Guide to PPC Best Practices for Senior Care

[feat-text]In this blog post, I explore the viability of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for senior care providers, as well as some PPC best practices that can help providers connect with more people in need.[/feat-text]

I was recently asked by a marketer at a senior care provider (and prospective client) if they need PPC advertising. My answer was an emphatic yes. In some form or another, PPC can be a critical part of your broader digital marketing strategy and help you capture demand and build your lead pipeline.


Why Do PPC Ads Work for Senior Care Companies?

To understand the benefits of PPC for senior care, let’s take a step back and consider the context. First and foremost, the senior care space is a crowded one. The digital landscape is competitive. Even the most bulletproof SEO strategy in the world will take some time to gain traction and deliver high rankings, especially for competitive keywords.

For many senior care providers, especially those who have a financial incentive to keep beds occupied or patient rosters full, the need for high-quality leads is quite urgent. Speaking of patients, residents, and their families, the need for senior care can be urgent, too, often coming on the heels of a diagnosis or acute health event. Sprinkle in the lasting effects of the global pandemic and many senior care marketers find themselves in a bit of a pinch.

Enter PPC, which can be a very effective way to:

  • Place content and CTAs at the top of search results for competitive keywords
  • Connect with target audiences in need of senior care NOW
  • Buy search engine visibility that’s targeted toward specific locations
  • Get bottom-line results for high-intent, highly competitive keywords faster than with SEO


How Senior Care Companies Can Build a Strong Foundation for Cost-Effective PPC

Now, as effective as PPC ads can be, I do urge caution. The wrong PPC strategy can blow a marketing budget and generate nothing but low-quality leads. To avoid that outcome, build a foundational PPC strategy that’s strong in these five areas:

1. Develop a Strong Keyword Strategy

Step one is to build a list of the top keywords you want to advertise for. Remember that senior care is a very “local” choice for many people, so you’ll want to factor location into your keyword list. Next, focus on the keywords most likely to drive the conversions you’re looking for, be that a form fill or a phone call. This includes long-tail keywords, which tend to reflect the natural language people use when querying a search engine (coincidentally, long-tail keywords tend to be less expensive).

Speaking of expensive keywords, temper your expectations around broader, high-volume keywords. I don’t have to look to know that “senior community new york” is a highly competitive keyword phrase. Keywords like these might get thousands or tens of thousands of clicks a month, making them costly targets for paid advertising. Think about what makes your company unique, why do people choose you?

Focus on the keywords that reflect what your ideal customers are searching for. For independent living communities, that may be targeting keywords for people who value your amenities and are searching for “senior living community with pool and gym.” Or for long-term care facilities, family members are looking for “compassionate nursing home with good reviews.”

Finally, make sure to build out negative keyword lists. These are keywords that you’d rather not display ads for. “Senior living community” might not make sense if you provide in-patient hospice services (your audience is looking for something more specific than simply a 55+ living community). Negative keyword lists help ensure that your ads reach the right audiences at an efficient cost.

2. Consolidate Your Google Ad Campaigns

Proper account and campaign structure is an essential element of effective PPC advertising strategies. Google stresses account organization for a reason. A consolidated campaign structure can help improve ad budgeting, improve ad quality scores, and result in more insightful campaign reporting.

Campaign consolidation is also the first step toward utilizing algorithmic ad-buying tactics, such as smart bidding. A simple way to consolidate is to create two campaigns per location: brand and nonbrand. Then you can push service granularity to the ad group level.

Campaign-level consolidations can help drive more leads at a lower CPA. Think With Google estimates an 11 percent increase in reach efficiency after brands consolidate their campaigns.

3. Lean on Smart Bidding

Smart bidding uses predictive machine learning to automatically set bids during an auction. It’s a portfolio bidding strategy that groups together multiple campaigns, ad groups, and keywords to reach certain performance goals. Most ad platforms offer some kind of smart bidding option.

Smart bidding can help reduce the cost to serve up display and search ads. In senior care, for example, you can use smart bidding to pull out certain locations for incremental budgeting on an as-needed basis. This is useful for locations that chronically underperform on some channels.

While smart bidding might seem like a great way to hand off all bid management to Google, it doesn’t always make sense to completely automate your bids for search and display ads. In some cases, doing so can allow a small problem, such as a CPC increase, to grow into a margin killer.

3. Leverage Data to Improve Senior Care Lead Quality

To improve the quality of the conversions driven by paid search, you need to know which ads actually result in new customers, be that a long-term care patient or a new resident at your independent living community. So, how do you know which ads actually result in new business?

You need to have some sort of tracking system in place—and integrated reporting. CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot offer integrations with Google Ads and can help you tie ads to leads and actual new patients or residents. It’s not always easy, though.

There are solutions, though.

Implement Call Tracking

First, we recommend to all our clients that they implement a call tracking solution. It can help you gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of your online and offline marketing efforts. Without call tracking, it’s difficult to know where a phone call came from.

A person may see your ad online and decide to call versus filling out a form. In the senior care space, people often want to talk to a real person when evaluating options.

Call tracking can help you determine which keywords and ads are driving calls and appointments.

Integrate Offline Data

If you don’t have a closed-loop reporting system or a CRM that integrates with Google Ads, manual data transfer processes can help you gain insight into campaign effectiveness. You can pass back data from your patient management system (PMS) or electronic health record (EHR) system to a CRM and Google Ads by uploading offline conversions of actual new customers.

By telling Google’s algorithm which ad interactions led to higher quality leads and actual customers, it can optimize campaigns around the features that produced those customers. This is an effective method for lowering new patient acquisitions costs.

4. Use Responsive Search Ads (RSAs)

With responsive search ads (RSAs), you let Google optimize your headlines, ad copy, and CTA based on what’s most likely to engage and convert. You supply the ad headline and description variations and let Google’s AI choose the optimal combinations based on audience, device, location, and other variables. RSAs have proven highly effective, and for years they’re what we recommend to most senior care providers looking to get more out of their PPC strategy. They work so well that RSAs are now the default ad type for Google Ads. Expanded text ads are still available, but Google wants people to use their technologies backed by machine learning.

Instead of manually testing headline and copy variations as individual ads, RSAs automatically identify the best headline + copy combination to achieve your campaign’s goal. Responsive display ads should follow creative best practices by having a variety of 7 images, 5 headlines, and 6 descriptions to give the algorithm as many options as possible to serve the most relevant ad for each user.

They require a little more setup and planning when launching a new campaign. But that work pays off with more clicks, conversions, and better-performing ad campaigns.

Here are a few tips to get more from your responsive search ads:

  • Leverage Google’s ad strength tool to improve the effectiveness of your copy
  • Use countdown customizers to add urgency for special events, like open houses
  • Tailor your RSA text to the user’s location with the location insertion field. Instead of uploading data files with thousands of location rows, this feature allows ads to be customized to the user’s state or country.

Lastly, while RSAs automate a lot of the manual testing of ad creative, you still need to analyze campaign performance. Look across campaigns to identify trends and to understand what your customers are responding to. Implementing these insights across your account will improve the overall performance of your PPC advertising strategy.

5. Create an Exceptional Post-click Experience

Too often, advertisers neglect the post-click experience, which is what happens after someone clicks on your ad.

Your ad is only as effective as your landing page. If you fail to deliver the message and experience promised in your ad, you’re ad clicks and conversions won’t actually result in new business. That’s how you tank your ROI.

The goal of your web page or landing page is to get conversions. They can contain plenty of content, but they must adhere to an information hierarchy that encourages users to act.

Content should be organized into clearly defined sections that address prospects’ questions, motivations, and barriers. Users need to first know they are in the right place after clicking to arrive on the page and subsequently presented with the information they need in order to convert. Testimonials and other credibility factors should also be placed higher and in more than one place on a page.

The journey from ad to landing page—including messaging, tone, user experience, even aesthetic—should be as seamless as possible. Your campaign landing pages need to be dialed in order to maximize conversions, including:

  • Rocksolid landing page copywriting
  • A hierarchy that encourages action
  • Prominent CTAs that make it easy for people to convert
  • Consistent branding
  • Testimonials and social proof
  • FAQs

Lastly, reinforce the ad messaging and appeal to user motivations with clear, unique selling propositions. If someone is quickly scanning the page, they must be able to immediately interpret the benefits your senior care organization provides.


How a Renowned Senior Care Organization Increased PPC Conversions 32 Percent

The team at Centers Health Care needed to create its own pipeline, rather than relying on lead aggregators or in-person hospital referrals alone. Their goal was to overcome inexperience with launching efficient PPC campaigns, dramatically increase monthly admissions, and build brand awareness for all of its locations.

To see how we did it, [optin-monster slug=”kadawcxj42kiajcabdjb”].

From Foundational PPC to Rapid Scalability

I can’t stress enough how important it is to put these foundational pieces in place. Without these best practices, it becomes quite difficult to efficiently scale PPC, something that most multi-location senior care providers want to do. The good news is that simplicity is usually the best bet, especially at the outset. That goes for keyword strategy, campaign structure, and even ad creative.

With these pieces in place, the sky’s the limit.

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SEO vs PPC: How They Work Together to Increase Visibility and Enrollment

[feat-text]Summary: Both PPC and SEO are commonly used marketing strategies. But which one is better for drawing student applicants to the higher education industry? Like many things in life, the best answer is a sensible middle ground.[/feat-text]

There are two schools of thought when it comes to search engine marketing: earned or paid. First, you have search engine optimization (SEO), where you create content hoping to earn an audience from organic Google searches. Then there’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising where you create an ad unit and buy space on the search engine results page (SERP), without having to claw your way to the top of the organic search queue. Both of these tactics aim to increase visibility on the SERP and attract searchers to your website.

That’s the process in a tight nutshell. SEO and PPC have many factors in common. They’re both dependent on market research, testing, and sometimes the whims of Google updates (or other platforms but we focus on Google here). They both rely on keywords, and both aim to pounce upon the opportunity of a user search to unite their intent with what we’re selling.

Both SEO and PPC are effective strategies for higher education, so it shouldn’t be an either-or situation. When researching a life-changing decision like enrolling in college or continuing education, people head to a search engine to find answers to their most important questions. While other brand-building strategies will help spread the word about your school, if you want to reach a larger market and attract more students, you need to rank highly on the SERP or use Google Ads to claim the top spots.

Let’s take a look at how these two strategies compare and what insights you can learn from individual campaigns that will help you optimize your overall search engine marketing strategy.


Differences Between PPC and SEO

One of the biggest differences between SEO and PPC is that SEO is “free” which PPC costs money. Well, that settles that, you might be tempted to think. Not so fast: SEO is “free” only if you don’t count the grueling man-hours it takes to create that content and plaster it onto a well-maintained website. You have to do the market research, hire the talent, have them crank out pages of content, and then comes the painstaking chore of maintaining a website and keeping it in SEO-friendly shape.

Now you might be tempted to flip over to the other side, saying “Let’s just cut out the middle man and all that time, and go with PPC.” But there are downsides to the PPC route. It, too, requires research and careful creation of ad content, plus unique well-optimized landing pages for each campaign. You may need time to test the ad unit, pull it down, tweak it, and put it back up. There is a misconception out there that PPC ads produce instant results, but that’s not always the case unless you got extremely lucky on the first try. We find that 30 days gives you enough data to optimize campaigns so that they’re performing at their best. Finally, the PPC ad is working only as long as you keep paying the tab. Once you take the ad down, your marketing has disappeared from the web.

SEO content marketing, on the other hand, is everlasting as long as you keep paying the server bill. Write a solid piece of content on a site that’s peaking into top Google ranking, and you have a reliable feed of traffic. SEO is a game where it is tough to claw your way to the top, but once you’re on top, it’s easier to maintain your rankings. From a cold start on a brand new registered domain, you typically need a minimum of six months to achieve first page rankings for target keywords. That figure assumes a less saturated market, at least on the local scale. For highly competitive markets, it could take even longer.


Strengths and Weaknesses: SEO and PPC

In the first place, universities and colleges are naturally adept at SEO. Schools are expected to have a website anyway; in fact, schools were among the first adopters of the World Wide Web. Website domains ending in .edu are also favored by Google as reputable sources of information. Since you likely have a website already, you obviously have some content and an established digital presence to work with. SEO and content marketing, then, is just a simple extension of what you’re doing already.

SEO is good for:

  • Sustained traffic, year in, year out
  • Maintaining visibility—it’s easier to stay at the top of search results once you get there
  • Establishing yourself as an industry thought leader
  • Keeping your brand identity in the public’s mind
  • Long sales cycle where the buyer conducts extensive research

Nobody makes a snap decision about which school to attend; the decision can take months, if not years. During that time, people research different programs, career paths, and seek answers to any questions that arise. When they visit a search engine with their latest question, SEO ensures that your content is found.

As higher education and your student body evolve, you can write more SEO content to answer their questions and concerns regarding tuition and financial assistance, career practicality, compatibility with lifestyle, etc.

