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PPC Week: Roundtable Q&A Session

Tara M. Clapper

Last week, we hosted a series of webinars with the best PPC marketing experts.

Our guests revealed the most effective techniques and strategies for attracting the right customers, choosing proper keywords, setting geo-targeting and other crucial aspects of managing PPC campaigns.

Read on for some great tips and advices from PPC specialists!

PPC Week Q&A

Tani Kopliku, Senior Search & Data Consultant, Zazzle Media, @tanikopliku

Tani KoplikuLouise Cranstone: If a campaign has used location targeting in the campaign, and selects to use Google Partners as part of the search network, are the ads only displayed in that target location for users visiting Partner sites, or does it show across the Partner network, outside of the selected location target zone?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Ads should be seen according to the AdWords location settings even if search partners are selected. The default setting consider both users in the selected area OR using local terms regarding the selected area. If you do not change the default setting and are targeting searches for keywords that include local terms like “hotel in Paris” as long as users use these terms in the query your ads will be shown also outside the targeted area.

Tani Kopliku: The short answer is yes. Google supports location targeting for their Search Partner network.

Google uses different methods of verification for location targeting which you can select within the location targeting section of the campaign settings.

Depending on the one you have chosen Google will use that as a filter to verify if an add should be served on the search partner network.

Daniela Lurascu: How can you attract the right type of customer?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Using the right keywords or targeting methods ;-)

Be specific. Search campaigns are not meant for branding purposes. Display ones have a lot of cross targeting options. Test them all. Together and/or separately.

Tani Kopliku: From a PPC perspective, 90% of the time the right type of customer is the one that converts into business. So a lead, a sale, a download or any other action that you are tracking as a PPC goal.

So targeting is crucial. You want to make sure you have the geo-targeting setup correctly before starting you campaign. Also you want to make sure that you make use of demographic targeting if you’re campaign is targeted to a specific demographic and you can choose from the following targeting groups:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Parental status

Typically speaking the best way to identify your right customer is looking at the exact search query report to understand the explicit keywords that are sending through these clicks from these users. And also a very important factor here is to be able to understand the needs of the customers through these keywords.

Make sure you can track these keywords right inside your CRM so that you can see which ones drive the most value and you can also assign a value to the keywords in terms of importance they represent to the business.

You can then focus your organic search efforts also towards these keywords and generate relevant content that responds to the needs of you customers that drive revenue.

Yuvaraj Rajendran: I am from Travelauto. We are into global car rental business. As the industry is very competitive, can I only choose exact match keywords with higher volume of searches suggested by Google keyword tool. Which gives good conversions - exact match or broad match?

Tani Kopliku: Hi there.

You will need to identify the keywords or groups of keywords that are actually driving your car rentals per country.

Use Value Track to pull in the keywords into the URL and use Google Tag Manager’s Data Layers to pull keywords within the signup form and into your CRM so that you can identify keywords that are worth for your business.

These groups should then make your core investment. As for Conversion Rates, exact match keywords will most definitely be the one to use. However this depends on the type of the keywords as if you simply target [rent a car] it may not have a high conversion rate as [rent a car in London] or [rent car London] and so on.

Paul Vickers: I would like to know how to use PPC for Affiliate marketing. Especially when the owning company will have bigger budgets and can limit main keywords

Tani Kopliku: The way to do this is testing small groups of keywords at the time.

Analyze the company’s paid search keyword strategy through SEMrush and filter out the brand keywords.

What you want to identify is non-brand keywords that the company is putting sufficient budegts behind then by using Keyword Tool IO and Keyword Planner develop some campaigns around these topics.

Due to limited budgets test one campaign at a time to make learnings. Find out which keywords work back then pause the rest optimise the ads to perfection to include these converting keywords then move on to the next campaign.

Candice King: What is a good source to find out CR by industry?

