Tag Archives: paid search

[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 19 , 2022

PPC management software makes great paid search managers excellent — here’s how.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What PPC management software does for its users
  • How you can benefit from PPC management software
  • Leading PPC management software platforms
  • How to choose the right tool for you and your team

Tired of spending hours and hours on PPC management? 

Maybe you’re up to your ears in pivot tables and Data Studio reports. You have scripts and automated rules in place, but you always feel a step or two behind.

Maybe it feels like you’re spending all of your energy on basic PPC optimizations, leaving you with no time or bandwidth to take your management to the next level.

Whether you’re part of a small business or a large enterprise, it’s natural to feel like you need an assistant (or a clone) to take the routine digital marketing tasks off your plate. If you’re looking for more time to dive deep into pay-per-click strategies and scale your accounts, then a PPC management tool could be just what you need.

Free computer code on screen image, public domain CC0 photo.

While you can’t beat a human touch when it comes to creating and optimizing top-tier accounts, these software options can help automate some of your more repetitive or technical tasks. (Image: Rawpixel)

What does PPC management software do?

Google’s machine learning only goes so far. PPC management software takes automation to the next level. While the specifics of each tool vary, each platform shares some common traits.

With these tools, you’ll be able to automate everyday tasks like keyword mining, negative keyword implementation, and ad creation. You’ll receive insights about costly keywords, alerts about duplicate search terms, and notifications that your budget is over-pacing.

Why use PPC management software

Automation is all around us. Management tools of every kind are part of daily life for most modern-day marketers. PPC management is no different.

In the past, you may have resisted using this software due to price, lack of features, or because you felt you could do better on your own with scripts and automated rules.

However, it might be time to take a second look at PPC management software and what it can do for you. While you can’t beat a human touch when it comes to creating and optimizing top-tier accounts, these software options can help automate some of your more repetitive or technical tasks.

The types of information this software can provide falls into a few main categories: insights, alerts, automation, and reporting.

Insights

When you use third-party PPC software, you’ll get insights that Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) don’t readily give you.

These insights allow you to learn more about how the parts of your campaign are working without needing to run reports, create pivot tables, and wade through multiple levels of the user interface (UI). You’ll learn about costly keywords, performance patterns, and converting search queries.

The software will also suggest changes you should make. You’ll gain helpful information, such as stats about ad performance, that’ll allow you to make better informed decisions.

Alerts

Alerts are a welcome part of management software. While you can set up automated rules and scripts, they don’t necessarily cover every situation. Plus, it gives you better control of where you receive these alerts, helping you organize your day.

Alerts help take the stress out of managing PPC accounts. You’ll plug in the metrics you’d like to track, then get notified about those (as well as some default benchmarks most tools tend to track).

For instance, if you need to stick to a strict ad spend, you can ask the software to notify you when you get close to the threshold. Some other possible alerts you could receive are:

  • An increase or decrease in impression share
  • Increases in CPC
  • Changes in account quality score
  • Declines in search or display impression share
  • Changes in the numbers of clicks or click-through rates
  • Variations in cost per conversion
  • A drop in impressions

Opportunities

Alerts are just one helpful feature, but PPC management tools boast several others. Opportunities offer ways to optimize your PPC campaigns. Instead of clicking through countless screens in the UI, you can look in one place to make intelligent account management decisions quickly and efficiently.

Opportunities consist of bid suggestions, possible bid management adjustments, and keyword recommendations. Instead of manually calculating what device or location bids should be, you’ll have an assistant that can do it for you.

For example, a management tool can remind you to turn off Search Partners if the Partner Network isn’t performing well. You’ll be able to get a list of duplicate search terms so that you can eliminate overlap and maximize ad group cannibalization. You’ll also see converting keywords you might want to add to your account.

Think back to the list of optimizations you perform daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Wouldn’t it be much easier to be prompted to do these things based on performance indicators? 

Automation

The automation built into PPC management software allows you to streamline your workflow. While algorithms are consistently evolving and platforms may vary, some routine tasks can be programmed and carried out at regular intervals. Alternatively, they can be executed with the push of a button.

You can automatically set budgets to pace throughout the month or pause campaigns when they run out of budget. Pause non-converting keywords or adjust CPCs without the manual work. You can also conduct A/B tests on ads and create RSAs.

Some platforms even allow you to execute advanced scripts to enable even more hands-free management.

Reporting

Reporting isn’t just a once-a-month performance report that everyone reviews in Data Studio — or, at least it shouldn’t be.

To ensure your PPC ads are performing optimally, you’ll need at-a-glance reporting. A tool will give you flexible, informative reporting to make decisions with.

There are often graphs and other visualizations that provide you with timely, easy-to-use data. You can also see the root causes of changes mapped out from the top of a Google Ads campaign (or other PPC platform) downward.

Don’t have time for a hands-on approach? We do! We created ConversionIQ as our own exclusive technology to capture the right audience, connect the journey from search to sale, and cultivate key insights into what’s working and what’s not. Here’s how it can help you.

woman working on laptop using ppc management software

PPC management software is designed to make managing your pay-per-click campaigns easier and more cost-effective. (Image: Unsplash)

How can PPC management software help you?

If you’ve read all of the above, you can see how PPC management software can positively affect your PPC accounts. You can improve performance, efficiency, and understanding of how your account or accounts are functioning.

Improve conversion rates

An improved conversion rate is of the most notable ways management and automation tools can improve your PPC marketing. By enabling you to manage multiple marketing campaigns at once and see real-time data on each of your ads, you’ll have a better idea of which are performing well and which aren’t.

That way, instead of wasting money on ads that aren’t effective, you can focus on the ones that deliver better results.

Improve efficiency

PPC management software allows you to improve your efficiency. You can work through campaign management more quickly than with the UI alone.

You’ll enjoy the benefits of automation and deep analysis. Instead of spending hours in spreadsheets and the UI poring over various metrics, you can make decisions in minutes.

Scale your account

The data insights and advanced tools the PPC management software offers can help you scale your account. You’ll be able to go beyond day-to-day management busy work and see larger trends. Freeing up this time lets you get into the weeds and make adjustments that allow you to move from maintaining to growing.

You’ll be able to exclude high cost-per-acquisition (CPA) data, analyze location performance, and get granular with ad schedules. With the extra time, you can entertain the effects of audience layering and even test out new campaign types.

Reduce marketing costs

PPC marketing can be expensive. However, PPC management software is designed to make managing your pay-per-click campaigns easier and more cost-effective. The following features help you reduce the cost of your advertising.

  • Automated bidding: You program the parameters, and the tool automatically adjusts bids based on your instructions. You can adjust bids based on quality score, cost per conversion, number of conversions, etc.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) reporting: These reports allow you to rapidly remove keywords that are spending a lot but contributing very little.
  • Keyword suggestions and keyword research: You’ll receive recommendations on adding relevant keywords to your search engine advertising so that you aren’t wasting money paying for clicks from people who are unlikely to convert. Keyword research tools help you find keywords based on search terms rather than inputting terms into a tool and hoping they’re pertinent to your target audience.

More visibility

Reporting tools in these software platforms help you gain more visibility into how the different pieces or your ad campaigns are performing.

Out of the box, you’ll gain insights without spending hours creating Data Studio reports, pivot tables, or complicated reports in Google Ads. You’ll receive the information you need to make intelligent management decisions without wasting countless hours obtaining it.

Leading PPC management platforms

While we can’t cover all of the platforms out there, we’ll talk about the leading platforms and what they can do for you. We’ll also break down some of the pros and cons, as well as notable features.

ConversionIQ

1. ConversionIQ

ConversionIQ is HawkSEM’s proprietary marketing technology. We built this platform to help businesses drive actionable insights, full-funnel attribution, and high-quality conversions that continuously improve their bottom line.

Through features like watertight conversion tracking, audience optimization, trend performance indicators, and intelligent budget allocation suggestions to maximize ROAS, CIQ assists our stellar marketing team to offer a blend of new technology and the human touch. Learn more here.

Pros:

  • All-in-one – All of your reporting data is in one place, minimizing platform hopping
  • Simple – This tool fosters easy decision-making (and prioritizing) for optimizations
  • Helpful alerts – Avoid diminishing returns and wasted ad spend
  • Fully integrated platform – Seamlessly connect the dots from search to sale

Cons:

  • Not plug and play – It may take a little time to get acquainted with all the platform’s nuances, set up, and integration (but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it!)
  • Best for brands using a CRM – Though it’s not a hard requirement, it works best with clients with an existing customer relationship management (CRM) tool in place
  • Price – CIQ is not the cheapest option out there

optmyzr.com homepage

2. Optmyzr

Created by former Google Ads evangelist Frederick Vallaeys, Optmyzr is a high-powered tool for Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and Amazon Advertising. There are a variety of tools and options with this management tool. Insights are presented in an easy-to-digest fashion. You’ll also find that optimizations can be performed in a single click.

You’ll benefit from what they call Enhanced Scripts and a quick optimization tool. You can also create campaigns with the Campaign Automator.

