Your address will show here
Google Ads

There’s no doubt that SEM tools are essential for a lot of PPC experts. It reduces their time on standard campaign management tasks, which means they can spend more time on other things that can improve the campaigns.


There are many, many SEM tools out there. Tools that can help you set up better keyword lists, automate your reporting, streamline your optimisation process and much more. We asked more than 40 experienced PPC specialists what their favourite SEM tools are that they would recommend to others.


Without further ado, here are the top 15 best SEM tools the experts recommend you to use.


Top 15 Best SEM Tools in 2019: How The Experts Voted


SEMRush – 17 votes

Google Keyword Planner – 7 votes

Editor (Google Ads) – 6 votes

Google Data Studio – 5 votes

Supermetrics – 4 votes

Ahrefs – 3 votes

Excel – 3 votes

Google Trends – 3 votes

Keywordtool.io – 3 votes

AdAlysis – 3 votes

Optymyzr – 3 votes

Keywords Everywhere – 2 votes

Google Ads Scripts – 2 votes

Spyfu – 2 votes

Wordstream – 2 votes


Now, let’s dig further into these.


SEMRush


First, almost half of the PPC experts voted for SEMRush. SEMRush goes beyond just Search Engine Marketing. They describe themselves as an “all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals”. Next to Paid Search, their products focus on SEO, social media, market research, content marketing and public relations. 


The experts that filled in our survey were mainly impressed by the large amount of competitor data that is available in SEMRush. As part of that, the tool gives visibility into ad copy’s being used by advertisers. Also, you will be able to pull a list of competitors, the number of common keywords, estimations on paid traffic and their spending.

Screenshot of the SEMRush website.

Google Keyword Planner


Second, the Google Keyword Planner is a free tool which is integrated in your Google Ads account. In your account, navigate to Tools & Settings > Planning > Keyword Planner. 


The Keyword Planner can help you setting up your keyword list and find how what the search volume is for these keywords. Also, it shows you how competitive each keyword is and what the cost-per-click is that you can expect to pay to be able to compete.


Screenshot of the Google Ads Keyword Planner


Google Ads Editor


Third, the Google Ads Editor is a must for every SEM specialist. It’s the official downloadable application for Google Ads.


It makes it able to work offline and make bulk changes to your Google Ads campaigns. To sum it up, it’s a no-brainer to use this tool as it will make the campaign management a lot quicker and easier.


Screenshot of the Google Ads Editor.


Google Data Studio


A lot of PPC experts love Google Data Studio, especially the ones that are working on the agency side. It’s Google’s free reporting solution for users that want to go beyond the data and dashboards in Google Analytics.


Data Studio has a seamless integration with Google Analytics and Google Ads. Also, it gives the opportunity to visualise the data in different ways which is impossible in the platforms directly. It’s a perfect tool for agencies that want to provide their clients with advanced, yet automated reporting.


Screenshot of Google Data Studio


Supermetrics


Often used in combination with Google Sheets & Data Studio, Supermetrics is the perfect add-on for your reports. It will allow you to push through more data connections to your reports. For example, data from Bing Ads, Google Search Ads 360 or Facebook Ads. 


Screenshot of the Supermetrics website.


Ahrefs


Ahrefs has many tools available to help you manage your SEM campaigns. Mainly, it gives you information about your competitors that you can use to improve your campaigns. 


Ahrefs describes it themselves as  “learn why your competitors rank so high and what you need to do to outrank them”.


Screenshot of Ahrefs website.


Microsoft Excel


Good old Excel made it to the list! It’s still one of the best tools to slice and dice your campaign data and come to new insights. 


Excel doesn’t really need any further introduction.

 


Google Trends


Google Trends allows you to see how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried in Google over a certain period of time. 


For SEM this tool can help you understanding the search volume of your most important keywords. In combination with the Keyword Planner, you can then understand what budget is roughly needed to advertise in your region.

 


Keywordtool.io


Then, Keywordtool.io is an alternative to the Google Keyword Planner. So, you can use it to get keyword suggestions when you start building your campaigns.


In comparison with Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool pride themselves to be more reliable as it works 99.99% of the time. It’s completely free and you don’t even need to create an account with them.

 


AdAlysis


Starting mainly as a tool to streamline A/B testing, Adalysis now offers multiple products to streamline your SEM management.


It can save you hours of manual analysis, and it can help you to work smarter and faster on bulk tasks. They have a free 14-day trial and there month-to-month packages are quite affordable. Especially, considering the time you save on management.


Screenshot of AdAlysis website.


Optymyzr


Optymyzr is a PPC expert’s complete toolkit. It offers search marketing tools, scripts and worklflows. It’s the winner of “Best PPC Software” at the 2018 US Search Awards.


Other than most other tools in this list, it’s not a free tool. With their packages starting at US$499 it’s actually quite an expensive tool for most advertisers.


Keywords Everywhere


Then, Keywords Everywhere is a browser add-on for both Chrome and Firefox. It shows the monthly search volume, cost per click and competition data of keywords on multiple websites.


It lets you find long-tail phrases that you can use when managing your campaigns. Therefore, it can save you a lot of time in your keyword research.


Google Ads Scripts


Google Ads scripts provide a way to programmatically control your Google Ads data. For example, you can pause keywords that are not getting conversions and had a certain amount of spend.


There’s not really a limit of the SEM tasks that you can automated using Scripts. However, you might need to have some developer knowledge to implement them.


SpyFu


SpyFu can unlock competitor data for you. You will be able to see every keyword your competitors advertised on in the last 13 years, see their ad copy’s etc.


Using competitor data can help you to manage your own campaigns as well.


Wordstream


Finally, only a few SEM specialist picked Wordstream. However, it’s probably one of the most well-known SEM tools in the market. On their website, they mention that roughly 1 million advertisers are currently using their platform.


Wordstream offers many tools to manage your SEM campaigns. Some of these are free. However, to unlock certain features you will have to sign up and pay either a monthly or annual fee.



What the experts said


Now, let’s have a look at what the SEM experts had to say about their favourite SEM tools.


Jacques von Wielligh

Head of SEM 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacquesvonwielligh

“Must admit we were faced with real challenges in 2006-2008 so choices were limited and decided to optin with Spyfy, Moz & Market Samurai. The web has changed so much since then. Still remember when Google acquired Applied Semantics in 2003. The years of Google’s wonder wheel & semantics structures allowed us to dig deeper, but these days we need more insights and actionable data we can react on.

SEMRush & Ahrefs most definitely for various reasons. #projects at SEMRush – Integrating all features into your workflow can definitely give you a competitive advantage. 

Ahrefs less limits per project. (pages crawled) Also my go to backlink tool. 

We require visibility on data and identify opportunities that can put us ahead of the competition.

These tools can definitely assist with the modern SEM Challenges we face on a day-to-day basis.”


Anthony Pearce

Anthony is a PPC freelancer from London with over 12 years experience managing paid search campaigns.

https://www.anthonypearce.com/

“The SEM tool that probably helps me the most is Supermetrics. Although technically not built solely for SEM, it allows me automate all my client reporting and internal monitoring of account KPIs.  You can use Supermetrics to download data from a wide range of sources including Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook, Adroll, Linkedin, Salesforce and Adobe Analytics. Data can be downloaded into Google Sheets or Datastudio, and set to update every few hours if required. It’s a real time-saver.”


Thomas Jaskov

Thomas Jaskov has 10+ years of experience working with SEO and Google Ads (AdWords). He works as a senior consultant at Jaskov Consult ApS. He is the author of the book “Getting Started with Google AdWords“ and founder of eMarketing Institute and Keyword Match Type Tool.

https://jaskovconsult.dk/en/

“The 3 SEM tools I use the most are 1: Google Keyword Planner. 2: Keyword Match Type Tool. 3: SEMrush

1: Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for in-depth keyword research. Personally, I couldn’t live without Keyword Planner. I use it for many aspects of keyword research. And the greatest thing about this tool is, that data is provided by Google. So you know it’s valid. This tool is 100% free.

2: Keyword Match Type Tool. After I have completed my keyword research, I then start building ad groups and keyword lists. In the old days, I have tried out various match type tools also known as keyword wrappers and/or AdWords wrapper tools. I wasn’t totally happy with any of them, so in 2015 I decided to hire a programmer, who helped me build Keyword Match Type Tool. This tool is 100% free.

3: SEMrush. I have used SEMrush for many years. It is a great tool with a ton of features. Actually SEMrush has so much to offer, so it is hard to describe in few words. If you want to do competitor research, then you really have to check out this tool. You can see, which keywords are providing traffic to your competitors. That’s not a bad thing to know, if you wan to outsmart your competition. SEmrush is not a free tool, but still I can definitely recommend it, as you get good value for the money.”


Tom Sutton

Freelance SEO & PPC Specialist

https://lakes.digital

“My favourite tool hands down is Ahrefs. I use it almost everyday, whether I’m doing keyword research or hunting for potential outreaching opportunities. It has everything I need in one platform. Furthermore with the creators of Ahrefs constantly pushing new updates and new features to the platform it’s hard to advise other SEO’s to use anything else. 

