The Paid Search landscape: the latest developments

13 avril 2023

The rapid pace of developments in the digital world is not a new development. It’s up to us to keep up with these developments so that we can build future-proof strategies for our clients. That’s why the iO advertising team participated in a four-week PPC Masterclass with advertising gurus Bob Meijer and Miles McNair. PPC stands for pay-per-click, a collective term for everything connected with online advertising.

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Now it’s time to share our learnings with you; fresh optimisations that we can use in our daily work.

Proper conversion tracking

First of all, it emerged that data and conversion tracking is already playing an increasingly important role. As we move towards a world without third-party cookies, it’s becoming even more important to feed Google's algorithm with first-party data, and to collect as much (accurate) data as possible. To facilitate this process, here are some conversion tracking best practices we use to achieve better results:

  • Always use the Data-driven attribution model and use correct target categories per campaign.

  • Always implement Enhanced conversions to improve conversion attribution; With Enhanced conversion, you can complement existing conversions by sending hashed first-party conversion data.

  • Also use Consent mode for Google conversions. Google models conversions that are otherwise not perceptible due to a user's rejected cookie consent. When you do this, you meet the privacy needs of the consumer while getting a more accurate picture of the actual conversions that have taken place.

  • It's more important than ever to work with new versus recurring customer data. With access to relevant data, you can add it to your conversions and set up smart strategies and bids accordingly.

  • For E-commerce accounts, 'target POAS' (read: 'target profit on ad spend') is a hot topic. We have known 'target ROAS' (read: target return on ad spend') for some time, but the tPOAS is even more accurate. The tPOAS looks at the net profit in relation to the advertising costs that have been incurred. The tROAS, on the other hand, shows the ratio between the turnover and the advertising costs incurred. To make this transparent, (first party) data again plays a very important role.

Performance Max campaign continues to trend

Another topic that is retaining its high-profile is Google's Performance Max campaign. This campaign runs almost entirely on machine learning and is more difficult to optimise than regular campaigns. Step by step it is possible to gain more insight into the performance of this campaign. A number of learnings and developments in this are:

  • Over-segmented campaigns don't work well. It turns out that the Performance Max campaign performs best with as much data as possible within one campaign/ item group. This helps Google's machine learning to come into its own.

  • Enrich the campaign with as many combination options as possible. We do this by using and optimising the maximum number of headlines, descriptions, images, and videos on the best performing items.

  • High quality footage is essential.

  • Writing good copy that catches the reader’s attention is very important. A major development in the field of text production is the use of ChatGPT. This AI tool is a great way to get inspiration for writing texts that you can then give your personal touch. All the better if you have content specialists on your team to help you with this.

  • Another positive development for the Performance Max campaign is that you can gain insights into the exact distribution of campaign expenditure through scripts. By implementing the developed scripts, it becomes clear what part of the budget goes to video, display, shopping, or search. In addition, we can give the campaign - and therefore Google - more control by using audience signals. Think, for example, of adding customer lists for observation.

  • A final but essential tip is to always exclude the brand name so that you can drive as much traffic as possible to a top-funnel strategy with the Performance Max campaign.

In short, it is gradually becoming easier to gather more and more insights from this new type of campaign. But that doesn't mean that testing is any less important because every campaign is different. Testing, learning, optimising, and refining for excellence is what ultimately makes a campaign truly successful. And that's what we're here for.

The advertising team is constantly testing and following the latest industry developments so that we can  achieve the best possible results for our clients. Our professional enthusiasts are regularly found at webinars, seminars, and trade days so that they can stay on top of the latest developments and trends. Not only from Search Engine Advertising, but also in the field of Programmatic Advertising and Social advertising. Read more about Advertising & Performance marketing and how we can help your organisation.

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Disclaimer: the developments and trends in the field of advertising are changing at a breakneck pace. At the time of writing, these were the most recent best practices. We are continuously working on this, in order to provide our clients with the best possible service. You can expect to hear from us again when new trends emerge.

Noa Postma
Noa Postma
Paid Advertising Specialist

How do you achieve advertising success in times of cookieless, data privacy rules and changing algorithms? As an advertising expert, Noa has a keen eye for digital trends and what she sees, she shares with the world. The results: converting campaigns for satisfied clients, a glimpse of the advertising landscape’s future for all.

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