is a curiosity in PPC advertising. It has never really found its niche, but 2018 could be the year when things come together. It is now owned by Microsoft, who will be looking to make a real return on their purchase, this could mean a higher profile for advertising on the site than in the past, or could potential lead to the formation of marketplaces between users of the site for professional and freelance services, bringing a E-bay style dynamic to the current business networking opportunities.

Structured Data

We have already touched on data availability. We can see this becoming a key driver of PPC over the coming year. As well as having the data from Google Merchants centre, we are likely to see a new push from the Google Manufacturers centre.

Original manufacturers and brands can upload data to Google Manufacturer Center that includes
detailed and rich product information such as product titles, descriptions, images, key features, YouTube videos, The data submitted to the Manufacturer Center is used to enrich Google’s overall product catalogue.