Top 10 Best Practices for Paid Search: Part 2

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Hans Tveten
By Hans Tveten

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the top best practices we deploy at Power Digital to maintain a healthy paid search account. This second part looks at five additional strategies you can use to take your campaigns to the next level.

Competitor Campaigns

Whether you are a large company or a local business, competitor campaigns should be a cornerstone of your search strategy, or at the very least, a serious consideration. For example, bidding on keywords that include competitor terms such as: “cancel service…”, “how to unsubscribe from…” “return policy….”, or “review…”.

If people are searching for a competitor within your industry, the majority of search queries will be for a product or service they provide. By bidding on these keywords you can start to make these potential customers aware of your company and your offering.

Here’s an example of a company bidding on competitor keywords:

competitor_keywords

The best way to keep track of the ongoing changes in the competitive bidding landscape, is by utilizing AdWords’ Auction Insights report. With this report you can compare your performance with other brands who are participating in the same ad auction.

Auction insights shows performance for the display URL domain on a few key metrics, including impression share and average position. This step by step guide from Google will show you how to use the report, the same applies for Bing.

Use AdWords Scripts

Large-scale AdWords accounts can become cumbersome to manage. Therefore, it’s a good best practice to automate your job as much as possible. AdWords scripts allow you to easily identify trends across several aspects of your account, making it much easier for you to modify your strategy accordingly.

Related: PPC Automation Software – Is It Right For Me?

These scripts allow you to do things like pause keywords will low CTRs, check URLs for broken links, or even delete disapproved ads in an account. You can even go a step further and run scripts that connect to third party APIs that can allow you to do things like plug Amazon.com prices into your ad copy or even manage ads based on airport delays!

Optmyzer.com and FreeAdWordsScripts.com have a substantial library of great AdWords scripts you can easily implement after some slight modifications to fit your account.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions allow you to include additional information in your ad beyond the traditional headline, display URL, and description lines. Enhancing your ads with extensions essentially allows you to take up more real estate on the SERP, so it’s important that you create meaningful extensions that provide value.

Related: Price Extension 101

There are several of these which you can deploy to your advantage, including Location, Review, Sitelink, Callout, Call, App and Seller Ratings just to name a few. You can reference Google’s ad extension guide to get a list of all available versions.

Here is an example of a company utilizing ad extensions to their full potential:

ads_utilization

Go Beyond The SERP

Search strategies have evolved in recent years to allow us to target users in multiple ways. Gmail Ads, for example, can target users within their inbox with text and email ads. YouTube TrueView are video ads featured on YouTube. These channels are effective on their own but more importantly, they can help boost your paid campaigns.

You can retarget audiences from these initiatives and reach them again as they navigate through the decision-making process and ultimately make a purchase.

Related: Understanding YouTube Advertising Segmentation

The GDN should play a big part in your customer acquisition model. It’s a proven way to grow your audience, have controlled targeting, and attract customers who did not convert the firs time around.

Work With The Best (Duh!)

If you are going to hire an SEM firm or marketing agency to manage your paid search efforts, make sure you spare no expense in hiring experts who can keep up with the ever-changing search landscape and deliver you the best results.

An agency that maintains certification as a Google Agency Partner will have a team of dedicated professionals who can take full advantage of AdWords’ myriad of bells and whistles to make your campaigns perform. Not only will they have access to Google’s beta program and its innovative strategies, but also hold close relationships with Google experts who can provide next level support.

Hans Tveten is a Paid Media Account Manager at Power Digital Marketing. He has 10+ years experience in digital marketing, working with leading B2B and B2C brands on multiple lead gen, branding and acquisition projects. Hans graduated from Webster University in St. Louis, MO with a degree in International Business and Marketing