#1) Create Separate Campaigns for Search and Display Networks
When advertising your product/service on Google Adwords, it’s recommended that you create separate campaigns for the Search and Display Networks. Formerly known as the Content Network, the Display Network consists of thousands upon thousands of websites that are affiliated with Google. The Search Network, on the other hand, consists of Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, and a few hundred large websites like AOL.
Creating separate campaigns for the Search and Display Networks will allow you to bid different amounts, which is particularly helpful since the Search Network generally yields higher quality traffic.
#2) Split Test Multiple Ad Variations
If you aren’t A/B split testing multiple ad variations, you are missing out on one of the easiest ways increase your return on investment (ROI). Even if you think you have the best possible ad, there’s always room for improvement.
To perform an A/B split test, create two different PPC ads for the same campaign and let them run for a full week. By then, you should have enough data to determine which one performs the best. Keep this ad and replace the losing ad with a new variation; rinse and repeat for the duration of your campaign.
#3) Use Negative Keywords
In addition to split testing multiple ad variations, you should also include negative keywords within your PPC campaigns. If a user searches for the negative keyword, or any phrase containing it, your ad will NOT be displayed. Here’s a practical example: if you sell commercial-grade cybersecurity software, you may want to include the negative keyword “free,” preventing your ads from displaying when someone searches for keywords like “free cybersecurity software” or “free virus scanner.”
#4) The First Position Isn’t Always the Best…
I’ll be the first person to go on record by saying that the first Ad Rank position for PPC campaigns isn’t always the best. Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that you’ll receive more traffic when your ad ranks high, which in turn means more sales. However, you can expect to pay a hefty amount to obtain the coveted number one ad rank. PPC advertisers often get into “bidding wars” over the first position, inflating bid prices to the point where maintaining this position is no longer profitable. Rather than worrying about Ad Rank, focus on more meaningful metrics like click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI.
#5) Go Long
Lastly, try targeting narrow, long-tail keywords in your PPC campaigns. You can expect to receive less traffic, but the users who click on your ad will have a higher chance of buying your respective product or service. If you need help with keyword selection, check out the Adwords Keyword Planner tool. It’s completely free to use, offering tons of invaluable data about keyword popularity, search trends, and average bid prices.