10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021

Letterkenny Web Design & Marketing Agency

What will be the biggest trends in PPC marketing in 2021? Here are the top 10 trends that you need to know according to experts in this niche.


Table of Contents

  1. Say Goodbye to data. 1
  2. Understanding your audience and buyer journey is important 2
  3. Even more automation this year 2
  4. Diversification is now more important ever 2
  5. Harness the Power of First-Party Data. 3
  6. New Instagram opportunities. 3
  7. Better to have a big picture strategy. 3
  8. Perfect the Ad Message. 4
  9. A great mobile experience is crucial 4
  10. Always be testing. 4


1.    Say Goodbye to data

As we progress into the year, the data will become more obscure. According to the founder of Neptune Moon, Julie F. Bacchini, Google Ads limits access to search query data by tracking cookies, however, in the coming months, the marketers will have to adapt to a completely new way how the data will be used and how PPC will work.

As per Brad Geddes, the founder of AdAlysis, Google will keep on hiding the data as it relies heavily on machine learning. This will probably force advertisers to rely more on Google’s machine learning and data instead of their own expertise. According to Geddes, this trend might help the small advertisers, but this is going to hurt the bigger sophisticated advertisers in the long run.

So, in this environment, what will make the PPC marketers to succeed? As per Ark Irvine, the director of Search Lab, wise marketers have to make use of the incomplete data to identify the signal from the noise. Rather than focusing on the loss of data, wise marketers need to identify what is working for them and guide their campaigns around it.

Following are some tips in which these can be achieved;

  • Reviewing overall search queries rather than individual search terms
  • Writing ‘good’ ads with responsive ad assets
  • Relying on automated bidding more instead of controlling the biddings directly


2.    Understanding your audience and buyer journey is important

This year there will be a trend in which PPC marketers will be controlling every ad and bid based on their words alone as well as the target audience. Successful PPC marketers in 2021 have to come up with strategies that are focused on their target audience.

Advertisers in 2021 should expect to spend time thinking about their customer preference and how they decide to buy from you. It is important to ask yourself these questions;

  • How long does the process take?
  • What information are the customers looking for?
  • What might they be searching for?
  • Where do your customers interact the most?

According to one of the Microsoft Advertising’s senior manager, two areas that are important for reaching your customers better are keywords and images as they help understand the audience and buyer journey.


3.    Even more automation this year

Studies have shown that ad platforms are taking away more control from PPC marketers. According to Hammer, president of RankHammer, this trend is going to increase in the coming year.


It is important to understand that in the current and upcoming internet age, it is crucial to learn how automation work and how to use it for the PPC benefits. Though human input is important, but platforms should have their algorithms with more power and control.


According to the Founder & CEO of ‘Group Twenty-Seven’, it is important that PPC pros accept and adapt to the new automation environment. This will give the PPC pros more cycles and strategies to focus on that will be able to build strategies and brand awareness including more informed brand affinity.


4.    Diversification is now more important than ever

One indirect result of the loss of control in Google has been the shift to other search engines such as Microsoft Ads. Diversification has been an integral of PPC growth in the previous years, however, this year, the diversification will be more important than ever. For the PPC marketers to grow, it is crucial that they get themselves up to speed on diversifying their skill sets beyond Google Ads.


As the year progresses, more and more PPC marketers will have to move away from actionable data and towards machine learning and other search engines. Christine Zirnheld of Cypress North says in order to do the best work possible for their clients, they simply cannot rely on Google Ads as heavily as they used to before.


Going forward in 2021 and in the years to come, diversification is the key for winning PPC strategy.

5.    Harness the Power of First-Party Data

In 2021 it is important that the first-party data is harnessed and utilized. Search marketers should work with their companies and marketing agencies to develop data strategies to use the existing data and maintain privacy compliance.


According to Ilya Cherepakhin, head marketer of Milestone Inc, dependent marketers in the previous years have been depending heavily on cookie-driven targeting technologies. In 2021, it is important that new solutions are developed so that the marketers are not dependent on cookies only but also on first-party data.


It is important that businesses are able to get greater accuracy from first-party data with great customization. This will allow marketers to create data-driven solutions and take benefits on multiple digital channels.


6.    New Instagram opportunities

One of the biggest PPC trends to lookout in 2021 is a great increase in Instagram opportunities. It is only a matter of time before Instagram will be opening up more ad placements on their platform via Reels and IGTV.


According to Susan Wenograd, director of Nextiva, echoed the above by mentioning that ad formats like Stories have done exceptionally well in the previous years and in this year and the next, Instagram will definitely find more ways to monetize their platform.


7.    Better to have a big picture strategy

The digital marketing industry is changing rapidly. Knowing where to invest and where to act will make a key difference. Therefore, the big picture must be always visualized. It is common to get lost in the data, but it is crucial that to have a creative mindset and better visualization of a bigger picture.


According to Amy Hebdon, founder of ‘Paid Search Magic’, it is crucial to target your market based directly on the preference and behaviour, and not just variance in the data. Having a visualization of a bigger picture in mind is very important.


8.    Perfect the Ad Message

In 2021, how well you articulate your message will create a significant difference. It is now more important than ever to have the knowledge and skills to write a good ad. Many PPC experts agree that writing a good ad will make a huge difference this year.


The right person at the right time and place but with the wrong message will be a missed opportunity. Leading strategist, John Lee, from Microsoft Advertising states that good skills surrounding ad writing and execution have never been more important and necessary before.


9.    A great mobile experience is crucial

When everything is going mobile, don’t be surprised to see this on a list of PPC trends for 2021. If brands want to win this year, they must have an accessible and easy to operate mobile site. Despite the years of mobile being a thing, many brands still do not have proper mobile website interference.


Experts say that it is crucial more than ever now to have a mobile site up and running to gain traffic and utilize the most out of it.


10.  Always be testing

Get comfortable not being comfortable. If 2020 has prepared us for nothing else, hopefully, it prepared us for that. One of the biggest PPC trends in 2021 is that we should be always be testing and never getting comfortable with what you think you know. By always testing and staying on toes, we will be learning more about your campaigns and act accordingly

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