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11 Killer PPC Tips

Posted in PPC by Tom on Mar 10th 2008
  1. Add keywords till your brain is numb! You should be aiming for thousands of keywords, not just hundreds. It is boring as hell, but vital to a strong PPC campaign. Your competitor may be able to beat you on bid price, but you can beat them for free on keyword volume.
  2. Keywords in an ad group should be very closely related. As a general rule of thumb I keep it to regional varations and where the words are in a different order e.g. blue widgets & widgets blue. This will help keep your keyword’s Quality Score high and your CPC low.
  3. Be aggressive with your choice of keywords, bid on whatever you can get away with. These are often some of the best converting terms.
  4. Do not bid too high on new campaigns just to quickly find keywords that convert. Your aim should be to run a profitable campaign right from the start.
  5. Spot trends amongst your keywords. If a keyword performs really well, are there variations or synonyms of this keyword that you could add to your campaign? Also consider bidding higher for this keyword and closely related terms.
  6. Only delete keywords if they do not convert at all. If a term converts very occasionally, but not enough to justify its current bid price, just lower your maximum bid. It’s better to have keywords show on page 2 or 3 than not show at all. You won’t get many conversions, but they are better than none!
  7. When adding new keywords, consider stepping your bid amounts according to match type. Broad match should have the lowest bids, then phrase match, then exact match. See my post on match type ROI for more information.
  8. Keyword research tools help you get a campaign off the ground quickly. Copyblogger has a few nice reviews on keyword research tools.
  9. When you consider that 25% of search engine queries are new, its worth spending some time coming up with your own keywords. To help me do this I often think in themes – how would a poor person search for this product? what would someone type in if they were in urgent need of a service? Then I set myself a target of say 20 keywords for each theme.
  10. Be wary of bidding on keywords that are too generic, for example loans. Bids will be hugely competitive and such terms are frequently targeted by click fraud. You are unlikely to make any money on these.
  11. When deciding how much to bid or when to delete a keyword, bear in mind that only around 85% of your PPC traffic will be from valid searches. Some clicks on your ads will be accidental, a few will be click fraud, some will be competitors trying to lose you money [but conversely helping your CTR!].
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