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The Business Owner Guide to PPC: PART 2

Antonella Saravia

5 years ago



PART I covers the basics and the benefits of PPC. So now that you’ve got that down, what else is there to learn? Believe it or not, the list goes on, but we’re happy to join you on the journey.

Keyword Selection

Picking the keywords for your PPC campaigns is an essential task in the campaign creation process. Your keywords will be responsible for attracting the right audience to your website and will determine the effectiveness of what you put together.

Start by identifying the key terms and phrases that people are searching for concerning your business. For instance, if you repair computers,  use “computer repair” instead of just typing in the keyword “computer.” That way, your keywords align with the consumer’s intent.

You can gather insights by studying your site and services as well as your competitors using tools like SEMrush or Spyfu. You can also the Keyword Planner, found on the Google Ads interface, or MergeWords to come up with different keyword variations.

When choosing keywords, keep in mind the specificity. Make sure they aren’t so broad that you’ll get irrelevant queries or so specific that no one will search for it.

Want to master what not to do? Read more on our blog!

Learn How to Use Match Types Efficiently

Example of an ad group match type

The above is an example of a keyword match type. Keyword match types is a feature that helps control which searches on Google can trigger your ad. 

  • Broad match to show your ad to a wide audience. 
  • Exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers.

You can set varying degrees of match types for your campaigns. For example, you could use a broad match to show your ad to a wide audience, or you could use an exact match to hone in on specific groups of customers. 

As a general practice, avoid broad match types unless traffic is limited. It is easy to accrue a lot of irrelevant traffic if there isn’t a dependable negative keyword list in place.

To read more on keyword match types, check out Google Ads Help.

Bid for your Brand Name

There are many reasons to bid on your brand name. Let’s say that you search for your company name. As expected, it appears organically, but to your surprise, your competitors appear in the paid ads section. You need to bid for your name because chances are someone is already doing so.

Bidding for your brand name is usually a cost effective practice since your company name has a low cost-per-click. It will help you gain credibility and improve your branding presence, as competitors may be bidding on your brand and stealing your traffic. Also, this will help you dominate the SERPs  through organic, paid, and local traffic.

Pro-Tip: Build an ad group or campaign dedicated specifically for this branded term. This way, you can separate this data from the rest of your campaign.

Learn More, watch a shark clip on “Why Do I Have to Bid On My Brand” on our YouTube channel!

Consider Search Volume When Selecting Your Keywords

Consider Search Volume When Selecting Your Keywords

Do you know how often people are searching for your keywords? You can find out by using Google Ads keyword planner. You can check your keywords to verify the search volume and relevancy for each. This information will help you determine what keywords to bid on and the cost for each.

When you’re preparing for a particular holiday or season, you can set a date range to find out what is trending. This will help you stay relevant with your target audience’s search while seasonal topics take over. For example, depending on whether it’s summer or winter, there may be a trending focus on which areas of the house users will be looking to repair. This will help you stay in the game. 

Image of Google Analytics Results

Low-Cost Keywords

It’s common to look for cheap alternatives when doing your keyword research. Sure, it’s less traffic, but the cost is worth it, right? We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but what you may end up getting a lot more clicks for far fewer conversions.

The most expensive keywords are the ones in the highest demand. 

It doesn’t always mean that they are the best ones for the job, but usually, they are costly because they work. That said, don’t focus solely on the cheapest options as they typically bring in the cheapest results.

Group Your Keywords in Relevant Themes (Ad Groups)

A common practice by beginner PPC advertisers is that they only use one campaign and one ad group. If you only have one ad group in your campaign, then when someone searches for “best dentist near me,” they might see your ad that offers orthodontics 50% off.

Why did this happen? Because there isn’t a separate ad group for “Orthodontics” and “Dentist Near Me.”

To avoid lower quality scores and poor CTR, create different ad groups for your keyword themes. Let’s say you have only one ad group with five keywords like this:

Example of five themed ad groups

It may not seem like the ‘wrong’ thing to have them all in one ad group, but separating them will help them function independently. Once you do, your ad groups should look something like this:

Ad Group with multiple match types

It’s important to note that targeting each match type may help you balance out your CPC. Each keyword match type has its own competitors. If you bid on all of your match types, you will inevitably discover where the bulk of competitors lie. 

Add a keyword to each ad group to address the intent of each of your ads.

Pro-Tip: Capitalize your ad group’s name and write all your keywords in lowercase to make it easier for you to browse through your campaign.

Direct Your Users to a Relevant Landing Page

You will want to organize your keywords in themes so you can match them to a relevant landing page. For instance, if someone searched for White Shark Media, this should trigger a keyword that sends them to our home page. However, if someone searched for White Shark Media PPC Services, the triggered word should direct users to our PPC product page. See the difference? Grouping keywords allows for smoother user experience. 

It’s best to divide your website into different sections so that when you direct users, it takes them directly to the information they need.

Quality Score, CTR, and Bidding Best Practices

There are three main concepts to understanding how PPC works; let’s review them together. 

Quality Score

Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. It is a factor that determines your cost-per-click because higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

Search engines assign this score to your keywords. The scale ranges from 1-10. A good quality score is anything above a 7; the higher your score, the higher your chances of successful CPCs.

Though the exact weight that metrics have on your quality score is unknown, CTR is the most crucial factor.

Click Through Rate

Click through rate is an indicator of how relevant people find your ads. This is calculated by dividing the number of clicks an ad received by impressions.

What is a good CTR? There is no ideal number. A good CTR will depend on the industry and keyword that you are bidding on.

The Auction

As mentioned above, quality score is a factor in the ad placement process. Another element that determines which ads to show, when and at what cost are auctions. 

The auction is best explained in this video by Google’s Chief Economist.

The Google Ads auction generate a CPC and positioning based on your maximum bid and quality score. This is called ad rank. The person with the highest ad rank gets a higher position and a lower cost-per-click.

Let’s say you have a quality score of 10 and a max bid of $2. Separately, your competitor has a max bid of $6 and a quality score of 6. In this particular case, you would get a higher ad rank and show ads for less.