PPC Strategies That Have Become Outdated

It’s not a surprise that the PPC ads domain is highly dynamic. Therefore, one can easily conclude that in such a situation you should constantly revise your paid acquisition strategies and sort out what no longer works. 

All ad platforms have their own rules of engagement. If you aim at making your paid ads effective, you should pay attention to the fact that there should be a symbiosis between the rules peculiar to the platform you’re working with and your customer’s brand needs.

For a long time, those rules remained unchanged. Now, everything looks different. The novelties that appeared in the rules of engagement have caused new challenges for advertisers and have made them think about new PPC strategies.

Bidding on all keywords

When Bing Ads and AdWords were at the peak of their popularity, advertisers bidded on every keyword variant.

For example, if you wanted to acquire users for a mobile healthcare app development company, you’d have to bid on all possible keywords such as:

  • “Healthcare app”;
  • “Mobile health tracker for my grandparents”;
  • “Mobile health tracker”;
  • “Mobile heartbeat tracker”;
  •  “Health monitoring app”;
  •  And many other variations.

 Apart from that, you’d also have to use several match-types in order to make the query match the keyword syntax as precisely as possible. 

Now, if you’re still using this strategy you should immediately stop this. Campaigns and ad groups focused on match-types don’t provide the same good ROI as it used to be.

If you’re going to withdraw from the old practices, try to focus on such components of keyword planning as:

  • Auction prices of keywords;
  • Customer journey;
  • Volume and value keyword strategies.

Auction prices of keywords

The auction prices of keywords stand for a certain amount of money that advertisers are willing to pay to acquire clicks on their ads. They comprise such factors as:

  • Industry.
  • Close Variants.
  • Devices.
  • Locations.
  • Time.

Auction prices differ from industry to industry. For example, B2B SaaS companies tend to have higher auction prices than jewelry stores because their customer values are drastically higher. Thus, B2B SaaS companies should do their best in choosing the keywords that align with the specific areas they serve.

It is also a common mistake to go after high volume terms. In fact, those terms are usually very competitive and have artificially high auction prices because market leaders want them. Therefore, you should try to find close variants to those terms.

For instance, let’s try to type “vegetable gardening in my area”:

As you may see, in this case the search engine understands the query as an intent to find some tips of how to grow vegetables. 

Now let’s compare it with a search query such as “vegetable gardener in my area”:

The search query displayed both gardening service providers near you and gardening tips.

In a nutshell, even some small change of the ending -ing to -er can save you money as the results from the “-ing” category fall to the “-er” query too.

It’s also important to check if the keyword you’ve chosen tends to be searched on a mobile phone. Working with mobile devices you’ll have to bid for the highest search ranking because only this ad will fully show up on the user’s screen.

As it was mentioned above, location and time can also impact the auction price. Therefore, try to launch some tests and choose carefully what regions work well for your business and limit the ad schedules to the times when you have lower competition but good performance.

Customer journey

The customer journey describes the process in which a customer takes certain steps in interaction with your business to achieve a goal.

In the PPC context, customer journey comprises such factors as:

  • SERP analysis.
  • Strategic focus.
  • Audiences.

Keyword intent depends on the quality of the search engine result pages (SERPs). In one of our articles, we showed various keyword planning tools, but you can get better insights after manual assessing the SERPs for the keywords you’re going to use in your ads.

There exist informational and transactional SERPs. 

Informational SERPs mainly display organic results and a few or no ads at the bottom.

Transactional SERPs often show ads at the top.

So, a SERP will be found somewhere between informational and transactional.

However, make sure that you haven’t removed mobile devices from your campaigns because Google tends to serve ads on informational mobile SERPs. 

The growing popularity of voice search and conversational queries made Google search engine move the focus to buying journeys beginning with mobile. 

In one of our articles we mentioned that keywords should match the prospect’s purchasing intent. Therefore, it becomes obvious that when working with keywords for your campaigns you should think strategically.

Most advertisers tend to focus on exact or phrase matches and ignore the potential of broad one.

However, everything depends on the stage of your account and in what campaign your keyword is. So, sometimes broad keywords can be good to use.

The more specific the keyword you use, the easier it is for Google and Bing search engines to determine the intent as well as serve your ads on SERPs. For example, it’s better to use the phrase “ERP Software with a free trial” rather than just “ERP system” on phrase match.

Keyword performance and restrictions are not the only factors you should pay attention to. The mission of the keyword you’re going to work with matters too. For example, competitor keywords have an assist role and help to target brand names of competing businesses. Branded keywords work well when your brand is well-known and allow your business to do well.

