Google marketing live 2024

Google Marketing Live 2024: 7 key takeaways

Google Marketing Live 2024 was held in New York this week and unsurprisingly, generative AI took centre stage. Keynote speakers highlighted its role in numerous new Google updates and features, focusing on how AI is shaping a ‘new era’ of advertising and consumer-centric search experiences.

The 90-minute keynote was packed with information, with nine speakers unveiling a total of 30 new Google products and features. To save you time, here’s a quick recap of seven key takeaways you need to know.

Sponsored ads in AI Overviews

Google recently introduced AI Overviews, designed to provide users with instant answers to their search queries. Powered by generative AI, this feature crawls websites for relevant content and presents it in overview cards at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Example of sponsored search and shopping ads in AI Overviews announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Now, Google is testing the inclusion of ‘sponsored’ Search and Shopping ads within these AI Overview cards. The goal is to help users discover relevant products and services while enabling brands to target their audiences more effectively.

Immersive AI-powered shopping ads

In the coming months, Google plans to enhance its shopping experience with immersive new ad features. These include short-form product videos, 3D product views, and virtual try-ons (VTOs) that demonstrate how clothes fit different body shapes. These features aim to help shoppers realistically see what products look like, engage with them more interactively, and build confidence in their purchasing decisions.

AI shopping recommendations (beta)

Google is testing the use of generative AI to speed up the decision-making process for longer, more complicated shopping purchases. Google’s AI will guide users through their shopping journey, asking them questions to understand their needs and recommend highly relevant products.

To demonstrate the idea, Google used the example of someone looking for storage space. Say you search for “short-term storage” and click on an ad, Google’s AI will ask questions about what kind of storage space you want, and prompt you to upload photos of what you want to store. 

Example of Google AI Shopping Recommendations (Beta) announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Based on your responses, Google’s AI will recommend the appropriate storage unit size and suggest related items you might need, like packing materials. You can then click through to a product page on the business’s website to complete your purchase and check out.

Visual brand profiles for Google Search  

Google is introducing visual Brand Profiles on Search so users can easily see merchant information at a glance. Brands will be able to upload images, videos and customer reviews to showcase their ethos and offering, as well as product deals, exclusive offers and shipping policies.

Examples of Brand Profiles on Google Search announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Performance Max Upgrades

Google announced lots of new Performance Max features designed to help advertisers create campaigns faster, and at scale. These include:

Asset-level reporting
With asset-level conversion metrics, advertisers can delve deeper into campaign performance, facilitating more granular ad analysis and optimisation strategies.

Brand guidelines
Advertisers can create set brand guidelines within Performance Max campaigns, specifying colours, fonts, and assets. This streamlines campaign creation, saves significant time and ensures all ads are consistently on brand.

Image generation
Advertisers now have enhanced image editing capabilities, including the option to add and extend backgrounds, incorporate objects, and adjust sizes to suit various ad placements. This streamlined process saves significant time previously spent on editing and creating multiple images for different ad types.

Performance Max Ad Upgrades announced at Google Marketing Live 2024

Profit optimisation
Google is rolling out a “Profit Optimisation” feature so advertisers can create and refine campaigns that meet broader profit objectives, ensuring ad spend is aligned with financial targets. This feature is accessible within both Performance Max and Standard Shopping campaigns, utilising data from cart-level conversions and cost of goods sold in Google Merchant Centre. 

Visual storytelling and demand-generation

Last year, Google introduced Demand Generation Campaigns as a way for brands to serve visually, multi-format ads on YouTube, Discover and Gmail. Now, a variety of Demand Gen updates and features have been announced, including the roll out of:

  • Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360.
  • Animated image ads on YouTube Shorts.
  • The ability to ‘pin’ video assets to different placements to control where they show.

Google also revealed that it has reduced the audience size requirements for lookalike audience campaigns from 1,000 to 100 users, making it easier for businesses to find and target similar prospects.

Ads Data Manager launched

Google announced that its Ads Data Manager is now out of beta and available to all. Advertisers can use it to consolidate disparate first-party data, from sources like YouTube, Google Ads, HubSpot, and Shopify, into one analytics hub. The aim is to make managing data easier so brands can better leverage audience insights, target and personalise campaigns effectively.


The resounding message from Google Marketing Live 2024 is clear – AI isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay and actively shaping the future of Search and Shopping for both customers and brands alike. 

