Alexey Chichirko, Author at UAWC - PPC E-commerce Marketing UAWC – PPC E-commerce Marketing

UAWC - PPC E-commerce Marketing

grow your ROI

Case Study. Health supplements store. USA.

About the client: This is an e-commerce store, which is selling Lab-verified Clean Food under their own brand in the US market.

For all e-commerce projects, we are using ROAS + transactions volume as main KPIs. ROAS provides you an understanding of profitability; i.e., if you have invested $100 and received $700 in sales, your ROAS would be 700%.

At the start of our collaboration, the client tried to set up AdWords campaigns, but this resulted in only 3 transactions with an ROAS 10.95%

After 7 months of collaboration with us, he is now getting 187 transactions (last 7 days) with 777% ROAS.

List of experiments:

Experiment 1. Campaigns in the broad match based on product feed. Budget – $400. Result – 287 clicks, 0 transactions.

Target keyword was the name of the product in the broad match (must be a long term keyword), for example, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 1 Gallon. Our search report for this keyword looked like this:

As you can see, the generated traffic was relevant; however, there were numerous brands, which the client did not have on their website.

Campaigns were segmented by their profit margin with different bids based on product price:

Output: You need to work out a good list of negative keywords before starting this test and never use keywords, which contain two words because this would generate many irrelevant search terms.

Experiment 3. Search remarketing (RLSA): 22 transactions, 513% ROAS during a 30 day period.

Search remarketing proved to be one of the most effective targeting methods; to start, you need to create an audience and wait to receive at least 1000 people in your list. Audiences can be added in active search campaigns with bid adjustments or you can create a separate search campaign and pick more general keywords, which usually have a low conversion rate.

We have been testing search remarketing for only one month before we have been banned by Google due to unclear reasons. We did not break any rules but since we are selling health supplements (for example chlorella), their policy team decided to block the remarketing feature for our account.

Experiment 4. Display and Dynamic Remarketing: 4 transactions, 57% ROAS.

We just started to test these remarketing strategies but were banned. This is really frustrating because we have invested considerable time to fix bugs with the dynamic remarketing integration.  

Output: Be aware of AdWords policies, sometimes it can be a good idea to ask your account manager in Google for advice regarding specific business models that you want to promote.
Experiment 5: DSA campaign based on product feed. 91 transaction, 1,018.89% ROAS during the last 30 days.

After the first experiment, we have already worked out a long list of negative keywords; so, our idea was to create a separate ad group for each product supplying AdWords with its target URL so the system can pick up keywords based on page content instead of keywords.

This experiment always requires a lot of attention, especially for the search report, as some ad groups might produce considerable irrelevant traffic.

Experiment 6. Shopping campaigns: 446 transactions, 485% ROAS.

We have created two campaigns:

  1. A campaign for all products. Make sure that you have a separate goal for all products (if there is one group in the campaign, this is called ‘Everything else’ in ‘All products’). Make sure that you have separate goals for all products (if there is one group in the campaign, this is called ‘Everything else’ in ‘All products’).
  2. A campaign for most profitable products. Once you have statistics from your main campaign you can choose the most profitable products from Shopping in the dimension tab. Alternatively, you can add custom labels for your top sellers in the shopping feed and reallocate them to separate campaigns from the start.

Experiment 7. Display campaigns: 880 clicks, $35 spend, 0 transactions.

Display Network (not including remarketing) is not very effective for e-commerce; however, we have decided to run a small test and target selected websites, which are related to the products we sell. This did not work out.

What’s next?

Right now we are setting up new experiments such as:

  1. Testing Video Shopping ads
  2. Beta features, which we get from Google as part of the Red Badge Program
  3. Smart Display Campaigns

In-Depth Guide to Google Remarketing for E-commerce

A customer visits your e-commerce store, adds a product to their cart, and leaves without buying.

Sound familiar?



Would you like to follow your customer and remind them about their products? This is exactly what remarketing is all about.

