Pay Per Click PPC Tips

Pay Per Click PPC Tips 3

After 17 years managing PPC campaigns on Google, Microsoft and various other search engines, I have AB Tested pretty much everything there is to test on both Google and Microsoft. Going back many years, every PPC campaign I have ever managed has always been successful. I have never taken over a Google PPC campaign from another agency and never improved results.

Here are some of the main tips and methodologies I employ to get the most ROI for my clients vs. the most ROI for Google. Do be aware that many of Google’s prompts, auto-suggestions, and automatically applied functions are to make them more money, not you.

If you enjoyed reading this content and found it informative, and would like a bespoke PPC proposal for your brand – please get in touch with me here on LinkedIn or here online.

AB Testing

The following need to be AB Tested to get the most ROI. These are some of the most critical factors, but this is not a complete list.

  • Ads – you will find different ads convert better pre-click and post-click
  • Demographics – test which ones work and adjust your bids accordingly
  • Landing Pages – different landing pages produce different results to ensure you test some against each other.
  • Keywords – this needs regular testing and optimisation
  • Promotions – try different promotional strategies to get the best CPA and Lifetime Value

If you don’t test all of these and more, you will likely waste most of your budget, irrespective of how much ROI you already make.

Ad Copy Relevance

Regularly review your ad content and creative to ensure they work correctly. If the CTR is low, there may be a quick win in adjusting your ad copy. Put yourself in the shoes of your product/service user – what would you like to see in the ad you click on and learn more about? Make sure your ad text is clear and relevant to user searches. Ad copy needs to match target keywords.

Ad Group Segmentation

If you are short on time or campaign management resources, Ad Groups should generally be planned using SKAG (single keyword campaign) to clearly show each keyword’s success. Each keyword can be analysed to ensure that money is spent on keywords that convert. You need to set up conversion tracking to see which keywords are converting.

Grouping keywords in near-identical groups makes sense if you want to save money using Exact and Phrase Match vs. Broad Match. We tend to build keyword lists with 1,000s or 10,000s of keywords for our customers to achieve optimum ROI, and managing that many Ad Groups is impractical – hence, we bunch keywords up like this.

Ad Rotation

Choose the proper ad rotation based on your campaign goals. If you want to increase conversions, set ad rotation correctly and the ads most likely to convert will appear, if your main goal is to increase traffic, you should rotate ads to optimize for more clicks. Choose from;

Optimise (for conversions)

Rotate indefinitely (for clicks)

Ad Schedules

Ensure your products/services are available to your users at the most appropriate time. If your users are likely to be online and buy your products at a particular time of day, you should target your ad based on that to get the most bang for your buck. Online retailers are an example of this—you wouldn’t expect people to shop online in the early morning hours, so paying for clicks around this time is not a good idea.

Audience Personas

To target your users in the right way, you need to have a clear definition of who they are. Developing an audience is one of the first things you must do when planning a marketing campaign. Develop personas based on user needs and the type of person who buys your product or service. Users’ location, age, interest and revenue can be used for your PPC campaigns. Most businesses will have more than one customer. This makes it possible to find specific users and meet their needs.


Create a budget that is reasonable and can meet your growth goals.

When planning a PPC campaign, you must ensure you have enough budget to get enough clicks to start receiving enquiries. To solve this problem, you need to know a few things:

Your advertising budget

Your company’s average cost per click (CPC).

The conversion rate of your website

Your conversion and sales funnel (for leading businesses)

The lifetime value of your customers – to understand what sort of CPA budgets you can work to deliver

For example, if your company’s CPC is £2.50 and your total advertising budget is £2,500, you can expect 1,000 clicks monthly.

If your website conversion rate is 2%, you can expect 20 sales/inquiries per month from your 1,000 clicks. If your website is used to generate leads instead of sales, you should calculate the number of sales from above using your sales conversion rate.

Call Extensions

Another way to improve your ad conversion rate is to add a call to action to your ad. This will allow users to call your business directly in the SERPs, giving them a quick overview of your contact details. It will also be the fastest way to contact your new customers. Track call extensions to design changes.

Calls To Action

When crafting your PPC ad copy, a strong call to action (CTA) is one of the key elements in ensuring the ads perform well. The CTA tells users what action you want them to take next.

For your CTAs to have the desired effect, they must be:

  • One clear and easy-to-understand CTA
  • Relevant to the user search
  • Relevant to the content on the page
  • Containing some Urgency, e.g. Call Now / Book Today.

If you have promotional offers on your products/services, including them in the CTA can be a good way to motivate users to learn more and transact promptly.

Campaign Goals

Remember a campaign goal as you plan your campaign. What do you hope to accomplish with the campaign?