So like it or not, brands must embrace AI and utilise Google’s latest features to achieve the best results. Remember – AI isn’t meant to replace marketers, it’s to help them be more impactful.

If you need support with Google Ads, Search or SEO, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To kickstart the new year, we asked the team what their digital marketing predictions are for 2024. We’re keeping an eye on generative AI, omnichannel marketing and the results of game-changing industry cases like the New York Times suit against Microsoft and OpenAI. We also expect to see way more brands focus on social media, particularly leveraging UGC and video marketing to grow and engage their audience.

What’s in store for digital marketing in 2024?


Abi Crosbie, SEO Manager

“2024 is the year of AI finding its place in everyday life. We’ll start to see further roll out of Google’s generative AI,  and those brands using AI to improve work processes will stay ahead of the game. We’ll also see big impacts on the future of AI with the results of the New York Times suit against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement. Whether this case signals the blow up of AI being able to access anything, or it hobbles AI’s ability to access content to learn from, the outcome is one to watch closely.

I think there’ll be advancements in omnichannel marketing too. There’s been talk for years that other platforms meet the criteria for being search engines and that SEO techniques are transferable to them (think Amazon, Ebay, YouTube and TikTok), but few SEOs have ventured beyond discussion. I think 2024 will see SEOs going beyond a website-only focus, branching out to push the benefit of content on multiple platforms.

The reason we’ll see this is the transformation of the SERPs. Google in particular is adding more SERP features from platforms like X and TikTok into prime SERP positions. This means SEOs pushing for optimised content on these platforms is a technique that will help organic performance, increasing visibility right where we care about it – in search engines.”


Yasmin Rowlands, Social Media Executive

“Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and even LinkedIn will continue to heavily invest in creator marketplaces and tools. This will make it even easier for creators to produce and distribute high-quality content, work with brands, and connect better with their audience. I also think we’ll see an increase in brands partnering with influencers and sharing UGC to build trust, credibility and ultimately, sales. Creators being the most authentic will thrive because people want to see real, relatable content that resonates”


Bryn Jones, Technical Director

“It seemed like 2023 was finally the year where the popularity and crucially, the capabilities, of AI and machine learning made a huge leap. In 2024, we’ll continue to see big developments and new ways of using these exciting technologies. You only have to look at the evolution of Midjourney, an image generation tool to see the staggering progress made in a short space of time. As a Web Developer, tools like Copilot and Chat GPT can be incredibly useful (when used in the right way) but they are far from perfect. They often give plausible yet inaccurate answers to prompts, so I definitely expect progress to be made here.”


Leanne Bates, Marketing Manager

“I think we’ll see way more brands putting the spotlight on their internal teams and sharing ‘real people’ stories to engage their audience. I think brands that have been reluctant to start turning to video marketing and while short-form styles will prevail, I do think we’ll see an increase in long-form video and live-streaming.”

PPC or ‘pay-per-click’ can be a powerful tool for driving targeted traffic to your website and achieving your business goals. You’ve probably already heard of PPC campaigns. However, before you dive straight into the world of PPC advertising, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of what it is, what it can do and what’s involved to achieve great results for your business. 

In this guide, we’ll break down PPC in simple terms, explaining what it is and why it’s significant for your online presence. 

Before we get started, take a look at our PPC glossary to help you familiarise yourself with key terms you’ll encounter along the way.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a form of online advertising where you pay every time someone clicks your advert. Done right, PPC is a cost-effective way to quickly reach relevant customers and generate leads. 

Traditionally, only platforms that use cost-per-click (CPC) pricing models to charge for ad placements are classed as PPC. This includes Google, Bing, Amazon and similar search-focused platforms.  

However, despite leaning towards impression-based pricing models like cost-per-mille (CPM), social media adverts often fall under the broader category of PPC advertising too.

Don’t worry though, in this guide we will explain all these different ad types.

How does PPC advertising work?

Both Google and social media ads operate on bidding systems where you compete for ad spaces. On Google, depending on the placement, you bid on keywords, products or audiences. On social media, you bid for ads to be shown to target audiences and in various placement locations such as newsfeeds or stories. 

Where your ad appears, who sees it is and how much you pay is determined by your bid amount and quality scores (on social media quality scores are called relevance scores). These are affected by a variety of factors including ad and landing page relevance, engagement and quality.

