Paid Search (PPC)

In this post, I'll highlight a few simple PPC tips that I use regularly to help my clients. I admit, there is no silver bullet and some of these tips may not work for you but have a read and if you glean anything new or interesting, give it a go.

Use labels – they’re your friend

Labels are brilliant and highly undervalued in my opinion. Not only do they help filter a large account quickly, they also act as a reminder of important aspects of any monthly or quarterly review of your PPC account.

PPC Tips Labels

Here’s a few ways you can use labels to improve your account performance:

  • Good ol’ keywords

The keyword landscape changes as search habits, products and tastes change. This can have a profound effect on keyword performance, as some of the best ones may, over time, bring in less value. If you feel there may be life in the old dog yet, highlight historic converting keywords (or those bringing in value over the long term) so you know not to pause them when doing short term reviews.

  • Quarantined keyword

Ever have a keyword that you believe in? Maybe that’s just me…but sometimes I have a keyword that I know is really relevant but it just hasn’t converted yet. All it needs is a bit of love and refinement. Sticking a “quarantine” label on such keywords will stop you from accidentally pausing it and will also remind you to review it monthly.

  • Low Quality score keywords

A low quality score means you spend more money than your competition for the same click. If you have a keyword with a low quality score, which you can improve by writing more compelling ad copy, or giving the keyword a unique landing page , put a “Low QS” label on it and add it to your monthly review list.

  • Keywords with click assisted conversions

PPC Assisted Conversions

Very rarely will you find someone come in on a shorter tail more generic keyword and convert, unless you have it on broad match and they convert on something more specific. The likelihood is that they will go through a process of refining what they are looking for and the trick is to be there every step of the way.

The problem with this is that many people only look at last click attribution and don’t consider the touch points before the conversion. If you break the chain and stop bidding on a particular keyword that acts as a touch point, it won’t necessarily mean that you lose the conversion but it will mean that you lose a chance to solidify your presence above your competition’s.

In this scenario, I would add a label to identify that keyword easily and trial a more compelling landing page, lower bidding, or I’d pause to review the account’s performance later.

Target outranking share

agency ppc tipsIf you have noticed a slump in your conversions, as I did on a particular account, you may find that there’s a competitor out there that’s taking an unfair share.

After looking at all possible causes for a drop in conversions: ad status, keyword diagnosis, rank etc, look at the ad preview tool. You may find, as I have done on a few occasions, that you have a competitor that always crops up.

What you can do is target that competitor specifically by using a “target outranking share” bidding strategy. You can do this by naming the domain you wish to outrank, the percentage of auctions you wish to outbid them on, and setting your bid limit.

This is something you may want to trial if the competitor is competing against many of your products or services, as you may find they have deeper pockets. Also, think about how far you are willing to push it and for how long. I’d suggest a test and report back approach.

For example on the test shown below, there was quite a difference over a one month period:

  • Increase in conversions from 30 to 50
  • Increase in Cost Per Conversion from £1.87 to £2.58
  • Increase in CTR from 18% to 22%

conversiongraph

Be aggressively focused with remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)

You’ve spent your money, you’ve got your clicks but you’re still not getting conversions, not even an assisted conversion! Create a list of all the potential customers that have clicked on your ads but haven’t converted and remarket to them through search specifically. Because they’re prequalified from clicking on your ad, you can be more aggressive by bidding higher and on broad match keywords without too many sleepless nights. My colleague Tom goes into detail on RLSA.

End of your one click search term nightmare by using keyword grouper tools

1 click nightmare

 

How many times have you come across a keyword that needs refining, only to find that it’s bringing in hundreds of one click search queries? Instead of slowly losing your mind by negative matching one search query with one impression and 100% CTR, use a keyword grouper tool to look for themes and negative match them on a broad modifier or phrase match.

There are plenty of keyword grouper tools out there that you can use. Simply export all the non-converting search queries from your keyword that you’re trying to optimise and upload it into the tool. I tend to use WordStream or Adwords.

Overall

There are lots of different businesses with different goals in mind for their paid search campaigns, so there are always going to be some things that work for some and not for others. However, I’ve tried to make the above tips as broadly applicable as possible, with the key point being – you need to regularly check your ad account’s health. I hope you’ve found these PPC tips at least interesting and at most helpful. If you have any tips that really work for you get in touch!

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