While some people do say that it is expensive for a tool (which I agree with), it is definitely a tool that I’d recommend forking out for.”


John Lavin

I am a Professional SEM freelancer who enjoys camping, hiking, & driving my bicycle around Kingston, NY.

“By far my most favorite tool for SEM research is the Keyword Planner. Not only can you get some better ideas for keywords but it will give you an estimate of the top page bid which is useful information to have when you are proposing a budget.”


Mike Nelson

Mike has a diverse online advertising background. He has appeared in major SEM publications including Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Certified Knowledge, and more. He focuses mainly on Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and, increasingly, CRO.

https://four15digital.com/

“Hopefully my answer is unique! After buying nearly a half billion dollars in SEM media, I’ve determined the absolute best tools are those offered by the platforms themselves, and it’s not always necessary to buy 3rd party tools. 

The best tools are therefore

1) Google Ads Editor: It’s amazing how many SEM professionals are not even aware of this powerful bulk editing tool. Or, if they are, they have not taken the time to become a master of AWE. The strength of advance search is unbelievable. Spend 20+ hours understanding GAE. 

2) tCPA: I’m a big believer in tCPA vs a 3rd party bidding tool like Marin or Kenshoo. Google has more data on their users then a 3rd party, and also has bid modification options they don’t release to others such as bidding by browser and a specific user’s past interaction with your ads. A list of what they consider while on smart bidding can be found here: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7065882#signals

3) Excel. Pretty much the most boring answer ever. But, if you know how to do these functions in excel, you’re well on your way to being an SEM professional  

len

countif

 concatenate

 vlookup

 pivot table

All that said, a tool can only take you so far. It’s critical to think through your account structure so it’s scalable and easy to keep track of. I think being good at SEM is much like being a good developer. It’s about being concise and well organized, not creating a complex system of spaghetti that no one (including yourself!) can navigate.”


Nathan Pabich

Paid Media expert and practitioner 

https://www.digitalthirdcoast.com/

“Semrush and Spyfu. Why? They help gage gaps and market opportunities. Neither are perfect and merely directional but very useful in total market analysis. Tip: look up your own estimated spend to understand how accurate their estimates are for your own market.”


Adam Arkfeld

Adam Arkfeld is Founder & President of ParaCore, a pay-per-click lead generation agency in Phoenix, AZ. Founded in 2009, ParaCore niched its focus to PPC in 2015 and has grown to manage millions in ad spend annually with a roster of clients ranging from home service companies to online retailers.

https://www.paracore.com

“1) We started using Opteo recently and it’s helped us catch some potential problems right away. I was turned on to the service while listening to The Paid Search Podcast. It’s helped us catch a campaign that was overspending and also monitor campaigns that are under spending. With a lot of team members, it’s helpful to keep an eye on things.
2) We also recently started using this negatives script which has been a game changer for reviewing and updating search terms weekly:

https://searchadspro.com/google-ads-script-to-get-search-terms-to-a-spreadsheet/


Bob Rustici

As a principle in a marketing consulting practice where our clients are our bosses. My involvement in search marketing has seen a lot of changes in the last 15 years, but one thing remains constant: RELEVANCY. If you provide relevant results and content to your audience – you will always see better results (better search engine visibility, more web traffic, more leads/sales, etc). 

https://centrus.digital

“Being a bit more Google centric the three tools that are my “go to” techniques for creating improved targeting and higher efficiency are; the Ad Grouping function within the Google Keyword Planner, Audiences for search ads to identify purchase intent and lastly the automated bidding with CPA Target (but only after to have established the right groundwork). But first you need to ensure the following is performing well; solid history of a range of call to actions that have conversion tracking associated to the visitor intent, daily budget targets, day parting and geo bidding.“


Andrew Percey

Andrew Percey holds BS/MS degrees in computer science from MIT. He has over 15 years of experience in corporate marketing and PPC advertising. Andrew has helped more than 100 businesses and MIT startups to succeed with Google Ads.

https://www.prometheusppc.com/

“Outside of Google’s own tools (which you should of course be using), I’d recommend two 3rd party tools as being highly useful in the right situations.

If you have online advertising competitors, especially large ones, then SEMRush is a fantastic tool for gaining insights into their approaches.  You can see the search queries for which their ads most often show as well as numerous current & past iterations of their ad copy. This is great for expanding your own keyword opportunities and for identifying ways to better differentiate your business in your own ads.

And if your ads account has enough impressions, clicks and conversions, then Adalysis is a fantastic tool for quickly and accurately determining A/B ad test winners.  See winning ads in a few clicks instead of the much greater time required to set up similar reports in Google Ads or to download data into a spreadsheet to parse. The tool will also flag a number of other common and important account issues.”


Mirena Boycheva

A digital marketing expert based in London, specializing in paid search and paid social with more than 5 years of experience. I’ve founded my own agency serving small and medium sized companies helping them grow their business. My main priority is providing my clients with transparent and high quality services meeting and exceeding their expectations.

http://www.leadvertisingsolutions.com

“The top 3 SEM tools I’m using on a daily basis are free and customizable. They are as follows:

1) SEMrush

When I do a research about a potential client or when I get on board a new client, I am conducting a research in their industry, including how their competitors are doing. For this purpose, one of the most helpful tools I am using is the free version of SemRush.

SEMrush is a tool providing information about competitors, their website traffic by country, what keywords they bid on, are they advertising on paid search, how much traffic they get, what their paid search ads look like and which are their main competitors. At least these are the main features of SEMrush I am using. I have not subscribed for their paid services, as I have not seen any need of that. The data is not quite accurate but it helps making assumptions.

2) Keywords everywhere

Whenever I need to do a keyword research for a new client or expand the list of keywords for a current one, I am using the tool “Keywords everywhere”. 

Keywords everywhere is available as a browser extension. Once installed, it starts showing keywords suggestions related to the searched keyword with volumes, CPC and competition rating for every single keyword search. The data is collected from Google Keyword planner. However, this tool is much faster to use than the standard keyword planner, provided by Google, because you see the data displayed straight in the search engine without having to go through Google Ads interface. Besides, the data is also available for download. Another good reason I am recommending this tool is that it is free to use.

In the setting section, you get to choose for which country and currency you would like to see the data shown. You can also select what metrics to include against each keyword. Another good functionality is that you can select some of the keywords you like and the tool will automatically compile a list of those, which you can download later.

3) Google data studio

I am using Google data studio to create the weekly and monthly reports for my clients visualising the data and making it easier to comprehend. It is very easy to start using it, to link it with existing accounts and create multiple reports collecting data from many different platforms such as Google Ads, Google analytics. You can also import data from other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Google data studio also offers customized filters, which allow you to structure the data in the best way for each separate client. I am only creating the report ones for each client and from there it is automatically updated with the latest data whenever I need it. Furthermore, it helps for getting quick updates on how the performance is going without having to go to the Google ads interface. If you manage to add all needed data tables and graphs you need, you can easily get the latest performance updates and decide what to optimise in the account. Sharing the reports is also super easy. Either you can add the client as a user to provide them with the interactive version of the report or you can just download and share a file with them. One of its best things about it is that it is free.”


Michael Murphy

Michael has been growing businesses with Digital Marketing since 2006. He’s held in-house and agency marketing roles in both fulfillment and management. He has had great success running SEO, PPC, Paid Social, CRO, A/B Testing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Social Media, Online Reputation Management, Copywriting, and Creative Problem-Solving campaigns.

https://www.redolive.com/utah-ppc-marketing/

“Current tools I use are Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush. I like to get new keyword ideas and search volume estimates from Google. 

From SEMrush I like to review the competitors that the tool providers to go and research some of their landing pages, what they’re doing that we could mimic as well as how we could do better than them.

I’ve built a proprietary search network campaign builder named Humzee that I will be launching to the public soon. It has drastically shortened the time required to generate thousands or millions of long-tail keyword variations and wraps it all up in a CSV that you can upload to Google Ads directly or through the Google Ads Editor.”


David Forer

SEO , SEM and Data Nerd who loves Web Development.

https://davidjforer.com

“What I would recommend depends on who I am recommending too. Generally this question is meant to help the non SEO professionals out there understand what might help them. If a business owner came to me and asked what 1 tool would you recommend? I would answer SerpStat (Serpstat.com). It is easy to use, easy to explain how to use and covers a lot of area in the digital space. I wouldn’t say it is as good in any one area as some of the tools out there but overall you can get all the information you need at a reasonable price. It covers Keyword Research (inc Content Marketing), SEO (inc. site audit), Adwords, Rank Tracking and Backlink Analysis. This one tool can really help any business set up its entire Digital campaign!”


Codie Vincent

I’m Digital Marketing specialist helping clients in the New Zealand market.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/codievincent/

“SEM Rush – I use it to find a great ad copy in different markets.”


