PPC Blog: Paid Search Strategy

Google Ads Not Working for Your Small Brand? Try Something Different

Often, smaller companies struggle to compete in competitive markets where megabrands dominate.

When cost per clicks are sky high in Google Ads and competition is tough, it can be hard to elbow your way in.

But while it may be difficult, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Sometimes, you just have to approach things more creatively.

In this article, I’ll share with you some of the strategies we’re seeing smaller companies use to get a leg up in markets that are dominated by larger players.

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Why Do People Click on Paid Search Ads?

At the heart of every paid search campaign lies the eternal question: Why do people click (or not click) on your paid search ads?

Is it because they recognize the brand that’s advertised? Is it because the ad includes the information they’re seeking?

Or is it simply that the ad is at the right place at the right time?

Figuring out why people click (or don’t click) has become increasingly difficult as ads become more complex.

After all, it wasn’t many years ago that text ads had one headline and a simple two line description.

Today, we have multiple headlines and descriptions available to us—not to mention a dozen extensions to mix and match.

why do people click on paid search ads

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A Rundown of Your Google Ads Automated Bid Options

My last column talked about the ins and outs of Google Ads bidding. If you haven’t seen that column yet, give it a read before proceeding. It has some important tips to get you started with automated bidding.

This column will focus specifically on Google Ads automated bid options.

Automated bidding sounds great in theory (“Everything’s done for you!”) but can be much more complex in reality.

Not only do you have to pick the right type of bidding strategy for your business goals, you also have to learn the nuances of each.

Google Ads automated bid options

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What You Need to Know About Google Ads Bid Strategy

Of all of the technical aspects of PPC, none confounds both pros and novices more than bid strategy.

This is partly because there are so many bid strategy options in Google Ads, each with its own nuances.

Even when you think you understand how they work based on their descriptions, that doesn’t always translate into how they work in practice. As a result, you’re never entirely sure of your footing.

Therefore, in this article, I’m going to walk you through some of the basics of manual and automated Google Ads bidding. I’ll then give you some tips for moving into automated bidding when you’re ready.

Google Ads bid strategy

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The Challenge of Competing with Directory Sites in Paid Search

When you run Google searches, the results are sometimes filled with ads for directory sites.

This is especially true when the search terms relate to expensive, big-commitment services, such as schools and assisted living facilities (a.k.a., nursing homes).

People will usually thoroughly research and compare these services before buying, which makes directory sites appealing.

As an advertiser, you might see this as a problem. After all, how can your ad for a single facility compete against ads for directories that list hundreds of facilities?

Competing with directory sites in paid search

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8 Important Ways to Qualify Your Paid Search Prospects

Recently, a client wanted to remove qualifying elements from their text ads on the Search Network. We had been using terms in their ad copy, such as “for corporate groups” and “for 50+ people” to help make our target audience clear.

However, the client started to feel that those qualifiers had become unnecessary. They wondered if we couldn’t make better use of that ad text space.

It’s true, we had been using those qualifiers for a long time—but for good reason. We felt that they were a critical part of turning away irrelevant ad clicks.

But the client wanted to test whether those qualifiers were still necessary, so we agreed.

qualify paid search clicks

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4 PPC Metrics That Get More Attention Than They Deserve

It’s not uncommon for people new to paid search to get overly focused on certain PPC metrics.

While I applaud their interest, I often find that those metrics—in isolation—aren’t terribly useful.

At the same time, I can understand the fascination with certain numbers. After all, it’s easier to focus on one or two highly visible numbers than more complex metrics that are harder to nail down.

And, sometimes, I think these metrics become a way to avoid taking a broader perspective and asking tougher questions.

Therefore, I’m going to use this post to describe a few metrics that get more attention than they deserve—and what you might want to focus on instead.

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Don’t Let Your Website Redesign Derail Your PPC Program

Is a website redesign good news for your PPC program? Well, yes and no.

It’s true that an updated, well-functioning website can give your PPC program a nice boost.

But it’s also true that the website redesign process can send your PPC program off the rails—at least temporarily.

In my recent article in Search Engine Land, I talk about where things can go wrong in website redesigns from a PPC perspective.

Because when you know where potential problems lie, you can take steps to avoid them when you can—and correct them quickly when you can’t.

website redesign and your PPC program

13 Reasons Why PPC Brand Bidding Is a No-Brainer

Among most paid search pros, PPC brand bidding is an accepted practice. Still, some clients (and maybe even some PPC pros), continue to resist it.

The most common reason I’ve encountered for not bidding on brand is the belief that organic will pick up the slack. Some will point to this 2013 eBay study that concludes bidding on brand is a big waste of money.

But that was four and a half years ago — a lifetime in this industry.

In the meantime, my experience begs to differ.

PPC brand bidding

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How to Compete When CPCs are Sky High

In some industries, such as law, insurance, medical coding and education, the cost of online ad clicks are through the roof. In these areas, companies pay on average $50 per click. And clicks costing $200 or more are not unusual!

If you don’t have the deep pockets of the big brands, is it possible for you to compete when prices are so high?

The answer is yes. And you do it by bringing down costs where you can and making sure that every click counts.

To find out more, check out my latest column in Search Engine Land: “Beat High-Cost Paid Search Clicks by Sweating the Details.”

When CPCs are sky high

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Matt Grimm, Ecommerce Director at Red Star Traders

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