5 Ideas to Kick Start Your PPC Audience Strategy | DMA

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5 Ideas to Kick Start Your PPC Audience Strategy


In a previous blog post, my colleague Emma discussed how Paid Search is shifting towards an audience based buying model. There are many ways to use audience data to improve your PPC campaigns, so let’s take a closer look at 5 ideas you can test.

Here at Periscopix, we know that data is king when it comes to optimising PPC campaigns. Over the years, the data available to us in AdWords has grown and grown, and today we can now see how our campaigns perform by various audience signals including location, device, time, demographics and remarketing lists. Most importantly, we can also translate these insights into an actionable strategy.

1. Bid more for the right people

Finding your PPC audience

This first strategy is simple, and hopefully you’re already applying data based bid adjustments in your account. However, instead of just looking at data for each of your targeting options in isolation and making corresponding bid adjustments, try going a step further and look at the bigger picture. Enrich your dataset by using insights from Google Analytics and your offline channels. Make use of first-party data from your CRM. When you’ve collected all of this, start looking for overlapping audience signals which correspond with improved performance, and decide how to target these segments in your PPC campaign.

Does mobile perform well during the morning commute? Perhaps those aged 45+ in cities convert better? Or maybe you’ve noticed that returning users are more likely to purchase your product over the weekend? Spotting these trends is the first step in profiling your audience, and you should make sure that your bid adjustments are combining effectively so that you’re bidding most for the highest quality traffic

Image source: orangesquare.com

2. Tailor your ad copy

Tailor your ad copy.

Once you’ve defined an audience that you want to target, try testing a more tailored message. By splitting out your audience into a separate ad group or campaign, you can serve them a different set of ads. For example, if you offer a student discount, you could test ads which mention this USP for young people aged 18-24 searching within a 5 mile radius of a university.

Remember also that copy is not just about your ads anymore! Google will often serve multiple ad extensions alongside your ad, so think about how you can tailor these for your audience too. Perhaps you want to test different sitelinks for men and women on mobile. Maybe there’s a great article about your site in a publication that is popular with morning commuters - why not use this as a review extension? This comprehensive approach to tailored ad copy gives you the best chance of standing out on the results page and achieving a higher clickthrough rate with your key audiences.

Image source: inboundmarketingagents.com

3. Test specific landing pages

Test specific landing pages.

A natural progression from ad copy testing is landing page testing. Think about what each of your audiences are looking for when they arrive on your site, and test sending them to different areas. Better yet, try testing bespoke landing pages for each audience, and continue the messaging that pulled them to your ad on the search engine results page in the first place.

If you’re a car hire company, and some analysis of your site traffic shows that men aged 25-34 in London prefer sports cars to hatchbacks, make sure your landing page gives greater prominence to the former for this audience.

Image source: Benchmarkemail.com

4. Expand your keyword coverage

Expanding your keyword coverage.

Once you’ve improved performance within your existing campaigns, think about how else to reach your most valuable audiences. Maybe there are expensive, high volume keywords that you currently don’t bid on because they haven’t delivered results in the past. You may have already limited your exposure on these keywords to returning users with Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs), but you might still be able to get these keywords to work harder for you and increase new customer acquisition by overlaying audience targeting instead. For example, if you were a shoe shop with a range aimed at female students, you might only bid on [shoes] for women aged 18-24 searching within a 5-mile radius of a university campus.

Image source: mequoda.com

5. Use Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) allow you to provide the ads and lets Google serve them on any search query that it thinks is relevant to the content of your site. They are a great feature and have a number of advantages, but you do relinquish a lot of control over where and how your ads are served. However, you can regain some of this control by overlaying audience data on your DSA campaigns. For example, you could segment your DSA campaign by age, and provide different landing pages for younger and older demographics.

Think of this as the purest form of search-based audience targeting: you provide your landing page, your ad copy and who you want to reach, and Google serves your ads to the right audience whenever they search for relevant queries! As with any campaign however, ongoing optimisation will still be key to ensuring great results - don’t forget to regularly check your search query reports and add negative keywords to block out irrelevant traffic.

You can also use your Dynamic Search Ads to perform audience-based keyword research. Discovering how particular audiences search for and discover your website can help to inform and shape wider expansion of your keyword coverage.

Image source: volusion.com

A World of Possibilities

Hopefully you’ve now got a few ideas to kick start your audience strategies. Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg - there are many more ways that you can use audience data to give your paid search campaigns the competitive edge. What works will depend on your individual business, your PPC goals, and the data available to you. Remember that the key to these strategies is to know your audience first – always ensure you have clean, accurate data to work from.

At Periscopix, we’re always using our clients’ audience data to optimise accounts. If you need help profiling your data and using it to make you’re campaigns more efficient, get in touch.

To view this article on Periscopix's website as written by James Howard, please click here.

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