Per Jacobsen

Experienced digital marketer helping some of the most innovative brands in Denmark including Lego, Danske Spil, Gyldendal and Tivoli with performance based marketing on Google and Facebook. 

https://www.perjacobsen.com

“Optymyzr because of their timesaving one-click optimization options – especially because they support the SKAG-structure that I work with. Keywordtool.io for helping with keyword research. And then I have to mention Google Sheets in combination with Supermetrics because this virtually allows me to build all the optimization and campaign building tools I need myself.”


Chris Stott

Client Director at PPC Geeks

https://ppcgeeks.co.uk

“Personally I don’t like tools, I prefer strategies. Tools change all the time, but sound strategies stand the test of time. That’s what we focus on at PPC Geeks.

To win at SEM therefore you need the right set of strategies as the main ‘tools’ in your arsenal. For us that is having an objective and key results that our clients want to achieve. We then back that up with the right strategic plan to achieve it and finally we make sure that we can monitor it and gather data to correct course and further improve our results.

The tools that support our strategic approach and I would recommend are:

Google Tag Manager as a single (ideally) place to track all your codes and most important conversion events. Google Analytics for analysis and data (combined with knowledge of how best to use it), and Google Data Studio to visualise and monitor results. 

The tools change all the time, but like going on a journey, as long as the car (the tool) works then you need to know where you want to go and the route you are going to take to get there.”


Alessandro Bufo

Digital marketing  consultant, helping brand to achieve their business goals via a variety of channels such as PPC, Display, and Paid Social. I am specialised in e-commerce & hospitality field.

http://linkedin.com/in/alessandrobufo

“Keyword Planner/Sem Rush. It represents a good starting point when it comes to keyword research. Keyword planner helps you understand the search volume of a specific set of keywords or gives you keywords ideas. Sem rush provides you a realistic idea about your competitors.

Kenshoo Search: bidding management tool. Has an advanced bidding technology that allows you to optimize you campaign according to your goals such as target CPA, Target ROAS, maximize revenue by mantaining desired ROI. I used it for one of my client in the past and results where excellent.”


David Szetela

David is Owner and CEO of digital advertising agency FMB Media, and one of the world’s best-known experts in online advertising. A former Apple Computer executive and serial entrepreneur, David’s career has been dedicated to helping companies of all sizes maximize revenue and profit.

http://szetela.me

“Optymzr, AdAlysis, AdWords Editor.”


Jesse Witham

President and Founder of Search Marketing Agency with 18+ years of experience in SEO and Digital Marketing.

https://www.SearchMarketingAgency.com

“I highly recommend SEO Powersuite, as well as MOZ and SEMrush tools for Search Engine Marketing.  Have used all 3 of them for close to a decade. I also really like SpyFu and Nacho Analytics for Paid Search and competition research.“


Jeevan Katwaru

I have 15 Years experience in digital marketing specializing in SEO and SEM

http://www.oknymedia.com/

“Acquisio – great to automation and intra-day bidding.“


Robert Louw

PPC & SEO Consultant that has worked across various industries from financial services, Ad technology, Retail, e-commerce, travel and b2b markets. PPC consulting for businesses worldwide, providing analysis and recommendations to improve online acquisition & market performance.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertlouw1/

“Google Keyword Planner,  Spyfu, SEM Rush, Google Adwords Editor, Optmyzr, Excel, Optmyzr, Google Trends.”


Adriana Pozenato

I’m a digital marketing manager with over 5 years of experience in the market in two different countries – Brazil and New Zealand – . I’m specialised in Google Ads.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/idrika/

“Platforms: Google Ads, Bing Ads. SEM Management Tools: Wordstream.”


Tony Chopp

Google Ads Expert | Founder at Claim Your Space

https://www.cysppc.com

“I think I’ve probably tried them all. I don’t have anything bad to say about any tools, but there are just two that I use every single day. And they’re both free. #1 — Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension. https://keywordseverywhere.com It’s literally my favorite keyword research tool ever. I think the best part about it is how they just overlay their data on the SERP page, where I’m already spending tons of time. Just brilliant. #2 — Google Ads desktop editor. It’s powerful and sometimes a little scary to use (be careful before you push ‘upload’). But when we’re working in big, complex accounts, or need to make sweeping changes in bulk (like swapping http for https for all ads after an SSL upgrade for example)—no other tool will do. Bonus: making changes to ads, extensions, etc in the desktop editor doesn’t reset all the ad stats. Good form.“


Ventsislav Vasilev

Ventsislav is a digital marketing professional with over 12 years of work experiences in SEM, SEO, Google ads, Facebook ads, Google Analytics, Youtube, WordPress and etc. He works at Optimum Media OMD Bulgaria as a Senior Digital Media Manager.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ventsislavv/

“keywordtool.io – This is a very useful tool for keywords suggestions. You can get data for keywords, questions, prepositions or hashtag suggestions, it works with all most popular platforms (Google Search, Youtube, Bing, Instagram, Play Store, Twitter, Ebay and Amazon). You can filter the data by language or adding negative keywords. There is a premium option for a paid monthly subscription that you can get additional options for search volume, trends, CPC and competition.

Google trends – Free and useful tool from Google. You can search for trends by search terms, topic, brands then filter by categories, countries, Google Search (Web Search, Images Search, Youtube Search, News Search and Google Shopping ) or a custom period of time. You can compare up to 5 different keywords.

Google Data Studio – Another free tool of Google. This tool is for data visualization or you can create easy free stylish dashboards and reports. You can connect the tool with multiple Google Sources (Google Analytics, Google Ads, Youtube, Google Sheets and etc.) also you can add external data too.

In case you create a helpful report there is an option to submit to the Google Data Studio – Gallery and share with more people.”


Chris Sheehy

Founder of Sidewalk Branding Co., Digital Marketing & Advertising

https://sidewalkbranding.co

“My response is focused on the SMB market where low-resources (time/funds) translate to a need for actions that turn decent returns for minimal effort and learning curve. My top three suggestions are sure to help any business improve their SEM performance.

1) Google Search Console – there’s a wealth of keyword & query intel in this often-overlooked SEM resource. Use this data for seeding Google’s Keyword Planner or adding terms directly to a campaign. Works equally as well for finding negative terms.

2) SEMrush – works great for competitive research, keyword overlap, and for viewing a competitor’s ads. SEMrush is a powerhouse tool. The paid version of this tool is a powerhouse, but there are many free-to-use tools offered as well.

3) Scripts – okay, this functionality, not a tool – but scripts are a great tool to manage many performance and reporting aspects of an ad/campaign and are easy enough for a novice to apply. A good place to start is http://bit.ly/ad-scripts, but a search will also reveal many more options.”


Jon Maher

CEO of Esper Inbound, the hybrid PPC/CRO agency with a sixth sense for marketing. Jon knows PPC & knows it well. Some say too well… because it’s all he talks about! Get on his good side by telling him a hotdog’s a sandwich…

https://www.esperinbound.com/

“My favorite SEM tools for working on ad accounts are the Google / Microsoft Ads Editor and Microsoft Excel! Boring I know, but you can’t go wrong with this combo. Tt allows you to do some seriously powerful stuff, and quickly too! 

My favorite SEM tool for design is Unbounce, hands down. It’s the best landing page builder on the market and that shines through their robust capabilities and high level of customer service. 

Lastly, my favorite must have tool for saving time and headache is Zapier! Zapier is soooo powerful and easy to use. It’ll help you immensely with a plethora of processes from automating lead notifications to creating dynamic lead funnels. If you’re not using this tool already, I don’t know how you do it!”


David Bartos

We help small companies and ecommerce businesses to increase their revenue by using Google Ads.

https://adlab.hu

“Supermetrics, Keywordtool.io, SKAG Generator.”


Todd Chambers

Convert more leads & sales from your ad spend. Upraw Media manage all the major ad platforms, implement sophisticated tracking solutions and build highly optimised landing pages.

https://uprawmedia.com/

“Supermetrics – We use 2 Supermetrics licenses. The first is for Google Sheets. We use this to pull spend across all major ad platforms into 1 centralised data set. We use this for account / client level pacing. The second license is for Google Data Studio. With Supermetrics we can connect additional data sources in each client dashboard. Ideal if you’re managing multiple ad platforms.“


Philip James Armstrong

I specialise in helping businesses to generate new leads, clients, and sales, using pay-per-click search engine marketing. As the director of a Google partnered agency, I work closely with Google representatives to set up profitable Adwords marketing campaigns using the latest strategies and best practices.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ppcphil/

“1) PPC Samurai is unparalleled in its effectiveness in automating and streamlining the processes of monitoring and optimising pay-per-click (PPC) marketing campaigns on Google Ads. Using an intuitive drag and drop interface, users are able to create custom scripts that help to manage every aspect of a campaign, from checking budgets to optimising keyword bids at a granular level. This tool is a must-have for any agencies or advertisers looking to maximise the profits generated from their PPC campaigns. 

