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Rock Solid PPC Tactics
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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.

If there’s one thing I love in life, then it’s feeling really confident in what I do.
You won’t find me pounding my chest after climbing the side of a mountain (although I freakin’ would if I actually did that), but you will find me pounding my metaphorical chest after I double the performance within a PPC account.
But for me to do that, there has to be some PPC tactics I go to again and again. You know, my “go-to” PPC tactics.
So that’s what I want to share with you today, alongside our partner HubSpot, who we’ve teamed up with to bring you this gifographic – our rock solid PPC tactics we use for all our clients here at KlientBoost.


The Iceberg Effect

If there’s one thing you and I can agree on, it’s the fact that a lot of PPC tactics out there don’t move the needle.

  • Test your ad copy
  • Use ad extensions
  • Optimize your bids

And while that advice is decent, it doesn’t transform the performance of a PPC account the way you hope.
Because let’s be honest.
No one wants to spend hours on end, pushing a ton of buttons, with no PPC results to show for.
Instead, I’d rather break this PPC tactic down as one of my all-time favorites – The Iceberg Effect.
In the most simple way, The Iceberg Effect is a negative phenomenon that happens when your:

  • Search terms outnumber your keywords
  • Your automatic placements outnumber your display targeting
  • Your audience levels outnumber ad set targeting

When this happens, you gradually lose more and more control in your PPC accounts – and this happens for search, display, social, and video.
To give you an easy example, consider this scenario:

keyword search terms iceberg effect

You’ll always have more search terms than keywords – image source

The keyword is what you control, but the search term is what you pay for.
If you only use your search term report for adding negative keywords, you’ll slowly bleed your performance dry.
Instead, you have to look at your search term report and understand that each search term has a different conversion and sales rate.
And if you keep them as search terms, then you can never control them to get more of them.
adwords help

Here’s what your search term report could look like – image source

If you’re in the lead gen or SaaS space, then this is crucial for you, because your sales don’t happen within the PPC account. They happen over the phone or through your user onboarding.
And The Iceberg Effect isn’t just for the search network, it happens on the display network too.
maximize ppc campaign

Which placement drives sales? – image source

The whole point of this PPC tactic is to extract what’s working so you can control it.

  • Extract your search terms and turn them into keywords
  • Extract your automatic placements
  • Granulate your social audiences by using less targeting layers

With this, you’ll then want to use something called Single Keyword Ad Groups whose methodology works for display and social PPC campaigns as well.
It’s the reason why almost 400 people have commented on this tactic. And that reason? Because it works.

Tracking The Piggy Bank

When it comes to lead gen and SaaS marketing efforts that are being fueled with PPC campaigns, it’s easy to say that PPC in general works.
But what’s not easy is pinpointing exactly what works and what doesn’t.
If you think of each of your keywords, placements, and audiences as individual salespeople, then you’d also want to know what their performance is like.
Are they actually closing deals?
If you don’t track this, then you’re left with a bunch of slacky salespeople who are collecting a salary, but never making a sale.
Just consider this scenario that you probably have today:

tips for ppc

You’d think Keyword 1 is the best because of the cost/conv – image source

But that’s not the full story.
A lead generated doesn’t stay as a lead. It either turns into a sale, is lost, or disqualified.
So why would you optimize off of conversions, but not sales? Once you have that data, your PPC optimization efforts change.
pay per click help

Now Keyword 2 is performing better – image source

To be able track sales data at this granular level, then you need either automatic ValueTrack parameters or manual UTM parameters and hidden field tracking that can attach the keyword, placement, or audience level data along with the person’s name, email, phone number and any other info you require.

Super Hot or Ice Cold?

Another realization we’ve come to here at KlientBoost is that there’s no way you can brute force your way to PPC success.
A lot of advertisers come our way and tell us that display or social advertising hasn’t been working for them, without considering that their execution may be completely off.
So as a PPC tactic, we’ve created a scale of PPC traffic temperature channels and the call to actions (CTAs)/offers that match up best for the highest chance of a conversion.

PPC Thermometer

We call this our Ice Cube n’ Lava scale

As you can tell by this scale, display advertising usually has low intent as it’s cold traffic that usually won’t convert on high temperature CTAs.
But if you have PPC search traffic that’s looking for what you have to offer, then you’re more likely to be successful with CTAs that ask for a higher commitment from the visitor, like a “free consultation.”
PPC channels

Here are the matching offers we test for different client PPC channels

As logical as this PPC tactic is, it also takes some resources to be able to create multiple variations of different call to actions so you have enough ammunition to test.

Optimizing For Micro Conversions

If all PPC campaigns brought in revenue the moment we turned them on, then there’d be no point for any PPC content on the web.
Lucky for us, PPC isn’t as easy as some people think. And that’s why we write a buttload of content to help you out.
So as you launch your new PPC campaigns and you don’t get any conversion traction, there’s a good chance you turn it off.
But you shouldn’t.
Instead, you should start optimizing for your micro conversions that lead to your macro conversion (your actual conversion).
One of our favorite micro conversions is “time on site”. If a visitor doesn’t stick around for more than five seconds, then it would be tough to expect them to fill out a landing page form.
If this is the reality, then instead of testing ads or landing pages, we want to look at our targeting first. For people to stick around for that short of a time, there must be something fundamentally wrong with our campaign.

ppc conversions

You can create the “avg session duration” column in your AdWords account

If you launch the “avg session duration” column in your AdWords account, then you can see the average time on site down to the keyword level – which help you diagnose any questions you have.
Some other micro conversions we look at are:
ppc micro conversion types

These help us find any bottlenecks

So when a PPC campaign isn’t working. Don’t give up.
See which micro conversions you can optimize for, and once you improve those, you’re one step closer to your actual conversion goal.

Which PPC Tactic Will You Try First?

Now that you have four different PPC tactics to try, which one will you go for first?
If it’s any help, we haven’t found any account not improve after implementing single keyword ad groups so you can reduce your Iceberg Effect.
I recommend you start there ?

Klientboost Blog Author <br>Johnathan Dane

Johnathan Dane


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When it comes to PPC, the first person I turn to is Johnathan Dane. He and his team cut through the bullshit and get straight to the point with the goal of making you more money. Work with him.

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