How do I set up a PPC campaign?

The way you set up PPC campaigns differs slightly on every platform, but there are lots of similarities. Generally speaking, here’s what to expect:

  • Define your goals and objectives.
  • Research opportunities, whether that’s keywords and search volumes on Google or interests and audience sizes on social, know your niche and what it has to offer.
  • Create compelling ads.
  • Create highly converting landing pages.
  • Decide on budgets and build your campaigns.
  • Launch, monitor*, analyse and optimise.

*Make sure you’ve got correct tracking tags and conversion actions set up to allow you to monitor and optimise your campaign performance.

What are the different types of PPC ads?

You can create PPC adverts on various platforms, either completely text-based or with images and videos. Here are the four main types of PPC adverts: 


Search ads are the sponsored links that appear at the top of, or more prominently in, SERPs. You bid on keywords you want to rank for, then your ad appears when a user searches for them. 

Here’s an example of two text-based Google Ads that appear when we search for ‘coffee equipment’.

What is PPC advertising?

The ads are the two sponsored links right at the top for Nisbets and Clumsy Goat. Each link takes you to a page on their website where you can buy coffee machines and espresso makers.

What is PPC advertising?

Nisbets and Clumsy Goat pay a fee when someone clicks the ad, whether they buy a coffee machine or not. This cost is taken out of the budget they have already set in Google Ads Manager.


Shopping ads are product-based ads that include an image, title, price and store name. These are designed for e-commerce businesses.


Social ads appear on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter) and LinkedIn. These ads are displayed to users within their social media feeds and timelines, while they browse or engage with social content.  The ads come in various formats, including images, videos, carousels, and slideshows, and they seamlessly integrate into users’ social media feeds. Unlike Google ads, Social ads allow you to reach people who aren’t specifically looking for the products you offer.


These are the adverts you see on other websites, platforms and apps. They are strategically placed, targeting specific audiences based on a range of criteria like demographics, interests, or browsing behaviour.


Remarketed ads are shown to those who have already engaged with your brand’s website or social channels. So the next time you visit a website and wonder why you’re suddenly inundated with related adverts, that’s why.

Which platforms should I use to create PPC ads? 

Here are the most popular PPC platforms to consider.


Google Ads (previously AdWords) is the biggest PPC platform in the world. With a market share of 28%, it allows you to create and manage various ad types like search, shopping and display all within your account. Bing (Microsoft) Ads offers similar functionality too.

Meta, TikTok, X for Business, LinkedIn 

You manage social media paid ads within your account. Each social platform has its own ad manager tools, including:

Amazon Ads, eBay, Etsy 

Again, you create PPC ads within your marketplace account – this applies to Amazon Ads, eBay or Etsy. Each one differs in appearance and features but offers similar bidding, targeting and reporting functionality. 

Display Network 

To launch a display ad campaign, you need to use an external publisher network such as Google Ads. These tools allow you to promote your ad on other websites where your audience is browsing, to help stay front of mind. 

Why is PPC important?

Before you jump into launching a PPC campaign, let’s explore the benefits PPC could bring to your business. 

Quick results

PPC adverts are one of the only digital marketing tactics where you can generate traffic and leads almost instantly. This makes it much faster than other strategies as you can see results and report back within hours of starting.

Effective customer targeting

PPC enables you to position your brand in front of relevant people. The level of targeting depends on the platform, but generally speaking, you can expect to refine your audience by:

  • Demographics: Age, gender, income, marital status, education.
  • Location: Cities, regions, countries. 
  • Keywords: Popular search terms your target audience uses.
  • Placements: Where your ads appear e.g. websites, apps and videos.
  • Behaviours: Data-driven ads based on a user’s web activity. 

Targeted ads ensure that clicks come from genuinely interested people, so you spend your budget in the right places. You’re paying for quality, over quantity.

Managing your PPC campaigns

You’ll only enjoy the benefits of PPC if your campaigns are effectively managed. This can be time-consuming and difficult to drive results without expert knowledge.

The following explains what is involved in PPC management, including which metrics to measure and which tools you need to track them. 

What is PPC Management? 

PPC management involves overseeing and continuously improving your entire PPC strategy. This involves everything from budgets and bidding to targeting and tracking, to ongoing optimisations and reports. It’s a crucial role because if your ads aren’t set up, adjusted and scaled correctly, they quickly become expensive for minimal return. 

