Looking for some hints and tips to give your PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns a jump start in the New Year? Well, look no further!

Having reviewed many PPC accounts in the last three months, it is all too clear that many accounts haven’t really changed that much or evolved in the past year or so. Whilst many of these accounts are performing relatively well, they are certainly missing out on some of the more exciting developments that have occurred in 2013, especially those that offer great opportunities for advertisers.

If this sounds familiar and you think that your campaigns perhaps need a little TLC for 2014, then why not consider the following to kick-start things in the New Year!

1.     RLSA and Dynamic Remarketing campaigns

Plenty of accounts that we review use remarketing, but often in its most basic form. With the advent of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) Campaigns, and Dynamic Remarketing for retailers now being widely available to AdWords advertisers, consider using these as another way of increasing your reach and exposure.

RLSA campaigns are a relatively a new development. They provide yet another opportunity to optimise our search campaigns by letting us tailor our keyword bids and ad text for our highest value prospects — people who have visited the websites in the past — when they’re searching for your products on Google Search.

Dynamic Remarketing, on the other hand, uses information from your merchant catalogue to remind consumers what they’ve liked in the past and suggests things that they might like based on what they’ve already purchased. This means that each consumer will get a unique experience based on their preferences.

rlsa  pia

We have seen fantastic results for both dynamic remarketing and RLSA campaigns. This equates to many more sales for clients, boosting their ROI.

2.     Ad Extensions

The family of ad extensions has grown significantly in 2013, and is set to grow further still. Many accounts only seem to be using basic sitelink extensions and not the full array available to them. If this sounds familiar, visit our PDF on AdWords Extensions to see what you can take advantage of.

There are five extensions being used in the example ad below, which highlights just some of the possibilities.

ad extensions example

Given that Ad Rank now also factors in extension click-through rates as well as CPC (cost-per-click) bid and quality score, it is now more important than ever to make sure that you’re up to date with your ad extensions.

3.     Call Tracking

Are you driving traffic offline? It never fails to amaze us how many advertisers use AdWords to drive phone call enquires, yet fail to use call tracking. This important software is easy to install and relatively inexpensive, considering the level of insight it provides.

You need to know where your sales and revenue come from, and call tracking helps you to accurately attribute credit, and optimise campaigns. We would recommend Response Tap and MediaHawk as solid solutions.

If your PPC ads are leading to calls, but you don’t know which campaigns or keywords are driving these calls, consider call tracking for 2014 – you won’t regret it! The insight gained for optimisation and budgeting decisions easily means that the cost is far offset by the benefits provided.

response tap  mediahawk

4.     Reviews

If your business is doing well and you have lots of happy customers, why not shout about it more? Customer review sites such as Feefo.com allow for genuine user feedback, which in turn can enable Google star Seller Ratings to appear next to your AdWords ads. These ads tend to receive higher click-through rates given the increased trust factor, so add it to your list in 2014!

swagger and swoon rate

5.     Competitor Monitoring

How aware are you of your competitive environment? What ads and keywords are your competitors using? Would you like to see which ads appear to be working for your competitors? If so, consider using a tool such as Keyword Spy to help monitor your competitors in 2014. Too few companies seem to be all that aware of competitor activity, and how it can impact on their own activity.

keyword spy

 This data can be very insightful and help to inform your own paid search keyword and ad strategy.

6.     Negative Keywords

Have you reviewed recent search queries and added to your list of negatives? If not, add it to the list before 2014 to boost your 2014 ROI! Use http://www.jumbokeyword.com/ for quick bulk changes if you are working offline and using AdWords Editor.


Ensure that your negative keyword strategy is always up-to-date to avoid ads triggering for undesirable terms and irrelevant clicks.

7.     Mobile Bidding

Do you look at the value of your traffic by device used? Segment your traffic to analyse the value of traffic by device in the AdWords interface. It’s all too easy to look at collective performance, but when we segment the traffic by device, we often see big variations in performance. Consider your bidding strategy in 2014 based on this data if you haven’t already!

mobile bidding campaign

8.     Geo Targeting and Performance

Performance can often vary significantly by location, making it important to analyse the contribution data of different target areas. Typically we compare areas by % of cost and % of revenue contributed. This highlights areas that perhaps need excluding, where you have a lower than desired ROI, and allows you to set more competitive bids for countries, regions, towns or cities that do deliver well.

location campaign.png

9.     Ad Scheduling

Likewise, performance often varies by both day of the week and hour of the day. If you haven’t reviewed this data, take a look to see what your key online days and hours are for AdWords traffic, and then consider your ad positions at these times. You may well find that traffic converts more effectively at 9-11am on Monday to Friday and that you can therefore afford to be more competitive during these hours to increase exposure.

ad scheduling

10. Get Help Managing Your PPC Activity

We review many AdWords accounts each year and with the rising complexity of PPC advertising, and an ever growing list of features and functions, it’s no surprise that many find it an uphill task to stay on top of their PPC campaigns.

If you’re struggling to get the best from your paid search activity, just get in touch and, with a free account review, we can look at the possibilities together. We often find that through delivering the quick wins of our best practice management alone, the cost of outsourcing PPC activity is offset very quickly.


Merry Christmas & a Ha-PPC New Year!