2) Unbounce is the ideal tool for creating and split testing landing pages with a view to increasing conversion rates. The landing page builder is easy to use, making it very simple to quickly create new page variants which look aesthetically pleasing and load quickly for visitors.”


Feiko Bierman

I am a PPC consultant at the e-commerce agency ISM eCompany. We’re a full-service agency based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As a PPC consultant, I specialize in Automation and Strategy.

https://www.ism.nl/

“Google ads 360, bgenius and Channable.”


Varnika Trisal

Results Focused Marketer having 7 years of working experience in digital marketing, customer engagement, email marketing campaigns and marketing strategies. Worked in different countries with different brands and industries ranging from Energy to Finance to Tech, I truly believe that with so much noise online, it’s important to build your personal brand. Currently, I work as a Performance Marketing Manager at Oracle Australia.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/varnika-trisal/

“Crazy Egg – The reason I nominate this tool is because of it’s user friendly experience. The way you think about optimizing your website, this tool exactly works in the same way. For setting up conversion tracking and tests it’s just a matter of minutes. This tool also provides insights on what people are actually looking for on your website and at the end you can build successful customer journeys. One bonus thing it doesn’t require any programming skills at all.”


Eleni Buras

PPC & Amazon Consultant, with over 10 years’ experience working with digital agencies, in-house clients, & 15MLN annual client managed PPC ad spend. Heavily focused on data and specialised in acquisition & direct performance funnels across search, display and Amazon.

https://www.flaxtrade.co.uk/

“Marin Software.

8 & 9-figure businesses will benefit from using Marin software in their digital ppc strategy, as this award-winning ad management platform is a quick & highly efficient way to a) integrate all your marketing channels in reporting & visualise trends b) automate optimisation and discovery of new sales opportunities and high performance in the business c) use machine learning for campaign hygiene changes such as budgeting, bidding, forecasting, and anomalies in data d) create automated campaigns with dynamic ad copies for large inventory businesses.

SemRush.

This online visibility management tool is great for a) researching high volume and long tail keyword strategies within your industry and your competitors for ppc and seo b) checking your competitor traffic sources for new publisher ideas and google display placement targeting c) reviewing competitor’s ad copy strategy & regional visibility vs your brand d) identifying competitor cpc strategy on specific keyword segments.

HitWise. 

Every online business will benefit from consumer insights and market share data. Hitwise helps you track, protect, and grow your online market share at every stage of the consumer’s online journey, from search to purchase, and it really increases your understanding of your customers. Its great for a) tracking exit and entry sites to see, which websites drive traffic to your brand, and, which sites are visited afterwards b) reviewing market share vs other brands and comparing ppc and seo cost and keyword split in your industry c) benchmarking your performance against the competition by audience, visit and sales d) identifying competitor’s best search terms and performance drivers.”


Georgios Mesimeris

Georgios Mesimeris is a Performance Marketing Manager at Verisure UK. He has 7+ years of experience in digital marketing, having worked and developed various lead generation and e-commerce businesses in the UK.

https://www.verisure.co.uk/

“Adthena

One of the most useful tools I would recommend is Adthena. It is a paid tool that every online marketer must have. It provides market trends at a glance on various metrics, on all your competitors, across all devices as well as organic split. You can see which competitors bidding on your terms, brand KWs and using your brand name on their ad copy. 

SEMrush

It is another cheaper tool but very useful as well. It’s an easy to use tool to get insights into your competitors’ strategies in display advertising, organic and paid search, and link building. It helps you to monitor ad copy and landing pages, and discover new ideas. On the SEO side, it provides a deep link analysis, your domain view and recommendations, and backlink audits.”

 

Madhura K (Maddy K)

Madhura Kulkarni (Maddy K) is a full-time Digital Marketing freelancer based in New York City. She is a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual with good knowledge and passion for marketing.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/madhurakulkarni/

“Sprout Social – Community Management and everything else, FB ads manager / Google reporting is great on it’s own!”


Andrew Woolley

Having been doing SEO for six years and digital marketing for over ten years. Trained and qualified in various disciples he is able to communicate complex elements in simple, practical ways that generate results. Track record in helping hundreds of businesses with their online brand credibility. A regular contributor to several SEO forums and online directories.

https://wantseo.co.uk

“For me its got to be SEMrush. It’s capability and versatility in delivering solutions to everyday problems that any SEO, PPC or Marketing expert will heartily benefit from and recommend .

Having used all of the ‘big boy’ packages over the years, from Moz to aHrefs and many, many more, I prefer SEMrush. Yes others have a few more strengths in regards to backlinks or Local SEO, but for an all rounder that delivers answers, its got to be SEMrush. 

Using the ‘Guru’ version there are clear differences when it comes to see old data in terms of keywords you or a competitor ranked for, as well as the positional changes.

Key features that provide great insight are the Position Tracking tools and Site Audit. Constant monitoring allows you to see where to make improvements and gain ground.

 With so many features that allow you to delve into the main three areas of SEO; Technical, On-Page and Off-Page, SEMrush just keeps rolling out more and more features that allow anyone to utilise the tool. Even social media and brand managers can benefit massively from its intuitive areas.”


Claire Poorthuis

Experienced Marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. 

https://griddigitalmarketing.com

“answerthepublic.com, Ubersuggest, hotjar, SE ranking, Ad Text Generator, Google Ads Scripts, ahrefs.com, Datastudio, Google trends, Google Insights.”

0

Google Ads

Keywords are the core of your search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be. Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Creating a great keyword list is a great starting point to make your campaigns profitable and maximise conversions.


Now, this doesn’t mean you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.


Here are some tips to get you started building a killing Google Ads keyword list.


  1. Use the Keyword Tool.

  2. Google yourself!

  3. Use plurals and alternate spellings.

  4. Combine the words.

  5. Use (almost) all keyword match types.

  6. Analyse existing data from your account.

  7. Use local keywords.

  8. Split out in relevant ad groups.

  9. Optimise your keyword list.


Tip #1: Use the Keyword Planner Tool


The built-in Google Ads Keyword Planner Tool is the best tool to use when you start building your first keyword list.



Screenshot of Google Ads keyword planner tool.



You can find the tool in your Google Ads account and it’s free! By typing in a keyword, Google will give you keyword suggestions. Also, it will give you the average monthly searches, the average cost-per-click of each of the keywords and the competition of other advertisers.


Alternatively, you can also put in your website address and Google will give you suggestions based on this.


Tip #2: Google yourself!


Ever wondered what your customers type into Google? Why don’t you try and find out yourself!


Google is great with giving suggestions once people start typing something into the search engine. Did you notice the suggestion box that pops up as soon as you start searching?


Most likely, these will contain some keywords that you can use within your campaigns.



Screenshot of Google search suggestions box in search engine.



Tip #3: Use plurals and different spellings


True, Google will automatically show your ad for any plurals, misspelling or closely related keywords.


However, wouldn’t it be great to stay in full control yourself and be able to adjust your bids for any plurals or related keywords? From experience, I know there could be a big difference in performance for a keyword like “locksmith” vs “locksmiths. So it’s worth the extra effort to split these out in your campaigns as well.


Tip #4: Combine the words


People type things into Google in all different orders. As an advertiser, you want to make sure you capture all of these. Therefore, you will have to add all of them to your campaigns.


So, this means you will add the keyword “locksmith sydney” as well as “sydney locksmith” to your campaigns.


There are some great keyword combining tools online that you can use to make this easier for you.


Tip #5: Use (almost) all keyword match types


Keyword match types are great. When used correctly, they will be able to give you full control for which search queries your ad will be shown.


To do this, make sure you use a mix of broad match modifier, phrase, exact and negative keywords.


Noticed that one of the match types is missing? Correct, don’t use broad match keywords. They’re for lazy people. Instead, build out your keyword list with long tail keywords to make sure you capture the most relevant search queries for your business.


Tip #6: Analyse existing data


Ah, you already been running your Google Ads campaigns for a while? Great, there’s probably loads of data within your account. Let’s use this to your advantage.


The Search Terms report in your Google Ads account is one of the most useful reports for you to use. You can find the Search Terms report in the keyword tab of your account.



Screenshot of search terms report in Google Ads.



Previously, this was called the search query report. It shows all the search queries that lead to a click on your ads. A great starting point to expand your keyword lists or negatives.


The Added/Excluded column shows if the search query is currently added as a keyword to your account. If not, it will show “None”. These are potential new keywords that you can add to your account.


But, don’t rely on your match types to be triggered for these keywords. Instead, you can have more control by adding them directly to your account. You will be able to change your bids, create different ad copies and landing pages etc.


Tip #7: Use local keywords


Adding local keywords to your account is a great way to expand your reach with relevant keywords.


For example, you can add “australia”, “sydney”, or even suburb keywords to your list and combine it with your amin keywords.


Are you running a local business? Have a look at our previous article with Google Ads tips for local businesses.


Tip #8: Split out in relevant ad groups


Don’t just add all of your keywords into a single ad group.


