The Seven Most Important Secrets of Paid Search Marketing: Part II

May 1, 2012 Ross Bucholc

Welcome back to our two-part series on PPC best practices. In our last post, we discussed the importance of focusing on individual keywords in each ad, the value of driving visitors to targeted display URLs, and the best way to do advertisement copy testing. In this post, we’re going to examine best practices for engaging audiences across multiple channels and pumping more life into campaigns through ad extensions and re-engaging users after they visit your site.

(Click here to see secrets #1-3.)

Paid Search Secret #4 - Google Remarketing: Keep the Conversation Going Even After a User Leaves Your Site

Google RemarketingGoogle Remarketing allows you to reach targeted users that have already shown some level of interest in your product or service by visiting your site, and reconnect with them by showing them an ad as they navigate across the Google Display Network (or GDN). In its simplest form, setup involves determining the type of visitors to your site you’d like to remarket to, and tagging all of the pages on your site that the user may visit with a “target” Google Remarketing pixel. It is also a best practice to tag all of the pages that a user could hit that you wouldn’t want to remarket to with a “do not target” tag, most importantly the “Thank You” page a user is shown once they complete a conversion. If they’ve already completed your goal conversion, you don’t want to continue to berate them with ads.

Once your “target” list hits 100 users, the campaign is automatically activated and you begin showing ads (a combination of text and display ads are recommended) to users as they navigate the GDN. Ads that offer a discount or something free have historically performed much stronger than those that don’t, so if you have something to offer, do it.

Paid Search Secret #5 - Google Ad Extensions: Grab As Much Real Estate As Google Allows

Google Ad ExtensionsGoogle offers five free ad extensions to advertisers; Location, Call, SiteLinks, Product or Social. The extension that is right for you is really dependent on your business and goals so I’d encourage you to research them all before choosing the one that’s right for you. That being said, absolutely make sure you are taking advantage of this free offering from Google and implementing one of these extensions. Besides the obvious benefit of showing your address (Location), phone number (Call), links to more targeted LPs on your site (SiteLinks), your products (Product) or a tally of all your +1s from your Google+ page (Social) in your ad, you’re also making your ad larger and more prominent. Enlarging the size of your ad results allows you to take up valuable real estate on the Search Engine Results Page that would otherwise be occupied by your competition, pushing them further down the page or to the right rail of results. Launching a Google Extension usually equates to a CTR increase of 5 – 10%, so if you’re looking for more clicks this is a must.

Paid Search Secret #6 - Mobile Paid Search: Take Advantage Of An Under Utilized Opportunity

Global Mobile traffic is expected to grow 26 times over the next five years according to Google and Cisco VNI, at which point Google is predicting mobile search will outpace desktop. Despite this information, many advertisers still aren’t utilizing mobile, resulting in a huge benefit for current advertisers – cheap CPCs. In some instances I see CPCs in Mobile that are half the price of their more expensive desktop counterpart despite performing similarly from a CVR standpoint.

As more advertisers slowly migrate over to Mobile we’ll surely see CPCs rise, so take advantage of the current market while it lasts. Go ahead and build out a separate mobile campaign (so you can optimize desktop and mobile separately by performance) and assign 17 percent of your desktop budget for mobile (Google’s recommendation). Ideally, you should be building out a mobile-optimized site as an end point for this traffic as well. Finally, keep in mind that the majority of mobile traffic goes to the advertiser in position one or two, so be aggressive with your bidding to maximize traffic.

Paid Search Secret #7 - Tier 2 Channels: Don’t Neglect the Little Guys

  1. Tier 2 ChannelsMost channels will say they require a minimum deposit of $XXX to launch, but if you present your budget as a “test budget” they will generally cave and allow you to test with whatever amount you feel comfortable.
  2. Ask for a breakout of their sources of traffic. Unlike Google and Bing (who are providing pure Search traffic), the majority of Tier 2 channels use a blend of search, display, email and in-text advertising to drive traffic. The higher the blend of search and in-text, the more qualified traffic you can expect.

About the Author

Ross Bucholc

Ross Bucholc is the Director of Paid Media at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Ross oversees search, display, social, programmatic, mobile and affiliate programs servicing DMS clients across industries. The DMS Paid Media team focuses on customer-centric, real-time marketing using robust data from multiple sources to understand each customer’s journey and optimize campaign performance. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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