Paid Search (PPC) Trends 2022 – What You Need To Know Part 1

Paid search trends 2022 - squares spelling out "paid" with a calculator in the background.

There’s a New Year just around the corner so now is the perfect time to look ahead. Last week we gazed into the crystal ball to see what 2022 might bring in the SEO space. But this week we are going to look at paid search (PPC) trends in 2022. 

This is obviously a bit different to SEO and we will be primarily focusing on large scale campaigns in this post. If you are running small campaigns with only a few keywords some of these factors might not apply to you. But hopefully you gain some insight anyway.

If you manage paid search for your brand or if you are working at an agency, here are some factors you might have to pay attention to in 2022. For more trends and actions, come back next week for part 2!

Let’s get “paid”.

Paid search trends 2022 - image of a child with a robot.
Photo by Andy Kelly on Unsplash

Paid Search Trends 2022 – AI & Automation In Ad Management

Google, with advances like “smart bidding” has been integrating AI and machine learning into it’s ad platform for a long time now. Amazon offers some great AI tools on its platform, which can save lots of time with automated bidding and keyword changes. It must be said Bing is playing catch up here, yet again.

But the real game changer in PPC is automation and how AI can make the job of managing big campaigns easier.

If you have worked in paid search, you will know that there are a lot of tasks that can be a bit of a grind. AI and automation could help to streamline repetitive tasks, improve reporting and even help to optimize campaign spend. While we have always had “scripts”, they can be a bit of a pain to use.

One of the most repetitive tasks is testing ad variations, analyzing performance on numerous accounts and then producing reports based on your findings. This is especially true if you are working in an agency that could have hundreds of active ad accounts for different clients. The rise of PPC management platforms that use AI can really provide some sorely needed help with these tasks.

AI could also help with a repetitive task that’s often overlooked, but could save your business a lot of money; that task is surfacing negative keywords.

What is a negative keyword?

If you are running a highly targeted Google Ads campaign a key part of setting up that campaign is deciding what not to target.

For example, say you are a local optician. You may want to bid on the keyword “glasses”. But if you do not add the appropriate negative keywords your ad may appear on terms like “whiskey glasses” or “wine glasses”. This will lead to increased costs and high bounce rate.

How AI and Automation Could Help

Finding negative keywords for your campaign can take a long time. Especially when you consider negative keywords for different match types like phrase, broad and exact match. AI could help with this process by surfacing thousands of negative keywords, with synonyms, singular and plural versions in seconds. 

This is a huge timesaver for ad managers, giving them more time to create better digital ad campaigns. It’s also likely to save a lot of money, thus increasing your ROAS (return on ad spend). There’s always negative keywords even the best PPC professionals miss…

Actions You Can Take:

  • If you run big campaigns, or are short on time, investigate AI PPC management platforms like Acquisio or Optmyzr
  • Audit the negative keywords you currently use, make sure you are not wasting money

Paid search trends 2022 - Image of an iphone with the tiktok app icon.
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Paid Search Trends 2022 – Start Experimenting with TikTok

With Facebook doing their best to trash their public image at every turn, the LinkedIN ad interface being a bit of a mess and Twitter being…Twitter, the paid social media landscape can seem a bit bleak.

But there is a player in town that the all important “generation Z” demographic seems to love. At the time of writing it has also not been involved in undermining democracy. So say hello to TikTok!

TikTok for Business offers numerous paid ad options that offer something for everyone. A TopView ad is the premium position on TikTok, it puts your brand at the top of the pile with up to 60 seconds of full screen and long form video with autoplay and sound. In-feed ads look like native content and appear to users like regular TikTok videos. Branded hashtag challenges are good for one off campaigns to drive awareness and brand engagement. Last but not least are branded effects, where you can create stickers, filters and effects to let users create content that ties into your brand.

There is a high barrier to entry for anyone who wants to use video assets if, for example, you are an SME. Video can take a lot of time and resource to create, depending on what you want to achieve. But TikTok has a lot of tools to help advertisers create engaging content, so experimentation is possible. 
Also there are some minimum budget requirements that may be expensive to some businesses. For example an ad group level minimum budget must exceed $20 per day. So if you want to deliver ads for a month, that adds up to a $620 minimum budget for that month.

Actions You Can Take:

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Photo by Shahadat Rahman on Unsplash

Paid Search Trends 2022 – Get Your First-party Data Strategy In Order

With third-party cookies being phased out, and all the talk of FLoCs and privacy sandboxes, it’s more important than ever for businesses to make the most of their first party data.

Having a robust first party data strategy for your paid search campaigns will allow your business to weather changes around data more effectively. But it is not as straightforward as just asking for email addresses. You have to give your customers a reason for them to share their data and they have to be able to trust you. 
Also although Google may have a solution that utilizes FLoCs or some other solution to the third-party cookie issue they will not help you serve unique, personalized experiences. Using your own first party data will help you to serve better ads and content to your users. Just make sure you use personalized ads in the right way.

Actions You Can Take:

  • Third party cookies are going away
  • Conduct an audit on the first party data you already hold
  • Build a robust first party data strategy to future proof your business from data disruption

Go ahead and read part 2 of our paid search in 2022 series where we look at more paid search trends and actions for 2022. Specifically short form video ads, outstream/no sound video ads and in-game ads.

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Talk to MAQE

If you need help using AI or machine learning to find negative keywords or building a first party data strategy with personalization at its heart, talk to MAQE. We have been helping brands adapt to change for a long time, so get in touch via [email protected].