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Advertising with Paid Search? Don’t Miss Our Favorite Strategies

on May 24, 2018

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If you’re using paid search for your digital advertising, you know the value of making an informed investment. So our marketing pros got together and came up with this quick list of our favorite strategies– read on to make sure you’re not missing out.

Paid Search Advertising

Paid Search Advertising

Bing Ads

I know we talk about Google a lot. But Bing is still a contender. And if you’re not advertising there, you’re losing leads (and customers). As much as 30% of all searchers use Bing, it’s cheaper-per-click than Google Ads, and you can simply drop the same keywords into Bing campaigns. You’ve already done all the work (assuming you’re using Google Ads), so why not give it a go?

Negative Retargeting

It sounds like a bad thing, but it’s really just a smart way to further target your ads. For example, someone who clicked your “become an affiliate” button isn’t interested in working for you— they’re running their own company already.

You can also use it to further segment your existing ad groups. Someone who has browsed your online store should get more attention than someone who landed on your homepage once. 

To try negative retargeting, create an audience. Then exclude it from ad groups that are irrelevant.

Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

Targeting your past customers with ads specific to their previous behavior is definitely a paid search strategy you should be using.

To use RLSAs, you can create Remarketing Lists in Google Analytics or Google Ads (like making a list of people who have visited your site within the last 7 days).

Once you do that, you have a couple options:

  • Add those people to one of your existing campaigns and increasing your bid for engaged users
  • Use a duplicate campaign to target just the return visitors

While creating additional campaigns does take time, you’ll see some benefits from it. Users are more likely to interact with ads that are more customized to their behavior, and your budget will better reflect your digital advertising priorities.

Single-Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs)

SKAGs are ad groups with one keyword and some match groups, like:

Ad Group:

women’s shoes


[women’s shoes]

“women’s shoes”

+womens +shoes

When it comes to the advantages of SKAGs, we like the way Unbounce puts it:

“[They] allow you to control the message match between the keyword and the text ad because only one keyword will trigger that specific ad.”

Because there are so many possibilities for matches, SKAGs are a great investment. Done right, you get a higher click-through-rate (CTR) which will bump up your Quality Score, and give you a better return on your investment.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention one of the biggest pitfalls we’ve noticed with paid search. Everyone wants the first position. The higher, the better. It sounds great to be the first thing people will see on their search page, and it seems logical that’s what you’d want. Truth is, that’s almost certain to be neither a good use of your time nor your money.

Your bids have to be way higher to snag the #1 spot, and much of that money goes for irrelevant clicks (the last thing you want when it comes to your Google Ads budget).

Why? People often click the top result without reading it, and that result tends to be a broader match to their keywords. Since it’s often not exactly what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to bounce after a moment or two. And the cost of their click comes straight out of the advertiser’s pocket.

The trick isn’t to get the highest possible position, but to figure out where you get the best results. After all, you want conversions, not just clicks.

Not sure where to start?

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