Paid search is generally the first step most people take when they start marketing for a business. Ask any search engine consultant and he’ll probably agree with you on this one.
Why does paid search get so much attention? Well there’s a simple reason: paid search gives you near-instant results. If you are doing it right, then using paid search will give you an instant source of traffic to your site.
And this traffic is huge! If it converts well, then you are looking at a massive surge in new inquiries. The more traditional SEO techniques are bound to give you long term results, but they usually take time (2-3 months after you start link-building).
So, given that the new year is around the corner, what’s the future like for paid search in 2013? Larry Kim has published an amazing article on Adwords’ spend and their strategy: here. Its an interesting read, but that’s not what I want to talk about. The purpose of my post is to simply offer an insight as to how Adwords’ plan for the future is going to affect the SEO industry.
Here are some of the important points to take home from these reports:
1. If you’ll look at the stats then you are probably going to see that the major industries which are pouring money into paid search are the Finance, Jobs & Education and Business & Industries. This data can simply be inferred from the high CPCs these verticals have.
If your enterprise falls into one of these categories, you may want to re-think putting a lot of money into PPC. You may not get enough ROI from just paid search. If you insist that PPC is the way to go, you are going to have to find better micro-niches within your field to focus on or more creative keywords to bid on.
2. Apart from the hugely popular verticals, the general CPCs of all the industries are going down. So if you feel you could not afford to spend in a lot into Adwords this year, it looks like next year is going to be better. You could easily recommend paid search to some of your newer customers.
3. The previous point brings an interesting question. Seeing as Adwords accounts for more than 90% of Google’s revenues, how do they show a 3% increase in profits despite the average CPCs in major industries falling by about 16%?
Simple…they’ve increased the number of ads in SERPs and their various products. So don’t be surprised if this trend continues next year.
What this really means is that Google is doing its best to force sponsored ads on us and focus less on conventional link-building.
4. Google wants to focus more and more on ads for mobile and tablets. Its a little challenging in my opinion, seeing as how smartphone users are more tech-savvy than desktop users and that there’s not enough room for a lot of ads in phones and tablets. But seeing as how hard Google is pushing for these segments, I won’t be surprised if ad revenues from mobile start to dominate within a couple of years.
5. Display ads have done surprisingly well last year. When they initially came out, most people were skeptical about how well they were going to perform. But the numbers don’t lie. In some cases, display ads have better conversion ratios than the normal google searches. I am fairly confident these numbers will continue to rise next year as well.
So what’s the verdict?
I think the future is looking bright for PPC next year. Google is putting all its energies into maximizing revenues from it and seeing as the CPCs are getting lower, it might be a good time to invest a little more in sponsored ads. Fans of the traditional SEO however, are going to have to start being more creative with their strategies.
Image Credit: sacmclubs