6 Best Practices for Digital Marketing Paid Ad Campaigns

by Chris Foerster

If you are like me and work as a digital marketer, you know that pay-per-click advertising can be a great way to drive traffic, and conversions to your website.   Unlike search engine optimization, you can get almost instant traffic from new keywords and dial in your audience quickly.

In the world of paid advertising, there are a number of tricks used by SEM specialists.  Some of which are over utilized and may not give you a competitive advantage, just a competitive disadvantage if you don’t use them.   Fortunately, I have a few tricks that don’t seem to help when you need an edge.  Below you will find what is in my opinion, six under-utilized tricks in PPC campaigns.


1. Remarketing

There are a number of different reasons why someone might leave your site, and in some circumstances it might be reasons out of your control (crying baby, phone calls, etc.). Once someone has left your website, there is no guarantee that they will come back. In steps remarketing.

Remarketing lists serve ads to your site visitors once they leave your website and visit additional websites within the Google display network.  This can allow your ad to follow people around the web to help increase your chances of converting a user.  One of the nice things about remarketing ads is that each list can be created based on certain criteria.  Each list can then have specific ads that better target your audience.


2. Mobile

If you’re not segmenting your data by device you’re not seeing the full picture.  Before you do anything else check your campaign performance on desktop vs. mobile.  Does one perform better than the other?  Is it worth increasing your bids on one or the other by device?  How is the user experience on mobile vs desktop?  Are there any improvements you can make?

While there a lot of options to explore when evaluating mobile marketing, one thing is certain, you can’t ignore mobile users.  They are quickly taking over the market and it’s been trending this way for a long time.  Just check out this post on Search Engine Land from 2015.  And to make things worse, if your site isn’t designed for mobile, Google might actually make it more difficult for you to get into position 1 – 3, according to some sources.


3. Bid on your competitors

If you’re searching for a specific product or service there might be a number of well-known brands that instantly come to mind.  And you might be inclined to search for those brands before performing a generic search.  If I am in the market for a college education for example, I might search popular school names like “Harvard, Yale, UCLA, Stanford, or Notre Dame” to name a few.  Why not capitalize on those searches and place ads on your competitors brand terms?


4. Utilize in-market audiences

In the days of the dinosaurs, well maybe not that long ago, we would have what some would call banner blindness.  It is a problem that occurs when you are running a display campaign but don’t or can’t properly target your audience.   Google’s in-market audiences was a solution to this problem, and if you’re not using it you should check it out here.

Google’s in-market audience allows you to target users within specific verticals who are displaying promising actions.  These behaviors might include actions such as clicking on ads, converting on landing pages, and so on.  These are people who you will want to show your ad to.   Here is an example that Google provides where Wayfair.com was able to improve ad response rates by 20% and lower acquisition cost by 50%.


5. Take Up as much real-estate as possible

One thing I like to do with any AdWords account is to use ad extensions.  Ad extensions are additional information that gets added to your ad, making your ad take up more room on a Google search engine result page (SERP).  This might include customer reviews or ratings, a call button, etc.  By utilizing ad extensions you can help improve your ad performance, and take up more area within the ads section at the top of a Google search.  And we all know how important real-estate is on Google.

For some, it may appear that the additional real-estate pays off.  Google reports  that adding an extension can improve your CTR by 10-15%.


6: Keep the winners and ditch the losers

Every campaign seems to have them, and for a number of businesses it could be eating up unnecessary budget.  I’m talking about search terms that have never converted but continue to eat up ad spend.  That can be a big problem.

If you’re like me and want to avoid paying for clicks that never convert, you need to focus on the keywords that are producing results.  Start by making sure that you are tracking conversions.  Once you have this implemented you can begin to monitor the keywords that are driving conversions.  As you gather this information begin to increase your spend on productive keywords and decrease your spend on those that are driving click volume but no conversions.


A special thank you to Fremont College digital marketing school for assisting in the creation of this article. 
Enroll today by visiting their website Fremont.edu.