But PPC advertising has a few tricks up its sleeve as well.

PPC is good for:

  • Driving fast traffic and leads
  • Adding visibility to under-performing programs
  • Getting new offers out fast, such as new courses or programs, new locations, etc.
  • Keeping high visibility during peak application season
  • Focusing marketing only on segments with the highest conversion intent
  • Buying a seat at the table for highly competitive keywords
  • Having a more nimble marketing campaign that’s easier to adjust for new demands

PPC offers a lot of flexibility. You can test ad messaging and offers quickly, and increase investments in the highest-converting campaigns. If you’re experiencing low enrollment in one program, you can ramp up an ad campaign to try to boost your numbers. You can run several campaigns concurrently, each focusing on a different market sector.

You can tailor your message and keyword strategy to target the raw high school grad, the established professional looking to retool their resume, or the stay-at-home mom who is itching to realize her career dream now that the kids are older.

So which is it, SEO or PPC? No rule says you can’t use both!


SEO and PPC: More Than the Sum of Their Parts

Knowledge, they say, is power. The higher ed industry should be no stranger to that axiom. Marketing, just by coincidence, happens to be highly data-driven. Behind every SEO blog post or PPC ad is a mountain of market research and testing. On top of that, both of the digital marketing wings enable their unique dataset.

SEO and PPC are more powerful when used in conjunction. You can use market research and performance metrics gained from one hand to strengthen the other. The results and feedback you get from either marketing strategy help to refine both approaches. Here’s how they work together:

  • More campaigns give you more data
  • Keyword research metrics from individual campaigns help to optimize the overall search marketing strategy
  • A piece of SEO content that is ranking highly could indicate a growing interest in a new topic, which you could complement with a PPC ad campaign to increase visibility
  • A PPC campaign that is driving high conversion rates can help you refine your SEO content to use that compelling messaging
  • Greater oversight allows you to see your campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, such as opportunities to double-down on a keyword or points where competitors are ahead
  • You can claim more real estate on the SERP, increasing conversions and leads
  • The combined strategies enhance your brand reputation and increase exposure

If you run both PPC and SEO in conjunction, then the two coordinated approaches give you an advantage on both sides. It’s like playing poker where you get to see two hands at the table instead of one. Meanwhile, a strong SEO campaign combined with a steady PPC presence gives you a double shot of brand exposure to your audience. Users figure “well they’re on top all the time, they must be the best.”

You might think that the younger generations, particularly the marketing-jaded Gen Z, would be more skeptical about open, aggressive marketing. But you just happen to be in an industry where perceived marketing power lends to your appeal.

In higher ed, you are selling success. What looks better on your resume: a famous, well-known school or an obscure institution nobody’s heard of? Students are motivated to attend school in the first place to build a successful life. So your very appearance of a thriving status within the education industry enhances your reputation with students, provided your marketing isn’t cranked up to late-night TV infomercial levels.


SEO and PPC: The Smartest Schools Use Both

Check it yourself by searching Google for common phrases related to university marketing. You will see that the top names that pop up, again and again, have both a PPC presence and a website with strong SEO content. They are using both sides of search engine marketing to reach their audience.

In melding the strengths of SEO and PPC, it is first important to understand how each tactic works in isolation, and what data points you can reap from each. Then you can develop a strategy to use both to reach your school’s goals, both in the short and long term. You can continuously optimize your overall strategy as you review marketing campaigns and assess metrics gleaned from A/B testing. It’s the smartest strategy in the digital marketing information arms race.

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8 PPC Best Practices Every Higher Ed Marketer Should Do


Few searches in 2020 are as depressing as searching for higher education news articles. It’s like a holocaust out there. Washington Monthly just put up one of the most dire articles yet, “How to Save Higher Education: A New Deal for America’s sinking colleges.” You came for the clickbait headline and the cartoon of the university slipping into quicksand; stay for the gloomy pull-quotes:

“COVID will bankrupt many colleges. But the need for higher education won’t go away, particularly with widespread unemployment. Absent major reform, for-profit colleges backed by private equity will surge into the gap, using aggressive and deceptive marketing tactics.”

Ouch. Meanwhile at Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire, an infographic for COVID-19’s impact on higher-ed:

The interesting thing is that the global market anticipates growth, but at a far slower rate than previous years. So it’s not playing the funeral march for a whole industry just yet.

Now we’re being forced to say it again: we’re not going to paint a silver lining on the COVID-19 cloud. But higher education isn’t going to end, isn’t even going to be downsized, and it isn’t going to be corrupted into an organized crime outlet. Education is not a luxury good; people don’t just give up on school like they would decide not to buy a new game console. The market demand is still there; it’s just a question of getting the logistics figured out.

A whole lot of those logistics are going to revolve around remote learning, a hybrid on/off-campus approach, and a greater reliance on technology to replace functions that are inconvenient to do face to face. Hopefully, by now, every school has some kind of plan in place. If you have a plan, you’re ready to take in students and the students are ready for you.

It Is Still Worthwhile For Higher Ed To Advertise

Traditionally, universities have been in the top four industries for spending on Google ads. That trend may decrease slightly after 2020, but there’s no reason to expect that higher ed marketing dollars are just going to vanish.

With that said, (pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for higher ed is also one of the more expensive categories of ad keywords. Not only are higher ed PPC slots more competitive, but campaigns tend to run for longer periods, creating more demand.

The trick to college PPC marketing is that you’re not trying to make a sale right on the spot. You want impressions. Nobody makes up their mind on a college in one day. When the stakes are this high and the impact on their future this large, students are prone to take months mulling over the pros and cons. During all this “comparison shopping,” you want your brand name to simply be visible, reminding potential students that you’re an option.

According to Brookings Institute, colleges have expanded greatly in their marketing efforts this century. We see expansion across most media, with the Internet and television being the most pronounced. The demand for all this marketing wouldn’t exist if it didn’t produce results.


Best Practices for Higher Ed PPC Advertising:

1. Set Your Campaign Goals

As expensive as higher ed marketing is, you don’t want to pay for clicks that go nowhere. You should look towards your school’s goals and direct your ads to address those specific needs:

  • Increasing undergraduate enrollment
  • Attracting graduate students
  • Attracting donors
  • Growing specific programs
  • Expanding your reach into new regions
  • Growing your faculty

Any time you advertise, you should have a result in mind. The education industry just so happens to have more complex needs than the average business, so those goals aren’t always the same as other industries.

For example, the student who is seeking a graduate program is a more valuable advertising target. They’re already holding a bachelor’s or equivalent; they are both invested in a continuing academic path and have proven that they do, indeed, follow up on their interest in education. As opposed to undergraduate programs, where the target market has less of a commitment. They might head for a community college first just to dip a toe in the academic waters or even put off that education for a while to focus on other matters–especially now.

Your goals will determine every subsequent decision for your PPC campaign. The ad type, what type of extensions you use, the offer, the ad copy—basically everything.

For example, if you want to increase enrollment in your graduate program, how you word an ad makes a difference in what kind of prospect you will attract. Here’s how you talk to high school graduates looking for a quick trade career:

You can almost hear the late-night infomercial voice-over: “Operators are standing by! Call now!” Notice how many times they mention price in the ad?

This ad is much quieter. There’s no rush. Price is not even mentioned. It even assumes that the reader has a “work, school, and personal life” balance to worry about. Do you know when a high school student is concerned with work/life balance? That’s when he’s deciding if he should let his girlfriend ride along while he delivers pizzas.

2. Go For The Long Tail

The “long tail” is the far end of the keyword frequency spectrum when we’re speaking in the context of PPC wording. One blogger who works in entertainment media has a great analogy to Star Wars. In descending order from most popular, broadest keywords to the long-tail, narrow keywords, he finds:

  • Star Wars (whole franchise): 884 million hits
  • Baby Yoda (from recent Mandalorian series): 30.7 million hits
  • Hammerhead (Star Wars episode 4 character): 942K hits
  • Momaw Nadon (the little-known proper name of Hammerhead): 81.8K hits
  • Momaw Nadon action figure (by Kenner circa 1978): 67 hits

Each time, we went narrower with our scope until we found a topic space so tiny that there’s no competition for it. In PPC marketing, we want to aim for keywords with less competition, but not so obscure that it will hit no search results at all.

Apply the same logic to a typical academic career path. As we stated above, most of the people searching for “bachelor’s degree” are low-intent shoppers anyway. They’re not committed, and likely don’t even know what kind of bachelor’s they want yet. A search for “nursing degree” is more specific and has less competition, while having a higher intent. People who are searching for nursing degree information are likely considering that as a career.

We were trying to go deeper along the long tail, but we blindly picked “phlebotomy,” only to discover that a phlebotomy technician doesn’t even need a medical degree! No really, 11 weeks and you’re there. This explains why whenever you get your blood drawn, the person drawing the blood is the only one in the hospital with tattoos and piercings all over. Most people would just assume it’s because that line of work attracts people who are into needles.

Fine, then, we’ll pick “neurosurgeon.” That’s four years’ pre-med, four years’ med to an M.D., a year interning in general surgery, five to seven years’ residency in neurosurgery, optional fellowship, and continuing education. We proceeded along the “long tail” until we got to that really dedicated specialist who removes brain tumors. We type “continuing education programs neurosurgery” into Google and out pops:

No surprise. We only find 17 million search hits for it, too, a relatively small number for a medical topic. We have found the “Momaw Nadon action figure” of medical career degree paths. Depending on what courses you actually offer (mere detail), you might want to back that up a bit to target “medical school postgraduate” or the like.

Having a thorough understanding of prospective student’s search intent and information needs is essential for developing cost-effective PPC campaigns. Otherwise, you’ll waste money targeting keywords that attract clicks from low-quality prospects.

3. Mind the Sales Funnel

Since Halloween is drawing nigh, our usual boring sales funnel diagram is dressed up in a tasty ice cream cone costume.

At the top of the sales funnel are the low-commitment people we’ve mentioned earlier. They could be going anywhere; they are still searching for their best option. By the time users move to the middle of the funnel, they have now blossomed into “leads,” and have their minds almost made up where they’re going to go. They don’t search Google as much; they have university pages and resources bookmarked. If they do head to Google, it’s to conduct comparisons and to dig deeper into university programs. By the time they get to the bottom of the funnel, the lead is weighing between fewer options or counting their savings as well as the days until enrollment.

With users near the top of the sales funnel, before they become leads, don’t try to pressure them into a commitment just yet—unless you’re trying to sell fast IT career certificates or phlebotomy technician certification. You can, however, invite prospective students to learn more about your programs. Once they’re on your site, you hopefully have an attractive college website experience with blogs, multimedia channels, virtual campus tours, social media, and other promotional content. There the candidate can soak up your atmosphere and decide on your programs at leisure.

This part also refers back to what we said back at the top about building up positive impressions. Your strategy is mainly based around building that brand awareness until your name is a comforting and familiar one.

4. Narrow Your Focus With Geo-targeting

Geo-targeting is where we target a specific geological region with our PPC campaign. Obviously, not every student is willing to fling themselves across the country if they have options closer to home. Google Ads and most other PPC ad systems use geo-targeting to restrict an ads’ range to those users in an area.

The best way to geo-target is not necessarily a circle radius around your campus. There are many different ways to geo-target, which depend on your goals as we discussed earlier. First, you should find out where most of your students come from. You can target those areas and increase enrollments from your existing base. Or you can target new regions where you’d like to increase brand awareness and grow enrollment. If you’re offering unique graduate programs, you might even be targeting international locations.

While we’re speaking of local matters, of course, your Google My Business (GMB) listing is up to date and registered, correct? It better be, as your GMB listing is often the first thing searchers see on the search engine results page (SERP).

5. Embrace Remarketing

Remarketing campaigns allow you to stay top of mind during long buyer’s journeys. The decision to choose a university is not one that is made overnight. It can take prospective students months to decide what to do after they graduate high school.

This makes remarketing mandatory for higher education institutes.

Remarketing starts when someone visits your website and is tagged with a cookie. The action that you tag can be anything; you can create remarketing campaigns for triggers like:

  • Visits a specific webpage
  • Watches a virtual tour video
  • Downloads an application form

With that cookie in place, you can develop remarketing campaigns that show them ads when they conduct relevant searches. Your remarketing campaign should build on their first action and persuade them to take the next step. If they downloaded an application, show them ads that allow them to schedule a consultation with an admissions advisor.

Make sure that during their journey, they’re constantly reminded of your school and that you persuade them to revisit your website.

Remarketing maximizes the effectiveness of your PPC advertising budget by showing your ads to the people who already are considering your school.

6. Create Seasonal Campaigns

Another selective practice in PPC advertising is targeting certain times of the year. Thanks to the standard school year in North America, we’re mentally programmed to think of “back to school” in late summer / early fall, but higher education markers and admissions need to target a different schedule.

Most students apply for college in January or February of their senior year. They hear back in a couple of months and typically have to make their final decision by May 1. With that information in mind, you should ramp up your PPC advertising in the months leading up to when they submit their application. They’ll be conducting extensive research on Google and you want to be sure that your university is at the top of the SERP.

