10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021


PPC campaigns are slowly becoming the most preferred method of advertisement in the online business world. According to statistics, most online businesses get more than 50% of customers from paid ads.

As technology keeps advancing, things are expected to get even better. Therefore, you need to embrace these new trends to stay top of the game and get the upper hand in the competition. Embracing these trends will also help you reach your target audience quickly and get a better return on investment.

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Here are the top ten PPC trends to watch out for in 2021.

Increased Automation

Automation is among the top PPC trends. It involves using artificial intelligence and machine learning to run the PPC ads, thus eliminating labor-intensive tasks such as Google ads. Therefore, it makes it easier for you to run campaigns on multiple platforms.

However, to make PPC automation successful, you have to understand how it works first. Using this strategy efficiently will help you increase brand recognition and get more customers.

Other ways automation can help you improve your PPC trends include:

  • Identify performance related issues
  • Automate the generation of ad performance reports
  • Dynamically generates advertisements based on consumer behavior
  • Calculate the most effective bidding strategy for different goals
  • Optimize your ads to help increase conversion rates
  • Estimate the CTR of planned advertisements

Increased Use of Video Ads

According to research, videos will account for about 82% of internet traffic by 2022 as they help build your business’s trust and credibility. Videos also encourage social shares, making it easy for your adverts to reach a large target audience. As a result, marketers have started incorporating videos in their PPC campaigns.

Moreover, video adverts are more attractive compared to written adverts. It is also easy for people to remember the message in videos adverts than texts.

The most popular video used in advertising is the explainer video. Marketers use this video to tell people about their products, their main features, and the benefits they offer.

Here are ways you can use videos for PPC marketing.

  • Use VR to make your videos look real
  • Convert long videos into many short skippable videos using bumper machines
  • Link your products to the video advertisements

Voice Search

10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021

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Voice search is among the latest trends in PPC marketing, and it is closely linked to mobile devices. Therefore, it is advisable to mobile-optimize your PPC ads and landing pages. You can also try using mobile extensions whereby your customers can call you directly through voice search.

Alexa, Cortana, Google, and Siri are examples of voice assistants used by most people.

The following are the best practices to optimize your PPC campaigns for voice search.

Analyze the current search terms– To optimize your PPC ads for voice search, you need to begin by analyzing the precise search phrases that people use to find your business using Google Ads. You also need to look at searches that start with the following terms:

  • Where do I
  • Alexa
  • Hey Siri
  • Ok, Google
  • When does

Add or remove negative keywords– When optimizing your PPC ads, you must determine whether you need to add or remove negative keywords. Adding negative keywords will make your ads appear for relevant searches only. On the other hand, removing the negative keywords will make your ads appear even to people who are not interested in your products.

Use long-tail keywords– Voice searches are generally longer compared to text searches. Therefore, when optimizing for voice search, include long-tail keywords to ensure your ads appear for relevant searches. Also, ensure your ads are question-oriented since most people conduct voice searches in the form of questions.

Know the position of your customer in the buying cycle– You can know where your customer is in the buying cycle by looking at the phrases they use when conducting searches.

According to research, customers who use phrases like “what” or “who” are in the awareness stage. However, using “when” or “where” shows they are nearing the conversion stage. Therefore, it would be advisable to bid on the keywords when and where since they might be profitable in your PPC campaign.

Focus on local searches– Voice searches are commonly used by local people who want to find goods or services near them. Therefore, to optimize your PPC ads for voice searches while focusing on long-tail locational keywords.

Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ad is a versatile format used in searching for advertisements on Google. It allows marketers to design advertisements and include more content that is relevant to the consumer.

When building RSAs, you are allowed to use up to 15 headlines and four different descriptions. After that, Google conducts a test to determine the most suitable headline for your target audience.

Additionally, RSA enables you to designs ads that are suitable for screens with different resolutions. It also helps you save time and money by running tests to determine the most suitable headlines for your potential clients. These headlines play a significant role in boosting your conversion rates.

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Understanding The Customer’s Journey

10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021 2

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Knowing how your consumers react to your ads at each stage of their purchasing journey is vital for running a successful PPC campaign. Also, understanding the buyer’s journey will help you create a more effective PPC campaign.

Below are five stages of a customer’s buying journey.


This is the stage where customers get to learn about the goods and services you offer. Here, consumers have many questions, and they are looking for someone to help them solve their problems. Therefore, it is a bit difficult to identify their needs.

As a marketer, you need to help them identify their needs and align your offers to suit them. First of all, you need to grab their attention using branded paid ads. Ensure you use the same terms people use in their search queries.

When such consumers view your adverts, it arouses their interest, making them want to learn more about your company.

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At this point, consumers are interested in learning more about the solutions you’ve given them. By this time, they are sure about their needs and are aware of the different solutions available. They also see you as a potential solution. However, they still need to assess your ability to solve their problem.

To determine your company’s competency, they look at the social proof, previous partnerships, and unique selling proposition.

In this stage, it is possible to connect with your consumers and establish a long-term relationship. You can also help them in solving their problems using Facebook lead advertisements.

To make them trust you, even more, consider using case studies and your past work to create conversational content.


In this stage, consumers are aware of the several brands in the market that can solve their problems. They also know their prices, reviews, and ratings. Their next step is to make comparisons to see which one suits them.

This is the point where you need PPC marketing since you may get clients to click your ads and install your “cookie” on their devices. This ensures your company comes first when they search for the products you deal with.


By now, customers know their needs, and they have narrowed down their choices. At this point, the customers have already decided to purchase, but they don’t know which company to buy from.