You can create excellent yields from remarketing campaigns, such as:

  1. More sales with the same (or even lower) cost per conversion
  2. Effective branding

You can use various platforms for remarketing such as:

We have tested all of them but if you are already running AdWords campaigns, it makes good sense to first utilize their full Remarketing potential. In this article, I will provide step-by-step instructions that will assist you in setting up maximally effective AdWords Remarketing campaigns.


How do I Get Started?

1. Create lists of people you want to retarget

The users which previously visited your website are called your ‘remarketing audience.’ Information about their previous visits is stored in cookies and you can save these to specific lists. 

You can target different people based on conditions which you would specify:

  • All visitors;
  • New Visitors;
  • Number of pages he visited;
  • Time on site;
  • By specific actions which they have performed on your website, for example only people who have sign up for your newsletter;
  • And much much more conditions;

To give you some taste here are specific instructions on how you can create different audiences:

  • On a property level click on Audience Definitions


  • Create new audience based on conditions which you would specify

You don’t have to create lists by yourself, you can import ready made lists from Google Analytics Soltions Gallery, for example you can try these two:

[Ecommerce Pack] Intermediate Remarketing Lists

[Engagement Pack] Core Remarketing Lists

Also you can create lists directly in Google Google AdWords using it’s remarketing code but I would not recommend you such approach. Let’s compare Google Analytics and Google AdWords fincltionality:


There is a clear advantage to use Google Analytics – it provides far more flexibility, as you can set up separate lists based on demographics. Also, it’s very easy to implement – if you already have a Google Analytics code on your website, you can start to create remarketing audiences straight away.

  • Once you have create Remarketing lists you can see your audiences in AdWords under Shared Library > Audiences:


At first, you will not have as many people as you see on this screenshot, but once you get more traffic, your list will grow, so you can add even more.

2. Set up remarketing with Google Analytics

  • Enable remarketing and advertising features at Property Level in your Google Analytics. Admin Tab>Property>Data Collection


  • Connect your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts. Google Analytics>Admin>Property>AdWords Linking

3. Create needed campaign type




#1 Remarketing on Google Display Network

This is the easiest and fastest way to get started with remarketing. There are only two requirements:

  1. A minimum of 100 visitors on your list (in reality more than 150)
  2. Animated, image, or/text ads.


  • Use responsive ads – previously, one of the best practices was to create a separate Ad group for text and banner ads; however, with responsive ads, you can keep everything in one Ad group.
  • Create a separate Ad group for each audience. You can set bids and analyse performance on an audience level; however, many more metrics are available for the Ad group.
  • Don’t add too many exclusions. Unlike other Google Display Network campaigns, you are targeting specific people, not keywords or interests, so you can accidentally cut the amount of relevant traffic if you exclude certain placements. However, if you see placements that are creating lots of traffic but just don’t convert, you may want to exclude them.
  • Set up frequency capping so as to not bother people too much. Due to ‘banner blindness’ you can keep frequency capping at an optimal level of between 5 and 10.   


  • Exclude mobile applications by adding and to campaign placement exclusions on a Shared Library level.

#2 Video Remarketing

Video remarketing on YouTube and related websites will allow you to utilize two different ad formats:

  1. Truview In-Stream ads
  2. Discovery ads

In order to be eligible for video remarketing you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Link your YouTube channel and AdWords account
  2. Have at least one video on your YouTube channel

You can utilize more lists compared to other campaign types:



Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) allows you to target your previous website visitors, using keyword targeting. It uses the same search campaigns, but you are targeting your previous website visitors directly, instead of new customers. In most cases, this results in a higher conversion rate:


You can target the same keywords that you have been using before in the same search campaign, or you can create a new campaign and use more general terms for this one. For example, if a person came to your online wine shop, using the keywords [pinot noir wine new zealand], you can target them in the RLSA campaign using the keyword [wine]. That’s a good example; however, Google will not allow you to promote alcohol using remarketing.

To add a remarketing list, navigate to the Audience Tab in your search campaign and add the required audience:


The system will ask you to choose between “Target and bid” and “Bid only” targeting options.

