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7 Tips for Refining Your PPC Campaign

Are you tired of running into the same problems with your PPC campaign, and looking for a little expertise to help you make your next one shine? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top 7 tips for running a PPC campaign in 2014. Each of these guidelines will help you fine-tune your paid search campaign to help you get better and quicker results.

Tip 1: Start Using Ad Extensions Immediately

If you’re not seeing the results from your PPC campaign that you know are possible, one reason may be that you are not utilizing all of the tools currently available.

Many advertisers use basic sitelink extensions to increase conversions, but there are so many more ad extension opportunities you can utilize in order to get your target audience to click through to your landing page. Consider the following ad extensions that are all available in Google AdWords.

Social Extensions – Google+ is becoming a huge leader in social media these days, and you can use that to your advantage. If you have a large following on your Google+ page, with a lot of +1s and good reviews, add a social extension to your AdWords ad.

Image Ad Extensions – People respond extremely well to images, and it’s true that “an image is worth a thousand words.” If you own great images that really tell your brand’s story, consider adding them to your ad. This may work especially well for a travel destination, hotel chain, car company, or any other industry that thrives on visuals.

Ratings Extensions – Seller rating extensions show a star rating from Google Product Search right on your ad. If you have great reviews from customers, then use it to your advantage. People want to purchase products that have good ratings. If you have good ratings, tell people about it in your ad.
Newsletter Extensions – Did you know you are able to ask someone to subscribe to your newsletter right on your Google AdWords ad? Not only is this a great way to advertise, but also it’s an exceptional way to acquire more direct leads.

Live Chat – Maybe you have a complicated product and people are often utilizing your customer service lines and live chat technology. If you feel like a live chat box would benefit your target audience, ad a live chat box to your PPC ad.

These are just a few examples of ad extensions. Of course the extensions you use will need to be well researched, thought out, and tested, but ad extensions are a great way to capture the attention of more potential customers.

Tip 2: Expand your negative keyword list

One of the truly best ways to refine your PPC campaign is to make sure that your ads are not showing up for keywords that are often paired with your target keywords, but really have nothing to do with your advertisement. For example, you may sell shower parts, and you don’t want your ad to show up for someone who is looking to throw a bridal shower or a baby shower for their best friend.

The more you are able to discover negative keywords and eliminate them from your potential search impressions, the more relevant your paid search ads will be. This is good for a couple reasons. First, it improves your quality score, and second, it gets your ad in front of the right people.

Here are a few tools that may help you with negative keyword discovery and expansion.

    – Keyword “broad match” data that will show you semantic similarities, allowing you to then weed out keywords that don’t’ make sense for your ad.

    – WordStream’s negative keyword suggestion tool will help streamline the process, so you don’t have to try and think of every negative keyword yourself.

    – A tool like AdWords Editor or will help you make bulk changes, instead of having to make them one-by-one. AdWords Editor is awesome, because it allows you to make these changes offline, save them for later, and upload them when you’re ready.

Tip 3: Test and analyze your keywords again

Be honest. When is the last time you went in and actually looked at the data surrounding your keywords? While you may have keywords that were performing well during 2013, the beginning of 2014, or even the beginning of this month, and you have started to experience a slump, it may be time to take a gander at the data again.

Consider using these tools to help you with your research.

    Keyword suggestion tools – There are tons of keyword research tools on the market that will help you come up with new keyword suggestions. The most popular keyword tool is probably Google’s Keyword Planner, and is often sufficient in order to give you basic keyword ideas, and basic data.

    Competitive research tools – Are you constantly getting beaten out by one of your competitors and you can’t figure out why? Well, now is a good time to figure out exactly what it is that they are doing. The good news is with tools offered by,,, and KeywordSpy, you can find out what your competitors are doing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Take the time to do your research, but keep in mind spying only works to gather data and make inferences. What works for one company may not work for yours.

    Generate new keywords – You never know when a new industry buzzword may appear, or your campaign may have simply just been missing a popular keyword. Consider checking out a keyword generation tool in order to get more ideas.

Tip 4: Sign up for a customer reviewer site

I mentioned before that one of the best ways to get a new customer is to leverage positive reviews. If you get enough positive reviews on Google, then Google often will automatically add this information to your ad. However, keep in mind that Google is not the only place on the Internet where people go to review products.

In order to produce more reviews, consider signing up for a free customer review site that take measures to only allow for genuine user feedback. If you are confident that your customers like you, then this can only work in your favor, especially if you can use those seller ratings in your paid search ads. Trust factor goes a long way in the advertising world. Use it.

Tip 5: Separate your bidding strategy based on device

Before mobile devices and tablets were a big deal, you could get away with just monitoring your ads that show up on computers. Now, there tends to be a great deal of variation depending on whether someone is searching on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer. This means in order to get the most from your advertising spend, you will want to segment your keywords by device type as well. You never know when you can spend a lot less for a keyword that shows on a mobile device, or on the other hand, when you may need to spend more on a keyword that shows on mobile device. Adjust your bids accordingly.

Tip 6: Geo Targeting

It’s possible that geo and targeting are two of my favorite words in the wonderful world of online marketing. Geo targeting is brilliant and should be used in every campaign. Just like you don’t want your ad impression spent on keywords that aren’t semantically related to what you offer, you also don’t want your ads showing up in locations where it doesn’t make sense.

On a small scale, you can simply run your ad to target searchers from a certain location. For example, if you are a dentist in McLean, VA, you can target your ad to only be visible to people searching within a geographical location that makes sense to you. You’ll save a lot of money and get the right customers by geo targeting locally.

On a larger scale, if you have a much larger, national clientele, you can refine your targeting to set more competitive bids for areas that produce a higher ROI for you, and set lower bids for areas that typically don’t perform as well for you. Just make sure that you audit your geo targeted results daily in case there are any huge shifts in the data.

Tip 7: Take some time to schedule out your ads

Making sure your ads show up at the right time is another spectacular way to make sure you are getting the most out of your PPC campaign. There really is no one size fits all solution to when the best time to run an ad is. This means it’s important to do some industry research, demographic research, and also testing in order to see what times your ads will perform the best.

The good news is you can view all of this information in a tracking platform like Google Analytics. You can sort all of your data by day and time and then see the amount of impressions, the amount of clicks, the click through rate, the average CPC and more.

Once you have gathered all the relevant information, you can schedule out your ads in Google AdWords.


These are just a few suggestions to really help you refine your paid search campaigns. If you additional need help, consider hiring someone to help manage your paid search campaigns for you.


Guest Author Ashley R. Cummings
Guest Author Ashley R. Cummings
Ashley R. Cummings is a freelance writer, specializing in online marketing, education, and travel. Connect with Ashley on Facebook or , and learn more about her on LinkedIn.