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18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

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18 Online Review Statistics Every Marketer Should Know

Online reviews are an unavoidable part of doing business in today’s digital age.

Every marketer worth their salt knows that online reputation is everything.

Whether you own or manage a small mom-and-pop restaurant, a computer software company, or a chain of coffee shops, your customers are likely to look for you online.

That means one of the first things they’ll do is look for online reviews about your business.

Of course, positive reviews help you to create a trusted brand, which people are more likely to purchase from. However, how you respond to negative reviews also says much about your business.

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Why Online Reviews Are So Powerful

Yelp, Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and similar are a boon for consumers, giving them a platform to learn about businesses before patronizing them.

For business owners? Not so much.

It seems that no matter how hard you try, you’re bound to get that one bad review that could potentially overshadow all your glowing reviews.

Online reviews, however, are an unavoidable part of doing business online.

For millennials, reviews are empowering, helping them make an informed and thought-out purchase decision (useful when deciding if a restaurant’s $15 avocado toast is worth it).

If you still aren’t completely on board, here are online review statistics that may change your mind.

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1. Positive & Negative Reviews Influence Consumers

According to a 2021 report by PowerReviews, over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online.

Furthermore, 96% of customers look for negative reviews specifically. This figure was 85% back in 2018.

When people look for bad reviews, they’re interested in knowing some of the company’s weaknesses. Where could they improve? If the downfalls are minor, it makes the researcher feel assured.

A near-perfect rating is often viewed as less credible and leads to consumer skepticism if reviews are too positive.

2. Consumers Trust Reviews Like Recommendations From Loved Ones

BrightLocal’s local consumer survey shows that 49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members.

Screenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

When you consider just how much we trust the people we love, it’s compelling to think that every 1 in 2 people trust online reviews as much.

However, the research reveals that some occasions cause consumers to suspect a review’s validity. So, you do need to be mindful of this.

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Situations that can raise suspicion that a review may be fake include:

  • The review is overboard in its praise (45%)
  • The review is one of many reviews with similar content (40%)
  • The reviewer uses a common pseudonym or is anonymous (38%)
  • The review is overboard in negativity (36%)
  • The review is one of only a few positive amongst many negative reviews (32%)
  • The review contains hardly any text and is just a star rating (31%)

3. The More Reviews, The Better Reputation

The More Reviews, the BetterScreenshot from BrightLocal, January 2023

BrightLocal’s research also found that 60% of consumers feel that the number of reviews a business has is critical when reviewing and deciding whether to use its services.

Although this has dropped since 2020, it’s still a high figure, especially compared to 2019, 2018, and 2017.

4. Most Consumers Don’t Trust Advertising

While online reviews are seeing a rise in consumer trust, the same can’t be said for traditional advertising.

According to Performance Marketing World, 84% of millennials don’t trust conventional advertising.

If anything, this finding is a sign of the times. People are tired of ads being pushed on their faces, especially ads that belie the truth of the quality of the products and services they get from brands.

5. Shoppers Research Product Reviews On Their Phones – Outside Of Your Store

OuterBox recently revealed that every 8 in 10 shoppers use their smartphones to look up product reviews while they are in-store.

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Before buying an item, shoppers will quickly search to see what other people have had to say about the product in question.

Some will compare prices, determining whether they can find the item elsewhere cheaper.

This statistic shows how the online and offline worlds are becoming increasingly integrated. If you don’t have a good online review presence, it can have a negative impact on the number of sales you make in-store.

6. Reviews Shared On Twitter Increase Social Commerce

Yotpo has revealed that reviews on social media platforms increase social commerce, especially on Twitter. You can see this displayed in the chart below:

Reviews Shared on Twitter Increase Social Commerce by More Than 6%Screenshot from Yotpo.com, January 2023

When we think of social media, we associate it with building brand awareness. However, it’s also effective for driving sales.

