Best PPC Advertising Strategies

The best-converting and most cost-effective PPC Advertising Strategies

Small business owners, freelancers, starting entrepreneurs and charities do not usually have big advertising budgets, so knowing and deploying high-converting digital advertising techniques becomes even more crucial to the success of their businesses.

If your professional activity falls under any of the aforementioned denominations, this little guide is for you. I drew from my years of professional experience in digital marketing and advertising as well as my renewed certifications and updated research to give you the most up-to-date insights.

Finally, you will also have access to lesser-known tactics to use in each main platform so you can get the most out of your limited advertising budget.

So, without further ado, let´s see what moves you can make that are the most algorithm-friendly PPC.

1. Perform Comprehensive Keyword Research

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-converting keywords for your campaigns by:

  • Utilising keyword research tools – such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs SERP Checker and Ahrefs Keyword Difficulty Checker – to identify relevant and high-converting keywords for your campaigns.
  • Focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific and have lower competition. Long-tail keywords are phrases made from three to five words. An example of a long-tail keyword is ¨the best PPC advertising tactics´ vs short tail or broad search keywords such as ´ppc´ or ´ppc advertising´.
  • Consider user intent when selecting keywords to ensure they align with your business goals. User intent is defined into three types: informational, navigational or transactional. This means that users are looking either for information, for a place nearby or to buy a product or hire a service they need.

2. Utilise Ad Group Segmentation

Organise your campaigns into tightly themed ad groups, allowing for better ad relevancy and targeting by:

  • Dividing keywords into topic-related ad groups based on common themes or product / service categories; this improves ad relevancy and helps you to customise your ad content to specific keyword groupings.
  • Improving your Quality Score and click-through rates (CTRs) by precisely matching ads to keywords.

3. Create Compelling Ad Copy

Create enticing ad copy that encourages users to click by:

  • Crafting ad copy that grabs attention, highlights unique selling propositions, and creates a sense of urgency.
  • Incorporating pertinent keywords to improve relevance and quality.
  • Experimenting with different ad formats, including expanded text ads or responsive search ads, to find the most effective approach.

4. Use Ad Extensions

Use ad extensions such as sitelink extensions, call extensions, and location extensions to provide additional information and improve ad visibility.

  • Sitelink extensions can direct users to specific pages on your website.
  • Call extensions enable users to call your business directly from the ad.
  • Location extensions display your business address and help drive local foot traffic if your business has a brick and mortar presence.

5. Perform A/B Testing

Continuously test different ad variations, headlines, calls to action, and landing pages to identify the highest-performing combinations and optimise your campaigns accordingly. Monitor metrics such as CTR (Click-through-Rate), CR (Conversion Rate), and CPC (Cost per Conversion) to determine the most effective variations.

6. Utilise Remarketing Campaigns

Target users who have previously interacted with your website or app, increasing the chances of conversion. You can do this by:

  • Using remarketing lists to segment your audience and deliver tailored ads based on their behaviour.
  • Customising your ad messaging to remind users of their previous interactions and encourage them to convert.

7. Set up Ad Scheduling

Optimise your campaign by scheduling ads during peak hours or when your target audience is most likely to be active. I will be writing an article soon focused on social media and will cover this aspect. Don´t hesitate to subscribe to this Know-How to get notified when it´s published.

Once you have scheduled and launched your ads:

  • Analyse the results data to perfect the timing when your target audience is most active and likely to convert.
  • Adjust bids based on performance during different time periods to maximize ROI.

8. Apply Geographic Targeting strategies

Focus your ads on specific geographic regions to reach users who are most likely to convert and consider adjusting bids based on the value and competition in these different geographic locations.

9. Don´t forget to add Negative Keywords

A way to avoid wasting money is to exclude irrelevant search terms through negative keyword targeting. This way you are ensuring your ads are shown to the most relevant audience. To achieve this:

  • Conduct regular keyword analysis and add negative keywords to exclude irrelevant search terms.
  • Monitor search term reports to identify and add new negative keywords.

10. Always implement Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is how you will be able to measure the success and ROI of your campaigns accurately. Set up conversion tracking codes on relevant pages (e.g., thank you pages or purchase confirmation pages). Track all the relevant conversions according to your business goals, such as form submissions, purchases, or newsletter sign-ups, to optimise your campaigns for desired actions.

11. Optimise your Landing Pages

Create dedicated landing pages with relevant content, aligning the messaging and design with your ad copy for consistency. Add clear calls to action (CTAs) and make sure that the user experience is seamless to maximize your ad conversions. Last, but not least, test continuously so you can perfect your landing pages to improve conversion rates to the maximum.

12. Execute Bid Optimisation

Master your bid strategy to optimise your cost per acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS) by:

  • Regularly analysing performance data.
  • Using automated bidding strategies based on your campaign goals.
  • Monitoring bid adjustments for different devices, locations, or demographics to optimise performance.

13. Improve your Quality Score

The algorithm favours ads with a high quality score, which is measured by keywords, ad relevance, and landing page experience. A high quality score results in lower costs and top ad positions. You can improve it by:

14. Conduct Competitor Analysis

To stay ahead in the market, you also need to watch closely your competitors’ strategies, keywords, and ad copy to identify opportunities. Analysing their ad campaigns will also serve as inspiration as you gain insights for your own campaigns.

15. Optimise Display and Video Ads Placements

Make use of Ad Placement Exclusions to eliminate irrelevant or underperforming websites or placements from your display or video campaigns. This is done by:

  • Regularly reviewing placement reports to identify sites that are not generating desired results.
  • Refining your targeting by excluding placements that do not align with your campaign goals and your target audiences.

