Nick Rennard
By Nick Rennard | SEM, Video | March 1, 2016

Quick Wins For New SEM & PPC Campaigns

Hello Fellow Advertisers! Welcome to another episode of my video blog series. Today I will be covering the easiest PPC campaigns to set up for advertisers who are just starting on AdWords, BingAds, or any other advertising platform. I’ll be covering the search network, display network, and some other tips at the end that you can adjust with your campaign settings. Enjoy!



Hello, everybody and welcome to another episode of my video blog series. I am your host, Nick Rennard, and today, we will be talking about quick wins for new SEM or if you want to call it PVC campaigns.


Yeah, let’s get started. This is a guide for if you just got started with online advertising with an AdWords account or something like that, or maybe you’re looking to do it, then we’re going to cover the first big wins that you can hit when setting up your campaigns.


Let’s start with a Search Network. The Search Network is probably the first thing you’ve heard about in terms of paper click advertisement. This is like bidding on key words. There’s four different match types that we’ve talked about a lot in my blogs in the past. You may already know about True Broad Match, which is renowned for being a money hemorrhager. Then we also have Broad Match Modifiers, which is similar to Broad Match, but it is a little more specific to the key words that you are using in your campaigns. Then we also have Phrase Match and Exact Match.


I recommend using all of these match types. The only one that I recommend you stay away from in the beginning is True Broad Match. True Broad Match can be very good, and there are ways … I actually have a couple of blogs written about the … A significantly deeper dive into how and where and why and all that about the difference between True Broad Match and Broad Match Modifiers, so check out our Website and feel free to look that over.


If you’re just starting out, I recommend you stay away from Broad Match. Oftentimes, what happens is it triggers too many search queries for too many things, and when you don’t have a lot of experience, it’s hard to micro-manage that effectively. I recommend you stick to the Broad Match Modifiers, Phrase Match and Exact Match, because they’re a little more specific to the key words you’ll be using in your campaigns.


The next point here is Tiered Bidding. What I mean by Tiered Bidding is as you go up the scale here … You start at True Broad Match, which is the least granular, and then you go all the way up to Exact Match, which is the most specific or most granular. The way Tiered Bidding works is, let’s say you have a key word like “Dog training.” You may have that as a Broad Match Madifier so that if the word “Dog” and the word “Training” are in any search query, then it’ll trigger for it. Then if you have “Dog training” as a phrase match, it will only trigger for any search query that has the phrase “Dog training” in it. Then Exact Match, it has to literally say exactly “Dog training” in order for it to trigger.


Now the reason we used Tiered Bidding is that as you go up that scale, it gets more and more specific to the key word that you’re trying to bid on. If you’re bidding on the key word “Dog training,” and it triggers the Exact match key word, “Dog training,” then you know that that search query is good for you, because it’s literally exactly the key word that you’re using. Let’s say it’s a really long tailed search term where it’s like, “My dog is out of control, and I don’t know what to do about his training,” That would trigger the Broad Match Modifier dog plus dog plus training, but it may not be the type of customer that you’re looking for.


We may use a $2 bid for the Broad Match Modifier, but then bump that up to a $3, $3.50 bid or something like that for Phrase Match or Exact Match, something more granular than the ones lower on the scale.


Next here, we have How to Break up Ad Groups. Ad group breakup is so, so important. The most common way that we break it up is by terminology. I have an example here that I’ll be using a couple times throughout this slide show. If you run a sporting goods store, you may have equipment for different sports like soccer, lacrosse or football or hockey, whatever. A lot of people might want to break that up into different sports, so that you could say that all of my sports key words for soccer are going to go into a soccer campaign. All of the hockey ones are going to hockey. All the wresting ones to wrestling, etc.


You’ll want to break that up further, because when you break that down again … If you take soccer, for example, and if you have all of your soccer key words clumped into one ad group, then the ad that you write won’t necessarily be custom tailored to the key word that they’re triggering. There’s going to be a big difference between someone typing in “Soccer shoes” and someone typing in “Soccer equipment,” because those could be two very different things.


Soccer equipment could be someone looking for trophies for their team at the end of the season, looking for nets or goals or maybe field cones and equipment and stuff like that. Maybe their coach … You don’t really know what they’re looking for. Shin guards, balls, etc. Whereas, if someone types in “Soccer shoes,” it’s very specific.


The reason that we want to break that up is the next point here. It says “Custom-tailored headlines.” The reason is because if someone types in “Soccer shoes,” then we would like the headline to our ad say something like, “Soccer footwear or soccer shoes or soccer cleats” Or something that’s very specific to what they typed in. Whereas if someone types in “Soccer equipment,” and you have an ad that says “Soccer shoes,” or if it even just generically says, “Soccer equipment,” That may not necessarily be as custom tailored to some of the other key words if you just clump them all together.


