What is the ultimate goal of every website owner and digital marketer? Indisputably, reaching the top position on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is everyone’s dream.

An organic approach to improving search engine rankings is fruitful in the long run.

However, if your website is fairly new and your in a competitive niche, starting with paid search ads is a great idea.

Why do you need PPC tools?

Just like SEO, PPC campaigns require extensive keyword research. Additionally, you have to work on optimizing ad copy and designing landing pages for better conversion rates.

The good news is that you can find some of the best PPC tools to save you the burden of tedious research and analysis.

Best PPC tools

Google Keyword Planner

Its popularity has lately declined with the advent of advanced PPC tools. But, the Google Keyword Planner is still worth a shot as it offers tremendous insights in terms of keyword research.

You just have to enter terms and phrases related to your product/service. Alternatively, you can enter the URL of your own website or a competitor’s website.

And with a single click, you can get numerous keyword suggestions and ideas on your screen.

SpyFu

The first PPC tool on our list of must have PPC software is SpyFu. With a name like SpyFu, you can probably guess what it’s used for – spying on your competitors.

That’s right; this impressive software has a massive database that tracks and records all of your competitors PPC ads and keywords they are running.

Not only is this incredibly useful, but it can also help you save a lot of time on your own campaign.

Google Trends

Google trends is a powerful PPC tool that is often under utilised when it comes to PPC marketing.

Not only is it an excellent way to see what’s popular in the world at any given time, but it can also act as a market research tool that can help you find profitable PPC keywords.

By typing in any keyword, Google will instantly return a popularity meter from 1 to 100 indicating how popular a keyword is at that given time.

It will also allow you to see the historical popularity of that keyword and if search volume is on the rise or decline.

WhatRunsWhere

A compilation of the best PPC tools is incomplete without mentioning this powerful and competitive tool.

Using WhatRunsWhere, you can get access to top-performing creatives and ads in your niche. It makes ad copy analysis easier by tracking a plethora of unique publishers.

This excellent tool also lets you learn about your competitors’ most profitable ads and landing pages.

Wordtracker

This competitive intelligence tool gathers data from all your competitors’ PPC campaigns and identifies gaps. Wordtracker provides you with suggestions on how you can exploit these gaps for your own benefits.

What sets it apart from some of the best PPC tools is the fact that it additionally utilizes keyword data from YouTube and Amazon.

Short conclusion

What works for your competitors may or may not work for you, so always look at what you learn with a bit of caution.

But don’t be afraid of looking at everything your competitors are doing, and trying to understand why they might be onto something and you aren’t.

Hiring a dedicated pay-per-click marketer is tough.

Just about every two- and four-year university in North America offers a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and some even offer the opportunity to minor or specialize in digital marketing.

But you can’t get a degree in the disciplines that correspond to an actual job — PPC, AdWords, Facebook Ads, online ad design, interactive ad copywriting and so on.

How to improve your PPC skills

Voice and visual search

Whilst there are no immediate opportunities for paid campaigns to take advantage of, we have seen voice search emerge.

This has brought full sentences to both the way we query and the responses we receive from the engines. With a visual search, for example, Pinterest Lens and Google Lens, we query with our cameras.

Automation management

We can program the algorithms, we provide the structured data from which the machine can learn from. AdWords Quality Score only works because of all the manual ads we’ve created thus allowing a benchmark to work from.

We should be aware of new automation opportunities and keep on testing until we find a formula that works best for our clients.

Fluency in visual language

For example, once an advert is clicked on Google AdWords it will lead to a landing page – there should be a fluid relation as to not surprise or upset the potential customer.

If they leave the website without connecting or interacting then remarketing adverts will need to display a different language, perhaps an emotional or time-related message which aims to re-engage.

Structured data

Used in the past primarily for optimising SEO campaigns, the structured snippets will play a massive part in the effectiveness of PPC campaigns as mobile first index rolls out.

Fast and effective landing page tests

Anyone using Google or Bing AdWords can send as many people as you want to any landing page on your website. But – and it’s a big BUT – does that landing page work?

A PPC manager worth their weight should be continually testing and developing landing pages to make sure that visitors take the action you want them to take, like a phone call or fill out a contact form.

We listed five ideas which PPC marketer can test and improve their skills. But also, PPC marketer should have some soft skills.

In continuation you can find also five soft skills on which you, or your PPC marketer can work.

5 skills that differentiate you from the everyday PPC marketer

Organization and Time Management

PPC managers need to be organized and have good time management skills to ensure they are using their time effectively. Most PPC managers make to-do lists, others go as far as creating a weekly planner.