After the initial application rush, consider using remarketing campaigns to stay top of mind with applicants. They’ll be evaluating their options, weighing offers, and cross-checking programs. You can develop custom audiences using applicant email lists and show them ads that will persuade them to choose you.

7. Think Mobile!

There’s a gadget gap between generations and between demographics. Senior web users remember when you had to have a desktop computer to get on the Internet—wheezing Gateway boxes with monitors that weighed as much as a small car on your desk, AOL dial-up making funky noises. Middle-aged users and those with an office profession think only in terms of laptops and netbooks. But the younger generations and all users who don’t need a laptop for work are now nearly 100% on the mobile phone standard.

According to Pew Research, 99%  of Americans ages 18-29 own some type of cell phone and 96% own a smartphone. That’s the prime demographic that you’re trying to attract to your school. I’m sure that comes as no surprise, as you know, students love their phones and social media.

That means, your website, should a user actually click your ad, needs to be mobile-friendly. In fact, Google is penalizing sites for not being mobile-friendly now. Your ad campaign should be mobile-friendly too. Use ad extensions like call buttons and site links in your PPC settings. Keep your headline and text short and to the point, so there isn’t a wall of text on the mobile users’ screen.

Google also allows you to set Mobile Bid Adjustments. This allows you to adjust the price of your keyword bid by a percentage depending on what device the user has for the current search. That comes in line with the age group you want to target the most for a specific campaign.

8. Land the Lead

You’ve done it! An interested user clicked on the ad! What happens now?

You will want a landing page. The landing page is not your website’s homepage. It is a special page built just to receive ad clicks. We do this because when users visit from a campaign, the campaign made a promise, which the user is expecting to be fulfilled now. You want a page that supports your ad’s claim, and a call-to-action (CTA) to convert the visitor, such as a dialog form to sign up for a newsletter or make an appointment with a counselor.

…should take us to a matching offer for that creative writing course:

We actually don’t have a great example here, because our CTA button this time is an un-motivating invitation to “join wait list.” Right away, our natural reaction is “your ad didn’t say anything about waiting!” Indeed, you can shut an ad campaign off with a flip of a switch, so why are they doing this? This seems a very slack way of running things, even for Berkeley.

On your landing page, your CTA can be any form that serves your purpose and collects some contact data for your new lead. There’s form generation software and even landing page generation software out there, if you have many campaigns and don’t want to bother too much with custom pages for each one.

But we have another option! As a special Beta sneak peek, Google is rolling out lead form extensions for Google ads. This is an automatic mini-landing page that is active from within Google’s cloud, letting you pop up a CTA right there within the ad unit. This may not be adequate for every need you have with an ad right now, but we’ll see how it shakes out after it’s out of Beta.



As we all continue to tread fearlessly into the COVID-19 era, boldly going where no economy has gone before, we learn that it’s still worthwhile to advertise because we still need a functioning society. We also learned how to strip down our PPC ad strategy to make it leaner and meaner, which should smooth things over in the budget department.

Higher ed has indeed never faced a challenge like the present time in recent memory, at least, but let’s not forget that we all survived the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic last century with even worse technology than we have now, and none of our universities sank into quicksand then either. Surely we can be lucky twice?


How to Create Effective Google Ads Campaigns

You can’t get far as a webmaster without bumping into Google Ad‘s promo coupon. It’s right there in most CPanel default setups, tempting you with a risk-free $100 ad credit. And why not hitch your online entrepreneur efforts to Google’s wagon? In Google’s latest annual Economic Impact report, they boast 1.3 million businesses using Google Ads, AdSense, and other advertising solutions, while also driving one billion direct business transactions.

But you may also find that using Google Ads is not merely a matter of activating it and sitting back to watch the profits roll in. Like any business tool, you get out of it what you put into it. We find that many business owners don’t take full advantage of the tools Google offers. For instance, did you even know about Google My Business (GMB), a free service to list your company that’s integrated with Google Maps and even provides a free slice of web space and customer service tools? (If not, read our guide on how to create an optimized GMB listing).

When it comes to Google Ads campaigns, there are several tricks and tips we’ve accumulated over the years to maximize your ROI. None of them are hard to implement, and they’re the first things you should do if you want to get more out of your Google Ads budget. Let’s dive in:


Focus On Mobile

We shouldn’t even have to say this part, but we’ll get it out of the way quickly.

Not only are nearly all Internet users on mobile now, but mobile ads outperform desktop ads by a ten-to-one margin. Even in the present day, when we’re starting to see the first generation who was born with mobile phones in hand grow up, some companies still treat the Internet like it was just the desktop. Google wants websites to be mobile-optimized first and foremost before we worry about driving traffic.

This video is from 2019, so Google is also making a hard pitch for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). AMP should be a given at this point. There are free AMP plug-ins for WordPress that basically run themselves. Google Search Console also has a mobile-friendly test; simply pop in your URL and it checks for you.

Now for mobile ad optimization, Google Ads practices recommend thinking mobile-first for ads. You want to keep ads scaled down to mobile size, fitting comfortably on a phone screen, with a top-down information layout putting the most important information first. Your ad must be easy to read and interact with on a mobile device. You want to select ad extensions (we will cover this later in-depth) that enable mobile-friendly use.

Targeting the mobile user is most important for brick-and-mortar businesses. The user is already outside, on the go, and probably nearby if you’re using geo-targeting (we’ll cover that later too). Your customer service experience begins for them right there on that screen. Don’t miss this opportunity.


Your Google Ads Should Match Your Landing Pages

The link going from your Google Ad should take visitors to a landing page that is consistent with the ad. The ad is there to make a promise to the visitor. Taking the visitor from an ad to a landing page that clearly isn’t for the same offer as the ad makes them feel cheated. Of course, you might overhaul your website and forget about the ad’s design and copy, it happens. Even if it’s the same offer on the landing page as on the ad, the headline, copy, and design between the two should match.

Some companies get this right, some are relaxed about it, and some violate this rule egregiously. Mobile game ads are notorious for breaking this rule! Here’s a write-up at about these. We’ve all seen these game ads on mobile, which seem to revolve around either far more sophisticated graphics for the ad than what’s actually in the game or else showing a game whose playstyle doesn’t even match the game in any way. There are bad enough that they break FTC Truth in Advertising Laws, although these game companies spring up and die off so quickly that prosecuting them amounts to playing legal whack-a-mole.

We know none of you are doing anything this dodgy, right? Of course not, only the best companies read our site! But consumers who are once-bitten, twice-shy from misleading ads will balk at getting to a landing page that even looks anything different from the ad. Seriously, if you change the background color of the page, change the background color of the display ads unit too, if you use those. It avoids any confusion.


Remember To Screen Negative Keywords

We all know “keywords” are the textual triggers you want to be associated with your ad so that your PPC ad is displayed only to the most likely customers. Google has clear instructions for doing this. You can add multiple keywords to an ad unit, edit them, set their matching options, pause them, or remove them, too.

Negative keywords are the textual cues where you don’t want the ad to display. This is done in the matching types options, which allows you to set keyword matching styles for both positive and negative triggers. Then you can set the options on negative keywords for when you don’t want to trigger those words at all. Follow along with Google’s video guides.

Take an example like, say, you’re selling DVD copies of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), a movie which happens to be in the public domain so we can use it with impunity here. It’s a movie about zombies, so you want to broad-match “zombie” to include “zombies” and “zombie apocalypse.” You want to rank for words like “horror” and “movie” as well. However, we don’t want to match on pages about the restaurant franchise “Zombie Burger” (you thought we’d made that up?), nor for the Linux operating system programming term “zombie process.” These are unrelated concepts with similar names that are unlikely to result in a sale except on the rarest of coincidences.

If your ad impressions aren’t getting conversions, improperly managed keywords are a likely culprit. It’s a common flaw in online advertising. We’ve all had the experience of binge-watching Google videos and seeing the same ad over and over for a product that just wasn’t matching anything we’re remotely about. Or, how about those times when you bought a widget on Amazon one time, and now you’re deluged with widget ads all over the place because your one-time widget purchase has made the ad network think that widgets are now your whole lifestyle.

Those advertisers wasted their money, and now you know how you might be wasting money too. Think of it as a retail store layout. You’ll notice that even though shortcake dessert cups are a bakery item, you’ll often find them in the produce aisle next to the berries? Your PPC ads should display on pages that compliment your product or business model.


Match Keyword Types Carefully

Dwelling some more on Google Ads keywords matching, let’s circle back to those keyword matching styles. Your options for matching a keyword are:

  • Broad Match: Covers all forms of the word including stems, plurals, synonyms, and misspellings.
  • Broad Match Modifier: Sticks to the specific keywords only, not synonyms or partial matches.
  • Phrase Match: Even more fine-tuned, triggering only for the exact phrase, not just those words in any order.
  • Exact Match: Eliminates leading or trailing words, so you want only that specific word and its synonyms to trigger.

Here’s another great video tutorial by Google on keyword matching styles:

Back to our Night of the Living Dead example, we might want to tweak our keyword list like this:

  • Broad Match: zombie, living dead, George Romero
  • Broad Match Modifier: +horror +movie (excludes “horror novel” and “comedy movie”)
  • Phrase Match: “Living Dead” (excludes the band “Grateful Dead”. Forgot about them, didn’t you?)
  • Exact Match: [zombie movie] (can match “movies about zombies” and “zombies in film,” but not “Rob Zombie’s movies,” and yes, he’s made some)

As you can see, we had to identify a lot of near-misses, which could have cost us ad impressions that weren’t likely to sell. The keyword matching parameters are the same special character tweaks you can use in searching Google.


Extending Your Ad

Ad Extensions are a feature in Google Ads that allow you to include extra information about your business. These small bits hang out at the bottom of a search ad, and though they don’t look like much, they can make a difference. Advertising online is a visual art; the more “real estate” you take occupy on the screen, the more likely a scrolling web user is to take notice of your ad. But keep this practice within bounds of reason.

Here’s the requisite Google video tutorial covering ads, ad groups, ad rotation, and ad extensions all in one she-bang:

Ad Extensions are free to use, with a selection of modules to suit the needs of your business. They include:

  • Location Extensions: Shows your address on Google Maps
  • Affiliate Location Extensions: Shows the address where shoppers can find your retail product (“available at these fine outlets…” as the TV commercials say)
  • Callout Extensions: Shows additional details in the text
  • Sitelink Extensions: Exactly like Callouts, but they form link buttons, which let users navigate to a particular spot in your site instead of just being dumped to your landing page
  • Call Extensions: Shows your business phone number
  • Structured Snippets: Add a “sales pitch” into your ad unit tailored for user search intent
  • Message Extensions: Same as call extensions, but for text messaging instead of phoning
  • Price Extensions: Displays prices for items in the ad unit
  • App Extensions: A link for mobile users to “get the app”
  • Promotional Extensions: For short-term sales, events, seasonal offers, etc.

Whew! That is an extensive number of extensions. Don’t think that just because they’re free means you must include all of them because that can make an ad too busy. You should use the ad extensions that will facilitate a conversion, be it calling, driving directions to your store, or visiting a specific location on your webpage. These extensions are geared for retail, professionals, services, tech companies, and everything in between.


Ad Geo-Targeting

For some businesses, the physical location of the customer makes no difference. If you are in the business of shipping goods or downloadable content, you can usually ignore this part. For the rest of you, turning on geo-targeting helps your ad display only in the service area applicable to your business.

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on the site, geo-location in advertising is becoming quite a fad. It targets users near your store and attempts to draw them in. It’s like the virtual reality version of one of those characters you see on street corners spinning a sign around to promote a business in that shopping center, only without needing some poor guy to get sweaty in a furry suit all day.

As the Google tutor points out, you can widen the scope of the location to target to cover anything from a whole nation to a county, city, or a radius. You can also add multiple locations to target per ad unit, in case you serve something like a tri-state area.

Once again, if you’re advertising to areas where people physically can’t do business with you, you’re wasting your money and the users’ time as well. Some companies don’t use geo-locating and try to use keyword triggers for location control, but not every customer is going to announce their location in their search. Users often type “near me” because they’ve come to expect their phones to always be aware of their point on Earth.

Target Ad Campaigns For Your Market

Most of this article has covered the nuts and bolts technical details. But we’d like to finish up by having a word on the ad content and marketing plan itself. No matter what your business model is or even how long you’re been in business, it’s always good to refresh your advertising practices and see if you need a new strategy.