That’s why I recommend you break these up, so if you do have all of your soccer key words, then break them up by terminology. Put the shoes and cleats and footwear into their own category. Put apparel into its own category. Put goals and nets into its own category. Put the balls into its own category. Shin guards, etc.


Yeah. I think I explained that pretty well here, so I’ll go ahead and move on.


The last thing here is about AB split testing your ads. You don’t have to do this right away, but I think it’s a best practice to start doing it right out the gates because it’s not really that hard to set up, and you can really find a lot of quick wins right in the beginning. Sometimes testing different lines of text in your ad can make a pretty big difference in the click-through rate, especially when it comes to the headlines, which is why we recommend that we break up those ad groups.


You can see these two ads I have right here. For every single ad group I make in a campaign, I’m going to write two ads for each one. What we do is we set … There’s a setting in Ad Words to rotate the ads evenly, so you want to make sure that that’s on. That way, every single time that a search query triggers a key word within that ad group, it’ll randomly choose one of the two ads that you wrote and then, after a month or two, you can look back and see which one of the ads performed better. Maybe one of them had a higher click-through rate or one of them brought in more conversions. You can just look at the data and see which one did better.


Yeah. You can see I wrote two ads here. If this was the soccer shoes ad group, for example, we have … The first ad says, “Soccer shoes and footwear.” Very specific to the key word, and then it asks a question in the beginning. It says, “Looking for sports equipment? Look no further. Shop online.”


I like testing a question, asking a question in your ad … Actually, I have a lot of blogs written about writing different ads as well … Testing a question is a really good first step to do. You can see in the second ad, it says, “Key word: Nick’s Sports Stuff.” You can see that the headline, “Nick’s Sports Stuff,” is a little more generic, so you could test out something more generic versus something more specific.


Also, the swiggly brackets with the key word … We call that “Key word insertion.” Key word insertion is something that you should look up. What it does is it replaces the key word that they triggered into the headline. I like key word insertion a lot. I really like testing that, about as much as I like testing a question. It’s one of my first things to test out with AB Split Testing.


Yeah. You can test key word insertion. It does great things for your click-through rate, so it gets your ads more clicks and increases your quality scores, which is good.


You can see the second ad doesn’t have a question here. It says, “High-Quality Sports Equipment. Safety is our Number One priority.” Yeah. You get the idea of maybe if you were to run these ads for a couple of months that one might do better than the other.” Yeah. AB Split Testing is an easy and also free win.


All right. That’s the Search Network. Let’s go ahead and move on to the Display Network. I am going to advocate that when it comes to the Display Network with Ad Words, and this will not always be true … If you are first starting out, do not touch non-remarketing display campaigns. Just don’t touch them. They’re by far the biggest … How could I phrase this? They are very capable of wasting a lot, a lot of your money.


The Display Network is massive, and a lot of the problems on the Display Network that we have when setting up campaigns is that unless you’re very good with the targeting and you know a lot about what you’re doing in those campaigns, if you mess up one little thing, it could … Yeah. You could be wasting a lot of money on very irrelevant clicks, so be careful with the Display Network in general. That being said, I do recommend that you start remarketing as soon as possible.


Remarketing is one of the best ways for, when people visit your site, to follow those people around with image ads and entice them to come back to your site. You can see some examples here of some … Actually, these are some remarketing ads that we’ve set up for other clients of ours. They’re just little banners that fit the slots that you’ve seen on other sites as you browse around. It attracts users that go to your site, and then it follows them around for 30 days with these ads, and it actually doesn’t cost you anything for the ads to show up. It only costs you money once they click on the ad and go to your site.


Yeah. Remarketing, we have a lot of success with, so I highly recommend you start remarketing. It also is just a good idea to keep people in the funnel for as long as possible to hope that maybe they don’t necessarily buy something off your site right away, or maybe they don’t call you right away, but maybe 15 days later, they’re reminded, “Oh, crap. Yeah. I remember I was looking into that a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to go ahead and give them a call.” You’d be amazed at how many people will come back because of those remarketing ads.


I’m going to go a little deeper into remarketing here as well and talk about how you can custom tailor your remarketing. I’m going to talk about it in theory and not really go through the whole exact set up of it.


What you can do with remarketing, which is awesome, and this is why I love Google Analytics so much. You can create custom lists in Analytics to track people who have gone to different portions of your page. Let’s go back to this soccer example and talk about … I have a Nick’s Sporting Goods store.


Let’s say we have a landing page for shoes, and it’s like nick’ Then we have another page that says, nick’, then nick’, nick’, nets, whatever. You get the idea.


What you can do is you can set up a list to track the people who go to those pages specifically, and then what you can do is, you can actually create custom-tailored ads so that you can have separate remarketing ads, like these images that you see here, but depending on what page they’ve visited on your site, so if they went to the shoes page, you could advertise to them with an image of soccer shoes, which is a lot more relevant than just showing them generic soccer equipment, or if someone went to the apparel site, but then they saw that your remarketing ad only had shoes, but they weren’t interested in shoes.