There’s also bid and budget optimization. In addition, you’ll find Shopping ads support. And a Slack integration will allow you to get all of your alerts right in Slack.

Pros:

  • All-in-one – Reporting, scripts, optimizations, opportunities, and more — the tool is a complete solution
  • Usability – Powerful enough for a marketing agency
  • People management – Offers workflow building and not just ads management
  • Well-rounded – The software offers solutions for most of the tasks a PPC manager performs regularly

Cons:

  • Cost – It’s one of the more expensive platforms out there
  • Level of complexity – This tool has a lot of features and isn’t necessarily intuitive
  • Tabs – Some of the tools open a new tab when you use them. As a result, you can end up with a lot of open tabs
  • Negative keywords – For the most part, you can only add these via a list, so you’ll have to set this up before using this functionality

adalysis.com homepage

3. Adalysis

Co-founded by Google Ads gurus Brad Geddes and Emmanuel Gad, Adalysis allows you to automate, audit, and visualize. Performance monitor alerts are emailed to your inbox so you can always stay on top of what’s happening.

You can also generate attractive reports in just a few clicks, giving you nearly instant client reporting.

Adalysis manages Google Ads and Microsoft Ads accounts. While there aren’t any optimizations or management for Shopping ads, Adalysis does support both Search and Display. You’ll be able to exclude all underperforming placements at one time, exclude mobile apps, and analyze performance.

Pros:

  • Ad testing – A/B test ads automatically without any manual setup needed
  • Duplicate search terms – Manage ad group overlap and wasted ad spend by reviewing duplicate search terms
  • Alerts – You can choose from the prebuilt alerts or create your own custom alerts to ensure you stay on top of performance
  • Auditing tools – The auditing tools allow you to review your account for best practices, like how many ads are in each ad group, as well as potential issues like expensive and non-converting keywords

Cons:

  • Campaign support – Adalysis doesn’t offer Shopping campaign support
  • Separate logins – If you access campaigns via multiple emails, you need to create multiple logins
  • SOP alerts – Some SOP alerts don’t make sense for all accounts. For instance, you’ll get a warning if all of your ad extensions aren’t at the campaign level

opteo.com homepage

4. Opteo

Opteo is a Google Ads-only tool. They offer their customers features that fall under the categories of improvements, performance, reports, and monitoring. You can complete tasks like budget management and performance monitoring.

Opteo also allows you to improve ad copy and find errors in just a few clicks. You’ll be happy to know that Opteo manages Search, Display, and Shopping ads.

Pros:

  • Bad traffic – Opteo offers a variety of ways to exclude site categories, mobile apps, Search Partners, placements, and more to ensure your ads only show on sites with a good reputation and are likely to perform well
  • Integration – There’s a Slack integration so you can be notified about improvement opportunities, performance, and the status of your ad budget
  • Ad writing tool – You can write new text ads directly in the interface, so you don’t have to have multiple tabs open. Plus, you can preview the creative to see what it looks like

Cons:

  • Reporting – No reports to export for the clients. This feature is only available for enterprise clients
  • Glitchy – Many users reported that the interface sometimes hangs or doesn’t carry out optimizations
  • Microsoft Ads – The tool is only for Google Ads, so you’ll have to manage your Microsoft Ads on your own

How to choose the right PPC management tool

It may sound silly, but choosing a tool is personal.

We all have our own management styles and workflows. Finding a tool that fits your style and serves your needs is essential to putting money into any software.

Pro tip: If you’re interested in making every part of your day more efficient, check out our blog on the tried-and-tested efficiency tools our team swears by.

Pricing

The biggest question when making a purchase is whether or not the price fits your budget. PPC software is no different.

When evaluating the price, consider the features the tool has and whether or not you will need multiple seats. Is the pricing flat rate, by the number of accounts, or based on ad spend?

Pro tip: Compare each tool’s pricing, features, and specifics against at least one or two others before making your final decision. You may miss out on some crucial features.

Functionality

Functionality is the most important part of the software. You should determine if the tool you’re evaluating has the right features to save you time and energy. Ask questions like:

  • Does it give you the data you need?
  • Does it have the automation and features to help you maintain and scale your account (or accounts)?
  • Are there any templates you can use to speed up your process?

Pro tip: Test out the functionality of tools through free trials before making your final decision.

Seats

Will you be the only person accessing the software, or will multiple members of your team need access? Some platforms charge higher fees for having more than one seat. In other cases, you can add as many people as you like.

Pro tip: Password sharing sometimes works, but someone may get locked out if you share it with too many people.

User experience

User experience is as important as functionality. If the program works well but is difficult to navigate, it may not give you the level of efficiency you need.

Struggle and frustration shouldn’t be part of your day-to-day experience. Getting around the software should be a breeze.

The takeaway

All in all, PPC management software should make your job easier. It’s not something that will take the place of a human or do a human’s job.

But it can help you do an in-depth analysis, scale, and grow. You’ll be able to evaluate your campaigns in a way that’s difficult and time-consuming to do on your own. Explore giving PPC software a try and see how it changes your PPC advertising.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Sep 6 , 2022

Here’s why both paid and organic efforts deserve a place in your digital marketing plan.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Reasons to have paid search and SEO in your marketing plan
  • Ways search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search complement each other
  • Tips for leveraging both to increase ROI
  • How these strategies can be integral to overall campaign success

Some things just go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Rhythm and blues. Paid search and SEO

Paid search targets those searching for keywords related to your business through ads on the search engine results page (SERP). 

SEO, on the other hand, ensures your website, content, and social profiles are poised to rank well in organic search results.

While each strategy can be effective on its own, pairing them together is one of the most effective ways to build a strong digital marketing foundation. 

So, how can paid search (AKA pay-per-click or PPC) and SEO work together? Read on to find out.

How to make SEO & paid search work together

For starters, each initiative should be deployed consistently and with cohesive messaging. 

After all, creating ads that look and sound nothing like your website may confuse visitors and cause them to bounce. It’s up to you to make sure they fit together smoothly instead of working in silos.  

The good news? By proactively making sure the paid and organic components of your search engine marketing work together, you can speed up your campaign optimization and boost ROI as a result.

Here are 8 ways to pair PPC and SEO together successfully. 

paid search and seo together

Paid search marketing can give an SEO campaign the push it needs since the latter can take several months to show significant results. (Image: Unsplash)

1. Test new keywords

Keywords are pillars of both SEO and PPC strategies — they both fall under the search engine marketing (SEM) umbrella. 

You can use the same keywords for both. However, when the time comes to add new search terms to your campaign, testing them with SEO efforts can be time-consuming and labor-intensive (like writing new content and regularly updating existing posts).

On the flip side, testing new keywords with PPC ads is quicker and, often, easier. 

Creating an ad with a new keyword and monitoring results can take less than a week. With SEO, it could take months to have enough data to glean real results.

As soon as you see how well a keyword is doing with paid search, you can decide whether it could work for your SEO campaigns and projects.

Pro tip: When selecting keywords for SEO and PPC efforts, be sure to keep intent in mind. As HubSpot explains, you want to avoid keyword traps, or “words and phrases that sound good, but have dual meanings or a mismatched intent.”

2. Retarget visitors

After a decent amount of time and effort put into your SEO strategy, you could see this work paying off by attracting more visitors to your website. 

However, data shows that only about 2% of them will convert after the first visit. 

The last thing you want is to provide valuable content only to have potential clients use this knowledge for buying products elsewhere. To avoid this problem, you can take advantage of retargeting

When a user leaves the website, you can inconspicuously attach a piece of code to anonymously track them. As these visitors go to other websites, your ads appear to guide them back to your landing pages. This increases your chances of converting the lead. 

Pro tip: Retargeting is evolving with the eventual demise of third-party cookies (more on that below), making things like zero-party data and first-party data even more important.

3. Cross-analyze data

SEO and PPC tactics give you a variety of data to work with. This data is crucial because it can reveal what’s working and what’s not. From there, you can iterate and make updates accordingly. 

You can analyze the same metrics from both campaign types, including but not limited to:

  • Time spent on site
  • Conversion rate
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Local conversions

By using this information and conducting A/B tests, you can figure out which keywords work best and how effectively you’re targeting your buyer persona. And, while it’s possible to analyze metrics for each campaign separately, doing it together can give you more valuable and detailed insights.

Due to new privacy laws — the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) being chief among them — third-party data will be heavily restricted. This leaves advertisers to rely more on consensual first-party data.

They’ll have to adapt to the resulting changes such as ensuring they’re in compliance with all relevant applicable laws, collecting less data overall as users decline tracking, and making do with some less accurate behavioral modeling data that estimates conversions to compensate.

The good news: Coordinated SEO and PPC campaigns help ensure compliance across your entire website. Plus, sharing data can help fill in some of the gaps caused by collecting less data, the loss of third-party data, and the possible inaccuracies of the modeled conversions.

Pro tip: Universal Analytics will end July 1, 2023. The Google Analytics 4 (GA4) rollout to comply with Consent Mode requirements has already begun. That’s why it’s a good idea to go ahead and get familiar with the ins and outs of GA4.