Here are some popular advertising models that might give you a good starting point:

  • The “Get the Facts” Campaign: Informative, activist tone, “fighting for the consumer’s rights.” Good for legal, medical, political, education, non-profit, and special interest.
  • Event Campaigns: Centering on holidays, vacation time, graduation, sporting events, spring break, etc. This is a very common strategy. Good for retail, travel and leisure industry, luxury goods, financial, and education industries.
  • Pop Culture Pop-ups: Google Ads allows you to create fast campaigns on the fly and run them for a short time. Tie your message to the big news story of the week, the hit new movie that just got released, the latest Internet fad, etc. Good for all youth-oriented businesses.
  • Regional Campaigns: Compose a campaign that ties in with “local pride” and emphasizes how well your company understands the needs of people from the region, local values, etc. Good for location-specific services, large industry, utilities, and retail chains.
  • Competitive Campaigns: Did you know you can target any keywords you want? Even the name of your competitor’s business? This campaign seeks to undercut the competition by offering a better deal. Works only for industries with high customer turnaround / low loyalty.
  • Re-targeting Campaign: This is where you advertise to former customers to attract repeat business, or at least encourage previous site visitors to return. See this video for more information.


Ad Campaigns That Are Going Out Of Style

Take Re-marketing with a Grain of Salt…

Because, as we pointed out above in the negative keywords section, some ad strategies can be counter-productive when they’re misaimed. Re-targeting should only be used for businesses with a frequent purchase volume: small retail, restaurant, luxury services, salons and spas, entertainment. If a customer buys your washing machine and then you advertise washing machines at them all year long, not only is this highly unlikely to be productive, but you may undermine your product value proposition by suggesting it lasts shorter than a year. Not only that, but you will also likely annoy your customer.

Coffee shops can re-market at will, this works great! Video game companies need to give the customer some space for the first few days. They haven’t even beaten the first boss yet, let them enjoy your product.

Crisis Marketing…

“In these trying times, when hope seems to be fading, this is the time to become empowered, to rise to the challenge. We’ll make it through this together!”

You should hear the users imitating your ad text in a sing-song sarcastic voice. Their eyes roll. It gets worse when you play battle hymns over this. Today’s market is just too media-savvy to have their heartstrings plucked by encouraging messages of hope and unity to get them to buy your can of pop.

“Hello, Fellow Kids!”

This is the misaimed youth marketing campaign. It’s where a very old person tries to appropriate youth slang, youth culture, and youth media channels in an attempt to make their product and company “woke,” “fly,” “jiggy,” “hip,” “cool,” “groovy,” “the bee’s knees,” etc. It does not work.

It is fine to market to kids and it is perfectly acceptable to reach out to them and say “I understand you have this need or want, which we fulfill.” They trust a sincere adult over a strangely off-tone, overgrown kid.



Like I mentioned at the start, you get what you put into any marketing strategy. If you just slap some ads online without much thought, you likely won’t see spectacular results. However, if you’ve identified that digital advertising is a necessary component of your marketing strategy, and you’re committed to developing the best campaigns possible, you will see significant returns on your investment. With your business fully on board with a Google Ads strategy, you can succeed with the full power of the biggest advertising network on Earth behind your business.

Before you go, here are a few more articles we’ve published that will help you develop high-converting, low cost-per-click campaigns.

These best practices and tips should help nearly any business use Google Ads successfully.

Lastly, if you’re not sure you want to manage your PPC advertising strategy in-house, you can outsource your Google and Facebook ads to an agency. Read our article “7 Reasons You Should Hire an Agency to Manage Your Google and Facebook Ads” to learn why you might want to go that route. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or if you need help with your Google Ads campaigns.



7 Reasons You Should Hire an Agency to Manage Your Google and Facebook Ads

7 Reasons You Should Hire an Agency to Manage Your Google and Facebook Ads


Out of all the mediums of advertising, online digital marketing is the cheapest per impression. That’s because the Internet is the cheapest form of communication media the world has ever known. Digital media just transmits information more efficiently. You can download a book in seconds from anywhere in the world. If you print it out on paper and ship it, or try to read it out loud over CB radio, it becomes more expensive or at least more cumbersome.

Isn’t that nice to know? Small businesses start with expectations that all digital marketing has a minuscule cost, and that holds true for the most part. A web host, a WordPress blog, and a few social media accounts are all you really need—as long as you don’t mind taking a very long time to grow.

Most businesses can’t afford to be that patient, so they invest in digital advertising campaigns. And that is also inexpensive, as we said. The only problem is that they try to manage the advertising themselves. Now, some of us with a related degree happen to be gifted in communication and the media arts. But at some point, every small business owner has to let go of the small, time-consuming tasks and focus on the bigger picture, delegating the details to the staff. There are only so many hats you can wear before they start sliding off.

The thing that businesses notice over time, if they keep managing their ads in-house, is that their advertising dollar just doesn’t buy the customers at the rate they’d like. That’s because they’re throwing money at a problem but aren’t doing it efficiently.

If you’re wondering “Is it time to outsource the management of my Facebook and Google ads to an agency?” then you’re in luck, because that’s exactly the question we’re here to answer. There are a lot of factors at play, so what works for one company, might not for another. Your timeline, budget, and your market all need to be considered.

Now, let’s explore when an agency might be able to help you and what are the benefits of having an outside agency manage your advertising channels.


1. Advertising is a Business in Itself

There is a lot of knowledge work that goes into effective advertising management. You’re probably expecting us to bring it up at some point, so we’ll point out a classic TV show around here, AMC’s Mad Men, about mid-century Madison Avenue marketing executives. Here’s a short scene, just five minutes long, it’s worth at least ten minutes of your time.

“It’s toasted!” Advertising and stage magicians have a lot in common because they both know how to direct attention. This example, arguably one of the peak scenes of the series, shows how you market cigarettes by pointing the audience away from the health concerns and towards a simple benefit, even if it’s one the other companies have. Granted, cigarettes aren’t a popular topic now. But you take that lesson and apply it to another industry. You take two more lessons from that industry and apply it to another one.

Advertising transcends product. The person who has struggled to market one product for ten years knows only their product. The person whose product is marketing knows all products, but only for the minutes it takes to direct their ad campaign. Advertisers see beyond products, services, and businesses.

Speaking of which, here’s another area of expertise you’d rather not have to pick up yourself…


2. Ad Management Agencies Know the Software

Ad management agencies also know the technology behind it, and the maze of policies in place between Google, Facebook, and display ad networks. Keeping up on this field is the kind of thing you only want to do if it’s your main job. That includes using our own ad management and tracking software. Even the Google Ads’ interface isn’t exactly the most user-friendly software.

It helps to know that Facebook Ads and Google Ads differ in several significant ways.

Ad management is a field as immersive as the legal or accounting field. True, you could read a stack of contracts or pound out a folder of spreadsheets yourself, but it works better when you have a legal or accounting department.

3. Ad Management Agencies Know the Design

It’s easy to tell who outsourced their logo design to a professional and who spent five minutes in their son’s Photoshop account and called it a day. Design isn’t just a matter of training; it is also about having the trained eye of a professional to pick out what ad design will be appealing to your target market and also fits your product.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Facebook and Google ads. Ads may be an image, a video, a slideshow, a lightbox, or other forms. They may call for simple text that gets to the point or dazzling eye candy that draws the viewer in through the atmosphere. There’s a lot more to say about ad dimensions and media types, but we cover that better here.

In ad design, you not only know the different design tools, you know when not to use something because it’s become a tired cliché. Like when you advertise diet plans using women laughing at salad. Or dig this: We really like those pharmaceutical commercials on TV where the drug they’re advertising makes people run around at the park or on the beach. It’s getting to where we can’t jog outdoors without hearing this voice-over going “side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting…”

Design in ads isn’t just a discipline of fluffy aesthetic ideas. Ad managers use A/B testing to evaluate different variables with the goal of maximizing click-through rates (CTR). This includes color schemes, font choices, font size, form fields, messaging, call-to-actions (CTAs), and photography choices.


4. Ad Management Experience Is Invaluable

A specialized agency has a staff that has collectively seen thousands of campaigns come and go. There are a few skills you pick from this experience that you can’t pick up any other way, such as…

  • when to push for risks
  • when to play it safe and stable
  • when to reach out to untapped markets
  • when it’s important to compete aggressively
  • when to market to the bottom of the sales funnel or the top

There are times when you don’t need much experience. During peacetime, with stable, predictable growth for all, anyone can do digital marketing then. Then there’s what the old proverb refers to as “interesting times.”

We don’t mean to beat on this sore topic again, but 2020—what an interesting year! The coronavirus pandemic threw world markets and economies for a loop. In the first half of 2020, we saw the stock market crash, recover, crash again, and then just start randomly zigzagging. We saw record-breaking unemployment numbers, an economic impact so bad that it created the need for emergency government stimulus, and industries were thrown into chaos. It’s the year without Disneyland. In the middle of all that, suddenly a 1965 Civil Rights movement came back from history and riots broke out all over the world.

Is this the time to have an amateur hand on the tiller? Choppy economic seas call for an experienced marketing team that’s weathered a few crises before. There’s a difference between marketing now and marketing during the 2007-2008 subprime mortgage Great Recession. There’s a difference between advertising effectiveness under COVID-19 and advertising under Swine Flu. There’s a difference in the economic climate between the George Floyd riots and the Rodney King riots in Southern California in 1992. Yet there are also similarities, so an experienced hand knows to apply that wisdom to the present.

No doubt about it, someday we will look back on the year 2020 and, who knows, puff a CBD vape to treat our PTSD in all likelihood. But in the far view, there’s really not that many unique problems that we haven’t seen before. It’s just lots of problems in layers this time.


5. Ad Management Agencies Know the Sales Funnel

The Sales Funnel is a model of marketing engineering that describes a customer’s journey, from wherever they were when they first heard about you, all the way to your cash register. It’s called a funnel because it’s wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. At the top, you’re broadcasting to the whole wide world, even people who have never tried your product before. In the middle, you’re targeting people who have already entered this market but have done business only with your competitors so far. At the bottom, you have secure, loyal customers who have bought before, and you retain them with a loyalty rewards program.

We’re generalizing, of course. Whole books have been written about this funnel. It’s a fun model, but the important part is simply that you know where you are on the funnel at all times, and how you talk when you get there.

At the top of the funnel, you have mostly low-value prospects, people who have a problem or need but aren’t quite ready to buy as they’re not sure what they need or if they want to make a change. They’re the least ready to convert. In the middle, you have strong buyers who are actively trying to find a solution, they’re researching options, and some may be very interested in your product or service. The bottom of the funnel contains people that are ready to buy.

Each of these sections needs different kinds of advertising design and messaging to be effective. It makes a difference whether you’re welcoming a new consumer on board, selling a service that the consumer didn’t know they needed yet, comparison shopping with the consumer in a tight market, or offering a perk to get somebody else’s loyal customer to switch.


6. Digital Ads Require Knowing Social Media

That may sound like the silliest point. Of course, everybody knows social media! Don’t we all go on Facebook? Well sure, but you go on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube too? Of course, you do! How about TikTok? Not likely unless you’re in the youngest bracket right now (or you have kids). Perhaps Reddit, Tumblr, IMGUR, or Yahoo? Those are well-trafficked websites, so we know we’re not the only ones keeping tabs there.

The point is not to list how many social networks we can name (did you know MySpace and Digg are still in business?). The point is to read, study, and compare all those networks with accounts all over the world, to find out what the world is talking about today and where your target buyer is spending time online. It’s easy to miss a lot if you even skip one day. You might innocently go out there talking about pancakes only to be blindsided because Aunt Jemima is canceled and Land O’ Lakes butter just has the land now without the native American.

For that matter, you had also better know the political shades of a market, because there are some people whose blood pressure rises at the mention of the word “canceled.”

Daily phone browsers might say they spend just as much time on social media as marketing experts, but there’s a difference in quality. Most users have, at most, two or three accounts with as many websites, and spend all day on one website with a couple of glances at the other two. When marketers study social media, they mean all of it, because that’s how you spot trends and surf ahead of them.

Advertising has to work in a small space or a short period of time. To do so, it’s also important to know what’s on the Internet’s minds, what language they will respond to, or what message will resonate with them the most. Last but not least, knowing the social media platforms, in general, helps you not get flagged or banned on them; a tricky proposition in some cases because moderators are finicky creatures in how they apply policy.


7. Businesses have Enough to Focus On

Really, if you still want to be involved in your company’s sales conversion process, you can do a world of good for yourself and pour that creative energy into your landing page. It does no good to have the best Facebook ad campaign in the world without an effective landing page to click through. Put your value proposition upfront like you promised in the ad. Make sure the site loads quickly and is mobile friendly.

Managing Facebook ads to drive leads or scaling Google ad campaigns to maximize effectiveness is the kind of advice we’re happy to share, but we find that once companies get tucked into the rest of the work it takes to launch a small business, ad management gets neglected due to lack of time and energy. There are better places to devote that entrepreneurial energy, such as designing and producing products or services that are an easier sell in the first place.

Now that you know the benefits that a PPC advertising agency can bring to your business, you’re probably wondering how much does it cost to hire a PPC management company? You’re in luck. With this information, you’ll be able to decide if you should hire a PPC management company.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or for more information on our PPC management services.