16. Make use of Ad Customisers

Ad customisers dynamically insert personalised information into your ads. Using them, you can:

  • Incorporate dynamic elements like countdown timers or location, which are specific details to create a sense of urgency and relevance.
  • Customise ad copy based on user context, such as their location or device.

17. Utilise Advance Audience Targeting Options

In order to maximise their impact whilst keeping spending low you need to:

  • Segment your audience based on factors like age, gender, interests, or behaviours  – such as previous interactions.
  • Tailor your ad messaging and bids to these different audience segments to increase relevance and engagement.

18. Implement Dynamic Search Ads

They serve to automatically generate relevant headlines and landing pages based on your website content. This approach can help expand your keyword coverage and ensure ads are displayed for relevant search queries. Remember to monitor and refine your dynamic search ads to maintain relevancy and optimise performance.

19. Deploy Testing with Responsive Search Ads

Responsive search ads automatically adjust to match user search queries. Create multiple headlines and descriptions, allowing the system to optimise combinations dynamically. This increases the likelihood of higher ad relevance and improves the overall performance of your ads.

20. Carry out Regular Campaign Optimisation

As soon as you can afford it, consider hiring a professional, since you will need to continuously monitor and optimise your PPC campaigns based on performance data.

Reviewing key metrics like CTR, conversion rate, cost per conversion, and ROI and making data-driven decisions to refine targeting, ad copy, bidding strategy, and overall campaign structure is the only way to remain competitive in the ad space.

Next, as promised, platform-specific tactics

Below I have included a table with practical and highly-converting strategies for each specific platform, including lesser-known tactics, which will help you gain a competitive advantage.

Google Ads. Utilise ad extensions, create ad variations, use ad scheduling, implement remarketing, focus on quality score improvement and refine audience targeting.
. Use the “Target Outranking Share” bid strategy to automatically outrank a specific competitor in the ad auction.
. “Similar audiences” will be completely phased out by Google on August 2023. If you have been using similar segments on Search or Shopping campaigns and aren’t using “smart bidding”, use it for your next campaigns.
. Also, turn on “Optimised Targetting” for your Display, Discovery or Video Action campaigns.
. And if you have used “similar segments” on Awareness and Reach video or Consideration video campaigns, include your first-party data segments in your ad groups, and turn on “audience expansion” to reach people similar to those in your first-party data.
Facebook Ads. Set clear campaign objectives, utilise custom audiences and lookalike audiences, experiment with different ad formats, and use Facebook Pixel for conversion tracking and optimisation.
. You can also exploit Facebook’s “Value-based Lookalike Audiences” to target users who are similar to your high-value customers based on their purchasing behaviour.
. Additionally, use Facebook’s “Offline Events” feature to track and optimise conversions that occur offline, such as in-store purchases or phone enquiries.
Instagram Ads. Leverage visual storytelling, create eye-catching imagery and videos, employ Instagram’s targeting options, collaborate with influencers, and tap into Instagram shopping features.
. Experiment with Instagram’s “Explore” tab ads to reach a wider audience who are actively discovering new content.
. Make use of Instagram’s “Shoppable Posts” feature to tag products in your organic posts and drive users directly to the product pages for seamless shopping experiences.
LinkedIn Ads. Target specific professional demographics, experiment with LinkedIn’s ad formats (sponsored content, sponsored InMail, text ads), take advantage of retargeting, and highlight professional achievements and case studies.
. Leverage LinkedIn’s “Matched Audiences” feature not only to target your ideal audience by title or industry but also to include website retargeting audiences, contact lists, and account-based marketing (ABM) lists.
. Use LinkedIn’s “Lead Gen Forms” to capture lead information directly within the platform, streamlining the lead generation process.
Twitter Ads. Use hashtag targeting, target specific user interests and demographics, create engaging and concise ad copy, utilise Twitter’s ad targeting options, and monitor real-time trends for opportunities.
. Make use of Twitter’s “Website Cards” to create visually appealing cards that drive traffic to your website or landing page.
. Experiment with Twitter’s “Conversation Ads” to encourage engagement and start conversations with your audience directly within the ad unit.
TikTok Ads. Create short, attention-grabbing videos, leverage TikTok’s user targeting options and employ TikTok’s ad formats (in-feed ads, branded effects, hashtag challenges).
. Collaborate with TikTok influencers to create native and engaging content that resonates with the platform’s user base.
. Utilise TikTok’s “Custom Audiences” to retarget users who have engaged with your previous TikTok ads or have visited your website.
YouTube Ads. Create compelling video content and leverage YouTube’s targeting options using different ad formats (skippable ads, non-skippable ads, bumper ads).
. Monitor video engagement metrics and optimise for mobile viewing.
. Implement YouTube’s “Video Remarketing” to target users who have interacted with your YouTube channel, videos, or ads in the past.
. Adopt YouTube’s “Video Ad Sequencing” to tell a cohesive story by showing users a series of ads in a specific order.
Pinterest Ads. Create visually appealing pins, use Pinterest’s audience targeting options, implement keyword targeting, optimise pins for mobile viewing, use Pinterest shopping features, and collaborate with influencers.
. Use Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” feature to tag multiple products within a single pin, making it easier for users to discover and purchase products.
. Set up Pinterest’s “Visitor Retargeting” to retarget users who have visited your website or engaged with your pins.

Remember to continually test, analyse, and optimise your campaigns to achieve the best results for the least amount of money possible. It can be done, I have done it many times for my employers and clients and this blueprint will help you take the neccessary steps to set you on that same path to success.

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