Shopify recently published a survey that revealed the average conversion rate for the social media websites represented in the graph above:

  • The average conversion rate for LinkedIn is 0.47%
  • The average conversion rate for Twitter is 0.77%
  • The average conversion rate for Facebook is 1.85%

Yotpo Data found that when reviews are shared on social platforms, the conversion rate is 5.3 times higher for LinkedIn, 8.4 times higher for Twitter, and 40 times higher for Facebook.

All these statistics show us that reviews are an incredibly powerful form of social proof that results in higher conversion levels across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Furthermore, a lot of the eCommerce world is underestimating Twitter’s force.

7. Reviews Are Just As Important Among Jobseekers

If you thought consumers were the only ones concerned about reviews, think again.

Research published by Glassdoor indicates that 86% of employees and job seekers research reviews on a business and ratings to determine whether they should apply for a job.

Google Reviews on GlassdoorScreenshot from Glassdoor.com, January 2023

As competition for talent in certain industries gets tougher, companies will have no choice but to be more conscious about their employer brand if they wish to attract top talent.

8. 3.3 Stars Is The Minimum Rating Customers Accept

When deciding whether to engage with a business, it has been indicated that 3.3 stars out of 5 are the lowest rating customers are likely to consider.

If you have a lower rating than this, your business may be overlooked and lose valuable consumers to the competition.

It probably does not come as a shock to discover that only 13% of consumers will contemplate using a company with a rating of 2 stars or less.

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9. Sustainability Is A Recurring Theme In Travel Reviews

The Expedia.com Travel Recovery Trend Report revealed that the environment and sustainability are two chief themes for online guest reviews.

Some of the terms most typically found in reviews include the following:

  • Renewable energy
  • LED light bulbs
  • Electric car charging
  • Single-use plastics
  • Recycling

Expedia believes that millennial and Gen-Z travelers are more likely to consider environmentally friendly travel options.

10. 18 – 34 Year Olds Trust Online Reviews as Much as Personal Recommendations

Research shows that 91% of 18 to 34-year-olds trust reviews online just as much as personal recommendations.

Let’s think about this for a second: we’re now trusting online comments just as much as we trust feedback from the people we know and love.

This shows how much high regard millennials and Gen Z give to online reviews.

11. Tiny Subject Line Changes Can Get More Reviews

When soliciting reviews, most businesses send an email post-purchase.

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Yotpo studied the subject lines of 3.5 million of these post-purchase review request emails to discover what works and what doesn’t when asking customers for reviews.

While this is much more than a single statistic, here is a synopsis of the top subject line tweaks to get more reviews:

  • An emotional appeal doesn’t greatly impact the review response rates.
  • Include your store name to increase reviews.
  • Incentives inspire more reviews in every industry.
  • Ask a question in the subject line.
  • Exclamation points boost reviews for food and tobacco businesses!
  • Avoid using a totally uppercase word in your subject lines.

12. Reputation Management Software Pays For Itself

Podium released a very interesting report on online reviews, stating that 94% of local companies who utilize a reputation management tool make up for the cost with the ROI.

How your company appears online massively dictates what shows up in terms of your bottom line.

Because of this, companies are investing more in their reputations than ever before.

One way they do this is by investing in reputation management software. This gives them the ability to have clarity regarding how their business is reviewed online.

13. Customers Believe A Product Should Have 100+ Reviews

Power Reviews recently posted interesting statistics about the number of reviews shoppers want.

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In a perfect world, 43% of consumers have indicated that they want to see more than 100 reviews for an item.

Take a look at the table below to see consumer expectations regarding review volume:

43% of Customers Believe a Product Should Have 100+ ReviewsScreenshot from PowerReviews.com, January 2023

Consumers indicate that a notably high volume of reviews can have a big, positive impact on their purchase likelihood.

Out of those surveyed, 64% indicated that they would be more likely to purchase an item if it had over 1,000 reviews than if it only had 100 reviews.

Furthermore, 54% are more likely to purchase an item if it has 10,000+ reviews compared to 1,000 reviews. So, more is always better when it comes to quantity.

14. Few Travelers Post Unsolicited Online Hotel Reviews

BrightLocal has also uncovered that 78% of travelers never post unsolicited online hotel reviews. This means you cannot simply rely on customers to post hotel reviews of their own free will. They need to be encouraged to do so.

