PPC Best Practices: 13 Must-Know Expert Tips

PPC Best Practices: 13 Must-Know Expert Tips

Outbound Marketing
January 13, 2021
PPC Best Practices: 13 Must-Know Expert Tips

When creating your marketing budget, a certain amount will most likely be allocated to ads. How and where you display these ads can have a huge impact on your campaign. PPC, or pay-per-click, is constantly changing as new trends and technologies emerge. In order to stay on top of all the updates, it’s important to understand the PPC best practices.

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What is PPC?

Pay-per-click is also known as “paid search” and refers to ads that are purchased and placed on a platform such as Google. But, how does PPC work? Everytime someone clicks on an ad from the search results page, the marketer pays the platform.

PPC Best Practices: What are the Benefits of PPC?

While there are other methods of advertising, PPC benefits companies for a few simple reasons:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • Marketers can target a specific audience
  • You’ll see results a lot quicker compared to other strategies, such as SEO
  • It still compliments your SEO strategy by focusing on the right keywords

1. How to Find the Best & Most Relevant Keywords

An element of PPC best practices is researching and using the best keywords to attract the most relevant clicks that will convert. There are a number of tools out there, like Google Keyword Planner, that can help you find keywords that are popular and competitive. Here are the types of keywords you should be using:

Long Tail Keywords

The longer the keyword, the more specific it is and therefore the more likely you’ll attract the right audience. It’s also a lot easier to rank higher on a SERP for a more specific keyword rather than a generic one.

For example, ranking highly for a keyword like “best cookies” will be tricky, but if you go with a longer one like “best cookies in New York” or “best gluten-free cookies,” then you have a better chance at reaching your intended audience.

Negative Keywords

One of the Google Ads best practices, along with using long tail keywords, is utilizing negative keywords. Negative keywords are keywords that you don’t want to rank for because they’re not relevant to your product or service.

With the cookie example, you can add “vegan” as a negative keyword if you don’t offer vegan options. Adding negative keywords helps you ensure that the money you’re spending on ads is used as effectively as possible.

Reward Top Performing Keywords

Once you have multiple ads and keywords up and running, you’ll be able to see which ones are performing well and which aren’t. Once you’ve identified ones that are performing well, you can focus more of your budget and efforts onto them.

That being said, it’s still a good idea to adjust your keywords slightly, regardless of how they’re performing, to see how small changes can impact your bottom line.

Obscure Keyword Variations

Continuing in the vein of adjusting your keywords, you should also test out different variations of the same keywords to see what kind of results they’ll bring you. These obscure keyword variations may not be as widely used, but they’ll help you widen your audience.

For example, instead of using “best cookies in New York,” try keywords like “where can I get cookies now” or “find me the best cookie in New York.”

Use Dynamic Keyword Insertion

This part of PPC best practices is a little more technical but works well if you want to try something different with your ads. If you sell multiple products or you want to tailor your ad to a customer’s search, you can use a snippet of code to change your keyword.

Instead of “best cookies in New York,” you might have “best {chocolate chip} cookies in New York,” or “best {low-calorie} cookies in New York.” These bracketed words will get replaced depending on a user’s search.

2. Focus on Content

The best tip for PPC best practices is really just to focus on producing killer content. Your ad copy should be clear, use the best and most relevant keywords, and spark enough interest so that users click on it.

Ads are typically short, so it’s worth working with a professional copywriter to create the most effective ads. If you don’t have a copywriter or paid campaigns specialist on your team, work with a marketing network to find experts that are best suited for the job.

3. Timing

When you’re spending money each time someone clicks on your ad, you want to ensure you’re wasting as little of your budget as possible. That’s why it’s important to figure out the best time to run your ads in order to maximize your campaign and save your budget.

Time your more expensive keywords when you know people are doing their research, usually during work hours, and run the cheaper keywords at other times.

