Tag Archives: pay per click expert

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Written by Sam Yadegar on Oct 21 , 2020

An unoptimized PPC campaign could be worse than not running ads at all.

Here you’ll find:

  • Common pay-per-click (PPC) myths
  • The truth behind these myths 
  • The benefits of monitoring and optimizing ads
  • How SEO plays into PPC success

We know PPC is a key component to most digital marketing programs. Not only can it help increase web traffic, but it allows you to target your audience at a time when they’re seeking your products or services. 

Because of the popularity of PPC (or paid search), there’s a wealth of information swirling around about best practices and getting started. But, depending on the source and age of the content, you shouldn’t always believe what you read. 

As times change and technology shifts, some PPC practices become outdated. What’s worse, following some obsolete suggestions about paid ads can end up costing you. 

Want to make sure you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to PPC? You’re in luck: we’ve busted 8 common PPC myths to ensure you’re on the right track. 

PPC myths blog

Being in the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) is great for visibility, but it’s not always the best for conversion rates. (Image via Unsplash)

PPC Myth #1: You should run PPC campaign on autopilot to save time

Truth: While it’s easy to see the appeal of the “set it and forget it” strategy, this will not only cost you more money, but could cost you qualified leads. 

Some brands think a campaign simply consists of selecting keywords, creating ads, setting a budget, and letting it run. But we’re filing this under “PPC myths,” since putting a PPC campaign on autopilot often isn’t the way to get the most bang for your buck. Rather, your PPC management should follow the same advice that applies to most things in life: the more effort you put in, the more you get out of it. 

Setting up an effective PPC campaign is a detail-oriented process that requires consistent monitoring and testing. This is why some businesses opt to hire a PPC expert to manage their campaigns and achieve the best results. 

PPC Myth #2: Top placement means higher conversions

Truth: Being in the top spot on the search engine results page (SERP) is great for visibility, but it’s not always the best for conversion rates. That’s because the #1 spot not only grabs those ready to purchase but also those searchers who may be in the researching stage of the buying process. 

Because of this, you may end up spending more money to keep the top placement than you’re getting in return on ad spend (ROAS). 

It’s also important to remember that a company with a larger budget may be able to outbid you for the coveted top position. Testing different ad positions (and types) is the only way to determine which one strikes the best balance of cost vs. value in your target market and in terms of your goals. 

Pro tip: If you notice a low click-to-conversion ratio when monitoring your paid ads, dig deeper to determine what the cause might be (such as an irrelevant landing page or broken link).

PPC Myth #3: You should use generic keywords for a wider reach

Truth: While dumping a bunch of general industry keywords into your PPC account may help get your ad in front of more people, it won’t provide you with the most qualified traffic or help increase your bottom line. 

In reality, adding a ton of generic keywords will deplete your budget super-fast without the desired results. Instead, it’s best to rank for the most relevant keywords that your target audience uses when typing into the search box to generate a much better return on your paid ad investment. 

Pro tip: Use geo-targeting and a mix of short-tailed and long-tailed keywords to reach a variety of buyers within your service area. 

PPC Myth #4: PPC is best as a short-term strategy

Truth: Some business owners mistakenly believe they only need to employ PPC to promote specific sales or limited-time offers. But using paid ads only as a short-term strategy can be detrimental to its overall effectiveness. 

While PPC helps generate website traffic relatively quickly, having continually running ads will yield you the highest ROI. Also, the data gathered from those clicking on your ad can be beneficial for optimizing your ads and for retargeting campaigns later. 

blog - PPC myths

Some advertisers see better conversions and ROI results with search engine sites outside of Google because there’s less competition. (Image via Rawpixel)

PPC Myth #5: You can quickly improve rankings by increasing your PPC budget

Truth: Of course, it helps to have a sizable budget you can put towards PPC bids — but it’s certainly not everything. There are other key factors you need to take into account when it comes to a campaign’s relevance to improve your rankings, such as:

  • Quality score
  • Targeting
  • Ad copy
  • Extensions

Paying attention to your quality score can help to improve your rankings because the higher the score, the more Google or other search engine ad platforms see your ads as relevant for the search intent. 

When you notice a lower score, it should be a red flag to take a closer look at your ads and see how you can improve the targeting or message of the campaign. Even without a large budget, you can create an effective PPC strategy. 

PPC Myth #6: Stick to Google for your PPC campaigns

Truth: One of the biggest PPC myths is that Google is the only search engine you need to invest in when advertising. While Google is the most widely used search engine by consumers, other search engines, such as Microsoft’s Bing and Verizon’s Yahoo!, are also worth exploring.

Although the number of searches on these make up a smaller percentage, they still see a significant number of users that would seem silly to ignore altogether (especially when these platforms make it relatively easy to export existing Google ads). 

Some advertisers even see better conversions and ROI results with these sites than with Google because there’s less competition. 

PPC Myth # 7: Don’t bother with PPC if you have high organic rankings

Truth: Both SEO and PPC are powerful cornerstones for any well-rounded digital marketing plan. Staying on top of your website’s SEO so you can rank well in organic searches is greatly beneficial, but paid ads can work alongside this organic reach to increase your overall branding efforts and grow your website traffic as a whole. 

PPC campaigns can help you reach your target audience and expand your exposure by allowing your brand to show up for competitive, highly sought-after keywords that you may have trouble ranking for organically. In this way, both organic traffic and paid ads are essential to ensuring your business is reaching the right people at the right time. 