Are Google Ads Effective? Is This Advertising Strategy Right for You?

So, you’ve spent a lot of time, money, and other resources for creating and setting up a website for your business. Naturally, you’re excited since your website looks great and works like a dream.

But now that your website is live, how do you get people to visit it?

Sure, you can probably tell your friends and family about the site and post about it on social media. But do you think that will be enough? If your website can’t reach your target audience, how can you generate sales? In this case, Google Ads is one of the most popular strategies to generate traffic and sales for your business.

As a digital marketing agency, one very common question from clients about paid search is: “Are Google Ads effective?” In this article, we’ll find out if Google Ads is right for your online marketing needs.


Are Google Ads Effective? Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

1. Are My Customers Using Search Engines to Make Purchases?

Are your customers using search engines to make buying decisions online? Well, there’s really no way of knowing directly unless you interview your target buyers. However, the stats don’t lie. Let’s take a look at some key search engine statistics:

As you can see, your customers are using search engines and that’s the key to driving more people to your store. With that said, you need a strong local SEO strategy and an effective Google Ads campaign.

2. How Do I Know If PPC is Right for Me?

Before we answer the big question, “Are Google Ads effective?”, let’s first find out if pay-per-click (PPC) is the right strategy for your business. There’s a time and place for using paid search as a strategy and deciding whether or not it’s right for you is a daunting task.

To help you get started, here are some factors to determine if PPC is right for your business.

How much are you willing to pay for a new customer?

Before you can hope to answer this question, you need to determine your budget for selling your product or service. This, of course, affects your ROI or return on investment and also your overall margin.

Figuring out your operating budget alongside your advertising budget is worth the headaches. This enables you to set your financial targets in terms of ad spend. Keep in mind: you can have as many customers as you want, provided that you have the budget to pay for them.

How is your website’s conversion rate?

To determine the conversion rate of your website, you can send e-commerce data to Google Analytics. This allows you to monitor your results and subsequently determine your conversion rate. In this case, the conversion rate refers to the percentage of your site visitors that perform actions that are deemed valuable to your business.

Using a web analytics service will help you measure the success rate of your campaigns and the site itself.

If you sell your services or products offline, you can still assign value to specific actions users take on your website. For instance, what value do you place on a request for a quote or contact us form submission?

What are your long-term objectives?

Whether you’re going for short-term objectives like increasing sales for immediate cash flow or long-term goals such as developing your customer base, your main objective is a huge influence on your PPC strategy.

Here are a few examples of short and long-term goals that many of our clients have mentioned:

  • Increase Revenue: This is a very common objective and this requires a great deal of tracking on your part. Perhaps, you’re looking to make an exit a few years down the line and hoping that your business gets a better evaluation.
  • Improve Product or Brand Awareness: Are you a new business that needs to improve brand awareness? Or maybe, you’re an established business looking to launch a new product line? Before you can expect any sales, it’s important to generate demand. This means that you need to get your product in front of your target customers and generate traffic towards your website. In this case, PPC might be the right strategy for you.
  • Maximize Profits: Perhaps you’ve spent a lot of money on costly print ads and trade conferences and you’re looking to reduce your customer acquisition cost. PPC advertising might be worth adding to your marketing mix. Yes, you still need to spend money, but Google Ads is a more ROI-friendly platform compared to other forms of online advertising.

With that said, keep in mind that 65% of small to medium-sized businesses have a PPC campaign. Therefore, if you don’t incorporate PPC into your advertising strategy, there’s a good chance that the competition will leave you behind.

3. Why Should I Choose Google Ads?

To answer the question, “are Google Ads effective?”, you have to know Google’s search engine market share. Again, let’s take a look at a couple of statistics:

  • Google isn’t just the leader in the search engine market, it dominates it with 91.43% market share in 2019. Other search engines such as Baidu and Bing are second and third respectively but they don’t even come close to Google. Ultimately, Google sends the most traffic to websites and sets the standards for search algorithms.
  • In 2018, Google’s search and marketing tools helped generate $335 billion in the United States alone. As expected, this benefited millions of businesses, nonprofits, and site publishers.
  • According to a survey by Search Engine Land in 2019, 63% of users said that they have clicked on a Google ad after a search query.
  • 86% of customers look up the location of a local business via Google Maps.
  • In terms of mobile traffic, Google also dominates by driving 96% of mobile search traffic.
  • 35% of potential customers have purchased a product within 5 days after searching for it via Google.

These statistics prove that Google is the undisputed leader in the search engine market. You can opt to advertise on other search engines like Bing or Yahoo! but you won’t have nearly as much success when compared to Google Ads.

4. Is Google Ads Cost-Effective?

When done right, Google Ads can indeed give you great results. However, one of the main considerations when adopting this platform is the cost.

Let’s examine if Google Ads is a cost-effective advertising platform.

For many business owners, Google Ads is very cost-effective since it caters to a wide range of budgets and bids. Plus, you have the option of changing how much you spend in real-time. To answer this particular question of Google’s cost-effectiveness, here are more key statistics:

  • Google estimated that for every $1 a business spends on Google Ads, it receives an $8 profit in return. That’s an impressive 8:1 return on investment.
  • How much do Google Ads cost? A small to medium-sized business spends a monthly average of $9,000 to $10,000 on Google Ads.
  • To run your ads on Google, you need to decide on the right budget and bidding options. For beginners, Google recommends a daily budget of $10 to $50.
  • The average cost-per-click (CPC) for Google Ads is $1-$2.
  • If you’re planning to work with a company that specializes in Google Ads Management, expect to pay $350-$5000 or 12-30% of ad spend / month.

The cost of Google Ads also depends on which industry you participate in. Check out the table below by WebFX:

Where Should I Advertise: Google Search or Google Display Network?

If you choose to launch an ad campaign with Google Ads, you have two main options: Google Search Network or Google Display Network.

Between the two, Google Search Network is the more popular option. When you advertise via the Google Search Network, your ads can appear on the search engine results page (SERP) as well as on other search sites with the use of relevant keywords. On top of Google search results, your ad may also appear on other Google services, like Google Images, Google Maps, Google Shopping, and many others.

There are three types of ads that appear in the Google Search Network: Text Ads, Shopping Ads, and Image and Video Ads. The most common type is Text Ads. These ads appear at the top of the SERP and are labeled with a bold “Ad” or “Ads”. They often include ad extensions that enable businesses to list details such as location, phone number, and more.

Google Display Network is another option for advertising. This marketing channel is designed to reach users while they’re browsing their favorite websites, watching YouTube videos, checking their Gmail account, or using their favorite mobile apps.

Basically, this type of ad is a visual banner that appears on ad-supported websites. Overall, Google Display Network is used more for advanced advertising strategies such as remarketing. The Display Network can be an effective strategy as it reaches 90% of online customers with over 2 million ad-supported websites.

If you want to learn more about programmatic display advertising, check out our beginner’s guide to programmatic display advertising.


Why Google Ads Work?

Have you decided that Google Ads is the right paid advertising option for your business? Well, I must say that it’s a step in the right direction. If you’re still on the fence about using Google Ads to advertise your business, here are the top reasons why this strategy works:

1. Targets Potential Customers While They’re Engaged

One of the main reasons why Google Ads are effective is because they target potential customers the moment that they are looking for a particular product or service.

Let’s say a person is in the market for a new outdoor smartwatch. The user types “buy outdoor smartwatch” into the Google search bar. On the results page, he sees several relevant Google Ads at the top of the organic search results. The potential customer clicks one of the sponsored results and starts shopping.

It’s difficult—if not impossible—to identify the exact moment someone is ready to make a purchase. Think about how a smartwatch manufacturer might reach them otherwise. Send them an email? Maybe they’re at work and can’t shop. Reach them through a magazine ad? What if they’re not near a store or computer? These tactics are good for raising brand awareness and convincing the buyer that your product is worth buying, but you need to be present the moment they’ve decided to purchase a smartwatch.

With Google Ads, you can target and reach users precisely at the moment that they’re engaged. With the right keywords and optimization strategies, you can get in front of potential buyers right at the moment that they’re searching for your product or service.

2. Focus on Local or Niche Markets

If you’re a local business with a good online presence, Google Ads can be a great investment. According to statistics, 72% of customers who searched locally will visit a physical store within 5 miles of their current location.

With the help of Google Ads, you can reach potential customers that are within the vicinity of your business.

As discussed earlier, you may also incorporate ad extensions into your ads, which display your business’ address and phone number. With this, local customers can easily find or call you once your ad pops up from their mobile devices.

Google Ads is also an effective advertising strategy for local services such as plumbing, roofing, house cleaning, and many others. For instance, let’s say you live in Tampa and you’re offering green cleaning services to homes. You can bid on a very broad keyword like “green cleaning service” on Google but you’ll find it’s very expensive because you’re competing with everyone across all geographies.

Fortunately, Google bids are very customizable and you can instead bid on long-tail keywords like “green cleaning service in Tampa.” Your ad cost will likely be lower and with a higher conversion rate from clicks.

3. Don’t Spend More Than You Need

As mentioned, one of the best benefits of Google Ads is that it’s a very flexible platform. Google enables users to set campaign parameters that allow you to control how you spend your budget. For the uninitiated, Google Ads work on a cost-per-click basis so you’ll only pay when a user clicks your ads and visits your website.

There’s no minimum ad spend, and you can choose how much you spend monthly, daily, and per ad. Basically, you can spend as much or as little as you’d like. As you get more success with your campaign, you can easily scale your budget in real-time.

Furthermore, you can designate an average daily budget for your campaign. This informs Google that over a monthly basis, you’re not paying any more than the average budget x the number of days. There are some days where your ad performance is higher and more costly and, in some days, lower. Regardless of the results, you will not go over your budget over the course of the month.

4. Quick Results

Another noteworthy benefit of Google Ads is that you get quick, almost instantaneous results.

Essentially, you only need to perform a few steps to get things going. First, you need to set up your Google Ads campaign, then enter the relevant keywords, set your daily budget, write down the ad content, and you’re all set. With your Google ad going live, you can potentially generate a sale on the same day.

In comparison to search engine optimization (SEO), Google Ads or PPC, in general, can work much faster for your business. While SEO is also extremely important, it does take time to rank at the top of the organic search engine results page. To rank at the top can often take 6 to 12 months.

Whereas, your Google Ads campaign is shown to potential customers the moment you go live. Your ad will be displayed at the top of the SERP or at the bottom of the first page, depending on your ads Quality Score. With Google Ads, you have immediate visibility and access to your target audience.

5. Measure and Analyze Your Results

Staying on top of your Google Ads campaign is one of the keys to success. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of tools that are provided by Google to help monitor, measure, and analyze your success. If someone clicks on your ad, you’ll know. If a click led to a product purchase or an app download, you can monitor that as well.

With this ability to monitor and measure your results, you’ll quickly see which aspects of your campaign need to be tweaked or where more resources need to be committed.


So, The Question Remains: Are Google Ads Effective?

After reviewing the statistics and learning what others have achieved, it’s clear that Google Ads is a solid advertising strategy for all types of business. Hopefully, after this extensive write-up, you now have a better grasp of whether or not Google Ads is the right advertising strategy for you. Before you invest in Google Ads, make sure that you have clear goals for your paid search campaign.

If you don’t have the time or experience to manage a Google Ads campaign, you can always work with a digital marketing agency to help optimize your PPC campaign. Learn more about our PPC management services.


Need Help with Google Ads? A Quick Google Ads 101

When it comes to digital marketing strategies, there are many methods that you can use to reach new customers and grow your business. Among these strategies, one of the most popular ones is PPC advertising. For many people, PPC advertising pretty much equates to Google Ads. After all, Google doesn’t just lead the search engine market, it dominates it by having more than 90% of the market share.

Many of my clients are interested in taking the plunge into the Google Ads platform. However, they’re not really sure where and how to start. If you’re someone who needs some help with Google Ads, you’ve come to the right place.

For this article, I’ve made a quick Google Ads guide for beginners, which include strategy and goal setting, setting up your account, optimizing your account structure, as well as a few tips.


Is Google Ads Right for Your Business?

Sure, you’ve heard that Google Ads yield great results but is it really right for you? Before you decide to get into the paid search space, find out if Google Ads is a good solution by answering the questions below.

1. Are Your Customers Searching for You?

The most important question to answer is, is your target audience searching for you through If not, there’s really no reason for you to start a PPC campaign. However, everyone uses the Internet for purchasing these days. Plus, Google is the most popular website in the world with hundreds of millions of unique visitors daily.

Here are a few key search engine stats that you should know:

With these stats, there’s a good chance that your good-fit customers are using the web to search for your product or service. On top of your PPC campaign, a strong local SEO strategy can do wonders for increasing the local presence of your business.

2. What Are Your Long-Term Goals

Your long-term goals can significantly influence on how to run your Google Ads campaign. Businesses have short and long-term goals. Increasing sales in order to get immediate cash flow is an example of a short-term goal. Expanding your customer base is a good example of a long-term goal.

