What Is Your PPC Approach Missing?

Author: Richard Parkin

So, your PPC account is profitable, you’ve got a great range of ads running, and you’re beating the competition – what’s next? This blog explores five often-overlooked and incredibly effective ways to make your PPC even more profitable in an impressively short time.

PPC is one of the most versatile marketing channels out there, with an almost unlimited scope for success. With PPC platforms typically offering a vast amount of near-immediate data on user behavior, experimentation can be amazingly practical, enabling experienced marketers to keep on building their return on investment. 

Effective PPC management requires some familiarity with advanced analytics and experimentation, which can be daunting at first. In fact, PPC is a field where even a seemingly minor technical edit can have an incredible impact – it’s why experimentation is so critical.

I’ve put together this blog to make advanced PPC less intimidating, giving you complete access to some PPC features that can change practically any account for the better. 

Keep in mind that some of these may not necessarily be suitable for your campaigns, as there’s no single strategy that’s perfectly suited to every company’s PPC. Explore your specific data before making any adjustments or beginning any tests. 

Test Extra PPC Platforms

Are you just advertising on AdWords? You’re almost certainly missing out. While platforms like Microsoft Ads can’t compete with Google’s market share, that doesn’t mean they’re a waste of time. 

In fact, with many agencies and businesses exclusively concentrating on AdWords, adding campaigns to Microsoft Ads can cut down CPA vastly. 

You’re likely to be bidding against fewer competitors, so your CPC will typically be lower, and you’ll often be able to reach an entirely new set of customers, opening the doors to improved conversion rates.

Of course, Microsoft Ads isn’t the only AdWords alternative out there. It’s very much worth experimenting with lesser-known ad platforms, depending on your specific niche. While results necessarily vary, this kind of experimentation can bring in a fantastic ROI, with costs typically far below those of AdWords.

Understand Your Customers

How much do you really know about your customers? You’ve probably modelled a customer persona on some level, and PPC lets you take that modelling to the next level.

By looking into the demographic data for your PPC account, you’ll understand precisely how different audiences interact with your ads and offers. Whether it’s age group, gender, income, or even interests, you’ll be able to see how any given characteristic affects your PPC performance, adjusting your bids to focus on the most successful demographics for your business.

One thing to keep in mind – most demographic data for PPC platforms is based on assumptions and statistical modelling, so it’s not necessarily going to be 100% accurate. The data can be a useful way to optimize your spending, but shouldn’t necessarily change your customer modelling. 

Succeeding with Display PPC

PPC isn’t just about searches at this point. Display campaigns are designed to place ads across various websites and apps, reaching customers while browsing rather than just searching for products like yours.

Display marketing can be incredibly effective when utilized correctly. Most display platforms let you target specific kinds of content, shaping your strategy around placements that work for you. For example, you might want to advertise your products on related hobby websites or aim for placements on news sites to capture an up-to-date audience.

That said, there are some factors to beware when starting with display marketing. For one, you’re almost certain to see a much lower CTR, simply because fewer people click on display ads. 

It’s pretty much always worth separating search and display metrics in your reports, or you’ll end up with skewed, unhelpful data. That said, expanding into display marketing can be very useful, particularly with effective targeting.

Unlock Real Retargeting Results

Once a potential customer has seen your content, they’re a lot more likely to convert than the average person – they’re already familiar with your messaging. 

Retargeting is an incredibly effective way to take advantage of this increased potential, letting you target those who’ve previously visited your website. This targeting can involve display placements or bid adjustments, so it’ll fit neatly into your current PPC strategy, adjusting to how you currently work.

If you’re able to use retargeting, you need to start experimenting with it – it’s an incredibly effective way to bring in new sales at a low CPA.

Want to get the best possible results from your retargeting? Click through to our Retargeting Optimization Guide to find out how to generate even better returns.

Achieving Perfect Timing

Most businesses have peak sales periods – are you taking advantage of this when it comes to PPC? In practically all PPC platforms, you’ll be able to change your bid for certain hours or days, taking maximum advantage of peak shopping hours.

For example, if your conversion rate is 20% higher from 5-7 PM, you’ll likely improve your revenue by upping your bids during this period. Conversely, if practically no one converts in the early afternoon, there’s no point in keeping your bids high.

If you’re covering multiple time zones, bid adjustments can be challenging to manage. Ensure that you’re segmenting your data – looking at the overall picture can hide regional trends, particularly when widely disparate time zones are involved.

Adding Negative Keywords

Focusing on the negative may sound bad, but it’s actually one of PPC optimization’s most critical parts. Because of how PPC algorithms work, your ads won’t just display for the keywords you’ve selected, even if you’re just using exact match terms. 

In some cases, this can be helpful – you’ll probably want your ads to show for misspellings of your keywords, for example. In other cases (particularly with broad match keywords), your ads can end up displayed for completely irrelevant searches, wasting your budget.

Take some time to review the actual search terms your ads are appearing for, refining your campaign by adding irrelevant terms to your negative keyword list. Your ads won’t show up for negative keywords, so regularly reviewing your search terms to build your negatives list is a must for optimization.

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