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Top 10 Reasons You Should Rethink Your Paid Search Strategy

If you are a company running paid search campaigns, you may want to rethink your paid search strategy. Or you may need to consider whether you have the right strategy in place to ensure you are meeting, or hopefully even surpassing, your goals. 

Whether your business is sitting well with your current paid search strategy, or you are really struggling, we will walk through the top ten reasons you should revisit your paid search strategy. Let’s jump right in and learn the lessons behind the top ten reasons you should reconsider which paid search strategies you have in place. 

1. Not Putting Enough Money into your Budget 

With many businesses, there is money allocated to certain departments, programs, or campaigns. But what about if over time, you never come close to that set budget? This doesn't refer to a one-time thing, but how budget adds up over time-- if you have the paid search budget and you're not using it, you could be underspending. 

First, your keyword list might be way too specific, which is good. But you also have the opportunity to throw some general keywords in there that fit the overarching theme of what your campaign is about. Next, your paid search targeting radius is way too restricted, so branch out. Another thing you will want to consider is that your ads may not be appearing as a result of the stronghold your competitors have in the marketplace, a low-quality score on your campaigns, or even ad disapprovals you have not addressed. Lastly, the search demand could simply not be enough from your audience, and if that is the case, then invest in awareness campaigns to support your search campaigns. 

Still wondering how you can make use of your paid search strategy budget? You may want to reallocate your budget, cast a wider net, increase bids, and mix it up with different campaign types. 

2. Expecting the Same Type of Results from All Keywords 

If you are expecting the same type of results from all keywords, you may be disappointed. You will want to think about how the buying cycle plays a crucial role in which keywords are searched. At first, many people search queries that are more general if they are not knowledgeable about the topic, such as IT services. But as that user continues through the buyer journey, their next search query will focus more on what IT service they want specifically, such as Internet peering for their Business Internet. Getting results from keywords in your paid search strategy in similar to figuring out what works best, so be patient because it may take some time for you to get great, well-rounded keywords. 

If you are needing help with where you should start to get results from keywords, then you will want to consider these five things when researching and creating (or redesigning) your paid search strategy:

At the end of the day, research is your best friend when it comes to getting your paid search strategy right.


3. Using Cost Per Click as Your Only Driving Force in Bidding On A Term or Not 

While this should be a factor in your paid search strategy, it should not be the only factor. Think of your cost per click as a bid at an auction. And at auctions, that price is determined by how high the bidder is willing to go to claim that item. That cost reflects what the bidder declares as what the worth of the item is. 

When you're thinking about the cost of a click, determine if the cost of this keyword would be worth it if it was shown to the right audience? If you answered yes, then the cost of that keyword is worth it. Also, you will want to see whether the term is valuable or not. And you will want to look at whether the cost of a keyword or phrase is stacking up against your competitors' deep pockets or a strong brand name. But what about if you are looking to get a new customer on board? Well, first do the math to see if you will get a great return on investment (ROI). If anything, do not forget to see whether or not you are guiding the searcher along a logical path in terms of content (landing page and call-to-actions). 

With anything, there is good and bad, things you should do and things you should stray away from doing. Let’s first start out with things you should do when it comes to improving your Adwords Campaigns:



If you need help finding out what bid amount works for you, go to

4. Solely Measuring the Success of Your Campaign on Overall Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) 

Don’t fall into the trap of only measuring your campaign success on the overall Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). ROAS may be the simplest way to calculate "what did I spend versus what I made," but it doesn't tell the entire story.

The reason you do not want to only measure your campaign success on ROAS is that you could only be counting the initial purchase and discluding the lifetime value of a customer. If you do that calculation, you may find worth in having a negative ROAS on a new customer. Also, it is not that hard for you to get a positive ROAS on branded terms. You need to be wary of the fact that an ROAS report will guide you into putting more emphasis on those branded items at the bottom of your funnel. If you have not already seen this, you will eventually see that you maintain a positive ROI on a shrinking funnel. 

Do consider that an instantaneous conversion is not the end all be all of an ad. You should focus more on whether you are able to get a customer added to your remarketing list, so you can work on getting them to invest in you. Way too many PPC campaigns fail because of this. 