Each campaign ought to have a clear objective so that all of its advertisements are directed at the same audience and don’t conflict with one another.

A campaign objective might be, for instance.

“To reduce CPA costs by 50% by January 2024”.

Campaign Type

During campaign setup, you will choose a campaign type to determine many of your future options.

If you want to target people looking for your product or service, you’ll use Google Search Ads to target specific keywords that match your offering. If you want to increase brand awareness and target different websites to advertise, use a display campaign setup.

Conversion Tracking

Tracking conversions is critical to the success of any campaign. This can quickly be done automatically by using a simple bit of code from Google to paste onto your website. You also need a Thank You page or a unique Sale Made page on your website, so when a user converts, they land on this page—and the only way they can get to this page is by converting on your site.

Without conversion tracking, you cannot optimise and get the most out of a campaign. We have worked without conversion tracking before. However, you require 100s or 1,000s of tracking links and an affiliate tracking system or to be working with a client who currently gets no website traffic. So, at least you get a feel for how many leads have been delivered, if not by keyword/device/time/ad, etc.

Demographic Targeting

You should adjust your CPC bids according to the propensity of particular demographics to match your current customer base. For example, if all your customers are male, you must exclude females.

If 90% of your customers are over 45, you might as well not target anybody under that age, etc.

Display Campaign Creative Review

When you run a display campaign, you only have one chance to engage the user: through your banner ad creatives. To give your advertising campaign the best chance of success, follow these steps:

Use responsive ad creative

Create simple, easy-to-understand ads

Make sure your search and display ads are different

Always AB Test banner ads. One set of creatives always converts better than the other, so it’s always a sensible investment to make two different ones and then employ the best converter long-term.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ads are a great way to target users based on their search queries and deliver relevant ads. Dynamic ads look at users’ search terms and identify the most relevant pages on your website. If you don’t have relevant keywords/ads in your account, Google will quickly create targeted ads for the search terms and send traffic to the most relevant pages on your site.

In Market Targeting

Like hobbies and interests, Google allows you to target users based on topics they are interested in. You should use your user personas to create an audience for your campaign.

Keyword Match Types

We advise you never to use Broad Match targeting. We did a bunch of AB Tests on Broad Match and found it to be a completely false economy. Broad Match is basically for lazy campaign managers and also for Google to make the most money from you per click. When using Broad Match, the search engines sometimes feed you absolute garbage keywords. Last week, we took over a campaign from another SEO agency using just Broad Match, and we took down their CPA costs by 76% in our first week.

They waste £100K over the years. You must use Phrase Match and Exact Match to ensure no waste and reduce costs. We stopped using Broad Match years ago after we found we had made around 70% of our savings by employing Phrase and Exact Match. There are lots of keyword scrapers that enable you to see all of the keywords you need.

We have one client for whom we have sourced over 500K keywords over the years – every other agency quotes them a CPA cost around 400%-500% more than we do, and this is one reason why – they don’t even know to use Phrase / Exact they follow Google’s advice to use Broad which is often auto-suggested and automatically applied unless you take preventative action.

Keyword Research

Conduct keyword research to understand the most relevant search terms for your business. Doing this lets you see which keywords should be prioritized and which should be removed from the campaign. Understanding the keywords that will drive users to your site is one way to cut down on unnecessary expenses and help increase conversions. Use online tools like SEMrush and Ubersuggest to do your research. Focus on the long-tail keywords and avoid Broad Match, as it is expensive relative to Phrase and Exact match. We know this from lots of AB Testing over many years.

Landing Page Content

For a user to switch to route/sales, they must first complete the following steps:

Search > Results Page > Click > Landing Page.

Once a user lands on your page, they can do one of two things. Convert or leave. You must ensure the landing page has enough relevant content to convert the user into an enquiry. If your website pages aren’t converting your paid traffic into leads/sales, they’re probably cluttered and do not provide the user with the correct information. To solve this problem, you must create a custom landing page specifically for paid traffic to convert.

The more landing pages you can create to contextualise and personalise the offer, the better. We always recommend having at least one unique landing page for each product or service. For international brands, we also recommend localised landing pages by market. Adding a simple flag and sentence/paragraph to localise by country will improve conversions by approximately 30% from all AB Tests we have performed over the years.

Keyword Intent Review

Some words can be misleading and waste lots of money….

Not all essential keywords are good keywords for optimizing your PPC ad. As this article mentions, you want to ensure your target keywords convert into leads. Otherwise, your money will be spent on keywords that will not add value to your business.

The best examples are incentivised keywords such as “free” or “without cost”, where you may gain leads. Still, those leads’ post-lead conversion and Lifetime Value are often a false economy because people are just after advice without the intention of paying for it. You can waste £1,000s and £10,000s to find this out, and if you use Broad match targeting, you could be buying this amount of traffic every month without even knowing it.

