Webinar Video + Q&A: "10 Hidden Horrors to Avoid in Your PPC Campaigns"

Earlier this month, our team hosted a webinar focused on PPC Strategies that discussed keywords, match types, ad copy, and more. If you missed it, you can watch the video below or on YouTube.

We received so many great questions during the webinar that we weren’t able to answer them all. Here are the ones we missed answered by paid search specialists Mia Pruett, Adam Kirsch, and Chelsea Cepeda.

Keywords Questions

1. How do you specify in your ad NOT to use the broad match default?

If you don’t want to use broad match, you can use one of the other match types. To keep the keywords in a certain phrase, you’ll want to use phrase match. Specify a keyword as phrase match by using quotes around keywords like “scary halloween mask.” Remember, phrase match keywords allow additional words to be appended on either side of the phrase.

When using exact match, use brackets; for example, [scary halloween mask]. Unlike phrase match, exact match keywords will only trigger when the exact keyword has been queried.

If you’d prefer to use modified broad match, put plus signs in front of each necessary term in the keyword. So, your modified broad match keyword may look like +scary +halloween +mask.

2. In the case of dental instruments, what type of keywords can I use?

The best way to find keywords is through the Keyword Planner tool in either Google AdWords or Bing Ads, using keywords from your product descriptions and searching for your own competition.

Keyword Planner can be accessed through the “Tools” section of both Google and Bing platforms. When using the Keyword Planner, try searching for new keyword recommendations. Try using highly relevant information pertaining to your products and services to get the most recommendations.

3. Can you better explain modified broad match?

In the ‘scary halloween mask’ example, when ‘+’ signs are added at the beginning of each word, only close variations of those words are used—but not synonyms or related searches. So in this example, ‘scary halloween costumes’ or ‘scary halloween makeup’ would not show up. You can also choose which words get the modifier. So if you wanted to reach people who wanted ‘halloween masks’ and possibly scary, you would put ‘scary +halloween +mask’. In this scenario, since there is not a ‘+’ sign in front of scary, synonyms or related searches for scary would show up and the ‘+’ signs ensure that both ‘halloween’ and ‘mask’ are included in the search.

4. Are keywords viewed by Google as phrases or individual words?

This depends on the keyword match type that you select. Broad match will read each word as an individual keyword. In the ‘scary halloween mask’ example, Google would show synonyms or related searches for any three of those words. When using Phrase match, Google reads the keyword as a phrase, allowing for additional terms to be appended on either side of that phrase. Exact match also reads the keywords as a phrase, but only shows results for the exact phrase selected.

5. Can you target AdWords to different countries? We are seasonal (busy in the summer). Can we focus with AdWords in Australia?

Yes, you can target ads to a specific location. Specify the location of each campaign on the Setting tab.

6. Should I have one ad with a main keyword and another ad with the main keyword plus a city or locations?

It is always a good idea to have more than one ad in each ad group. This allows you to test different variations to see which is most effective. Since you’ll have already specified your target area in the campaign location settings, you’ll find that it’s not necessary to include city and/or location terms in the keyword. Instead, try including the city and/or location in the ad. The best way to do this is to link a Google My Business account to Google AdWords to implement location extensions. Location extensions allow you to feed multiple store addresses and other local information directly into your ad based on the user’s location. This will help get the most targeted users to your site and/or store while saving the headache of building out multiple keyword lists.

7. Should I use multiple match types for the same keyword in the same ad group?

Try using multiple match types in the same ad groups to begin with. This will give you the opportunity to create relevant ads for the ad group theme as well as optimize keyword level bids in the same area. Remember, keyword themes should be segmented into their own ad groups, so while you may have multiple keywords with the same match type, you’ll still have a low number of keywords in each group.

8. Should I set up different ad groups for different keyword match types?

This is a great experiment for larger advertising. For smaller accounts, it’s ideal to keep keyword match types as local as possible. This way, you’re able to optimize keywords match types with similar themes without comparing data across multiple avenues such as other campaigns and ad groups.

9. Does Google charge for the number of lines in an ad? Like newspapers charge more for a four line ad than a three line ad.

Google does not charge for the number of lines in an ad, so it is important to utilize all of the character space available. The cost of an ad is based on the campaign parameters that you choose, such as CPC (Cost-Per-Click), CPM (Cost for 1000 Impressions), and Ad Rank.