Customers say that the main ways they have been asked to leave a review are as follows:

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  • Via email (41%)
  • During the sale/in-person (35%)
  • When receiving an invoice or receipt (35%)
  • SMS text (27%)

You need to be mindful of how you approach customers when asking to leave a review. The last thing you want to do is come across as pushy. At the same time, you want to make customers feel compelled to post a comment.

Offering an incentive, such as a special discount or entry into a competition, is a good approach.

15. Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook Reviews

While online consumers rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions, they’re also suspicious of fake reviews. In fact, 93% of Facebook account holders are suspicious of fake reviews on this social media platform.

Consumers Are Becoming Increasingly Suspicious Of Facebook ReviewsScreenshot from Brightlocal, January 2023

As you can see from the table, only 7% of users don’t feel at all suspicious about Facebook reviews.

Users also have low trust in Google, Yelp, and Amazon reviews.

16. Most Consumers Use Rating Filters

Did you know that 7 in 10 consumers utilize rating filters when looking for companies?

Out of all the different rating options, the most popular is to narrow down a search based on the rating it is, for example, to only show hotels with ratings of four stars or above.

This helps customers only view products, locations, and services that fall within their standards. No one wants to waste their time on things that don’t fit!

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17. Customers Expect You To Respond To Negative Reviews Within 7 Days

When customers post negative reviews about a business, they expect a response. Not only this, but they don’t want to wait around for it.

Review Trackers have stated that 53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative feedback within one week.

One in three consumers has a shorter timeframe than this; three days or less.

Therefore, you really need to ensure you’re keeping up with the reviews you receive and responding appropriately.

18. Your Response To A Review Can Change How Customers View Your Business

Podium’s 2021 State of Reviews publication revealed that 56% of consumers had changed their perspective on a business based on how they responded to a review.

We know that it can make you feel sick to your stomach when you receive a bad review from a customer. However, this statistic shows that there is the potential to turn this into a positive.

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If you respond empathetically and try to understand the customer, they will feel like you really care about them and the service they receive. You can turn an unsatisfied customer into a loyal one.

And, even if the consumer who has complained does not reply, the fact you’ve tried to rectify their grievance will show your business in a positive light when others read the review.

The Bottom Line On The Impact of Online Reviews

These statistics reveal one unavoidable truth: online reviews are important and are here to stay.

Simply put, online reviews are directly linked to consumer trust and creating social proof.

Rather than fear them, you should look at them as a way to get a direct line to your customers.

If you are yet to begin your efforts to manage your online reputation, now’s as good a time as any to get started by doing the following:

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  • Educate your customers on the importance of leaving reviews, but make sure to communicate that these reviews will help you improve your business, which can only be a good thing for them.
  • Take charge of your brand on all review platforms. Respond to feedback and make sure complaints are managed in a timely and orderly fashion.
  • Claim your Google Business Profile to ensure that any information about your business on Google is accurate and updated.
  • Ask and encourage your customers to leave a review of your product or service.

More resources:

Featured Image: ParinPix/Shutterstock



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Reddit Post Ranks On Google In 5 Minutes

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Google apparently ranks Reddit posts within minutes

Google’s Danny Sullivan disputed the assertions made in a Reddit discussion that Google is showing a preference for Reddit in the search results. But a Redditor’s example proves that it’s possible for a Reddit post to rank in the top ten of the search results within minutes and to actually improve rankings to position #2 a week later.

Discussion About Google Showing Preference To Reddit

A Redditor (gronetwork) complained that Google is sending so many visitors to Reddit that the server is struggling with the load and shared an example that proved that it can only take minutes for a Reddit post to rank in the top ten.

That post was part of a 79 post Reddit thread where many in the r/SEO subreddit were complaining about Google allegedly giving too much preference to Reddit over legit sites.

The person who did the test (gronetwork) wrote:

“…The website is already cracking (server down, double posts, comments not showing) because there are too many visitors.

