Paid advertising campaigns can burst a whole in your budget you could do without. And paying experts to manage your sponsored ads for you can turn your stomach by the end of the month. So if you want to save a few quid, why not try having a dabble with AdWords yourself.

To be honest, PPC campaigns do require some expertise – plus practice and patience. You will find a wealth of advice on the internet, but given most of the advice is written by experts it is intended to help other marketers learn their trade. And for beginners attempting AdWords themselves, the advice can be a little misleading.

PPC Strategy 1 – Go for low organic keywords

Keywords cost money and the most popular keywords can pull the plug on your budget. Until you work out which ad campaigns are working for you, target low organic keywords.

If you go to Google Search Console and check in your search queries, you will find a list of keywords that are most used in searches. This may sound counter-intuitive, but by selecting keywords with a low CTR and average position you will face less competition and target user-intent around those keywords.

You therefore need to focus the same keywords on your landing pages and ad copy that correspond with your PPC ads. This tactic will make your money go further and increase your chances of attracting traffic. You will need to keep an eye on performance indicators regularly though so check spend v performance every day and if you are paying out without results change the keyword.

PPC Strategy 2 – Don’t Use Broad Match Types

Using broad match keywords will generate a lot of impressions, but it also means you spend your budget quicker and conversions are less profitable.

Keywords trigger ads in relation to matched search terms, but if you use keywords that describe a category, you won’t always attract the right customers.  Prospects searching for the more generic keywords tend to be earlier in their customer buyer funnel and have less idea of what they want to buy at this stage.  They are therefore less likely to be at the point where they will convert to a goal such as a sale.  Targetting the broad match terms may also bring in a lot of non-relevant or targeted traffic to your site.  If you are using SEO to get traffic in this way then certainly this will generate a brand awareness and may therefore be a credible early stage strategy to get the reach necessary to get your voice or brand personality out there, but with paid search you will burn budget unless you are more considered in your tactics.

For example, if you use “MacBook” as a keyword you will attract consumers looking to buy an Apple computer. But what if the person conducting the search wants to buy a 15” MacBook and you only have offers for a 13”? The end-user will click on your ad and straight back out.

By narrowing down your keyword match to specifics, you attract the right customers for the product you are offering: 13” MacBook Pro.” The more customers you accurately target the more likely you are to make a sale.

A better option is to go at the very least with a ‘broad match modified’ keyword strategy, whereby only search queries which include strictly certain words are targeted.  You can do this by adding a + sign to the keywords in your campaign when setting the match type.  For example +red +ladies +shoes as a broad match modified query will say that the query must contain all three of these words in the phrase typed by the searcher for your ad to be displayed.  In this instance if someone types ‘ladies shoes’ your ad will not show because ‘red’ was not included in the search query.

PPC Strategy 3 – Don’t Use One Keyword Ad Group

Although you might think it is okay to use one keyword ad group, it is a tactic that should be left to professionals. We have years of experience and know how sponsored ads work.

The one keyword-one ad group even sounds straight-forward, but in reality it is actually more time consuming. If you don’t get the keyword right, you waste time and money finding one that does work and your ROI feels like a kick in Googles.

Like any digital marketing campaign, there is an art to PPC and until you have gained some experience, it doesn’t miraculously work just because experts say it does. Paid advertising only works if you do it right.

Contact us if you want to discuss your PPC campaigns so that we can give you an initial consultation without any obligation.