You can see how we can custom tailor that and by creating more images with all of your products in each of those images, we can actually be sending more specific ads to those people. It’s going to increase click-through rate. It’s also going to increase your conversion rate. It’s a best practice. I’d say the biggest road block in that whole entire process is if you’re not experienced with setting up those kinds of lists and analytics. Then it could be a little tricky, because it does take some finesse with the platform. I would say that the other problem is getting the images created, because sometimes you just don’t have a graphic designer to do that or you have to pay a graphic designer to do that, and you don’t have money.


Yeah. That’s the idea. You can create multiple ad groups and then upload the images to those ad groups, so you could have an ad group for shoes that attracts people who went to the shoes page and then shows them shoes ads, and then for anything else, if you have an apparel page, you can send them an apparel image, and then send them back to the apparel page. It keeps it a little more on track with the original key word or the original products that your customers were interested in.


All right. The next thing here is Ad Extensions. I cannot tell you how many campaigns I have gotten in the past where the first thing I do is I open it up and I go to the Ad Extensions tab, and it is blank. There’s nothing done in there. Ad Extensions are so easy to set up, and the thing is is that within Google’s algorithm within the past year or two, they’ve made it so that Ad Extensions are a big part of quality scores now. It didn’t used to be that way. Ad Extensions used to be used as a tie-breaker for auctions, but then they realized that tie-breakers never really happen, so they incorporated Ad Extensions into the actually algorithm for quality scores.


If you do upload Ad Extensions to your campaigns, it is essentially going to give you free money. If you have higher quality scores, your cost per click is going to be cheaper. Your ad rank is going to be higher. Everything is going to be better. A higher quality score is a good thing.


I’m going to go over four Ad Extensions here that I think are very easy to set up. Call Extensions are definitely the easiest. You literally just go to your Ad Extensions tab, click on Call Extensions, click Plus New Extension, and enter your phone number. That’s it. What it does is it creates that little button that I know that you’ve seen … Especially on mobile ads on your phone. If it has that little … The button that says, “Click to call,” or whatever. You can see it right here … There. That’s a Call Extension. It makes it easier for them to call you, if that’s what they want to do, and if that’s what you want your customers to be doing, then I highly recommend you get these uploaded.


The next one here is called “Out Extensions,” similar to Call Extensions, but not quite. A Call Out Extension, you can see an example right here, in this Go Daddy ad here. These aren’t hyperlinked to anything, so they can’t click on these, but what we can do is we can use Call Extensions to add promotions to an ad that you would want to be across all your ads. The problem with any given ad that you can write is you only have 25 characters in your headline, and then 35 characters for description line 1, another 35 characters for description line 2, and then your display URL.


It’s really not that much space to work with, and the great thing about Call Out Extensions is there’s oftentimes things that you want to say about your products, but it’s not necessarily like something you want to be using in the 35 characters in your description line. You can see what they have written here: “24/7 Customer Support.” That’s something that you might want to let every single one of your people looking up your key words know is that, “Look. We have 24/7 Customer Support, but if we’re to put that in the actual lines of our ads, and we’re taking up that space having to write “24/7 Customer Support” in literally every single one of our ads.


The great thing about Call Out Extensions is it gives you a couple extra lines of text to write those kinds of things, like “Free Shipping on Orders Greater than $50,” Or “Open 24/7.” You can see they have a couple here. “Big Savings Over Others.” That’s a weird one. “Hundreds of New Domains.” Stuff like that.


I’m trying to think of other examples of things you could … Just any kind of promotion you have on site. You could do Black Friday sales when that comes around. Yeah, it’s a great way to just add free text to your ads.


All right. Next is Site Link Extensions, and these actually are hyperlinks. Site Link Extensions are going to be the most complicated to set up out of all these. A Site Link Extension is like another ad. They’re kind of cool. You can see Nike has Site Link Extensions right here. Above, they have their normal ad, which is the stuff that’s not highlighted, and then the Site Link Extensions are used to send them deeper into the site. You can see they have a Women’s Site Link Extension. This is very common for apparel sites to have, like “Men’s, Women’s, Support.” If you have different sections like that on your site, then you can create Site Link Extensions to lead them to those places.


I actually don’t like using Site Link Extensions as much. I used to use it to send people all over the site, but what I realized is that, for the most part, every Website has one or two pages that are probably the best pages to be sending people to, and especially after you’ve AB split testes for a while, and you know which of those pages are the best ones. Then you’ll still want to incorporate Site Link Extensions, but instead of sending people all over your site, you should just use these lines of text to write more about your products and services and send them all to that one page that you know converts well for you.


