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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Top 5 Search Advertising Budget Savers – Cut PPC Costs and Improve Performance

Posted by @ 5:34 pm

So you’re relying on your Google and/or Yahoo! search advertising campaigns to get you through the tough times – because we all know they’re targeted, accountable, affordable, etc…

So how do we take an already successful search advertising program and make it work even harder while saving valuable marketing dollars.

Here’s the 5 top ways to trim your PPC campaign costs and maintain (or improve) traffic results:

Negative Keywords:
Adding a negative keyword to your ad group or campaign means that your ads won’t show for search queries containing that term. Negative keywords can help you avoid mis-targeted traffic. This will reduce your budget spend, and increase your ROI.

Some great ways to uncover the right negative keywords for your campaigns include:
- review your search query reports (provided by Google et al.)
- look at your analytics – see what other irrelevant queries have sent your traffic
- use keyword suggestion tools, and find the recommendations that don’t fit

Get Your Keyword Matching Right:
Keyword matching is the way you control how search engines relate your keywords with actual search queries. There are essentially 3 match types in the PPC world (excluding negatives – see above).

Broad match: keyword
Allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations

Phrase match: “keyword”
Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase

Exact match: [keyword]
Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively

When you’re trying to control costs and maintain relevance, try to use phrase and exact matching as much as possible.

Long tail keywords:
Long tail keywords are keyword phrases composed of three or more words that collectively are more specific than a single keyword.

When the right Long tail keywords are used, conversion is generally much higher. And the longer the tail is for your keywords – generally the less competition. Which means lower click costs.

Ad Scheduling:
Ad scheduling lets you control the days and times your PPC campaigns appear.

Normally PPC ads will appear 24 hours a day as long as you still have budget available. Ad scheduling allows you to control exactly when they appear to maximize exposure to key markets and minimize exposure to the wrong audiences.

Quality Score Optimization:
Quality Score (the term used by Google) is a variable attached to your keywords, which can influence click costs and ad ranking. Ultimately, the better your quality score, the lower costs will be.

Managing quality score is an ongoing process which takes time, planning and patience to achieve strong results. However, when your PPC campaigns are set up well, this is where you’ll get some of your most valuable budget savings.

To find out how to improve your PPC quality score, read over these optimization posts we’ve shared:

Google’s Quality Score – How to Score a Perfect 10

Google Quality Score Tips: Improving Web Page Speed

Mastering the Google Landing Page Quality Score

Now’s the time to really trim the fat on your PPC campaigns. Unwanted traffic is like throwing valuable marketing dollars down the drain. Embrace the 5 tips above and you’ll be sure to improve the performance of your campaigns and reduce costs.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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