[Webinar Recording] 10 Ways To Outsmart Your PPC Competition

By Jamie Newton | @jnewton09 | Communications Manager at Hanapin Marketing

You’re doing so many things right in PPC, but your competitors still seem to be gaining an edge on you. Nevermore! It’s time to get on your boxing gloves and start fighting with smart strategy and tips your competitors don’t know about (yet!). From quality score to ad extentions to conquesting, be ready to be a smarter PPC manager.

In the recording below, experts Erin Sagin from Wordstream and Hayley Cummings from Hanapin discuss 10 tips, tricks, and strategies that will keep you ahead of the game and running past your competition.

You’ll get expert-level tips like:

  • Using a stress-free conversion process to increase your ROI
  • Knowing when conquesting is ok
  • How to identify new opportunities
  • Where to continually get tips to keep your campaigns ahead of the game

*Note: We had a lot of awesome questions during the webinar, but didn’t have enough time to answer all of them. Below, Erin and Hayley, have answered a few more of the questions asked.  Scroll below the recording and presentation for additional Q&As.

Here is the webinar recording:

And here is the slide presentation:

Additional Q & A!

Q: Should all keywords with low Quality Scores be paused, or would you recommend trying to build them up?

Rather than making decisions based solely on Quality Score, I recommend taking a more holistic approach and factoring in other KPIs like conversions and CPA. If these keywords are bringing any sort of value to the account, take actions to improve their QS’s. If you’re able to improve your scores, great. If not, you’ll need to weigh whether the value associated with these terms outweighs their inflated costs. If the keywords in question are not benefitting the account, your decision will be easier. You can certainly make efforts to improve these terms, but if they continue to have poor performance and their QS’s are low, I would eliminate them. This is especially important to do before adding new keywords, as the starting QS for these keywords will be impacted by your existing keywords’ QS’s.


Q: What are some new AdWords betas?

AdWords is regularly launching new beta programs and eliminating old ones, so this list seems to be ever changing! A few that we’ve been exploring lately are Gmail Sponsored Promotions, Google Merchant Promotions and Form Extensions. To get a more comprehensive list of open betas that might be a good fit for your account, reach out to your WordStream Customer Success Specialist or your Google Rep. I also recommend keeping an eye on the AdWords Insights Blog, which announces most major beta releases.


Q: Can a higher bounce rate on mobile (phone) drag down entire account?

In terms of QS, no. Once they are on the site and the page has fully loaded that is enough. If the page takes a while to load and people navigate away then yes, this will effect your QS.


Q: What do you do with high QS keywords with no impressions or CT’s?

They will likely need time to develop their own stats. They are likely being affected by the other keywords in the group. However, if they end up being ‘Low Search Volume’ then just remove them by pausing or deleting.


Q: My low QS keywords are getting high impression and CT’S – do you delete them to increase your average QS?

I would ask what the ‘high’ CTR is and what a ‘high impression share’ looks like. If you are always working with a below 1% CTR and the CTR on these terms is 1.2% with a QS of 5 or less, then leave them. Meaning, if you are in an industry where you will have a low QS no matter what you do, then keep the terms that are performing. If they are getting more clicks than your high QS terms, I would look into the quality of those clicks.


Q: When you were talking about new keywords QS and how they’re affected by old ones. Did you recommend to actually delete old keywords that have poor QS? Or is just being inactive good enough?

Delete or pause will have the same effect. Both will remove them from the averages.


Q: Do extensions performances affect quality score?

Nope, just using them is enough. The CTR is taken as a whole for each keyword. What the person actually clicked on doesn’t matter.


Q: In top 3 ads displayed, where does Google pull all the ratings and reviews from?

This comes from you Google+ account.


Q: How do you improve quality score?

Boost CTR, bids, add extensions, and keep your group keyword count low and tightly themed.


Q: Where did you go to compare to competitors?

Auctions Insights is the easiest.


Q: I know an agency that worked with only lawyers and would do something similar, but with their names. What are your thoughts on that?

You can bid on whatever you want. If you are in an industry where users are searching for names of actual people instead of competing businesses, then it’s worth a test!


Q: Is a conquesting keyword worth keeping if it has a low quality score 3/10?

I would take a look at the Conversion Rate %. These keywords may never be over a 3 in QS.


Q: Does the auction insights report also apply to Remarketing campaigns?

The average position won’t work the same. You could get the overall impression share details just from adding the column to your report, however position/percentage above rate wouldn’t be accurate. Also, if you don’t really have keyword data to use for all your competitors remarketing, as you don’t need keywords for remarketing, so it would be hard to see if they are competing on branded terms or otherwise.


Q: Will including video into PPC ads give ads higher rankings?

If it is an extension you can opt into then it could impact your QS, but that doesn’t mean it would make a big enough difference to actually put you at a higher rank.


Q: When conquesting, how do you achieve a good QS for competitor branded terms? Presumably, you can’t include the competitor’s branded term in the ad copy and should be careful using those competitor branded terms on a landing page. Any examples?

There is only so much you can do much here. The goal is to garner those who are willing to continue their research. So, I would make sure you have a highly compelling and competitive ad so that it is worth your time. Don’t get too consumed with QS on this one. Just watch your conversion rate and CPL and if it isn’t profitable for you, then move on to the next test.


Q: Have either of you ever used a field entry (such as “zip code entry”) within ads themselves?

I have as it pertains to either matching a query or qualifying the click. Meaning if your consumer is using zips in searches, then show them in your ad. Also, if you are very concerned about budget and do not want a click unless that consumer is likely to accept your location, then use it to let them know prior to the click.


Q: Can you remarket to visitors who clicked on a “keyword”? or ad group?

Yes, this can be done within Google.com as they continue to search, or you can remarket to them within the GDN. You may need to have specific landing pages for these terms/groups to be sure that when you set up your remarketing audience, those users actually clicked on a paid ad attached to a specific term.