Every one of my clients is different but many of their short and long-term goals overlap, here are some of the most common objectives they have:

To Maximize Revenue

Every business wants to make as much money as they can, so this is a very common goal. If you’re looking to increase sales and maximize revenue using Google Ads, you need to stay on top of your campaign and that’s accomplished by diligent monitoring.

To Increase Brand or Product Awareness

Do you wish to get your product out there in front of your target customers? Or perhaps, you have an established business and you’re about to launch a new product line? Advertising is all about generating demand. You want customers to visit your website and make a decision to buy. This is a goal where PPC can really turn it around for you.

To Maximize Profits

Return on investment or ROI is the ultimate goal, not just for PPC but for advertising in general. ROI will dictate your decisions with regard to PPC optimization. Fortunately, Google Ads is a very ROI-friendly platform. According to the Google Economic Impact Report, businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 ad spend. That’s double the ROI! Google Ads is a cost-effective advertising channel.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that can affect your success with Google Ads. However, if your short and long-term objectives are similar to the ones above, chances are, Google Ads can work for you.

3. Do You Have the Budget to Test?

It’d be great if every click on your ad converts into a sale but that’s not the reality for most people. A good rule of thumb is to set an expectation that only 1% of clicks will convert into a sale. With the 1% conversion rate, you may receive 99 clicks without ever making a sale, but if the 100th click results in a purchase, you’ll be back on track.

With Google Ads, it’s not uncommon for advertisers to get a lot of clicks and make little to no sales. But again, as long as you can make a sale from 1% of the overall clicks, things will eventually even out.

Having said that, the beginning of your Google Ads campaign will involve a lot of testing. Therefore, in the beginning, you need to have a fairly large Google Ads budget for testing your setup and keywords. This is especially true if you plan to do this on your own, without the help of a digital marketing agency.

If you don’t have a sizable budget, I recommend that you don’t spread yourself too thin across many keywords. It’s better to focus on a small group of keywords that has the highest chance of converting clicks into sales. You can expand once you test and learn what is most effective for converting your target buyer.


Help with Google Ads: Setting Up Your Account

Setting up your Google Ads account is about as easy as it gets. Follow the steps below to set up your Google Ads account:

  1. Go to the Google Ads homepage and click the big blue “Start Now” button.
  2. You will be asked to log in to the Google Account that you want to use for creating the Google Ads account.
  3. After you sign in to your Gmail or create an account, you will be asked about your advertising goals.
  4. If you want to just create and set up a new account, skip the goals, and click the “Experienced with Google Ads?” link below. This will direct you to the campaign creation page.
  5. Again, Google will ask you to create a campaign but you don’t have to yet. For the sake of this guide, we’ll click the “Create an account without a campaign” link on the bottom left of the interface.
  6. You’ll be asked to fill out your business details: billing country, time zone, and currency. Google will likely autofill this data for you.
  7. At this point, you’re all set. Your account is created!

5 Beginner Tips for Using Google Ads

Tip #1: Understand Google Ads Pricing

To truly master Google Ads, you need to understand its pricing structure if you want to maximize your ROI. You want a sustainable and scalable ad campaign. Here are some things that you need to remember about Google Ads pricing:

  • Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising platform, which means that you only pay whenever a user clicks your ad and goes to your website.
  • Google actually rewards advertisers that have well-optimized campaigns and high-quality ads with lower costs.
  • You can set up your ad campaign so that ads are only displayed to your target audiences. Google allows you to narrow your ads using criteria like age, devices, gender, location, and many others. This increases the chance that clicks will convert into sales.
  • The average cost per click in Google Ads is $1-$2, and that’s for the Search Network. For the Display Network, the cost is generally below $1. Obviously, your campaign cost will depend on numerous factors, such as your industry and targeted keywords.

Tip #2: Take Advantage of Google Local Service Ads

As I’ve pointed out earlier, 46% of all searches on Google are looking up local information. Even more important, 18% of local searches are converted into sales.

Targeting local audiences is the key to success because it allows you to use keywords that are not only more specific but with a reduced cost per click as well. Specific long-tail keywords, which typically include local searches, are less competitive and will help you generate sales with a better ROI. For another tip, you should take advantage of ad extensions because it improves the quality of your ad. For instance, including a phone number extension with your ad will enable customers to call you directly.

Tip #3: Focus on the Metrics of Quality

Although Google Ads uses a bidding system, you can’t simply bid high and the clicks will start rolling in. In reality, Google isn’t interested in the highest bidder. The quality of your ad and landing page is going to make a lot of difference. This means the information you provide to your target audience after they click your link must answer their questions.

Google wants to deliver the most relevant content to its users and that includes the ads they display. You’ll generate more sales if the clicks coming from your ads lead to worthwhile information.

Keep in mind that each click doesn’t have to lead to a direct sale. The ad clicks may lead customers to a content offer like an eBook, newsletter sign-up page, or a coupon code that they can use in the future.

Tip #4: Consider Using Branded Terms Alongside Broad Keywords

The Quality Score of your ad determines the cost and placement of your ads. One of the best ways to improve your ad quality score is to include the name of your brand in your copy. However, if you only use branded terms, you will miss out on users who are not searching for your brand. If you’re a new player in a market and no one knows who you are, you may want to limit the use of branded terms.

By combining branded terms with broad keywords, you can improve your quality score as well as reduce your CPC. You can do this by setting the generic keyword to a modified broad match and leave the brand keyword as a broad match. Therefore, if users search for your targeted generic keyword, your branded terms will also show up.

Tip #5: Optimize Your Campaign for Mobile

These days, reaching customers requires a multi-channel and multi-device approach–this is why mobile advertising is so important. Here are some key statistics about the value of mobile advertising:

As you can see, getting mobile advertising right can make all the difference for your campaign. Mobile search has long surpassed desktop. So, for starters, make sure that you optimize your landing page for mobile. Nothing turns off visitors more than a poor mobile experience, which can lead to low conversion rates.

This is why you should make sure that the load speed of your mobile website is fast. According to Google’s study, a mere second delay in page load time can lead to a 20% decrease in conversions.


Help with Google Ads: Should You Work with a PPC Expert?

While Google Ads is a very accessible platform, it’s easy to waste a lot of your money and time, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you need help with Google Ads, you should consider working with a PPC management company.

Here are the top reasons why you should hire a PPC management company:

1. You Don’t Know Where to Start

Signing up with Google Ads and creating an account are the easy parts (and I hope that this article helped). However, you may realize that developing and executing a successful PPC strategy is too much for you to handle. I’ve had clients who were able to set up their accounts and made a few bids but it simply went nowhere.

A good digital marketing agency has a team of PPC experts with proper tools and training to get your PPC campaign going.

2. Keyword Research Isn’t Easy

Using the right keywords is crucial to your success. Picking the wrong keywords can quickly burn through your advertising budget and get very poor results. There are many free keyword tools that you can use online but any marketer knows that the best tools are the paid ones.

A PPC management company will have access to a suite of paid tools that will give your campaign a much-needed competitive advantage. This ensures that your Google Ads will be optimized using the right keywords.

3. Poor Ad Copy Means Poor Conversion

One of the best things that a PPC expert can offer is the ability to write persuasive ad copy that converts.

Poor ad copy doesn’t convey the right message, fails to answer questions that customers may have, and doesn’t motivate viewers to click. The right copy can really improve your ads’ click-through rate (CTR), which can lead to more conversions.

4. Campaign Monitoring Requires Technical Expertise

Staying on top of your Google Ads campaign is a must because you want to know what you’re doing wrong or right, and then adjust accordingly. A PPC expert can analyze your campaign results and determine which keywords and placements are most likely to generate sales.

In addition, tagging your campaign allows you to see which keywords and bids are most effective. To install campaign tracking codes, you need to have basic HTML knowledge and be able to access your website’s code. Thus, if you have no knowledge about website management and campaign tracking, it’s a job that’s better left to the experts.

5. You Don’t Know How to Create a Good Landing Page

Relevance isn’t just exclusive to SEO, it’s equally important in PPC advertising as well. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a good and relevant landing page is a must if you want your ads to have a high Quality Score. A poor landing page will not only result in fewer conversions but your CPC will increase as well.

An expert on PPC doesn’t just understand the principles that go into creating a landing page, they also know how to test such principles.

6. Keeping Up with the Changes

The online advertising landscape is constantly changing through new policies and upgraded tools and features. If you want to be competitive, you need to keep up with the changes.

Any self-respecting advertiser knows the importance of staying up to date with the latest online marketing trends. Aside from reading news, blogs, and forums, a digital marketing expert may also attend trade shows and networking events to get expert advice and insights on the latest trends. Of course, as a client, you’ll be involved in the learning process, every step of the way.


Need Any Help with Google Ads?

If you’re interested in launching a campaign with Google Ads but you’re not sure how to start, you have come to the right place. Atlantic Digital Marketing Company is a leading PPC management company and we have helped many businesses maximize their pay-per-click advertising ROI.

We’ll be more than happy to work with you!

How Do Google Ads Work? Learn the Basics

If you have an online business, it’s a given that you should do advertising. Otherwise, how will you put your product or service out there and in front of your target audience? Advertising is one aspect of online business that you can’t afford to ignore.

If you’re considering to spend any amount of dollars on a marketing strategy to reach your target customers, better make sure that you spend it in the right place. In my world, my idea of the right place is somewhere with 3.5 billion daily searches and 246 million unique visitors.

If you’re thinking of Google Ads, then you’re right on the money!

Many of our clients want to dive right into Google’s paid search network but they’re often not sure how the platform works. If you want to learn how Google Ads work, then you’ve come to the right place.

For this article, we’re going to talk about Google Ads, how it works, and some quick tips to help you succeed.


What is Google Ads?

If you’ve been using the internet for a while, you’ll have heard of Google Adwords. In 2018, Google rebranded its ad lineup and it became Google Ads.

This pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising platform allows advertisers to display their ads on Google’s search engine network. Like its namesake, PPC is a marketing channel where you (the advertiser) pays for ad click or impression.

Google Ads is widely considered a very effective advertising network because it drives good-fit customers that are qualified. This means that your ads are displayed to users who are searching for products and services like the ones that you offer. With the help of Google Ads, you can generate more site traffic, leads, receive more phone calls, and receive more in-store visits. This is good because 72% of customers who searched locally have visited a physical store within a 5-mile radius.

Google Ads can work for all types of businesses, whether big or small. However, the barrier of entry for Google Ads is that it can be a difficult platform to master. To get the most out of your Google Ads campaign, you need to know how it works.

Now, let’s start with Google Ads’ two different networks.


Where are Google Ads Displayed?

Google Ads is currently divided into two different networks, each offers different options to cater to a wide range of advertising needs.

  • Google Search Network
  • Google Display Network

Knowing the difference between the two networks and which network to utilize for your advertising is part of your uphill battle for ad space domination. Let’s first define each network.

Search Network VS. Display Network 101

When you think about Google Ads, you’re probably thinking of paid search ads that appear on the Google search engine results page (SERP). As you might expect, those are ads on the Google Search Network. Makes sense, right?

The Search Network is more popular between the two networks, and it also happens to be the most popular PPC channel on the web. The Search Network works because it gives advertisers the ability to engage audiences at the exact time when they are actively searching for your product or service.

You can say that the Google Search Network is like the new Yellow Pages because now prospects use search engines when they have the intent to purchase. Potential customers flip through their digital Yellow Pages using keywords. They have the intention of finding a product or service, which gives businesses a targeted avenue to reach their target audience.

On the other hand, the Google Display Network doesn’t have anything to do with Google Search.

Display Network ads appear on websites that are partnered with Google–sites that are looking to make money via the Google AdSense program. Any website can enroll with AdSense and display ads on their webpages. Then advertisers can utilize the Display Network to market to visitors to those webpages. As of this writing, there are over 11.1 million websites that use AdSense. This should give you an idea of just how massive the Display Network in terms of size and reach.

The main difference between the two is that the Display Network shows ads to people who aren’t actively searching, while the Search Network is for people who are actively searching for information.

In a sense, Display Networks ads are interrupting people as they browse Google-partnered websites. This makes the Display Network a good channel for increasing brand awareness. For instance, if you’re a new business and people don’t know you exist, how can they search for you? The Display Network allows you to display ads where your target audience spends time online.

Where Your Ads Will Appear

Google Search Network

  • The primary channel where your ads will appear is the main Google Search interface. These paid ads may appear at the top or bottom of the search results. Of course, as an advertiser, you want to be in the top 4 positions for your targeted keywords because these positions are immediately visible to the user.
  • In addition to the Google SERPs, your ad may also appear on Google’s other websites such as Images, Maps, and Shopping. These websites also have search facilities that are powered by Google.
  • In your ad settings, you have the option to include “search partners.” With this setting enabled, your ads will have expanded reach and may also appear in other search engines such as AOL,, and many other alternative search engines partnered with Google.

