Getting organic search traffic to your website is difficult therefore if you want the right audience to increase more leads and sales, then you need to use Google Ads. Google Ads is Google’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising solution which allows marketers to bid on the chance to show their Ads on relevant search results on Google. An average person conducts 3-4 searches per day on Google therefore having your brand visible on relevant searches is crucial for your business. 

Google Ads are always evolving so it’s important to keep up with the trends and keep up to date with what’s available to use. As we’ve had an uncertain year with multiple lockdowns, companies are shifting to remote-first culture and people are using Google more than ever.  Marketers have started using smart bidding, Discovery Ads and looking at looking to understand a buyer’s journey better. Throughout this blog, we will explore the 5 biggest Google Ads trends in 2021 and how they can help businesses and their digital marketing strategies.

Trend #1 – Google Ads Smart Bidding

In the last couple of years, Google has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) and smart bidding is one of the new features that have resulted from it. Google’s definition is; “Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction – a feature know as auction-time bidding.” 

Smart Bidding is simply taking the guesswork out of bidding in Google Ads. Their new AI system uses machine learning to automatically optimise for conversion in each auction. Smart bidding works for a number of different PPC goals, including for example Target CPA which is to generate new leads and customers for your desired cost by per acquisition. Also works well for Maximize Conversions where you can automatically set bids to help get the most conversions for your campaign while spending your budget. 

In addition, Smart Bidding allows you to use different signals for bid optimisation, some are unavailable with manual bidding. Examples of the few signals you can choose from:

  • Remarketing List – Ads can be optimised based on where the user’s last interaction with products and what these interactions were. 
  • Location Intent – Where a user intends to go versus their actual physical location. For example, people who research travel. 
  • Time of Day – Businesses can target customers during certain times of the day. 

Google Ads

[Photo Source – Google]

Machine learning works by enabling smart bidding to manage several signals at once and tailor each bid to each user’s content. For example, if a user is more likely to click on the ad while on the train or bus home from work, Google can raise your bids for mobile devices between the hours of 5 pm & 6 pm on weekdays.

Trend #2 – Google Ads Data Hub

Google Ads Data Hub is built on infrastructure from Google Cloud and Google BigQuery and gives advertisers access to the important data that will help shape their campaigns. Google Ads Data Hub is an opportunity to manage their impression data on Google Ads campaigns. The goal of this new technology is to create a more secure and private environment to access the marketing data. It is a custom analysis that aligns data with your specific objectives and offers marketers a comprehensive analysis to measure the effectiveness of their Google Ad campaigns across different screen types (Desktop, Mobile, Tablet or TV). 

Google Ads data hub will be a gold mine for marketers as it gives specific insights about customer behaviour and how they are interacting with each of your PPC ads. Meaning you can edit the active ads based on the data you find so it is optimised better for your target audience.

Trend #3 – Discovery Ads 

Google Discovery ads help you deliver high inspiring personalised ad experiences to people who are ready to engage with your band. Similar to Display ads or YouTube ads, Discovery Ads must be mobile friendly so that they feel native to the feeds they are displayed on. Google uses machine learning to then optimise ad placement based on the user’s search history, things they have liked for example videos, news articles, blog posts and other factors to deliver them to the most relevant and interested audience that is likely to convert to customers.

With Discovery Ads you can reach your ideal customer at scale with just one campaign. You enter the foundation of your ads – headlines, images and logos then Google will show the ads to the interested target audience using the CPA bid and budget which you set. 

Benefits of using Discovery Ads:

  • Expand Your Reach – With the ability to reach 2.9 billion people monthly on YouTube home, Gmail Promotions and Discover. This means you will get an intent-driven placement with the Discover feed that you dont get with other campaign types. The same as Display campaigns you have the option to use automatic targeting to further increase your reach, it is recommended to test this with a few options first. 
  • Leverage A New Ad Type – Discovery ads offer Responsive ads too as well as Carousel format meaning you can upload up to 10 cards and create an effective eye-catching campaign that users are more likely to engage with.
  • Enhance Engagement – Google’s Discovery Ads drive engagement with Google’s customer intent technology

Trend #4 – Understanding The Buyer’s Journey

It’s important to know how your target audience behaves with your PPC ad and each step of their journey. Understanding each step of the buyer’s journey can help in creating a more successful PPC campaign. There are five stages of a customer journey; Awareness, exploration, comparison, conversion and re-engagement. 

Stage 1 is awareness and this is where that person learns about the business, in this stage, people are usually looking for the answer to the question their input into Google. You should include compelling copy in your ad and brand keywords as this will stir curiosity and make it more likely for people to click on the ad. Stage 2 is exploration, where the customer is now on the landing page and looking for the answer to their question. They will also look at your businesses reviews, social and USP. At this point, it’s where the customer can engage with the brand therefore good to have some quality social proof including case studies or previous work examples. Stage 3 is comparison, this is where people might start comparing your brand to your competitors. The customer could be shopping for different offerings or the best price point, this is why it’s good to do PPC remarketing ads so anyone who previously visited your site is getting shown another ad from your brand after they leave the website. 

Stage 4 is conversion and the customer has realised their needs. They might have narrowed down their options and ready to convert, this is why you should include a strong call-to-action (CTA) throughout your website to encourage people to purchase. Lastly, stage 5 is re-engagement, this is where the target prospect has become a customer therefore you need to retain them. This can be done by segmenting your audience list and remarketing them with ads of your products to get their engagement and attention again. Understanding each stage customers go through on your Google Ads is crucial to have a successful and effective campaign. 

Trend #5 – Voice Search

As technology is evolving, people’s behaviours change too and the way we communicate. There has been a massive increase in the number of people now buying smart speakers which have resulted in text-based search declining. 72% of people who own a smart voice-activated speaker say their device is used as their daily routine. And 2 out of 5 adults are now using voice search once daily. 

Google Ads

So what does this mean for marketers? Right now voice search still uses a screen, such as on your desktop or phone so it will display ads however smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices dont and will only say one answer to the user. As speaking is now speaking into their phone and smart speakers they are more likely to ask Google questions and not phrases therefore it would be good to test your ads with your keywords in a phrase and in a question and monitor which one performs better. 


Google is constantly evolving to meet the needs of its customers and therefore this brings big trends in 2021 and beyond for Google Ads. Businesses should be paying attention to these trends and applying them to their digital marketing strategy to enhance their engagement, reach and conversions. 

If you need help implementing these new trends and optimising your Google Ad campaigns, we’ve got you covered. Our vastly experienced team can ensure that your PPC Ads is in the best possible shape to encourage relevant traffic to visit your site, resulting in more conversions for your business – Contact us today

Jam Digital

If you need support or advice with your social media strategy, Jam Digital can help. Partnering with Jam can offer your business the opportunity to optimise your time and budget through our team of experts, focussing on generating the best results for your business

For more information and advice on Digital Marketing contact Jam Digital Marketing today on 0330 094 7323, email:   

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