Microsoft Unveils 3 Predictions for PPC Trends in 2023. I’ll Explain Each Of Them

ppc trends

If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, Microsoft has unveiled three predictions for product categories in the new year. If you’re looking to leverage these trends, we have some advice on how — and when — to do so.

The three product categories Microsoft is keying on are:

  • Natural or organic food and food products
  • Sports apparel
  • Fitness and nutrition

These categories aren’t surprising, as many people’s New Year’s resolutions focus on living a healthier lifestyle. The folks at Google agree. Search terms such as fitness, exercise, gym, and healthy foods hit their peak in early January, according to Google. Retailers looking to cash in on searcher intent would do well to ramp up campaigns to capture this interest.

In this article, we’ll highlight the three product categories, top search terms, timing, and strategy to increase conversion rates.

Natural or Organic Food

Some of the top search terms include:

  • Healthy recipes
  • Nutrition
  • Vegetarian cuisine
  • Natural foods
  • Organic foods

As you would expect, just about every iteration of the word “diet” shows up heavily as search terms, along with specific products and recipe options for kale, spinach, cauliflower, and quinoa.

Timing

Expect clicks to peak during the week of January 14th at levels 20% higher than normal.

Strategy

Microsoft recommends using in-market audiences to target users who search for healthy or nutritious food options, cautioning buyers to make sure they have enough budget so that campaigns don’t run out earlier in the month.

January is also the peak month for people looking for air fryer recipes as a potentially healthier alternative to frying. Consider targeting consumers getting air fryers as holiday gifts by highlighting how-to tutorials or videos.

Sports Apparel

Some of the top search terms include:

  • Sports wear
  • Active wear
  • Sportswear stores
  • Branded sportswear
  • Athletic wear

These broad search terms can help drive traffic to your online store, although you may also want to highlight long-tail keywords that focus on specific product lines. Terms such as Nike sportswear, golfing and skiing outfits, and specific sports-themed attire also attract attention.

Timing

Searches for sports apparel start to increase throughout December and continue into January. According to Microsoft’s analysis of search patterns, the weeks of November 26 and December 3rd represent the highest peaks. However, traffic remains high into January.

Strategy

Microsoft recommends using shopping campaigns to highlight sports and fitness apparel products in advance of the holiday shopping time and into mid to late January for specific products. A heavier than normal PPC presence during this period can also drive additional traffic to your eCommerce site or store website.

You should also consider heavier weighting around major sporting events. Weekend athletes often look for sporting equipment and apparel throughout the year around the Super Bowl, Final Four, NFL playoffs, MLB playoffs, NBA playoffs, etc.

Product mixes change during the year as people transition from winter to spring and summer to fall activities.

Fitness and Nutrition

Some of the top search terms include:

  • Gym
  • Fitness
  • Bodybuilding
  • Exercise
  • How to lose weight

As you can see, there’s plenty of crossover between these three categories as they are all part of living a healthier lifestyle. In some cases, it may make sense to combine top search terms when appropriate to capture multiple consumer interests.

Timing

While interest in fitness and nutrition is highest at the start of the new year, Microsoft Advertising notes that this category spikes frequently throughout the year. Based on 2021 data, Microsoft says searches for fitness and nutrition terms will spike in January, May, July, and October.

Strategy

You can schedule your PPC campaigns to take advantage of these spikes in these four months. Due to the consistent popularity, however, a better strategy may be to have a consistent presence as a baseline and increase during the peaks.

Conclusion

If any of these categories fit your business model, you have a unique opportunity to leverage searcher intent during these key periods.

During these peak times, you can expect increased advertising from your competitors, too. Many of these items are commodity items or are available in multiple places, so you may want to consider offering discounts or incentives during these peak periods to separate your offer from your competitor.

In most cases, you may only have a brief moment to capture a conversion. Discounts should be deep enough to capture attention and provide a sense of urgency.

While the best strategy is to always have a baseline presence, adding additional weight during these peak periods is a smart approach to capture increased interest. As they say, strike while the iron is hot.

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