PPC Best Practice Guide | 8 CRITICAL Tips

Are you looking for a PPC best practice guide? Well, you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I’ll be going over with you in this post.

We’ll be going over important strategies you NEED to implement in your Google Ad accounts.

I’ve created this guide in such a way that if I were to learn Google Ads again, I would learn these things first. Of course, this excludes obvious items like make sure you’re tracking conversions.

So let’s get straight into this!

1. Add negative keywords

Not adding negative keywords to ads groups is the biggest missed opportunity I come across when auditing Google Ad accounts. 

Negative keywords are keywords that will prevent certain search terms from triggering. For example, if you add -chair into the negative keywords section, it will prevent your ads from showing search terms with chair in it.

This way, you can prevent yourself from showing up for any irrelevant search terms. For example, if you sell office chairs and ONLY sell executive office chairs, you don’t want to show up for ‘gaming chairs’ so you can add ‘gaming’ into the negative keyword section.

You can add negative keywords on an account level, campaign level and ad group level. For example, if you added ‘car’ to your negative keyword list on a campaign level, none of your ads will show up for ‘car’.

You can decide on what level you’d like to add these negative keywords. Personally, I like to add them on an ad group level.

Here’s my process on adding negative keywords:

  • Click on an ad group
  • Customise the date to 12 months
  • Click on ‘Search Terms’
  • Filter by costs (you want the highest paid costs at the top) and make sure ‘All conversion value’ is in the column, you can add this by clicking on COLUMNS.
  • Export as a CSV
  • When you’re in the spreadsheet, delete the “All conversion value’ rows that are above 0
  • Place the ‘[]’ before and after the ‘Search Terms’ with a ‘Cost’ above 1
  • Copy and paste these ‘Search Terms’ into the negative keyword list

This way, you’re excluding the search terms that are costing you money but aren’t converting. And you’ve given them an entire year to work.

2. Stop sleeping on dynamic ads

Recently, I’ve been looking into a lot of ad accounts and found dynamic ads are always amongst the best performing ads.

Dynamic ads automatically bid for keywords and adjust the ad copy. You simply give Google the page you want to show up as an ad and it will find the relevant keywords you should show up for and the copy will adjust according to the search terms.

Dynamic ads are incredibly powerful when paired with negative keywords.

You’ve got to fill out the description of the ad and the page you want it to bid keywords for.

3. Be careful with keyword match types

If you’re setting up keyword match types, it’s critical you understand exactly what each match type does.

Broad match – You can show for anything related to a keyword including synonyms. E.g. your keyword is ‘office chair’, you can show up for ‘funky chair’, ‘sitting down tool’, ‘free office chairs’.

There’s no control with broad match terms. However, it is great for generating keyword ideas and can be good if you have a strong negative keyword list.

Broad match modified – You can add a broad match modifier term by adding the + symbol behind each word. It’s not as open as broad match keywords but not as restrictive as exact or phrase match keywords. An ad won’t trigger if there are synonyms or if the keyword isn’t mentioned. 

For example, your modifier keyword is +mens +shirts. Your keyword will show up for ‘red mens shirts’, ‘buy mens blue shirts for cheap’. But it won’t show up for ‘shirts’, ‘mens tops’ or ‘red shirts’ because both men and shirt do not appear in the searches.

Update: the broad match modifier has been removed by Google. Read more here.

Phrase match – Phrase match are in quotation marks Keyword. They allow search terms to trigger with words before, after and in between the keyword but they’re highly relevant. For example, “Womens socks” will trigger “buy blue womens socks”, “womens socks and shirts”, “Buy socks for women”. 

Exact match – Exact match is the exact search term you want your keyword to trigger for and the keyword is put in brackets [keyword]. E.g. your keyword is [leather chair], it will show up for ‘leather chair’ or something extremely close to it.

Keyword match types give the advertiser what they want the platform to show their ad for. Keywords trigger the search term.

4. Ad extensions

Ad extensions are another missed opportunity many advertisers are lacking.

Ad extensions provide more information about the ad. There are multiple extensions to choose from and different types of extensions can show at the same time. They take more real estate which means there’s a higher chance of visitors seeing and clicking your ad.

Sitelink extensions – Appear below your ad as titles and descriptions. For example, if your ad is about office chairs, your site links could be gamer chairs, executive chairs, pink chairs etc.

This will take up a lot of the search engine results page.

Callout extensions – Allow you to highlight special offers, promotions, start and end dates.

Call extensions – Display your number on the desktop next to your ad and the call extension shows up as a button on mobile devices. It’s an easy way to get potential customers to get in touch with you.

Structured snippet extensions – Highlight specific aspects of your business or service. They’re text that appears below your ad description but are not links.

The above extensions are the most popular and probably the ones you’ll be using, here are the other extensions you might want to use…

Message extensions: Message a business directly through your phone. You have the ability to reply via desktop instead of your phone.

Location extensions – Show your ad with your address in it. The address will appear beneath your ad.

Promotion extensions – You can highlight whatever you’re promoting within the ad.

5. Add plenty of headlines

You need to give Google plenty of headlines to test. Afterall, people are going to decide if they want to click on your ad based on the headline. 

What makes a good headline?

There are lots of things you can do to boost your headline’s click through rate including…

  • Add a call to action (Shop Now)
  • Add a numbers (7)
  • Include the search term they typed in
  • Use simple language an 8 year old can understand
  • Use all of the character limits to take as much space
  • Don’t make any false promises
  • Be crystal clear about what you’re offering
  • Add humour and personality

You won’t be able to get all of the above into a single headline. So make sure you have multiple headlines Google can test with.

6. Stop throwing lots of keywords in a limited budget

If your budget is £20 per day for your account and you have hundreds of keywords to test, it’s going to take a very long time to get that data back.

You can create the ads you want but pause them and let a couple run if you’re on a tight budget. Spreading yourself out thin is a big mistake.

Roughly 25 keywords within an ad group is the max for a good ad. It’s not spread too thin but still has lots of room to grow. 

7. Optimise for mobile

The probability is most of your customers are on mobile devices, so your website needs to be mobile optimised. Make sure it loads quickly, elements are spaced out well and it’s easy to navigate. You want the user to have the ability to access anywhere on your website.

You can put your website through Google’s Page Speed Insight tool to get an understanding of its performance and how to fix it.

You can also go into Google Search Console and click on the ‘Experience’ tab to see how your website is performing

8. Keeping things nice and tidy

You don’t want your ads to be a mess, making things difficult to navigate. Things need to be in order, named and have a hierarchy. 

If you’re an eCommerce site for example and have multiple categories, you should name your campaigns the name of your categories and name your ad groups, sub categories. It’s also worth including the type of ad when naming your ad groups.

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