GianpaoloGianpaolo Lorusso, Web Marketing & Usability Professional, @Gianps

Gianpaolo Lorusso: There are several international sites that publish reports about web marketing sectorial performances, like Marketing Sherpa or E-consultancy. In general you could say that a good CR for an e-commerce site is around 1% or above, in lead generation you should go around 10% or above.

Tani Kopliku: Using conversion rate averages to see whether you’re doing should be used very cautiously. I say this because even within any industry there are niches where the user has positive and negative intents about a product purchase.

Positive intent is something that they want to purchase and is associated with a positive feeling like – present, personal shopping etc.

Other intent within the same industry can mean a negative intent, where the user has to purchase an item by necessity and is in desperate need therefore the consideration process may change here dramatically which can impact conversion rates.

Initially you should always aim at having a good ROI on your campaigns and then constantly strive to improve your conversion rates.

As for resources as I mentioned above I don’t usually use any and have always know the averages as very rough guide to mention when discussing new campaigns but again this can largely differs by the way campaigns are built, the offer, the landing page experience and so on and so forth.

This is a good visual representation of the AdWord performance per industry.

Also I personally like Which Test Won, which is a repository of A/B split testing landing pages, which you can view per industry and it can give you a good idea of conversion per industry also.

Kunle CampbellKunle Campbell, eCommerce Growth Consultant , 2X eCommerce, @KunleTCambell

Daria Modzelewska: How do you effectively use PPC campaigns in the e-commerce B2B sector?

Kunle Campbell: In B2B ecommerce PPC, ad quality fundamentals remain the same: i.e. work on improving your quality score, landing pages and CTR.

From an ad format standpoint, B2B AdWords advertisers should utilise these ad types: Text ads (with sitelink and callout extensions), Remarketing and Product Listing Ads.

B2B eCommerce advertisers should have at least two campaign objectives:

  1. Lead Generation
  2. eCommerce Sales (which is likely for samples that could lead unto bigger orders)

So set up campaigns to address each of the objectives above.

Lead generation campaigns are best handled by text ads and remarketing.

Product Listing Ads (PLAs) will most likely be the key drivers of sales to your product catalog as they convert relatively higher than other ad formats in eCommerce.

Setting up a remarketing campaign is a no-brainer but execution is key here; campaign and goal diversification is crucial.

Structure your remarketing campaigns on a page grouping structure i.e. so that visitors that have visited a set of pages, are served specific ads.

Also work on dynamic PLA ads for your e-commerce product catalog.

Finally control as much real estate in the SERPs.

Candice King: What us a good source to find out conversion rate by industry?

Kunle Campbell: You’d struggle to get specific and accurate figures by industry. That said, there was a benchmark report conducted by MarketingSherpa that reveals average website conversion rates by industry (on a broad basis).

I believe you cannot go more specific than the above.

You should also bear in mind that the definition of a ‘conversion’ differs according to campaign type.

A conversion for a newsletter subscription differs from a conversion of a lead that has a few questions and might be interested in doing business.

A ball park figure for a lead generation campaign with lead-gen landing pages set up is 10%.

Luca SenatoreLuca Senatore, Head of Strategy, Genie Goals, @LucaSenatore

Louise Cranstone: If a campaign has used location targeting in the campaign, and selects to use Google Partners as part of the search network, are the ads only displayed in that target location for users visiting Partner sites, or does itshow across the Partner network, outside of the selected location target zone?

Luca Senatore: Assuming they have the advanced location options set to "People in my targeted location" the search partners traffic will be targeted to that location 

Daniela Iurascu: How can you attract the right type of customer?

Luca Senatore: This is a very good question. We feel that the one should first ask oneself who the "right type of customer" is. Who is the typical person what buys what we sell? How old are the likely to be? What earnings? Gender? Do they live in a specific type of location (seaside, mountains, city, posh part of the city etc). Then we should be clear about our USPs (unique selling points); is price our strength? Fast delivery? Customer service? Brand experience?

