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Paid search (PPC) in 2018: what to expect

As self-confessed geeks, there’s nothing the PPC team at Click Consult don’t know about paid search. Like any other aspect of digital marketing, this form of advertising is continually developing and no marketer can afford to stand still if they want to remain successful and competitive


Earlier this year, ad customisers expanded out to time of day, device, and audience, in line with my prediction at the end of 2016 that paid search would increasingly move towards true personalisation.

As also anticipated, implementing AMP (accelerated mobile pages) has grown in importance and will continue to do so into next year, and this will include AMP for PPC landing pages

Here are my other predictions for 2018:

GDPR

A big focus on adapting to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and, particularly for PPC, how this will affect remarketing lists.

Data-driven attribution

A move to data-driven attribution, with last click becoming a bit of a dirty phrase. Prepare to allocate more budget to display and video as they become more valued and trackable by data-driven attribution.

Acceptance of machine learning

Machine learning will come into its own rather than simply being a buzzword thrown about. The distinction between automation and machine learning will be thrown into the spotlight with people who’ve always shunned automation conceding that machine learning – true machine learning – is something that at the very least we should all be testing.

Further personalisation

I imagine personalisation to continue to be a focus into 2018. The stage is set for it now, but it’s not being embraced by all. There are clear ways in which this can continue – demographic ad customisers and interest ad customisers, using the same interest categories as the Google Display Network. The latter may also finally be brought over as a search bid modifier, to help push Google’s drive on focusing on the audience.

Content advertising

The only other point is that last year we predicted an increase in content advertising usage (the process of producing content with the intention of promoting it through paid distribution channels). While this has experienced limited adoption this year, I’d say it’s one we can roll over as a next year’s prediction. I guess we were looking too far ahead last year!


We’re sharing our paid search (PPC) knowhow by publishing a series of in-depth eBooks. The first chapter starts at the beginning of any PPC campaign: strategy and is available to download today!

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