…It only takes few minutes (you can test it) for a post on Reddit to appear in the top ten results of Google with keywords related to the post’s title… (while I have to wait months for an article on my site to be referenced). Do the math, the whole world is going to spam here. The loop is completed.”

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Reddit Post Ranked Within Minutes

Another Redditor asked if they had tested if it takes “a few minutes” to rank in the top ten and gronetwork answered that they had tested it with a post titled, Google SGE Review.

gronetwork posted:

“Yes, I have created for example a post named “Google SGE Review” previously. After less than 5 minutes it was ranked 8th for Google SGE Review (no quotes). Just after Washingtonpost.com, 6 authoritative SEO websites and Google.com’s overview page for SGE (Search Generative Experience). It is ranked third for SGE Review.”

It’s true, not only does that specific post (Google SGE Review) rank in the top 10, the post started out in position 8 and it actually improved ranking, currently listed beneath the number one result for the search query “SGE Review”.

Screenshot Of Reddit Post That Ranked Within Minutes

Anecdotes Versus Anecdotes

Okay, the above is just one anecdote. But it’s a heck of an anecdote because it proves that it’s possible for a Reddit post to rank within minutes and get stuck in the top of the search results over other possibly more authoritative websites.

hankschrader79 shared that Reddit posts outrank Toyota Tacoma forums for a phrase related to mods for that truck.

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Google’s Danny Sullivan responded to that post and the entire discussion to dispute that Reddit is not always prioritized over other forums.

Danny wrote:

“Reddit is not always prioritized over other forums. [super vhs to mac adapter] I did this week, it goes Apple Support Community, MacRumors Forum and further down, there’s Reddit. I also did [kumo cloud not working setup 5ghz] recently (it’s a nightmare) and it was the Netgear community, the SmartThings Community, GreenBuildingAdvisor before Reddit. Related to that was [disable 5g airport] which has Apple Support Community above Reddit. [how to open an 8 track tape] — really, it was the YouTube videos that helped me most, but it’s the Tapeheads community that comes before Reddit.

In your example for [toyota tacoma], I don’t even get Reddit in the top results. I get Toyota, Car & Driver, Wikipedia, Toyota again, three YouTube videos from different creators (not Toyota), Edmunds, a Top Stories unit. No Reddit, which doesn’t really support the notion of always wanting to drive traffic just to Reddit.

If I guess at the more specific query you might have done, maybe [overland mods for toyota tacoma], I get a YouTube video first, then Reddit, then Tacoma World at third — not near the bottom. So yes, Reddit is higher for that query — but it’s not first. It’s also not always first. And sometimes, it’s not even showing at all.”

hankschrader79 conceded that they were generalizing when they wrote that Google always prioritized Reddit. But they also insisted that that didn’t diminish what they said is a fact that Google’s “prioritization” forum content has benefitted Reddit more than actual forums.

Why Is The Reddit Post Ranked So High?

It’s possible that Google “tested” that Reddit post in position 8 within minutes and that user interaction signals indicated to Google’s algorithms that users prefer to see that Reddit post. If that’s the case then it’s not a matter of Google showing preference to Reddit post but rather it’s users that are showing the preference and the algorithm is responding to those preferences.

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Nevertheless, an argument can be made that user preferences for Reddit can be a manifestation of Familiarity Bias. Familiarity Bias is when people show a preference for things that are familiar to them. If a person is familiar with a brand because of all the advertising they were exposed to then they may show a bias for the brand products over unfamiliar brands.

Users who are familiar with Reddit may choose Reddit because they don’t know the other sites in the search results or because they have a bias that Google ranks spammy and optimized websites and feel safer reading Reddit.

Google may be picking up on those user interaction signals that indicate a preference and satisfaction with the Reddit results but those results may simply be biases and not an indication that Reddit is trustworthy and authoritative.

Is Reddit Benefiting From A Self-Reinforcing Feedback Loop?