Once we have that, we'd tailor not only the adcopy but also the keywords accordingly. For example, if we sell jewelry and our USPs are fast delivery, custom made-one-of-a-kind products and brand, thenwe might want to negative-match words like "cheap," "discount," "wholesale" and also use words like "prestigious," "unique," etc. in our adcopy. We might want to focus on locations where the average household earning is higher and we also need to make sure that our landing pages are consistent with our proposition. This is just the tip of the iceberg but ticking these boxes will put you in a very small group of retailers who are actually taking these basic, but important steps.

You could also look at your existing traffic in Analytics and see who already comes to your site. You cold create segments as well to look at converting visitors, direct visitors, organic visitors etc. to get a really good idea of who the "right" customer is.

Mark Miglinczy: Would you recommend using Googles first page bids? and what would you recommend as a good bidding strategy to test new keywords?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Unless you are doing some branding campaigns, I recommend to bid higher on keywords that convert. As long as you spend less than you are earning you will never be mistaken. The position of ads should vary accordingly.

Luca Senatore: Once we've taken the steps required to ensure that you are targetting the right audience with the right keywords, tailored ads and landing pages which are user friendly and relevant to your PPC strategy, we'd strongly recommend to invest as much as possible, up to 100% of your margins, to drive as much visits to the landing pages as possible. This is the quickest way to 1.) see what works and what requires adjustment and 2.) drive the most revenue which you can then optimize by cutting waste and take advantage of various segmentation and optimization strategies. Also worth noting that the first page bid estimate only takes in to account Google search and not Search Partners (hence why you can still get a lot of traffic when your biz is "below the first page").

Daria Modzelewska: How to effectively use PPC campaigns in e-commerce B2B sector?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Targeting B2B users can be very difficult. Always use strict matching correspondences and words made up with “manufacturer” or “producers” + business specifications, otherwise you will target final users too.

All remarketing applications here can be very effective in these cases, both in display and search networks.

Luca Senatore: Most of the principles used in B2C would translate well in B2B. The main differences in our experience are: day-part bidding whereby you would probably bid more during working hours that you would outside them and your adcopy where you might want to use the sector jargon mentioning USPs which are relevant to businesses.

Yuvaraj Rajendran: I am from Travelauto. We are into global car rental business. As the industry is very competitive, can I only choose exact match keywords with higher volume of searches suggested by google keyword tool. Which gives good conversions - exact match or broad match?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Broad matches are very useful in keywords discovery campaigns. When you identify your “gold mines” you have necessarily to target them with the closest match types possible, unless of course you already have high quality scores. If you are lucky enough to get a 8 to 10 QS grade with a wider match correspondence, it is very unlikely that simply changing matching types will increase it.

Luca Senatore: We strongly recommend to use all matches and then tailor your bidding strategy. Broad modifier (+) is invaluable if used properly. Broad modifier is a great way of discovering new, cheap, high converting keywords. The "head terms" which the Google keyword tool suggests are usually expensive and competitive.

Paul Vickers: I would like to know how to use PPC for Affiliate marketing. Especially when the owning company will have bigger budgets and can limit main keywords.

Luca Senatore: Quite a broad question! Answer is the same as above though really. Find lucrative niches which the big guys are missing by "being lazy" with there account setup.

Candice King: What is a good source to find out CR by industry?

Luca Senatore: Not sure we can give you an answer on this one as CR is heavily dependent on individual factors such as landing page UX, product range, photography, location and many more.  

Siraj Uddin: For a starter, where can I find complete resources to learn PPC, and which is the critical stage in creating the PPC campaign especially Adwords campaign.

Gianpaolo Lorusso: There are several good sources of information about PPC industry, besides Google’s edu channels themselves. I personally would suggest PPChero and Certified Knowledge (a project by Brad Geddes, who in my opinion is one of the best AdWords professionals in the world). In creating search campaigns the critical stages are deciding the campaign structure (be pertinent with your site’s structure), select keywords (be specific) and write ads (ask yourself: why should someone click on my ad instead of those of my competitors?).