If you choose “Bid only” you will bid both new and old customers so it will be a combination of a typical search and a search-remarketing campaign. In this case, add bid adjustment to your audience as shown on the screenshot above.

“Target and bid” allows you to target only previous visitors, so this would be a 100% remarketing campaign.

Important note! To start an RLSA campaign you must have at least 1000 active people on your list.

#4 Dynamic Remarketing

With this type of remarketing, you can show relevant content and products based on your customers’ previous behavior on your website. For example, if a customer has been adding specific shoes from your website to their cart, but never completed the purchase, you will be able to specifically display those shoe models to him once more as a reminder that he was interested in these shoes. Information such as product price and an image will be dynamically added to your ads.

Step 1: Create a feed. You need to pull data about your product or services from a specific feed, which can be stored in the Shared library level, or in Google Merchant (if it’s an eCommerce store). If you already have a shopping campaign, you may use the same feed for that purpose.

Step 2: Create custom dimensions in your Google Analytics account and amend your google analytics code, to send the required information about products or services to Google Analytics. You need to add special parameters called ‘vertical attributes’ to your Google Analytics code. Follow this Google guide for more detailed information.

When your visitor views the page with the modified analytics tag, then information will go to Google Analytics as a custom dimension.

Last, but not least – add banners to your campaigns. The easiest way to start with this is to create responsive ads, which will automatically adjust their size to fit any placement across the entire Google Display Network.

If you need more flexibility you can also take advantage from Doubleclick dynamic remarketing, here is a quick comparison of its capabilities:


Feel free to comment if you have any questions…



AdWords Negative Keywords – Save money and time with an Excel script.

“Lost money on irrelevant clicks will never be paid back again.“  Unknown.

Negative keywords are a crucial component of any AdWords campaign. If you are using different match types (beyond exact), you will bid on search terms that are irrelevant for your business model. This way, you will constantly lose money while reaching an audience that is not interested in your products or services.

Adwords Negative Keywords are keywords that you specifically do not want to target; they help you to target a more relevant audience, increase CTR, and decrease average CPC. However, it can take considerable time to build a working list of negatives. In this article, we will explain what negative keywords are, how to find them, and how to add them to your AdWords account. At the end of this article, as a Free bonus we will share the script we use and that already saved us more than 1000 hours of working time.

How AdWords  negative keywords work? 

Negative keywords let you block ads for irrelevant phrases that are otherwise triggered by broad or match phrase keywords. For example, you might run campaigns for a jewelry store that does not sell diamonds. You are targeting the keyword +buy +ring. This keyword in the BMM match type may trigger the following search terms:

buy an engagement ring

buy a ring with diamonds

buy a wedding ring

Adding diamonds, as a negative keyword will block all search terms that contain diamonds.

Types of AdWords negative keywords:

  1. Broad is the default match type which allows you to block traffic from all search terms where every word, in any order, of your negative keyword appears in the search. Example – diamond ring without brackets or quotation marks.
  2. Using exact match type you will block traffic only from specific search phrase. Example – [diamond ring] in brackets.
  3.  Phrase match will block traffic from specific search phrase and any additional words which user may type. Example – “diamond ring” in quotation marks.

How to find and add Negative Keywords:

In AdWords you can add negatives on three levels:

  1. On the Campaign level
  2. On the Ad group level
  3. On the Shared library level

It is more convenient to use the Shared library level because you can use the same list for all of your campaigns right away. So, instead of adding seven or more lists for each of your campaigns you get away with only having one.

To add negatives on a Shared library level, click on “Shared library” > “Campaign negative keywords” > “+ LIST”:

On this screenshot you can see multiple lists because we are promoting different services in this AdWords account. So, a negative keyword for Campaign A may be a good and relevant keyword for Campaign B.

To add negatives on Campaign level, choose the required campaign, navigate to the keyword level, click on “Negative keywords”, and add the keywords on the required level:

I never add any negatives on the Campaign level within each campaign, because I am doing it on a Shared Library level; however, I am using the Ad group level for two reasons:

  1. To implement cross negatives when creating separate campaigns in different match types.
  2. To individually block specific search terms for specific For example, for the last five years, we have been promoting a wine store:


Currently, only wine, produced in 2016 is in stock, so we had to block all other years for this Ad group:

AdWords Universal Negative Keywords:

When you are performing a keyword research you will receive a huge list, which will include both relevant and irrelevant keywords. To simplify the work you can mark all keywords that contain universal negatives and delete them.