Communication

Every marketer needs solid communication skills to survive. This includes: Verbal and written communication, curiosity, willingness to ask questions, ability to listen.

Desire to Learn

The desire to learn should be a prevalent part of any digital marketer as marketing is constantly changing. PPC managers need to be willing to learn and passionate about learning.

Storytelling

One overlooked still in search marketing is the ability to tell the story of performance and what we are doing and infusing it with data.

Storytelling isn’t just for your brand or your content marketing team.

Willingness to Try

PPC specialists need to be eager and willing to try new online advertising campaigns. Without this eagerness to try new campaigns or strategies, PPC managers will be unable to find out what works best.

Short conclusion

Is that it? Is that really the full list of essential skills that a search manager should have?

No, there could be more essential skills.

The skills you need are more than just a mile deep understanding of all of the technical aspects of paid search – those details can be taught.

When it comes to making your PPC (Pay Per Click) search campaigns profitable, there’s nothing wrong with using straight to the point ads, keywords and landing pages.

To give you some ideas to use in your future campaigns, in this post you can read about great examples of PPC.

From large billion dollar companies to smaller local businesses, these PPC examples will give you plenty of ideas to try on your own campaigns.

Rebel Yell Bourbon

Position your brand as a community of rebels.

There are some enormous brands in the bourbon market:

  • Makers Mark
  • Evan Williams
  • Jim Beam

In order to make your brand heard among such a crowded field, you need to give your customers a message that entices them away from your peers, one that positions your brand as a community of rebels…

Samsung Galaxy S8 Campaign

As you can see from the PPC advert above, Samsung was ranking number 1 for “mobile phone”. Obviously, that is a massive keyword with millions of monthly searches and over 686 million page results.

The genius of this campaign is the way it intercepts traffic.

If you’re searching for mobile phones, then the chances are you want to buy one or you are thinking of buying one. The advert grabs your attention straight away with the brand name and model before telling you there are only 2 days to go.

Impact b ball

People love to be different and your customers want to get what they asked for when punching in their search request. However, one of the most powerful tools for conversion that you sell to them is an idea, a dream even.

Impactbball.com has been in operation since 1997 and has been responsible for 130 NBA Draft picks since the end of the last decade.

Impactbball knows the value that aspiring basketball players place on reaching the pinnacle of the sport and their PPC advert plays on this…

Countsy

Accounting and HR service Countsy have reserved their calls-to-action exclusively to the sitelinks in their Google Ads.

As you can see, the ad copy itself is reserved solely for their service features and benefits. They treat their copy as a “micro-sales letter”, saving the call-to-action for the bottom of the ad.

Hungryhouse Campaign

The last PPC example on our list is to do with the keyword “takeaway”. Let’s face it; everyone loves a takeaway, no matter if it’s Italian, Indian or Chinese, there is always a market for takeaways.

In this example, the online takeaway website Hungryhouse has managed to rank number 1 for their primary keyword.

Featuring a huge headline with lots of detail this advert really grabs your attention and lures you in with the amount of choice.

Short conclusion

It’s best if you could try coming up a few innovative ideas to test, alongside your standard campaigns, so you aren’t relying on them to bring in the business.

Spend some time researching other people’s successes, as you may find ideas you can adapt to suit your own business.

Some marketers choose to send prospects who click on their paid search results to their website’s homepage.

While this will certainly get them to a page with relevant information about your company, it is not the most effective option when dealing with search marketing.

Instead of sending people to a generic page, it’s far more effective to design a custom landing page with information and an offer tailored to the verbiage in the paid search ad.

Message matching

Without message matching your PPC ads will not yield any conversions. It’s really as simple as that, and here’s why. Message matching or ad matching is when you align your ad headline and your post-click landing page perfectly.

A good message match assures the visitor they have arrived on the right page. This is important to avoid confusion, which can happen if a user goes from an ad specific to something they want to a homepage they have to attempt to navigate.

Increase Conversion Rate

Even if you have a great website, it’s easy for them to grow frustrated and impatient, looking for the information they wish they had right in front of them in the first place.

That makes them more likely to give up their search and return to the SERPs.

A custom landing page, however, that addresses the messaging from the ad directly, presents the reader with everything they want to know.

This is a lot more likely to generate an immediate positive response from viewers.

Optimized PPC post-click landing page

There are certain elements a good PPC post-click landing page should always have.

Your PPC post-click landing page should contain:

  • An impactful headline
  • A supportive tagline
  • A list of benefits (not just features)
  • Trust symbols
  • A clear call to action
  • A lead capture form
  • An image showing context of use or a graphic that appeals to the visitors’ emotional side

It sounds like a lot, but when you see it in action, you’ll find it’s simpler than you might anticipate.