Luca Senatore: Google AdWords qualifications are a great place to start. Or, even better, join a great company like Genie! The most critical stage of building successful PPC campaigns is to have a methodology that you believe in and follow. Account structure, bidding strategy, adcopy strategy, segmentation, etc are all vital.

Damien Hamilton: Is this a good indicator to also set up remarketing for searrch ads?

Luca Senatore: RLSA are important and should be implemented once the basics are established. It is always worth setting up RLSAs as you will likely find that users which have connected with your brand already are more likely to convert.

George Haslett: how would you determine the optimal bids for your keywords based on multiple conversions with different long and short term values?

Gianpaolo Lorusso: Ah! This is not a question, it is an online consultancy! ;-)

There is not a short answer on that, but I would never set a fixed max conversion cost as a limit, I would rather focus on “out of scale” conversion costs or “black budget holes” (as I defined them in the webinar). You should also never forget that measuring conversions online is not an exact science and having real numbers before taking decisions (data statistical significance) is absolutely necessary.

Luca Senatore: Not sure I know the difference between "long and short term values." If the LTV (life time value) of a customer is known, then I'd use that to assign a value to each new customer paying less attention to the initial purchase value. Alwaysneed to establish the LTV, give each conversion a value (newsletter signups etc,) using historic data to work out the true vale of a keyword.

Ciaran MurphyCiaran Murphy, Senior Digital Marketer, Director of People, Wolfgang Digital, @WolfgangDigital

Ciaran Murphy: You can choose to run campaigns with only exact match keywords. This decision is entirely yours. Bear in mind that your ads will only show for searches that exactly match this keyword and that you will not show for any variations on this keyword. The question of conversions depends on the keyword itself. If the exact match keyword is a keyword that is lower down the purchase funnel and you direct the user to a relevant landing page than this keyword should convert well. If you use broad match keywords with appropriate use of negative keywords you can also drive traffic that will convert well.I am from Travelauto. We are into global car rental business. As the industry is very competitive, can I only choose exact match keywords with higher volume of searches suggested by the Google Keyword tool. Which gives good conversions - exact match or broad match?

If you are conscious of budget I would recommend using exact match keyword campaigns and broad and phrase match campaigns. This way you can place most of your budget on the exact match campaign whilst testing the effectiveness of the using broad and phrase match keywords. Additionally, broad match keywords will also offer you keyword suggestions, from the search query report, that you may not have considered. And these keywords may lead to lots of conversions.

Siraj Uddin: For a starter, where can I find complete resources to learn PPC, and which is the criticalstage in creating the PPC campaign especially AdWords campaign.

Ciaran Murphy: You can use a number of different resources. Google's own exam center. Here you can study for the different AdWords exams and Google provides all the information you need to pass these exams.

I recommend creating a campaign alongside studying for the exams as you get to place the theory into practice.

When creating a campaign it is important to decide on the right keywords and bids but also to create compelling ad texts to ensure users click on your ads. You should structure your account well segmenting by location that you are targeting and creating campaigns and adgroups around closely related keywords. Once the campaign is created and live it is critical to monitor the performance. Use the search query report to see what search terms are triggering your ads. If there are search terms here that are not relevant then add them as negatives. Monitor your bids to ensure that the ads are showing in a position that matches your budget.

Finally, you can stay up to date on AdWords by using the AdWords Blogs and using online resources like State of Digital, Search Engine Land and SEMrush.

Do you have any additional thoughts or advice on the PPC topics covered here? Please comment.

Tara M. Clapper

A veteran community member.

Tara M. Clapper is Content Development Specialist at Express Writers and Senior Editor at The Geek Initiative, a website celebrating women in geek culture. Tara is a prolific content creator and an accomplished editor, having written and edited thousands of blog posts, small business websites, and other inbound marketing content through the course of her career. Tara enjoys blogging about SEO copywriting, content management, corporate culture, personal branding, networking and LinkedIn. She has over a decade of experience in digital publishing. Connect with her on Twitter @irishtara
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