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3 min read

Search Love: Beyond the Reach of Keyword Targeting – Samantha Noble

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

The main thing that’s changed over the years, says Samantha, is that audiences are now more important than ever.

Back in the day, we’d spend a huge anount of time on keyword research and that was totally valid. But now, we need to understand our audience.

For PPC, this is a huge shift in process.

Of course, audience targeting isn’t a new thing. Facebook have been introducing more audience targeting recently. And with AdWords, we use location targeting, we use negative keywords, we use all sorts of factors to exclude people when they’re not relevant.

A move from free to paid

Google has changed what it gives us for free over the years. We can expect to see those things which are currently free to become paid in the future; Samantha gives maps listings as an example.

Google makes its money from paid advertising, so this makes sense.

On mobile, paid is taking up even more space, and it’s getting more difficult to get to the organic results. As paid has evolved, the design itself makes it even more difficult to see which are the organic and which are the paid results.

In this study shared on Moz, Wayfair shows how the increase of paid prominence is decreasing its organic CTRs:

Ad extensions: manual and automated

If you don’t use your manual ad extensions, Google will choose them for you, so always choose your own.

  • Sitelink extension – deep dive to your site
  • Call outs – USPs
  • Structured snippets – additional information
  • Call extensions – encourage people to call
  • Message extensions – encourage people to text
  • Location extensions – let people know where you are
  • Affiliate location extensions – show third party distribution sites
  • Price extensions – show prices
  • Review extensions – show your reviews
  • Previous visits – if you’ve visited before

All this means ads are getting bigger!

In her list of great ad examples, Sam showed our own client, Great Bean Bags:


Dynamic search ads

This allows you more control over where your ads are shown.

  • Demographics for search ads (DFSA) allows you to add demographic data.
  • Remarketing for search ads (RLSAs) allows you to create ads for people depending on the point in the journey.
  • Similar audiences is like FB lookalike audiences.
  • Promoted pins encourage footfall into local businesses.

Google Shopping

Samantha shared what’s happening in Shopping:

  • PLAs at the top and on the right
  • Everything’s an ad in shopping results
  • Special offers in ads
  • Showcase shopping ads for generic terms
  • Click and collect
  • Other third party comparison sites will be appearing in Shopping listings – which means we need to ensure our clients are using other comparison sites as well as Google
  • Inventory search is coming soon so people can see if something’s in stock
  • Carousel shopping ads on YouTube


  • Dynamic product remarketing
  • Gmail sponsored promotions

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook is no longer just – they have expanded by acquisition to What’s App, Instagram and Messenger. They have a huge amount of data about us.

79% of online adults are using Facebook in some form.

  • Single image ads
  • Single video ads
  • 360 video ads
  • Canvas ads


  • PPC isn’t going away
  • We need to be aware of paid media
  • We shouldn’t have silo’d PPC teams – we need to work together.

More PPC advice

Are you interested in getting more PPC advice? Here’s some from our team to help you improve your own campaigns:

Samantha’s slides

Find Sam’s slides here: