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Top ten PPC tips for 2016

2015 has seen big changes in the world of pay per click advertising. Google Adwords has introduced more new features, such as the worldwide roll out of the URL upgrade feature. The introduction of the CPA simulator, gmail marketing and even using your own email list to market through search. All will have impacted on your industry in one form or another.

Throw in new competitors to your business and existing competition evolving their own online capabilities and it has never been harder for a company to stand out from the crowd and deliver profitable paid search campaigns.

Now we have entered quarter 4 of 2015, eyes will invariably be turning to 2016 and how you and your company can improve on this year’s ppc (pay per click) results.

Using some of the most common issues our new 2015 clients have faced, when it comes to improving or growing their account, we decided produce a top ten ppc tips for 2016, to help you kick start your own new year.

While we won’t go into the implementation or the measurement of these tips, we will give you a brief outline of what they are and why they are beneficial.

So let’s dive right in and list our top 10 tips for ppc for the coming year.

Account Structure. Time and again Blue Orange are faced with the issue of a poorly thought and designed ppc account structure.

How you structure an account impacts on everything from quality score to performance attribution, to budget assignment.

If you think it is the foundations for everything else and some people give it no thought at all. Look at your site, look at your customers and build campaigns and naming conventions that are appropriate and ensure you separate ad groups to the right campaigns.

Future Planning.

Surprisingly there are many companies who know of seasonality trends, peak periods, note worthy events to their business, but then do not properly work with their agencies, or their digital marketing team, to look at how pay per click can be used to help leverage and maximise on these things.

We often find that in the early periods we are helping develop a marketing strategy with clients beyond the coming month or week. This helps us properly plan and implement. We think you should do the same.

Your website

The reason for this is simple. You never stop working on your business so why should your website…your online business, be different?.

Do you know if all your landing pages are effective? Do you know what your customers think of your site and what the data tells you about their interactions with it? If the answer is no, then let us help you fix it!

Small changes properly thought out and tested can make a big difference to an annual ROI figure.

Conduct a full landing page audit and make sure you are sending your pay per click traffic, whether its adwords or Bing, to the best place for performance.

Keyword Audit

While you might think search terms will always be the same, this is not the case. What people type in and the performance of those terms you already bid on change and evolve.

Checking what people are typing in regularly and removing waste and including better performing terms into your account makes sure you are getting the best returns for your ad spend.

Use the search terms report in your keyword tab to start gaining insight. Sounds obvious, but many forget to do this each and every month.

Ad Scheduling

You want your ads showing 24/7. Fine. No problem. But to bid the same amount no matter the time or the day, is not necessarily (and probably likely) the best use of your budget.

You will have trends within your account that shows search and performance patterns change over days and hours in the day. Go more aggressive for the days or hours you perform and then save some of your budget and reduce bidding for the worst times, when a conversion is least likely.

Tailoring bidding strategy for optimal times of the day can make a huge difference over a year.

Ad Extensions

There are now more extensions to help make your ads stand out than ever before. There are call extensions, site link extensions, call out extensions and even review extensions (not to be mistaken for seller ratings).

Having the right extensions for the right ad groups can improve CTR and conversion rate.

Extensions also play a part in how your quality scores are calculated, so not using them, definitely does have a detrimental effect on your ad rank (which can impact on your cost per click).

Review your campaigns for extensions and their performance. Think of extensions on a user intent level. Are they seeing the things that would mean most to them?

Dynamic Remarketing

Ads This is one for all you ecommerce companies out there. Long story short, if a customer goes to a product on your site, you can represent that same product through image ads elsewhere on the internet, which when clicked upon takes them back to the same product page.

You can include offers into these and discount codes. All with a view to making sure you get that warm lead back.

If you’re using re-marketing, but have not tested dynamic re-marketing, then with a bit of work it can make all the difference to next year’s results.

Geo Location

Unless you’re using an agency and a good one at that, chances are you’re not looking at geo performance based decision making. Often we see very different performance results based on location. This isn’t just our international clients, targeting multiple countries. This can be either within a country, when we look at city performance comparisons, rural Vs urban or for localised campaigns even post code groups can have surprisingly different performance levels. So it makes sense to tailor your strategy accordingly. Especially if you are working with a limited budget.

So analyse where your customer base is strongest, where your website gets the best engagement figures and then make decisions accordingly, ready for the coming year.

Custom Re-marketing Lists

We have already covered dynamic re-marketing lists for ecommerce companies, but what if you aren’t an ecommerce business? Do you just work with generic re-marketing? The short answer is no. 2015 saw an evolution in remarketing strategies, where the ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer the first and last stop for re-marketing.

Instead you can tailor your re-marketing audience list and the message based on their entry point. Let’s take a charity Converted work with. They have multiple customer types, but obviously aren’t an ecommerce business in the traditional sense.

They have customers who donate, sponsor, attend events, track news and are fund raisers, to name a few. Instead of the same generic ads, each customer type sees remarketing ads, tailored around giving them a consistent message and consistent experience on the subject that is of most interest to them.

But let’s say you are a one service business. Re-marketing can change depending on what stage of the process they are at, or how engaged with the site they were, or were not.

Or if you get repeat order customers, why not use re-marketing lists to keep your brand in your existing customer’s thoughts, ready for their next purchase.

Look at who and how you would like to re-market next year and start building your custom audiences now.


RLSA’s are one of the most powerful and underused tools in the ppc management armory. Search re-marketing was probably one of the largest advances in Google Adwords in recent years.

What it means? Well, you can now change your bids, keyword targeting and even ad copy on traditional search results ads, based on whether or not someone has been to your site before.

Does the data show your customers are more likely to buy on the third visit? Great, change how you bid, based on that rule. Is a generic keyword normally too expensive to bid on? Well if they’ve seen you before, then that may no longer be the case!

RLSA’s give search marketers the power to influence bidding and message strategies based on a users propensity to buy. What could be more powerful than that?

It takes a little setting up, before you roll with it, but once you have the data there you can then start to make informed decisions about how to approach previous site visitors when they perform subsequent searching in Google.

RLSA’s have made a massive difference to the clients who arrived at Blue Orange Design Agency in 2015 and if you’re not utilising them, then we would strongly recommend this for 2016. So there you have it.

10 top tips for your pay per click in 2016. Make sure you invest the time to properly audit 2015 performance and plan for the coming year, as well as making use of all the great adwords features available to you.

If you would like to discuss ppc management or any other aspect of your digital acquisition strategy, then feel free to contact Orange Design Agency.

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