Short conclusion

A solid landing page can help your PPC ads perform better, rank better, and generate more revenue for your business.

By keeping your messaging narrow and targeted, you speak directly to the immediate needs of your prospects.

And by building a simple, visually engaging page, you guarantee that you’ll catch their eye and hold their interest.

When you have a smaller digital marketing budget, every dollar counts, and you often need to get creative to make sure your ads show where you want.

Most small businesses have only have a small chunk of change for their advertising, which means you cannot afford to be wasting your money in ineffective areas.

What to do when you have a small budget:

Retargeting site visitors and purchasers

We all know that it takes more money to acquire a brand-new customer than it does a customer who has already purchased or otherwise engaged with the brand.

Paid search and paid social can be a very competitive space, so it’s crucial to use audience targeting to the best of your abilities.

One easy way to get the biggest bang for your buck, with lower CPAs (Cost per acquisitions) and higher ROAS (return on advertising spend), is to retarget site visitors and purchasers.

These users have already shown intent and interest in your brand, making it easier for them to engage.

Geotargeting

Geotargeting is one the first settings you need to decide on. Should you target states, cities, ZIP codes, or something else?

The smaller the geographic area, the less traffic you will get so balance relevance with budget. Consider adding negative locations where you do not do business to keep stragglers from seeing ads.

Ad scheduling

If your business is open during specific hours, it might make sense to set ads to run only while you are open.

If you sell online, you are always open, but it may be smart to review reporting to determine if there are any times of the day when there is a negative ROI.

Device targeting

Every good advertiser has a strong call-to-action in their ad. Whether it is to fill out a form, to make a purchase, or to sign up for a newsletter, there should be an action you want a user to make once they have clicked your ad.

We can use bid adjustments at either the campaign or ad group level to prefer either computers, mobile phones, or tablets.

These bid adjustments can also be used to exclude a device type entirely, just like the ad scheduling bid adjustments.

Long-Tail Keywords

Choosing the right keywords can make or break your AdWords account. For Search campaigns, they are the tool of communication with Google to place your ad on the expansive advertising wall.

To use your AdWords budget effectively, it is best to give Google keywords that have high intent and are directly relevant to your business.

Short conclusion

Low budget accounts can be effective if they are managed correctly.

Whatever you are testing within the account, always try to keep all variables within the experiment constant besides the variable you are testing.

Advertising is the big gun of paid efforts brands put in to increase awareness and revenue. Be it small businesses or large enterprises, everyone has a shot at advertising.

Most smart AdWords advertisers are concerned about two things:

  • Increasing the conversion rate
  • Reducing the cost per conversion

 Leading social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Quora. all are open to advertising on. While social media advertising has its own impact, there is no denying the fact that search engine ads are efficient too.

The benefits of using Google Ads are many

But the point I want to stress is – Are we using it to its full potential? Are we optimizing our Google Ads? Are they driving in conversions or results?

If you thought twice before answering the above questions, you are probably in the right place. Flushing money into advertising without understanding its workflow is not cool.

Hacks for improving CTR and conversion rate:

  • Use Title capitalization:

This is something very basic. Use title capitalization in your ad copy so that it looks nice. The headline should look like a headline.

Your audience first sees the ad and if it looks appealing enough, a prospect will read it, and click if it makes sense. If it isn’t formatted, your ad will be ignored and that’s where it hurts your CTR.

It doesn’t cost you a cent to capitalize your headline but the results will make you smile.

  • Pay attention to mobile

Your ad’s landing page must be mobile-friendly allowing users to easily access the webpage on their mobile devices. As you have less space to display ads on mobile, make sure you have the most important information in the first line.

  • Make your ad copy relevant to the keywords you’re targeting

If you are using dog foods as a keyword, make sure your ad copy is relevant to dog foods. This normally happens when you’re using too many keywords for a single ad or ad group.

Sticking to the rule discussed above will keep your ads relevant to keywords.

  • Write compelling ad copy

The majority of Google Ads are just posted for the sake of advertising. We need to understand our customers’ emotions and step in their shoes.

Most of the time, we come across such boring ads that we may want to report them for lack of luster.

  • Use exclusions and negative keywords

Exclusions include all those websites and mobile apps where you do not want your ad to appear. This generally includes all business niches which are irrelevant to your business.

We all are aware of the importance of negative keywords for search campaigns. Just like keywords which we decide for our ads to appear on, there are certain keywords which we do not want our ads to appear on. These are called negative keywords.