It may very well be that Google’s decision to prioritize user generated content may have started a self-reinforcing pattern that draws users in to Reddit through the search results and because the answers seem plausible those users start to prefer Reddit results. When they’re exposed to more Reddit posts their familiarity bias kicks in and they start to show a preference for Reddit. So what could be happening is that the users and Google’s algorithm are creating a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Is it possible that Google’s decision to show more user generated content has kicked off a cycle where more users are exposed to Reddit which then feeds back into Google’s algorithm which in turn increases Reddit visibility, regardless of lack of expertise and authoritativeness?

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Kues

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WordPress Releases A Performance Plugin For “Near-Instant Load Times”

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WordPress speculative loading plugin

WordPress released an official plugin that adds support for a cutting edge technology called speculative loading that can help boost site performance and improve the user experience for site visitors.

Speculative Loading

Rendering means constructing the entire webpage so that it instantly displays (rendering). When your browser downloads the HTML, images, and other resources and puts it together into a webpage, that’s rendering. Prerendering is putting that webpage together (rendering it) in the background.

What this plugin does is to enable the browser to prerender the entire webpage that a user might navigate to next. The plugin does that by anticipating which webpage the user might navigate to based on where they are hovering.

Chrome lists a preference for only prerendering when there is an at least 80% probability of a user navigating to another webpage. The official Chrome support page for prerendering explains:

“Pages should only be prerendered when there is a high probability the page will be loaded by the user. This is why the Chrome address bar prerendering options only happen when there is such a high probability (greater than 80% of the time).

There is also a caveat in that same developer page that prerendering may not happen based on user settings, memory usage and other scenarios (more details below about how analytics handles prerendering).

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The Speculative Loading API solves a problem that previous solutions could not because in the past they were simply prefetching resources like JavaScript and CSS but not actually prerendering the entire webpage.

The official WordPress announcement explains it like this:

Introducing the Speculation Rules API
The Speculation Rules API is a new web API that solves the above problems. It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation. This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them.”

The official WordPress page about this new functionality describes it:

“The Speculation Rules API is a new web API… It allows defining rules to dynamically prefetch and/or prerender URLs of certain structure based on user interaction, in JSON syntax—or in other words, speculatively preload those URLs before the navigation.

This API can be used, for example, to prerender any links on a page whenever the user hovers over them. Also, with the Speculation Rules API, “prerender” actually means to prerender the entire page, including running JavaScript. This can lead to near-instant load times once the user clicks on the link as the page would have most likely already been loaded in its entirety. However that is only one of the possible configurations.”

The new WordPress plugin adds support for the Speculation Rules API. The Mozilla developer pages, a great resource for HTML technical understanding describes it like this:

“The Speculation Rules API is designed to improve performance for future navigations. It targets document URLs rather than specific resource files, and so makes sense for multi-page applications (MPAs) rather than single-page applications (SPAs).

The Speculation Rules API provides an alternative to the widely-available <link rel=”prefetch”> feature and is designed to supersede the Chrome-only deprecated <link rel=”prerender”> feature. It provides many improvements over these technologies, along with a more expressive, configurable syntax for specifying which documents should be prefetched or prerendered.”

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See also: Are Websites Getting Faster? New Data Reveals Mixed Results

Performance Lab Plugin

The new plugin was developed by the official WordPress performance team which occasionally rolls out new plugins for users to test ahead of possible inclusion into the actual WordPress core. So it’s a good opportunity to be first to try out new performance technologies.

The new WordPress plugin is by default set to prerender “WordPress frontend URLs” which are pages, posts, and archive pages. How it works can be fine-tuned under the settings:

Settings > Reading > Speculative Loading

Browser Compatibility

The Speculative API is supported by Chrome 108 however the specific rules used by the new plugin require Chrome 121 or higher. Chrome 121 was released in early 2024.

Browsers that do not support will simply ignore the plugin and will have no effect on the user experience.

Check out the new Speculative Loading WordPress plugin developed by the official core WordPress performance team.

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How Analytics Handles Prerendering

A WordPress developer commented with a question asking how Analytics would handle prerendering and someone else answered that it’s up to the Analytics provider to detect a prerender and not count it as a page load or site visit.