Instead, make sure you split them out. There’s no limit in the number of ad groups and campaigns you can add. So, make sure you create (at least) multiple ad groups.


The main reason why you would want to split it out is so that it’s easier to manage for yourself. Also, you will be able to write more relevant ad copies for each of your ad groups. A win-win situation.


Tip #9: Optimise your keyword list


It doesn’t stop when you launch your campaigns. Your keyword list should not be a set-and-forget thing. By analysing the data, you should constantly tweak your campaigns.


Based on the data, you can pause underperforming keywords. Also, you should keep an eye on keywords with a low click-through rate or Quality Score. By using the Search Term report (see tip 6) you can identify new keyword opportunities and add these to your campaigns.


Conclusion


Setting up an extensive and relevant keyword list is the most important thing when setting up your Google Ads campaigns. This decides if your campaigns will be successful in the long run.


Then, after you launched your campaigns you will constantly tweak your keyword list. You should be pausing underperforming keywords and add new once based on the data that is available.


That way you will constantly improve your campaigns and will be able to squeeze more conversions out of the budget.

0

Facebook Ads, Google Ads

In terms of digital advertising, there are 2 main players available. In the blue corner, there is Facebook Ads. And in the rainbow corner, there is good ol’ Google Ads.


Paid social vs paid search.


Depending on your business type, you might want to choose one or the other or maybe even a mix of both.


Both platforms are using the PPC model. But which one will work best for your business?

Image of chess game to show which platform works best: Facebook Ads or Google Ads.


Quick recap: Facebook Ads


With Facebook Ads, you can create audience lists that fit your customers.

 

Once these customers browse around Facebook (or Instagram – which is part of the Facebook Audience Network) you can have your ad shown up on their newsfeed.

 

With Facebook Ads you can target audiences on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as the Facebook Audience Network. Social advertising makes it easy to find the right people, capture their attention and get results.

 

You can:

  • Find people based demographics, behaviours or contact information.

  • Create eye-catching ads that capture your audience attention.

  • Get data to see how your ads are performing and increase ROI.

  • Extend your reach and get more followers of your brand.


Quick recap: Google Ads


By using Google Ads you can show your ad when someone uses the famous search engine. It works based on keywords, so you can create a large keyword list with relevant keywords. Every time a potential customer searches for this keyword, your ad could pop up.

 

Alternatively, you can also use Google Ads to show your ads on the Google Display Network. Using the GDN is more similar to Facebook, as you target an audience rather than specific keywords.

 

For this article, we’ll be mainly focusing on the search component of the platform.

 

With Google Ads you:

  • Only target people that are actively searching for your product or service.

  • Measure and optimise based on data to increase your return on investment.

  • Adjust your bids and make changes to your campaigns at any given time.

  • Only pay when people actually click on your ad and visit your website.



The big difference between Facebook Ads & Google Ads


The big difference between the two platforms is that with Facebook you are targeting a specific audience, while with Google you are targeting keywords.


Also, it’s important to point out that the cost-per-click for Google Ads has skyrocketed over the last few years. This, of course, points out the effectiveness of the platform. However, small businesses will need to spend each of their marketing dollars as effectively as possible. This means they might need to make a decision of where to spend that dollar.


So, the question remains: which platform should you use?


And the winner is…


The right answer is that you will need to test both platforms for yourself, as the results will differ for each business.

In general, Facebook Ads will have a lower cost-per-click. However, as you are targeting people that are not actively searching for a product or service, the conversion rate is often lower. 

Let’s split this out between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customers (B2C).

Image to show the winner for b2b and b2c businesses: Google Ads vs Facebook Ads.


B2C marketing


Because of the lower cost per click, Facebook Ads can perform better for businesses that sell low-cost items to customers (think about socks, t-shirts etc.).

Products that people need, but haven’t thought about buying until they see it. It’s more of an impulse buy, rather than a well-planned one. Facebook works great for that.


Remember, people are mainly on Facebook and Instagram for personal reasons so showing work related ads are simply less effective. Which brings us to B2B.


B2B marketing


Most often, the best platform to use for B2B is Google Ads. the keyword base option is by far the most effective for most business.


By being smart and focus on long tail keywords, you can still make this profitable for your B2B business and get a decent volume.


If you are focusing on lead generation, you might also want to try out Facebook Ads. Facebook’s lead ads are great for capturing leads.


Have a look at our tips for local businesses on how to make Google Ads work for you.


Now, there are of course exceptions. If you’re selling a product or service that is in an early stage, you might not get that much search volume via Google. In that case, you might want to use Facebook Ads instead.


Conclusion


Of course, it partly depends on the product or service you are selling. However, for most B2C businesses Facebook Ads is a really good option. For B2B businesses Google Ads is the go-to platform.


Ideally, you would test each of these options for your businesses to see what works. For example, you can allocate 10% of your total digital marketing budget to the other platform and track the performance. That way, you can find out if there’s an opportunity for you to spend more on the platform.

0

Google Ads
Recently, I did some work for a large company that was mainly focussed on the impression share of their Google Ads campaigns.

Their main goal was not getting conversions, but they wanted to reach a certain percentage of impression share for each of the keywords on their account.

A rather unusual goal, as most of the campaigns that I manage, are focussed on maximizing conversions. This company wanted to focus primarily on impression share and used their search campaigns purely for branding purposes.


What is the impression share metric?


Impression share is the “percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.”

Explanation of impression share in Google Ads.


How is the impression share calculated?


Impression share = impressions / total eligible impressions.

Depending on the match type of each keyword, your keyword could be triggered for certain search queries.


Google looks at the number of searches your keywords could be triggered for. Then, Google divides this by the number of searches that your ad actually got shown for. To do this, Google also looks at the negative keywords on your account.


So your impression share is mainly depending on how you structure your account and the keywords that you use. If you use a lot of broad match keywords (which I wouldn’t recommend) you will be eligible for more searches. You’re likely to have a lower impression share.

However, if you set up a good keyword list in Google Ads with mainly exact match keywords and/or have a extensive negative keyword list you stay in full control of when your ad is being shown. This will have a positive impact on your search impression share.

Other things you could think about to improve your impression share are:

  • Change your location targeting. Targeting a smaller location will make you eligible for fewer searches.

  • Change your device targeting. Turning off mobile devices will also reduce your eligible searches.

  • Improve your Quality Score. This will reduce your cost-per-click which will make you be able to compete in more auctions (considering your impression share is limited by budget).

  • Lower your bids. Rather than focusing on top rankings for each keyword, you can lower your bids so that you will be able to compete in more ad auctions.

  • Use an ad schedule. Turning your ads off on certain times (for example, outside office hours) will make it easier to be shown for searches during times your ads are on.


Should you care about this metric?


I don’t believe Impression Share should be the main goal of your search advertising campaigns. Google Ads is best when being used as a performance marketing tool, and by focusing primarily on Impression Share you will be using it as a branding tool. There are better tools for this (think about Youtube Ads or Google Display advertising for example).


Having said that, it is an interesting metric to look at when optimising your campaigns. Especially, metrics like Search Lost IS (budget) & Search Lost IS (rank).


By looking at the Search Lost IS (budget) you can indicate how many impressions you lost because of limitations in the budget. If your campaigns are currently profitable this might be an indication that you’d like to increase your budget.


Also, the Search Lost IS (rank) will show how many impressions you lost because of a low ranking. This might indicate that you’re not bidding high enough and are losing too many ad auctions.


To sum up, Search Impression Share is one of the many metrics you can look at when optimising your campaigns. However, it shouldn’t be the main goal of your campaigns.

0

Google Ads

True, PPC advertising is getting more competitive with the day. Cost-per-click’s are rising and this will further continue over the next few years.


However, PPC is still one of the most successful ways of advertising. Even today, you can still find ways to make your campaigns profitable.


In this article, we’ll share some PPC tips that you can implement straight away!


PPC tip 1: Make sure you track conversions


The great thing about PPC that you can track all of your results. You can see how many impressions you are getting, how many clicks, what your spend is and… how many leads or sales you got.


Most of this data is being pulled into the dashboard automatically when you launch your campaigns. However, your conversion tracking (leads/sales etc.) is something you will need to set up yourself.


It’s not hard. You can either use the tracking snippet from your PPC accounts (both Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising and Facebook Ads offer this) or import any goals from Google Analytics. You do want to set this up before you launch your first campaign.


PPC tip 2: Pause keywords with high costs and no conversions


Let’s start with saving you some money!


Pull all the keyword data from your account and filter out the keywords that got you conversions. Now, let’s focus on the keywords that didn’t get you conversions. Any keywords that you spend a lot of money on?


Start pausing them from your account. Cutting down irrelevant clicks is the first step to improving your campaigns.


PPC tip 3: Pause keywords with a low Quality Score


When you’re using Google Ads, you pay on a cost per click (CPC) basis. This means you don’t have to pay Google to have your ad shown, but only when someone actually clicks on your ad.


