What will the PPC landscape look like in 2024?
2023 was a huge year for PPC, with lots of new product releases (there were 50 changes to PMax alone), and we expect 2024 to be even bigger.
These are the most impactful changes and trends that we expect to see this year and what you can do about them.
The death of exact match
With Google pushing heavily on tools like Broad Match, PMax and Demand Gen (a campaign type built to match the targeting and creative elements of social campaigns), we’ve seen a loss of control from classic match types. Now that exact match can be very loose with what it matches to, and with the focus on audience-based targeting, 2024 might be the year that we lose exact match completely.
What can you do? Despite looser keyword targeting and decreasing search insights, you should still focus on maintaining visibility and control where you can. Continue to focus on the fundamentals with a sensible account structure, search query report work and A/B testing where possible.
First party data is key
We are moving towards a cookie-less world – if you want success, you need a good understanding of what performance your ads are driving. This has always been the case – “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” – but given the changes to the privacy landscape, how you track is evolving.
What can you do? Implement Enhanced Conversions and Consent Mode (the deadline for Consent Mode v2 implementation is March), and feed in First Party data where possible.
Automation integration increases
In the past few years, we’ve seen massive advancements in things like keyword matching & ad copy testing. Google have already announced new tools like Generative AI for Shopping Ad Images – products like this are going to become more commonplace.
What can you do? With the playing field becoming more even, PPCers will need to start thinking more strategically in order to differentiate themselves and the performance of their accounts.
YouTube Shorts to feature more heavily
With the growth of short-form video content like TikTok, Google launched YouTube Shorts, and a lot of advertisers are seeing success from this platform. Google have already started to play around with the Video Ads set up to make it easier to run ads for YouTube shorts, and I expect this to become even more prominent in 2024.
What can you do? Keep on top of all of the new product releases from Google. Ensure you’re testing all of the latest campaign types to ensure you know what works and what doesn’t for you.
Optiscore gets overhauled
A key focus for Google (and a key complaint of PPCers) has been their in-platform account scoring tool. Given the news that Google have significantly downsized the Ads team due to increased reliance on AI – and the complaints from advertisers on Optiscore, I expect there to be a new set of shiny reports that do a similar but more advanced job of what Optiscore is doing.
What can you do? Don’t just apply these recommendations; test these in a measured way so that you understand the impact of the changes.
While there will always be lots of smaller changes in the PPC landscape, even from week to week, these are the key trends we expect for 2024 – is your approach to PPC fully future-proofed? If not, get in touch…