Fortunately both Google Analytics and Google Publisher Tags (GPT) both are able to handle prerenders. The Chrome developers support page has a note about how analytics handles prerendering:

“Google Analytics handles prerender by delaying until activation by default as of September 2023, and Google Publisher Tag (GPT) made a similar change to delay triggering advertisements until activation as of November 2023.”

Possible Conflict With Ad Blocker Extensions

There are a couple things to be aware of about this plugin, aside from the fact that it’s an experimental feature that requires Chrome 121 or higher.

A comment by a WordPress plugin developer that this feature may not work with browsers that are using the uBlock Origin ad blocking browser extension.

Download the plugin:
Speculative Loading Plugin by the WordPress Performance Team

Read the announcement at WordPress
Speculative Loading in WordPress

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See also: WordPress, Wix & Squarespace Show Best CWV Rate Of Improvement

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

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10 Paid Search & PPC Planning Best Practices

Whether you are new to paid media or reevaluating your efforts, it’s critical to review your performance and best practices for your overall PPC marketing program, accounts, and campaigns.

Revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with your current goals.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is also a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance with newly released ad technologies.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

Here are 10 PPC best practices to help you adjust and plan for the months ahead.

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1. Goals

When planning, it is best practice to define goals for the overall marketing program, ad platforms, and at the campaign level.

Defining primary and secondary goals guides the entire PPC program. For example, your primary conversion may be to generate leads from your ads.

You’ll also want to look at secondary goals, such as brand awareness that is higher in the sales funnel and can drive interest to ultimately get the sales lead-in.

2. Budget Review & Optimization

Some advertisers get stuck in a rut and forget to review and reevaluate the distribution of their paid media budgets.

To best utilize budgets, consider the following:

  • Reconcile your planned vs. spend for each account or campaign on a regular basis. Depending on the budget size, monthly, quarterly, or semiannually will work as long as you can hit budget numbers.
  • Determine if there are any campaigns that should be eliminated at this time to free up the budget for other campaigns.
  • Is there additional traffic available to capture and grow results for successful campaigns? The ad platforms often include a tool that will provide an estimated daily budget with clicks and costs. This is just an estimate to show more click potential if you are interested.
  • If other paid media channels perform mediocrely, does it make sense to shift those budgets to another?
  • For the overall paid search and paid social budget, can your company invest more in the positive campaign results?

3. Consider New Ad Platforms

If you can shift or increase your budgets, why not test out a new ad platform? Knowing your audience and where they spend time online will help inform your decision when choosing ad platforms.

Go beyond your comfort zone in Google, Microsoft, and Meta Ads.

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Here are a few other advertising platforms to consider testing:

  • LinkedIn: Most appropriate for professional and business targeting. LinkedIn audiences can also be reached through Microsoft Ads.
  • TikTok: Younger Gen Z audience (16 to 24), video.
  • Pinterest: Products, services, and consumer goods with a female-focused target.
  • Snapchat: Younger demographic (13 to 35), video ads, app installs, filters, lenses.

Need more detailed information and even more ideas? Read more about the 5 Best Google Ads Alternatives.

4. Top Topics in Google Ads & Microsoft Ads

Recently, trends in search and social ad platforms have presented opportunities to connect with prospects more precisely, creatively, and effectively.

Don’t overlook newer targeting and campaign types you may not have tried yet.

  • Video: Incorporating video into your PPC accounts takes some planning for the goals, ad creative, targeting, and ad types. There is a lot of opportunity here as you can simply include video in responsive display ads or get in-depth in YouTube targeting.
  • Performance Max: This automated campaign type serves across all of Google’s ad inventory. Microsoft Ads recently released PMAX so you can plan for consistency in campaign types across platforms. Do you want to allocate budget to PMax campaigns? Learn more about how PMax compares to search.
  • Automation: While AI can’t replace human strategy and creativity, it can help manage your campaigns more easily. During planning, identify which elements you want to automate, such as automatically created assets and/or how to successfully guide the AI in the Performance Max campaigns.