This means that Google is less keen to show un-relevant ads that no one clicks on. For that reason, it uses the Google Quality Score as a factor to decide the ad ranking.


Keywords with a low Quality Score will negatively impact your campaign’s result. So to improve your Quality Score, start with pausing keywords that have more than 200 impressions, a Quality Score below 5 and no conversions.


PPC tip 4: Pause keywords with a low click-through rate


One of the factors Google looks at to calculate the Quality Score is the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads. Not just of that one keyword, but also of your entire account.


Now, this means that the CTR of your account has an effect on your Quality Score and the cost per click that you’re paying. The easiest way to boost your CTR is to pause keywords that are getting you lots of impressions but no clicks.


Start with pausing keywords that have more than 200 impressions, a click-through rate below 0.5% and no conversions.


PPC tip 5: Add more keywords


Keywords are the core of each search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be. Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Now, I definitely not saying that you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Think about the entire long tail, different word order, plurals and even misspellings. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.


Long tail of Google Ads keywords.


PPC tip 6: Pause all broad match keywords


When creating new keywords, these are standard added as broad match. I personally don’t recommend using broad match keywords in your account.


No, let me re-phrase that: don’t use broad match in your account. Ever. Unless you’re using a lot of negative keywords, these keywords will trigger too many irrelevant search queries. This will lower your Quality Score and increase your cost-per-click.


Instead, expand your keyword list with broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match keywords.


PPC tip 7: Test your ad creatives


Testing and optimising bits and pieces of your PPC campaign is the backbone for success.


Your ad is often the only thing from your PPC account that’s visible to the customer, and a great starting point to start A/B testing and optimising your campaign.


Ad testing is an ongoing process. Make sure you’re not just testing, but also improving your campaigns. If you keep testing 2 totally different ads you’re just testing.


Ideally, you keep the best performing parts of your ad and start testing smaller components of your ad instead. You can start with testing 2 completely different ads for a while and, once you have your best-performing, move into testing smaller parts of your ads.



PPC tip 8: Use bid strategies


Google Ads offers the opportunity to use different bid strategies within your account.


The big advantage of using bid strategies is that you have to spend significantly less time optimising your keyword bids. Bid strategies allow you to use Google’s algorithm for your keyword bids so that you don’t have to worry about doing this manually.



PPC tip 9: Add ad extensions


Ad extensions are free. They will give your ad more real estate in the search engine. This will increase the likelihood of people clicking your ad.


Maybe not all ad extensions are applicable to your business. However, ad extensions like the sitelinks extensions and callout extensions will be useful for every business.


Ad extensions will also have a positive impact on your campaigns Quality Score, so it’s really a no-brainer to add them to your campaigns.




PPC tip 10: Use negative keywords


Negative keywords will prevent your ad from being triggered. It’s very important that you build a large negative keyword list, especially if you’re using a lot of broad match and negative keywords.


By adding this as a negative keyword list to your campaigns, people who include this in their search query won’t see your ad.


This will help you focus on clicks that will give you actual potential customers.



PPC tip 11: Monitor your search queries


Although you would want to set up a tight keyword list, your ad might pop up for irrelevant search queries.


Especially if you’re working with a small budget, you want to filter these out as much as possible.


Google Ads allows you to pull a search query report. By going through this report you’ll be able to identify irrelevant search queries and add them as negative keywords to your campaigns.



PPC tip 12: Advertise on your brand name


Branded keywords are the most relevant keywords in your account. Therefore, you will have a higher Quality Score for these keywords and the cost per click will be relatively low.


The Quality Score works through to all the keywords of your account. This means that for all the non-branded keywords you will have a higher ranking and decrease their cost per click.


Because of the relatively low cost per click that you’ll have to pay makes it a no-brainer to advertise on your branded term.



PPC tip 13: Use remarketing


Ever thought about what happens with the visitors that come to your site and don’t convert? Most likely, they never come back to your site.


By running a remarketing campaign you can try and get these visitors to come back to your site. From all the targeting methods on display networks, remarketing is the most successful one. You are targeting people that are already familiar with your brand.


Remarketing is a great way to expand your PPC advertising.




PPC tip 14: Build high-converting landing pages


After you get more relevant visitors on your website, the next step is to get them to convert. Your landing page is the most important part of this. By building a PPC specific landing page you can really focus on that one goal: getting the details of your potential customer.


An ideal landing page would have a relevant headline and sub-headline, a short contact form with call-to-action and some basic details about your product or service. This should contain unique selling points (USP’s), testimonials, a short description of how it works etc.


Use the less-is-more principle for these pages. The more information you add, the bigger the change that people don’t fill in the form.



PPC tip 15: Track everything and optimise


The best thing about advertising on Google? You can track everything!


Literally, EVERYTHING.


You can see on a keyword level which keywords are getting you impressions, clicks, leads, and how much you spend on each of them.


Now, all you need to do is analyse this and use it to your advantage.



PPC tip 16: Link your Google My Business listing


True, it’s not necessarily PPC.


However, a Google My Business listing is free so there’s no reason not to sign up. Also, by linking your GMB account with your Google Ads account you can promote your Google Maps listing. It’s a great way to get more relevant search volume.


Screenshot of location extension within Google.


Conclusion


Even though PPC advertising gets more and more competitive, there are still ways to run a profitable PPC campaign.


By following the easy-to-implement PPC tips in this article, you can significantly improve your campaigns today.



About Vazooky Digital


Vazooky Digital is a boutique PPC agency, based in Sydney. If you need any help with improving your local Google Ads campaigns, please get in touch.

0

Google Ads For Industries
Now, the financial industry is known to be one of the most expensive industries if it comes to advertising on Google.

Lots of competitors are pushing up the cost per click. For early-staged fintech startups, this can be challenging as there is no data available (yet) to know which keywords are performing.

Although challenging, here are some tips to make your Google Ads campaigns profitable from start.


Tip #1: understand how much you can pay for a click


If most of your competitors are bidding up to $25 for a click, there is no point in bidding $5. As Google works based on an auction model, your ad simply won’t be shown.


You will need to understand how much you could maximum pay per click to get a positive ROI.


To do this, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Understand how much a new client is worth to you.

  • Decide how much you’re willing to invest to get a new client.

  • Understand how many leads you need to get a new customer.

  • Know the conversion rate of your site (or a rough estimation).


Based on these numbers you will be able to calculate how much you can maximum pay for a click.


For example, if a new customer is worth $3,000, you can invest a third to get the client and you need 5 leads to get 1 client, this means you can pay $200 for a lead. If the CVR is 10% you can bid up to $20 for a click.


Tip #2: Start with advertising on highly relevant keywords only


Now, forget about the generic keywords that first come to mind. These keywords often get more impressions and clicks. However, the conversion rate of these keywords is often low. Also, there are more competitors which means a higher cost per click.

 

Long tail of Google Ads keywords.



Better is to focus on the long tail keywords. These keywords will get typed into Google less often. However, they tend to attract better quality visitors. Which means a higher conversion rate on your site.


You should focus on keywords that have at least 3 words in them and are highly relevant for your product. Try and stay away from the broad match keyword type. Instead, use exact, phrase or broad match modifier for all the keywords that you add.


Google Ads has the option to add negative keywords as well. Negative keywords will help to filter out irrelevant search queries. Make sure that you add as many negative keywords as possible.


Tip #3: Build PPC-only landing pages


Even if your site looks great, PPC requires a few tweaks to your landing page.


As you will be paying quite a bit for a click, you want to make sure your conversion rate is as high as possible.


This means you want to build a landing page that is focussed on one goal: generating leads.


It’s fine if people want to browse around your site, however they can do this once they gave you their details as well.


An ideal landing page would have a relevant headline and sub-headline, a short contact form with call-to-action and some basic details about your product or service. This should contain unique selling points (USP’s), testimonials, a short description of how it works etc.


Use the less-is-more principle for these pages. The more information you add, the bigger the change that people don’t fill in the form.


Tip #4: Use the location targeting


Google Ads has the option to be very precise with the location targeting of your campaigns.

Screenshot of radius targeting in Google Ads.

Are your current customers mainly coming from big cities? Then target your ads only to these cities to start with. Or vice versa.


Are you mainly focusing on one city, but you “wouldn’t mind” to get leads from other cities as well? Start focusing on your main city. Once you get the results you can start expanding your location targeting.


Tip #5: Track everything and optimise


The best thing about advertising on Google? You can track everything!


Literally, EVERYTHING.


You can see on a keyword level which keywords are getting you impressions, clicks, leads, and how much you spend on each of them.


Now, all you need to do is analyse this and use it to your advantage.


You can pause underperforming keywords. Add new keywords based on the search query report. Test your ad copies and landing pages. Tweak your keyword bids. And much, much more.


To get maximum results, make sure you track as much as you can. Track your online leads, as well as all the phone calls you get from your campaigns.


About Vazooky Digital


Vazooky Digital is a 
Google Ads agency based in Sydney, Australia. If you need any help with Google Ads, feel free to get in touch.