Also, you can add universal negatives on a Shared library level from the very start. You can find many lists on the web, just Google them and go through the list carefully before uploading it, as it may contain relevant keywords for your industry.

You can copy our universal negatives from this link.

How to Analyze AdWords Search Report:

Step 1: Download your search terms report. 


Before uploading, you can set a filter to exclude all search terms that lead to conversions and search terms that were triggered by exact match keywords:

Step 2: Download the list of your AdWords target keywords.

Step 3: Combine it all in Excel.

Your final file should have the following structure:

Keyword | Search Term | Metrics from search report

Step 4: Set up and launch macros.

To launch macros you need to open Visual Basic (Alt+F11)

If you don’t have Visual Basic in your developer’s menu, you can unlock it by following the process: File > Options > Customize Ribbon > Main Tabs or by shortcut (Alt+F11)

When you open Visual Basic, you will see the editor. Insert a new module:

And paste the following code into it:

You will see something like this:

Launch the script by pressing the green button Play (or F5). You will see a pop up window asking you to choose columns, which contain search terms and metrics. In my case these are columns B-F.

Then, in the next pop up window, choose the column with your keywords:

And finally, choose the column in which you want to output your results:

In the end, you will get a list of potential negatives:

Step 5: Work with the potential list of Adwords Negative Keywords.

You will want to just go through the list and mark keywords that are not relevant, or if your list is very long, you can filter your search terms by cost to exclude traffic that is wasting the largest share of your budget.

Upload AdWords Campaigns Directly from Google Doc

Have you ever wanted an easy, automatic solution that would organize and upload hundreds, or even thousands of your keywords in your AdWords account without Editor and Excel? A solution that would even set all needed campaign settings going through your entire check list?

Sounds like a miracle, yes?

Recently, this solution came into reality. For the last 5 years we were struggling. We were spending 10,000 hours uploading campaigns using Excel, working on different macros, Editor etc. So, one day we decided to learn Java Script and come up with our own solutions, which would simplify PPC set up. In this article, I will share our effective approach to setting up AdWords campaigns.

   Account Structure 

Relevance is a key success factor in PPC. Being relevant has been rewarded with higher quality scores and as a result, a lower cost per click.

In order to build relevant PPC campaigns you should be able to add separate ad copies for each of your target keywords. This can be achieved by only using the SKAG structure. SKAG means “single keyword per ad group,” meaning in each of your ad groups you are using only one keyword. With SKAG you can:

  1. Create separate, relevant ads for each of your target keywords
  2. Create additional extensions for each of your keywords
  3. Set target CPA bids individually for each keyword on an ad group level

We have been using this structure in all of our accounts for years and it has turned out to be very easy to manage. However, if you haven’t used it before, at first you may be surprised to see something like “Product Broad Match” campaigns in a screenshot. But you will love SKAG and immediately see how sexy is it!

Also, we are always creating campaigns in exact and BMM match types to reallocate budgets to more profitable campaigns; usually exact match keywords have higher conversion rates.

Now, let’s go through the steps to set up your AdWords campaign.

Step 1. Prepare Google doc with target keywords

  1. Make a copy of this template 
  2. Paste the list of your target keywords and ads
  3. If you need to create more than 2 campaigns add additional tabs.

Step 2. Upload campaigns

Navigate to Bulk Operations > Scripts

To add a script from MMC level copy and paste the following code:

To add code directly from your AdWords account use this code:

Step 3. Preview and run the script

 Step 4. Wait for 5 mins and enjoy! 

There is also a premium version of this script available, if you want to create a separate ad for each of your ad groups using Ad generator. To get this demo feel free to contact us.