Short conclusion

When you start seeing decent CTR and conversion rate, the next step is to test and tweak your ads and campaigns for improvements.

Keep an open mind when it comes to Google AdWords because there’s a lot you can learn when choosing your keywords, creating new campaigns and ad groups, as when you place bids.

As a business owner, you’re busy. Your focus is on growing your small business as quickly as possible, for as little as possible, and without a lot of help. Fortunately, it’s easy to run a successful small business with the power of paid search advertising.

Paid search advertising lets you leverage this web traffic to attract new customers and engage existing ones with nothing more than an internet connection, a few dollars and a couple hours of your time.

Working with PPC customer support at Microsoft Advertising, for example, can help your business get the right advice, employ the right tactics, and simply streamline the process, so you aren’t emerging from a PPC rabbit hole feeling frustrated and upset. That’s no fun and can be easily remedied.

Here are five common concerns and how customer support can help small businesses like yours with their PPC campaigns.

“I have no idea how to get started.”

Onboarding specialists are part of customer support and work with small businesses to set up your PPC ad account from scratch, create your first set of ads, research keywords, set a budget, and assist you with competitive bids.

They view the entire process as a team effort and are genuinely interested in understanding your business goals and objectives. Then they help you design a PPC campaign to meet them.

“I can’t figure out why my campaigns aren’t performing.”

If you’ve been using PPC advertising for quite a while, coaches can support your campaign by introducing you to the latest features and tools you may not know about.

Sometimes we get into a routine and performance plateaus but talking to an expert for 15 minutes can totally refresh your PPC perspective and provide you with valuable insight and ideas.

“I’m afraid I’ll look like an idiot if I can’t figure this out on my own.”

Managing PPC campaigns is a learned skill, but it might not be something that comes naturally to you. A coach’s job isn’t to do everything for you, but to educate you on how to improve campaign performances on your own.

Customer support can help business owners get familiar with PPC tools, processes and resources that help you successfully manage your ads without external support.

“I don’t think customer support will understand anything about my business and it’s too much of a hassle. I just have to figure this out on my own.”

The whole point of customer support is to take the time to understand your industry and your business goals, that’s the only way to provide meaningful and targeted guidance.

Coaches treat you like a partner and pro-actively offer strategic direction and the right tools to increase your PPC efficiency.

“I’m not sure I’m managing my campaign correctly and spend too much time worrying about it.”

This is a big one, especially for businesses that aren’t familiar with paid search. Your time is spent worrying that you’re doing it wrong instead of learning how to do it right.

This is where working with a coach can really help because they provide you with peace of mind.

Kenneth Andrew is General Manager SMB Sales at Microsoft Advertising.

If you’re trying to expand your online influence through paid search advertising, and you’re already running Google Ads, then Microsoft Ads (formerly Bing Ads) is the next step.

The ability to import Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft Ads is one of the biggest advantages of the platform.

What is the Google Import Feature?

There are two different ways to import your Google Ads campaigns into Microsoft Ads. The first is using the “Import Campaigns” dropdown in the MSA platform.

The second way you can do this is within the Microsoft Bing Ads Editor.

Why this process when you could do it all within Editor? Because the interface has checkpoints in place to make sure that errors aren’t missed.

How to Import Google Campaigns Properly

Once you choose “Import from Google Ads”, you’ll sign into your Google account and allow Microsoft to “manage your AdWords campaigns.”

Select your account from the list of Google accounts and then choose the campaigns.

Once you have selected all of that information, carefully review the Import Options. There are a lot, but they’re all very important.

Things to check after the transfer is complete

It’s not enough just to import your campaigns and then leave them on autopilot. 

Because Microsoft and Google function differently, you need to take a close look at your campaigns after they are imported to make sure your settings are optimized. Here are some items that you should review:

  • Adjust your bidding
  • Raise/lower budgets if needed
  • Review targeting
  • Understand new quality score requirements
  • Modify keywords and negatives
  • Check custom parameters
  • Look at character counts

4 common mistakes when transfering accounts:

·         Screwing Up the Settings

Firstly, when you transfer an entire account you need to pay close attention to all your settings.

Some features like geo targeting, custom shapes, and audiences would be not applicable to Bing’s advertising platform. Your settings could be missed if Bing doesn’t recognize some of the AdWords features.

·         Ignoring Your Bing Search Query Report

Secondly, check your Bing query report to avoid displaying for unrelated terms in Bing search.

Your Bing and Google search queries could be completely different, especially when you target broad, modified broad, or phrase match types.

