4 Tips to Creating Successful Google AdWord Pay Per Click PPC Ads

by Sherryl Perry on November 17, 2010

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Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) can be a very effective marketing tool when used skillfully and wisely. Recently, I posted a series of three articles explaining how you can run PPC ads on a budget, target your ads using keyword phrases based on buyer-intent and creating a landing-page or micro-site for a targeted Pay-Per-Click ad.  This article is a quick recap for anyone who still may have reservations about trying PPC advertising as a marketing channel for your eCommerce website. The trick is to have a plan. No one wants to waste a dime on ineffective ads that reach the wrong people. (That statement is as true for traditional advertising as it is for online advertising.)

The difference is you can advertise for a lot less on the Internet if you do it carefully by setting your budget and bidding on targeted keyword phrases that reach your niche customer. You don’t need to have your ads appear in the #1 spot. Being in the 3rd or 4th position is fine. Save money that way. Spend the time to research keyword phrases and find those that your customers are searching on that you can afford. Track everything! Limit your spend by the day if you’d like. That way, if you’re paying for clicks and not converting your visitors to buyers, you can tweak your PPC ad. So, how do you get started?

1.) Set your “Networks and devices

The Google Display Network used to be known as the “content” network. When display network is turned on, your ads will display anywhere that the keywords that you are bidding on are displayed. If you’re just getting started, leave “Search” on and turn offDisplay Network”. This way your ads will only show up in the search results when someone keys those terms into the search box. (Chances are that this is your best chance to reach buyers.) You don’t want your ad showing up in random blog posts about your product. You want it to show up when someone is ready to buy.

2.) Buyer Intent Focused Keywords

When someone is interested in buying a product, they usually start with research and then gradually work their way down to the point where they’re ready to buy. If your reason for running a PPC ad is to make a sale, then you want to bid on keywords that target the person who is ready to buy. (For more details, check out my post “Are Buyers or Window Shoppers Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads?”)

3.) Negative Keywords

Enter negative keywords to prevent people who are searching for your product (using keywords that you want to avoid) from ever seeing your PPC ad. For example, if you’re selling fine art, you may want to exclude people who are searching on terms like ‘clip”, “print” and “poster” from seeing (and clicking on) your ad. Using the right negative keywords can be as important to your campaign as choosing the right ones.

4.) Landing Pages & Micro-Sites

When someone clicks on your pay-perclick ad, you don’t have to send them to your home page. Actually, you probably shouldn’t. I often talk about the “3-second rule” which refers to the amount of time that a website visitor spends before deciding whether they’re on the “right” website. If the web content of the page that you send them to does not match your ad, they’re out-of-there and you’ve spent money on a click with no monetary return. (For more details, check out my post “Are People Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads and Leaving?”)

I hope this alleviates some of the fears and reservations some people may have about trying PPC ads. Again, start slow, track your results and tweak your ads until you’re achieving the results that you expect.

Are you running PPC ads? What has been your experience? What advice would you have for someone who was thinking about trying pay-per-click advertising but still has doubts?

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Fleming July 1, 2012 at 4:50 am

AdWords allows you set a daily budget that you can edit at any time. There is no weekly/monthly minimum that you must spend. You can also start and stop your campaign(s) at any time.

In addition to setting your daily budget, you can also set the rate at which it is depleted throughout the day. The Delivery Method setting can be set at Standard or Accelerated. Standard is the best choice if you’d like your ads to run over the course of the day rather than being used up as quick as possible. However, if you are not targeting very popular keywords or have a very large budget, Accelerated may make sense for your account.


Sherryl Perry July 1, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for the great tips Chris! There’s definitely a learning curve involve but using AdWords (carefully) can definitely pay off. The key is to start slowly and measure what is and isn’t working. Tweak, measure again and adjust accordingly.

I appreciate your taking the time to weigh in on this. It’s always helpful to hear from someone with experience.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Do you Brand Yourself, Your Company, or Your Product on Social Media Sites?My Profile


Arlene Case
July 1, 2012 at 4:44 am

Don’t forget to check out part one (keyword selection), part two (keyword traffic estimation), part three (ad creation), part four (ad testing) and part five (bidding strategy).