0

Google Ads

At the end of the day, the only thing that is visible to your potential customers is your text ad.

And your ad extensions are (and should be) an important part of that.

Your potential customer can’t see how well your campaigns are structured or how large your keyword list is. He/she doesn’t care about your location targeting or the bidding strategy that you use.

Your text ads decide if that potential customer will click your ad.


Why you should use ad extensions


Ad extensions expand your ad with relevant information. You can give your potential customers more reasons to click and become an actual customer.

Simply put you will get more real estate in the search results. So, when done correctly the will have a positive impact on your click-through rate (CTR).

Also, Google announced that the ad extensions are one of the factors it uses to calculate the Quality Score.

Now, maybe not all ad extensions will be relevant for your business. However, it is highly recommended to add all the ones that are relevant to your campaigns.


How Google decides to show ad extensions


Even though it is recommended to add the ad extensions, Google won’t always show them.

Only if your ad rank is high enough your ad extensions might show.

We noticed that it mainly depends on the Quality Score of your account and the competitive nature of the keyword.

So when your Google Ads campaigns are well-structured and you are getting high Quality Scores, it is more likely that the ad extensions will show.

Also, on less competitive terms (like branded terms) you will notice that the ad extensions will show more frequently. For more competitive terms the ad extensions will still show however, this is often a stripped down version of them.


The ad extensions you should ALWAYS add


Well, the following ad extensions are the ones that are applicable to almost every business out there. Not adding these would be holding back the performance of your campaigns:

  • Sitelinks

  • Callout extensions

  • Structured snippet extensions


The most important ad extensions.

Sitelinks are the extra links that show up underneath the main ad. For generic keywords, you can use them to link to specific product pages. For more specific keywords, you can promote pages like your testimonials page, about page or contact page.


The sitelinks have the option to add 2 descriptions lines. Although these don’t always show up, you should always add these in case Google decides to show these. It will further expand your ad. It’s recommended to add at least 4 sitelinks to your ad.


Callout extensions are basically your USP’s. The will show up in bullet point style within your ad. You should add at least three of these to your campaigns.


Structured snippets are a list of the types of products, services, locations, models etcetera that you are offering. Only 1 will show up with your ad however, they contain multiple values. You can add up to 10 values however, Google will likely cut them off in the search results. It is recommended to put the most important values in the front of the list so that they are less likely to be cut off.


Extra ad extensions that might be useful for your business


Depending on your business type, you might want to add the following ad extensions:

  • Call extensions

  • App extensions

  • Location extensions

  • Price extensions

  • Promotion extensions


Call extensions allow you to add a phone call to your ad. Also, when running mobile ads you will be able to add a click-to-call button to your ad. Customers will then be able to call your business with one click. Make sure you set up your phone call tracking!


If you are promoting an app, you definitely want to add the app extension. It will add a button to your ad that will send visitors directly to the Apple Store or Google Play Store.


Location extensions will display your business address within your ad. To do this, you will first need to create a Google business listing. Once you linked this to Google Ads, you will be able to show the location extensions.


If you have clear prices that you would like to share with your customers, you can add the price extensions. You are able to add multiple products or services and show their prices within your ad.


When you are running discounts, you can add a promotion extension to your campaigns. They will show the type of discount you offer and when it runs out. You can also select the occasion from a long list available from Google (eg. Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc.).


Extra options for ad extensions


Most ad extensions will have to option to schedule when you would want to be displayed.


For example, if your business is only able to take phone calls from 9 to 5, it makes sense to turn off the call extensions outside these hours.


Also, if you are running a promotion that runs out on a certain date, you can make sure it’s automatically paused after this date.

Conclusion


Adding ad extensions will allow you to get more real estate in the Google search results.


Every Google Ads advertiser should be adding at least a few of them to their campaigns.

0

Google Ads
Google launched the Google AdWords platform back in 2000.

Over the years there have been many changes to the platform, and many extra features have been added. Last year, Google re-branded the platform to Google Ads.

Although (most) of the changes have been made to make Google Ads more beneficial to advertisers, it can be overwhelming for some. There are significantly more buttons to press on compared to the early days.

As a PPC agency, I do a fair bit of account audits. During these audits, I notice that a lot of advertisers are making similar mistakes.

Here are the most common Google Ads mistakes.


Mistake #1: not enough keywords


Keywords are the core of each search campaign. The more keywords, the bigger your reach will be.  Yet, some advertisers only add a handful of keywords to their campaigns.


Now, I definitely not saying that you should just blindly expand your keyword list just for the sake of it. The key is relevancy, so you only want to add keywords that are relevant to the products or service you are trying to sell.


However, even with relevant keywords, you can often create a large list. Think about the entire long tail, different word order, plurals and even misspellings. Most businesses are able to build a keyword list with a few thousand keywords.

For some large campaigns I worked on in the past we ran campaigns with roughly a million keywords!

Long tail of Google Ads keywords.


Mistake #2: keywords added in broad match


When creating new keywords, these are standard added as broad match. I personally don’t recommend using broad match keywords in your account.


No, let me re-phrase that: don’t use broad match in your account. Ever. Unless you’re using a lot of negative keywords, these keywords will trigger too many irrelevant search queries. This will lower your Quality Score and increase your cost-per-click.


Instead, expand your keyword list with broad match modifier, phrase match and exact match keywords.


I wrote a different article that explains everything about the keyword match types.

Explanation of different match types in Google Ads.



Mistake 3: only one ad group


Google is all about relevancy. The more relevant your ad is, the higher your Google Quality Score, the higher your rankings and the lower your cost-per-click. Which means you will be able to squeeze more conversions out of your budget. It’s a win-win-win-win (win) situation.


By adding all your keywords to the same ad group you won’t be able to write a relevant ad for your keywords. Instead, you want to split out your ad groups and write unique and relevant ad copy’s for each one of them.


You can split out your ad groups based on product/service, but also on the type of keywords (eg. you might want to a different ad copy if your keywords contain “freelancer” vs keywords that contain “specialist”).


Google recommends to use around 10-20 keywords in each ad group, so if you’re advertising on 1,000 keywords this means you end up having roughly 50 ad groups.


Mistake 4: low click-through rate (CTR)


Remember that Google Quality Score I have been bugging you about? It’s a way for Google to calculate how relevant your ad is for a particular search query.


One of the factors Google looks at to calculate the Quality Score is the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads. Not just of that one keyword, but also of your entire account.


Now, this means that the CTR of your account has an effect on your Quality Score and the cost per click that you’re paying. The easiest way to boost your CTR is to pause keywords that are getting you lots of impressions but no clicks.


Mistake 5: no conversion tracking


The great thing about Google Ads that you can track all of your results. You can see how many impressions you are getting, how many clicks, what your spend is and… how many leads or sales you got.


Most of this data is being pulled into the dashboard automatically when you launch your campaigns. However, your conversion tracking (leads/sales etc.) is something you will need to set up yourself.


It’s not hard. You can either use the tracking snippet from your Google Ads account or import any goals from Google Analytics. You do want to set this up before you launch your first campaign.


Mistake #6: no negative keywords


Back to the keywords. Yes, they’re still the core of your campaigns.

Negative keywords prevent your ad for being showed for irrelevant search queries. Think about search queries you definitely don’t want to be shown for. Like search queries that contain “scam”, “jobs”. You can also include locations that you don’t serve or even competitors.


For an advertiser, it is very unlikely if you don’t need any negative keywords.


Image that shows how negative keywords works within Google Ads.


Mistake #7: no ad extensions


Ad extensions are free. They will give your ad more real estate in the search engine. This will increase the likelihood of people clicking your ad.


Maybe not all ad extensions are applicable to your business. However, ad extensions like the sitelinks extensions and callout extensions will be useful for every business.


These are the most common mistakes we notice when doing PPC audits. Try to avoid these mistakes and you’re on your way to get more results out of your Google Ads campaigns.


Are you making any of these mistakes yourself?

0

Google Ads
Google Ads offers the opportunity to use different bid strategies within your account.

The big advantage of using bid strategies is that you have to spend significantly less time optimising your keyword bids.


What are bid strategies?


Bid strategies allow you to use Google’s algorithm for your keyword bids so that you don’t have to worry about doing this manually.

The more data, the better. It’s not recommended to use the bid strategies for any accounts that don’t have a lot of conversion data.


Bidding vs manual


Back in the days, you had to manually change the bids of each of the keywords in your account. You needed to analyse the data and then individually go through each of the keywords and decide a CPC bid. Then, you could tweak these bids based on the device, location, time of day etc. You can then find the combination that works the best.


Google Ads bid strategies manual vs bidding.

Using SEM bid management tools like DoubleClick Search or Marin are expensive and typically not available for the smaller Google Ads accounts. Over the last few years, Google worked on creating algorithms within Google Ads to take away some of the manual work. The bid strategies are part of this.


Bid strategies work based on a goal. Google’s algorithm looks at various indicators (keyword, location, device and many other unknown ones) and decides the best bid to match your goal.

