This year has seen a shift in online search behavior, so what will this mean for the future of paid campaigns?

These are challenging times and dare we say “unprecedented?” And no, we’re talking about the pandemic, the Presidential election, or anything in between. The current events we’re focusing on are the changes in paid search and what that can and will mean for digital advertisers as we move into 2021.

Google has continued the move to integrating more artificial intelligence into its search results to improve both relevance and boost ad revenue. No longer are we creating paid search or social media campaigns peppered with the keywords and phrases associated with the business value proposition – Google has been kind enough in recent months to inject predictive analytics that take into consideration search by voice. What this has translated into is the creation of campaigns and landing pages that must include that kind of behavior.

But where do we begin?

If you’ve followed Google’s organic search changes over time you are familiar with the major algorithm updates and how they affected SEO. It has been a while since major update has been released as Google has rolled out changes in smaller fixes and releases. But that changed in late 2019 with the release of BERT or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. BERT is responsible for the metamorphosis leveraging artificial intelligence or “AI” to assign context to better determine the intent of conversational search and return the correct results. This allows it to make a better guess at what someone is searching for with a limited amount of information, based on analysis of historical search data

For the purpose of SEO, it’s now more critical than ever that keywords reflect the spoken word – clear, concise thoughts that will help drive quality traffic toward your website. Awkward keyword stuffing will continue to be deprecated and text that is written for humans rather than search engines will be increasingly important. And because voice search through mobile continues to outweigh desktop search, ignoring the change won’t make it go away.

This will also be apparent when Google marches into the New Year with a focus on improving the user experience. In short, if we don’t keep up we will fall behind.

So, what is an advertiser to do? Where do we go from here?

Review search terms (what users search) regularly. Identify the effective and popular converting phrases and incorporate them into your ads and landing pages. This will improve your quality score and your conversion rate.

Google continues to change the audience’s parameters, and you need to be aware of where your budget is being spent. If you’re proactive and research where to assign your ad placements, you will not only be in better control of campaign performance, but the spend as well. Also, be sure to exclude specific non-relevant categories to ensure google won’t decide to show them.

Review your Google Ads optimization scores and check the recommendations on a regular basis. The optimization scores change over time as Google collects more data on how your campaigns perform. Striving to keep your optimization score as high as possible will be helpful in keeping your campaign performing well.

Confusing? Overwhelming? We get it, believe us. If you have questions, we can help you find the answers. If you have time for a cup of coffee, we’d love to chat.