Google offers several options for customizing your budget as well as your target audience through its AdWords interface. Using these tools can help ensure that you are making the best use of the funds you have allocated to your AdWords program.


Sherryl Perry July 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Great advice Arlene. It’s good to hear from others who use AdWords. I find some people are so overwhelmed by the options that leave are lead by fear and don’t even attempt to try AdWords. I believe if they go slowly, they’ll find that AdWords can definitely generate more than enough income to make them worthwhile.

Thanks so much for adding to the conversation.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Can Your Small Business Compete with the Big-Box Stores?My Profile


Rick February 19, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I just love it when you get rewarded with gifts card to use as adwords-money! I recently got one home by mail for being a adwords user for one whole year! I use this to try out some new strategies for my PPC ads!


Sherryl Perry February 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I have never received a gift card for AdWords Rick but I have taken advantage of the discounts for new advertisers.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Marketer vs Marketing: What Difference Does a Keyword Make?My Profile


John Knights June 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Excellent reminder Sherryl,
Building the right requirements for an effective PPC can be as easy as that, when done correctly. But somehow I believe it still depends on the number of competitors on the field of niche we choose.


Sherryl Perry September 28, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Wow John! I just now noticed a comment that you left in June. Oops. :) You made an interesting observation about PPC ads. I agree that the more competition there is, the more difficult it becomes to find affordable keyword phrases to bid on.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..Should CommentLuv Premium be Part of Your Social Media Strategy?My Profile


Sherryl Perry May 17, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Good luck Nabil! If you’ve never set up a Google AdWords account before, search to see if you can find an offer for a coupon code to get some free advertising from them. Lots of times, they give away a set amount of money that they allow as a credit when you join. I’ve seen anywhere from $25 to $100 to start.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile


Rasel Chowdhury May 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

hi Sherryl,

thanks for visiting my simple looking blog and placing comment, though I am not a very professional blogger & don’t much care for this. Just try to engage for some time to make online collaboration when feel free :)

yes I agree with you, if anyone build PPC campaign at Google Adwords without proper knowledge, there is a chance to loss lots of money. But Google Adwords PPC advertising is an effective online marketing channel to generate lead and better ROI. Also Adwords allow you to run CPA campaign with target CPA or Max CPA.

Display advertising is another channel than Google search paid listing and you can control/lower your CPC bid for Google partner/network sites.


Sherryl Perry May 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Hi Rasel,
I absolutely agree with you that Google AdWords PPC campaigns can be a very effective online marketing tool. Your blog may be simple looking to you but I thought you wrote a really good article. It was definitely tweet worthy.

In the comment that I left for you, I mentioned the fact that the default for Google AdWords is to include having your ads appear in their display network. My advice to PPC newbies is always to turn that off and stick to displaying your ads only when someone searches on the keywords that you’re bidding on. What are your thoughts to this strategy?
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile


Sherryl Perry May 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

I read you post on Google Adwords PPC and you have some great tips and I left a comment for you. I agree that PPC advertising can be an extremely useful tool. I think some people are overwhelmed by it and some people have bad experiences because they end up spending money they could avoid. Personally, I think Google does their customers a disservice by making the default to include our ads in their “display” network. That can be a huge money drain for the wrong audience. It’s so much wiser to turn that off and only have your PPC ads display when someone searches on the keywords that you’re bidding on.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..3 Ways to Build Awareness and Get Ideas for Your Website BlogMy Profile


Lee December 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I am researching on how to use pay per click and some of the answers made me confuse, what is contextual advertising actually?


Sherryl Perry December 10, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Contextual advertising means if I am running Google Adsense ads on my blog and I’m blogging about electrical wiring. ads for electricians could pop up. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the person reading my blog wants to hire an electrician. They could be trying to learn how to do something themselves. If you’re running an ad and agree that it can be displayed in their “display network”, this could happen.

My advice is to turn off display network. When that is off, your PPC ads will only show up in the search results. That’s your best chance of reaching someone who is researching to buy. ( I wrote an article about bidding on keywords that show buyer intent. That’s something else you can do.)


