The world of online advertising is competitive, to say the least. It’s fast-paced and it’s always changing. Marketers begin to feel like their PPC efforts aren’t making a positive impact – or any impact at all. It’s frustrating to see the competition winning the online advertising battle – and for keywords related to your business nonetheless.

Try these tips to amp your online advertising

Serving up the perfect ad at the perfect time to the right audience is an art and a science. We want to share our art and science of online advertising with you, so we put together the following tips to help you amp up your online advertising game.

Organize your account structure

A disorganized AdWords or Bing account structure can contribute to underperforming campaigns. It also limits how effectively you can measure you campaign performance. Plus, messy ad groups make adjustments and modifications a time-consuming task.

Typically, it’s best to have campaigns focused around each of your products, services, or locations – each as a separate group.

Tip: When building out a new online advertising strategy, try mirroring the structure of your website.

Focus on high-performing keywords

Just like your organic search strategy, focus paid efforts around less competitive, long-tail and higher performing keywords when possible. Check out keyword planning tools (some are even free) to find relevant terms for your business to get you started.

Tip: Limit the budget for keywords with suggested bids above your spending threshold and include a variety of match types in your keyword list.

Monitor search term reports

Regularly review your Search Terms Report to fine-tune existing campaigns and spark ideas for new ones. As you’re reviewing the list, make note of any queries that aren’t directly related to your ad, but are potential opportunities for a different campaign.

Tip: Keyword data can help you analyze user intent. Use the Search Terms Report to find relevant keywords to add to your keyword list and negative keywords to negate.

Create negative keyword lists

It’s important to build out your negative keyword list, especially if you’re using broader match types that are intended to cast a wider net.

Scan reports to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords for that campaign. This is the best way to prevent an audience that isn’t interested in your product or service from seeing your ad.

In other words, negative keywords tell Google what search queries are not relevant to your business, so you don’t rack up ad impressions for searches that won’t lead to sales.

Continuously review and monitor negative keyword lists to optimize spend and improve results.

Tip: The Search Terms Report (in the keywords tab) shows you the actual search queries people typed into Google to trigger your ads. For example, if you own a restaurant but don’t deliver, you could add “delivery” as a negative keyword. That way your ad won’t show up for searches that include people searching for delivery.

Pause low performers

While you don’t want to be hasty in your decision to eliminate a low-performing campaign, sometimes it’s best to pause the keywords in your account that simply aren’t converting.

Before hitting pause, check the length of the campaign. It should have been active long enough to give you adequate data that supports pulling the plug.

As you identify the low performers, try to decipher why they aren’t getting as much attention as others. A few potential reasons:

•  Your bid isn’t high enough
•  Search volume for that keyword is too low
•  Keyword match type is either too broad or restrictive

Tip: It’s worth spending time to review and refine your campaigns and monitor performance over time, saving you money and giving you more control over your budget.  

Test, test, test

If you’re noticing the return on ad spend has flat lined, test your ads. Regularly test and tweak ad copy so your ads are as compelling as possible with things like:

•  Changing the headline to make it more concise and eye-catching
•  Tweaking the CTA text, color or placement

Additionally, testing and optimizing ad placement on your target sites might move the needle in the right direction – toward higher conversions.

Remember, your ad showing up first isn’t always better. Overpaying to show up on top every time might not be worth it. You can still see success in positions 1-5, so there’s no “right” position to shoot for. Take the time to find the sweet spot for you while getting the most bang for your advertising buck.

No matter what you’re testing, always prioritize listening to what users tell you through their behavior. Incomplete transactions or forms might mean that specific time or day isn’t giving you the most value. Let that be reflected in your approach to ad scheduling (or day-parting). Scheduling ads during the days and times that trend the highest in conversions can give you the results you’ve been wanting to see.

More ways to stay ahead with online advertising

Looking for more ways to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape? We thought you might be. Stay tuned – in our next post, we’re taking it a step further to uncover how to crush your online advertising competition.