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9 Best Paid Search and PPC Practices

Alekh Verma | February 24, 2023
ppc practices

Social media marketing is great! It’s one of the best ways to build brand engagement and presence. But, is the ROI of social media always guaranteed? Yes, social media is fun and with the right strategy, you can achieve outstanding growth, however, the average ROI of social media is not always stable. So, you probably wonder, is there an alternative to social media marketing?

Actually, there are strategies that have been proved effective since the dawn of search engines. They’re called Paid Search and Pay-per-click, and they’re still as effective for your investment as they used to be. Everyone notices paid search advertising when searching for a topic on Google.

Reviewing best practices for pay-per-click is a great way to keep up with trends and improve performance. Especially now, as the advertising world is dealing with more change than ever.

As your business strategies and goals have evolved over the past 18 months, revisiting your paid media plan is an opportunity to ensure your strategy aligns with PPC best practices.

As you review, you’ll find new strategies and features to incorporate into your paid search program, too.

It’s an excellent way to bring more traffic to your website and push your products in the process. PPC can be extremely effective, but only if you do it right. That’s why in this article we have the strategies that you need to focus on to achieve PPC success.

Why Do You Need to Include Paid Search in Your Marketing Strategy?

Customers know what they want, and will often purchase it as soon as they see it. With the help of paid search advertising, you’ll be there when they need you. As a matter of fact, your ad is there even if your SEO efforts haven’t delivered the desired results yet.

If you have a broad target audience, PPC can help you achieve your sales objective, and even if your target market is niche-specific, a paid search strategy can help, even with an accurate geographic location as one of the search criteria.

In many cases, a prospect needs to be in touch with your company several times before making a purchase. We’re talking about social media posts, articles, landing pages, and ads as well. The customer sales journey can start really simple by hearing about your product on the radio, googling it, and if you’re present on the first search engine results page with your ad, you can convert the customer on the spot.

Top 9 PPC Best Practices To Adopt In 2022

Paid search marketing is an effective way to grow your business, but it’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends.

Consumer habits change over time, and new technology is always being introduced. This means that what worked for your PPC campaigns in the past might not be as effective in the future.

Search engines and social media platforms are constantly changing, so it’s important to keep up with the latest updates. By staying on top of the latest trends, you can ensure that your PPC campaigns are effective and generate the best results.

1. Set PPC Goals

Every marketing campaign needs goals, including paid search. You need to think about the outcome of your campaign, and you need to have a method to measure the progress towards the goals.

Ask yourself what is the number one thing that you want to achieve with your PPC campaign. Do you want to grow your revenue? Or do you want to increase brand awareness? What are the keywords that you want to focus your campaign on? Do you need to refine an existing campaign or start a new one from scratch?

Some examples of PPC goals are:


If you set everything up properly, the number of sales that your website gets via PPC is almost guaranteed to increase. Your campaign can target people who’ve expressed interest in your product and service and with that audience; you’ll have greater chances of increasing your sales.

To boost your sales via paid search, you need to ensure that your keywords are optimized for the phrases that your target audience searches for, instead of generic keywords that won’t bring you any clicks at all.

Highly-targeted keywords cost more, but the chances of getting a sale from someone, who clicked on your link via a search engine result, are much high than if you used generic ones.


To increase site traffic successfully, you need to focus on broad-ranging, but relevant keywords that ensure that you’ll get clicks. In order to maximize the ROI from increasing web traffic via PPC, you need to make sure that your content and website structure is on point.


There is no niche without competitors. PPC allows you to bid on keywords that your competitors have already branded. Consequently, when prospects search for your competitors, you can persuade them that your offer is much better.

Achieving this also takes away your competitors’ revenue and provides you with a chance to promote your products as being better than theirs.


The goal of every marketing campaign should be increased profits. In PPC, driving up your profits should be a long-term goal because nothing can guarantee that instant profit. You need to test things out, optimize keywords, have a proper website, make sure what you are offering makes sense, and be patient.


Just like brands want to have a commercial for the Super Bowl, PPC advertising allows your brand to place advertisements on relevant websites to help you drive traffic and increase brand awareness. This is not only beneficial to your traffic, but it also helps you establish your brand. Featuring your logo and branded products through dynamic ads in front of a new audience can increase the trust in your company.

A more specific list of PPC goals can look like the following:

  • A certain number of users to click on an ad and complete a lead generation form.
  • Paid search should bring 200 new leads per month from your website.
  • The cost per click (CPC) shouldn’t exceed $2.50.
  • The PPC visitor time on the website should be more than the time spent by those who open the site organically.

2. Personalize Your Ads

If you want to compete for your customers’ attention, personalization is a must! You need to ensure that your ads reach the right people. Think about Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter Target Audiences for example. You can use those platforms to show your ads to a focused list of people. Google’s Customer Match works the same!

You can upload your list of leads and place targeted ads in front of them on YouTube, Gmail Sponsored, or on the search engine. You can also use Google Customer Match to upload and create Similar Audiences to reach people that have similar demographics and behavior as the ones from your existing audiences. To learn how to set up and use GCM, read this guide from WordStream.

3. Single Keywords Ad Group (SKAG)

Google AdWords became extremely competitive and the CPC is on a constant rise. This is why low-quality keywords and bad clicks are simply inexcusable. To increase your CTR, you need to direct your campaign towards a single keyword ad group.

Pairing your keywords into a unique ad group ensures that the keywords that you bid for equal the search term that you’ve paid for. For example, if you sell custom tuxedos, the keywords inside one SKAG would look like this:

+custom +made +tuxedos

“custom made tuxedos”

[custom made tuxedos]

This SKAG would be called “Custom Made Tuxedos” and will become the root keywords for the related search terms.