Sherryl Perry December 13, 2010 at 11:55 am

Lee, Thanks for letting me know that my reply cleared it up for you. You can find the other post that I was referring to here http://bit.ly/daIS7P. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Another tip I just thought of (you may already be doing this ) is to be sure to have your PPC ads show up a set number of miles from your zip code. That way, only people who are in your service area will be able to see (and click on) your ads.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The “2011 Internet Business Ideas Book” – a Collaborative Effort of 12 BloggersMy Profile


Sherryl Perry December 10, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Tia, Build specific landing pages are very effective in keeping potential customers on your site at least long enough to see your call to action. You know a PPC ad is not working well when you see that your visitors are leaving your page only seconds after you’ve paid to get them there.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..The “2011 Internet Business Ideas Book” – a Collaborative Effort of 12 BloggersMy Profile


Sahana December 1, 2010 at 6:20 am

I haven’t used PPC ads in my website. I’ll get back when i start running them.


Sherryl Perry November 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I wish I had known about landing pages when I first started running PPC ads. There is so much to learn at first. I dabbled in them and like lots of people, got discouraged. Luckily, I thought of it as a challenge, bought a book and attacked it! Effective landing pages do work. Thanks for dropping by!


John November 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Sherryl Perry – You’re certainly correct. PPC advertising is a great marketing tool, but it can be a little intimidating at first. All of these tips are vital to a successful PPC campaign but I think the most important of them all you highlighted is the fourth.

If your landing page isn’t matching your ad, your bounce rate will be through the roof and you’ll end up losing a lot of potential customers. I haven’t tried to use PPC in a while but when I’m ready to tackle the beast again I will come back to this article. Thanks.


Sherryl Perry November 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm

John, You are absolutely right about your bounce rate being through the roof if your landing page doesn’t match your ad. Glad to hear you have tried PPC in the past and you’re willing to try it again. I wish more entrepreneurs and small business owners would take advantage of PPC. It helps to level the playing field with the “big guys” just a little bit because it can be affordable when done well.


Julie Weishaar
November 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

Hi Sherryl,

Yes – your post does alleviate concerns for those of us who are not using PPC advertising. This is definitely on my list of to-do’s and your post will serve as my bible to get me through.

Thanks as always for such clear and user-friendly directions/instructions/guidelines!
Julie Weishaar recently posted..Facebook is Taking Over The WorldMy Profile


Sherryl Perry November 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

Thanks Julie. Good luck! If you need a 2nd set of eyes to look at your ad or want any suggestions, you know where to find me.


Latief November 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm

Last month I get AdWords Voucher from Google but for some reason I’m not using that voucher. Your tutorial is really help, I’ll remember this when I’m decide to use AdWords.
Thanks Sherryl.
Latief recently posted..Internet Marketing Strategies To Boost Your Website’s VisibilityMy Profile


Sherryl Perry November 22, 2010 at 11:20 am

Thanks for dropping by Latief. Those vouchers are a great way to get started. LinkedIn is offering $100 to new advertisers now too.


keyuri joshi
November 20, 2010 at 8:26 am

Yet another brilliant post Sherryl! I’ve pondered ppc ads and when I’m ready, you will be my “go to” resource. I like the idea of selecting the landing page with care. I particularly enjoy working with parents of toddlers so your suggestions would help me target the niche within my niche! Thanks!


Sherryl Perry November 20, 2010 at 9:39 am

Thanks for the kind words Keyuri! While I was writing this post, I was concerned that people were going to say, please no more about PPC ads. From the positive feedback I’m getting, I realize people do appreciate learning more about it.

Comments are so valuable. Hearing that you’re thinking about targeting parents of toddlers as a specific niche (within your niche), reminds me of another article that’s been rattling around in my head.


Patricia@lavenderuses November 19, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Hi Sherryl

I came over from Twitter as your post had been recommended. Very insightul and more helpful and easy to understand than a lot of posts about this I have read in the past. Thanks for sharing and if/when I do venture into the PPC advertising I will be back here to refresh on it all. I especially like what you say about negative words.

