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RESOURCES. PPC BIDDING STRATEGIES CHEAT SHEET

While in-depth keyword research and working on quality improvement are both major elements of paid media success, you also need to get your head around Google’s auction model: getting your bidding strategy right is key getting the best ROI from your campaigns, as it will determine your cost-per-click (CPC).

How does Google determine the position of your ads each time they are eligible to appear – and whether they show at all?

Each time an ad is eligible to appear for a search, it goes through the Google’s ad auction. The auction determines whether or not the ad actually shows and in which ad position it will show on the page. Here’s how the auction works:

  1. When someone searches for a term, Google Ads identifies all the ads which include keywords match that search.
  2. From this, Google discounts any that aren’t eligible, like ads that target a different country or violate Google’s ad policies.
  3. Of the remaining ads, only those with a sufficiently high Ad Rank may show. Ad Rank, which is calculated using your bid amount, and also your ad quality (Quality Score, which takes into account factors such as expected click through rate (CTR), ad relevance and landing page experience), the context of the person’s search (for example, the person’s location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page and other user signals and attributes) and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

Keyword optimisation

There are various tools available to take the guesswork out of choosing your first keywords. To make the most of your budget, you must strike a balance between which keywords are most relevant to your business and what potential customers are actually searching for. You can use Google Keyword Planner to research your keywords, and this will also estimate how keywords may perform in terms of traffic and cost.

You need to regularly update and expand upon your keyword list. This will allow you to expand your reach and make the most of your budget by, for example, build more keywords into new ad groups, using historical search query data from your campaign, and carrying out competitor keyword research.

Ad copy and landing page quality

Headlines need to catch the eye, convey the necessary information in as few words as possible and convince the reader to find out more. Most importantly, you need to ensure relevance to the keyword or search term. Use your description space as a complimentary to the headline, expand on key points and distinguish yourself from the competition. Calls to to action (CTAs) need to provide a clear next step for your audience: when the consumer has read your headline and first line of description, what do you want them to do?

The content of each landing page should follow logically from the ad that triggers it, giving users a consistent message. Remember that your landing pages can influence your page rank and CPC  as it’s part of the criteria Google uses to determine your Quality Score. It’s worthwhile considering creating multiple landing pages that match where a customer is on the buyer’s journey, as the information they’re expecting to see will vary.

Bidding strategy

This is where your budget comes into play – and this cheat sheet gives you our top tips on bidding success!

What does the cheat sheet cover?

  • Bidding basics – the need-to-know information
  • Lowering your cost-per-click (CPC) – key to making the most of your budget
  • Shopping Campaigns – bidding tips for getting your products in front of motivated prospects
  • Bid adjustments – get more granular with your targeting and tighter control over who sees your ads
  • Making the most of your budget – how to improve you impression share

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