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Beyond keywords: The evolving paid search trends for 2024

Leave “set it and forget it” in 2023 – the days of static keyword lists are fading faster than an algorithm update. Paid search, the once-dependable bedrock of digital marketing, is morphing into a dynamic landscape driven by AI, automation, and ever-shifting user behaviour. To thrive in this hyper-competitive landscape, you need to ditch the old playbook and embrace the evolving trends.

In this blog, we’ll explore paid search trends for 2024, from harnessing the power of AI to embracing visual and voice search, and how to leverage them to reach your target audience and drive results.

The shift from keywords to audience-centric targeting

Traditionally, advertisers have relied heavily on selecting the right keywords to reach their target audience. However, as user behaviour rapidly changes, the focus is shifting towards audience-centric targeting.

Marketers are leveraging data insights to understand their audience’s preferences, behaviours and demographics, allowing for more precise ad targeting. This ensures that ads are not just reaching users based on specific keywords, but are tailored to resonate with their interests and needs, too.

The evolution of AI in search

AI is expected to play an even bigger role in paid search in 2024, and it’s crucial for businesses to keep up with the rapid advancements and improvements and adapt their paid search strategies accordingly. The constant evolution of AI means tools and platforms are improving, and advertisers should be leveraging this to create more effective and efficient paid search campaigns.

Recently, Google has been actively testing its latest feature called Search Generative Experience (SGE), a search experience that employs AI to generate responses for users, facilitating quick access to information. As Google delves into AI experimentation, it’s only a matter of time before AI becomes an integral part of the search experience. Stay ahead by anticipating and adapting to these technological advancements.

Embracing visual and voice

To stay relevant, paid search advertisers are incorporating visual elements and optimising for voice-activated queries, including visual elements such as PMAX and image extensions, and adjusting keyword strategies to align with conversational search patterns. Adapting to these rapidly rising search trends will ensure that you maintain visibility across various search channels.

This adaptability to rapidly rising search trends ensures that advertisers maintain visibility across diverse search channels, thus enhancing their reach and effectiveness in connecting with target audiences.

Integration of cross-channel marketing

Successful paid search advertising requires going beyond just search engine results pages.

A comprehensive strategy involves integrating paid search efforts seamlessly with other digital channels, including social media, display advertising, and email campaigns. This holistic approach ensures a cohesive brand presence across various touchpoints, maximising the impact of paid search efforts. It ensures that every touchpoint, from paid search clicks to social media buzz and eye-catching display ads, works together to amplify the brand’s core messages.

Leveraging first-party data

More and more companies are facing scrutiny for how they handle data. As concerns regarding privacy and data protection rise, making the use of third-party data outdated.

So if you can’t use data from other sources such as Chrome cookies, what do you do? You rely on first-party data instead.

First-party data is information collected directly by your business – it originates from your campaigns and your audience. Collecting first-party data provides your business with a significant advantage. You obtain data from people who are genuinely interested in your offerings, and in doing so, you learn more about your audience. This information can then help you tailor your advertisements to generate more leads and sales for your business.

Contextual advertising

Advertisers are likely to be focusing more on contextually relevant placements, considering the content of the webpage rather than relying solely on keywords. This aligns with the broader trend of providing a more personalised and non-disruptive user experience. By tailoring advertisements to the specific context of the content, advertisers can aim to deliver messages that resonate with users, contributing to a more meaningful interaction between them and their target audiences.

This move towards contextually relevant placements is a strategic step towards creating a more valuable relationship between advertisers and users. It’s not just about displaying ads; it’s about delivering messages in a way that adds value to the user’s journey, making the advertising experience more personalised, relevant, and ultimately, more meaningful.


It’s clear that the traditional reliance on keywords is giving way to more dynamic approaches. By embracing the key paid search trends for 2024; audience-centric targeting, adapting to visual and voice, integrating cross-channel marketing, advertisers can position themselves at the forefront of innovation.

The focus for 2024? Staying agile, embracing change, and continually evolving strategies to meet the demands of the digital consumer. Those who embrace the era beyond keywords will thrive in the competitive world of paid search advertising.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you drive your PPC strategies forward, feel free to drop us a message at and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Rebekah Waller - Modo25
Rebekah Waller
Rebekah Waller - Modo25
Rebekah Waller

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