Patricia Perth Australia


Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Thanks for the positive feedback Patricia. I appreciate it. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions when/if you do decide to try PPC ads.


Catarina Alexon
November 19, 2010 at 12:57 pm

If I ever decide to use PPC I will definitely ask you for advice. Great article from which I learnt that you can use negative keywords. Interesting.


Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 6:35 pm

Sounds good Catarina. I’d be glad to help you.


Kate F. Eaton November 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Okay, okay, I’ll try again! Had attempted a couple of PPC campaigns early on with primary copywriting business without success. Wish I’d read this back then. Thanks for the nudge to get back out there.


Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Good luck Kate! Let us know how you make out. If you have questions, feel free to email me.


Tina November 19, 2010 at 2:45 am

I agree about landing pages and micro-sites in order to be successful in your campaign… I think I just wasn’t paying enough attention so I stopped my PPC campaign as it was a failure. Should I give it another try?



Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 11:22 am

Tina, My reply to you is the same as the reply I just wrote to Jeannette. I strongly encourage you to try again and to look at running PPC advertising other than Google. It’ a great way to learn at an affordable price. You can usually find coupons targeted to new advertisers.

PPC advertising can be so cost effective. If you’re trying to drive local traffic to your site, bid on keyword phrases that include the name of the city where you’re located. That should drive down the cost per bid. By limiting the geographic area in which your ad appears, you won’t risk people clicking on your ad when they’re too far from you to use your services.


Catherine Lockey
November 19, 2010 at 12:34 am

You are on top of your game and I respect your work. Thanks for this informative, helpful piece on PPC advertising. It’s excellent.
Catherine Lockey recently posted..Attract and Keep Loyal FollowersMy Profile


Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 11:05 am

Thank you for the kind words. That means a lot to me. I respect and appreciate your work too. – Sherryl


Jeannette Paladino
November 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Sherryl — Excellent post. I, too, hadn’t thought about including negative key words. I did a Google AdWord campaign at the beginning of the service. I was so proud when my ad appeared on the first page of results that I immediately wrote my friends. By the time they looked, my ad was gone! Little did I know about key word competition at the time. I haven’t tried since but maybe you’ve made me think twice about it.


Sherryl Perry November 19, 2010 at 11:14 am

Jeannette, It’s easy to get discouraged when those first attempts at PPC advertising don’t produce the results you’re looking for. I’d like to encourage you to try again! Consider PPC ads on a site (other than Google) where it’s more affordable. After you’ve created an ad that’s working, you can recreate it on Google. LinkedIn is currently offering a $100 coupon to new advertisers. I just saw an ad for $50 towards PPC ads from Facebook. This can be a great way to learn. I’m sure there are other offers out there too.


Alvin November 18, 2010 at 8:58 am

First time i am reading negative keywords, i want to know more………… thanks for sharing this value bale information with us.


Sherryl Perry November 18, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Alvin, Try to identify as many negative keywords as you can before you launch your ads but also keep an eye on what people are searching on to find you. You can always go in and edit your ads and add more negative keywords as you identify them. Keeping an eye on your ads will help you tweak them as you go along and should save you some money!


Paul Novak November 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I have never even heard of using negative keywords until now Sherryl. Then again, PPC is something I have yet to use. I have every intention of picking your brain when I do!


Sherryl Perry November 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm

You would have seen the place for negative keywords as soon as you started to create your first ad Paul. You’re welcome to pick my brain any time. :)


Susan Oakes
November 17, 2010 at 3:39 pm

I have not used PPC for ages so these are good reminders Sherryl. Your tip about Landing pages I think is really important as your other post showed. It is part of the whole process and not paying attention to this element can let your campaign down.
Susan Oakes recently posted..What Makes You SpecialMy Profile


Sherryl Perry November 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Thanks Susan. When I ran my 1st PPC campaign, I did not send my visitors to my home page but I didn’t do anything special for them either. Once I created landing pages and micro-sites with headers on my page that matched the titles in my ads, people started staying on my site long enough to read my call-to-action and I started getting them to contact me (which was the goal of the campaign).


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