Measuring and tracking results 

Accurately tracking PPC campaigns enables you to gain valuable insights. You’ll understand which ads work and which don’t, so you can make data-driven adjustments to achieve better results. 

Two of the most important metrics to report on are return on ad spend (ROAS), which measures a specific ad campaign, and return on investment (ROI), which measures your overall profit from the wider investment.

Before we dive into these, let’s first explore the tooling you’ll need to accurately track your PPC campaign.

PPC tracking tools

There are various marketing tools and software you can use to monitor your campaign. Popular platforms like Google Ads, Meta and Amazon Ads all offer a suite of metrics including: 

  • Clicks: How many clicks your ad receives.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click your ad after seeing it.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): The average cost for every click.
  • Impressions: Every time your ad is shown to a user.
  • Meta’s relevance score: This is used by Meta to determine how it delivers your ads. Ads are scored between 1-10, and they’re calculated based on positive and negative ad interactions.
  • Quality score: This is used by Google Ads only, to evaluate your ad’s quality and relevance. This determines how your ads rank in SERPs and how much you pay for a click.

External tools like Google Analytics 4 enable you to see what users do after they click your ad, and if they convert. You can set up a conversion (event) as anything you want, whether it be a sale, subscription, content download or form completion.  

Measuring your return

To understand how much bang you’re getting for your marketing buck, you need to measure your return on ad spend (ROAS) and return on investment (ROI).

These two metrics determine if PPC is worthwhile for your brand. They’re often confused as the same thing, but they are different. Here’s a quick breakdown of each, with an example of how to calculate them.

The difference between ROAS and ROI

ROAS measures your return on a specific ad campaign.

Calculation: ROAS = (ad revenue / ad spend ) x 100%  

(£2,000 ad sales / £500 ad spend) x 100% = 400% ROAS.
This means you earn £5 for every £1 you spend on ads.

ROI measures your overall profit from the wider investment. This means you need to account for additional costs like staffing and software. 

ROI = (total net profit / total ad investment) x 100%

(£800 net profit / £500 ad investment) x 100% = 160%.

Your ROI is 160%, so you earn £1.60 for every £1 spent.

Ongoing PPC strategy and management

For your PPC campaign to be successful, you need to constantly test and optimise your ads to uncover what works and what doesn’t. Great performance takes time, analytical thinking and being reactive. Done right, you can achieve fantastic results for your business.

How to optimise your PPC campaign

You can’t create a PPC campaign and hope for the best. You need to analyse your campaign’s data while it’s live and adjust your ads accordingly. 

There are several optimisations you can make to improve ad performance. These differ by platform but include:

  • Bidding strategy: Review your ad’s keyword performance and adjust your bids to ensure you’re prioritising the most relevant words and phrases.
  • Schedule: Review your ad schedule and adjust the timing your ads are shown to align with peak user activity.
  • Landing page: Test different layouts of your landing page to deliver the best user-experience. Use tools like GA4 to see if users engage or if they quickly leave your page. This will help you identify and overcome conversion barriers that are hindering your ad’s success.
  • Ad copy and creative: Experiment with different ad copy and creative to determine what resonates with your audiences. 

Key takeaways

Hopefully, you now know the answer to “what is PPC?” but to summarise, here are the key points:

  • PPC is an abbreviation for per-per-click, so you only pay when someone clicks your ad. 
  • You can create various types of PPC campaigns including search, social, display and remarketing.
  • You can manage PPC campaigns within various online platforms like Google Ads, Meta Business Suite, Amazon Ads and external display networks. 
  • PPC ads can be cost-effective way to reach your target audience and generate fast results.
  • Successful PPC campaigns take effective management, measuring the right metrics and ongoing optimisations.

