Having trouble with PPC Marketing for your small business? This article is geared towards those who need a few tips for PPC advertising.

Targeting is Everything

A lot of companies come to us and want us to start their PPC campaign in one of two ways:

  1. They want us to advertise their entire company, product line, and/or service list
  2. They want us to use their biggest “money maker” for advertising products

Unless you only offer a few different products and services—you’ll generally want to pick one or two products to start off your PPC campaign.

When you’re first getting started, you want to pick your most “solid” product—rather than your biggest money maker. Most companies have a very expensive product/service that outsells their regular products—but a lot of these products generally need more “hand-holding” and can be more expensive to advertise.

For an example, I’ll use a freelance photographer. It’s probably not a surprise that wedding shoots are some of the most lucrative shoots for a freelancing family photographer. It’s also probably not a surprise that these are some of the most expensive keywords to bid on. Especially in this situation, people will be doing a lot of research and “clicking” on your ads to review the information.

In the above example, it would be better to go for engagement shoots, couple’s shoots, or other smaller money makers—but cheaper ads—to start out with.

Be Realistic with Your Budget

This ties into the point of our last tip, but it’s important you’re very realistic with your budget in PPC advertising.

PPC advertising isn’t a silver bullet by any means—and it shouldn’t be treated as such. If you only have a $250 a month budget—but your average keywords cost $20 every time it’s clicked—it’s unlikely you’re going to get very far with that campaign. It’s better (with a low budget) to pick keywords that won’t eat up your daily allotment in one or two clicks.

This may be tough for some industries. If you have an expensive industry, I’d recommend a two week trial run with a full budget (so you use the $250 over two weeks instead a month) and reviewing the data. You may find that this higher investment is worth it—or you may want to try something else.

Add Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are very powerful in PPC campaigns.

Search engine based PPC advertising should generally only target people looking to make a purchase right now. Not people looking for free information, people doing research, and definitely not tire kickers.

When you’re adding keywords, at the bottom of your keyword screen is a “negative keywords” option.

You want to add as many negative keywords as you need to in order to prevent your ads from showing on queries you don’t want.

For example, if you’re looking to use PPC ads to grow your CPA business, you’d likely have a keyword similar to “Sacramento CPAs” Keep in mind this would show up for anyone searching phrases including “Sacramento CPA” Including things like “Sacramento CPA Receptionist Jobs.”

Another one people miss out a lot is using “free” or “how to” in their negative searches. In the same example, you’d want to target people looking for CPAs to file their tax returns—not for people looking for free advice on filing their tax return.

Keywords: Less is More

Whenever we’re hired to take over a PPC campaign—the first thing we usually do is cut about half of the keywords off the campaign. Most small businesses have way too many keywords in each AdWords group.

We’ve found that 15-20 keywords is a good rule of thumb for how many keywords should be in an ad group. Generally, when you have more than 15-20 keywords per ad group—you’re not targeting your ads properly.

Set Up Remarketing

Does it seem like sometimes websites are following you around the internet? Have you visited a website before—and then found their advertisement all over the place?

This isn’t just a case of cognitive bias; you actually are seeing the advertisements more now that you’ve visited a company’s website.

Remarketing/Retargeting through Google is a very cool and effective way to market to people who have visited your website before. It’s a common theory that it takes someone an average of 7 points of contact before they actually make a purchase from you for the first time. Remarketing helps kick that into gear.

Later in the week I’m going to release an article covering the thoughts of Remarketing—so make sure you’re signed up on the mailing list to learn more!

Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are a wonderful tool to increase the engagement and improve the quality of your leads.

Have you ever seen an ad that looks like a bit larger, and has more copy to it?

The above Allstate Ad features several extensions:

  1. Call:  Allstate has a phone number on the right hand side of their advertisement, under their name. This is great because someone can call you directly—without clicking on the advertisement!
  2. Social:  Right above the “enter zip code box,” the number of followers on Google+ is being displayed. This helps demonstrate social proof.
  3. Call-To-Action:  This one is my favorite—now someone can start the quote process directly from the advertisement, instead of having to go to the landing page

As a rule of thumb, the fewer barriers to entry to have (or, how many steps someone needs to take to become your customer) the higher level of conversions you’ll receive. Expanding an advertisement to allow people to call you, email you, or learn more about your company will greatly impact the amount of conversions you see on your ads.


If you need additional help with your pay per click campaign, contact us today for a free quote on our PPC management services.