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The AdWords Performance Pizza:
8 Delicious Ideas For Top PPC Campaigns

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This marketing infographic is part of our 25 part series. Subscribe to our blog and enjoy more creative posts like this one.

Making a tasty pizza can be quite the ordeal, especially if you’re missing the mark with the first pizza dough toss.

Incoming dough frisbee – image source

In the same way a chef masters his pizza making, having a strategic PPC performance plan in place can help you gather the right ingredients, follow the right order of steps, and produce an ideal end result.
Today, we’ve partnered up with Marin Software to bring you the AdWords Performance Pizza, with eight useful performance improvements you can start implementing today.

AdWords Research + Spy Tools – Increasing Expansion Opportunities

Although conducting research can be a tedious process, doing your due diligence can be worthwhile especially when it comes to using AdWords research tools and PPC spy tools.
Warning: Most people use AdWords research and spy tools all wrong. They use AdWords Keyword Planner and PPC spy tools to apply the research to averages.
Applying your research to averages, like average CPCs and average conversion rates, is something you don’t want to do.
Here’s why: When we conducted original research on the effectiveness of AdWords Keyword Planner, we found that in the CPC bid prices were actually more expensive than what our clients were paying for those keywords. Whaaat
Do This Instead: Apply your Adwords and PPC research to focus on expansion opportunities to increase conversions for search and display.
Use your new research findings for things like:

  • Keywords that your competitors are getting impressions for, and that you’re missing out on
  • Keywords with the highest search volume to give you the most potential impressions, clicks and conversions
  • Display placements that your competitors are taking advantage of, and that you’re missing out on
  • AdWords Display Planner which helps you identify new audience demand

Here’s how you access AdWords research tool Keyword Planner:

AdWords keyword planner

Go to Tools > Keyword Planner

Here’s how you access AdWords Auction Insight report:
AdWords insights

Compare yourself in the green row with your competition

For more spy tools, check out 17 PPC spy tools that’ll crush your competition.
Even with PPC spy tools, you shouldn’t be using them to figure out the plausibility of a PPC campaign. Focus on expansion opportunities to beat out your competitors.

AdWords Search – Using Single Keyword Ad Groups & RLSA for More Control

What’s the best way to gain the most control over your AdWords campaigns?
Straight up, using Single Keyword Ad Groups (SKAGs) is an effective way to set up your PPC campaigns so you have the most granular handle over every aspect of your campaign.
You basically set up one keyword per search term within each ad group of your campaign.
Here’s why SKAGs give you utmost flexibility and nimbleness:

  • When you use Google’s suggested 10-20 keywords per ad group, your campaign can end up looking something like this:

multiple keywords

That’s a lot of keywords coming into one ad


  • When you use SKAGs and have 1:1 ratio of keywords to search terms, so your PPC campaign looks more like this:

one keyword

A closer match – much better

With SKAGs, you can stop attracting all those unwanted search terms and start attracting the search terms you’re actually targeting that match up to your keyword.
Here’s what a properly setup SKAG search term to keyword matching looks like:

The search terms matches up with the exact same keyword

This way, you can pause the keywords that aren’t bringing you the right traffic and boost the keywords that are.
Another option: Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) is a Google feature where you can create specific text ads that retarget specific audience lists for you.
RLSAs also give you more flexibility because you can modify your bids based on retargeting visitors that have been to your site and landing pages before.
You can cater to where people are in the conversion funnel and decide which ads to expose them to depending on how familiar they are with your brand.
Here’s a visual of the potential ROI reach with RSLA:

You can be broader in your targeting – image source

With RLSA campaigns, you can target audiences that are in the top of the conversion funnel, hence making your keywords and reach more broad.

AdWords Display – Targeting Lower Threats to Match PPC Channels

If you’re an enthused fan of our blog posts, then you may have seen this before:

chuck norris action cycle

Our Chuck Norris action cycle

When comparing the best usage of AdWords Display Network vs. AdWords Search Network, the two networks address completely different stages of the conversion or action cycle.
Display visitors are at the top of the funnel in the awareness stage, and search visitors are closer to the bottom of the funnel in the consideration phase.
This is an important factor to consider when creating your PPC campaigns and deciding on which channels to use.
Because visitors come from different PPC channels with different intent levels, they’ll respond to different call-to-actions (CTAs).
Takeaway: When creating your CTA, match the threat level of your CTA with your visitor’s stage in the action cycle, and consider which PPC channel they came from.

The PPC Thermometer – Matching Intent & CTA Temperatures

There are different temperatures for each stage of the conversion cycle, where display visitors tend to match up colder intents with colder CTAs.

