My Favorite PPC Strategies

Finding a PPC strategy that works for your company takes time, effort, money, and research. To get results, you may need to try a few strategies and it may take weeks or months to dial in and optimize. Ugh, sounds like a lot of work tight? What's best for your business?

If you’re ready to take your AdWords or Bing campaigns to the next level, I’d recommend trying out a few of these strategies. These worked well for many of my clients and gave them more insight on their customers and product than when they started.  As with any new tactic or strategy, you’ll collect data and learn why it worked or why it didn’t.

Here are a few of my favorite AdWords and Bing strategies:

Competitor Campaign

How does it work? You bid on your competitor’s name and your ads appear in Google search results when someone searches for your competitor. 

Strategy Benefits:

  • Take up room on the top of page while pushing your competitor’s organic ranking down. 
  • People who may not be familiar with your company now are and may compare you to your competitors.
  • Gain quality traffic to your website while taking away your competitor’s traffic.

    Note: This is an aggressive strategy. If your competitor learns you're advertising when people search for them, this could result in a bidding war and drive up CPC.


SKAGs (a.k.a. Single Keyword Ad Groups)

How does it work? A SKAG strategy simply means one keyword or keyword phrase per ad group. For example, if you sell tons of different high heel styles, each ad group would represent one style, (i.e. sparkly high heels, leather high heels, kitten high heels, velvet high heels, etc). Each ad group should have one keyword phrase with three match times. For example: 

“velvet high heels”
+velvet +high +heels
[velvet high heels] 

Make sure that this keyword is in your ad copy, display url, description, and on the landing page. Single Keyword Ad Groups are very effective because they match exactly what a visitor is searching for. This will improve your visitor's experience and quality score. 

Strategy Benefits: 

  • Improved CTR
  • Higher quality scores
  • Average ad position goes up
  • Cost per click and your cost per conversion go down
  • Great user experiences which may likely lead to higher conversion rate


Branded campaigns

How does it work? A Branded campaign means you bid on your own company’s name. When someone searches for your company, an your ad should appear and this typically links to your homepage. This strategy may seem silly, because if someone is looking for your company, then wouldn’t you already show up organically in Google? And wouldn’t the searcher click on your organic ad? Not always. Not if your competitor’s ads are bidding on your company name and their ads rank #1 in Google search results pages. 

Branded campaigns push you competitor’s organic results down the page, allow your ads and organic results to take up more space on the page, and make your company stand out.

Strategy Benefits:

  • Take up more space on Google page with your ad and your organic result
  • Compete with competitors also trying to take away your traffic
  • Push competitor results down the page

Buyer Intent Campaigns

How does it work? Organize your campaigns by buyer intent for each stage of the buyer process. Organize your account by the buying stages: awareness, consideration and purchase. Each campaign will have keywords targeting each stage. This strategy works best if you have an expensive product and a long buying process, like construction or remodeling companies, financial advisors and firms, or car sales. 


Write ad copy that speaks to the user in each stage of the buyer’s cycle. If not, you miss out at people who are still doing research on products. Here are some tips for keywords and ad copy to reach customers in each stage of your buyer's process.

Awareness phase: Use broad and general keywords that focus on educating the user. Bids can be lower as the buyer becomes aware that you exist! Your goal is to spark interest and curiosity in your viewers. This will lead them to click on your ad and learn more about your product. You can use CTAs like, “learn more.” 

Consideration phase: Visitors spend time researching your product or service looking to make a decision. They may read reviews, testimonials and compare your company with your competitors. You can use ad copy that includes “read our testimonials,” or “reviews.”

Purchase phase: People who have done their research and are ready to buy. These searches use more complex, detailed, long tail keyword phrases. They may include geographic information or model numbers. Bids generally should be higher, because you want your ad to appear high in search results, to reach users ready to buy. Good ad copy would include “free shipping,” “10% off sale,” “free trial,” or “Use code: GIFT2017.” This gives reason for visitors to click on the ad, and use your offer. I suggest getting this phase profitable first, then focus on the other two phases. 

Strategy Benefits:

  • Introduce your company to people researching solutions
  • Build brand awareness
  • People who use specific, long-tail keywords are more likely to buy because they know exactly what they want. 
  • Long tail keywords (in the purchase phase) tend to be cheaper and less competitive than awareness and consideration phase keywords.
  • You’re more likely to see conversions with long tail keywords because the searcher knows what they want. 

You’ll never know what works and what doesn’t until you try new strategies. Once you find a strategy, (or two), that work, stick with it until it doesn’t. Testing PPC strategies will leave you with new data that’ll help you make better decisions to improve your website, product or marketing campaigns.

These are only four PPC strategies, but there are many more. (Did someone say remarketing? I'll have a blog post on that soon).