Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the most popular form of digital advertising, and according to experts, that trend will continue in 2021. And there are good reasons for this. Search ads increase brand awareness by more than 80%, and 58% of millennials have purchased something as a direct result of an online or social media ad.

If you’re among the 74% of brands that say PPC is a huge driver for your business, these stats matter, but what matters most is knowing what comes next – staying on top of the latest trends to keep on top of the competition.

Let’s take a look at the predicted trends that will shape PPC in 2021. After all, PPC visitors are 50% more likely to buy something than organic visitors.

1. A further decrease in data transparency. Google ads already limit access to search query data, and in early 2022, Google will stop supporting third-party cookies.

2. Compelling creative comes to the forefront. Building on the data issue, the inability to do hyper-specific targeting means a return to contextual advertising methods, which in turn raises the importance of engaging, convincing creative concepts.

3. More automation. Greater success with PPC will come from automation. This means less human control, which means more time to focus on strategies to build brand affinity and awareness. Companies who don’t embrace automation will be left behind.

4. A holistic approach to your audience. Because of a lack of specific targeting data, marketers will need to look at the whole target audience picture: Who their audience is, what they care about, where they spend their time and what they want to hear. Customers and communities must come first, and marketing must have a purpose.

5. Develop new, non-cookie solutions. Changes in global privacy policies and coming restrictions on third-party cookies means that developing solutions that are not dependent on cookies should be a top priority.

6. Focus on first-party data. It’s almost impossible to track anything meaningful any longer with search engines. This means that recovering a good slice of your traffic data is incredibly important. Using server-side analytics increases tracking accuracy, and web browsers can’t do much to stop it. Make improving your first-party data a priority.

7. Make your ad messaging perfect. Well-written, well-executed ads have never been more important, skills around ad writing and execution have never been more important – or necessary. Coming to the fore will be complex, dynamic, and responsive ad units, which drive growth. This will require expanding or developing new skills around planning, creative writing, and testing.”

8. Testing. And more testing. With so many changes happening now and coming up soon, testing will be even more important to find what works.

9. Providing a great mobile experience will be essential. Even though mobile has been important for years, some brands still don’t have a website that translates into a compelling mobile experience.

10. Platform diversity. Google Ads Search is not the be-all, end-all. Platforms such as This range includes platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Amazon, Quora, and LinkedIn are expected to play a larger, more important role in PPC marketing.

11. More video. It’s well known that people remember video better than text. Videos are expected to become more prominent in PPC advertising as a result.

12. Voice-based Search. It’s estimated that currently almost 50% of search queries are voice-based. This is, of course, almost entirely from mobile devices. Voice search is expected to become even more prevalent in the future, so optimizing for it is increasingly important.

13. Amazon for PPC. Amazon offers a number of advantages, including the fact that marketers can reach buyers rather than just viewers, and Amazon provides global reach.

Marketing in 2020 was quite a challenge, and 2021 promises to include those issues and then some. Brands will have to continue to be flexible and innovative.

It’s not business as usual, and there’s no “normal,” which is why you need Normal Bear, where we redefine normal to enrich and strengthen your brand to set new standards for excellence.