PPC Optimisation Techniques 1

By Paul Morris
Following on from the Paul Morris Search Muze blog on reasons why PPC fails it is pertinent to go in to more detail (this is part 1 of a series of 3 posts) on Pay Per Click optimisation techniques eluded to in that post.

What will now follow is a series of 6 PPC optimisation techniques that will aid Targeting, QS (quality core), CR (conversion rates), CTR (click through rates) and ultimately costs and ROI (Return On Investment).

1/ 3 or more words please

In terms of keywords the difference between searching for internet marketing and internet marketing blog , is huge. The more targeted your adverts/ keywords are the better the CR, CTR, QS, etc should be.

If you put yourself in the shoes of a searcher looking for general information on a topic they will search for internet marketing , however people who want to specifically read about the subject of internet marketing will search internet marketing blog . The same can be said for most industries, so bidding on caravan is clearly different to buy a blackpool caravan – start thinking about targeted long tail phrases rather than lazy 1-2 term searches.

Disclaimer: I mention above the same can be said for most industries and by this very statement this theory does not apply to all sectors.

As an example I previously worked at a digital marketing agency and one of the clients was a recruitment consultant. They wanted B2B business of businesses advertising their jobs with them rather than attracting clicks from people looking for the jobs themselves. As you can imagine the click volume is significantly higher for the B2C sector rather than B2B however reasonable volume terms can be very similar e.g. Manchester recruitment consultants. With this search how do you know you are going to receive a B2C or B2B click? The only answer is to simply ensure your negative keywords and ad text prequalification is up to scratch (more on that in the next post on this topic) and you direct them to a targeted landing page.

2/ Broad match sucks

Correction Broad Match, or Broad Match Modifier, do not suck if you are researching that industry/ those terms with a test budget (utilise the search query report) however if you want to maximise QS, CTR, CR and ROI then do not touch it with a barge pole (caveat city again this is a general statement and, as an example, you could get around it with a major negative keywords list or you are broad matching in a niche B2B sector however let s not go there with the detail!)

After (and most certainly before!) your Broad Match foray, engage in more keyword research, add more negative keywords, use exact match and phrase match for the vast majority of your campaign, use some advert prequalification where appropriate and watch the quality traffic roll in.

3/ (generally) Bid on terms that lead to conversion

By again using my caravan example above, you can work wonders by bidding on thousands of long tail terms rather than on a handful of fat head terms. So not only will terms such as ‘buy a Blackpool caravan’ cost you less than bidding on ‘caravan’ but it is clearly a more targeted search with more intent thus your CPA (cost per acquisition) will fall dramatically as a result.

Disclaimer: The “(generally)” point has been placed in the title as it of course depends on what your acceptable CPA is, how your tracking operates (last click, first click or multiclick attribution), what your PPC KPI’s are, etc as to whether you in practice only go after terms that show intent and are further down the sales funnel.

Helpful bidding ideas:

  • Bid on Brand Names of Products & Items
  • Bid on Company Names & Manufacturers
  • Use buy, compare & purchase keywords
  • Leverage product reviews

4/ Search and Content

Make sure the content network is on (if it costs in of course CTR and conversion rates are generally significantly lower than a search campaign but then again so are the CPC’s) but in its own account or in its own ad group.

It is often a good idea to have the content network turned off initially and use placements on several hand-picked sites first. Then once the CTR is in a decent position and you have more knowledge about what works/ doesn t work then cull the poor performing sites and turn the content network on.

5/ Tight Ad groups

Ad groups should be themed, and if possible follow the structure of your site. Going back to point 1, if the keyword is internet marketing blog then the ad group may contain:

  • “Internet marketing blogs” “phrase match”
  • “Internet marketing blog”
  • [Internet marketing blog] [exact match]
  • [Internet marketing blogs]

By undertaking this work it allows you to have highly targeted keywords which will link with the relevant landing page and the right creative giving you the best chance of a better CTR, QS, etc.

6/ Creative Linkage

Your creative’s are the equivalent of the saying “eyes are the window to the soul” (yep, i’m a deep fella) to your website. As per your tight ad groups, your keywords need to be targeted and your creative s highly relevant and linked with those keywords.

As an example your creative might look like:

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