Our PPC Wish List for 2021

This year, we’re continuing with our tradition of compiling a PPC wish list for the coming year. 

This list consists of all the things we’d like to see in PPC advertising, such as changes or innovations.

Have our wishes from previous years (such as 20202019 and 2018) come true?

Unfortunately, not. 

But that won’t stop us from dreaming! 

Therefore, here’s our PPC wish list for 2021:

1. Visibility into search query data

In September 2020, Google announced a change to its search terms report in Google Ads. 

Moving forward, the report would only include terms that “a significant number of users searched for, even if a term received a click.”

I was immediately concerned about how this change would impact our clients who are in industries with super high click costs, such as legal and tech. 

In addition, this change, when combined with other changes (such as the introduction of close variants) gives advertisers even less insight into and control over their PPC accounts.  

Why would Google make this change? 

Well, at the risk of sounding cynical, there are millions, if not billions, of dollars in ad spend in this longtail data. Not giving us insights into that data takes the power of managing that ad spend out of our hands and puts it into Google’s. 

Not cool, Google!

2. Better Google support

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but better Google support has made our wish list three years running.

Unfortunately, we have yet to see any consistent improvements in this area. 

Google reps remain shockingly inconsistent in their expertise. Some reps are great. Others are not. 

Turnaround times are also dreadful. We can wait months to get issues resolved, which is a lifetime in the fast-moving world of PPC advertising. We’d hope to get issue resolution within a few business days at a minimum. A few hours would be even better. 

I know, I know. It’s hard to find PPC experts. But if I can do it with my team, surely Google could do the same. 

Besides, improving this support is in Google’s best interest.

Clearly, Google is very invested in innovating. They’re constantly launching new products and changing ad policies. 

These innovations and changes are to be expected in this industry. As I said, it’s very fast paced. 

However, we and other advertisers have one hand tied behind our backs when responding to these changes. 

If we had trustworthy and timely support, we could more readily push out and test new Google offerings. 

But we’re stymied by the ridiculously slow response and resolutions from Google support. (Sometimes, we get no resolution at all.)

As a result, advertisers are increasingly motivated to funnel their ad dollars elsewhere, such as Microsoft Advertising. 

Which is probably exactly what Google does NOT want. But they’re leaving us with no other option. 

3. Continued improvements in automation

On a brighter note, we have seen some improvements in automation this past year, and we’d love to see that trend continue in 2021. 

In particular, we’ve been getting great results (in some cases) with smart shoppingdiscovery ads and automated bidding in 2020. 

This is a very positive sign. 

However, does this mean you should immediately adopt these automated functions in your advertising? Not at all. 

As always, the best approach is to test different approaches and see what happens.

In some of our client accounts, these automated tools have outperformed our manual efforts. 

But in other client accounts, our manual efforts continue to do better. 

Wishing You a Much Improved 2021

Will all of our PPC wishes come true this year?

Probably not. 

But regardless of what the future holds for the world of paid search advertising, we still wish you a quiet holiday season and a much improved 2021.