PPC glossary

  • Ad copy: The text that appears in the ad. Copy should be concise, engaging and include clear call to actions.
  • Ad creative: The image or video that appears in your ad. These should be designed to engage users and encourage them to click.
  • Bid amount: How much you’re willing to pay per click, impression, conversion or whatever else you choose as your pricing model 
  • Bidding strategy: Your bidding strategy is an algorithm-based way of bidding  
  • Clicks: How many clicks your ad receives.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR): The percentage of people who click your ad after seeing it.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC): The average cost for every click
  • Cost-per-mille (CPM): Cost per mille (or cost per thousand) is the average cost for 1000 views or impressions of an ad.
  • Landing page: The page your ads land people on.
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS): Measures your return on ad spend.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Measures your overall profit from the wider investment.
  • Search Engine Results Page (SERP): Web page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s query.
  • Quality score: A metric used in Google Ads that evaluates the relevance and quality of keywords, ads, and landing pages, influencing ad rankings and cost-per-click

Book your free PPC audit

Reckless is a PPC agency in Liverpool, Chester and Manchester. We’ve been around since 2007, helping global brands reach new customers and generate leads through PPC. Here’s a bit more information about our paid media services so whether you’re considering PPC or already running campaigns and want better results, get in touch.

Typically, search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t considered a priority around Christmas, whereas paid ad budgets tend to rocket. If this sounds familiar, you could be missing a trick because SEO and paid ads can work great together. 

But how? Enter, Image Search.

Optimising your products for Image Search can give your website’s organic traffic a boost and might even save you money on paid ads. 

In this blog, we’ll explain how and why you should use Image Search, Google Shopping and Merchant Listings together. We’ll define what these platforms are and explore their relationship so you can improve your e-commerce performance ahead of Christmas and beyond. 

What is Image Search?

Image Search essentially involves typing a query into a search bar and seeing images show up in the search results. This can be in the main body of the search results, or specifically in the image results tab. Just like this screenshot of ‘coffee beans’ displayed in the Google Image Search results:

How to optimise for image search

Google Lens however works differently because you manually upload an image or image URL to find similar photos. This is often used to find a specific product, hence why shopping features so heavily in the results.

TL;DR – Image Search is when pictures show in search results.

What is the difference between Google Shopping and Merchant Center listings?

Google Shopping is a type of paid advertising that lets you promote products on search engines with images and prices. Online shoppers can find your products, compare them with other retailers, and decide whether to buy them from you or someone else.

Google Merchant Center however is where you manage your Google Shopping product feed. By enabling free listings within your account, you could appear in a number of places across Google without paying! That’s free ‘organic’ traffic from the likes of YouTube, Google Shopping, and (you guessed it) Image Search.

To appear in search results, Google scrapes the following product attributes from your feed. So even without paid ads, it’s good to keep them updated and meet Google’s product specifications:

  • Product IDs
  • GTINs or MPNs
  • Meta descriptions
  • Price
  • Stock availability
  • URL
  • Images and image links
  • Shipping and tax information
  • Brand
  • Condition

Make sure your product feed information matches your website too. If there are too many products with wrong information, your account may be suspended.

Why you should optimise for Image Search at Christmas

E-commerce is competitive around Christmas, so optimising for Image Search could give you the edge you need to stand out.

Image Search is an area of quick wins too because, despite how important it is for e-commerce, it still gets overlooked. The reason tends to be because it can be a slog to get into good working order. Clothing brands are the most “on it” with this type of optimisation, but whatever products your brand sells, you should definitely lean into it. 

For example, looking for an image of [coffee equipment] brings up a load of results from people who sell it.

How to optimise for image search

With a bit of time and minimal changes to your images, this could be you!

How to optimise for Image Search with SEO

SEO optimisation sounds complicated, but a lot of the elements you’re dealing with are pretty straightforward. Especially if you’ve dealt with product feeds or are an SEO whizz already.

There are two main ways to optimise for Image Search; 

1) Structured data 
2) Image metadata and quality 

Structured data

The two main sets of structured data you should care about are [product] and [image].

Product structured data contains data that is similar to what’s required in product feeds for Google Shopping. There are specific fields that are always necessary for product structured data like the name, price, stock and URL. You need good quality product images in your feed, but having multiple images is how you can optimise to succeed.

The simplest image data is the image URL, but you can also use other structured data from ImageObject schema. We’d recommend including:

  • Name
  • Description
  • DatePublished
  • Author
  • AggregateRating
  • CopyrightHolder and other associated schema (if the image is unique to you and copyrighted)

There are other types of structured data available, should you wish to really annoy your developers into inputting multiple lots across pages! It’ll be easier if you use one component, so it might be worth having that conversation now, to save time in the future.

