The voice search trend has been around for a few years, but actually, now it is becoming more useful and popular. With the increasing prevalence of Google Assistant, Google Home, Siri, Amazon Echo – Alexa and Cortana, each year we see more voice search queries in searched terms reports. This is a rather different world than the well-known one of search campaign keywords.
Google voice search queries
The voice search trend has been around for a few years, but actually, now it is becoming more useful and popular. With the increasing prevalence of Google Assistant, Google Home, Siri, Amazon Echo – Alexa and Cortana, each year we see more voice search queries in searched terms reports. This is a rather different world than the well-known one of search campaign keywords. Long tail questions giving us a micro-moment from someone’s life are normal stuff here. Intentions are much clearer and this will lead to easier targeting for potential buyers.
Not only will it change SEM marketing, but also SEO – online marketing needs a really different approach. Usual queries in AdWords, for example, have 1-3 words. In voice searches, the average word count is 6-8. SEO will get much more information about content than keywords (even in the current state) and PPC Ads search campaign targeting will be harder but not impossible. Keywords are usually long tail plus – when targeted you aim for queries that have the desired words and extra conversational phrases. When developing a campaign, you need to think about the way people ask things in everyday conversation, as this will be similar to a question asked via a voice search.
Better AI campaigns
With AdWords Smart Campaigns we were provided with data, so that is possible to run a whole campaign without any adjustments. All you need to do is setup creation and choose conversion cost. You don’t choose any particular targeting – it is automatic in AdWords Smart Campaigns. Testing and adjustments are based on conversion data that the campaign collects. You can only change the daily budget and target CPA to spend more or change part of the creation to increase CTR. This is not perfect and still needs control in atypical situations. In the future, SEM Specialists will have more work to do in preparing AI as they aim to keep track on client goals more than on engineering campaigns, setting up keywords and targeting to match quality scores. This could allow experts to operate more efficiently at much higher budgets.
New-old big players in the field
Google and Facebook could have less of a monopoly on the ads market. Facebook has recently been going into the development of a video content service that could lead to new ads targeting, significantly different than it is – as right now the most common focus is social value. Depending on how Facebook develops its content video service – we may get more interactions with content that will provide better value for products just than on YouTube.
The Linkedin and Microsoft combo is going forward right now – recently LinkedIn started to make some improvements in UX. In future, this could lead to better campaigns, more possibilities and the overall growth of LinkedIn as a better social media channel. Integration with Office 365 is just beginning – at some point maybe it will be possible to create events or use LinkedIn as a daily calendar for meetings.
New rich structured data impact on online marketing
Google wants people to provide more information with its search engine. It is much better to let robots parse websites with direct data than “trying to guess” via URL construction, content or headlines. It is not only SEO that has been impacted by structured snippets. SEM Google Merchant Center campaigns also benefit from these, with faster data updates than with fetching feed. We have also been provided with a Rich Results Test that allows us to check which snippets work.
Data-driven attribution model
In the last few years, we have seen a move from first interaction to last interaction clicks; as a preparation for this, Google has presented new attribution models that seem fairer in helping to decide when you are earning from a channel or not. In fact, this isn’t anything new – it was first introduced in 2013 for a paid version of Google Analytics, and it has been available with AdWords since 2014, but this could allow you to step up your game to the potential of measuring your conversion data right now in 2018.
The data-driven model is based on specific conversion data and the path that a given source or campaign is user taking. You can learn more about data-driven attribution on the Google support page here.
Basically, it is a model where the system sees a path that the user took, splits total conversion across all paths evenly at each step of the path and sums up channel (or campaign) total value.
For example in this model, it doesn’t matter if a channel is a first interaction or last one. It can be even in the middle of a path. What counts more in a how many paths to conversion campaign or source occurs as they are summed up. This allows us to count the ROAS and value efficiency of marketing actions.
Another good example of when your current models are wrong are display campaigns. Let us assume that for your business, the display is in many paths to conversion somewhere in the middle of a path. It doesn’t start the interaction with the client, it doesn’t close the deal, so in the first and last interaction, you don’t see any direct value from this. The CEO of your company decides that they want to shut down those campaigns, as ROAS is worse compared to search or shopping ads. After the shutdown, other channels start to make less money as well. The display appeared in most steps of the paths to conversion, and shutting it down caused a drop in earnings with other channels. In the data-driven model, the display would have a small part in many paths so the overall sum value would be seen in the interface as being as important as other campaigns.
Have you heard about any new great things that might be on the horizon for online marketing in 2018? Share your news in the comments!