4. Dominate the SERP

Some companies are tempted to stop their paid search marketing campaigns once they achieve impressive organic rankings. But even if your website is proudly sitting on page 1 of the SERP, paid ads will always be higher up on the page, increasing your chances of visibility.

Let’s say your SEO and PPC efforts drive equal traffic individually, 100 visitors each, and both use the same keywords. What would happen if you run them both simultaneously?

Many assume that when running in tandem, they’d still only produce 100 total visitors because they’re appearing for the same searches. However, studies on the subject don’t bear that out.  

Search Engine Land looked at these studies and various cases. They found that, despite nothing about the SEO changing, when the PPC ads stopped, the SEO also underperformed. 

This is a phenomenon they call “search incrementality,” which proves that the dual strategy of SEO and PPC working together is worth more than the sum of its parts.       

When consumers see the same website on top of the SERP and in the ad, they tend to consider it credible. In this case, SEO and PPC complement each other perfectly, with SEO picking up where paid search left off.  

Already overwhelmed? Don’t be! Our agency has meshed SEO and paid search efforts for businesses of all sizes — let’s talk about how we can make it happen for yours, too.

rowing teamwork

Paid search and SEO complement one another, improve your bottom line, and help your overall program succeed. (Image: Unsplash)

5. See faster results

Paid search marketing can give an SEO campaign the push it needs since the latter can take several months to show significant results. 

You may already have a high-quality, well-structured website filled with valuable content. But things like domain authority, increased organic traffic, and strong social followings usually take a while to gain momentum. 

Alternatively, search ads can bring more visitors to your website in less time than with SEO alone. This information allows you to tweak your SEO campaigns while improving the bounce rate and dwelling time to rank higher on Google.  

6. Enhance SEO content through PPC ad copy

The tactics that work for your paid search marketing campaign can often work for SEO as well. The best part about PPC ads is that you can get the first results (even if it’s just analysis) quickly.

Once you see which PPC ads bring the most conversions, you can get valuable information about what type of organic content, title tags, and meta descriptions to use for your website.

And with PPC ads, it’s easy to split-test your work. By testing several types of ad copy, you can determine what works for both the ad and what could work on your website.  

7. Learn more about your target audience

Paid social media ads are another effective way to gain insight into the way your target audience feels, thinks, and acts. One great thing about social media advertising is the targeting options available on various platforms.

You can get hyper-specific about who you want seeing your ads (like middle-aged luxury car owners who live in Chicago and love fishing, for example). 

When you analyze data from these campaigns, you can discover new information about the target audience and use it for both your future PPC and SEO programs.

8. Optimize your budget

Using PPC and SEO together doesn’t just enhance your overall marketing efforts. It can also help you cut costs, generate additional revenue, and save time. 

Leverage these in tandem by:

  • Cutting content creation costs by testing keywords with PPC ads
  • Generating revenue with PPC conversions while an SEO campaign gains momentum
  • Saving time on keyword research by using the same keywords for both campaigns
  • Speeding up your SEO campaign with PPC retargeting and lead generation efforts
  • Optimizing your landing pages with both SEO and PPC in mind

The takeaway

SEO and PPC don’t only coexist well, but they can enhance one another with results greater than the sum of their parts. 

In this way, they complement one another, improve your bottom line, and help your overall program succeed. 

By learning how to make these two marketing strategies work together, you are giving your campaigns a powerful boost. 

This article has been updated and was originally published in September 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Aug 22 , 2022

There’s never a bad time to reevaluate your search engine marketing plan.

Here, you’ll find:

  • What Google has in store for search in 2022 and beyond
  • Which new tools could enhance your SEM
  • The latest standout SEM trends
  • Tips for SEM success

The search engine marketing (SEM) landscape continues to change faster than you can flip calendar pages. From algorithm updates to the eventual sunsetting of third-party cookies, the industry is ever-evolving.

Because of that, it’s almost always a good idea to take stock of your SEM program — its strengths, weaknesses, and what new frontiers can be explored.

Whether you’ve already exceeded your 2022 goals or are working to make it happen before year’s end, this is a great time to make sure you’re strategies are poised for SEM success.

Below, we offer some ways to do just that.

1. Stay on top of the latest Google news

We already know Google rolls out dozens of updates each year. These updates vary in their impact and reach, and the search engine doesn’t always make it crystal-clear exactly how the changes will affect websites.

That’s why, when they do give people a heads up, it’s worth noting. Some recent changes Google has announced include:

A move toward better “information literacy”

In the past few years, misinformation has seemingly exploded online. Between people spreading articles they haven’t actually read and scammers posing as “experts,” it can be hard to decipher what is and isn’t credible information.

Google Fellow and Vice President of Search Pandu Nayak recently penned an article for Google’s blog outlining the steps its team is taking to combat misinformation and ensure their users get served accurate, high-quality search results.

This includes using their latest AI-powered Multitask Unified Model (MUM) to help determine what’s deserving of a featured snippet spot on the search engine results page (SERP). 

Additionally, Nayak says they’re working to:

  • Expand content advisories for information gaps
  • Expand its “About this result” to more places
  • Educate people about misinformation

Third-party cookie phase-out

In January 2020, Google announced its plans to phase out third-party cookies (which have been used in marketing to track, monitor and analyze a site visitor’s behavior) on Chrome by the end of 2022. 

It’s a move to quell growing online privacy concerns, with cookies slated to be replaced by “browser-based tools and techniques aimed at balancing personalization and privacy,” according to Marketing Land. 

Now, Google has pushed things back to 2024, giving marketers a bit more time to pivot.

This could affect your marketing strategies if you leverage advanced retargeting or remarketing tactics. The good news is that you have more than a year to learn how to pivot from relying on third-party cookies.

Pro tip: With third-party cookies on their way out, learning how to leverage first-party data successfully is more important than ever. 

person looking into an alley in the daytime through eyeglasses

As far as content types go, you can’t get much better than articles and other materials that aim to educate your audience. (Image: Unsplash)

2. Get familiar with Google Analytics 4

Google is constantly perfecting its tools. One prime example of this is its new and improved analysis platform, Google Analytics 4. Launched in October 2020, this machine learning-driven program can help you get more nuanced insights into customers’ behavior.

New features also include the ability to track users across different platforms, improve audience segmentation in Google Ads, and much more.

With Google planning to discontinue Universal Analytics in summer 2023, exploring this new opportunity as soon as possible can help you gain a competitive edge and streamline your SEM campaigns.

3. Beef up your educational content

As far as content types go, you can’t get much better than articles and other materials that aim to educate your audience. People love this kind of content because it provides a service and (ideally) helps them solve a problem or glean new information without having to make a purchase. 

With millions of people changing up their employment status in 2022, the need for educational content is on the rise. In fact, consumers are 131% more likely to buy a product after reading educational content, according to a recent study.

This content is a great incentive to include on a landing page in exchange for a user’s contact info. The time and money you invest in the educational content right now can bring impressive SEM success in the future.

4. Explore paid social advertising

The popularity of social media continues to rise, as more apps and features continue to roll out on a regular basis. 

The proof is in the data. Instagram now has over 1 billion monthly active users (that’s up from 500 million in 2019). Meanwhile, TikTok has more than 650 million monthly active users and counting.

Because of this, 2022 could be a great time to invest in paid social strategies. Social media ads are generally more affordable than other digital ad types, making them a smart diversification tactic. 

Depending on where your target audience is most active, you could explore ads on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Pinterest

Hand holding a light bulb for SEM success idea

Technical SEO is one of the more neglected SEO elements — it’s also one of the most crucial. (Image: Rawpixel)

5. Reevaluate your SEM spend

With a potential recession looming, some people are tightening up their budgets. As a result, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your PPC campaign budget to make sure you’re spending wisely and on the right marketing tactics.

A good plan of action: Single out the highest performing ads and keywords, then channel more of your PPC budget to support them. To pace your campaign spend better, you may consider such settings as lifetime spend or monthly spend limits instead of daily budgets.

6. Keep your technical SEO top notch

Search engine marketing isn’t all about paid search. Search engine optimization (SEO) is also key to SEM success, since both hinge on search engines.

SEO is a long game with results that often take more time to see than PPC efforts. But making sure that your SEO program is thorough and high-quality can keep you climbing up the organic rankings and growing your audience as a result.

Technical SEO is one of the more neglected SEO elements — it’s also one of the most crucial. Technical SEO is the term for the technical aspects of your site, such as your site architecture, metadata, and Schema markup, that search engines crawl to understand your site’s content.

An audit is the more thorough way to analyze your technical SEO. But if you want to take a quick glance at your current status, look at website elements such as:

  • Structured data
  • Site security
  • Page speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Site architecture
  • Navigation
  • Internal links
  • URL structures
  • Metadata 

The takeaway

In digital marketing, as in life, it seems like the only constant is change.

But it’s also true that you can create campaigns with human-focused messages and initiatives that are set up to stand the test of time.

No matter what search engines throw our way this year and the next, these insights can help you craft strategies set up to see impressive results and SEM success.