Location Targeting

Do some research, understand where your potential customers are, and target them. If you’re a UK-based business, there’s no point in securing a US location unless you can supply US customers. Likewise, if you’re promoting a local event, you’ll want to target users within a certain radius to ensure the most relevant potential buyers.

There is always a limited budget; therefore, it must be used in the right place, at the right time, on a suitable day.

Negative Keyword Lists

You must ensure you employ a negative keyword list; otherwise, you will waste loads of money buying useless keywords.

As standard we always block out incentivised keywords like “free” assuming anyboby typing that in either has no money or no intention of transacting with your business.

Other bogey popular keywords include job orientated keywords on brand search terms like “jobs”, “career” and “vacancies” whereby people are simply looking for a job at the company not to become a customer. You can easily waste a portion of your budget buying useless keywords without knowing it.

Product Listings

If your website includes an e-commerce store, you can include your product listing in your PPC campaign so that when a user searches for your product, it appears in Google’s shopping list. This is a great way to increase visibility by showing up in the SERPs.


When someone clicks on your ad, they cost you money and show intent to buy. By remarketing to these customers specifically, you can eventually get them to buy from your site. Most users must visit your site multiple times, so it’s worth going after them. You can also retarget users on various platforms, including Google and Facebook.


Sitelink extensions allow you to display more information on your ad. Additional site links display sales information and prompt users to click, positively affecting the ad’s click-through rate (CTR). However, some landing pages are less likely to convert than others, so employing them is not always the best idea.

Smart Bidding

Smart Bidding uses Google’s AI engine to optimize your advertising campaigns using past account data to deliver ads to specific users likely to convert. Here’s how each type of automatic plan works:

Enhanced Cost Per Click (CPC) automatically adjusts your bid (up/down) based on potential conversions. There is also a version with a little automation under “Manual CPC,” which you can do by checking the “Enhanced CPC” box.

Maximise conversions automatically configure your application to get as many conversions as possible within your campaign budget, but without worrying about the cost of each conversion.

Total Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) adjusts your app directly to get as many conversions as possible within your CPA goal but without a conversion goal.

Target ROAS (tROAS) sets your strategy to generate as much e-commerce revenue as possible for your target.

Maximise Clicks gets more clicks automatically for less money.

Be aware that some of these settings allow Google to judge your CPC price, which can be hazardous.

Target Keyword Review

Analyse your campaign’s target keywords to determine how they deliver the desired results. Pursue keywords that convert into sales/leads. This should be the goal when analysing your topic goals to determine which topics convert well and which don’t.

If you enjoyed reading this content, found it informative, and would like a bespoke PPC proposal for your brand, please get in touch with us anytime.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, and how does it work?

A Pay-per-click campaign focuses on bidding for keywords to display ads to searchers. When a user searches keywords related to an advertiser’s target market, their ad appears. If the searcher then clicks the ad, the advertiser pays a fee. This advertising model provides value to businesses as they are only charged for clicks generated. However, attaining the right mix of keywords, ad text, and landing pages is crucial to maximising clicks and minimising expenses. Crafting ads that entice searches into exploring what the company offers further involves balancing persuasive yet relevant copy with eye-catching design.

Why is ad group segmentation important in PPC campaigns?

Ad group segmentation holds significant value in pay-per-click campaigns by allowing marketers to craft highly tailored advertisements for distinct keyword clusters. When joining associated search terms, marketers can modify their ad content and destination pages to more precisely align with what seekers scan for, potentially resulting in elevated click-through rates and improved returns generally. Moreover, dividing keywords into logical bundles fosters sentence structure and length diversity, from compact phrases to more elaborate expressions, reflecting the natural fluctuations intrinsic to human composition.

How can keyword research impact the success of a PPC campaign?

Keyword research plays a crucial role in the success of a PPC campaign. It helps advertisers identify the most relevant and high-performing keywords to target in their ads. By understanding which keywords are popular among their target audience, advertisers can create more effective ad campaigns that drive quality traffic and conversions.

What elements should be included in landing page content for a PPC campaign?

Landing page content for a PPC campaign should align with the ad copy and provide a clear call to action for users. This includes relevant headlines, compelling copy highlighting key benefits or offers, engaging visuals, easy-to-use forms or buttons for conversion actions, and trust signals such as testimonials or guarantees.

How does reviewing keyword intent contribute to the effectiveness of a PPC campaign?

Reviewing keyword intent is essential in determining how well specific keywords align with a PPC campaign’s goals. By understanding whether users searching those keywords are looking for information, ready to purchase, or comparing options, advertisers can adjust their targeting strategies accordingly to improve relevance and drive better campaign results.

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