5 Monthly AdWords Routines

6 AdWords Routines That will Help You to Win the Month

AdWords management shouldn’t be complicated. To ensure that our clients are getting good results we need to dig into Google Analytics and work out a list of actions for each account.

There are six actions which we need to perform in every account from month to month;  just by implementing them you will have much better results. Without further ado, let me describe each of them:

1. Reallocate budgets to most profitable campaigns. This is one of the “easiest wins” which lots of advertisers forget to take advantage of.
To accomplish this task, you need to add 2 additional columns on campaign level:

  • Display Lost IS (budget)
  • Search Lost IS (budget)

If you find that your profitable campaigns are limited by budget, just increase the budgets for them.

2. Add additional expanded and responsive ads in rotation. Good news here – you don’t have to perform any A-B tests!
Set your method of rotation to “optimize for clicks” or “optimize for conversions” (if you have enough conversion data) and let Google split test your ads – believe me, their algorithms are clever enough!
A long time ago I wasted lots of time with different A-B tests. But then I realized that I would never be able to take into consideration all factors, such as: screen resolution, time of day, or location, in order to choose the best performing ad. And since the AdWords team is also interested in getting you more clicks from the most relevant ads, I am sure that their algorithms are clever enough to get you good CTR:

3. Analyze your search report. If you are using BMM or broad match types, you will have to do it at least once a month. We are using a custom made AdWords script to simplify the process, however you can start filtering your keywords. I will share details shortly.
4. Add new extensions. Google AdWords is constantly adding new types of extensions, so ensure that you are constantly adding all of them, otherwise your competitors will do just that and your ads will look much smaller compared with other participants of auction:

5. Bidding. We have tested lots of bidding tools, including Marin software, but ended up using Google bidding strategies. In each campaign, which has at least 30 conversions a month, we test Target CPA bidding.

In all other accounts we are using labels creating different segments of keywords based on conversion rate. Each month we compare how different segments are performing.

6. Filter by CPC and cost to make sure that budget is not wasted on unprofitable terms. So many times I’ve seen situations when 1 or 2 ‘not very relevant’ keywords were wasting a huge percentage of an AdWords budget. Just filtering targeting methods by cost and CPC will let you avoid being wasteful with spending.



Google AdWords Help


When it comes to AdWords, it’s hard to draw the line between myth and good advice.

In UAWC every day we deal with repeatable AdWords questions, that’s why we have created an Adwords Help page, where you can get any help related to AdWords. Let’s start with:

Most Frequently Asked AdWords Questions

What type of AdWords campaigns should I start with? 

When you are starting AdWords campaign you need to understand its goal. Depending on the nature of your business – Google AdWords offers a wide variety of targeting methods, here are some examples from our experience:

If you have an eCommerce project, start with Google Shopping campaigns and utilize 3 types of retargeting: Search, Display and Dynamic. Once you get some good results, you may export a list of your top products, for example, best sellers and you can then set up a separate Dynamic search ads campaign for them. Then you can experiment with Search Campaigns.

If you need to generate leads, I would recommend starting with search and display remarketing. However, if your audience is very broad, for example, if you are offering free yoga lessons in exchange for a client’s email address, then you can start with Google Display Network campaigns; the cost per click in Google Display Network is much lower compared to search.

If you need to promote your brand use YouTube In-stream and Discovery Ads and Google Display Network campaigns. You may request Brand Lift campaigns from your Google representative or contact Premier Google Partner.

Never use AdWords Express – it proved to be waste of a budget because you would be targeting lot’s of irrelevant keywords.

What are the key success factors on Google Display Network?

The Google Display Network is a set of placements such as YouTube, different websites and apps where you can display your ads based on targeting criteria, which you will define. To get the most out of it I would recommend checking out this article, which we have written for the Official AdWords Community.

What are the best remarketing strategies?

There are different types of remarketing: search, display, dynamic and video. To get the most from them check out our  Guide to Google Remarketing

How do I work with budgets?