This article has been updated and was originally published in June 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Jul 20 , 2022

Digital marketing gets you in front of potential customers. The right strategy leads them to convert.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How search results affect customer acquisition
  • Organic ways to acquire new leads
  • Effective paid marketing strategies
  • How to set your website up for optimal acquisition

Experienced marketing pros know all about the customer journey. 

It comprises the stages we base our content, campaigns, and plans on: awareness, consideration, and decision. (With delight as the bonus step.) The customer journey is crucial when it comes to acquisition.

Customer acquisition is the process of converting a generated lead into a customer. It’s basically the whole funnel (or journey) combined. 

Marketing is about attracting new customers, and keeping customer acquisition top of mind is how marketers can make that happen.

While there’s no one way to pinpoint and acquire qualified leads that are sure to become customers, there are digitally minded marketing strategies you can implement with customer acquisition in mind. Here, we’ve mapped out six of our favorites.

line of people outside from aerial view

Companies that use paid search for successful customer acquisition know it’s not only about the ad. (Image: Unsplash)

1. Paid search marketing

Also known as pay per click or PPC, paid search is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies when it comes to customer acquisition. That’s because it allows companies to target their specific audience with the right keywords at the right time.

Paid search ads appear at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) on sites like Google and Bing. If someone’s searching for “women’s black cycling shoes,” for example, and you’re an e-commerce brand selling cycling products (including women’s black cycling shoes), you want your targeted ad to be the one they see. 

The same goes for brands selling other products and services.

The companies that use paid search for successful customer acquisition know it’s not only about the ad. Rather, it’s crucial to pair eye-catching, appealing ad copy with an optimized landing page that boasts consistent verbiage, clean design, and a clear call to action (CTA).

2. Search engine optimization (SEO)

Along with a strategic paid search plan, having a solid SEO strategy helps search engines more easily recognize your website. This helps improve your rankings and, ideally, grow your reach for better customer acquisition.

Proper website SEO means having elements such as:

  • Unique title tags on your pages
  • High-quality content 
  • Internal links and external links (to authoritative sites)
  • A thorough sitemap
  • Thoughtful meta descriptions
  • Images with alt tags

As a reminder, optimizing your site for search engines won’t guarantee that you’ll get in the first position (or even on the first page) of the SERPs. 

After all, the search engine algorithm that determines the best content for each search query is constantly changing, and the details about how each search engine determines the best content to show searchers aren’t always clear.

However, by keeping your site up to date, easy to navigate, and educational for prospects and clients, you can position your brand as a thought leader and your site as a trustworthy information source.

3. Social media

When it comes to social media, you’ve got the option to leverage both organic and paid avenues. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that each path can be leveraged in the same way or achieve the same results.

Let’s start with organic social media. The practice of regularly creating social media posts can help spread the word about new business offerings or updates, increase your exposure, and even help you go viral (in a good way, ideally).

While organic social posts likely won’t directly result in customer acquisition, they can aid in brand awareness, content sharing, and allow you to highlight the fun side of your brand.

Paid social, on the other hand, can be a powerful tool if wielded properly. When choosing which platforms to advertise on, you should first consider your target audience and the platforms they use most.

From there, you can take advantage of the audience targeting tools most of these platforms have in place to get your content delivered straight to those who need to see it most. 

group of millennials on their laptops laughing

While blogging is a great medium for businesses when it comes to customer acquisition, effective content marketing can encompass much more. (Image: Unsplash)

4. Remarketing

As we’ve touched on before, remarketing can benefit your business in numerous ways. 

Not only does it keep you top of mind when someone takes an action like visiting your site, or requesting a consultation or demo, but it allows you to hyper-focus your ads and ups your chances of turning a lead into a conversion.

Remarketing (also called retargeting) works by leveraging display ads to connect your business with people who have already visited your site or mobile app. When done right, it’s one of the best and most cost-effective ways to get past visitors back to your site. 

Of course, the most successful retargeting campaigns aren’t one size fits all. A brand-new site visitor shouldn’t be remarketed the same way as a returning visitor. 

Along with data and online privacy changes, the eventual demise of third-party cookies is going to force some changes in digital marketing, particularly for remarketing ads. But there’s no need to panic.

While more solutions will become apparent as the process unfolds (such as replacement tools like FLEDGE and Topics), focusing on attracting new prospects is one way to keep your lead pipeline flowing. 

Looking for more ways to increase your customer acquisition? Let’s talk.

5. Content marketing

Blogging is a great medium for businesses when it comes to customer acquisition, but effective content marketing can encompass much more.

Examples of valuable content include:

  • Blog articles
  • Videos
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Checklists
  • Downloadable templates
  • Product descriptions
  • Case studies

No matter the content you create, you want to make sure it’s accurate, helpful, and keyword targeted. The more deliverables you publish and promote, the more industry topics you can cover. This makes your site more likely to surface in organic search results for people seeking what you have to offer.

Pro tip: You can take things a step further by partnering with another brand (with a similar audience but not a competitor) on something like an infographic, webinar, or guest blog. This expands your reach, helps build your professional network, and boosts your brand’s credibility.

two people working on laptops at a coffeeshop

You’re six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than from a tweet. (Image: Unsplash)

6. Email newsletters

Email newsletters can be a powerful acquisition channel if you follow a few best practices. 

As Campaign Monitor reports, you’re six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than from a tweet. 

Experience tells us the most successful newsletters:

  • Include one main CTA
  • Offer a tactical takeaway (like a pro tip, discount, or statistic)
  • Feature an attention-grabbing subject line
  • Have an easy-to-read template
  • Are optimized for mobile

When you’re looking to build your non-client subscriber list, get creative! You can add exit-intent pop-ups to your site or include a subscription box in your site’s footer navigation. 

Pro tip: Let your readers help you spread the word! Encourage forwarding in your email newsletter to make sharing a breeze. Due to the psychology of social proof, peer-recommended content is more likely to be trusted.

The takeaway

Customers are the bread and butter of any business. And digital marketing is one of the most direct ways to connect with your desired prospects.

By knowing your audience, meeting them where they are, and analyzing the data behind your campaigns, you’ll have the tools you need to not only attract more customers, but keep them loyal and happy as well.

This post has been updated and was originally published in December 2019.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Caroline Cox on Jun 21 , 2022

Search engines use Quality Scores to pair users with the best info online — and it can also save you money as an advertiser.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to define Quality Score
  • Where to go to find your score
  • Tips for improving your score
  • How Quality Score can save you money

As a savvy marketer, you know reaching high-level rankings in search engines is pretty much non-negotiable when it comes to your digital strategy. 

Of course, there’s no quick trick to making this happen — even with paid search (or PPC), there’s no guarantee you’ll make it to the top. 

But while it’s nearly impossible to predict what changes will be made next to these search algorithms, there’s one way to get insight into how Google views your site: Quality Score. 

The search engine itself defines Quality Score as “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages.” The benefit? Higher quality ads can snag lower prices and better ad positions.

Each day, people conduct more than 5.2 billion searches on Google alone. And with nearly 2 billion websites in the world vying for viewers’ attention, PPC ad campaigns help set companies apart from the competition. 

While several factors contribute to the success of a paid ad campaign, Quality Score is one of the most important.

quality score

The Quality Score of your PPC ad will dictate how much you need to bid on keywords to ensure an optimal position in search engine results. (Image: Unsplash)

What is a Quality Score?

Google uses Quality Score to rate the quality and relevance of keywords for PPC ads. The rating is meant to give advertisers a general idea of how significant their keywords are across all avenues they’re applied in. 

Google then uses this data to show more effective keywords to users each time an online search takes place. Your score is determined by three factors:

  • Expected clickthrough rate (CTR) – How your ads historically perform
  • Ad relevance – How closely your ads align with your keywords
  • Landing page experience – The content’s relevance, usefulness, and user-friendliness

This information benefits advertisers because it helps determine what to optimize. You can see what keywords are driving search results and which words need to be re-evaluated. 

The effects of Quality Score

Advertisers care about Quality Score because it’s one of the most important factors used to determine how ads are ranked and what advertisers’ cost per click (CPC) will be. 

The score of PPC ads will dictate how much you need to bid on keywords to ensure an optimal position in search engine results. Basically, the better your score, the less you’ll have to pay for your ads to show up in your preferred position.

Recent data suggests raising your Quality Score from 5 to 7 can result in a CPC decrease of more than 28%.

When people who see your ad click on it, Google views your ads as relevant because that signals to the search engine that the ads are meeting your potential customers’ needs.

As a result, you earn higher ad rankings and a lower CPC. By optimizing your score, you increase your return on investment (ROI).

Ready to take your digital marketing plan to the next level? We can help.

Determining Your Quality Score

Tracking your Quality Score help you assess ad campaign performance and ensure your budget makes sense. To do this, you’ve got to start by identifying your current score. 

First, log into your Google Ads account and create a new report under the Reports tab. Your report type will be Placement/Keyword Performance. There, under Advanced Settings, you’ll select Add or Remove Columns. 

