We’re avid readers of Search Engine Journal over here at NordicClick, and one of our very own Senior Digital Managers was just featured in their latest eBook! I sat down with Brooke Osmundson, our resident corgi lover, cooking enthusiast, and award-winning PPC pro (for real), to hear more about PPC trends in 2019 and her words of wisdom for paid search advertisers.

Download SEJ’s PPC Trends in 2019 eBook here.

What are you most eager to test in 2019?

Brooke: I’m so excited to try the new LinkedIn audience targeting capabilities coming to Bing. I’ll forever be a Bing Ads advocate (even though it’s not the most popular opinion). The new beta is a bid-only option, so you can’t target them specifically, but it’ll be a huge advantage for B2B clients in understanding and reaching their audience.

One key trend you emphasized in SEJ’s eBook was taking advantage of audience targeting—more specifically, using in-market audiences as part of a comprehensive funnel strategy. This sounds awesome, but also a bit daunting… Where do you start?

Brooke: With new clients, I start by creating segmented audiences of past website visitors, or even better, past purchasers. Once you have those lists built, review the closely related in-market and affinity audiences associated with those audiences to find suitable audiences to start testing. The new audience insights tool in the Google Ads interface is great for this!

It’s no secret Google is getting smarter. What’s a function of machine learning you were hesitant to adopt as a PPC manager but find yourself a fan of now?

Brooke: Previously, I hesitated to test any of the bid strategies – more at a fault of my own for not realizing how they would affect each of my campaigns. The more I research, test, and understand, I’m finding different bidding strategies work better for different campaigns. You need a clear understanding of the individual campaign’s goals before you implement a smart bidding strategy – but when used correctly, I’ve found them to be effective. (Check out this post to learn about a test we ran on two of those bidding strategies.)

The changing search landscape can make it tough for smaller businesses to compete in PPC. What’s your advice for businesses struggling to keep up?

Brooke: First, take a step back to do intentional competitive analysis. What is your competition doing from a search standpoint? How can you do better? What’s the new baseline in your industry? (If you haven’t done this in a while, check out this post for what to look for.)

If you feel like you can’t keep up with the competition (and with rising costs), it might be time to look at other platforms. Facebook’s robust targeting opportunities provide a highly effective advertising avenue for some businesses. Display advertising and remarketing tend to be lower cost alternatives, too. Search is not always the answer.

A strong online presence doesn’t happen in a vacuum. In what ways can businesses integrate their digital marketing practices with PPC?

Brooke: An easy one is integrating search and social. A lot of B2B clients hesitate to use social but we’ve seen strong results from remarketing on social platforms. The audience you’re reaching is already familiar with you, so it’s less intrusive.

A more advanced tactic is integrating SEO and PPC. For example, look beyond high search volume keywords to find longer tail terms you rank for organically that you’re not bidding on in paid search. Start incorporating those into your paid strategy to increase your share of voice in the SERPs.

What is one thing you wish more businesses realized when it comes to PPC?

Brooke: If you only bid on your brand, and you’re not doing any mid to upper funnel initiatives, the bottom of your funnel is only going to get smaller. You must invest in every stage of the funnel.

To read the full chapter, hop over to Search Engine Journal and download your own copy of SEJ’s Top 2019 PPC Trends You Need to Know. (Be sure to check out Brooke’s segment!)

Ready to kick your own paid search strategy into gear in 2019? Check out our paid media capabilities to see how NordicClick can help.