In the PPC industry, you have to accept the fact that Google and Facebook are making most of the real money, to the tune of billions of dollars a year. As a result, some SEM marketing agencies avoid pay per click marketing altogether. However, in the right hands, PPC advertising can be beneficial for clients and agencies alike. You just need the right PPC strategies.

I’ve seen a diverse range of businesses succeed in PPC advertising, from traditional car dealerships and law firms to e-commerce startups and hip fashion boutiques. Of course, the same PPC strategies won’t work for every client, and some PPC campaigns require a more thoughtful approach.

Before abandoning PPC advertising, make sure you consider all of the strategies available to you. You might find that one of these PPC strategies leads to positive ROI for you and the client in question.

Remarketing + Display

Remarketing and display ads are a popular PPC strategy for a simple reason: they work. Potential customers don’t always make a purchase or pick up the phone when they first encounter a business online. Google Ads and Facebook both make it easy to create remarketing lists, and these users can then be targeted with display ads that follow them around the Internet. This is also a great example of the way SEO and PPC campaigns can work hand in hand to produce conversions.

Protip: Be careful where your display ads show. Google has added a lot of mobile apps and games to its display network. These low-value placements can waste your display advertising budget quickly.

Email Capture Campaigns

I recently worked with an e-commerce client with a Facebook advertising campaign. While their Instagram and Facebook ads got positive interactions and relevancy scores, actual purchases were hard to come by. The client was about ready to pull the plug on advertising altogether. After all, most of their purchases came from a successful email marketing campaign, which they managed themselves.

Instead of dropping social ads, we shifted focus. Rather than simply trying to generate purchases through Facebook clicks, we created an email capture campaign. By offering a very modest discount, we were able to acquire hundreds of email addresses each month for their mailing list, at a very reasonable cost-per-acquisition. 

If your company generates a lot of revenue from email marketing, Google Ads and Facebook can both be very effective tools for generating new email leads. With Facebook lead forms, they don’t even need to leave the app.

Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic search ads are nothing new, yet I’ve found that many clients and PPC professionals  ignore them. That can be a huge mistake, especially for clients with a well-established, content-rich website. I’ve found these ads work especially well for clients who have hundreds, or ideally thousands, of product pages (car dealerships, e-commerce companies, and retail stores).

With Dynamic Search Ads, Google automatically targets searchers with relevant pages on your website. While you can enter up to two ad descriptions, Google selects the headline and landing pages based on the content of the search. This allows your ads to show to searchers that might otherwise slip past the Google Ads network.

These ads don’t always work. But in my experience, when they do work, they work extremely well.

Throw Your Keywords Out The Window

PPC managers love judging each other. When clients consider changing PPC managers, they often have another PPC agency review their existing campaign. Absolutely 100% of the time, the new potential PPC agency will find that the campaign is an embarrassing mess. Mostly, that’s because we want the business for ourselves.

That being said, there are many ways to structure and organize your PPC campaigns, and taking over a sloppy, mismanaged campaign can be very frustrating. In some cases, I’ve found campaigns with thousands of keywords and hundreds of ad groups. After reviewing the campaign, that can often be trimmed down to a dozen keywords in a handful of ad groups. That’s an extreme example, but the point remains — don’t be afraid to pause and remove keywords.

You may want to cast a wide net with your keyword strategy, but once you find your money keywords, stick with them. I’ve seen very successful PPC campaigns with only five to 10 keywords. Many PPC analysts make their campaigns unnecessarily complex, probably as a self-defense mechanism, but this is often the mark of an inexperienced analyst, not a seasoned pro.

Of course, these are just a few PPC strategies employed by experienced analysts. The exact approach you choose will depend on many factors: the client’s industry, the market, average order value, and budget. If you’re investing in PPC advertising, for yourself or a client, then make sure you use every tool available to you.

About The Author

Timothy Werth is a writer, editor, and SEM marketing director. Currently, he works as the Director Of Operations at HubShout, based in Rochester, New York. Before moving to upstate New York, he lived in Los Angeles, where he studied journalism at the University of Southern California.