  • When you are setting up a new account, first you can start with a shared budget because you don’t know which results you will get.
  • Different match types usually have different conversion rates, so I create separate campaigns in different match types – Broad, Exact and BMM (broad match modifier). Sometimes I create 3 initial budgets on a shared library level, based on the match type that I use.
  • Once you see conversion rates you can set separate budgets on a campaign level for high and low performing campaigns, there is no sense in limiting profitable campaigns by budget.

What are the best practices to create expanded ads?

Expanded ads were created to look good on all devices. Compared to previous text ads, expanded ads have two headlines (30 characters each) and a long description line (80 characters). Sometimes there can be headline truncation, however, based on Google info, this doesn’t happen very often.

If your ads are under review for more than one business day, you can fill in this form, so the Google team will review them.

The key success factor is to create ads that are relevant to your target keywords. Here are some ideas which can help you:

  • Use keyword insertion, which will update your ads to include your target keyword in it. To use it you need to use a small code {KeyWord:} in your ad. For example if you use {KeyWord:Shop Timberland at FARFETCH} in headline 1 it will show:

  • Include the target keyword in a description; we have created our script, which can create relevant ads to a hundred ad groups at once.
  • Use special characters and numbers which will provide some useful information to customers and differentiate your ad from your competitors’.

Why do I need to add extensions? 

Extensions help to get a higher CTR and quality score; Google is constantly adding new extensions so you can provide relevant information to your potential customers. Compare these two ads below: The first, with extensions vs the second, without:

How to get help with account optimization?

Leave a comment on this article or contact us directly.




Account manager:

  1. Следить за корректностью данных в общем отчёте
  2. Проверять постановку целей и статус их достижения по каждому из аккаунтов
  3. Проверять наличие repeatable tasks
  4. Ежедневно уведомлять клиентов, о статусе проделанных нами работ по мере получения этой информации от PPC эксперта
  5. Сдача работы по новым проектам – контоль по чек листу и отправление его клиенту

PPC expert:

1) По каждому аккаунту ставить цель, которая фиксируется в ячейке A1

2) На основе этой цели проводить анализ и составлять план действий на месяц, который также обязательно включает repeatable tasks

3) В конце каждого месяца подводить итог и напротив всех задач ставить success или failure и уведомлять про итоги работы клиента с помощью такого отчёта

4) По мере ежедневной работы уведомлять аккаунт менеджера о изменениях в табличке, чтобы она регулярно поддерживала коммуникацию с клиентом.

5) Для сдачи проекта по set up чек лист отправляется аккаунт менеджеру, который принимает работу.



We are using both external and our own scripts.

Our scripts: 

  1. Script to upload campaigns directly from Google Doc using SKAG structure and to set all needed settings (simplifies work so you don't need AdWords editor); 
  2. Excel script for Excel to generate relevant expanded ads for big amount of products;
  3. Script to work with search report in more convenient way;
  4. Script to simplify work with display network campaign excluding low-performing placements;  

External scripts: 

  1. Bid to position using labels by Brainlab

PPC marketing for Ecommerce – 7 Proven Methods to Grow ROI

Unlike any other area of marketing, Ecommerce PPC management is unique in that all of your decisions can be driven by math and statistics, not by intuition. In saying that, if you were not too strong in statistics at school there´s no need to worry; this guide will give you enough info for a quick decision-making process.

If you would like to improve in the art of statistics itself, there are tons of excellent books available for example, Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan, which can help you to understand just how sexy it is.  

It’s easy to lie with statistics, but it’s hard to tell the truth without them.Charles Wheelan

The goal of this small guide is to cover the main Pay Per Click principles which would help you to get higher ROI. When you fully understand them, you can get a much better understanding of what Pay Per Click marketing is really about.

Sometimes you can achieve your monthly goal just spending 15 minutes a week focusing on the highest frequency actions, which have the biggest impact on your Pay Per Click campaigns.

 So let's uncover these key components that will help you to get higher ROI  from PPC this week.  

You may look on Pay Per Click marketing as a puzzle - you will not see the full picture unless you have all 7 elements:

1. If you need more relevant traffic, you will have to pay more for it. 

This may not sound logical, as we've gotten used to a totally opposite approach. The wholesale price for potatoes is much lower compared to market price. So why do we have opposite situation when it comes to PPC marketing?

