7 PPC Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2016 & Beyond

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Last Updated: July 21, 2021 | Paid Search Marketing
HomeBlog7 PPC Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2016 & Beyond


7 PPC Trends to Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2016 & Beyond

September 16, 2016
Paid Search Marketing


So far this year, we’ve seen the rise of many new audience targeting trends that are helping businesses reach out to their target buyers and more effectively market their products and services.

From persona targeting to remarketing ads and many other new trends already spreading like wildfire, it’s no wonder paid search advertising continues to be the buzzword for businesses looking to tap into the world’s largest market – the Internet.

PPC trends annual PPC budget by spend


But here’s the brutal truth about paid search marketing:

There are WAY too many marketers and businesses that just follow the conventional wisdom readily available on the Internet.

If only it were that easy…

If you’re serious about paid search advertising, you’ll need to be embrace the trends of tomorrow to stay ahead in the game. That’s why we decided to hand-pick a list of seven PPC trends of tomorrow to help you stay ahead of the curve in 2016 and beyond.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

Trend #1: Google Adwords Re-Enables Mobile-Base Bidding

In a recent development, Google announced a significant change in order to ensure greater control for users over device-level bidding in AdWords. With its recent announcement, Google has made it clear that tablet bidding is back, and that base bids will now apply to mobile with bid modifiers set for desktop and/or tablet.


PPC trends mobile bid adjustments

This means that now businesses and marketers will be able to anchor their base keyword to the devices relevant to their business. They can then easily set bid adjustments for other devices. In addition, marketers will now be able to adjust bids up to +900%, which has been increased from +300%.

It’s important to understand that device bidding will apply to ALL campaign types. This is true even when keyword targeting is not being used, as in Shopping campaigns, for example.

Mobile and tablet usage is finally outpacing desktop usage (after years of speculation and hand-wringing), and this realization is pushing a lot of marketers and businesses to change the way they conceptualize and create ads for their target audiences.

Trend #2: Responsive Ads to Be Featured in the Display Network

In another recent development, Google announced the introduction of new, responsive ads for display. This means that you can now go for dynamic, responsive ads that will automatically resize and adjust to match the look and feel of the content your target audience is browsing.


PPC trends responsive ad formats

Image via PPCNI

Built dynamically by Google, these responsive ads automatically fit available ad spaces on the Google Display Network. All you need to do is to provide a marketing image, a short headline, a long headline, a description, and an optional name and custom logo design. That’s it! Google will do all the hard work for you.

Trend #3: More Characters for Text Search Ads on All Devices

Google recently launched Expanded Text Ads, a new formatting option that offers advertisers more room for ad copy. Essentially, Expanded Text Ads effectively double the size of PPC ads on AdWords, meaning that advertisers have more opportunities to entice prospects with their ads.

PPC trends text ad character limits


Image via PPC Hero

Not so long ago, Google raised eyebrows by removing text ads from the right hand side of the SERPs. Now that these ads aren’t there anymore, Google can now streamline its text ad formats across both mobile and desktop.

Soon, advertisers will be able to use two 30-character headlines as against the present 25-character headline. In addition, the updates mean that advertisers now have access to an 80-character limit for description copy instead of the earlier two 35-character lines.

And that’s not all! The display URLs will automatically pull the landing page domain, but advertisers will be able to name up to two directory paths — neither of which has to be a real navigational path — to provide description about the landing page content.

Trend #4: Shopping Feed Update Will Impact PPC Campaigns

On May 25, 2016, Google announced vital updates to its Shopping Products Feed Specification. These updates meant changes to the information that Google requires from advertisers in order to run Shopping ads.


PPC trends Google Shopping campaigns

Now, Unit Pricing will be available for all markets and categories in a bid to ensure consistency in the displayed prices. Color and Size values will now be compulsory to ensure a better, more consistent shopping experience for users.

The minimum image size requirements for non-apparel products will be increased from 32 x 32 to 100 x 100 pixels to be able to support new ad formats better. The minimum image size for apparel images will remain 250 x 250 pixels.

The maximum feed file size will also be increased from 1 GB to 4 GB. This means going forward, you’ll be able to use larger, high-quality images (file size as large as 800 x 800 pixels or larger) to ensure better performance. This is sure to be a winning trend that will help you ensure that your ads feature the most accurate prices, specifications, and availability information – and plenty of gorgeous, high-resolution imagery!

Trend #5: Video Ad Campaigns will Rule the Roost

Here’s another 2015 trend on the list that looks to be going strong in 2016. Video ads have become increasingly popular among marketers and businesses. With Google and Facebook focusing more on video ads, it’s no wonder why video ads have become very much a part of the mainstream advertising medium.


PPC trends effectiveness of online video

Image via Marketing Land

Today, ever-so-connected and ever-so-busy users often like to watch more than read. Therefore, presenting your ads in video format can get you more eyes and more clicks compared to plain old text ads.

Contrary to common misconception, creating video ad campaigns can be economical. You don’t need any special technical skills to actually run video adverts (though you’ll still need at least a rudimentary understanding of video production techniques and the equipment to do it, if you plan on producing your own video ads) and you can easily manage it through AdWords. It was a major win for us last year and will be again this year and beyond.

Trend #6: Interactive Advertising Will Be the New Normal

Today’s consumers are smarter than ever. They look for – and essentially demand – to experience the products and services from brands before they spend money on it, and Google seems to be serious about making it possible for its app users.


PPC trends interactive ads

Image via Media Post

Did you know that 1 in 4 apps listed on Google’s Play Store have never been used? This realization is pushing Google to use its virtual machines on its cloud platform to enable users to use an app for at least 60 seconds before downloading it. This will help users decide if they actually want to download the app or not. Great for users, not so great for the developers of the millions of mediocre apps out there.

This is arguably the most audacious of our 2016 PPC trend predictions. Soon, advertisers will help users experience their products before they actually purchase them. This implies that more and more advertisers will utilize interactive ads to showcase their products to their prospects and consumers.

This also means we’ll soon see more and more interactive ads that will allow users to experience products before spending their hard-earned cash on them.

Trend #7: RLSA Will Steal the Limelight

Though launched officially in 2013, RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) have not yet been fully explored by many marketers yet. However, we’re confident that many marketers will reap the benefits from RLSA once they realize the potential returns that RLSA offers.


PPC trends RLSA concept illustration

RLSA gets you access to an extensive list of search ads where you can select ads for products and services similar to yours. You can then modify search ads, bids, and keywords.

It also helps you review the returning visitor data right from your AdWords dashboard to analyze your users’ behavior. This information will provide greater insights into and control over your paid search budget.

For example, if you know that your returning visitors are converting at a higher cost-per-acquisition against first-time visitors, you can easily lower the bid on your search ads for this audience. On the other hand, if you find that your returning visitors are converting at a lower cost, you can increase bids for them.

About the Author

Nancy Kapoor is a blogger and digital marketing expert at Design Hill, the world’s fastest-growing crowdsourcing platform for custom web and graphic design. Nancy has spent more than seven years working in SEO, email marketing, paid marketing, affiliate marketing, digital marketing, blogging, and content marketing.


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WordStream’s guest authors are experts, entrepreneurs, and passionate writers in the online marketing community who bring diverse perspectives to our blog on a wide range of topics.

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