The fast-paced world of search marketing continues to grow. A big jump in U.S. search ad spending is expected over the next few years. Research from eMarketer shows a near 25 percent gain in revenues is expected from search advertising, to reach $45 billion by 2019. In addition, changes in the ways consumers and businesses are connecting to the web are fueling movement in the search engine marketing specialties of SEO, pay per click (PPC), video ads, and product listing ads. For instance, have at look at 2017's most expensive keywords in Adwords. This shows clearly where ads are being slotted.
Right now, at the top of everyone's list is the massive growth of mobile usage. Mobile device use continues to spur search advertising growth this year, per eMarketer stats. The research firm estimates search spending will grow by 13 percent this year from an increase in mobile ads, along with a corresponding decline in desktop and laptop-based advertising spending.
In search engine marketing circles, keyword ad targeting has been the longtime stalwart for search engine marketing. But mobile advertising now accounts for about 70 percent of online advertising spending, and marketers are busy trying to reach customers based on location, age, gender, and shopping and web behavior, among other criteria.
Let's have a look at some of the top trends we've spotted in 2017 in search engine marketing.
Product listing ads are outpacing text ads.
Product listing ads are on the rise. According to the Merkle Q1 2017 Digital Marketing Report, sponsored product ads, especially on Amazon.com, are increasing swiftly. More than half of all retail search ad clicks are now coming from product ads. The report also shows a massive gain in product ads on Facebook, increasing more than 70 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Next year looks even more data-intensive for advertising on Facebook because a beta plan is in the works to let marketers gain deeper insights into people's Facebook posts to better determine marketing directions.
Local inventory ads are poised to grow.
As the economy continues expanding around the country, local businesses are using local inventory ads to grow their presence in their immediate communities. Industry experts are also taking note of an expected uptick in local inventory ads for this coming U.S. holiday's local inventory ads.
Google is still king of search advertising
Google is still at the top of search advertising revenue. In 2017, Google is expect to gain more than ¾ of all search revenue, putting it firmly on top of the search world, and is growing its share of U.S. net search ad revenue both on mobile and overall.
AdWords overall look and function (message extensions).
Behind-the-scenes innovation for Google's AdWords is resulting in its brand-new look and function feel. Search Engine Land notes how Google's site callouts, message extensions, and more are helping sitelinks to perform at a higher level. This is expected to only become more refined for marketers into 2018 as well.
AdWords bids increasing massively relative to desktop and tablet bids.
Paid ads are rocking it this year. Over 65 percent of high-intent buyers click on PPC ads. Click-through rates (CTRs) are jumping, especially in the finance and insurance categories. PPC providers are helping marketers to develop campaigns for specific devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.), and use dynamic ad versions, native formats, or text ad versions. The possibilities for marketers are limitless, it seems.