·         Copying Mobile/Display Campaigns to Bing

Thirdly, I don’t recommend transferring your AdWords mobile and display campaigns to Bing because it can cause multiple mistakes and interruptions. They don’t work the same way on both platforms.

·         Too Little Time Spent Optimizing Bing Ads

Besides working on your settings and queries, I also recommend doing a full evaluation of your Bing account on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Microsoft is working to improve the Bing Ads system and the inside changes could involuntarily affect your account performance.

Short conclusion

If you’ve done all of these things and everything seems to be running smoothly, expect to get more leads, more sales, and more revenue soon!

If you want to import more campaigns, Microsoft recommends waiting at least two hours in between each import.

Back in January, Google announced that they would be making some big changes from July 9, 2019, onwards to the way their Chrome browser operates, with sites that repeatedly flout the Better Ads standards having all ads stopped (including compliant ads).

What are the better ads standards?

The Coalition for Better Ads was formed in 2016 by a group of leading advertising agencies, publishers, advertisers and trade associations.

The initial standards launched in March 2017 after extensive research into the impact that different ads had on user experience.

These standards covered North America and Europe.

It currently consists of 4 types of desktop and 8 types of mobile ads that rated as falling beneath the required levels of acceptability by consumers.

Types of ads that fall below the standards are:

  • Pop up ads (desktop and mobile)
  • Video ads that auto-play sound (desktop and mobile)
  • Prestitial ads (desktop and mobile)
  • Large sticky ads (desktop and mobile)
  • Density above 30% (mobile)
  • Flashing animations (mobile)
  • Poststitial ads with a countdown
  • Full-screen scroll over ads

So what’s changing?

The big change is that Google is stepping up its efforts to stamp out these ads. Previously, it filtered ads on sites in North America and Europe that were repeat offenders in terms of contravention of the Better Ads standards.

Google hasn’t laid out the specific timing for when the new rules, collectively called Manifest V3, will take effect. The company says it is still revising the new mechanisms and is “actively exploring other ways to expand this API.”

Ad blockers emphasize that they’ll adapt to whatever requirements Google lays out; their survival depends on it.

But it’s still unclear the degree to which the changes will benefit users in the end—at least when it comes to keeping ads out of their tabs.

What should I do?

Most importantly, you should review the ads on your website to make sure that none of them violate the standards listed above.

Google has a helpful Ad Experience report that analyzes your site and tells you if there are any issues with your site’s ad units, but you can also check the site manually.

Short conclusion

Keep in mind that even if your site is compliant with the standards, it could still be losing revenue due to inefficient design that leads to low engagement.

Think about user experience whenever you design a new page to ensure users continue to return, recommend and share your content.

Time. It’s arguably the most valuable resource we have. It’s especially valuable to marketers, who usually have limited budgets, limited resources, and increasing demands for performance.

Marketers, almost universally, have way more than enough to do. If you’re in the marketing trenches, the one thing you could probably use more of is time.

Automation can provide that extra time.

Automated Bid Management

Managing your bids manually is hugely time-consuming, and not only may it prove impossible to oversee across larger accounts, it may be more profitable (and accurate) for a machine to manage the bids on your behalf.

You can use AdWords scripts to automate common procedures (such as modifying bids) or interact with external data, and by far the biggest time saver I’ve experienced from using scripts has been the automation of bids for product groups on Google Shopping.

What to do with extra time?

Study your competitors’ PPC campaigns.

Your competitors’ ads can be a rich source of ideas for new ad copy, images, and videos. If you don’t have a library of which ads your key competitors have been running, you may be missing out on some fantastic ideas for your own ads.

Keep your PPC skills sharp.

PPC marketing is constantly evolving. That means your skill set needs to be evolving, too. So try to read even a few more PPC articles every week, or listen in on a few PPC webinars.

Create more landing pages.

The more targeted your landing pages are, typically the higher your campaigns’ conversion rates will be. If you’ve got less than 10 landing pages for even a medium-sized PPC account, there’s room for opportunity.

Redo your negative keyword list.

Keywords are still important. And while you may have worked really hard to develop a regular keyword list, most marketers spend barely 20% of that amount of time on negative keywords.

Set up a few experimental campaigns.

Google, Facebook and the other ad platforms are always coming out with cool new types of advertising campaigns.

If there’s a particular campaign type you’ve been wanting to test, that might be a great use of the free time PPC automation can give you.

Short conclusion

What’s the outcome of implementing these PPC automation techniques? Better performance and less time spent doing the work.

And the more time you save on your PPC wins now, the more time you have to spend on bigger wins—PPC or otherwise—in the future.