Image metadata and quality

Metadata and quality are the more technical aspects of image optimisation SEO (which does feel like a big statement when we’ve already covered structured data). You will probably need to work with your developers to plan these changes. Otherwise, it could get out of hand or lost in a ticket backlog. 

The easiest place to start is image quality, so find the sweet spot between resolution, size, and performance. Usually, good practice is to compress images on your website to be as small as possible without sacrificing quality. But, it could be worth ditching the 100kb maximum size and expanding quality rules to benefit from other search engine results page (SERP) features.

Image quality also depends on the file type. Overwhelmingly, images on websites are JPEGs. While this is completely normal, they’re larger and poorer quality than other formats that are now available. WebP is becoming more popular, but AVIF is considered a high-quality alternative.

However, practicality is the biggest issue with changing image formats. We’d recommend considering the following to figure out if you should change image formats, and how to approach it if you do:

  • How many images do you need to convert? Can you convert some, or do them in batches?
  • How are your images created? Can you request format changes directly from your designers? If not, do you have the available resources to convert the images?
  • Do you have responsive images and can your website build handle image format changes? How complex would an update be if it can’t?

Next, improve image file names. Make them under 50 characters and avoid non-ASCII characters. This can be done at the same time as quality optimisation or image format changes. 

Prioritisation is key here, so focus on images with the most potential to rank. These include product images, images unique to you (copyrighted, ideally) and relevant secondary images, like the coffee beans and equipment above.

Lastly, centralise your images if you haven’t already. This means bringing the storage location for all your images into one place, like a digital asset manager platform. This allows bulk changes, less duplication of images, and improves page speed. 

This sort of change can be development-heavy, so we’d put it last on your list of changes. But, if you decide to do some major file type changes, it’s an update that would fit alongside.

How to optimise for Image Search with paid ads

There are plenty of changes you can make to your product feed to boost your Google Shopping performance. Most notably, optimising your images and product titles. These are the first elements people see when searching and what is going to differentiate you from the competition. 

These are some of the easiest ways to optimise your images and product titles:

Use high-quality images and test different backgrounds and angles
Trialling multiple options is the best way to determine what works and what doesn’t.

Add multiple images for each product
These might appear in Google Images and when people click on a product to view more details. This helps users get a better look at your products and make a more informed shopping decision.

Put the keywords you want to match with first in your image titles
Google gives precedence to words at the start of titles when choosing what searches to match listings with. Plus, users will usually only see the first 70 or fewer characters.

Collect Google reviews
This will help your products stand out as well as building credibility and trust.

Use competitive pricing and include special offers or promotions
Google Shopping is price-driven, so unless you are priced competitively or provide extra value, shoppers will probably buy from competitors instead.

Use correct GTINs, MPNs and Brand Information
This will help Google match your listings with relevant search queries.

Assign relevant Google product categories to your products
Once again, this helps Google match your listings with relevant queries.

Optimise product descriptions with the keywords you want to show for
This will further help Google with query matching.

Ensure both the landing pages and the feed are mobile-friendly
This will help deliver a smooth, enjoyable user journey regardless of whether the user is on a laptop or mobile device.

How to optimise images for Google Lens

Google Lens was developed with the specific intention of allowing people to search for images and find products to buy. There are other features, such as translation and identifying plants, animals and skin conditions, but shopping is definitely the moneymaker.

This means that if someone searches for an item similar to yours, your products might show up in the results. The bonus here is that by optimising for SEO and Shopping, you’re ticking off the requirements for Google Lens as well.


Images are important to sell products, but taking additional time to consider quality, markup and optimisation could give you a massive edge. So, lean into the overlap of online channels like PPC and SEO. Get them working together and you’ll double your impact and have more opportunity to position your products in front of potential customers. 

We’ve helped plenty of businesses survive the festive season, so we know how crazy it gets! If you need any help with your PPC or SEO efforts, get in touch.

By Martyna Karpinska, Paid Media Specialist at Reckless

Simply put, paid media is where you pay (no surprise) to advertise products or services on channels like social media, search engines and e-commerce marketplaces. Done right, it can be a great digital marketing tactic to increase reach, drive website traffic and conversions.

To track the success of a paid media campaign, establish clear goals and what a ‘conversion’ looks like beforehand. As a result, you’ll know which metrics to measure (sales, click-throughs, subscribers) so you can demonstrate your return on investment (ROI). You can then learn and harness this data further, using it to optimise future paid media campaigns and ad spend accordingly.

