5 PPC Tips to Skyrocket Your Marketing Strategy in 2020

We already wrote about the impact BERT had on SEO, and how the organic part of search engine marketing will work.

But what about PPC? Will the future be grim for PPC advertisers, or there is a way to make it work even better?

Last year, there was a heavy push on automation to become the predominant bidding strategy for all Google Ads accounts. But what about this year?

Here are 5 PPC tips to skyrocket your marketing strategy in 2020.

Tip 1: Embrace Automation

Following the current focus of Google Ads’ aggressive automation marketing, it will be without a doubt the main focus of 2020 too. It is, after all, the biggest trend of the past couple of years.

Although marketers were reluctant to accept automation in the past because of the terrible feedback, Google has made giant strides to improve the algorithm. This has worked, and we’re not afraid to say that automation is a viable bidding strategy. Still, use it with care.

Reports are leaning on both sides of the wall, some say it increased their ad spend without giving results, others say it helped them scale their accounts and grow.

What every PPC marketer needs to understand is that automation is here to stay. Having said that, the system isn’t perfect, and it has its flaws. But, by knowing these flaws, you can outwit the competitors that don’t.

A smiling robot with sunglasses representing the embrace of automation. The background is blue with a transparent picture of the globe.

Where to Start with Google Ads Automation?

If you haven’t already started using automated bidding, you can try it today. If you don’t want to fully commit to changing the bidding strategy of one of your campaigns, you can try Experiments.

How to Start an Experiment in Google Ads?

Select the campaign you want to experiment with, and in the campaign menu, at the bottom, there should be a Drafts & Experiments tab.

Click it, and click on NEW DRAFT. Name your draft, and add a description to it. This will give you a draft at the bottom of the campaign selection panel. Now, you can select your bidding strategy, targeting tweaks, and whatever you might want to experiment with. After you are done, click APPLY at the campaign status window. A message will pop up, asking whether you want to apply changes to the original campaign or Run an Experiment. We want to select the second.

The next window will require the name of the experiment, start and end dates, and most importantly, budget split between the experiment and its parent campaign.

Lastly, and most importantly, is the split test options of the experiment. This is located in the above window, under Advanced options. If you select a search-based split, it will split the traffic randomly based on customer searches. Be careful though, this means that a single person can view both the experiment and the parent campaign. The second option is cookie-based, and this enables you to show only one version of the campaigns to a single user, no matter how many times they see it.

Tip 2: Remarketing Is a Huge Deal

When we start working with many of our clients, the first thing we notice in their Google Ads accounts is that they don’t have any remarketing lists.

Therefore, we think that in 2020, everyone should start leveraging audience segmentation to show highly personalized ads to people who have already interacted with their business.

Computer with a red target circle and an arrow in the center representing remarketing. A yellow inbox sign and a hand clicking on a smartphone.

What Is Audience Segmentation?

Audience segmentation, as the name suggests, is segmenting the customers depending on how they have interacted with you online. This includes interactions with your website, CRM database, Application, YouTube channel, social media, and more.
You can segment these users by:
-The URL they visited on the website
-Their behavior on the website (bought something, time on page, number of pages seen)
-Their emails (from the CRM)
-Their behavior on your YouTube channel
-Combinations of the above

Then, you can put these segments in remarketing lists, and create specific ads for each list, considering you have enough members in the list. To use these lists in Display Ads, the list must have 100 members. To use these lits in Search Ads, the list must have 1000 members.

How to Create Audience Lists for Google Ads?

There are two ways to create audience lists for Google Ads:

Directly in Google Ads with the remarketing tag
Via Google Analytics (requires Google Analytics to be integrated with Google Ads)

Both ways work, but to get the most detailed lists, we recommend using Google Analytics. In GA, the audience segmentation can include many more variables than with Ads.

Tip 3: Embrace Performance Planner

Google rolled out the new Performance Planner back in May, and it’s one of the best tools you’re not using at the moment.

Google themselves pointed out that performance planner has helped advertisers get about 43% more conversions just by using it.

In a nutshell, the Performance Planner takes machine learning to the next level, using your existing data and combines it with insights to give you scalability opportunities.

Please note that the Performance Planner doesn’t add the changes by itself. You’d need to download a file from the planner and upload it via the Google Ads Editor app to implement it to your account.

Screenshot from the Performance Planner tool by Google Ads with features: Plan, Last Modified, Forecast Period, Target and Overall spend

How to Use Performance Planner?

Go to your Google Ads account. Click on Tools & Settings in the top right corner. Then, select performance planner.

Then, select the + button to add a new plan. Please note that you can have only a selected list of campaigns that can be forecasted. This is normal.

Select the campaign that you want to have forecasted, and click continue. Select date, metric, and target, and click CREATE PLAN. Performance planner will show you a graph of opportunities to focus on to get the biggest “bang for the buck”.

Tip 4: Integrate PPC and SEO

Although A/B testing of SEO pages has been made easier with Google Optimize, you can still integrate PPC and SEO and get results.

You can use PPC to optimize SEO content and identify opportunities on what to target with your organic content.

Target keywords that bring the highest ROI in PPC with your SEO strategy, and get the top spot for those queries in both the organic section of search results and the paid section of search results.

Purple SEO and pink PPC puzzle pieces representing SEO and PPC and a human hand that is solving the puzzle.

Tip 5: Make Sure You’re Compliant

The recent GDPR document, the recent California Consumer Privacy Act, and other similar regulations restrict tracking capability. The Privacy Policy and Terms of Use documents have become a necessity, not an option.
In today’s world, is very easy to set-up a PHP tracker that will collect a lot of data on each user that enters your site. But, you’ll be doing this illegally.
It’s easy to get lost in trying to achieve 100% attribution, but is that worth the risk?
Google Ads and other similar marketing platforms use everything you might collect, but all of it is compliant with laws.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you can just not have policies. You must have them.
And that’s not enough either.

The Best Practice for Compliance

The best practice for compliance, besides having well-defined data collection policies, is to give users the option to choose whether they want to be tracked or not. If they opt not to get tracked, you must not do so. Simple as that.

Huge green button with the word accept and a human hand clicking the button.

Final Words

The way PPC would work in 2020, not using it may have detrimental consequences toward your business.
And, PPC platforms like Google are continuously making these platforms work on automation, taking the granular control out of advertisers’ hands. This might either be a good thing or a bad thing.
At the end of the day, we must do everything to pass the competition, so follow these tips and start 2020 with a winning PPC strategy.