5 PPC Hacks to Maximize Performance

5 PPC Best Practices to Maximize Performance

What performance marketer doesn’t love a useful tip or two?

We are all looking for ways to drive our results over the finish line. We want to smash our KPIs, break records, and then break them again. With so many updates, upgrades, new tools and platforms out there, it can be hard to keep up with the latest PPC tips to keep turning out the numbers.

A great tip is much more than a feel-good tip to keep you busy. There are a few criteria we like to test, and only those tips that qualify truly make the grade.

  • It is fresh. Most marketers are not using it.
  • It is easy to implement. Why waste precious time on complicated tricks?
  • It is fast and simple. But it has a significant impact.
  • It is useful for a range of ad channels: search, social and native.
  • It is above board. No “Black Hats” allowed.

The 5 PPC best practices below will not only maximize your ads’ performance, but they also cover all these critical guidelines that make a tip genuinely tip-worthy:

  1. Retargeting by Long Tail Keywords
  2. Take It To The Next Level With Lookalikes
  3. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Emojis
  4. Reverse Engineer Your Conversion Funnel
  5. Dynamically Change Your Landing Page for Each Audience Type


#1: Retargeting by Long Tail Keywords

Most people who visit your landing page via a specific keyword don’t actually convert. But the fact that they landed on your page, and the fact that they used a specific keyword to get there, are two very valuable pieces of information at your fingertips.

They show that the visitor has a high level of intent, and you can – and should – leverage that intent. How? By making sure that the next ad or content piece that you show them on your PPC platforms is related to the search keyword they used, or the content of the landing page.

The easiest way to do this is to create a list of retargeted users, per Ad Group Subject, using the UTM parameter.

How to do it?

  • Create segment lists based on your search ads clickers by using UTM (UTM_campaign=xxx).
  • Target those specific clickers with ad creatives that answer their queries.

#2:  Take It To The Next Level With Lookalikes

After you have created different seeds, you can take your remarketing (retargeting) to the next level by using lookalikes.

“Lookalike” is a feature that allows you to expand your seed list by reaching untapped audiences who have similar attributes or interests to your existing audiences. “Lookalikes” is available on major networks such as Facebook, Google Similar Audiences, and others, and it is a powerful tool to help you build new audiences, scale your campaigns, and get better ROI.

How to do it?

  • Create a Custom Audience based on campaign clickers from your paid search activity.
  • Create a Lookalike or similar audience based on your audience segment.
  • Target the audience across all your channels.

#3: Don’t Be Afraid to Use Emojis

Emojis are much more than cutesy cartoons. The use of emojis as a communications tool in online marketing is growing fast. Recent research of the use emojis in a mobile survey campaign showed that emojis lowered the drop-off rate, improved the level of satisfaction in the survey, and – get this – the emoji responses provided comparable data, which means that emojis were accurate in conveying the true sentiments of respondents.

Emojis can be used in your PPC ads to stir emotion among potential customers, grab their attention, and communicate your message in an instant, fun way. Don’t be afraid to use emojis, but don’t overdo it either. Make sure you choose emojis that make sense and support your message.

How to do it?

  • Include emojis in your PPC ads to boost CTR.
  • Choose emojis that support and enhance the ad message.
  • Don’t overdo it! Too many emojis is confusing and ineffective.

#4: Reverse Engineer Your Conversion Funnel

As performance marketers, we are totally focused on conversions. At the same time, we all know that most clicks don’t lead to conversions. A great way to figure out how to increase your CVR is to look closely at which top-of-the-funnel actions can predict your lower tunnel conversions.

By analyzing the user’s journey in your PPC funnel, you can look for ways to increase engagement with your ad or landing page, BEFORE moving your customer to the next funnel stage; this is what will lead to more conversions.

Take this example: say you have a landing page with an interactive element to drive engagement. But the interactive experience just doesn’t work as well on mobile. You are seeing good engagement on desktop, but poor results from mobile users. So why not adapt the interactive element to a more suitable mobile format? It seems so simple, but things like this are often overlooked by even the sharpest PPC experts. A little bit of reverse engineering can make all the difference to your PPC campaigns.

How to do it?

  • Reverse engineer your conversion funnel.
  • Analyse what top-of-funnel actions drive engagement further down the funnel.
  • Leverage those actions in different ways to increase conversions.

#5: Dynamically Change Your Landing Page for Each Audience Type

We all want to tie our ad messaging to our landing pages. But the question is: how to do it at scale? By customizing a landing page across different search terms, you can serve a more targeted message automatically, according to the search words the viewer used to get to your page. And you can do this without having to duplicate the landing page.

For example, you could adjust your landing page title depending on the search query. Or you could serve different images to suit different audiences. Let’s say you are promoting a product designed for use at home or in the office. If the customer searched for the product with the keyword ‘home’, your landing page can display an image of a family at home. Or if they searched for the term ‘office’ or ‘at work’, you can display an image in an office setting.

By doing this dynamically, serving a more precise landing page in real time to the right audience, you can significantly boost conversion rates while saving on development costs for your landing page.

For this tip, you can use tag manager to dynamically change your landing page content according to your ad search terms.

How to do it?

  • Create a variable in GTM based on a query parameter.
  • Modify the content on the page with Javascript based on that parameter.
  • By managing the content in GTM, the campaign manager has full access and can add/modify the messaging easily with no programming skills.
  • Read more about how to use this at the Simo blog here and here.

Final Words

The PPC industry is highly dynamic. If one thing is for certain, you can expect more new features and tools designed to make your campaigns more effective and sophisticated. And with those new additions, there will certainly be more tips and tricks to be discovered in the future.

Make sure to focus on hacks that fit all the hack-worthy criteria, like our 5 PPC best practices above, and you will be well on your way to maximizing the performance of your campaigns.


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