10. Where do I find the best resources for keywords, etc.?

The Keyword Planner is always a great place to start. Try using the search functionality to expand on keyword lists. The search results pages are also a great resource. Do light searching on terms and phrases you think should trigger your products and review both the results and ads. Then, review the search recommendations or similar searches at the bottom of the page. This gives you a better idea of where your customers are during the searching process as well as an idea of the current competition landscape.

Positioning Questions

11. Why does the location of the ad on the Google search page vary? Can you specify that you want your ad on the left vs. right side of the page?

There are numerous factors that affect the placement of your ad. Ads with the highest quality score and most relevance to the user’s search are more likely to be at the top. Also, since Google works on a PPC (pay-per-click) system, the ad with the highest ad rank likely appears at the top. Using site extensions, having a positive landing page experience, and having a low bounce rate affect the quality score and may increase ad rank.

12. How do you see your quality score?

Each Keyword has a different quality score. From the keyword tab, select the “columns” located directly under the campaign performance graph and then select “modify columns.” Once here, you’ll add the column for Quality Score from the Attributes list and hit apply.

13. What does "Average Position" actually mean?

Average position is an indicator of where your ad is appearing on the search results page. A keyword or ad with an average position of 3.6 indicates that the keyword or ad is triggering more often in the 3rd position. However, the keyword or ad has the tendency to either trigger above or below position 3 on occasion.

Objectives, Goals, and Best Practices Questions

14. What is a good and desirable conversion rate for PPC?

Conversion Rates are unique to every site. The desired conversion rate should depend on the desired revenue increase. A conversion rate for a 5% revenue increase looks different to every site due to the price of the products offered. A site with less inexpensive products will need a higher conversion rate to meet the desired revenue increase, whereas a site with more expensive products could need a lower conversion rate.

15. What is a good budget goal to start with when setting up a PPC campaign?

Google’s most popular bid method is PPC (Pay-Per-Click), which is directly related to CTR (Click-Through-Rate) and Conversion Rate. Ads with a high number of clicks and a high CTR are more likely to lead to a higher Conversion Rate if the user is taken to a relevant site and the user has a positive landing page experience. To get started, our team recommends a minimum budget of about $500. Once keyword research has been completed, you’ll have a better understanding of traffic volume and competition. From there, consider increasing or decreasing budget as necessary.

16. What is a good Click-Through-Rate?

Strive for 1% when first getting started. A 1% CTR is a great way to determine the relevancy of your keywords. If you find a majority of keywords are below 1%, then consider optimizing them by experimenting with match types and/or landing pages.

As your campaign matures, you’ll want to ensure that campaign relevancy is growing. At that point, you’ll strive for higher CTR from 3-5%. The higher the CTR, the greater keyword and ad relevance. While CTR is a great metric to review, if CTR is high but users are not converting, then review and optimize for conversion metrics. Always be sure the keywords are relevant to your audience, but that the audience is following through with your desired action.

17. With a very limited PPC budget, which method should you focus on first?

This depends on the parameters set for your campaign. If the main objective is to increase revenue, then Conversion Rate should be a key focus. Optimizing for quality traffic to increase CTR (Click-Through-Rate) can lead to higher conversion rates. Remember to review and optimize ads and landing pages as well.

18. What are the best steps to determine the best site to conduct a PPC click with? We have trouble deciding between Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc.

Yelp: Consider Yelp if you’ve claimed your business page, actively respond and engage with reviewers, and your business has 3 stars or higher.

Facebook: Try Facebook advertising if you have a unique product, you’re trying to build a fanbase, or you already have an active fanbase. Be sure you’re actively managing the Facebook page and are engaging with your customers. Facebook is also a great tool to advertise to specific users. For example, is your product/service best advertised to men 18-34 who enjoy playing pool, tennis, and are interested in both comedy and hiking? Now’s your chance to target them!

Google & Bing: Search engines are a great way to get your products/services to an audience that is already looking for them. Get in front of your audience quickly by bidding on keywords they’re already searching for and entice them with promotions.

Implementing a mix of each platform often yields the best results. Try each and continue advertising with the platform(s) that convert most often or contribute to assisted conversion metrics.

19. What are the ad placements on the Google results page, and will they show the ratings, bulleted (built-in) extensions, and ad extensions?

As long as ad extensions are implemented at the campaign level, then extensions will show when eligible. Some ad extensions, like Sitelinks, will only trigger if the ad is in positions 1-3. Locations extensions will only trigger if Google My Business is linked to the AdWords account and the user is nearby. Otherwise, extensions will trigger when the search engine deems them eligible.

20. If I have long-tail keywords and they are not producing, would it be best to pause that keyword so it doesn't hurt my quality score?

