Best Practices For PPC Text Ads

From ad copy to campaign settings, we’ve compiled a list of the best practices to optimize and improve your PPC Text Ads. When text ad campaigns are built according to best practices, they usually have higher quality scores. Higher quality ads typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions.

The bottom line is even if a competitor is bidding higher than you, if you have a relevant ad and a high quality score – you can technically earn a higher ad position at a lower bid.

Before we dive into how to reduce ad spend – it’s important to look at the fundamental campaign structure of your text ad.

PPC Text Ads: Ad Copy

The standard type text ad typically includes a link to your website and a description or promotion of a product.

Ad Copy should be built out to increase the keyword text to ad copy text relevance.

  • Headline (25 characters): Should be as similar to the keyword as possible.
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  • Description line 1 (35 characters): Should start with a “call to action” and end with a period. When you add a period at the end of D1, Google will append your D1 to your headline when you rank high enough on the SERP. This will make your ad stand out and be much more likely to get clicked on.
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  • Description line 2 (35 characters): Should include a value proposition and end in an exclamation mark.
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  • Display URL (35 characters): Should include your domain / keyword (a variation of your keyword).
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The more relevant the ad copy, the higher the Quality Score. Having a high Quality Score means that AdWords thinks your ad and landing page are relevant and useful to someone searching for your product.

“The higher the Quality Score – the better the ad position / ad rank and the lower the cost-per-click (CPC) you will pay,” Kelly O’Connell, PPC Architect at CPC Strategy said.kelly-o'connell

When someone searches on Google, AdWords finds all ads whose keywords match that search. From those ads, AdWords ignores any that aren’t eligible including ads that target a different location or ads that have been disapproved.

Of the remaining ads, only those with a high Ad Rank may show. It’s important to remember that ad rank is a combination of bid, ad quality, and the expected impact of extensions and other formats.

Pro-Tip: Campaign Architecture> Quality Score> Ad Rank> Ad Position

PPC Text Ads: Keywords

In effort to reduce clutter in your ad group and any unnecessary spend, it is important to delete any low volume keywords.

Marketers should also use multiple match types of keywords including, broad match modified (bmm) for long tail keywords and exact match for primary keywords.

“The reason for this is because you can adjust the bids, so your exact match keyword should have a higher bid than your broad match modified keywords,” O’Connell said.

“Another reason is that with broad match modified you can pick up search queries that you might not have thought of before. You never want to use broad match, only broad match modified because broad has no restricted keyword type and will lead to a lot of unnecessary ad spend.”

Refining Negative Keywords

Retailers should refine their campaigns and ads with negative keywords at:

1) The campaign level to block any unqualified search queries

2) The ad group level to sculpt ad groups

Essentially, negative keyword sculpting helps to make sure search queries are sent to the most relevant ad group.

“This also helps to make sure your keywords are not bidding against each other,” O’Connell said.

For example, a retailer could have 2 ad groups including a top level category (ex: Levi’s Jeans) vs. a specific product within a top level category (ex: Levi’s 501 Jeans).

For this example you would want the product name (501) to be a negative keyword for the top level category (Levi’s Jeans) because you don’t want to send shoppers to a product name on the category level.

7 Ways to Reduce Ad Spend in Campaign Settings:

With so many options to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of suggested settings on where to start your campaign to avoid unnecessary ad spend.

1) Your campaign type should be “Search Network Only”

AdWords will usually by default put the setting as “Search with Display Select”. You don’t want to do this – because you will once again, end up with unnecessary ad spend.

2) Include search partners should be “disabled”

3) Mobile bid adjustment set to “negative 70%”

This is because most mobile clicks are going to convert at a lower rate than desktop clicks.

4) Bid strategy should be set to “Manual CPC”

5) Enhanced CPC should be “disabled”

6) Ad rotation should be set to “rotate indefinitely”

For example, if you have two ads running, this will determine how often to show those ads since you can only show one ad at a time. When you click rotate indefinitely, you are basically requesting to show both ads ’50 – 50′. The reason that you want to show your ad 50, 50 is so each ad has a fighting chance in your ad copy test.

7) Delivery mode should be set to “standard”

If you click accelerated, you’re going to show all your ads until you run out of budget vs. standard which is going to disperse ads throughout the day. The only reason retailers might use accelerated – is if they have a really high budget or are not concerned with running out of budget.

PPC Text Ads: Ad Extensions, Mobile & DSA

Enable all available ad extensions: (including site links, call outs, location, structured snippets).

If you rank high enough – you want your ad extensions to show. These are good because they increase the amount of real estate your ad takes up. The bigger your ad – the more likely shoppers are to click on it.

Create separate ads for mobile:

You want to make sure your site / landing page is mobile optimized and you should build out separate campaign for mobile (ads & budget).

Enable Dynamic Search Ads:

Enable Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)  in addition to text ad campaigns in order to find new targeting opportunities.

When you’re testing different campaigns, you want to make sure one of your ads follows the standard text ad format. That way, you can be more creative with your second ad and challenge those practices.

“It’s really important you are testing one element of the ad copy at a time whether that’s the headline or the description line because if you are testing multiple components and pulling different levers – you won’t know where to attribute that performance,” O’Connell said.

“Ideally, you will have two ads per ad group running at a time, the ads will be identical except for one element. Whatever you are testing – make sure everything else is consistent with the other ad so you can know whether your performance is a success or unsuccessful and why.”

Additional PPC Text Ad Resources

How to Optimize Your AdWords PPC Campaign Structure

Ad Copy Test for PPC Advertisers

 

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