  • A volume of relevant traffic is always limited; there may be only 100 people who are searching for your products or services. 
  • All people are different and on a different step of a sales funnel. Person A is ready to buy your product straight away while Person B needs time to think. Person C is just performing research and, probably he is never going to buy your product. 

What comes from that, then? The more clients you need, the more you have to pay for every additional client you will get. For example, let's take the keyword "PPC management." On average, there are 1,300 monthly searches for it.


If you are ready to pay only $10 per click, you will be displayed on low position and, as a result, you may participate only in 400 auctions, getting 8 clicks ( assuming that your CTR is 2%). If you are ready to pay $70 per click, you can participate in a higher number of auctions and as a result, CTR will grow. If you participate in 1000 auctions, you will get 50 clicks, assuming that your CTR would be 5%. 

Make the most of the traffic you already have: PPC management is very closely connected to landing page optimization, so you might have to become an expert in that too, or hire someone who can increase the conversion rate of your website.

2. Reach is very important.   

By definition, CTR = Clicks/Impressions

So Clicks = CTR x Impressions.

That's why if you want to get more clicks, you just need to grow impressions.

For example, you have a Search campaign on AdWords. The campaign is not limited by budget, but you are getting only a 60% search impression share, or in other words, you are losing 40% of impressions due to low bids. Perhaps campaigns are profitable, however you would like to increase sales. Here are some options to increase the number of impressions: 

  • Increase CPC
  • Add remarketing or other types of campaign such as DSA 
  • Perform further keyword research
  • Add DSA 
  • Add additional relevant ads and extensions in rotation to increase CTR 
  • Import campaigns to Bing or set up Facebook Ads

If you increase CPC your cost per conversion will grow, so it's the last option to consider, as you can get relevant impressions from other keywords and placements on Google Display Network, or via other platforms as Facebook or Bing. So you can get many more conversions by just increasing the impressions volume from new sources of traffic. 

Another example: What will happen if you will decide to cut down the scope of your traffic? For example, adding a schedule to show ads only on even days. Your impression share will drop from 60% to 30% and, as a result you will get fewer sales and lose money. So cutting down the scope of relevant traffic will almost in all situations lead to decreased profit.

Let's take another example: Your budget is $7000 and you are getting 1000 AdWords clicks a day (average  CPC is $7). What if you decrease your CPC to $5 and import campaigns from Bing? The conversion rate from Bing may be slightly different, however most likely, you will get more orders within $7000.

So increasing CPC should be your main strategy to get more traffic. Due to the auction system in this situation there would be only a few winners - usually Google, Facebook or Microsoft.

3. Use the correct PPC Key Performance Indicators.  

To compare how effective different optimization methods are, you need to use some Key Performance Indicators. But in most cases it's not easy. All KPI's such as CTR, ROI, CPA can provide misleading information.

Most likely, you have also read a lot of case studies, such as: "How we achieved 800% higher ROI in 2 weeks from PPC." It's a very misleading headline - to achieve 1000% higher ROI you can just make your bid 10x lower, but you will also get far less in profit. So the correct headline should be "How we achieved 800% ROI and 2x profit from PPC."  

The same situation can happen with any other KPI. It's funny when some people take CTR as KPI. CTR is directly influenced by your position: You can write nonsense in your ad, but having dynamic keyword insertion can get you awesome CTR. Also, you can increase CTR  just by changing your match types. But at the same time, you can get less profit.

For me personally, CTR is a great indicator of traffic relevance. One of my weekly PPC management routines is to check CTR + average position.  If any of my search keywords, which have an ad position better than 3, have CTR of 1% or less, I check the search report to see something like this: 


The best KPI we can use is profit, but it's directly influenced by cost per click. Also we can't calculate all marketing expenses such as salaries, taxes etc. That's why it's impossible to measure success using just one key performance indicator. 

Combine different KPIs to have clear picture, for example cost per lead + lead volume or ROAS + revenue.  

