As the past decade fades, Google now stands at the forefront of technological innovation and growth, becoming a multifaceted tool benefiting corporate entities and casual individual users alike. Arguably, there are few better examples of this fact than Google’s marketing platform, which has grown to encompass countless engagement tactics while redefining best practices for ad creation more broadly. 

The past year alone brought several prevailing trends within Google’s marketing suite. With 2020 now in full swing, it is important that we reflect on these trends to hit the ground running in what should be an even more productive year for Google. 

The rise of voice-based search

Though hardly exclusive to 2019, voice-based searching continued to find its stride throughout the year: it now represents a staggering 55% of all households utilizing smart technology. Now, online marketers must optimize their campaigns to meet this growing shift.

Specifically, widespread voice searching has led to changes in keyword selection for ad campaigns, as long-tail keywords and generally longer search queries are becoming more prominent (for example: verbally asking, “Hey, Google, tell me which restaurants are nearby” vs. typing “restaurants near me.”). These changes are leading to bigger bets on longer keywords, and this is beginning to produce higher returns on investment in terms of time and effort spent on campaign construction. 

The shift to automation

Throughout the 2010s, automation has evolved from being a taboo to a viable norm in many technological sectors — especially within those linked to Google-based marketing. Through the use of dynamic ads, smart campaigns, and automated bidding strategies, marketers are now able to reduce overhead work and focus their efforts on other aspects of their campaigns. Paired with script features and auto-generated creatives, automation has streamlined the marketing process without sacrificing manual control outright. As the culture around automated technology continues to shift in the 2020s, Google’s automated marketing options will remain a point of emphasis in terms of general user accessibility and interface. 

The cohesion of physical and digital

As I discussed in a previous blog, an increasing amount of businesses are identifying a symbiosis between digital and physical in the retail industry. More and more consumers are turning to digital resources like video, online FAQs, and user-generated reviews as part of their physical buying process, and this blend of worlds is changing how marketers structure their ads at an audience level. Google has recognized these tendencies, making changes to benefit advertisers and generate more online-to-offline transactions. 

With narrower targeting possibilities, marketers can reach consumers in a specific location to drive them to nearby physical locations. Subsequently, businesses have identified this approach as a means of keeping pace with competitors and carving a niche prominent enough to hold its own in Google’s localized ad auction.