PPC ads on the Google Search Network are activated whenever a prospect performs a search on Google using a particular set of keywords. As mentioned, the paid ads will appear on top (or bottom) of the search engine results page along with the organic results.

Google Display Network

As previously pointed out, Google Display Network has nothing to do with Google Search. Instead, your ads may appear on more than 2 million Google partner websites.

  • This collection of websites includes specific Google websites such as Google Finance, YouTube, Gmail, and Blogger.
  • Other than websites, the Display Network also includes mobile sites and apps.

While Google Search Network ads are excellent for reaching audiences who are far into the buying journey, they are exclusively text-based so they don’t exactly stand out. On the flip side, Google Display allows advertisers to be more creative with their ads, extend their reach to new customers, and increase brand awareness.


Search Network VS. Display Network: Key Takeaways

1. Each Network Requires Different Ads

When a user is searching in Google for a product or service, you can say that there’s a need or intent. For instance, if someone searches for the keyword “nashville SEO company,” isn’t it obvious that this person is looking to hire an SEO digital marketing agency? I mean, why would you search for that phrase in Google if not?

With that said, you should ensure that your ad copy for Google Search Network matches the searched keyword. If not, you’ll be wasting everyone’s time who’s searching for that phrase, not to mention your own advertising bucks.

Pretty simple, right?

On the flip side, consider a user who’s reading articles about the benefits of SEO and how to implement SEO best practices. It’s clear that the user wants to use SEO as a marketing strategy but it’s not obvious that he needs a digital marketing agency. He might work in-house at an organization and be researching it for an internal project. The user isn’t actively seeking a product or service, but he might be receptive to advertisements that relate to his situation.

Therefore, your Display Network Ad must make a case that working with an SEO company is the best option if he wants to have a successful SEO campaign.

Can you see the difference?

From these two examples, it’s clear that your ad for the Search Network will be different when compared to your Display Network ad copy. Using a single strategy for both Search and Display networks can only spell disaster for your advertising efforts.

2. Each Network Requires Different Targeting

The beautiful thing about Google Ads is that you can tweak your campaigns to target exactly the demographic that you want.

In a standard Search Network ad campaign, your main target is to use keywords. Whenever a prospect searches for your targeted keyword, your ad has a chance to be displayed depending on a number of factors (more on that later).

With a Display campaign, you have several options.

First, you have behavioral targeting. This targeting method will display your ads to users based on their web browsing history. Therefore, if the user has searched for SEO strategies before, there’s a chance that your ad for an SEO company will be displayed.

Another option is contextual targeting. This is the most basic targeting option in the Google Display Network. Basically, Google will try to match your target keywords and ads to relevant pages within its expansive network.

The last option is demographic targeting. With this, you can target demographics based on gender, age, and many other parameters. It’s a great method to precisely target your ideal customers.


Google Ads Auction: How It Works

Whenever a user submits a search query on Google, it quickly determines which ads the user should see. Google uses the auction system to instantly identify which ads should be displayed. The overall result is determined by the Ad Rank that Google assigns to your adverts. If you want to succeed in this space, you should know the factors that will help you get to the top of the SERPs.

The three primary factors that affect your ad position are:

  • Your bid
  • Ad Quality Score
  • Ad Extensions

Your Bid

Google Ads is comprised of an auction system that lets you bid for the keywords you desire. Fortunately, you only pay whenever a user clicks on one of your ads. Your bid refers to the maximum price that you are willing to pay for a single click on your ad. For reference, the average cost of a Google Ads click is $1-$2.

You’re probably asking, “is it really that simple? Why not just bid your way to the top of the SERPs?” Well, it’s not that easy! The Google Ads auction system is designed in a way that you can’t simply win by being the highest bidder. Google is in the business of delivering the best and most relevant content to its users, so there are other factors that come into play.

Ad Quality Score

Perhaps the most important factor here is your Ad Quality Score. The Quality Score is the metric used by Google to evaluate ads with regards to their overall quality and how relevant they are to the users. To see your Quality Score, you just need to hover to one of your keywords.

Your ads are graded from 1 to 10 (10 being the best). Below are the three factors that affect Quality Score:

  • Ad Relevance: This is the correlation between your targeted keywords and the actual content you use in your ad copy. The idea is that your ad should answer questions that users have while entering their queries.
  • Landing Page Quality: When a user clicks on your ad copy, make sure that it’s relevant to the landing page. Users don’t like to be misled, nor does Google. Tip: Your sites and landing pages should be mobile-friendly.
  • Expected Click-through Rate (CTR): This metric refers to your historical CTR data. Thus, it always pays to optimize your ads for better CTRs.

Ad Extensions

One of the best ways to improve your CTR is to make use of Ad Extensions. This refers to the set of features that make your ads bigger, more informative, more compelling, and more clickable. The best part is…

It won’t cost you anything!

Extensions enhance your ad with additional information that gives you a better chance of gaining business. And yes, improve your CTR as well. Extensions include additional information like call buttons, phone numbers, address, links to specific links on the website (like your order form), additional text, and many others. Remember to use extensions that align with your goals.


How Much Will You Actually Pay?

With the way the auction system works, your actual cost per click (CPC) may be less than your maximum bid. This is why I always tell my clients to focus on the quality of their ads rather than the actual bidding.

Let’s look at this example. There are three businesses competing for the top position above the SERP. Two of them have met the minimum threshold of 40 and now they are direct competitors. If one advertiser has a higher Ad Rank, they’ll end up paying the same price are the previous ad ranking advertiser + $0.01, the least billable amount.

So, in the end, the top-ranking advertiser only needs to pay enough to beat the competition.

At the end of the day, how much you’ll actually pay depends on a combination of factors. Again, your maximum bid doesn’t guarantee you a higher position. This is Google’s way of encouraging advertisers to focus more on the content of the ads, which ensures that the best relevant content is delivered to their users.


3 Tips to Optimize Google Ads

1. Mind the Ad Quality Score

Your Ad Quality Score is the most important metric for your ads. Many advertisers can spare the big bucks for high bids but it won’t do them any good if their Ad Quality Score isn’t up to par. Keep in mind: it’s not just the relevance of your ads but also the quality and suitability of your landing page as well.

2. Add More Extensions

Ad extensions are a surefire way to increase your adverts’ CTR, which will lead to more clicks and conversions. According to Google, the CTR can increase up to 10-15% by simply using extensions. Ad extensions will entice users to click by giving direct and easy access to the information that they’re looking for. For example, if a user is searching for a nearby Asian restaurant, a good ad extension to add is the direct link to your restaurant’s menu.

Other good extensions that you should consider adding are product information, phone number, address, business hours, just to name a few.

3. Keep Your Keyword Groups Tight

It can be tempting to throw as many keywords as you can to a single campaign. After all, the wider you cast the net, the more fish you’ll catch, right? Not exactly!

When it comes to Google Ads, it’s always best to focus on quality over quantity. What’s the point of getting thousands of impressions if they can only result in a few clicks? A smaller keyword group gives you better control and enables you to create ad copy that resonates with your target audience.


Now You Know the Basics

Google Ads is one of the best, if not the best way to drive qualified traffic to your website and attract good-fit customers. However, it’s easy to waste your time and money with Google Ads and that usually happens when you’ve got no clue about what to do.

Hopefully, this guide on how Google Ads work has helped you understand the platform, even if it’s just on the basic level. If you have any questions or need any help with your PPC campaign, feel free to contact us here at Atlantic Digital Marketing.


PPC Advertising Guide for B2B Companies: Strategies & Best Practices

You may wonder if pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a smart marketing strategy for business to business (B2B) companies. Will your ads reach the right people? At what cost? Or will they simply be ignored? Many people have the misconception that PPC advertising is just for business to consumer (B2C) companies.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. PPC advertising can be extremely effective for B2B companies if you know a few core concepts. In this article, we’re going to share some helpful PPC marketing strategies you can use to increase your sales.

Need help developing a profitable PPC campaign that generates highly qualified leads? Atlantic Digital Marketing Company can provide expert PPC management services.


B2B Market Characteristics

One of the main differences between B2C and B2B is the size of the target market you’re trying to reach with your ads. B2C PPC ad campaigns are generally geared towards general consumers and can often be quite large. Whereas, the B2B space is often a little more complex. You’re trying to reach employees at other companies, oftentimes in very niche markets. This means that your PPC campaign will be targeted to a much smaller audience.

However, you can use this to your advantage if you target your ad campaign appropriately. To fulfill this objective, it is helpful to know some of the characteristics of the B2B market. Let’s look at a few of them:

The B2B audience is much smaller.

If your company offers a product to another company, then you have to know who your ideal audience is to be able to create PPC ads specifically directed to them. Don’t expect a large pool of searches within a short period; it’s going to take time to cultivate these leads.

Your company (and advertising campaign) is not the only one in the market.

Even though you are in a niche industry, there is often fierce competition. Your ideal customers are likely evaluating several options from companies similar to yours. If you want to get the lion’s share of the market, your advertising campaign needs to stand out among your competitors.

Your B2B buyer is not a single person.

Within a company, the process of purchasing a product is not done by a single person but rather by a group of people within a department. They will evaluate your product to determine if it is worth buying or not, factoring in whether the benefit outweighs the cost to their company.

The sales process is long.

In a B2B sales cycle, it tends to take longer for people to determine whether they need a product and which one to purchase. Decisions are often made by committees, with multiple layers of approval. Everyone has different priorities and you need to be sure that your product can satisfy their diverse requirements. It’s important to remember this because you may not see an immediate return on your advertising investment.

As you can see, this market is a bit more complex to understand than the B2C market, which is why it is necessary to know the best strategies for developing a PPC ad campaign that will drive your business’s growth.

In marketing a B2B product or service, we hope that these expert tips will help you run successful PPC campaigns to gain as many customers as possible.


Align Your Keyword Strategy with The Buyer’s Journey

The keywords you select for your ad campaigns have a direct impact on the results you’ll generate and your ROI.

As mentioned above, the B2B buyer’s journey can be quite long, especially when many people are involved in the decision-making process. Before they make a purchase decision, they typically go through certain stages, which are: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, advocacy.

Products and solutions in the B2B market are very specific, so the keywords used are equally precise.

When creating your ad, consider how your offer aligns with the buyer’s journey. Are you providing educational content, like an eBook, about a common problem? In that instance, your keywords should focus on the problem that your target audience is experiencing. They don’t know what solutions (or products) exist yet, they are focused on their problem.

As the B2B buyer progresses through the buyer’s journey, their keywords become more specific to the solution they need. At this point, they know exactly what they need to purchase and are often comparing vendors. By targeting these long-tail keywords, you’re more likely to secure a sale since they’re more likely to buy at that point.

An effective PPC strategy includes ads at each stage of the buyer’s journey. When a potential customer visits your landing page, they’re given relevant information that allows them to progress through the stages in the sales funnel.

When developing your strategy, consider each of these stages and create appropriate advertising campaigns around your product. You can then measure your ROI at each stage of the funnel to determine where you should focus your advertising budget.

There are many tools that can help you evaluate keywords for your PPC campaigns, such as Google Keywords Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.


Stand Out From Your Competitors

There’s a lot of competition in the PPC advertising environment, especially in the B2B market.

Most potential customers will investigate other products like yours before deciding to purchase. That’s why the ‘consideration’ stage is important, giving you the chance to let your advertising campaign distinguish you from your competitors.

Determine which features and benefits differentiate your product from your competitors and make sure you create PPC ads that highlight those.


Create B2B Landing Pages That Convert

Landing pages are web pages within your website where prospects land after clicking on your PPC ads. Landing pages must match your ad copy, be succinct and persuasive, and load quickly to be effective—these are important factors of optimizing your conversion rate.

A landing page usually contains the most important information related to the product that the brand sells, but this is sometimes not the best tactic.

A more effective strategy to adopt in your PPC campaign is to design landing pages primarily for collecting email addresses of prospects and website visitors. For that to work, the landing page should be simple and clearly relay the information that you want your web visitors to grasp.

On your landing page, make sure to place your CTA strategically, even considering using two CTAs- the main one and a secondary one. A secondary CTA gives visitors another chance to convert as they scroll through the page.

Prospects may not give you their email address immediately, but you can persuade them with a powerful lead magnet like an eBook, video, swipe files, templates, et cetera, as well as making your landing page design both responsive and fast.


Use Compelling Ad Copy

Your ad copy is the information that you give to potential clients, where you will also include an appropriate CTA for your product. Here’s an example of an ad copy:

When it comes to the B2C market, ad copy is usually very simple, since words like “buy now” or “order today” prompt immediate action.

On the other hand, in PPC campaigns that target the B2B audience, more specific words should be used. In this market, it’s unlikely that purchases will be made quickly due to the number of people involved in the process.

That’s why you want to give information about your product instead of promoting quick offers. Use phrases like “easy to use”, “easy to integrate”, “ranked best in class”, among others. These phrases resonate in the minds of potential clients and cause them to pay closer attention to what you are offering.