To convince them to choose your brand, you need to include a strong call to action. You can also use a retargeting strategy to ensure they buy all products from you.


After a potential client becomes a customer, make an effort to ensure they remain loyal to your business. You can do this by segmenting your customers into different audiences and use relevant PPC ads to attract their attention.

Smart Bidding

Smart bidding is an automated bidding strategy that uses machine learning to optimize the conversion rates of your PPC ads depending on your objectives. In a nutshell, it eliminates guesswork from Google Ads bidding.

Most PPC experts struggle with optimizing campaign bids. However, things have become easier with the help of Google Ads’ smart bidding. This technology helps you save time by eliminating the need to track and adjust your campaigns manually. It will also help you know your return on investments in advance.

Smart bidding can be used to achieve various objectives, including:

  • Maximizing conversion rates
  • Target CPA
  • Target ROAS

To further improve the smart bidding technology, Google announced new smart bidding controls, as discussed below.

Seasonality adjustments– Seasonality adjustments will help marketers get more control over one-time promotions. For instance, if you know that conversion rates will increase due to an upcoming event, you can make the necessary adjustments ahead of time.

Campaign-level conversion setting– Previously, marketers were only allowed to set their conversion goals at an account level. However, with the help of smart bidding, marketers can now set their goals at a campaign level.

Maximize conversion– Here, you are allowed to use your daily budget to get more conversions.

Additionally, Google is planning to implement value standards. These value rules will help marketers tell the difference between conversion values depending on the audience, location, and device.

Audience Targeting

All consumers vary, and so do their needs. Therefore, you need to ensure you satisfy everyone’s needs accordingly.

One of Google Ad’s top trends in 2021 is the ability to design ads according to the needs of each target audience. To do so, you must think of your audience as individuals rather than numbers.

Audience targeting enables you to categorize your consumers in terms of their age, gender, level of income, and the places where they live. You can even configure ad settings to leave out the audiences you think will not be interested in your services.

How to Use Audience Segmentation to Perform Retargeting Well

For instance, if you sell expensive electronics, you may exclude customers with annual earnings of less than S$100,000 since they are less likely to spend a lot of money on expensive electronics.

The main advantage of audience targeting is that it enables you to target the right people at the right moment. However, if your message is not appropriate, you’ll miss out on the opportunity of communicating with your target audience. Creativity is also essential when creating PPC ads as it promotes successful engagements.

This trend also allows marketers to layer audiences. As a result, you can build relevant adverts by combining both keyword and demographic targeting.

Smart Segmentation

Smart segmentation is among the latest 2021 PPC trends meant to help app developers generate revenues from non-paying customers.

Smart segmentation utilizes machine learning technology to divide users into groups depending on their likelihood to spend money in the app.

Users that are unlikely to purchase within the app will see the advertisement. On the other hand, users who buy from the app will not see the ads. This enables the app developers to protect their customers’ user experience while generating revenue at the same time.

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Google AdMob is an example of an advertising platform that can help you generate income. This app offers better analytics and reporting capabilities to help you gain new insights that you can use to improve its performance.

10 Important PPC Trends to Watch in 2021 3

Photo credits: admob.com

When the system identifies unexpected changes in your essential metrics, such as Impressions or CPM, AdMob insights sends you an alert. You’ll also be notified if the modifications you’ve made to your app impact the user experience.

Here are the latest AdMob features.

Simplified Comparison Reporting– It allows advertisers to compare two parameters in the same report, making it simple to see patterns in their data.

User Engagement Card– This gives you essential information on the user data like average session duration and ad exposure duration.

Rewarded ads report– This feature enables you to understand how people interact with incentivised ads.

Google AdMob API– Google is developing a new AdMob API that automatically allows marketers to access publisher information.

Increase In Visual Search

This involves the use of pictures in PPC adverts. You need to take a picture of the items you sell and use them for advertisement. For instance, if you are a car dealer, take photos of your cars and put them on different advertisement platforms.

When people conduct searches online, they usually want quick results. Using the pictures of your items for advertisement will help them in this.

Examples of platforms that use visual adverts in 2021 include Instagram, Pinterest, and Amazon through their partnership with Snapchat.

To stay on top of the visual advertising game, you need to create a catalogue containing photos of your products. Add a short description on each image to ensure the search engines classify them correctly.

Alternative PPC Platforms

While it’s good to rely on Google Ads campaigns, diversifying and exploring other options is also advisable. Exploring other options will help you reach a new target audience. It will also help you discover other platforms that may enhance your performance.

You can start by exploring other search engines like Bing and Microsoft. You can also try social media platforms like TikTok, Linked In, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

Advertising on these platforms may be expensive compared to Google Ads. However, if you use them efficiently, they will give you a high return on investments.

Other platforms you can use for PPC campaigns include:

Quora- Quora is a platform with over 300 million monthly active users. Therefore, using it effectively will enable you to reach a wider target audience. You can target consumers on this platform based on their activities or contextual targeting.

Targeting consumers based on their activities is advisable since it may influence them to buy from you during the comparison phase of a buyer’s journey.

Amazon– If you are running an online business, you need to advertise your products on Amazon. The best thing about Amazon is that you don’t have to be one of their sellers to advertise your products. You can also use a compelling CTA to redirect customers to your website for more products.

Adroll– AdRoll is a multi-device display advertising company that specializes in retargeting. It helps firms run advertisements across multiple platforms from one location, increasing sales and revenue.

Final Words

PPC campaigns are one of the most effective forms of advertising for online businesses. However, with the advancement in technology, PPC adverts are also evolving. Therefore, if you are a marketer in 2021, you need to embrace these trends to make your campaigns more effective.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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