Choose Keyword Quality Score Detail and then select your other report settings. Locate the Templates, Scheduling, and Email area and select Create Report. You’ll then be presented with your keywords’ Quality Score results. 

If you run into issues, you can follow more detailed instructions in Google’s Help Center.

Pro tip: Adding a Quality Score tracker script to your Google Ads script dashboard will create a document that automatically updates daily. This can help you track ad relevance, landing page experience and Quality Score. There’s a Bing Ads script as well.

HawkSEM: How to Find Your Quality Score

Quality Score is an integral part of Google’s process when it comes to determining which ads to promote — and how to rank them. (Image: Unsplash)

4 steps to increase your Quality Score

Quality Score determines where and how often your ads are shown. That’s why it’s important to work on boosting your rankings by continuing to improve your ads. 

Google doesn’t exactly lay out their specific formula for calculating your score. But when you know the core components, you can take actions to improve each one.

Here are four main ways you can work to boost your Quality Score:

1. Target your ad groups  

Increase the relevance of your ad by targeting your campaigns into clearly defined groups. Assign each group of ads its own set of related keywords to effectively target groups you want to reach. 

Avoid irrelevant keywords just for the sake of having them. In this case, you want quality over quantity.

2. Research keywords

Keywords are one of the most important factors in Quality Score success. 

Do your homework to determine how those words (and combinations) are performing and whether they’ll be effective for your campaign. 

Keyword research can reveal what keywords are being used, their importance to viewers, and how likely they are to drive traffic to your website.

3. Publish high-quality content

When writing ad copy, streamline the content so it focuses on one product or service. 

Not only will this help target a more specific audience, but it will likely yield better results. Readers want to digest easy-to-comprehend information.

Ads with too many areas of focus or calls to action (CTAs) can be ineffective, resulting in someone bouncing or continuing to scroll without clicking. 

4. Regularly optimize your landing pages 

Your landing page is often a potential customer’s first impression of your business. Right away, it sends a message about your company. 

Quick loading time, relevant keywords, and clear, easy-to-read information can increase user engagement and earn you a higher rating. 

The takeaway

Quality Score is an integral part of Google’s process when it comes to determining which ads to promote — and how to rank them. 

Tracking this info not only increases your chance at a higher ROI, but it can save you money in advertising costs.

Quality Score is a useful guideline to shed light on what’s working for you and can impact the way you develop your paid advertising campaigns to make them as effective and possible, resulting in a stronger strategy overall.

And who wouldn’t want that?

This article has been updated and was originally published in April 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Caroline Cox on May 9 , 2022

Real estate companies with the right paid search strategies can see a higher ROI, growing client base, and more wins over the competition.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Why paid search marketing is key for real estate companies
  • Pro tips for optimizing your campaigns
  • What to keep in mind when crafting landing pages
  • How video offers an edge over competitors

Spring 2022 is likely to go down in history as one of the hottest house buying seasons.

That’s one of the key reasons why real estate companies should be taking advantage of all the resources at their disposal, particularly when it comes to marketing efforts.

While search engine optimization (SEO) is a big part of any marketing strategy, only a limited number of companies end up on the first page of Google. That’s where paid search (or pay-per-click/PPC) marketing comes in.

Making PPC marketing a part of your real estate marketing strategy can be hugely beneficial to your company, especially right now. 

hawksem: real estate paid search blog

Many real estate agencies avoid taking full advantage of branded keywords for the fear of not getting enough ROI. (Image: Unsplash)

Why real estate paid search marketing makes sense

When it comes to digital marketing, many companies start with SEO. That entails things like a speedy, well-designed website, quality content marketing, and an updated Google Business Profile (GDP). 

Optimizing your marketing efforts to get high spots on the search engine results page (SERP) is great. However, when you work with an extremely specific, localized product like real estate services, adding in paid search strategies can be the secret sauce to help you truly stand out from competitors.

Real estate paid search marketing gives you the opportunity to focus on your local target audience. It also aids in differentiating between renters and buyers, potential and current homeowners, and much more.

This approach allows you to place your ad in front of potential clients, even if they submit search queries using key phrases similar to unqualified searchers.

Other benefits for real estate companies who leverage paid search include:

  • Quick lead generation results
  • The ability to do clear budget planning
  • Access to detailed analytics
  • Enhanced brand awareness

Pro tip: Housing ads come with certain targeting restrictions in an attempt to avoid discrimination by companies online — here’s what marketers should know about housing ad restrictions.

1. Capitalize on branded searchers

The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) searchers are your highest-potential clients. These are the people who are serious about purchasing a property. 

However, many real estate agencies avoid taking full advantage of branded keywords for the fear of not getting enough ROI.

Branded search terms are for those people who have heard something about a real estate agency in your area and tend to add a brand name to the general key phrases.  

If you aren’t using branded keywords, your competitors could be taking advantage of them and luring away your hot leads. If you’re just starting out and haven’t raised much brand awareness yet, you could pivot and use this strategy to redirect the competition’s audience to your doorstep.

To make sure that all your qualified prospects stay yours, you should be taking full advantage of the branded keywords. Don’t leave them out for the competition to grab.

2. Explore geo-targeting

A real estate business is generally local, though of course there are national brands with local branches. Either way, when it comes to real estate purchases, location is everything. 

After all, people searching for real estate options almost always know exactly where they want to buy, sell, or rent a property. That’s why geo-targeting is one of the biggest benefits when it comes to paid search for real estate companies.

Google Ads lets you adjust your ads to appear to clients in certain locations or a set of locations. Not only does this feature help you to narrow down the search options, it can also cut your PPC costs.

Pro tip: Google Ads geo-targeting also lets you to set up negative locations. This feature can be especially key for real estate marketing. It allows you to exclude locations you don’t need from your PPC campaign, like a same-named city in a different state.

3. Create optimized, dedicated landing pages

Your paid search marketing campaign’s success relies heavily on your landing pages. As users click the ad, they should arrive at a high-quality page that answers their questions, feels tailored to them, and has a clear call to action (CTA) to lead them to that next step.

Pointing the traffic to a generic web page (like your homepage) often increases bounce rates and raises the cost per click (CPC). 

Besides being more targeted and actionable, landing pages should provide a seamless user experience and gently guide the visitor down the marketing funnel.

PPC landing pages for real estate businesses should contain:

  • Eye-catching, well-written copy
  • Strong contextual media
  • A single, strong CTA
  • Clear features and benefits of the offer from your ad
  • Testimonials or other proof points to support your claims

Pro tip: Google Ads rewards campaigns with high-quality landing pages by boosting the Quality Score and lowering the CPC.

view standing in front of a white house with red roof

Besides being more targeted and actionable, landing pages should provide a seamless user experience and gently guide the visitor down the marketing funnel. (Image: Unsplash)

4. Run consistent A/B tests

A single element in your paid search ad — the image, headline, or anything in between — can affect its success. That’s why A/B testing is crucial to figuring out how to best optimize your ads. 

You may consider adjusting headlines, images, text, layout, and other factors to see how it affects the ad’s performance. Then you can channel your budget toward the higher-performing ads.

Avoid split testing completely different ads — the tweaks should be minor. Otherwise, you won’t be able to figure out what exactly makes one ad better than the other.

5. Study the competition

As long as you don’t plan to copy your competitors exactly (which isn’t ethical or a good look for your business), it’s wise to keep an eye on the tactics and tools they’re using in their real estate paid search.

Check out what works for your competition, and see how you can potentially leverage their strategies for your own gain. 

Type your target key phrase into Google search and see which ads come up. From there, you can use tools like SpyFu, SERPstat, and Keyword Gap to see which keywords your competitors are aiming for. You can also check out their landing pages and see how they stack up against your own.

6. Focus on ad extensions

Ad extensions don’t just give your ad more real estate on the SERPs. They also provide valuable and catchy information to the potential buyer or client.

Adding a new ad extension can improve your CTR by 10-15%, and they don’t cost extra to include.

Extensions to pay attention to are:

  • Call extension – shows your phone number next to the ad
  • Message extension – allows the searcher to send you a message directly from the SERP
  • Location extension – lets searchers know your exact location

Another important extension is the price extension, since price is often the first thing real estate clients want to know. You can use this extension to promote specific listings.

7. Create a video ad campaign

Images and videos can play an important role in the success of your real estate PPC campaign. Since real estate products are highly visual, this can be a great opportunity to demonstrate all that a property has to offer via short video ads.

Reports show more than 70% of homeowners are more likely to hire a real estate agency that uses videos. The agencies that invest in video marketing know it can bring significant return on ad spend (ROAS).

Plus, by creating a paid video campaign, you’re targeting potential clients while sharing extensive details about your listings in a way that’s eye-catching and unique.

The takeaway

There’s no reason for real estate companies to not take full advantage of paid search marketing. It generates fast results, allows for clear budget planning, offers a variety of ways to target a specific audience, and more.

For the real estate business, paid search ads aren’t just a nice addition. They can become the driving force behind your digital marketing program and bring you serious ROI. 

