PPC Trends in 2021

Experts are weighing in on key trends for 2021 that will influence PPC marketing.

This includes its planning, its strategy and its efficacy.

To review, PPC stands for pay-per-click, where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked by an interested party. PPC marketing gets results through a variety of advertising mediums, including:

  • Search Ads: The first PPC marketing, which takes the form of text ads.
  • Social Media Ads: Advertising on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others.
  • Display Ads: A newer option, display ads incorporate still graphics, animation, pictures or video in the messaging.
  • Re-marketing: Advertising the same information using different keywords.
  • Google Shopping: Many e-commerce retailers pay Google to display their products with their website’s link.
  • Sequential re-marketing: Story-based re-marketing that takes customers on a journey. After they click on an ad, they visit a specific landing page with information about the product or service they’re looking for and then they can take action.

PPC marketing is linked to search engines like Google Ads, Amazon Advertisement, Microsoft Advertisement, or Bing Ads. Advertisers pay for PPC marketing based on the maximum keyword bid that advertiser is willing to pay and the quality of the advertisement.

To build an effective PPC campaign, marketers focus on choosing the right keywords for their audience, creating relevant ad copy and calls-to-action to attract the right audiences, optimizing landing pages for conversions, tracking negative keywords that could affect the campaigns objectives and working according to a client’s budgetary restrictions.

Trending PPC Trends That Are Here To Stay

A few of the currently trending directions for PPC marketing have the potential to grow and are likely here to stay. They include:


Automation uses AI, or artificial intelligence and ML, or machine learning to help reduce tasks and labor such as identifying the best ads, finding the right CTA (call-to-action), calculating and suggesting the best bidding strategy, checking the performance of the account, enhancing CPC (cost per click) and generating conversions. In addition to saving time and energy, automation is already saving advertisers money and has the potential to help smooth out the application of campaigns in the future.

The key for PPC marketers in 2021 is to remain flexible. For example, with Google Ads shifting away from transparency and limiting the data available for marketers, they may be forcing advertisers to rely more on Google’s machine learning and data than on their own expertise – or forcing them to settle on what’s working best using the information available and learning how to target more of that audience.

This could mean marketers will need to review patterns of search queries, rather than individual search terms, guide automated bidding, rather than controlling bidding directly and do more with less, rather than having more control and insights into performance.

The Use of Video for Ad Messaging

Video ads took off in 2019 only to increase in 2020 and now, it looks to be one of the most promising trends for PPC in 2021. Just as display ads became more appealing for clicks than text ads, video ads are becoming more appealing and effective for clicks than display ads. Businesses will also adapt to using video ads as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Stories and other social media marketing outlets continue to grow and dominate.

Voice Search Optimization

When it comes to search, PPC marketers are listening to Alexa, Siri, Google and Cortana more and more, rather than actual human beings. Because keywords exist as spoken language, they are simple and often translate into question phrases.

Voice search is optimized to work best with mobile devices. Since nearly everyone owns a mobile phone, owning a mobile audience can mean much more exposure to messages. Which leads into the next trend that’s here to stay.

Continue to Focus on A Great Mobile Experience

Many companies still don’t have a digital presence that gives a visitor a great experience on mobile. They haven’t visited their websites on a mobile phone, let alone other mobile devices, to test that experience. If brands want to win at PPC in 2021, they need to have an accessible site that provides a mobile experience that delights visitors and keeps them coming back for more.

New Trends for PPC in 2021

From new platforms that are joining search engines for PPC to audience targeting and new ways to interpret data, the following are new trends to watch for PPC in 2021.

Emerging Platforms for PPC

  • Amazon: Amazon is not only for e-commerce anymore. Amazon ads is the third-largest and fastest-growing platforms for PPC campaigns. Even non-sellers can direct visitors toward their websites through the right CTAs.
  • Quora: Quora provides advertisers with a benefit of contextual targeting, which helps them check users’ behaviors and activity to make a lasting impact.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the up and coming option for PPC due to its focus on organizations and business in general.
  • New Instagram Opportunities: Instagram will likely open up more ad placements for additional inventory through IGTV, Reels and Stories as they continue to quickly gain organic popularity.

Audience Targeting

Gone are the days of PPC marketers controlling every ad and every bid based on words alone. In 2021, the most successful PPC marketers will be focused on their target audience – understanding who they are, what they want and how they will navigate their buyer’s journey to buy from them.

With less control due to automation, AI and ML, who sees PPC ads will matter more in driving qualified clicks. In addition, knowing who the target audience is and knowing who is worth prospecting versus who is most likely to convert will be key.

Three Words: First-Party Data

With changes in global privacy policies and restrictions to third-party cookies across browsers, how data is sourced is about to be disrupted. It’s critical that marketers develop new solutions for a data strategy that is not reliant on cookies.

By segmenting first-party data, businesses are able to get greater accuracy with great customization. Creating first-party, data-driven solutions will be well worth the investment since they will benefit multiple digital channels.

How will your pay per click work in 2021?

We recommend contacting a pay per click marketing firm that can do the research for you, so you can sit back and wait for the results.

Tell us your goals by contacting us today; let’s discuss how we can achieve those with PPC marketing.

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