PPC Myth # 8: Any marketer can manage a PPC campaign

Truth: While some teams may be able to handle PPC on their own, others simply don’t have the time or resources to properly dedicate to it. If you or someone on your team doesn’t have time to focus on your PPC account at least on a weekly basis, it may be best to call in an experienced agency to manage your account. 

Besides the time commitment, there are constant changes to monitor and best practices to follow. Hiring professionals who have extensive experience and stay current on new features and updates will help successfully grow your traffic and revenue while giving you hours of time back. 

The takeaway

With an industry that changes as rapidly as digital marketing, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of myths surrounding the best practices, tips, and tactics to follow.

Once you determine what makes a paid search campaign and overall program successful, you can better weed out the PPC myths from the facts. 

Need more help creating a myth-free PPC campaign? Get in touch.

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!

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Written by Caroline Cox on May 13 , 2020

The right pay-per-click (PPC) expert can take your paid search to the next level — here’s how to find the right one for you.

Here, you’ll find:

  • Traits that good PPC marketing experts often have
  • What tools and platforms they should be familiar with
  • Questions to ask an expert you’re considering working with

Whether you’re looking for a full-time hire or an agency partner, the right PPC expert can be a game-changer for your paid search program. The wrong one, however, can be a costly mistake. While no two PPC experts (or people!) are alike, there are a few key things they should know like the back of their hand.

Want to make sure your PPC expert is up to snuff? Here are just a few qualities they should have and things they should know about today’s digital ad landscape.

HawkSEM: PPC expert blog

Ideally, your PPC expert should have a mix of analytical and creative traits. (Image via Unsplash)

The right mix of personality traits

It’s crucial for the PPC expert you work with to have the right personality traits for the job. After all, it’s not just about their skills, but about how well they gel with you and your team. While there’s no exact formula each person will follow, there are a few key traits worth looking out for. 

Ideally, your PPC expert should have a mix of analytical and creative traits. That means being detail-oriented and data-driven, while also being experimental and willing to think outside the box. (Oh, and a good dose of patience is always beneficial, too.)

A full understanding of the main platforms

Perhaps unsurprisingly, any good PPC expert should have in-depth knowledge of top platforms where paid search comes together. Essential platforms include Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Google Analytics. They should also be familiar with tools like Google Search Console, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms like HubSpot. 

But it’s not enough just to know how these tools work. The best PPC experts also make the effort to be in the know when it comes to the latest updates and changes on these platforms. Just like regular algorithm updates, the search engine results page (SERP) also goes through its fair share of changes each year, which may affect how your PPC program operates and functions. So, you may want to ask how they stay in the loop.

Pro tip: Look for a PPC expert that’s part of the Google or Microsoft Advertising partner network. Partners often get special perks and access to beta features that could benefit your own program.

How to conduct proper research

Speaking of tools, your PPC expert should know how to conduct proper keyword research with tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner. Keywords are the bread and butter of paid search — and knowing the right ones that your audience uses when searching will help you attract the right people.

A well-versed expert won’t shy away when asked about their knowledge of search intent, negative keywords, volume vs. competition, and other keyword-related matters. Learn more about their preferred ways to conduct keyword research and why.  

HawkSEM: PPC expert article

A paid search expert should understand how different match types work, as well as the right combo to achieve success. (Image via Unsplash)

The ability to write concisely

When it comes to seeking out a PPC expert, make sure you ask about their copywriting skills. Seasoned marketers know how imperative it is to be able to get your point across in 90 characters or less. The most effective ad copy is direct, attention-grabbing, on brand, and speaks directly to the target audience. 

You can ask for a few copywriting examples to get a feel for how they attract audiences and adapt to a brand’s voice and tone. Try to get context about the ads: what the client asked for, what their goals were, and how the ads performed. 

The ins and outs of match types and modifiers

A paid search expert should understand how different match types work, as well as the right combo to achieve success. As Google explains, keyword match types are what help control which Google searches can trigger your ad. Selecting broad match, for example, will show your ad to a wide audience, while exact match will focus on a specific group (or groups).

They should also have a firm grasp of all the options for bid adjustments or modifiers. This includes demographics, location, device, ad schedule, and more. After all, bid adjustments help you manage budgets and optimize PPC campaigns based on your targeting objectives, according to Search Engine Land

Is your PPC broken? Here’s a quick-and-easy guide for how to fix it.

Other ways to gauge if a PPC expert is right for you

Asking the right questions is a great way to determine if a potential paid search expert is the right fit for your business. 

Good questions to ask include:

  • Can you review my account and recommend areas of improvement?
  • Are you able to find certain KPIs in the account for a certain period (conversion rates, ROAS, CPA, et cetera), compare them to a previous period, and explain the changes?
  • Do you have recommendations on additional keywords or topics to target, or keywords to remove from the account?
  • Do you have past experience with clients in my industry?
  • Are you able to create assets for display ads?
  • How many clients do you currently manage?
  • What historical results have you been able to achieve with past clients?

The takeaway

Having the right certifications is great, but it doesn’t always mean that someone knows their stuff or will be the right match for your business. Having a potential PPC expert look at your account and show that they understand how to optimize it will tell you what you need to know.

Make sure you and your team do your part to establish your own expectations, goals and KPIs when it comes to your PPC program before partnering with a PPC expert. From there, you’ll be able to focus on forming a relationship that will be both successful and lasting.

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!

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