This article has been updated and was originally published in July 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Caroline Cox on Apr 20 , 2022

Not currently using call tracking? Here’s a guide to filling in this attribution gap.

Here, you’ll find:

  • An explanation of call tracking
  • A breakdown of various tracking tiers
  • How tracking can help optimize campaigns
  • The latest call-tracking updates

When it comes to connecting with companies, people want options. 

That’s why most businesses have a phone number, even if most marketing, communications, and customer service happens online. 

And it’s a wise choice, since reports show click-to-call rates are four times better than online conversion rates.

The question is: Are you taking full advantage of all that phone calls have to offer your business? 

As Marketing Land explains, “If your marketing strategy involves driving potential customers to the phone, you could be missing out on important attribution data as well as the best source of first-party customer data.” 

Basically, if you’re not tracking calls, you could be missing a key element in your conversion tracking. Here’s how to set up call tracking for your ads, and why you should.

call tracking for digital marketing

There are various solutions available when it comes to call-tracking options for your business. (Image: Unsplash)

What is call tracking?

Call tracking is the process of gathering information about the phone calls people make to your company. Basic tracking helps you make sure you’re attributing calls to your ads to help optimize campaigns. 

More advanced tracking allows you to accrue data that will tell you more about your prospects and customers. This includes their wants, pain points, frequently asked questions, and more. 

Phone calls can be a key part of your buyer’s journey. Call tracking serves to help bridge the gap between online and offline touch points, giving you a clearer picture of your prospects and customers.

Know your call-tracking options

There are various solutions available when it comes to call-tracking options for your business. You can choose from a variety of softwares and tiers depending on your budget and needs. 

hawksem call on GBP

You can include a “Call” CTA on your company’s Google Business Profile as well. (Image: Google)

Tier 1 tracking

The basic, standard level of call tracking is simply to track phone number clicks on your website. This allows you to properly attribute the click to your campaigns. You can set up this level of call tracking through Google Tag Manager. 

It will give you some basic data about calls to your existing phone number, such as when someone clicks the phone number on your website via their smartphone to call you. 

Tier 2 tracking

The next level involves implementing call tracking into your Google Ads campaigns. At this level, Google will assign you a forwarding phone number. If someone clicks on your ads, the number on your website will route to your Google forwarding number.

This level also offers more sophisticated call data. When you implement Google call tracking through Google Tag Manager, you can set parameters for what counts as a conversion, such as calls only over a certain amount of seconds. 

This way, you’re not counting irrelevant phone calls (like accidental clicks, spam clickers, and quickly unqualified leads) as conversions. 

Pro tip: While Google call tracking is free, the number you’re assigned won’t necessarily be permanently assigned to you. Further down the line, someone could call that number in search of your business and not be able to reach you. 

Tier 3 tracking

If your company has the means to invest in paid call-tracking services, there are a ton of benefits to be found. For one, you’ll be able to purchase a dedicated phone number that won’t be in danger of being changed. 

With call-tracking services, you pay for dedicated tracking phone numbers, including a ZIP code that matches your area. In terms of data, you’re able to record phone calls (the caller is given a heads up, of course). 

You can go back and listen to how customer service was handled and get more information about the callers. These services also allow you to capture customer contact information in the platforms

Top-tier call tracking can often tell you what caused the person to call, what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in, and it can even sync with other programs like Google Analytics, Salesforce, or your preferred customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

Pro tip: Think you’ve got tracking covered with your call center? While these centers track things like hold time and client satisfaction, proper call tracking can provide valuable data for marketers that can help optimize and improve campaigns. 

call tracking to enhance paid ads

With the rise of mobile search, it makes sense that Google call-only campaigns would follow suit. (Image: Unsplash)

How call tracking can improve your marketing

Gathering data is only half the battle. After all, what good is all that data if you don’t take the time to analyze and leverage it? 

Call tracking allows you to review calls and pinpoint patterns. What are some common issues customers seem to have? What products or services are they asking about most? 

It can also help you make these calls more efficient by allowing you to personalize and tailor the call experience.

This type of tracking can help maximize ROI by painting a more complete picture of what’s driving people to your business. 

The future of call tracking

In fall 2020, Google began testing a new Google Business Profile feature dubbed “call history.”

According to Search Engine Land, the feature was “designed to help businesses see and respond to missed calls coming from Google Search and Maps.” 

With the rise of mobile search, it makes sense that Google call-only campaigns would follow suit. If you’re a business like a doctor’s office (or if you have a stellar customer service team trained to quickly solve problems), this ad type is worth exploring.

This way, you have the chance to catch someone’s attention and allow them to immediately connect with you, rather than risking them not finding what they’re looking for on your website.

The takeaway

In marketing, the more data you have, the better. If you’re not tracking phone calls on some level, you’re missing out on a key component of your conversion tracking. 

It’s the same idea behind tracking forms on your website. You want to track all ways people can contact you. 

The result: Improved customer service, better insights into why people aren’t converting via phone, help training employees, and a fuller picture of your buyer persona.

This article has been updated and was originally published in November 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Apr 1 , 2022

It’s vital to spend your hard-earned digital marketing budget on channels that bring you the best ROI. That’s why knowing the latest Google Ads updates is key.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Reasons to invest in Google Ads
  • How the paid search platform works
  • The latest Google Ads updates
  • Expert tips for leveraging the platform successfully

No April Fool’s joking here: The best place to launch your digital marketing efforts is where your campaign attracts a massive audience.

According to a 2021 report, Google led the list of the most popular search engines, commanding more than 88% of the American market share. 

Paid advertisements often come hyperlinked at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs). Sure, you can work to rank organically for a given search term through SEO strategies — and you should. 

But not only can Google Ads get you higher up in search results more quickly via pay-per-click (PPC) ads, but it can also help you stay competitive in your industry. 

The benefits of Google Ads

You probably know how Google Ads works: It shows your online advertisement to prospective customers who may be interested in your business. 

You place bids on keywords and search terms and secure the top slots of SERPs if you win.

As part of a PPC marketing strategy, you choose the maximum bid amount you wish to pay for each click on your ad. Your placement improves with your bid amount.

Since its inception in 2000 as Google AdWords, Google Ads has undergone many iterations and changes. Here are a few of the latest Google Ads updates that marketers should know about in 2022.

neon google logo in the dark

Google Trends allows you to view the topics people are searching online, as well as trending topics and trends over time. (Image: Unsplash)

1.  Privacy-minded updates

Privacy has been a hot topic for marketers in the past few years. That’s thanks in part to changes like Apple’s latest iOS update and Google’s Topic’s API, which they introduced to replace the soon-to-be sunset third-party cookies. 

With third-party tracking cookies on their way out, enhanced conversion aims to use consented (opt-in) and first-party data to fill in users’ insight gaps, particularly across multiple devices.

Pro tip: Google will be shutting down Universal Analytics (the version before Google Analytics 4) in July 2023, reportedly due to its inability to deliver insights across platforms. Universal Analytics 360 will process data for an additional three months, ending in October 2023.  

2.  Changes to phrase match and broad match modifier

In early 2021, Google announced that it was “making it easier to reach the right customers on Search” through updates to its phrase match and broad match modifier keyword types. 

Now, “broad match modifier” traffic instead falls under the “phrase match” umbrella.

The search engine notes that these changes won’t impact exact match, broad match, and negative keyword match types. They also recommend only using exact, phrase, or broad match when adding new keywords moving forward. 

3.  The smart-bidding process

Google’s smart bidding aims to make marketing more manageable. The advertiser provides Google Ads with a budget, and Google algorithms get the best conversion value out of it. The intention is to maximize the total ROI of the campaigns.

Google algorithms find the opportunities that you might never spot, even if it’s promoting a low-priced product on your list. This approach is excellent for well-funded PPC campaigns that are already converting at a high rate.

Google’s new smart bidding features aim to help marketers better manage bid strategies and drive more performance, according to experts

The new features also include top signals for target ROAS and max conversions, new opportunities on the Recommendations page, target impression share simulators, and manager account level seasonality adjustments.

Pro tip: Automation is great, but keep in mind that a “set it and forget it” mindset can only take you so far. The most effective paid search campaigns involve consistent analyzing, testing, and optimizing that can only come from experienced digital marketing pros.

one piece swimsuit on google trends

A look at the Google Trends results for “one-piece swimsuit” over a 90-day period. (Image: Google Trends)

4.  Google Trends for a dynamic environment

The digital marketing landscape changes rapidly and often, which can affect your business. Google Trends is a fascinating feature that allows you to view the topics people are searching online, as well as trending topics, trends over time, and more.

Need more help with your Google Ads campaigns? That’s what we’re here for.

Google Trends can provide insights into what is popular with your audience, so you can modify your marketing efforts to match their expectations. If they’re searching for a business that offers home delivery, for instance, you can consider adding this service or something similar, like a curbside pickup option.

5.  Driving more leads via search ads

With the rise of mobile shopping or m-commerce and more brands moving their operations online than ever before because of the pandemic, the vast majority of shopping happens online.

