Winning PPC Strategy for 2019

This is not a generic post on paid marketing. The focus of this post is to offer some practical insights and learning from running Google Ads in my current and previous roles. 

Google ads has been here for two decades and constantly delivering $2 for every $ spend. If you are still in doubts about using PPC as part of your promotional strategy, here are few stats. 

PPC stats for 2019

Have a Clear Goal before starting

Most PPC campaign starts with let’s try Google ad for $500 and see!

Only Google gains, mate. 

If you start without a clear goal, PPC could be a costly mistake which can cause a serious dent in your pocket really quickly. 

How do you start with PPC? 

By creating a Google ad account and spending $500 just to see?

Or by understanding the competitive landscape, industry benchmark on cost, conversion etc?

Or with a question – What you want to achieve by spending on Google?

You know the answer. 

So what you want to achieve by spending on Google? 

More customers? Leads or Direct purchase?

Free Trials of your products?

More footfall in your local store? i.e. More sales

Website visits (Awareness )

Having a clear Goal in mind helps you in deciding which campaign type is best for you, how much you need to spend and what to expect. 

Goal defined? 

Now figure out how much you need to spend and How you need to spend?

 

Use Broad Match Modifiers more often

Broad Match modifiers are the best kept secrets of expert PPC marketer. Broad Match modifier can help you maintain the reach while keeping a tab on unnecessary spend.

With a little understanding of keyword match type, you will know that its a conscious choice between reach and relevance. 

If you give free hand to Google, you ad will be shown to every possible synonyms and random searches which results in excessive spend and low ROI. A strict control with phrase match and exact match will reduce your reach significantly and increase your CPC. 

Broad Match Modifier is a sweet spot between Reach and Relevance. Lets understand with an example. 

Lets say that you are a personal finance coach. Your want to reach out to people who search for a personal finance coach in your area

broad-match-modifier-examples

The broad Match modifier takes care of your reach and give you an additional control on your spend.

 

Negative keywords are your best friends

Not everyone searching for a relevant or near relevant terms is looking to buy from you. 

Understanding search intent should be your primary goal while performing keyword research. Prioritize keywords according to search intent, the low commercial intent, irrelevant keywords should make to your negative keyword list. Step to create a negative keyword list – 

  • Perform a Google search to find negative keywords in your industry (Someone might have already done the homework)
  • Perform a Google search for every keyword – Notice if there are any Google ad appearing for your search term, what kind of SERP results show up – Commercial or general information? If no one is showing ad for a keyword or SERP results are just general information the keyword should make to your negative list. 
  • Use Common sense. 
You can start with a small list of negative keywords, constantly monitor your conversion and search terms to enhance this list. 

Monitor Your Search Terms

Google ad is like a leaking bucket. If you give it a free hand to your pocket, it will burn a big hole very quickly. 

You need to constantly monitor the spend and search terms for which your ad is appearing. Keeping your campaign goal in mind, take relevant action for every search term –

If its low commercial intent, add to your negative keyword list. 

If its high on commercial intent but from an inaccessible location modify the match type

If the search term is relevant and high commercial intent but not delivering, modify your ad copy 

If CPC is high as compared to other keywords, check the quality score and landing page. 

Note- You should monitor search terms at Ad group level. Sometimes Google will choose to show ad from other ad group for a relevant search term (You can add the search term as negative at ad group level)

This gives a greater control on which ad to show for particular search term.

Conversion Tracking is Crucial

Closely monitor which keywords are converting, what is the conversion rate, CPC vs Conversion rate

Location Targeting is not that simple

If you are a local business, location targeting is crucial for your success. Google has many levers which you can use smartly to keep a tab on location specific clicks and traffic. 

Master Remarketing and Retargeting [Its your savior]

Even people with High Commercial intent, relevant search term will leave without transaction. They are unable to decide at this moment, evaluating your competitors, comparing options, visiting offline stores etc. 

What can you do to stay on top of their mind? 

Google will force you to overspend [Beware!]

Most automation, bidding strategy, Google’s consultation calls are designed to get maximum out of your pocket. 

its your job to use every feature with caution. 

Its a NASTY Game!

Experienced a sudden Surge in clicks from a particular location? Experiencing High CPC and low conversion? Ad budget is exhausting quickly? Your competitor is stealing traffic for your branded terms? 

Its your competitor at play. Everything is fair in love and war.