SKAG is an excellent way of enhancing your PPC campaign and it instantly creates a much stronger keyword foundation.

4. Target Bottom-of-the-Funnel Keywords

If your ads bring users to your landing page but you’re still not able to convert them, maybe you use top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) keywords to target prospects that are not quite ready to purchase, or they’re not at that stage of the buyer’s journey.

Leads that are not ready for conversion yet use general keywords in Google searches because they don’t know much about the product/service, or they’re not quite educated about it. Targeting bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) keywords can help you avoid undesirable leads at this stage.

Assessing BOFU keywords with an understanding of the niche terminology and phrases that are used in your industry. On those phrases, you need to attach bottom-of-the-funnel keywords that prompt people to the CTA, such as:

  • Buying-related words such as “get a quote”, “proposal”
  • Branded terms
  • Competitor terms
  • Contact words like “contact”, “call us”
  • Location: city/state/region/zip code

These keywords need to be uploaded to your AdWords Keyword Tool and the next thing you need to do is to examine the keyword volume and the competitive nature of the keywords. Then, inspect the CPC of the keywords. A higher CPC shows you that you probably have lots of competitors that bid for the same words.

Choose your BOFU keywords based on high search volume, low competition, and high CPC. This stage of the keywords research process requires thorough research, time, and testing.

For example, let’s say that you sell business consulting services. Along with your BOFU modifiers, the list of keywords that you want to target can look similar to this one:

With the BOFU keywords strategy, you need to motivate your target customers to choose your service. To create a paid search campaign for any of your BOFU keywords, you must develop the right type of content that revolves around those keywords, or some sort of incentive such as a case study, a demo, or a free trial.

5. Tell Google What’s Negative

Add negative keywords to your PPC campaign too. Negative keywords are ones you don’t want to target for and that Google should not feature your ad when people enter those keywords into their search query. This is vital if you don’t want to spend an unnecessary amount of your budget on ineffective ads.

Let’s take the business consulting company as an example again. If you want to market your top-level services and get a ROI of your ads, you need to make sure that the campaign brings you nothing but quality leads.

Considering whether you’re charging a significant amount for your services or not. Using words such as “free” or “affordable” will not do you any good, and you need to add them as negative keywords ASAP.

Here’s the process of adding campaign and ad group negative keywords for your AdWords campaign:

Go to your Keyword Planner tool, select Keywords and Targeting > Keywords, Negative.

Save your list and proceed to create your campaign. To learn more about negative keywords list, read this guide from Google.

6. Retarget for Long-Tail Keywords

Retargeting is all about multiple presentations of your offer. So, when the person that visited your page browses on other websites, you can showcase ads for your services and products.

People use search engines and type in specific phrases to reach your site. Using long-tail keywords to reach your site means that their intent is already higher than people who use generic words. You need to take advantage of this by showing them an ad that is related to the search phrase that they used.

Long-tail keywords are not only valuable from a customer standpoint but also, they’re even more valuable for you because when you bid for specific long-tail keywords, the CPC is lower because there are not many competitors that target them.

If you still struggle with finding the right keywords for your business, we have the right keyword research guide for you!

7. Use the Lookalike Feature

If you think that there’s more to your PPC strategy than your long-tail keywords strategy, you’re right! It’s called Similar Audiences, and you can utilize it to reach new audiences that have similar characteristics to your current remarketing audience.

Users that fill out the forms on your website or purchase from you after clicking on your ad, in most cases, have similar traits. Google AdWords uses the data from their activity on search engines and on your page to develop audiences known as Similar Audiences.

They’re automatically created upon the completion of your remarketing list, and you can target new prospects by developing a remarketing list of people that opted for your service and a Similar Audience from your customer data.

Using Similar Audiences hand in hand with your CPC strategy will provide the search engine with more data that can be used to direct the keyword bidding to users that are most likely to convert. Similar Audiences help your paid search efforts and adding them into your paid search campaign provides you with an additional layer that you can use to base your future campaigns on.

8. Tailor Your Landing Pages to Different Audiences

You develop your PPC campaign to bring customers to your landing pages. But, what if we say that you can scale this further?

You can adjust each element of your landing page to change based on the search query. Or, different hero images to appear based on different target audiences. For example, a different Uber page appears according to the geographic location of the users that google it.

By using dynamic landing pages, you can advertise a different experience precisely targeted in real time for the right target audience. This requires a bit of technical work and development and if you don’t have the expertise for it, we advise you to ask for professional help:

  • Create GTM variables based on query parameters.
  • Change the JavaScript-based content on your landing page based on the parameters.
  • Manage the content in GTM to allow the campaign manager to have full access in order to modify the messages.

You can learn more about using GTM variables here.

9. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile devices are becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. According to recent statistics, over 70% of all paid search impressions now come from mobile devices. Clearly, it is essential for businesses that rely on paid search advertising to take mobile into account when crafting their ad campaigns.

In order to be successful in this highly competitive digital landscape, it is important to optimize your PPC ads for the unique characteristics of mobile platforms. This might mean incorporating click-to-call buttons in your ads or ensuring that they work well on smaller screens.

Whatever methods you choose to use, it is crucial that you nail down a thorough mobile strategy if you want to reach potential customers and stay ahead of the competition. After all, in today’s digital world, failing to keep up with the times can mean falling behind in the race for success.

Wrapping Up

In a nutshell, paid search advertising is a dynamic field where multiple tactics and tools must be utilized if you want to develop effective campaigns. Although PPC requires a significant investment, if done right, your business will start reaping benefits over time. Test the strategies above and direct your focus towards the ones that bring you a better ROI overall.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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