4. How to Choose the Right Bidding Strategies

You’ll want to work out a good bidding strategy to ensure that your ad is being seen by as many people as possible. There are a few metrics you can look at to improve your bidding strategy:

  • CPA – Cost Per Acquisition, ideal for marketers looking to increase conversions
  • CPM – Cost Per Mille (or 1,000 impressions), good for maximizing visibility
  • Maximize Clicks – best if you have a small budget and want to make the most of it
  • CPC/CPV – Cost Per View/Click, ideal for improving the cost you want to pay for each ad

5. How to Monitor Your Clicks

One of the most important PPC best practices to help you save on your budget is to monitor your clicks. Since many clicks come from either automated sources (in other words, not a human), or from multiple clicks, you want to minimize the spend on these sources to avoid blowing through your budget unnecessarily.

6. Define Your Target Audience

When creating your campaigns and writing your ads, you want to make sure you’re doing it with your target audience in mind. It’s a good idea to create a buyer persona, which you can use to base your campaign on the kind of people you’re trying to reach.

7. Use Small & Focused Ad Groups

PPC Best Practices: 13 Must-Know Expert Tips

Organize your campaign in Google Ads by creating ad groups to create groups of ads that are similar in one way or another. They might have similar keywords, landing pages, or text. This will help you focus your efforts and direct your budget properly.

8. Use CTAs in your Ads

CTAs help people take action when they’re searching for something online. It’s not simple to add CTAs when you’re already so restricted for space in an ad, but they don’t need to be long. For example, you can use:

  • Learn more
  • Find out how
  • Sign up now
  • Get started
  • Buy now

9. Create Effective Landing Pages

You should ensure that the landing page always corresponds to the specific ad, so you might want to create a couple different variations of a landing page to ensure it’s always relevant.

To make sure that you have strong landing pages, work with an internet marketing consultant for the best results. If you don’t know how to find these a marketing network can help find the best one for you.

10. Use Targeting Options

Set parameters to better target your audience so that your ads are reaching the right people. You can target your audience in a few different ways:

  • Geographic location
  • Interests
  • The device they’re using
  • Demographic
  • Behavior

11. Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are all the other bits of information you might see in a typical ad on a SERP. You can add extensions that show your location, sitelinks, links to an app download, promotions, prices, and a lot more.

12. Perform A/B Testing

With so many different variations of keywords, ad text CTA and landing pages, it can be tough to know what works best. One of the best ways to test your ads using PPC best practices is with A/B testing. Run the same ad with slight differences to see which performs better.

13. How to Monitor, Update & Optimize Campaigns Regularly

Creating strong ads using all the tips above is only the start. In order to get the most out of your campaign, you also need to be regularly monitoring and updating your ads so that they don’t get stale and to try new strategies. Let’s go over a few ways to do that.

Review Your Budget

Whether your budget has increased or decreased, it’s a good idea to review your ad budget at minimum once a year to ensure you’re allocating funds effectively.

Review New Google Ad Features

Like any technology, Google Ads goes through regular updates, so if you want to run your campaigns as well as possible, stay up to date with new features.

Test New Platforms

Google’s not the only platform you can use to run ads. Try pushing your ads on different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to see the differences in results.

Customize for Mobile

Once you’ve nailed desktop ads, you should begin customizing your ads for mobile devices so that you can optimize both your budget and your campaign.

Testing New Features

There are constantly new features in ad platforms. Don’t be afraid to try them out, you might find that they improve your ads or even help simplify your PPC process.

Integrated Audiences with Search

Look for new parameters to use to target your audience, or go back to the drawing board and update your buyer persona.

Voice Search

More and more people are using devices like Siri or Alexa to conduct searches, so make sure your ads are optimized for voice search.

Video Ads & Visual Search

Videos and visual media have a high capacity to grab and sustain attention, so don’t discount these options in your PPC strategy.

Re-Evaluate How You Report

Make sure the data and information you’re collecting in your reports are still the most relevant and actionable metrics you can be using.

Wrap Up

There are many different elements that make up PPC best practices, and by trying different techniques, you’ll eventually find the ones that work best for you. If you are unsure where to start, or how to improve your existing efforts, consult with a marketing network to create a strong and sustainable PPC strategy that will help grow your business.