While exploring new features, check out some hidden PPC features you probably don’t know about.

5. Revisit Keywords

The role of keywords has evolved over the past several years with match types being less precise and loosening up to consider searcher intent.

For example, [exact match] keywords previously would literally match with the exact keyword search query. Now, ads can be triggered by search queries with the same meaning or intent.

A great planning exercise is to lay out keyword groups and evaluate if they are still accurately representing your brand and product/service.

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Review search term queries triggering ads to discover trends and behavior you may not have considered. It’s possible this has impacted performance and conversions over time.

Critical to your strategy:

  • Review the current keyword rules and determine if this may impact your account in terms of close variants or shifts in traffic volume.
  • Brush up on how keywords work in each platform because the differences really matter!
  • Review search term reports more frequently for irrelevant keywords that may pop up from match type changes. Incorporate these into match type changes or negative keywords lists as appropriate.

6. Revisit Your Audiences

Review the audiences you selected in the past, especially given so many campaign types that are intent-driven.

Automated features that expand your audience could be helpful, but keep an eye out for performance metrics and behavior on-site post-click.

Remember, an audience is simply a list of users who are grouped together by interests or behavior online.

Therefore, there are unlimited ways to mix and match those audiences and target per the sales funnel.

Here are a few opportunities to explore and test:

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  • LinkedIn user targeting: Besides LinkedIn, this can be found exclusively in Microsoft Ads.
  • Detailed Demographics: Marital status, parental status, home ownership, education, household income.
  • In-market and custom intent: Searches and online behavior signaling buying cues.
  • Remarketing: Advertisers website visitors, interactions with ads, and video/ YouTube.

Note: This varies per the campaign type and seems to be updated frequently, so make this a regular check-point in your campaign management for all platforms.

7. Organize Data Sources

You will likely be running campaigns on different platforms with combinations of search, display, video, etc.

Looking back at your goals, what is the important data, and which platforms will you use to review and report? Can you get the majority of data in one analytics platform to compare and share?

Millions of companies use Google Analytics, which is a good option for centralized viewing of advertising performance, website behavior, and conversions.

8. Reevaluate How You Report

Have you been using the same performance report for years?

It’s time to reevaluate your essential PPC key metrics and replace or add that data to your reports.

There are two great resources to kick off this exercise:

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Your objectives in reevaluating the reporting are:

  • Are we still using this data? Is it still relevant?
  • Is the data we are viewing actionable?
  • What new metrics should we consider adding we haven’t thought about?
  • How often do we need to see this data?
  • Do the stakeholders receiving the report understand what they are looking at (aka data visualization)?

Adding new data should be purposeful, actionable, and helpful in making decisions for the marketing plan. It’s also helpful to decide what type of data is good to see as “deep dives” as needed.

9. Consider Using Scripts

The current ad platforms have plenty of AI recommendations and automated rules, and there is no shortage of third-party tools that can help with optimizations.

Scripts is another method for advertisers with large accounts or some scripting skills to automate report generation and repetitive tasks in their Google Ads accounts.

Navigating the world of scripts can seem overwhelming, but a good place to start is a post here on Search Engine Journal that provides use cases and resources to get started with scripts.

Luckily, you don’t need a Ph.D. in computer science — there are plenty of resources online with free or templated scripts.

10. Seek Collaboration

Another effective planning tactic is to seek out friendly resources and second opinions.

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Much of the skill and science of PPC management is unique to the individual or agency, so there is no shortage of ideas to share between you.

You can visit the Paid Search Association, a resource for paid ad managers worldwide, to make new connections and find industry events.

Preparing For Paid Media Success

Strategies should be based on clear and measurable business goals. Then, you can evaluate the current status of your campaigns based on those new targets.

Your paid media strategy should also be built with an eye for both past performance and future opportunities. Look backward and reevaluate your existing assumptions and systems while investigating new platforms, topics, audiences, and technologies.

Also, stay current with trends and keep learning. Check out ebooks, social media experts, and industry publications for resources and motivational tips.

More resources: 

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