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5 Paid Search Predictions for 2011

Author's avatar By Chris Soames 04 Jan, 2011
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Its always a popular time of reflection at the start of a New Year & 2011 is undoubtedly no different for most of us. However, I want to look forwards & give some practical recommendations on how you can use new features within paid search to help you in 2011. While I may not be a 100% right in my predictions, a lot of the techniques I'll talk about are already available and you may be missing out - to help I'll link to sources to find out more.

Making some bold decisions for pushing your paid search strategy in 2011 maybe just the start to the year you are looking for!

5 techniques to review in how you approach paid search in 2011:

1. Mobile will alter PPC as we know it

The volume of people now using the internet on their mobile phones is continuing to grow as phones adapt & grow making it easier for people to do so. Search Engines are aware of this and are already creating tools that make mobile advertising as easy as the rest of paid search and are including some obvious but neat tools. With mobiles been used more for local searches (as well as standard searches) the opportunity to attract phone calls from your local adverts to create sales opportunities seems obvious. Checkout Googles Click > Call extensions for adwords.

I would consider how you can utilize Mobile Paid Search to further enhance your business, try a small amount of spend and track the results to compare against traditional paid search, you never know the results may surprise you!

2. Paid Search will grow more outside of traditional Adwords

I think even in 2010 people are still obsessed to much about traditional adwords listings in search results. Universal search has transformed much of the SEO methods used and new opportunities now exist for paid search marketers. Results tailored to the content your potential customer is viewing are prime places to gain new sources of traffic. Whether this is introducing sponsored products in Shopping search results or inserting adverts into videos on You Tube, using Promoted Videos.

Paid Search Marketers need to quickly realize there is more to it than just search results just as SEOs did. It can have incredible affects on our business.

3. Integration will lower cost per acquisitions

I mention Integration a lot in my recent post on Natural Search & I think it will be equally as important with Paid Search. With the sheer amount of data now available for channels like paid search the level of optimisation should be as equally as high. Integrating with sales teams (for click to call), CRM"€™s for re-marketing, product to help with merchandizing & offers should all become no brainers in bids to bring down the cost per acquisition and grow loyal customers.

A lot of this requires time & effort which means tasks that can be automated should be (though tightly monitored through affective reporting). Integrating your Paid Search with new tools from Google (as well as the old ones) like Automated Rules & Campaign optimizer should be setup as soon as possible.

If you haven't examined options for remarketing, then it's worth reviewing this opportunity - read this case study on remarketing to get an idea of the way you can micro-target according to visitor intent using this approach.

4. Automation will rule

As mentioned above, the integrations with business intelligence systems, bid automation services & paid search platforms make it possible for tasks that used to take up valuable time in analyzing, tweaking & then further testing will become much much easier. Paid search has always progressed well in terms of technology, after-all it benefits the search engines to do this!

I think 2011 will be the year where many companies will finally start to stitch them all together to create a complete suite of systems aimed at making the whole channel more affective & efficient.

This will not come easy though & the initial setup is the main hurdle to get over, once this is setup, monitoring & tweaking the systems / process is straight forward. The next big challenge is working out how you are going to best spend the budget & time you have saved.

5. Bing will get bigger

It's a bold comment. Many a year seems to have gone past where Googles dominance remains unchallenged. I think 2011 will see that start to change. Microsoft made some smart moves in 2010, the search merge with Yahoo & the launch of various updates to their core search engine have made them a potential contender in 2011.

As a search marketer I think it is time to take Bing seriously, it should receive time & effort as we well as appropriate budgets in 2011. Focussing on purely optimizing Google should be a thing of the past. Understanding the audience differences between Google & Bing will be key to make sure the best of each is used to help the others campaigns. Its just as easy to integrate Bing as mentioned in points 3 & 4 into your business systems.

So there you have it. 5 predictions for 2011 with the odd recommendation. Why not get in-touch with your 5 predictions or even add to mine!

Recommended links to find out more:

Author's avatar

By Chris Soames

Chris Soames is a Smart Insights blogger and consultant, he has worked in digital marketing for over 6 years with the last few years managing international web strategies for a leading travel brand. Now the Commercial Director at First 10, an Integrated marketing agency, he helps clients get clarity on their marketing strategy and create campaigns engineered to engage with their consumers to help drive sell-through. Most of all, Chris enjoys working with talented people who want to create great (& commercial) things not just tick boxes.

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