2021 has rocketed online marketing forward by years. Experts estimate nearly ten years’ worth of growth in U.S. eCommerce penetration in a mere three months during 2020.
With excitement and uncertainty brewing in the search and digital communities, we wanted to put fears at bay. Here are four ways to stay ahead of the curve and to improve your search marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond.
1. Go Beyond Google Ads
One of the most important tactics search marketers can use to set themselves up for success in 2021 is to think beyond Google Ads. Since recent data developments over at Google, it’s more difficult than ever for marketers to maintain control of spend and optimizations through that platform. Search Engine Journal suggests diversifying your digital touch points, instead.
An effective way to do this is through onsite search, which allows advertisers to run PPC advertisements through webpage search engines like SearchIQ. The benefits of this strategy are twofold. First, onsite search provides more autonomy for advertisers to control spend and reach than machine learning systems such as Google Ads. Second, it captures a whole new marketplace of buyers outside of Google and Bing while still utilizing the ad copy and targeting you’ve spent months refining.
Another paid search option worth exploring is Amazon. It remains a reliable platform for capturing bottom of the funnel buyers, since visitors browse with intent to buy. With the development of Amazon onsite search options, there are even more opportunities to explore up-and-coming PPC strategies.
2. Branch into Other Platforms with Incremental Social
Over the last couple of years, social media has become a top channel not only for product discovery, but for purchase, as well. Furthermore, the prominence of social commerce will continue to grow in 2021.
For this reason, we chose social commerce as a primary strategy for the new year. Search bars can be the bread and butter of a campaign, but it’s worth exploring a multiplatform approach which incorporates social media.
Ad.net’s incremental social solution provides unique visibility for brands on Facebook and Instagram. This tailored buying strategy combines first party search data with publishing partners’ data to access an entire marketplace that brands would not typically have access to through Facebook Ads. For eCommerce advertisers looking to reach new buyers this year, Incremental Social media marketing will be must-have strategy.
3. Optimize to Your Audience with Bid Modifiers
Another game changing strategy for 2021 will be bid modifiers. Essentially, bid modifiers allow marketers to take target audience data and use it to optimize at the ad group level. Bids can be adjusted based on various types of criteria, such as geography, device, browser, time or day or week, and more.
When would you use bid modification? Take Cyber Week as an example. In 2020, Salesforce found that mobile devices made up nearly three quarters of traffic and more than half of orders during the holiday shopping rush. The advantage of bid modifiers is that adjustments can be made and monitored in real time allowing for quick changes – in this case, changes by device. The bid for mobile clicks could be increased by a certain percentage, without excluding or impacting clicks for desktop or tablet. As a result, the advertiser could capitalize on the trend for mobile orders in real time, without changing the entire PPC campaign.
Beyond eCommerce, bid modifiers can be useful in other industries, too. Education and travel clients sometimes have stronger needs for leads in one area or within a specific timeline. Bid modifiers are an excellent way to meet this request by increasing bids in that area or for however long is needed.
4. Test, Track, Repeat
Last but not least, continue to test and fine tune your paid search strategies throughout the year. 2020 was a year of many firsts, and this year will be no different. The best way to tell if your strategy is up to date is to test and track it.
At Ad.net, we follow an efficiency first, scale second approach. We recommend optimizing against a target metric like CPA or ROAS prior to scaling a campaign. Not only is it economical, but it’s also one of the best ways to ensure success for campaigns in the long term.
Contact [email protected] to learn how Ad.net can tailor a search marketing strategy for your brand, this year and beyond.