5 Paid Search Predictions for 2011
As you may have already seen on a fair few blogs, the start of the year is the time when we reflect on last years predictions and aspirations and post our predictions for the year ahead. 2010 was a big year for the paid search industry, with the movement from the traditional contextual based advertising into a more universal based model that incorporates different ways of targeting and reaching your audience. With the introduction of remarketing, site links, contextual adverts in videos and other targeting options Google was the main innovator in the paid search market.
Although I personally feel the need to post these predictions for the year a head it does not necessarily mean I will be correct in my assumptions. They may just help you to think about what may happen this year based on my personal experiences and trends that may continue to develop from the previous years.
1) Paid Search will get bigger
Despite many people still not understanding or being completely oblivious to what paid search is and how the model works for a business it will still get bigger in 2011. I use the word “bigger” in terms of spend, revenue, volume and the adoption of new websites/networks taking up the contextual advertising model. Research by Covario found that growth in 2010 for paid search globally was up 26% over 2009 spending. In the past 3 years paid search spending has increased year on year in the Americas and this is not expected to slow down any time soon. The graph below illustrates how global spending has increased since 2007:
2) Mobile will become a major part any PPC strategy
The amount of people around the globe who are browsing the Internet (not WAP) on their mobile phones is continuing to grow year on year. With the introduction of the Ipad and new smart phone technology, mobile search advertising revenues is expected to grow from $39 million in 2008 to $2.3 billion by 2013 with annual growth of up to 125.6 percent (Kelsey Group). As part of this increase in mobile users, search engines and other advertising networks are developing new tools that will allow independent advertisers and large corporations to target their specific customer base. With the introduction of call extensions for Adwords and the hype of call tracking in 2010, this particular industry is continuously looking to progress and I believe it will explode during 2011. With this, mobile paid search should become a fundamental part of any online advertising strategy. The graph below illustrates how the percentage share of paid search clicks with mobile advertising has continued to rise from late 2008.
3) Paid search will grow from its traditional routes
As previously mentioned, I think that paid search will move from being solely a business model that search engines utilise into a model that other networks and portals will implement. With websites such as Plenty of Fish and Facebook implementing contextual advertising channels in 2010 I believe this trend will continue to increase as their is a demand for advertisers to reach a higher volume of targeted customers from different markets around the globe. With the sheer size of Facebook and and the introduction of Facebook search (which is inevitable) it will definitely be one to watch out for in 2011. To add to this, I have a feeling that other organisations such as eBay and Amazon will implement a contextual based PPC model to their web properties, as it allows advertisers to target their customers without the high levels of financial risk.
4) Remarketing will be the new “thing”
With the introduction of remarketing by Google in 2010, I believe that more and more advertisers will be looking to use this as they continue to look for new ways of targeting their customers. Yahoo already offer remarketing based on a users search history and I think this market is definitely going to grow in 2011 with browser search history being one of the vital steps that search engines will need to implement.
5) Automation will rule
As technology continuous to grow in the online advertising world, companies will move from traditional manual bidding as part of the paid search day to day activities to bid automation and other paid search platforms that will automate the tasks for them. This will save time when analysing, optimising, and testing advertising campaigns leading to lower labour costs. With more companies entering this market than previously the amount of automated platforms that are available to companies will increase fourfold. Search engines will continue to promote these type of platforms as it leads to increased spend and revenues for them!
So there it is, my 5 paid search predictions for the year ahead. I will continue to update the blog with new technologies and updates that search engines and other advertising networks introduce throughout the year. If you have any predictions in relation to paid search or any other disciplines related to digital marketing feel free to post them in the comments section below. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!