This may sound like it’s tricky or shady or something like that, but I promise you, you do not get penalized or they don’t lower your quality score. Google does not frown upon sending all of your Site Link Extensions to the same page, so it’s definitely a best practice if you know what landing page is best for you.


All right. Then last here is Structured Snippet Extensions. These are actually almost exactly the same as Call Out Extensions, but it’s a little more focused on product type, so they have styles. You can see here … They’re Ray-Ban Sunglasses, so they have different styles that you can upload. They’re very similar to the Call Out Extensions, but rather than being very generic, things about your company in general, like “24/7,” It’s more specific to the product or service that you’re trying to sell. The style of sunglasses is One, Aviator’s, Wayfarer’s, etc.


These are very easy to upload. Again, all four of these types of extensions increase your quality score, so you should definitely get them uploaded as soon as you start your campaigns.


All right. Then lastly here, I have some other suggestions. There’s a setting called, “Enhance CPC.” Whenever you create a brand-new Ad Words account, this will always be enabled. What this does, it literally allows Google to take your bid, so if you’re bidding $1 on a key word, it allows them to increase that big by up to 30% in order to get a click. If at a $1 bid, your ad was going to show, and maybe it was going to lose the auction, but then at a $1.30, it was going to win the auction, it allows Google to increase your big by up to 30% in order to have your ad show.


Now I do not like giving Google any control whatsoever over my bids because this is really just propaganda for Google. I’m not a big fan of it. I recommend disabling this because if you’re going to be manually adjusting the bids in your campaigns, and you want to be lowering and raising bids based on performance, which is what I would recommend, then I don’t think that just letting Google increase the bids on your key words to attain clicks is a best practice. I recommend turning this off.


Geographic Targeting. This is a big one. I’ve had a couple of campaigns in the past where someone handed it to me, and I looked at the geographic targeting and realized that they were advertising their ads everywhere in the world when they were a local company. Check your geographic targeting. Make sure you’re not advertising everywhere in the world. Make sure that if you are a local store or something like that, that you are only advertising in your state or your city or the area of customers that is going to be relevant to you. Yeah. That’s pretty straightforward.


Ad Scheduling. Ad Scheduling allows you to make your ads show during certain times of the day or certain days of the week. This can be really relevant for … Let’s say you’re trying to drive phone calls with your campaigns, but your company is only open 9:00 to 5:00, Monday through Friday. You probably want to set up Ad Scheduling to turn off the other hours.


The only reason you might not want to do that … I’ve actually had this happen with a couple of clients in the past, where all of their people come in on Monday, and there’s no leads lined up on Monday because the campaigns are shut off over the weekend. Sometimes, maybe you want to run it on Sunday or something like that, so that the leads can come in for the following day. Again, you’re theory crafting, and however you want to set that up is really up to you.


One to her thing to keep in mind is some conversions that people set up within their campaigns, like a form submission or a quote form or something like that … It may not matter what time of the day that that comes in. If someone submits that at 3:00 AM on a Saturday or noon on a Wednesday, it’s going to get followed up with, so it may not matter when those come in. Yeah. You’ll just have to decided for yourself on that stuff.


One thing you can look into is once you have run your campaigns for a while, you can look into the Dimensions tab within Ad Words, and we have some blogs written about the Dimensions tab as well, and it’ll actually tell you when your leads are coming in. There’s a report called the Day of the Week Report and another report called the Hour of the Day Report. It’ll break down Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and it’ll break down hours 1 through 24 and segment those. It’ll show you the click-through rates and conversion rates and all that for that. You can set up your Ad Scheduling around that once you’ve seen some data come through. If you see that weekends are terrible for you, you can just shut off weekends.


All right. Lastly, here, I have Mobile. You can see the note here. It says, “Responsive Web Design.” If your Website is not set up for Mobile, first of all, I don’t recommend that you do online advertising, because Mobile is huge. If you’re not set up for Responsive Web Design, I recommend that you set Mobile off until you do. If you don’t have a strategy for Mobile or if you haven’t made custom-tailored buttons for people who are coming from a mobile device, maybe like, more specific, like Call Extensions or something like that to make it easier for them to call …


We’ve actually had some cases in the past where we would reduce the number of form … The little bubbles you have to fill out on a form … Where, like on a mobile device, they would go to a form that had less bubbles on it because it’s harder to fill out a form on a mobile than it is on a desktop. Yeah. You want to keep your mobile strategy in mind. If you haven’t custom tailored your campaigns to mobile at all, and you haven’t really thought about that, I recommend just shutting it off. Then once your campaigns get a little more developed, you can go ahead and maybe try that with some kind of modifier, a bid modifier to adjust your bids on mobile.


Yeah. Anyways, thanks for watching. I hope you guys found this stuff useful, and I’ll see you guys in a couple of weeks for my next blog, and happy advertising.


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