Ad World 2022 Recap: SEO, PPC and Overall Takeaways

November 7, 2022

At Bolt, #NeverNotLearning isn’t just a trendy phrase that describes how we work, it’s how we live. Earlier this month, our Digital Team attended the Ad World 2022 Online Marketing Conference for a mind blowing, eye opening, electrifying learning experience that had us filling Google docs with a novel worth of notes. And now we’re breaking down our key learnings to share a piece of the experience with you. 

Head of Digital Melisha Oakleaf-Wilson and Paid Media Strategist Alina Davis rolled up their sleeves and jumped head first into the pool of the latest trends in paid ads, SEO and overall marketing learnings. Let’s take a look at a few of their share-worthy finds. Hold onto your keyboards because this rundown is packed with a marketing punch. 


1. Supercharge ROI Omnichannel Marketing Strategy for Paid Ads

Let’s face it, people want to buy from trustworthy brands, and online shopping can feel like navigating a forest. How do you know if a really cool looking product or service isn’t another wolf in sheep’s clothing? Turn to the paid ads experts. There are a number of ways trustworthiness can be achieved through paid ads by focusing on entertaining and enticing content that is also educational and relevant. Make sure that the content is personable and genuine to the brand voice, even if it means pushing the boundaries of what is seen as “professional.” While this tactic may seem like a risk, it is extremely profitable when done right.

Now, when conducting an omnichannel strategy, you want to ensure that you’re offering a variety of products and services. This could include different services to the same niche or offering the same services to different niches. Always optimize and test various versions of your ads by changing small things each time, such as copy, CTAs, images and more to find which variables bring the best results for your business. And don’t forget, there’s magic in the follow-up. Follow-up with current customers, customers that haven’t purchased in awhile, and potential customers who have yet to make the move, and always be as genuine and personable as possible.

2. Leverage Google's Most Powerful Campaign Type

Performance Max may sound like some sort of powerful pre-workout drink, but it is actually Google’s newest form of ad campaign that allows users to utilize all Google platforms in one easy setup. It also helps marketers find audiences where they are most by using all channels automatically, instead of having to decide which channel to use. It packs a punch so, in a way, it really does stimulate that digital workout. 

To leverage this campaign, there are a couple of suggestions to consider. First, the ad’s daily budget should be more than $100/day. Why? Because retargeting and all channels are being used at once, so spending anything less can result in underperforming ads. Second, use as many images as possible. Google will create different layouts depending on the platform, and the more assets that are included, the more likely your ads will work well on every channel.

3. Master Google's Newest Format: Responsive Search Ads

We admit, Google switches things up so much that “Keeping Up With Google” might actually be a viable reality show pitch. For their latest “episode” release, Google recently replaced Expandable Text Ads with the Responsive Search Ads (RSAs for short). Users who loved the control of the Expandable Text Ads tend to be frustrated with the new version because Google has more control over what users can see. However, there are still ways businesses can control and test ads. The following steps will help you do just that:

  • First, create consistency with your headlines. You can have up to 15 headlines, and you should include 2-3 of each of the following; CTAs, benefits, features, and ad group keywords.
  • Next, make sure that your CTAs are powerful and not your typical boring CTAs. For instance, “Demo Powerful Marketing Tools Today” will outperform the snoozefest CTA of “Book A Demo.”
  • Your descriptions should Promote goals for success, show why your business is unique, top features, and direct someone to take specific action.
  • For even more control, you can pin multiple headlines in the same position. For example, all CTAs could be pinned in position 3 and all benefits could be pinned in position 2. This will ensure that the most relevant headlines are showing to your audiences, instead of 3 CTA’s showing up all at once.


1. How to Boost Website Conversions and Improve UX

Rich results sound like something for the rich and famous, but with the right digital marketing team, you’ll find that it’s all about knowing how to optimize these ‘rich results’ and page speed for SEO. Think of those blue links that pop up at the top of Google when you type in a search – well, rich results take it a step beyond the standard links and capture plentiful space on the search engine results page (SERP) with a preview that shows users what the page is all about. With just a quick glance, users see that the page offers what they’re looking for, and boom (or rather, click) they visit your website for more. Give the people what they want, and become the authority, according to Google.

Now, when users begin clicking, page speed is essential. Patience isn’t a virtue in the world of website conversions, because slow pages cause users to bounce (peace out). In fact, for every 10% improvement in page speed, there is a 5-10% increase in conversion rate. To do this efficiently, keep the backend of your site tidy. Here’s how: limit the number of third-party JavaScript applications and tracking pixels, and reduce image sizes by using next generation image file formats like .svg over .jpgs or .pngs. 

2. Design Landing Experiences and Drop Bounce Rates

Landing pages are a tale as old as digital age time, but now we’re talking about creating stellar landing experiences. One of the key SEO learnings from AdWorld 2022 was that landing pages must be created with intent. Sharing information is great, but if that information is not driving traffic down the sales funnel, then your landing page is just humoring itself – and well, that’s not really something we’re finding too funny. To create a truly intentional landing page, digital marketers must understand the expectations and purpose of each type of landing page. Where to start? Lean on competitive research like it’s your BFF. Look closely at the first organic result, because it often reflects a landing experience which matches user expectations. 

Also, identify and prioritize current pain points or areas of improvement on your own landing pages to triple check that relevant, accurate and consistent information is being provided to users. At the end of the day, it’s crucial to know your audience to deliver a landing page experience that revolves around user intent. They landed on the page – did they find what they came for?

3. What’s In, What’s Out and What We All Need to be Paying Attention to in 2023

The next 18-24 months are getting ‘Reel’ for marketers everywhere, as the industry agrees that short-form videos (Reels, Stories, TikTok), email marketing, and YouTube ads are the top three most effective forms of marketing. Are we living in the future or what? That’s what’s to come, and here’s what’s hanging out in our 2022 rearview mirrors: Facebook and Instagram ads, one-touch conversions and organic social media content. It’s not that they “did anything wrong,” but they simply aren’t converting the way they used to. Along with the expansion of sales cycles growing from the traditional 30-60 sales cycle to 90-120 days and the increase in ad prices, here’s what we’re focusing on as we plan for 2023:

  • Emails need to be social, dynamic and visible in a single mobile scroll.
  • Optimize to start a conversation, not just to get clicks and views on a page.
  • Be willing to extend your ad cycle an additional 30-60 days to get the data - you’re not throwing money away, you’re investing in the future of the campaign and scaling your campaign.

Ad World 2022 may have only lasted a few days, but the knowledge our team absorbed will propel us through the coming year with fierce focus, vision and impactful client results. Until, of course, we attend the 2023 conference where more digital pivoting and impressive growth await our eager digital marketing minds. 

Join the future of digital marketing, content development and PR by teaming up with the experts at Bolt PR, where we know that today’s marketing trends are soon to be “so last year.” Let’s charge your brand with the latest strategies. 

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