With that in mind, Google has made it easier for businesses to capture leads through their search ads. Rather than sending users to a landing page, you can serve up a lead form as soon as someone taps the headline of your ad.

To activate this feature, simply go into your campaign and select the setting option. Once the form is submitted, the person can then decide if they want to head to your site or go back to the search engine results page (SERP). 

Pro tip: Search Engine Roundtable regularly catalogs the most recent Google algorithm updates. So far in 2022, they’ve highlighted updates on page experience update for desktop, product reviews, and more.

6. Enhanced holiday updates

During the last holiday season, many businesses were able to benefit from a range of e-commerce updates.

Google added the ability to highlight things like fulfillment options and return policies for customers to see right on the SERP. You can also have products appear in free listings that you can easily use by syncing your Shopify, WooCommerce, or GoDaddy store right to Google.

Plus, brands can now use their YouTube videos as a virtual storefront and connect easier with local customers. Social Media Today suggests keeping your Google Business Profile updated to sync properly with these new features.  

7. Destination requirement updates

To make it easier for advertisers to understand why they receive disapproval messages on their ads, Google has made some changes to their policy language and notifications.

There are three relevant disapproval messages subject to changes:

  • “Insufficient original content,” which covers web addresses with “coming soon” or “under construction” notifications
  • “Destination not accessible,” for addresses the target audience can’t reach based on their location and other limitations
  • “Destination not working,” which will appear if your address is “HTTP” or returns an error
google ads mobile app dark mode

You can use dark mode in the Google Ads app for a more comfortable, low-light visual experience. (Image: Google Ads Help)

8. Updates to the Google Ads app

There have been some exciting recent additions made to the Google Ads app. Specifically, the Google Ads mobile app for both Android and iOS offer three new features:

  • More detailed performance insights – They’ve added more context and explanations for insights to illuminate the influences behind each metric. Advertisers can now see better performance insights to get a deeper understanding of how searchers are reacting to campaigns and view how changes affect performance.
  • Advanced real-time search trends – There’s a new search trends report that will be kept updated to reflect real-time changes in search trends and consumer interests. You can click on search trends relevant to your business to get further details about what exactly users were looking for. Common queries and specific terms will give you an idea of what they hope to find. Then, you can modify your ads to better reach them.
  • In-app campaign creation – Now, you can create entire search ad campaigns right from your phone. In the Google Ads mobile app, simply touch the “+” sign in the bottom right to add a new campaign. From there, the app will walk you through the typical campaign settings like ad type and location. After your campaign is set up, you’ll be able to manage it right from your phone as well.

The takeaway

Google processes about 40,000 searches per second, making it a prime marketing ground for paid ads. 

The beauty (and sometimes frustration) of Google Ads is that it keeps on evolving. It also gives you new and innovative ways to capture the attention of searchers. 

Considering the authority of the search engine, staying on top of the latest Google Ads updates can only mean good things for your PPC program.

This article has been updated and was originally published in May 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Caroline Cox on Mar 15 , 2022

Bing can help you maximize your online reach and capture traffic you might miss with Google.

Here, you’ll find:

  • The benefits of advertising on both Google and Bing
  • How the Microsoft Ads platform compares to Google Ads
  • Tips to create top-quality ads for Bing
  • How Quality Score plays a role

Many businesses raise an eyebrow when first introduced to the idea of using Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) to attract new customers. 

But you might be surprised to learn all that the Bing search engine has to offer. 

According to recent Statista data, Bing attracts over one billion users per month worldwide. The numbers continue growing as Microsoft Advertising expands by launching in new markets.

If you want to capture the large batch of users out there who use Bing, it’s necessary to explore Microsoft Ads.

bing homepage wildlife image

To make your job easier, Microsoft Ads allows you to import Google Ads campaigns seamlessly. (Image: Bing)

Microsoft Advertising vs. Google Ads

Of course, there are plenty of similarities to be found between Google Ads and Microsoft Ads, which show up on the Bing search engine. 

They’re both used to push highly relevant ads to users, with the goal of using targeted marketing to help attract more high-quality leads who are more likely to make a purchase. However, there are also a few key differences to keep in mind.

One notable difference is that, while Google Ads has a balanced network of both PPC (or paid search) and display ads, Bing has a much more limited display ad network that’s relegated to Microsoft-owned products including Windows operating systems, Outlook, Microsoft Edge, and Xbox.

You may also find that each platform uses a different language to describe its functions and metrics. For example, Google tends to use cost per acquisition (CPA) along with the cost of conversion, while Microsoft Ads only uses the term CPA. 

Other notable differences include:

  • Ad scheduling – Google Ads uses your time zone to schedule ads, while Microsoft Ads uses the ad viewer’s time zone.
  • Search partner targeting – Both Google and Microsoft Ads let you place your ads beyond the search engine results page (SERP). However, the way you select partner networks is different. Google gives you a choice to expand to these networks while Bing allows you to target Bing and Yahoo, just search partners, or both.
  • Close search variants – Google uses close search variants of keywords by default. Microsoft Ads allows this as an option.

Using both platforms can provide a noticeable boost to your marketing campaigns. However, it’s important to know how to use Microsoft Ads properly if you want to make the most of it and effectively supplement your Google Ads campaign. 

Next, let’s dig into some best practices that’ll help you create winning ads to attract the ideal Bing searcher. 

1. Import high-performing Google Ads campaigns to Microsoft Ads

To make your job easier, Microsoft Advertising allows you to import Google Ads campaigns seamlessly. Simply use the import feature to carry your campaigns over to Microsoft’s ad platform. 

While you can test your most successful Google Ads campaigns using Bing, keep in mind things may look and work a little differently when creating ads on Microsoft. 

Knowing the subtle differences when importing can help you transition from one platform to the other and use both to your advantage.

Things to check after the import include:

  • Bids and budgets
  • Negative keywords
  • Targeting options

As you make adjustments to your Google Ads campaign, you can apply them to the Microsoft Ads campaign through import.

Keep in mind that things you can’t import include:

  • Video campaigns (since they’re done through YouTube)
  • Retargeting lists
  • Age targeting
  • Exact location targeting

You can import changes to the Microsoft Ads campaign on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This can cut the time you spend on Microsoft Ad campaign management dramatically.

Bing SERP rash guards

A smaller budget could take you much farther on Bing than it would with Google. (Image: Bing)

2. Create high-quality copy and images for your ads

You should always optimize your ads for people, not search engines. Keywords are important, but you’re ultimately creating ads to appeal directly to your target audience. With this goal in mind, try to:

  • Use on-brand colors that attract attention
  • Highlight product, service, or brand elements through images
  • Create ads using high-quality images without pixelation
  • Use images of people without accompanying text or logos
  • Keep ads clean and simple so you don’t overwhelm the user
  • Avoid lengthy headlines — stick to concise, easy-to-read phrases

3. Start broad and specify your audience based on results

To pinpoint the ideal audience, it’s a good idea to begin with a broad ad campaign that targets as many users as possible without going over your available budget. 

From there, you can begin to narrow down your audience based on the demographics and other traits of users that are likely to click on your ads. 

In the process, you can create more valuable ads that target the people who are most likely to be interested in your product or service offerings.

4. Make the most of your budget

Even if you’ve maxed out your Google Ads budget, you can still tailor your budget to help you perform well on Bing. 

Thanks largely to the lighter competition you’ll find on Bing, you could discover that a smaller budget takes you much farther on the platform than it would with Google.

You’re also likely to find less expensive costs per acquisition (CPAs) with Microsoft Ads while targeting potentially millions of daily search engine users.

5. Know your target audience on Bing

You might find that your Bing audience is different from your Google audience. If so, you should tailor your campaign audiences accordingly. Bing’s demographic tends to include older users who aren’t as quick to go to Google if Bing is their default search engine. 

While you may think this means your audience is potentially less tech-savvy, know that many of these users have accumulated more wealth and are willing to spend more money online than their younger counterparts. 

The fact that your audience on Bing is likely different from your Google audience only further emphasizes the importance of using both.

microsoft advertising benefits

Using a combination of Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads can help you find better paid search success and maximize your business’s overall reach online. (Image: Microsoft Advertising)

6. Make use of the UET tag

Microsoft Ads enables you to set up customized event and conversion actions using Universal Event Tracking (UET). With the help of this tool, you can create custom audiences as people perform certain actions. 

For example, you might create an audience that spends a certain amount of time on landing pages or visits only a few other pages before leaving your website after clicking on an ad. 

With a better understanding of user behavior through UET tags, you can cater campaigns to specific individuals to improve your campaigns’ overall performance.

7. Keep an eye on your Quality Score

Page or domain authority is a key component of a successful Bing campaign. That’s because it helps gauge the authoritativeness and popularity of a website. 

You can use Bing’s Quality Score metric to determine how much influence your website has on the search engine, which can help you determine your ads’ competitiveness. 

Heads up: Without any adjustments, you may find that your Quality Score in Microsoft Ads is lower than what you have in Google Ads.

