ppc predictions for 2011

By Paul Morris
After my last Pay Per Click trends article 13 months ago it’s about time Search Muse made some more PPC predictions…


Google is the king of kaizen (to be fair; they’re joint first with Toyota)

Kaizen is the process of continuous incremental improvement and during 2011 this constant development will take the form of Google focusing more on PPC minus the keywords e.g. video adverts, comparison adverts, Google Boost aiding small business PPC, product listing adverts,  product extension adverts and remarketing banner campaigns that allow advertisers to increase their remarketing by targeting people who have visited similar sites to theirs.


View through conversions will improve its accuracy.

Could we see advanced features that are included in Search Ignite or Google owned Double Click transcend to the free version of Google Analytics or perhaps even a ‘premium’ Google Analytics version? As marketers become smarter, functionality like multi click attribution that ties tracking of all your digital media into one place starts to become an essential feature for medium-large sized organisations.

Other features could also be seen within Google Analytics ultimately impacting PPC E.g. woopra.com offers the ability to initiate chat with visitors and respond to their chat requests.

Status Quo

Whilst Google continues to rock PPC all over the world, the same optimisation techniques that were important in 2010 will be even more important in 2011.

With cpc prices expected to rise in 2011, optimisation of your ppc account will be even more important to counter this rise. E.g. tight ad groups, website optimiser integration, multiple ads, mining the long tail, extensive negatives, particular use of phrase and exact match, dedicated relevant landing pages, etc.

Pay per action

Whilst Google has tried beta’s of Paid on Performance PPC for its main search product, I doubt this will become the norm in 2011. What will happen though is pay per call mobile adverts continuing to gain traction and more ppc agencies will entertain managing a clients account on a paid on performance basis.


Pay per call and the growth of mobile optimised websites will become more important in 2011 as Smartphone usage continues to grow. It’s been the year of mobile every year since 1924 so I see no reason why this will not continue.


With the amalgamation of Bing and Yahoo, Yahoo ppc will develop a much better reach and ROI in the later part of 2011 leading to better competition for Google (when you couple it with further $$$$$ investment from Microsoft into the reporting, targeting, and account management Adcentre interface). Google might lose some market share to social media ppc ‘upstarts’ and to the Search Alliance however with its own ongoing development I cannot see Google losing much sleep about it.

Social Media PPC

As ppc for LinkedIn will grow significantly in 2011, Twitter could jump on the PPC bandwagon and launch a PPC based product aimed specifically at agencies.

With the continuing growth of FaceBook this destination needs to be exploited more by those capable/ in a market that is suited to demographic targeting. Whilst Facebook has historically low CTR rates due to a lack of buyer intent this channel can still cost in and supplement, without cannnabalising, sales from Google and Bing. You also need to remember the great branding, awareness and ROPO (researched online, purchased offline) that is obtained from social media channels.