4. Never make decisions based on a small set of data.

Most of my new clients can call me on Monday and say, "Oh, we had terrible results over the weekend!"  I reply, "It's ok, don't worry." Then, on Wednesday I receive another call: "Wow, we had such an amazing day yesterday!" My answer would be, "It's not as good as it looks, let's wait 'til the weekend." What I mean by this is that most people tend to evaluate the results by checking across a one day period. It's the wrong approach. Let me explain why...  

We think, each of us, that we're much more rational than we are. And we think that we make our decisions because we have good reasons to make them. Even when it's the other way around. We believe in the reasons, because we've already made the decision.Daniel Kahneman

Based on the law of small numbers, written by Daniel Kahneman, who was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, if you analyze a very small percentage of data you will get misleading results.  Your results would be different every day due to multiple reasons, which you can't influence.

Let's take a specific example: In one of my projects the eCommerce conversion rate during the last 12 month was 11.19%. Every month it's between 10% and 12%.

But if you check the data individually, on different days, you can see that very often you will have a 6% conversion rate, or 20%:
So, this Monday I get terrible results, but next Monday everything is amazing. In PPC management it's often very easy to make quick but detrimental decisions, for example, increasing CPC based on observing just a few days, or a few clicks. Please don't do that - you will just waste your time. 

So be patient before making any pay per click management decisions. 

5. Focus on the highest frequency actions. 

Following the Pareto Principle, 20% of your targeting methods will provide you with 80% of your profit; 20% of your ads will give you 80% of clicks, etc.  That's actually great news - you don't need to optimize thousands of keywords - by just focusing on the top 20-100 you will achieve the required results. Sometimes, I've achieved a client's monthly goal just by one action alone: Reallocating budgets to the segment of his traffic which was bringing the best results, so I had plenty of time to experiment with new and interesting strategies. 

Highest frequency actions are often different from account to account, but I will list some of my favorite routines: 

    • Maximize volumes of relevant traffic by collecting as many keywords as possible and using all types of PPC campaigns and additional PPC channels such as: Facebook, Bing, Amazon, Twitter, Yandex, etc. 
    • Dynamically change the website content based on the target keywords.
    • Add in rotation all possible extensions.
    • Ad copy optimization using the SKAG structure: 5-7 ads in rotation for each of my top 20% keywords.
    • Price in ad copies. 
    • Negatives.
    • Automation with AdWords scripts. 

I am not covering bid management techniques in this article; that topic will be covered in greater depth in a different guide!

So, to sum up, always think about the highest frequency actions that will help you to achieve your goals with minimum effort.

6. Provide a more relevant website user experience. 

Nearly 15-25 of search queries have never been asked before, which means it's impossible to collect all possible keywords. You will have to use broad match keywords at some point and it's impossible to have website content that will match with all user expectations. We have great news here - you don't have to create 500 landing pages for each of your search terms, but you can dynamically change the website content for each visitor. This is possible via AdWords and Facebook API and we do that using our own scripts. I will cover this point in greater depth in a separate article. 

The other interesting thing to consider is price segmentation. First of all, you may segment customers who are using words such as 'cheap' and its synonyms, which indicate decreased price as a requirement for such customers. Price segmentation is actively used by companies that are selling flight tickets, for example. 

Take the most from each click.

7 . Keep track of your experiments. 

There are hundreds of Pay Per Click management methods and sometimes it becomes hard to measure the impact of the specific actions that you have performed. So you need to carefully track all of the important actions that you have performed. To increase your conversion rate, you can reduce the amount of irrelevant clicks by adding negatives or by adding the price to ad copies. In this case you will not get more conversions, but you will decrease the cost per conversion, yet quite often, you will also exclude those clicks which might lead to conversion. I've seen so many times that "bad" keywords which contain "free" have a really good conversion rate, but blindly adding negatives is not the best long term strategy, because your profit may decrease. I prefer to add negatives which are 100% irrelevant, or which have some statistics behind them. Another option is to improve your website content, so with the same amount of clicks you will get more conversions. As a result, you will get many more conversions within the same AdWords budget.  

Always measure your actions!