We call this concept the PPC thermometer.
The whole purpose of gauging different PPC temperatures is find out which types of CTAs will work best with your various visitors.
Takeaway: The warmer your visitor is in the action cycle (those coming from search), the warmer their conversion intent will be, which means the warmer your CTA threat level can be.
conversion intent and threat temp

Match the intent of your visitor with threat level of your CTA

So if someone comes in from a display ad with a colder intent, don’t greet them with an intrusive high threatening request, like asking for their personal contact info for a free consultation.
The visitors that come in at the ice cubes level are likely to be at the top of funnel, so cater your CTA threat level and offer to that stage of the conversion cycle.
Here are some CTA ideas that match up to action cycle temperature:
cta temp

Colder CTAs match up to display visitors, and warmer CTAs match up with search visitors


Micro Metrics & Quality Scores – Measuring PPC Success

So many of us get obsessed with micro metrics and forget about the big picture.
Don’t fall into this trap and get stuck on micro details like quality score, impression shares, CTR, average position, PVC, relevance score, CPC, CPPthe list goes on.
Sure, those metrics are important, but if they aren’t helping your overall macro metric (a sale), which is your main business goal… then those micro metrics don’t matter much in telling you about the real progress of your PPC campaigns.
Do This Instead: Rather than focus on the nitty gritty details, simply ask yourself – is your PPC campaign is generating you more revenue and making you more money?
An effective way to track whether or not your campaign is making you more money is to track actual sales vs. conversions and other micro metrics.
Here’s what I mean. In this example which keyword do you think is working best?

cost per conversion keyword test

Looks like Keyword 1 because it’s costing less per conversion

But what happens if you pull yourself out of that micro metric and check out your keyword’s effect on sales?
In that same example, here’s how the same two keywords relate to cost per sale:
cost per sale keyword test

Now which keyword is outperforming?

Keyword 2 is the one that’s generating more revenue for you when you look at the bigger picture and consider the cost per sale.
Takeaway: When analyzing your PPC campaign metrics and PPC performance, don’t get bogged down in the micro details, and instead, focus on your overall business goal.

The Iceberg Effect – Creating More Control Over Your PPC Campaigns

Without SKAGs in your life, you can easily fall into a trap we like to call the Iceberg Effect.
Here’s what it looks like in terms of search terms and keywords:

keyword search term iceberg effect

Totally unbalanced and monstrous below the surface

What happens when you don’t isolate single keywords and match them up to the exact same search terms is you end up paying for a lot more search terms than your intended targeted keywords.
How many more? Maybe this many:
keyword search term 1:132 ratio

Way more search terms than you want to pay for

Without controlling a granular level of keywords and search terms, your PPC campaigns could end up having something like a 132:1 search term to keyword ratio. No bueno.
Avoid the Iceberg Effect and shoot for a 1:1 search term to keyword ratio by setting up SKAGs in your account.
Something like this will get you that 1:1 ratio:
skags example

Exact search term and keyword matches


The Weekly AdWords Checklist – Cross-Checking Your Strategy

In our PPC agency, we follow these four standard steps when managing our clients’ AdWords accounts:

  1. Audit search terms – We do a full-blown sweep and look at all of the search term reports to seek out irrelevant traffic. Once we identify the irrelevant traffic that’s wasting ad budget, we make modifications and add to the list of negative keywords.
  2. Expand search terms – We scrutinize the campaign’s search terms looking for relevant terms that can be used to create new SKAGs. The purpose of this step is expansion for more quality traffic.
  3. Compare ad copy performance – We review ad copy performance to see which campaigns are increasing conversion rates and which ones aren’t. This is how we decide whether or not new variants are needed or whether or not we should cut out certain ad copy. We track this methodically by A/B testing ad copy variants.
  4. Lower CPA – We comb through and audit bids for each keyword, allocating more budget to high performers and cutting budget for poor performing keywords.

We do this each and every week to make sure our account management is up to par with our client goals.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) – Improving Your Landing Pages

The conversion magic happens beyond the initial click from your AdWords campaign.
The ultimate conversion goal is to get your target visitors to convert on your landing pages and opt into your offers there.
We have a happening gifographic that explains landing page anatomy and describes each component of a perfect landing page. Here’s a summary of its parts:

  1. Your traffic quality matters as much as the landing page, so be sure to track the intent levels of your visitors.
  2. Your CTA threat level should match the intent level of your visitors
  3. Your headline and subheader should be tested to find out which combinations speak to your audience the most.
  4. Your hero shot is the quick prominent visual your visitors will see first so try to express your offer’s unique value proposition in the image itself.
  5. Your benefits and features should be very clear on your landing page so your visitors understand explicitly what they’ll be gaining from your offer.
  6. Your social proof can help to build credibility and trust for your brand. Use realistic numbers and testimonials to be believable.
  7. Your confirmations page is the perfect spot to give your converted visitors a taste of what’s it’s like to be a client of yours. Delight your visitors on your thank you page.

For more CRO tips check out Landing Page Optimization and Landing Page Best Practices.
When CRO magic is in full effect, you can increase your conversion rates and conversion volume, all while decreasing your cost per conversion.

Closing Thoughts

Whether it’s using AdWords research and spy tools, implementing SKAGs and RLSA, avoiding the Iceberg Effect, or applying CRO tactics to your landing pages, these eight tips can help you increase your PPC performance.
Try out all eight strategies to pump up your PPC performance.

So you can conquer your PPC performance like a master pizza chef – image source

Klientboost Blog Author Cynthia Meyer

Cynthia Meyer

Content Marketing Manager

Over 352 businesses got a proposal from us in July, 2019

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