Paid Search: what to expect and consider in 2020

Edan, our Performance Marketing Executive, takes a look at how PPC has evolved in recent years, and what we can expect from advertising platforms as we move towards the new year.

Year on year, PPC spend (and advertising spend in general) continues to rise. There was an 11.2% increase in online media spend in 2019 alone, and we expect 2020 to be no different.

As a brand, taking advantage of the advertising opportunities within paid search is a no brainer.

So, what trends can we expect to see over the next year in the PPC industry, and where should brands and advertisers be focusing their time and money?

Adoption of New Platforms

When we look at paid search, the global leader is Google Ads. It’s responsible for the majority of online PPC spend and, in lots of cases, is the primary and only paid search platform that brands use – which is understandable, given the huge amount of user data, insights and audiences, as well as its sophisticated targeting and bidding capabilities.

But – there is still lots of value to be found expanding upon your paid search options.

Bing Ads

Google’s more traditional competitor, Bing, has recently rebranded their advertising platform to ‘Microsoft ads’ to compete with Google – increasing its focus on expanded audience targeting and ad inventory options. Depending on your niche, or specific target audience, in 2020 there can be good value found in expanding your advertising activity across multiple platforms.

Read more about how adopting Bing alongside google ads activity can benefit your ad activity in our recent blog.


A less traditional paid search platform that is expected to grow in 2020 is Amazon.

Already the third largest advertising platform (behind Google and Facebook), Amazon’s paid search platform is an option that should always be considered for any product focused campaigns.

Amazon already has a huge user base on site, meaning the volume for activity is there, but more importantly, it’s capturing users who already have the intent to buy – something which sets it apart from its competitors.

Considering How People Will Search

Another key consideration when identifying the right platform is understanding how users search and making sure to keep on top of growing search trends into 2020. While a high percentage of online search will remain text focused, there are growing trends we can keep track of over the next year.

Voice search

In recent years, the rise in the use of voice search has been clear to see. This is a trend that’s expected to continue, prompting advertisers to adapt to this new way of search.

More advertisers and website owners now need to consider implementing a more conversational tone to their messaging and update key site areas to fulfil users voice search intent.

Visual Search

Alongside voice search, there is a growing use of visual search online. More people are searching using images – not exclusively via google, but across a number of platforms, such as Pinterest which has millions of searches every month along with snapchat.

While there is no direct paid activity for visual search, some platforms such as Instagram have implemented product campaigns within visual search and for advertisers, being aware of this growing trend going forward is worthwhile.

Continued Rise of AI in Marketing

Many advertising platforms are already harnessing AI technology and machine learning to develop more sophisticated levels of targeting, as well as using automation for ad bidding strategies. In 2020, it will continue to be an important area to consider as part of brands and advertisers digital marketing approach.

Google and Microsoft Ads

Over the past year Google has continued to expand upon its automation options, increasing the focus on their smart bidding strategies and strongly encouraging advertisers to adopt them across all of their campaigns.

This is bound to continue into 2020 and is expected to form the future of bidding strategies for search campaigns, moving away from the manual bidding approach, giving advertisers more time for performance analysis and strategy implementation.

In line with this, Google has now shifted the focus from average position to impression share, with importance given to appearing in the right places at the right time, as opposed to only focusing on ads being in top position.

Microsoft ads is already implementing a number of a number of similar features too, and with more automation features announced (such as smart search campaigns and more bid strategies), going into 2020 we can expect to see a continued focus on AI and automation capabilities all platforms.


If you’d like to discuss how we can help you maximise your PPC strategy throughout 2020, then get in touch.