Search Ads Look…Limp? Try THIS.

by | Feb 15, 2016

Fact: We all have performance issues from time to time with our PP…C, ads.

Between figuring out programmatic ad buying, stress at the office over the right keywords in your landing page, and your newborn native advertisements keeping you up at night, it’s no wonder you’re having problems with your PPC , ads.

Then you hear the sentence that burns an eternal pit into your ego:

“It’s not you, it’s me.”

Now, instead of letting your dreams be crushed, we’re here to tell you that there IS something you can do about issues with your PPC and Search ads. If your ad performance is looking a little, well, limp–we’re here to present you with some tricks of the search ad trade that will help you get back on track to your glory days, when your search ads performed on demand.

Note: This is geared towards search ads on Google’s Search Network, although considering the clear advantages of Google’s Display Network, the best approach for a PPC ad campaign is done through a dual-network approach; run campaigns for both, if your ad budget permits.

Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash

A Primer On The Google Search Network

On the topic of GSN (Google Search Network), it’s the primary network we focus on here at the Advertising Institute; that being said, little changes you make to your search ads can drastically affect their placement on Google’s search pages, accessibility and crucial information being displayed that could lead to conversions, leads, etc.

Between paid ads and organic (free) listings, GSN is targeted towards users who are actively searching for what they want, with a particular set of keywords.

That being said, your keywords are a great place to start revamping your search ad efforts.

The Key, Is Keyword

The text on your search ad is the first thing users will see upon their query on GSN. As mentioned in previous postings on Quality Score–easily the most overlooked element of any ad campaign–better keywords in the long-run eventually cost less, and do more.

As a quick tip, aim towards keywords in your AdWords campaign manager that are low-competition, but highly searched, for maximum reach among active searchers.

Although these tips are AdWords centric, they can be applied to any keyword search platform, such as Bing and more. Be sure to run searches on keywords that are already performing well to find variations that can bring in better results, as well as researching the negative keywords that you DON’T want on your search ads.

By reviewing your ad copy and pausing keywords that aren’t contributing to leads or sales, you can save money on your ad budget and allocate them towards keywords that have a higher ROI, thus improving your Quality Score.

The result of that? Better ranking on the Google Search Network.

Different Platform, Different Results

Here’s a question for you, hot-shot: in consideration of your ad campaigns, what platform does it get the most traffic from? Mobile? Desktop vs. tablets?

Knowing your platform of performance means tailoring your search ads towards better results; as we discussed in our Mobile Revolution posting, search results look drastically different on mobile devices vs. desktops and tablets, so your copy should be adjusted accordingly. Most of the time, search ads on mobile devices have less you can put in description lines, and less copy available to read due to screen constraints.

That being said, if you’re looking to optimize your ad copy for mobile devices, are you taking full advantage of the following:

  • Sitelink extentions
  • Callout extensions
  • URL keywords
  • Headline Extensions + Description Line One
  • Structured Snippets

If not, then you should probably read this to get up to speed on mobile search advertising.

Search & Destroy

So the copy is great on all of your search ads, and well optimized for mobile devices, tablets and desktops alike; have you run a search query report on your high-volume campaigns for queries’ sake? A report can help determine the relevant searches towards other industries, which can then help you select negative keywords to avoid in your search ads.

Accordingly, did you know that you can exclude user locations that might be irrelevant to your search ads? For example, the month of December means umbrella sales for Vancouver, but likely not for our chilly neighbours in Ontario.

That said, you have the magical ability to geotarget populations that are actively searching for your ads; in lieu targeting, you can allocate your ad budgeting towards the locations that are relevant, helping to cut down costs on ads where they aren’t performing.

Saving $$$, earning $$$ elsewhere.

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