I’ve never done a prediction piece for the Portent blog before but based on the number of times a year I get asked “how much will I make from PPC?” I must have a crystal ball somewhere. (Particularly since when this question is usually asked, it’s been 5 minutes, I haven’t seen the cart funnel, nor the AdWords account yet.)
So here it is, my completely made-up list of predictions for PPC in 2013.
Yeah, there are going to be more.
- Google will finally make the contact form extensions available instead of this two-year-long-plus beta we’ve been waiting in.
- Get Directions ads. A mobile-ads-only extension with a field/button for directions will calculate Google Maps directions, based on your current location. Google Maps currently has this “Directions” button for the organic listings, but what if you were a franchise and wanted those customers more? Or if they searched for “best sushi Seattle” and you’re trying to beat Yelp, wouldn’t you rather they just go ahead and click on the first result (an ad) and find you?
- Open Now extension ads. Location ads will now allow you to enter in (or grab from Google Local) the days of the week/hours you’re open. Perhaps the extension will display “open now” text for the hours is open, and the full days of the week/hours when closed. (Google Local sometimes captures this accurately. Sometimes not. And what if you change your hours for the holidays and don’t want to wait and see if Google Local picks up on it?)
- With the rollout of Universal Analytics, I’m thinking coupon extensions could be wicked cool. Generate a coupon code or bar code from clicking on ad, print out and bring to the store. Measure number of conversions at store, amount and how often coupons are used.
- Take that one step further and tie to mobile phones. Click mobile ad coupon, load onto phone app, use at checkout. Perhaps even pair with Mobile App extension ads. BAM!
- Someone is going file a lawsuit or something over this arbitrage that is going on with CSEs and those trying to compete with themselves, driving up CPCs. (Hint: if you use Shopping.com for feed management, consider letting them do it for you – don’t try and be a hero and ALSO do it in AdWords. Despite what Google says, I have reservations that their system is sophisticated enough at this time to identify when you’re driving up click prices against yourself, or your affiliates.)
- Product Listing Ads will have the Google Wallet logo if the merchant accepts Google Wallet – on the google.com SERP.
- Magento App by Google. (More of a wish than a prediction.) Yo, Google – make a FREE app for Magento Community sites that generates all the attributes you require and lets them edit for the unique AdWords attributes (labels, groups) easily. YOU WILL MAKE EVEN MORE BILLIONS.
- Repeat for other major shopping cart platforms like Volusion and WordPress. Remove the barriers and they will come. (Yes, I realize this might create a support nightmare, but you could just do the forum/ignoring process you have now for Google Local. Not great, but better than nothing.)
- Ability to LINK Google Merchant Accounts like how AdWords accounts can link. I know you have the technology, as we can now see Merchant Center in AdWords. Now let me export….
- Ability to EXPORT from Merchant Center product level data instead of this terrific search one product or drill down one at a time thing we’re rocking right now.
- Ability to see (this will never happen) traffic from google.com results vs. google.shopping.com results. At the very least, the percentages in which you appear in the 6 or 8 pack on google.com vs. when you’re buried with 100 other results on a google.shopping.com page?
‘Cause you know their elves are hard at work.
- DSAs will die. A slow, horrible death like a Wave.
- Expect to filter the different conversions in AdWords at the tab levels instead of having to go into Conversions on the tab to see how many sign up conversions there were vs. sales. Sure, you can assign a different “value” but really, when you’re looking at the individual keywords on the keyword tab, you’d like to know right there in the AdWords interface how many of the 5 “conversions” were a purchase and how many were a free trial.
- Mobile accounts. You will soon possess the ability to set up an entire account just for mobile, have the necessary defaults and not have to worry about double serving warnings, allowing you to segment out traffic much more easily. This will be made even more fun by shared budgets! (Some of you are probably already doing this the hard way.)
- There will be a Dateline-like story over the AdWords Business Credit where advertisers rack up cost and are pursued by evil debt collectors thanks to overzealousness by the 3rd party company Google hired to run the program.
- Bing Ads will finally roll out product extension ads to everyone. It’s the least they can do after claiming all that Scroogling.
- Agency invite feature will work as it’s supposed to. Reliably.
- Keyword research tools will expand, enabling you to bid on even more keywords that only one person has searched for. On Bing. Ever.
- Bing Shopping Ads, alongside the “free” listings for “premium” placement. Yeah, they won’t fully monetize the results, but they’re certainly not let you have it all for free.
- RAIS. Rich Ads in Search rolls out in the UI; you will still need to do an Excel template upload to start, but you won’t need a rep anymore to set it up.
- Travel Ads. Farecaster meets Bing Ads. Sponsored by Bing to encourage use of the tool, gets users to start their “farecasting” from within the ad.
Otherwise they’re going to have to start doing bake sales.
- Facebook will finally get it together and create some sort of multi-account sharing platform like AdWords’ My Client Center or Bing’s Agency Access.
- Power Editor will be available to all accounts in the multi-account.
- Expect ad scheduling by hour of the day/day of the week at the campaign level.
- Get ready for a Facebook Ads certification program beta. Free to start, small and simple, but badge-earning friendly! And I hope they have a better name than that. Like “Super Friends of Facebook.”
That’s it. I think I’ve dug myself a deep enough hole to be wrong (i.e. totally and awesomely right) in. Please have a Happy Holidays where your Q4 revenue will impress even your mother-in-law. (Actual fortune that can be found in Portent brand fortune cookies.) Leave your own predictions for 2013 in the comments and we can look back at the end of next year and laugh and laugh and laugh.
*Disclaimer – I am not in ANY alphas, betas, user studies or focus groups right now. The most I’ve gotten to input into any of the major engines this year (other than complaining on this blog) is a MS Usability study where I asked for them to translate their 5 ½ hours of Bing Ads exam video insanity into text.