The end of the year is a great conversation starter in itself. Marketers love to look back on the past year, embracing the trends that stuck and writing off the ones that didn’t. With a new year comes a set of new predictions, and there certainly is no shortage of future telling in 2015. One area that marketers can’t seem to get enough of is paid search. What does the future hold for search? What will this mean for your business? Let’s take a look.

Mobile-Friendliness: You Either Got it or You Don’t

For the last couple of years, businesses of all types and sizes have been encouraged to be mobile friendly. Many got the memo and invested in a mobile strategy that propelled them further. Others simply failed to see the importance of being mobile friendly.

In 2015, no longer will these businesses be politely reminded to go mobile. They’ll simply be left behind – separated by their competition once and for all. By now, we know that people are using their smartphones to search for things and there’s no reason to keep bringing it up.

That said, businesses that are ready to invest in a mobile strategy will have the opportunity to do so. Sure, they will be playing catch up in order to take advantage of the increase in mobile searches and traffic, but the opportunity for advancement remains.

Audience Marketing: Improving the Journey with Targeted Ads

As businesses get to know their audience better, they will also be learning about their intent. What problems are they looking to solve? How much do they want to spend? When are they more likely to buy? As marketers learn this information, they will be better able to craft advertisements that are engaging and interactive. These ads will enhance the user experience and lead to more clicks.

Video advertising will also be on the rise as people prefer to be entertained and informed through short videos. Mobile video marketing won’t be the in-your-face advertising that you may be thinking about, however. Instead, it will be designed around the customer for a personalized experience, almost as if the video was created specifically for one set of eyes. Expect to see ads retargeted to users across all devices, too. Might as well make the most of the customer journey, right?

Automation: Less Questioning, More Trust

There are few reasons NOT to trust automation tools, especially as the features and algorithms mature and improve. In 2015, expect to see more businesses automating common tasks like bid management. And, businesses might as well save on time since they will be needing it to create customized PPC campaigns.

Rather than relying on the one-size-fits-all approach to PPC, advertisers are learning that there are ways to optimize ads, campaigns, and landing pages to maximize ROI. If something is not working, it’s time to throw in the towel and try something new. Each business is unique after all.

With click prices as high as they are, advertisers can’t afford to waste money. More dollars will need to be squeezed from paid search. Some of this will come from trying new features that were once believed to be irrelevant. Advertisers will also be expanding beyond traditional PPC and seeking out other advertising channels like Twitter Ads and Facebook Ads to boost performance.

We have yet to make headway into 2015, but we can say with some certainty that paid search will see continued success. The main differences will lie in how consumers are targeted, engaged, and motivated.