If you’ve noticed any keyword continuing to accrue clicks and cost without producing the desired result, then pause it. Be sure you’ve reviewed landing pages, match types, and search query reports before giving up completely. You may find a specific reason why the keyword is not producing the desired results.

21. How much should you bid for a click?

Keywords Planner shows the average bid for particular keywords. More generic keywords have higher bids, so try to bid on keywords that are unique to your products. In the ‘Scary Halloween Mask’ example, Halloween Mask is a very generic term; however, by adding the adjective ‘scary,’ it becomes more unique and excludes keywords such as animal, monster, princess, etc.

22. Do you suggest PPC Google search or network? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Consider a display campaign if you’re looking to do some branding. The display network is a great way to get your site out to users that could potentially be interested in your product or site. Be sure you’re targeting users based on the content they’re currently viewing or by the users interest. If not, your ads have the potential to show on any of the 2+ million websites within the Google Display Network. Also, be sure that you’ve created your own image-based ads or try the Google Display Ad Builder. Text ads on the display network have the tendency to get lost on websites; however, image ads have a better chance of catching the user's eye.

A better way to utilize the display network is to implement a remarketing campaign. While still on the display network, a remarketing campaign targets users who have already visited your website. By specifying certain behaviors, you can tailor your messaging to those users. For example, try targeting users who have added products to their shopping cart but didn’t complete the purchase. You’ll still be advertising on the display network, but this way you’re actively encouraging users to come back to your site and increasing transactions.

The search network is great for finding new users. Since you’ll be bidding on keywords directly related to your products and services, you’ll get your website in front of users already searching for what you have to offer. While working with keywords, it’s easier to see which are producing results and which aren’t. By pausing and adding new keywords on a regular basis, you’ll notice that the traffic quality on the search network is often higher.

If your products are more niche, it can be difficult to advertise to the right audience. Try experimenting with different channels in your marketing mix to make sure you’re casting the largest net possible.

23. I need some basic ideas on how to create campaigns on Google AdWords—can someone help me out with that? Or do you have any webinars on this topic?

Google has a very in-depth help section, which details everything about setting up your first campaign.

The Volusion team is happy to manage your campaign for you. Consider PPC services with Volusion—learn more here.

Check out the webinars by Volusion's Paid Search team. Try the Building Block of Paid Search Success webinar—it’s full of great tips for getting started.

24. Is it a good idea to schedule your paid ads to not run during the late evening hours?

Every site has a unique situation. Through the analytics dashboard, you can see what days and even what hours had the highest search traffic and engagement. You might be surprised at the times during which people are converting on your site. Review the data and schedule ads accordingly.

25. I am new to this, so everything is interesting. I suppose the main fear is that I don't have the budget to get the clicks/conversions, so anything relating to creating traffic on a budget would be super.

Google works on a bid method, and the most popular is PPC (Pay-Per-Click). This means that you only pay for the number of clicks that lead to your site. Curate keyword lists by reviewing competition levels and picking the keywords with high traffic volume and lower competition. Keywords with less competition will often have lower cost per click.

Remember that with PPC we want to drive quality traffic to the site rather than encouraging anyone to visit the site. While some keywords and ads might encourage users to click on your ads, make sure your landing page experience encourages users to follow through with that transaction. Consider enabling anonymous check out. This way, you’re allowing people to get in and out of your store as easily as possible.

Other Questions

26. How do we take our shopping feeds and weed out irrelevant junk traffic from them? Especially on Google. We are constantly having to add negative keywords because our shopping feeds trigger tons of irrelevant searches.

Keeping an eye on negative keywords is a great way to help reduce irrelevant or low quality traffic, but you also want to make sure that your product titles and descriptions are in good shape. Because shopping feeds do not utilize keywords, you want to be as descriptive as possible with your on-page content. We recently did a webinar over this very topic.

27. Should we use the ROI tracking feature in Volusion? Is it important?

It’s always a good idea to implement ROI tracking in your Volusion dashboard, even if you are already running conversion tracking from Google Analytics or another similar service. Sometimes one tracking system may pick up orders or visits that other tracking scripts miss or attribute incorrectly. At the very least, it’s never a bad idea to cross-reference.

Sitelinks will only trigger for ads appearing above the natural listings. This usually means that ads in positions 1-3 will be the only ones to trigger for a given search. If you find that your ads have an average position of 4 or lower, don’t fret—still add in those Sitelinks and other extensions. They are still calculated into ad rank and will benefit your audience when triggered.