The Quality Score ranges from 1 to 10, with the best score being 10. If you notice that your Quality Score is suffering, try to adjust your ads by:

  • Conducting more keyword research
  • Ensuring your published content is well-written, accurate, and updated
  • Optimizing your landing pages
  • Checking your ad group targeting

8. Take advantage of in-market audiences

Similar to Google Ads, Microsoft Ads offers marketers an intent-based targeting feature that brings the campaign to conversion-ready audiences. Bing uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create lists of users who have shown interest in purchasing items and services similar to yours.

In-market audiences allow you to reach potential buyers without running complex targeting campaigns. Not only does this feature save money and help increase conversions, but setup is easy. 

Microsoft is constantly adding new in-market audience categories, so if your industry isn’t there yet, continue monitoring the updates.

Keep in mind that Microsoft Ads in-market audience categories are different from in-market audiences on Google Ads. Adjust the settings for each one manually so you don’t miss out on some categories by assuming they’re the same.

woman using laptop while sitting on floor

Don’t forget to add captions to the video to improve its accessibility. (Image: Unsplash)

9. Import campaigns from Facebook Ads

As of summer 2021, you can import Facebook Ads campaigns to Microsoft

This feature can be especially useful for marketers who have a robust Facebook Ads campaign going. However, not all elements of the campaign can be imported in full — you still need to adjust some aspects manually.

Pro tip: Before allowing your imported Facebook campaign to appear on the Microsoft Audience Network, you have to preview all assets such as images, logos, and videos.

10. Explore video extensions

Microsoft Ads allows using videos as an extension feature on the search ads. Your video will appear next to your ad on the SERP, making it more appealing and engaging to the viewer.

The extension video has a call-to-action (CTA) button that takes the user to the landing page of your choice. Don’t forget to add captions to the video to improve its accessibility.

The cost per click for clicking on the video is the same as for clicking on an ad, but only for the first click. If the same user clicks to watch the video again, it’s free.

The takeaway

Using a combination of Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads can help you find better paid-search success and maximize your business’s overall reach online. 

Leveraging these best practices, taking the time to develop high-quality ad campaigns, and understanding your target audience on Bing can help you craft ads that are highly effective, no matter the search engine. 

This post has been updated and was originally published in August 2020.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More
[DISPLAY_ULTIMATE_SOCIAL_ICONS]
Written by Sam Yadegar on Mar 9 , 2022

These tried-and-tested PPC strategies can attract more (qualified) leads into your pipeline.

Here you’ll learn:

  • Why quality is key for PPC lead generation
  • How to generate high-quality leads
  • Ways to adjust your campaign for lead generation
  • Tips for cutting PPC marketing costs

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) lead generation, the more you invest in your paid search campaigns, the more leads you’re likely to see. 

The tricky part is that, in PPC lead generation, quantity doesn’t equal quality.

The good news? With the right approach, you can achieve your lead gen goals, attract the right kinds of leads, and see the campaign ROI you deserve. Here’s how.

group of people celebrating with wine

Look closely at how your target audience is searching for what you have to offer. (Image: Rawpixel)

PPC leads: quality vs. quantity

“Over the past month, we’ve generated 15,000 leads.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But if only 100 of them convert, then you’ve got thousands of leads and a very low ROI to show for it. 

Leads with a high conversion potential are harder to obtain. To get them, you’ve got to avoid those who:

  • Window shop without an intent to buy
  • Click to get a free gift in exchange for contact information (and share fake details)
  • Click out of boredom or aimless curiosity
  • Think they’ll get something else due to unclear or misleading ad copy

These reasons and more are why it’s a good idea to conduct lead scoring. This process can tell you how interested each lead is, weed out leads not worth your time, and even provide some insight into how your campaigns are working. 

Low-quality leads come with the territory — a certain number of them are basically inevitable. But, as referenced above, it’s possible your ads are drawing the wrong people’s attention.

Even a low-quality lead can gain potential with a well-structured PPC campaign. Let’s look into the most important tips to help you tweak your approach.

1. Create customized landing pages

Your PPC ads are only as effective as their corresponding landing pages. Because of this, each ad should take the potential client to a landing page that provides exactly what your ad promised and inspires them to take that next desired action outlined in the call to action (CTA).

For example, a CTA that says “Get a free e-book” should lead directly to a page where the user can download the content (with or without filling out a short form). If it requires extra clicks, these people are likely to leave the website, upping your bounce rate.

Google may even punish you for leading clients to a different page than you promised in the ad. Search engines consider this practice deceptive and may lower your Quality Score, increasing the ad’s price as a result.

2. Practice target audience segmentation

If you set up your PPC campaigns to target each product or service separately, you may not be getting as many high-quality leads as possible. Look closely at how your target audience is searching for what you have to offer.

From there, you can divide your offering into as many groups as possible. Instead of segmenting by products, you have the option of segmenting by:

  • Industry
  • Sub-categories
  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Geographic locations

If, for example, you provide managed IT services in LA, you can segment by:

  • Industry: Managed IT services
  • Sub-category: Managed security, managed cloud infrastructure, managed SaaS, managed communication services
  • Features: Antivirus software maintenance, hardware management, disaster recovery plan, software inventory management, quick response IT assistance
  • Benefit: High-quality IT services, quick response managed IT, low-cost managed IT services
  • Geographical location: Managed IT services in LA, remote managed IT services in LA

When you segment the audience accordingly, you may have an easier time setting up the campaign, using the right keywords, writing ad copy, and creating specific landing pages.

3. Fine-tune your ad copy

The quality of your PPC campaign hinges on your ad copy. Along with writing effective, clear sentences and an actionable CTA, it’s crucial to keep the user’s intent top of mind.

Ask yourself: Which stage of the buyer’s journey is your targeted audience in? For example, if they’re at the awareness stage, leading them to product-oriented pages might not do much good. 

Create ad copy aimed at getting their attention through an offer they’ll find valuable. That means knowing your target audience and having a clear ideal client persona in mind throughout the copywriting process.

When writing the text itself, some elements to keep in mind include:

  • Always address the potential client directly (use “you” and “your”)
  • Leverage emotional triggers
  • Use exact numbers (feature statistics, show product prices, advertise a sale)
  • Make use of the entire space offered by Google Ads — don’t leave blank space
  • Show what makes your offer unique

And, of course, A/B test your ad design to see which one resonates most.

woman using laptop on a couch

There are five main keyword types you can explore for your PPC campaign. (Image: Rawpixel)

4. Focus on your “money” keywords

Keywords are the pillars of your PPC campaign. So, after segmenting your audience, the next step is to dive into the keyword search.

Tools like SpyFu and UberSuggest exist to help you gather a list of relevant keywords while keeping the competition’s efforts in mind. You can arrange your keywords using SEMrush’s PPC Keyword Tool.

The keyword types to explore for your PPC campaign are:

  • Brand keywords — Include brand names 
  • High-intent keywords — Specific keywords for buyers at the bottom of the funnel
  • Low-intent keywords — To help expand your reach and increase brand awareness
  • Long-tail keywords — Low-cost and low-competition keywords 
  • Competitive keywords — High-volume keywords used by many companies in your industry

And don’t forget about negative keywords. You can filter them out by using the Search Term Report and determining which keywords are generating irrelevant clicks. 

By putting them on the negative keyword list, you can improve the quality of your leads while cutting campaign costs (win-win!).

5. Track your campaign

Your PPC campaigns need regular fine-tuning to ensure they’re as optimized as possible. Track your efforts to keep a pulse on what needs changing. 

You can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t by following the key PPC marketing KPIs.

  • Impressions: How many times your ads appeared in search results
  • Clicks: How many times users clicked your ad
  • Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of users who clicked the ad (clicks divided by impressions)
  • Average position: a position in which your ads appeared on the search engine results page
  • Conversions: how many leads who clicked the ad followed the CTA within a certain window of time
  • Quality Score: an indicator of your ad, keyword, and landing page relevance to the user
  • Cost per conversion: how much you spend to obtain a new client
  • Bounce rate: people who clicked but left without following the CTA

Pro tip: By linking your Google Ads account to Google Analytics, you’ll get valuable data into your lead generation efforts.

The takeaway

Of course, you want your campaigns to generate qualified, high-quality leads. 

With a strategic, thoughtful approach to ad design, keyword search, analytics, and segmentation, you can achieve your conversion goals through PPC lead generation — and see an impressive ROI as a result.

This post has been updated and was originally published in May 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

Questions or comments? Join the conversation here!

Related Posts

Manage Email and Communication

What is a Paid Search Specialist (and How Do You Become One)...

Paid search is an indispensable arm of modern-day marketing. Whether you want to outsource your PPC, hire a paid search specialist to work with your team, or become one yourself, you need to know what...

Read More
saas ads facebook

14 Brilliant SaaS Ads for Facebook that Get Results (and How...

Struggling to get leads from SaaS Facebook ads? Learn the best practices, then get inspired by a few brilliant SaaS ad examples....

Read More

9 Ways to Recession-Proof Your PPC Marketing Strategy

When a possible recession looms, it can be tempting to pull back on your marketing efforts. Here's why you might want to rethink that strategy....

Read More