If you are wanting to lower your costs and drive more traffic to your site, consider reading “ Improving ROAS — How to Drive Maximum Return on Ad Spend

5. Only Spending on Text-Based PPC Ads 

Text-based PPC Ads are great for creating demand but not for helping to build it. For this reason alone, you should not only spend on text-based PPC Ads, but have them be a part of your paid media budget. And if you are thinking about spending any of your media budget on text-based PPC, there are some things you will want to check off as you create them, such as: 

  • Ensuring your Ad is highly relevant to your target audience 
  • Contains a relevant keyword at least once 
  • Emphasizing on where the user should click and what they will get out of it 

Overall, you will want to ensure your text-based PPC Ads are more relevant to the user since this will improve your click-through rate (CTR), and if you have a higher quality score this will ultimately elevate your Ad rankings and lower your cost per click (CPC)

6. Gauging Your Success on Just Impressions & Clicks 

Impressions and clicks are helpful for gauging how well an Ad campaign is working for you, but there are other metrics, such as post-click activity and conversions that can help you build a more comprehensive report.

If you want to see true results from your paid search program, you will want to dig deeper into metrics like cost-per-click (CPC), pay per click (PPC), and search engine optimization ( SEO). Once, you have seen how you are performing in different areas of your paid search program, then you can take actionable steps that will get you to where you want to be. 

7. Sending Every Single Paid Ad to the Homepage 

While it is okay to send some of your site traffic to your home page, you should be really sending them to a landing page specific to the ad they just saw. No matter what, you should deliver what your ad copy promises that searcher. A home page cannot encompass everything that you offer, but a landing page can deliver the specifics of what a customer is seeking from your services. 

And if you are wondering if you should send your traffic to your home page or a landing page, consider this-- your home page should be the hub for all of your traffic that organically comes to your domain, while a landing page should be for the customer who is looking for a specific product or service, or needs a tad more direction to help them find their destination. In the end, landing pages help a customer convert into a buyer, while your homepage simply acts as a platform to promote how you can be of benefit to the customer. 

8. Not Using Any Ad Extensions 

Without any extensions on our ads, your ad becomes less compelling to those who come across it. Ad Extensions help expand your Ad with more information, which in turn gives people more reasons to choose your business. For the most part, ad extensions usually help improve your click-through rate by many percentage points. Ad extension formats can include call buttons, your location, links to other parts of your website, and any additional information. Ultimately your ad extensions should integrate and reiterate your business goals.  

Here are five ideas you can use in developing Ad extensions

  • Sitelink Extensions 
  • Callout Extensions 
  • Click to Text Extensions 
  • Call Extensions 
  • Review Extensions 

Ad Extensions are an excellent way for you to improve your overall ad performance, and boost business.

9. Unaware of What You Should be Paying for a Conversion 

Figuring out how much is a cost per conversion should be is quite easy. For instance, you take your total campaign spend divided by the total conversions tracked. But the hard part is calculating what you need to pay for a conversion. Some things you need to think about when calculating your cost per conversion is

  • Definition of the Conversion 
  • Customer Lifetime Value 
  • Cost of Goods Sold 
  • Overhead
  • Retention rates

And if you are still lost, Google Ads Help is a great place to get helpful hints and step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Ads, or what type of Ads would work best for the audience you are trying to reach.

 10. Focusing on Keywords over Audience 

You will want to focus on your audience, not just keywords if you want to improve your paid search strategy. While keywords are important, your audience is of equal importance when it comes to securing a high performance in the search engine rankings. The key to success in your paid search strategy is to create an in-depth list of the many audience types and lists, as well as how you can incorporate positive and negative bid types to bolster your overall business success. 

Still not convinced, well here are the 5 reasons why you should focus on your audience over keywords: 

  • Know who your audience is, then place keywords 
  • Engage with your audience 
  • Keywords on their own are useless 
  • Audiences are less expensive and can spread your message 
  • A targeted, defined audience benefits your paid search strategy 

Do not get me wrong, keywords can be helpful for targeting in paid search since it shows your individual, personal, and temporal intent. But at the end of the day, it takes two to tango, in this case, that would be your keywords and your audience to make it work when it comes to you bidding for your paid search strategy. 

Read our recent Neoreef blog post  “7 Essential Digital Marketing Guides for Beginners - PPC (Google Ads)” to boost your paid search strategy today. 

Ready, Set, Rethink Your Paid Search Strategy for Success 

If you have not already rethought your paid search strategy, start today. By rethinking how you do your paid search can help drive more traffic to your site, and help you become more in tune with your audience. And when you are more aware of who your audience is, then that can help you in seeing what keywords would be the most effective in connecting with that audience. 

At the end of the day, there are many factors that go into your paid search strategy, but if you go through each of them, you will know what steps you need to take in order to have a successful paid search strategy in place. 


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