However, be aware of the fact that both branded and competitor keywords tend to spend the budget from broad keyword concepts. 

Determining your target audience is the #1 thing while looking for the keyword intent. Google and Bing in-market audiences offer advertisers a great possibility to separate B2B and B2C traffic. As a result, you can remove useless intent and increase your bids on the suitable audience.

Volume and value keyword strategies

When choosing between volume and value strategies, try to define what your final campaign goal is. 

If you want to drive more traffic to your landing page, this is about the volume strategy. So, qualifying this traffic by adding certain keywords in the query will be useless for you.

If the quality matters, then you should do everything vise versa and pay attention to the terms that bring you most conversions. It’s also worth mentioning that many advertisers tend to think that broad-match keywords can’t bring quality traffic to your website. Conversely, if you work with them correctly, they’ll introduce you to more profitable ways of searching. 

Just make sure that your five-word key phrases belong to the broad match group. If your account structure has phrase-match terms that contain two-word keywords, you can also set modified broad match to be only entered at this point.

Using manual bidding

A few years ago manual bidding worked better because advertisers could choose and set bids that were reasonable for them independently from any restrictions, such as conversion rate requirements. 

Quite a lot of marketers are still concerned about where their budget goes and how efficiently it is spent. As a result, they continue going for manual bidding in their advertising strategies.However, nowadays, such a choice is a huge mistake and harms your campaigns very much.

In the past, such type of automated bidding as Smart Bidding required more than 50 conversions within a 30-day period to perform efficiently. Today, the minimum number of conversions has almost completely disappeared. This made Smart Bidding more profitable and time-efficient than the manual one.

As Google says, there are 4 reasons why you should consider Smart Bidding:

  1. It offers advanced machine learning algorithms that help you make more accurate predictions about different bid amounts and how they may impact your conversions.
  2. Advertisers are enabled to consider a wide range of contextual signals while making adjustments to their bids. Signals are identifiable attributes like device and location as well as additional signals and signal combinations.
  3. It allows you to set performance targets and tailor settings to your specific business goals. 
  4. It provides marketers with reporting tools that give them a deeper insight into the bidding performance and help them quickly detect and solve any issues.

To achieve a maximum ROAS from your campaigns follow these tips:

  1. Implement automated bidding into your advertising strategy. It utilizes over 60 signals to manage bids which is impossible with manual bidding.
  2. Create scripts and rules to keep automation in your campaign bidding without compromising on control over your campaigns. 

Harness autonomous ad optimization tools like Madgicx that simplify your work with campaigns and keep you involved in the process.

Magicx Interface

If you are ready to switch to automated bidding, it’s better to use Max Conversions with a CPA goal, or Target Impression Share with a bid cap to let yourself and your team determine which bids are reasonable for your ads.

Remarketing to those who didn’t make a purchase

Cookie-based remarketing remained somewhere in the past. Users landed on your website, got tagged, and received annoying ads.

Now, you can only get someone’s data after the users themselves want to leave it to you via filling the forms or promos. In other words, today everything is aimed to make your remarketing ads valuable for your audience.

Therefore, it is considered to be an old practice to remarket to someone who just visited your website and didn’t convert.

Connecting with users who showed that they visited your website for some clear purpose and have a purchasing intent increases your chances to get conversions.

In order to increase your remarketing campaign conversions follow the next tips:

  1. Collect the first-party data. Try to create an email capture experience on your website. There exist quite a lot of ways how you can do this. However, you should bear in mind that consumers are concerned about who is collecting their data, how much you’re tracking their behaviour and how you’ll use their information. Therefore, you need to tailor your approaches to make your prospects feel secure to share it.
  2. Build audiences from the gathered data. This is reasonable since the visitor has decided himself to connect with you.

Summing Up

On the whole, advertising is a very volatile and dynamic thing. If you want it to work for your business, you should remember that what worked well yesterday will definitely change tomorrow. Clinging to old strategies will hurt your campaigns as well as lead to wasting time and your ad budget. 

Therefore, bidding on all possible keyword options, manual bidding, and remarketing to all your website visitors don’t work anymore.
Today, the advertising world has moved to automation, first-party data priority, and active use of keywords with as broad coverage as possible.

If you need any help with finding efficient keywords for your ads, switching to Smart Bidding strategy, or setting up remarketing campaigns, Teamedia is happy to share its expertise with you.