5 Actionable Tips To Improve Your PPC Performance

With so many moving parts in PPC, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to improving your PPC campaign. The idea of this post is to give you 5 real actionable tips that will actually help improve your PPC performance and save you some money.

1. Keyword Match Types

Keywords are the most important part of any PPC campaign. No matter how good your ads or landing page are, if you are not bidding on the right keywords, it simply won’t work.

While choosing keywords might seem quite easy and obvious, it’s the choice of match types that makes it more important. There are several different match types but my golden rule is to avoid broad match. But don’t let that confuse you with modified broad match. A mixture of exact match, phrase match and modified broad match is usually the best approach but it all depends on your business. Check out the guide linked above and that will give you a better idea of the ones you need to use.

2. Negative Keywords

Depending on what keyword match types you use will depend on how important negative keywords are for your campaign. Negative keywords allow you to stop your ads from showing for certain keywords, usually irrelevant or low quality terms that you would prefer not to waste money on. If you use modified broad match or phrase match, you will need to start using negative keywords to reduce wastage and save money.

It’s really simple to do and something I recommend you do once a week as it should only take a few minutes. Simply looking through the search term report in Google ads and make a list of any irrelevant or low quality terms that you would like to avoid. Once you have a list, you then need to add them to the negative keyword list. When you see a bad search term, my advice would be to single out the bad work in that term instead of using the whole term as a negative.

For example, if you were a cleaning company and someone searched for ‘free cleaning service’, of course you would not want to show for that search term. But the most effective thing to do here is add “free” as a negative keyword, which will stop any other search terms that include the word free.

3. Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking is an absolute must for any PPC campaign. Conversion tracking mostly commonly lets you see how many sales or enquirires have been generated, but it is completely up to you what a conversion is. You can also have micro conversion which allow you to see smaller indications of engangment before they reach the primary conversion of a sale etc. This could things such as newsletter sign ups or downoading resources.

By having conversion tracking set up, you can directly see how many enquirires or sales have been generated over a certain period of time compared to the costs or any other metrics you want to compare it with. You can also see exactly what keywords, ads or landing pages are working the best, allowing to pause things that are not working or run experiements to improve the results further.

4. Ad Schedule

Implementing an ad schedule is best done once you have some conversion data to work with. Some people leave it set to the default which is 24/7. Others might set it to only show during work hours. But there are problems with both of those approaches. Running ads at all hours of day can accumulate some wastage, but setting it to work hours limits your chances of getting in front of the right people. It’s all about showing ads at the most convenient time for the consumer, not you.

Once you have a siginificant amount of conversion data, you can look at the overview tab in Google ads where there will be a graph allowing you to see the most popular times for conversions, both hours of the day and days of the week. Using this data, you can set an ad schedule to turn off the ads at the hours that cost the most but convert the little, which will ensure you have plenty of budget for when it does convert the best.

5. Ads & Extensions

For each ad group that you have, it’s recommended to have around 3 or 4 ads so that you can test did variations and promotional messaging. The default setting is for Google to show the best performing ad more often, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your ads and keep testing new text in replacement for ads that have the lowest click through rate.

Make sure you also make the most of ad extensions. These are additional pieces of information that show below your ad to help beef it up and make it stand out from the rest. It’s also a great way to get any extra promotional messaging out there. Character limits on the ads can make it very difficult to include everything that you want to say, so make the most of things like sitelinks, callouts and structured extensions to get it all in.

Ryan Scollon

I'm a freelance PPC Consultant & Google Partner, providing affordable search marketing services to businesses and agencies across the UK. I have over 7 years of digital marketing experience, working on 200+ projects and have been featured on the likes of Search Engine Land, WordStream, SEMrush, Moz & The Independent.