Automatic bid strategies are user-based, so Google re-calculates the bid every time one of your keywords gets triggered.


Google Ads automated bidding strategies


Based on your goals there are a few different bid strategies you could consider for your campaigns.


Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition)

With Target CPA the bids are set to get as many as possible conversions out of your budget while keeping in mind the CPA goal. If you’re focusing on lead generation and have a clear cost per lead goal, this would be the bid strategy to use.


Target ROAS (return-on-ad-spend)

ROAS stands for Return On Ad Spend. This bidding strategy is focussed on getting you as many as possible conversions while matching the ROAS goal. This is mainly for e-commerce websites and webshops.


Maximise Conversions

This bidding strategy works together with your daily budget and will focus on maximising the number of conversions from your campaigns.


Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC)

Enhanced CPC is a variation of manual bidding, where you give the system the opportunity to automatically adjust your bids to increase conversions. The algorithm can increase your bids if it’s more likely a click will turn into a conversion, as well as decrease your bids in the case it’s less likely.


Maximize Clicks

This bidding strategy will get you as much as possible clicks for your daily budget. Keep in mind this might include irrelevant traffic. You should set up conversion tracking for your campaigns and use the maximise conversion bidding strategy instead.


Manual CPC bidding (manual bidding AdWords)

This is the default option, which means you will manually set all of your keyword bids.


Target Search Page Location (position bid strategy)

With this bidding strategy, you will be targeting position (first page or even first ad position) no matter the cost-per-click.


Target Outranking Share

You can add a domain of one of your competitors and tell Google that you want to out-rank them.


Bid strategy best practices


The bid strategies perform better depending on the data that is available. When launching new campaigns, I would recommend starting with manual bidding. Once you collected the initial data you can implement one of the bidding strategies.


Google Ads best practices.

Keep in mind that the bid strategies need some time to learn as well. Google recommends giving each new bid strategy at least two or three weeks to learn. After this period you will be able to see it matching the goals.


You might want to test out different bidding strategies to see which one works the best for you. Based on the type of campaign you are running you might want to consider the following strategies.


Lead generation

If you are running a lead generation campaign you would want to use either the target CPA or maximize conversions bid strategies.


If you have a clear cost per lead that you target, use the target CPA option. This will make sure that you won’t exceed your goal. If you noticed that you reached your daily budget, you can either decide to increase your daily budget or lower your target CPA. The latter will lower your cost per lead and will get you more leads for the same budget.


E-commerce

When running e-commerce campaigns you can use the target ROAS or (again) the maximize conversions options.


Especially if you’re running a large e-commerce website with a lot of products with different revenues I would go for the first option. Smaller webshops can consider the second option as well.


Branding

If you’re running branding campaigns you should still care about conversions. I would recommend tracking at least an important page on your site so that you can track high-quality visitors over low-quality.


Once you set this up you can use the maximize conversions option. I wouldn’t recommend using the maximize clicks option.


If you want to outrank your competitors for certain keywords (eg. your branded keyword) you can consider using one of the position based bid strategies.


Conclusion


When done right, automated bidding can make your campaigns more profitable. It also reduces the time that you would normally spend on manually adjusting your bids.


The time you save you can spend on optimising other aspects of your campaigns, like ad copy testing or Quality Score optimisation. This can further increase the performance of your campaigns.


There’s no doubt that machine-learning will be better for making large-scale calculations like keyword bidding.

As a side-note, you could argue if you would want Google to decide your keyword bids based on factors that are unknown to us. That being said, at Vazooky Digital we have seen a big improvement in the performance of campaigns that have enabled the automatic bidding features.

0

Google Ads
Google Ads is an extremely powerful advertising platform. When you’re using Google Ads, you pay on a cost per click (CPC) basis. 

This means you don’t have to pay Google to have your ad shown, but only when someone actually clicks on your ad.

Only pay Google when someone clicks on your ad.

This means that Google is less keen to show un-relevant ads that no one clicks on. For that reason, it uses the Google Quality Score as a factor to decide the ad ranking.

This also means you can’t just blindly add irrelevant keywords to your account.

The Google ad auction works based on a difficult formula, where it takes into account:
  1. The bid that each advertiser puts in for click on a particular keyword.

  2. The relevancy of that advertiser to a particular search query (the Google Quality Score).


What is the Google Quality Score?


The Quality Score is a number from 1 to 10 that shows how relevant your keyword to a particular search query.

A low Quality Score shows that your keyword is totally irrelevant, while a high Quality Score means that it’s spot on and that you’re offering exactly what visitors are looking for.


To decide the Quality Score, Google looks at multiple factors including:

  • Keyword relevancy

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR)

  • Landing page experience

  • Historical account performance

  • Ad relevancy

  • Various relevance factors


 

How the Google ad auction works


Everytime someone types something into the search engine, Google’s algorithm re-calculates the ad ranking.

To do this it looks at many factors, including:

  • The keyword in your account that could get triggered for the search query.

  • How relevant that keyword is to the search query.

  • The relevancy of your ad to the search query.

  • How relevant your landing page is to the search query.

  • Your maximum bid for a click on the keyword.

  • Ad extensions that get trigger by the keyword.

  • The maximum bid of a competitor on the keyword.

  • Relevancy factors of your competitor(s).


And much, much more. In total, Google uses hundreds of factors to decide the ad ranking and this is being re-calculated for each search query.

How Google decides the ad ranking.


In the example above there are 4 advertisers that are eligible to show for a particular search query:

  • Advertiser 1 has a bid of $4.

  • $3 is the bid of advertiser 2.

  • Advertiser 3 bids $2.

  • And advertiser 4 puts in a bid of $1 per click.


Based on the many relevancy factors that Google uses:

  • Advertiser 1 has a relevancy factor (Google Quality Score) of 1.

  • Relevancy factor of 6 for advertiser 2.

  • Advertiser 3 has a relevancy factor of 10.

  • And advertiser 4 has a relevancy factor of 8.


Based on the bid and the relevancy factor Google decides the ad ranking.
This means that:

  • Even though advertiser 3 only put in the third highest bid, it gets ranking in the first position because of their high relevancy score.

  • Then, Advertiser 2 gets the second ad position.

  • Advertiser 4 gets the third ad position.

  • And even though advertiser 1 put in the highest bid, it still gets ranked the lowest due to a low relevancy score.

 

Why is relevancy so important?


This is because Google wants to:

  1. Make users happy by providing the right answers to their questions.

  2. Make advertisers happy by not letting them pay for irrelevant clicks.


And it certainly makes Google happy.
Remember that you only have to pay for actual clicks? So by showing relevant ads higher in the ad ranking, more people will click the ad and Google will earn more as well.


So, even though an advertiser pays less for a click, the higher click-through rate (CTR) will make it more beneficial for Google.


How Google uses the Quality Score to decide the ad ranking


To decide the ad ranking, Google uses the following formula:


So, if you want to increase your ad ranking for a particular keyword there are two things you can do:

  1. Increase your CPC bids, which will increase your costs.

  2. Improve your Quality Score.

So in plain words: a higher Quality Score will give you a better ad ranking against lower costs.


How Quality Score affects CPC


The maximum CPC bid that you put in for a keyword is not necessarily the cost you actually have to pay Google.

You only have to pay Google the cost of what is needed to keep your closest competitor below you. This means you pay whatever is needed to maintain your ad ranking plus $0.01.


In the example we had before, this means:

  • Advertiser 3 ends up paying $1.91. It needs 19 to maintain it’s ad ranking (as advertiser 2 has 18), so the formula to calculate the actual cost per click is: (19/10)+$0.01 = $1.91.

  • Then, Advertiser 2 pays $1.51 (9/6 + $0.01).

  • Advertiser 4 pays $0.63.

  • Lastly, Advertiser 1 pays their maximum CPC, which is $4.


Note: all of these calculations are based on the information that is available. The actual formula that Google uses to determine ad ranking and cost per click is a secret.


How to improve Quality Score


If you can increase the relevance of your campaign, you will get higher Quality Scores.

This will significantly decrease your cost per click so that you can squeeze more clicks and conversions out of your budget.

There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Fine-tuning your keyword list. 
    You can run a search query report to see the search queries that triggered your keywords. Adding new keywords to your campaign will allow writing more specific ad copy’s.

  2. Adding negative keywords.
    You can add negative keywords to ensure your keywords won’t get triggered for irrelevant search queries and improve your click-through rates.

  3. Testing ad copy’s.
    You should write ad copy’s for each ad group individually and start testing them. Then, remove ad copy’s that have a low click-through rate and focus on the ones with a high CTR.

  4. Optimising landing pages.
    Send your visitors to a relevant page on your website based on the search query that they’ve typed in. Also, follow best practices for your landing pages.


Following these steps can improve your Google Quality Score, meaning you can get higher ad rankings and more value for your buck.

0

PREVIOUS POSTSPage 1 of 3NO NEW POSTS