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Rick Hogan

8 Killer Tips for Effective PPC Campaigns


When you consider that web search and email are the top two activities for Internet users, it’s not surprising that pay-per-click advertising is so popular. To make sure you’re doing PPC campaign development correctly, follow these tips.

1. Set Goals

If you don’t have a clear goal, it almost doesn’t matter how good your PPC campaign development is.

Define what you hope to accomplish with pay-per-click advertising. Increase awareness? Get trial users for your subscription service? Sell your product?

Knowing what you want your campaign to accomplish will inform what kinds of people you should be targeting—and thus, what keywords to target. Is the offer you’re promoting ideal for people looking for information, or for people who are ready to buy a solution to their challenge?

2. Target High-Performing Keywords and Filter Out Low-Performance Ones

Next it’s time for keyword research.

You want to target keywords that the ideal people for your offer are already searching. To figure this out, put yourself into your ideal customer’s shoes, and ask yourself, “What search terms would I use to find the information I need?” Make a list of search queries and keywords you would be likely to use if you were a customer searching for your product.

When your campaign is up and running, you can track the effectiveness of your target keywords in your Google Ads account. You want to keep using keywords that are performing well—the ones getting impressions, clicks, and conversions.

You also want to root out keywords that are performing poorly. Whether these keywords are getting no impressions at all (meaning no one is searching for them), getting impressions but not clicks, or getting clicks but not converting customers—these keywords are hurting the effectiveness of your entire campaign by being there.

3. Choose Negative Keywords to Avoid Wasted Dollars

Negative keywords are important because they keep your ad from being triggered by an irrelevant search phrase.

For example, if you’re advertising for a car dealership that only sells new cars, and someone uses a keyword you’ve targeted while searching for used cars, your ad could be shown to them—but it would be a waste of your money, because they aren’t looking for new cars.

In this example, you might add the keyword “used” to the negative keyword list for that campaign.

4. Optimize Keyword Bids

When you first start out with PPC campaign development, you’ll want to set bids low, so you can optimize and split-test your ads and landing pages without spending too much. Once you’ve validated top-performing keywords, made a negative keyword list, and optimized your ad copy and landing page, it’s time to increase your ad budget.

You can set keyword bids in three ways: with manual bidding (which gives you the most flexibility and control), target CPA bidding (which automatically optimizes bids to maximize conversions), and target ROAS bidding (which automatically adjusts bids so you maximize conversion value and reach your target return-on-ad-spend simultaneously).

5. Create Compelling Ads

This is perhaps the most obvious part of PPC campaign development, but it can also be the most challenging. Your ad copy needs to be specific, relevant, and attention-grabbing, without appearing spammy. It should quickly point out the benefit people will get by clicking.

6. Insert Ad Extensions

Using extensions in your ad increases the ways a user can interact with it. An ad extension can let people visit different landing pages on your website, display your business’s address, allow people to call your business directly, and more.

7. Create Ad-Specific Landing Pages

Each ad that you create and test should have its own landing page, tailored to work optimally with that ad. The copy on the ad and the content on the landing page should be congruent and complement each other.

8. Split-Test PPC Elements

You can test the effectiveness of your ads and landing pages with split-testing.

As an example, you can have two ads and landing pages that are completely identical, except that the headlines for each ad are different. Whichever ad performs better has the better headline.

You can repeat this process with every element of the ad—keywords, link, description, extensions—and every element of the landing page: headline, design, images, features, and call-to-action. Just make sure you only test one part of the ad or landing page at a time—otherwise, you can’t be sure which change had the effect.


  Rick Hogan, CEO & Co-Founder – Bleevit Interactive  Rick possesses over 20 years of digital marketing experience and started Bleevit Interactive with the primary mission of helping local businesses succeed online. When he is not working he can often be found hiking Great Falls, Virginia with his Labradoodle Lily, or sailing the Chesapeake Bay. If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve this post or otherwise want to give us a shout, send an email to hello@bleevit.com.

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