This blog post is written by Bill Quinn, VP of Marketing at Trada.com, a Colorado-based crowdsourced PPC services marketplace. Prior to Trada, he was an early employee at Boulder start-ups Service Metrics and Newmerix. When Bill isn’t working on new ways to make Trada’s application awesome, he spends his time enjoying the outdoors.
At Trada we often have new advertisers come to our marketplace to help them breathe new life into their stale PPC campaigns. Sometimes it just takes a fresh approach to give you the boost you’re looking for from your campaign. If you’re looking to give your PPC campaign a lift, here are five keyword bidding strategies that may help.
1. Take advantage of multiple ad networks
If you’re only running your campaign on Google AdWords, you may be missing an opportunity to gain incremental conversions at a significantly lower cost by adding Search Alliance (Yahoo and Bing) to your search marketing mix. While the volume of clicks and conversions might be lower on the Search Alliance, so too are the price of keywords in many cases. As a result, you can lower the overall cost per acquisition (CPA) of your paid search campaign, while at the same time increasing conversion volume by reaching an audience you’re not capturing on AdWords.
2. Keep your keywords highly relevant
One of the best ways to lower your keyword cost per click is to have a high Quality Score. And the best way to improve your keyword quality score is having high relevancy between your keyword, ad copy and landing page. This means creating large number of ad groups with 10-20 keywords and 2-4 ads that are deep linked to very specific landing pages. While this can be very time consuming, the benefits you’ll see go beyond a lower cost per click (CPC) and higher Quality Score. Tightly coupled ad groups also mean your customers will find exactly what they’re looking for when they conduct a search, see your ad copy, and are taken to a landing page with exactly the product or service they’re looking for. This means a higher conversion rate for your paid search campaign. Lower CPCs, higher quality scores and happy customers – everyone wins!
3. Find your optimal ad position
A mistake we see many advertisers make is overpaying for keywords with the idea that the first ad position will generate more conversions for them. For the majority of advertisers, this isn’t the case. Instead, the first ad position generates a higher volume of clicks that ultimately don’t convert, resulting in a higher CPC and CPA. You’ll typically find that ad position three or four yields a lower CTR, but has a better conversion rate and lower CPA.
4. Bid Popping
So I just stated that if you’re bidding for the top ad position you’re probably paying too much and not getting the corresponding number of conversions to justify the higher cost. That said, when you add a new keyword, you should pay for a higher ad position for a week or so – this is called Bid Popping. There are a couple of benefits to Bid Popping. First, ad position one or two will result in a higher CTR, which will help you establish a high Quality Score right away. A high Quality Score will give you a lower CPC in the long run. In fact, starting with a high Quality Score will often allow you to work your bid price down to CPC that would have been below Google’s first page bid estimate if you had started at that price. Bid Popping will also help you gather data about your keywords more quickly. Once you’ve gathered some data and determined that it’s a keyword you want to spend time on, you can then begin stepping the bid price down until you find the optimal position that balances conversion volume and CPA.
5. Day Parting
There are a couple of scenarios where day parting can help your PPC campaign. First, if you’re a business-to-business marketer and the vast majority of your target market is searching during business hours, it’s worthwhile to pause your ads during the middle of the night to avoid paying for clicks that are unlikely to convert.
Also, if you find that your competitors’ are running 24/7 ad placements they may exhaust their budgets earlier in the day, meaning there could be less competition later in the day which will drive down CPC. If so, using day parting to pace your ad spend throughout the day can result in higher ad positions at a lower CPC later in the day when there’s less competition.
So if you’re looking for ways to get more out of your paid search campaign, give these keyword bidding strategies a try. And if you have other bidding strategies you’ve seen work well, please leave your ideas in the comments section below.