Paid Search Predictions for 2023

I was asked to write a blog about paid search predictions for 2023, and while I’ve done a prediction blog several times before, I feel like I’ve been mentioning the same things – mobile! (how many years can it be the ‘year of mobile’?), automation!, and smart bidding! – but I was really stuck this year. So I turned to ChatGPT, which everyone is talking about, and asked it to write a blog on five predictions for paid search in 2023 – here’s what I got: 

As we move into 2023, the world of paid search is likely to undergo some significant changes. Here are some predictions for what we might expect to see in the coming year:

1. Increased competition and higher costs: As more businesses continue to compete for a share of the paid search market, we can expect to see an increase in competition and a corresponding rise in the cost of paid search advertising. This is especially true for highly competitive industries, such as e-commerce, where businesses will need to be strategic in their approach to paid search in order to remain competitive.

2. Greater emphasis on quality and relevance: With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can expect to see a greater emphasis on the quality and relevance of paid search ads. This means that businesses will need to be more strategic in their targeting and keyword selection in order to ensure that their ads are seen by the right people at the right time.

3. The rise of voice search: As more and more people begin to use voice assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, we can expect to see a shift in the way that people search for products and services. This means that businesses will need to optimize their paid search campaigns for voice search in order to remain competitive.

4. The continued growth of mobile: With the increasing popularity of smartphones, we can expect to see continued growth in mobile paid search. This means that businesses will need to ensure that their paid search ads are optimized for mobile devices in order to reach the right customers at the right time.

5. New advertising formats and technologies: As the paid search landscape continues to evolve, we can expect to see the introduction of new advertising formats and technologies. This could include things like augmented reality ads and interactive display ads, which will offer new opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers in unique and innovative ways.

Overall, the paid search landscape is likely to become even more competitive and complex in 2023. Businesses that are able to adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the curve will be well-positioned to succeed in the coming year.

ChatGPT

Geesh, I feel like I could have written that two years ago!

So, then one of my colleagues asked ChatGPT and got this:

As we move into 2023, the world of paid search is set to undergo some significant changes. Paid search, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, is a type of online advertising where businesses pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. This allows businesses to reach potential customers at the exact moment they are searching for a product or service, making it a highly effective way to drive traffic and sales.

One of the key trends we are likely to see in 2023 is the continued growth of mobile. With more and more people using their smartphones for everything from shopping to searching for information, it is essential for businesses to have a mobile-optimized paid search strategy. This means not only creating ads that are easy to read and click on a small screen, but also using mobile-specific targeting options and bidding strategies.

Another trend to watch out for in 2023 is the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in paid search. Both Google and Microsoft Advertising, two of the biggest players in the paid search market, have made significant investments in AI technology in recent years. This could include everything from automatically generated ad copy to real-time bidding based on user behavior. By using AI, businesses can make their paid search campaigns more efficient and effective, resulting in better return on investment.

In addition to these trends, we are also likely to see the emergence of new players in the paid search market. With the rise of new technologies and platforms, businesses will have more options than ever when it comes to advertising online. This could include new search engines, social media platforms, and other channels that are not currently dominant in the paid search space.

Overall, 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting year for paid search. With the continued growth of mobile, the increasing use of AI, and the emergence of new players, businesses will have more opportunities than ever to reach their customers and drive results with paid search. By staying up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, businesses can ensure that they are well-positioned to succeed in the rapidly changing world of paid search.

ChatGPT

I’ve distilled these PPC predictions down to the three I think are most important from these two versions from ChatGPT:

1. The increase of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Paid Search: Google Ads is pushing automation really hard. Between the recommendations built into the UI and Google reps pushing it, AI is definitely a focus. We’ve fielded the odd question from existing clients about if AI becomes such a big part of advertising, why would they need an agency? And the answer to that is because AI still doesn’t mean set it and forget it. There are still a lot of moving pieces, even in an AI-targeted account. We’ve seen that without continual monitoring and intervention (and knowing what that invention should be), results tend to slack off over time.

2. I also predict a backlash against AI: We’re seeing clients not always having great results from automation. We’ve been stopping most business-to-business (B2B) clients on Performance Max (PMax) because the lead quality is just horrendous. Until Google makes it easier to feed offline conversions back into Google to help guide the system, PMax isn’t going to be a great solution for B2B clients. And we’ve also been moving ecommerce business-to-consumer (B2C) clients off PMax and onto Standard Shopping. And mainly, it’s because of the next bullet point.

3. Rising costs: While automation can provide good results, it can also cause an increase in click costs and a decrease in click volume. We’ve had a least three clients just in the last week ask to be taken off smart bidding – both tROAS and PMax campaigns (stopping them completely and going back to Standard Shopping) – because while the ROAS might be okay, the volume of sales is just too low, especially when they were getting great volume at a ROAS they liked on Standard Shopping or eCPC bidding but took Google’s advice to move to smart bidding or launch PMax campaigns.

ChatGPT didn’t do a bad job of predicting, but I’m sticking with my three paid search predictions for 2023. And only time will tell!

Our in-house digital marketing experts have all been busy looking into their crystal balls to try and predict what 2023 has in store for our industry. Check out all of our prediction posts:

Paid Social Advertising Predictions and Trends for 2023

4 SEO Trends in 2022 to Renew Your Focus on in 2023

Experts Share 5 Amazon Predictions for 2023

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