In the next few years Google Ads is going to look dramatically different from how it does today. With the upcoming cookie changes bringing in new challenges and the continued shift towards smart strategies alongside the broadening of keywords the accounts of tomorrow will be very different to today.

There are 3 key areas to focus on in the next 12 months to future proof your accounts and ensure you don’t get left behind:

  1. First party data
  2. Smart Bidding 2.0
  3. Broad keywords

1) First-party data

The recent push towards first party data is a direct result of the changing perceptions of user data and the unwritten rules of the web. Up until recently there has generally been an acceptance that you can use and benefit from a platform such as Google or Facebook (for free!) in return for your data. The platforms can then go on to monetize their offering through personal advertising. If this hasn’t already changed it is certainly changing as we speak. The recent release of iOS14 was the first big move made by Apple in protecting user data (although the synics amongst us might think Apple has ulterior motives), Google have already announced that they will be following suit and removing cookies from the Chrome browser in 2022 and I’m sure it won’t be long after that that cookies are a thing of the past.

So what does that mean to advertisers that have relied on the cookie for years. Well, you’ll no longer be able to segment users into different audiences and retarget through 3rd party tracking which is a pretty big area of digital advertising strategies.

This is where getting your head around your own first party data will really come into its own and pay dividends next year. Segmenting & uploading first party data back into Google will allow you to continue your retargeting strategies once the cookie is gone. In the process it will also give you a much better understanding of your customers and your conversion funnel so it’s really a no brainer to get started on.

Check out google’s OCI helper (offline conversion import helper) to get started.


2) Smart Bidding 2.0

Smart bidding 2.0 AKA bidding to values comes hand in hand with first party data. If you can feed back the value of user actions on site you can provide Smart Bidding with more valuable data to help optimise your campaigns. We’ve always known not every lead is worth the same amount and worked towards averages.

For example, if you know 20% of leads become customers and each customer is worth £100 you can define a lead value of £20. (£100*20% = £20)

But the reality is some customers will be worth twice as much as others and those are the ones you want to hone in on. That is what smart bidding allows you to do however you have got to give it the right tools to work with.

We often see with Google a big push towards one area before slowly phasing out certain functionality so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the beginning of the end for tCPA! So for anyone working towards CPA goals now is the time to transition and get ahead of the game.

3) Broad keywords

Talking about phasing out, we recently lost one of the industries favourite match types in the sunsetting of BMM keywords. All match types have become broader over the years and I don’t see this trend discontinuing. For what it’s worth I see Phrase match keywords going next and Google leaving us with Broad and Exact match with the caveat being Exact will act as phrase do now.

Anyway, there is not much point in complaining about it, Broad keywords actually perform really well when used properly and alongside Smart Bidding.

If you have not already started testing new structures or using Broad keywords this is definitely something you want to incorporate into your road map for this year. Not only will it benefit performance but you’ll be future proofing your accounts for the next few years.

If you’re not already working on these areas or need any help in doing so, do get in touch and we’ll get your accounts future proofed and performing to their max.