Digital Strategy

5 Unexpected Tips for Running a Better Search Advertising Campaign

Pay Per Click (PPC) marketers generally have a good grasp of the basic knowledge it takes to run a productive PPC campaign. We’re well versed in the art of keyword research, writing engaging ad copy and creating awesome landing pages, however there are always little things that could be done to make the campaign much more profitable. Here are five unexpected tips for running a better PPC campaign:

1. Monitor Daily

Unlike traditional TV and Radio advertising, PPC is not a “set it and forget it” platform. Mistakes can and will be made, especially at the launch of a large campaign, and without monitoring your campaign, those mistakes will slip by unnoticed. By adhering to a daily check-in schedule, you can catch these mistakes from the start and ensure that any implemented solutions truly are solutions.

2. Record Changes

With daily check-ins come daily changes. As your campaign gains steam, you’ll notice a variety of edits you can make, whether that be pausing certain ads or adding negative keywords. Be sure to notate these changes in a PPC journal as you make them. When viewing the campaign over a long span of time, you can cross check any notable improvements with the data recorded in your PPC journal. This provides additional insight into the performance of your campaign and allows you to eliminate low performing strategies.

3. Learn From Searcher Activity and Optimize Your Campaign

There is a handy feature in Adwords that allows advertisers to see what search results trigger an ad impression or click. In the menu of your Adwords dashboard, click Keywords > Search terms. You will then see a table of every search term that triggered an ad impression. You can sort this view by number of impressions or number of clicks.

Look through all of the search terms. Make a list of words or searches for which you didn’t want your ad to show. Copy this list and add to Negative Keywords to prevent these terms from generating any more clicks. Doing this will lower your overall cost and ensure that your ads are are being clicked by the right audience.

It's off topic, but worth mentioning that viewing search terms in Adwords is another great way to come up with blog topics that will resonate with an audience hungry for more information.

4. Test Ads

Sometimes it might take a single word to increase clicks and conversions. Sometimes it might take a new landing page. 

"You will never know what will generate responses unless you test multiple options."

Write multiple ads for one keyword to see what copy appeals most to consumers. You can also change the landing page in order to to see if that increases your keyword ranking or results in a lower bounce rate. The point is, if you don’t test, you could be missing out on opportunities.

5. Utilize Negative Keyword Lists

The fundamental goal of a PPC campaign is to get your ad in front of an audience that is likely to convert. To do this, it’s vital that your ads match the intent of the search query. Keyword research will get you pretty far, but to cover all of your bases, be sure to utilize negative keyword lists. These lists exist to filter out the “window shoppers,” or those who aren’t actually looking for your product or service.

For example, if you are selling calligraphy pens on your website, you don’t want your ad to appear for “calligraphy tutorial” or “calligraphy instructor.” These searchers probably already have pens and are just wanting to learn how to use them. By utilizing a negative keyword list, your ad will not appear for those looking for something other than what you sell.

This negative keyword list is a great place to start. Review it carefully, because it is not entirely applicable for every campaign. Choose the keywords that you think could pose a problem to your campaign and add them to Negative Keywords.