Here are some tips to improve your ad copy:

Pre-Qualify Leads.

You don’t want clicks from everyone—you only want the right people to convert on your ads. Include pre-qualifying information in your ads so that only your ideal customer will click. For example, is your product for companies that have 50 employees or 10,000? How much does it cost? If it’s a 50,000 investment, you want to be sure only those with that budget click your ad.

Also, think about who will make the purchase decision. What’s their title? What emotional triggers will they respond to? Including this information in your copy will ensure that those who click are more likely to make a purchase.

Remove Objections.

Think about common objections they may have and address them in your ad copy. This removes barriers that would prevent them from considering your solution, making it more likely that they’ll click on the ad.

Emphasize Your Key Differentiators.

What makes you different than your competitors? How is your solution superior? What benefits does it give the customer? Distill this information down to succinct points that will persuade your target customer to consider your solution.

Build Trust and Credibility.

If you’ve won awards or have been featured by prominent professional organizations, let the world know! This tells them that others trust you and value your expertise and product or solution. You can also include information from case studies or testimonials. People want to validate their decisions and trust reviews from others, especially prominent figures in their industry.


Speak to Emotions Versus Logic

All purchases appeal to people’s emotions, even those that are made by companies in the B2B space. Therefore, it’s important to develop ad campaigns that appeal to these emotions. This will make your ads more persuasive and increase conversions.

However, in selling products to companies, you also have to appeal a bit to logic because when purchasing an expensive product or service, logic will always hinder quick impulsive purchases.

To appeal to customers’ emotions and at the same time approach it logically, relay the values ​​of your company and demonstrate why your customers should trust you. With a strategy like this, you can win the battle between logic and emotions and ensure that potential customers buy your products.


Use Appropriate CTAs

Since B2B companies are selling a different type of product that benefits a group of people rather than one individual, call-to-actions (CTAs) must be strategic and value-driven. If your PPC ad isn’t generating leads, there’s a chance that your call to action button or text is boring, too generic, or confusing.

In B2C campaigns, the CTA can often be immediate and imply urgency; words that motivate a person to take action right then and there. But for B2B campaigns, this tactic rarely works.

When it comes to creating a B2B call-to-action, the best thing is to offer information instead of the option of immediate purchase. Since the sales cycle is often very long, offering free trials right away is not a good option (because they don’t know enough about your company)—educating them is often more effective.

The purchase process is slow, so the important thing in this type of PPC ad is to attract decision-makers within the organization and give them a reason to discuss your ‘product’ or brand in their next meeting.

Atlantic Digital Marketing uses this tactic all the time by regularly publishing educational content about how to grow your business. To learn more about our PPC management services, visit our website for more information and case studies.


Review, Optimize, and Repeat

It’s also important to constantly evaluate and optimize your campaign by conducting thorough research. This will help you determine which keywords, designs, and offers are the best to use in your PPC ad. Split testing your advertisements can help you eliminate assumptions and base your strategy on facts. You can test different call-to-actions, different statistics, and the benefit that you’re promoting.

It’s also a good idea to stay up to date on any algorithm changes from Google. They change their search algorithms constantly, so this has a great influence on PPC advertising campaigns.


Track B2B Lead Generation Performance

The B2B sales cycle is long because people at the beginning of the B2B process are not quite sure what product or solution they need. They’re still trying to understand their problem and how to solve it. At this stage, they’re looking for information. If you offer high-quality and relevant content in the form of an eBook or guide, they will likely give you their contact information (name and email address) in exchange.

Once you have it, you can nurture them with more educational content and resources. From this point forward, you should be using technologies that will enable you to monitor your prospect’s engagement with your brand. Are they opening your emails? Visiting your website?

Don’t be frustrated in the beginning if your ROI is small. This is a common characteristic of the purchasing process in the B2B market. It takes time for campaigns to show a substantial ROI.

But it’s important to be aware of how much money you are investing compared to what your long-term profit margin will be. You need to know the total cost to acquire a customer. Study the total cost of the campaign, the volume of visits on your landing page, the CTR, and how many email addresses or soft leads you’ll receive.

All these factors will tell you how effective your advertising campaign has been. Fortunately, there are many tools available that allow you to quickly see how your potential clients behave when clicking on your PPC ads.

With this ongoing information, you can constantly improve your PPC advertising campaigns.



When running a PPC campaign, the most important thing is to instill in the customer the feeling of confidence about your brand and your product. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the sales process in the B2B market can be very slow, but this is not a problem, only a characteristic of the market. You simply have to align your PPC advertising strategy to it.



Learn How to Increase Your PPC Profits in 6 Steps

Creating a successful pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign that delivers a high ROI is a satisfying feeling. But it doesn’t happen overnight. Often, the path to success can have a few detours. Sometimes you’ll implement an innovative tactic and boost your PPC profits immediately. Other times, you’ll try a new approach and instead of success, you’re met with frustration when your cost-per-click (CPC) soars.

To reduce these detours and create a successful PPC campaign, you have to start with a strong foundation that relies on thorough planning, accompanied by rigorous optimizations. Since trends are quickly evolving, you must embrace change as well as consistently reassess your PPC campaign strategies to be able to achieve the best results.

The best way to boost your campaign’s profit still encompasses numerous micro-wins and long-term goals. To develop high-converting campaigns that generate substantial profits, try to use the tips below:


1. Develop a strategy and stick to it

If you’re a PPC campaign manager, you must resist the urge to constantly adjust your campaigns, especially if you start to see things going south. There’s nothing worse in your PPC campaigns than making reactive decisions and ignoring the ultimate goals for your campaign.

If you’re struggling to run high-converting online ads, try our paid search solutions.

Having a dedicated PPC strategy may seem simple and trivial, but it’s a crucial element that ensures the success of a PPC campaign. Your strategy should address consumer behavior, trends, and psychological triggers. When you know this information, you’ll be able to develop persuasive ad copy that speaks to your target buyer.

Another important element to consider is aligning your PPC strategy with their buying behavior during different seasons and holidays. The holidays are a vital time for businesses to hit all-year highs in revenue and engage new and returning consumers. As a matter of fact, NRF states that some companies’ holiday sales bring in 30% of their annual income. This Statista survey showed a massive rise in holiday sales income year over year.

It’s never too early to develop a strategy for different seasons and holidays. The best way to start is to look at data buried in your previous campaigns and identify the periodical shifts and trends in your niche or industry, then create a plan around it.

Your PPC campaign strategy must be a long-term project and you must stick to it to see results.


2. Proper Tracking Setup

How you set up your tracking tools can either break or make your PPC campaign. If you want to identify areas that need improvements and track the success of your campaigns, you need to use software like Google Analytics or Google Ads. Within these programs, you can establish goals for your campaigns and monitor conversions.

However, simply analyzing click-through-rates and the number of clicks isn’t always enough. While it’s interesting to see the engagement on your campaigns, it’s not a surefire way to track their success or ROI. You need access to metrics that will allow you to analyze and optimize your campaigns to be more efficient.

Take for example, conversions. You must first accurately identify what a conversion is and isn’t. Focusing on an unimportant type of conversion isn’t going to impact your bottom line. Someone may download a whitepaper or visit a page, but you need to identify which conversions result in highly qualified leads. Once you do, you can then set up goals to track that metric.

For instance, a recent study by Dialogtech showed that even in the modern digital movement, phone calls are still one of the best methods to make sales.  For many websites, up to 63% of their traffic comes from smartphones.

Hence, for any PPC campaign to succeed, phone calls should at least be considered. Now, imagine that your campaign does not include using the telephone to drive leads or conversions. If that’s important to your business, then you’ll have no idea why you’re losing sales because you’re not tracking it.

You may feel compelled to streamline conversions to “definite” actions like verified sales. But it’s important to keep an open-mind and look at the bigger picture. You need to understand your customer’s journey and behavior. Take a look at the image below for a clearer understanding:

Analyzing data and tracking conversions isn’t the only thing that will boost your PPC sales. However, it will help you make better decisions that will help increase your campaign’s profits.

For example, Payoneer is one of the fastest growing payment processors worldwide and they achieved a 4751% growth with a simple PPC campaign that was continuously optimized to customers’ specific needs based on tracked data.

Here are some more mind-blowing stats… HubSpot recently showed that 97% of PPC campaigns with low or no tracking do not achieve positive ROI and a Wordstream study showed that only 50% of Google Ads accounts utilize conversion tracking.

And the Google Ads accounts with adequate tracking had 50% better profit rates than a normal Google Ads account would have. Tracking your campaign in performance and engagement in this digital age is a necessity.


3. Attribution Models

Understanding attribution models in depth and locating the best fit for your brand may be one of the most important additions you can make to your PPC campaign. However, there’s a catch.

Years ago, last-click attribution was one of the default models marketers used. However, it isn’t effective anymore as last-click attribution overvalues that last interaction. In fact, a Salesforce review reveals that it takes 6 to 8 touches in order to create quality sales lead with 60% of a sales cycle concluded before the consumer talks with your salesperson. If you focus on the last click, you are missing a big part of the total picture.

It’s vital to understand the value each step of your cycle introduces to conversions and how you can use this information to increase profits. This was the situation with Confetti, a UK-based wedding site. They were not pulling in enough sales until they decided to focus on clients that fit specific criteria and cut loose others that were wasting their time and effort. This strategy change alone increased revenue by 42.58%.


4. Custom Audiences

It is true that paying attention to ad content, campaign settings, and keyword intent are all important for paid search, but you also need to match all three to well-segmented audiences to get the desired results.

It is also easier to target your campaigns if you have enough knowledge about your users to know what makes them convert. In digital marketing, it’s estimated that 80% of the revenue you get can be linked to 20% of your customers. Even though the percentage may vary by business, it doesn’t negate the fact that a percentage of your customers are worth more than the rest. If you identify the details behind this valuable percentage, then you will be able to increase the profits from your campaigns.

To understand your sales path, you must first understand your audience. If your sales funnel consists of distinct stages over a length of time, you will be able to target the different stages with content that is relevant for each segment. This type of personalization will appeal to them and increase your conversion rates.

You can even use Google’s third-party audiences to target potential customers and find audiences that you would not have access to if you relied solely on your own data.

Instead of banking solely on your own data and findings, make use of Google’s predefined audiences to reach prospective customers. Knowing how to use Google’s insight reports will enable you to convert potential customers at all stages of the sales funnel and increase your ROI.


5. Embrace Machine Learning

A study carried out in 2014 showed that about 70% of businesses are currently using one or more marketing automation platforms and that marketers can generate more leads if they use some kind of automation software. Marketers that use automation software to communicate with their leads get more engagement and conversions than those that use blast email software.

Machine learning, artificial intelligence technologies, and voice recognition software is rapidly growing and being adopted by innovative companies.

There are a lot of smart strategies that Google has made available which include live event targeting, custom in-market audiences, smart data attribution, automated ads, a new and enhanced algorithm for bidding strategies, rotation settings and so on.

In bidding, though, you need to check if you are better off using cost per acquisition bidding, manual bidding, or manual bidding with enhanced cost per click. Don’t worry, computers will do all the hard work and you are likely to have better results rather than doing it all yourself.

Learning how to use a machine to do a major bulk of the work will make you focus on high-value activities that generate higher campaign ROI than the time it takes to perform less productive repetitive tasks.

Plus, you do not need to use only Google tools… if you do not feel comfortable allowing the mega search engine to control your campaigns, then there’s always third-party automated options like Optymzr and Kemshoo.

It is, however, important to note that before you begin using this software that you understand how it works, know its abilities, and its limitations. Because let’s face it, automation is still quite new, and it has its own flaws.

If you do not implement it properly, it can give you negative results. But if you understand how it works and you take the time to implement it properly, then it can really boost your campaign.

Technologies are constantly evolving, and it is important to understand how this constant change can affect your campaigns.


6. Take Remarketing into Consideration

If you want to increase campaign conversions, you can use remarketing campaigns to achieve that.

Remarketing is a PPC feature that enables you to show specific ads to users based on their actions on your website in the past. This is very effective, especially in terms of cost and conversion, because you’re only showing ads to people who have already exhibited an interest in your brand.

Remarketing enables you to create highly targeted ads because you already know what they’re interested in. You can create messaging that resonates with them and persuade them to revisit your brand, have it stay top of mind, and complete the conversion goal.

Instead of wasting money on people who haven’t shown an interest in your brand, you’re only targeting people who are more likely to convert. Your ability to convert these users increases because your brand is not strange to them; they are familiar with it and more likely to convert into lead or sale.

Remarketing also enables you to segment your audience and create different ads for each segment based on the pages that they visited or what they were interested in during the time they visited your site.

Google Analytics offers a remarketing tool that enables you to create a specific remarketing list based on various parameters based in PPC.



Developing a successful PPC strategy is rewarding, but it does take time and testing to get it right. Hopefully this article gave you some ideas on how you can optimize your campaigns and increase your ROI.

If you’re struggling to run high-converting online ads, try our paid search solutions.