What are some examples of paid media?

Paid Search and Shopping
Paid search is a form of online advertising where you bid on specific keywords or phrases, and your ads are displayed prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs) when users search for those keywords. The good news is you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, so it’s a cost-effective way to drive targeted traffic to your website.

Shopping however, is a type of paid search advertising that focuses on promoting products for online retailers. These ads showcase product images and prices within search engine results, allowing users to easily compare what they’re looking for. Like paid search, you only pay when a user clicks on your listing, so again, it’s an effective way to attract potential customers and drive sales.

Social Media Advertising
Exactly what it says on the tin. Social media advertising is where you pay to promote a post or advert on channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. It enables you to reach a large audience, and the cost is determined by your ad quality and estimated action rates, as well as your campaign objectives and bids.  

Online Marketplaces
Selling through third-party marketplaces like Amazon, eBay and Etsy is really competitive. Sponsoring your marketplace listings however improves the visibility of your organic listings and helps provide a competitive edge. Sponsored ads also provide valuable data on keyword performance which can then feed into your organic search strategy.

Mysa Flowers on Etsy

Display Advertising
You’ll see display ads online everyday, even if you don’t realise it. Their appearance depends on the website or app you’re paying to promote them on – they could be an eye-catching static banner image or an interactive video advert. Either way, their job is to reach a wide audience if you’re doing prospecting, or to keep your brand in people’s minds while they’re browsing the web if it’s retargeting.

These four examples of paid media can all be set up using the PPC model. PPC stands for pay-per-click, so you only pay when a user clicks your ad. Your cost-per-click (CPC) is determined by your ad rank, which is calculated from your bid amount, quality scores and competition at the time of the auction. Let’s dive into PPC a little deeper.

What is PPC management?

Effective PPC management is time consuming, but super important. There’s no point spending money if you’re not using the right types of media, marketing channels or optimising campaigns suitably because you won’t see any return. 

Here are some examples of what’s involved in PPC management, and how to action them so your ads are set up, tracked and scaled correctly. 

Choosing the right channels
Identify which channel to run your PPC advertising campaign on. Do you have a product to promote through Google Shopping? Or a service you’d like to advertise through Google Ads? Do you want to sell more through online marketplaces like Amazon Ads? Choose the paid media platform most relevant to your audience, run tests, and see where you get the best return.

Market research
Before setting up your PPC ad campaign, do your research. Start with your target audience and look at their shopping behaviours. Find out what they buy, what they like and dislike, and what platforms they use. This will make sure you’re refining and targeting effectively, using the right channels.

Then look at your competition,  see what keywords they’re bidding on and how much they’re spending. There’s lots of free and paid software out there, like Google Keyword Planner, to help you out. By doing so you’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to allocate your PPC budget and ensure your ads perform.  

Landing page optimisation
When we talk about our paid strategy as well, we don’t just mean our keywords, ad copy or campaign structure. We mean the landing page on your website that your ad links to. 

Focus on conversion rate optimisation (CRO) and user experience (UX), make sure your copy is clear, well-written and reflects exactly what your ad says. Look at other landing pages and compare them to yours – what does the design look like? What’s the tone of voice like? How are they capturing sales? The buying process has to be easy and fast to convert.

Website built by by web development agency in Chester, Reckless

Split testing
Consistently A/B test different variations of your PPC adverts. Regular testing is vital for ad success as it enables data-driven decision making, optimisation, and cost-efficiency. By comparing different ad elements or strategies, advertisers can identify what resonates best with their audience, leading to improved ad performance. It helps continuously improve ad campaigns, understand audience preferences, and adapt to platform changes. By avoiding assumptions and relying on real performance data, split testing empowers advertisers to achieve better results and make informed decisions in their digital advertising efforts.

Good planning, continuous tracking and optimisation are the drivers of every successful paid media campaign. Spend time setting your campaigns up properly, set realistic goals and truly understand how you’re going to track and report on them. Ultimately it’s about being able to say that by spending X amount of money you gained X amount of sales – so you need a robust paid media strategy in place.

If you’re looking for a PPC agency, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We can support with paid media strategy and managing PPC campaigns on social media, Google Ads, Google Shopping and online marketplaces.

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