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6 AdWords & Bing Ads Secrets Every PPC Marketer Should Know

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6 AdWords & Bing Ads Secrets Every PPC Marketer Should Know

If you work in PPC, you’re probably always in search of great tips to improve performance or streamline management.

Well, today I’ve got six great PPC tips for you.

Read on to check out these awesome PPC secrets, insights, and wisdom from some of today’s top paid search experts.

But first I want to share my own tip. This one can be incredibly powerful for e-commerce marketers, especially during the holiday season.

1. Countdown Timer

One shiny little-known PPC gem is called the countdown timer.

This is a dynamic ad customizer that can be used to communicate urgency to a sale, event, or anything with a deadline. For example:

  • Sale or rebates: “Hurry, sale ends in 2 days”
  • Application deadline: “Deadline to apply is in 3 weeks”.
  • Event date or registration: “Register now, webinar is in 4 days”

This great feature is available right now in AdWords and Bing Ads.


2. In-Market Audiences

Purna VirjiPurna Virji, Senior Engagement Manager, Microsoft Bing

Many people still don’t know in-market audiences exist or are unsure about how to set them up. As the name says, these are lists of people who are in the market to buy and thus have a higher likelihood of engaging with your ads.

Unlike remarketing audiences, these lists are not limited to just people who have been to your website before. Rather these are broader and can help you get exposure to people who may not have known about your brand before.

Lists exist across dozens of verticals such as automotive, finance, retail, and more. Set-up couldn’t be easier; it takes 5 min to add a pre-created list into the ad group.

There’s no need for tracking codes and no need to wait for the audience list to reach over 1,000 cookies before it can be added to the ad group. These lists are fully ready and raring to go. Add them in to help give your campaigns a boost in click-through rate and conversion rates.

The best way to get started is to layer them on as bid only, and as they prove themselves out you can move them to their own ad groups with target and bid.  It’s easy to get start and can improve your conversion rates. Why not give it a shot?


3. Similar Audiences Using Customer CRM Data

Samantha NobleSamantha Noble, MD & Founder, Biddable Moments

One of my favorite things at the moment in AdWords is that we now have the ability to build out Similar Audiences using Customer CRM data that we can then use within our search campaigns.

For brands that want to increase awareness on some of the more expensive and high traffic terms, but don’t want to advertise to an entire marketplace, this feature narrows down the targeting to only show ads to those that have similar traits, demographics, and physiographic to actual customers.

On average Google are able to match just over 50 percent of a database that gets uploaded (more in some industries and less in others obviously) but even a sample base of 50 percent gives them a very good idea of the likes and dislikes of your customers and they supply you with a new to brand audience to market to.

If you are unable to use your own customer CRM data, then the same methodology can be applied to RLSA lists of converting customers, too.


4. Manage Your Keyword Conflicts Properly

Brad GeddesBrad Geddes, Co-Founder, AdAlysis

Keyword conflicts occur when your negative keywords stop your carefully chosen keywords from display ads. While AdWords and Bing both show conflicts in reports or opportunities, there are some problems with how they display them that cause marketers to ignore this information.

First, if you have one ad group with exact match and another with phrase/modified, in your phrase/modified ad group, you have the exact match negative in that ad group to manage which ad group shows an ad. In this, case, you often see a conflict as you are stopping your phrase/modified from being displayed. While technically this is a conflict, it’s a false positive as you are showing your ads properly and thus you start to ignore conflict reports and then miss the times you really do have a conflict.

The other issue arises when you use negative keyword lists. These lists are ignored in Google’s conflict reporting.

At Adalysis, we do intelligent conflicts based upon match types and all levels of negatives. We have yet to see an account with more than two negative lists that doesn’t have at least one conflict (and many times there are thousands).

Because your exact match term can show for variations (plurals, misspellings, different word orders), your exact match keyword can be in conflict yet have data. This happens when you are showing up for the query variations, but not the actual term. When these keywords get impressions; it’s easy to miss the fact that you are actually not showing for your chosen term, but instead, for all of its variations.

You should use software or scripts to examine your keyword conflicts as almost every large account has them, but they are easy to miss; and then your ads are not showing for your carefully chosen keywords, causing you to miss valuable traffic.


5. AdWords Scripts for Repetitive Tasks

Frederick VallaeysFrederick Vallaeys, CEO and Co-Founder, Optmyzr

If you’re spending a good amount of time managing AdWords campaigns, you should check out AdWords Scripts. They’re a great way to automate some of the more repetitive tasks you’re doing.

I tried Scripts a few years ago when I was a PPC consultant shortly after leaving Google. I had a hard time keeping up with routine maintenance of accounts because I spent most of my days talking to clients and then I’d run out of time to apply common best practice optimizations.

When someone told me about the power of AdWords Scripts, I spent an afternoon reading the documentation and building some simple scripts of my own and it was magic. All of a sudden, I could automate half my work without buying a server or installing new software on my computer.

Seeing the power of automation in PPC led me to create Optmyzr, where advertisers can subscribe to our scripts and tools. But I’m always most excited when I hear about a non-technical marketer who was brave enough to try and cobble together some code from the many samples that you can find online, and created a time-saving tool that will save them time every day.

Here’s a specific example that’s really nice to automate with Scripts: budget management. When Google changed the overdelivery rules for daily budgets, that got some advertisers worried. But with a simple script that’s just 30 lines long, you can revert back to how budgets worked before. I shared the code in case you want to grab it and try it for your account.

I’ve also built budget pacing scripts, URL checkers, campaign builders, reports, and much more so the sky’s the limit once you know where to go to write your own code to work with AdWords.


6. Negative Keywords in Google Display Network

David SzetelaDavid Szetela, Owner & CEO, FMB Media

Be careful about using negative keywords in Google Display Network campaigns. Negative keywords tell AdWords, “Don’t show my ad on any pages that contain any of these words.”

In fact, negative keywords and negative placements should almost never be used in audience-targeted GDN campaigns. The audience targeting methods are:

  • Remarketing
  • Similar Audiences
  • Customer Match
  • In-market Audiences
  • Affinity Audiences
  • Custom Affinity Audiences

Remember, when using audience targeting, you are concerned with showing ads to groups of people, regardless of what GDN sites they’re visiting.

So it seldom makes sense to exclude particular pages or sites using negative keywords or placements.

The exception is when you (or your client) wants to restrict ads from showing on questionable sites or pages.

Want to see your audience-targeted campaigns grow dramatically in reach? Just delete any negative keywords or placements you’re now using!


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Lisa Raehsler

Lisa Raehsler

SEM Strategy Consultant at Big Click Co.

Lisa Raehsler is a search engine marketing and pay-per-click (PPC) strategist, nationally recognized speaker, and columnist for industry leading publications. ... [Read full bio]

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