Another year is here – I hope you have all had a wonderful 2018! My roundup on how the year went from a PPC perspective can be found here – but for now, it’s time to get excited for 2019 by looking forward to some of the things we can expect to see throughout the year:

Here’s 8 key points for how I think it’s going to go down:

We’ll lose one match type

Personally, I felt really let down by Google when they changed Exact match. Unfortunately, I think they’re just letting us down gently. At a later stage of 2019, I think we’ll lose a match type altogether. I dread to think we might actually be left with only a single match type eventually. This may or may not happen in 2019, but I am sure it will happen one day. When this comes, we’ll be left with a glorified ‘AdWords Express’ that gives us very little control over the search queries we drive traffic from. When this happens, we’ll have to do what all good businesses do – adapt!

YouTube becomes a bigger deal

YouTube is a great platform that I use every day to consume content, but I hardly use it for advertising. I think Google are going to smash this platform in 2019 and make all us advertisers stand up and pay attention. I think it will become a significantly more important part of our media plans in 2019 and beyond.

Other ad placements (smart TV)

Following on from the above, I think we’ll start to see a bit more diversification in the devices we can make use of. The ‘year of the mobile’ is well behind us, the ‘year of voice search’ is well and truly here, but ‘the year of smart tv’ has kind of crept up on us without making too much of a noise (perhaps because it was a lot more of a natural transition in behaviour for us). At some stage in 2019, I think we’ll be adjusting bids for smart TVs at the same time as adjusting them for mobile and tablets.

We’ll be given a third headline as standard (and potentially forced to use responsive)

A little give and take is always important, and whilst the big G are taking lots of match type control away from us, they’re being equally generous in the giving of additional headline and texts in our ad copies. These are currently in testing but I’d imagine they’ll be rolled out at some stage in the new year. I can also see us being pushed more down the route of using responsive ads – although I haven’t had a huge deal of success with them yet so I hope they spend some time making them work a bit better.

More bid strategies

We were gifted a new bid strategy in the form of ‘target impression share’ toward the end of 2018 and this is something I would expect (and like!) to see continue through 2019. Bid strategies have come on leaps and bounds over the past 12 months, and now that it seems Google has a bit more confidence in rolling out new types, I think we can expect more.

How could I leave out Bing?

I believe Bing market share will continue to creep up slowly, with more advertisers paying attention and including it in their strategies. I have always been confident in assuring clients that Bing CPC will be cheaper – but I have started to see it increase ever so slightly in some cases.

I really do hope this prediction is wrong, but I expect the gap between Google and Bing CPC to get a little closer.

Remarketing becomes even more important

This may sound very familiar (and even outdated), but I am not referring to the use of remarketing banners or even just tailored ads – the big change I anticipate is the reliance placed on using audience bid adjustments to drive success. This has been one of the most important parts of a lot of our strategies in 2018, but I’m often surprised how little it is used in others. In 2019 I believe it will become more normal to have audience bid adjustments at the heart of PPC strategies.

The year of voice is finally here! (almost)
Voice has been coming a long time. The famous stat referred to most often is that 50% of searches will be voice by 2020. Whether that’s true or not is beside the point, because I feel that the more significant landmark will be when it becomes a normal part of our everyday lives, and I don’t think that’s going to be in 2019. What I do expect to see in 2019 is the voice tech world pick up some serious speed throughout the year, which is what’s going to help voice search become the norm moving into 2020.

Thanks for reading!

-Marcus