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Improve Your Underperforming B2B PPC Campaigns

Inbound Marketing

In a PPC campaign your goal is to have a high ad placement in the SERPs which result in increased CTRs and, hopefully, increase conversions. The more conversions you have, the better your ROI. But what if your PPC campaign is faltering?

You can fix it. There are a number of factors involved in ranking, many of which can be improved with the right approach.

For this or any other marketing campaign you must determine at the outset what your campaign objectives are and monitor them. If you aren’t meeting your objectives, it won’t matter how cost effective your campaign is.

Common KPIs to monitor:

  • Number of successful conversions
  • Cost per conversion or acquisition
  • Keywords generating successful conversions

PPC advertising gives you the ability to create campaigns with multiple Ad Groups. Each Ad Group can contain multiple keywords. Take advantage by developing multiple campaigns.

Relevance Holds Key to Impact

Keyword relevance has the biggest impact to ad performance. The keywords you select must be relevant to your business and be placed in the correct environment. The most relevant keyword will still perform poorly if the ad is not in the right Ad Group or SERP.

For even better conversion rates, make sure you are using long tail keywords whenever possible. Your impressions and clicks will decrease but each lead will be more highly qualified.

A Word about Testing, Measuring, and KPIs

If you are not measuring against predetermined KPIs you won’t know how well you are doing now, and you certainly won’t know if the actions you are taking have any effect. Always measure and monitor deliberately selected KPIs to learn if you are achieving your goals.

A very effective way to save time and determine best performance is through A/B testing. Create different versions of ads and landing pages to see which performs better. This gives you a clue how to proceed with future ads.

Actions to Take to Improve Performance

There are a variety of actions you can take to improve your campaigns. You can use 1-2 of these suggestions or try them all. Taking one step at a time and measuring is your best bet. Start with the simplest and work your way up.

Check for Relevance

As noted before, relevance has the biggest impact on performance. Check these out:

  • Do all the keywords in an Ad Group follow a common theme?
  • Do all the ads have same theme and use similar keywords in the ad copy?
  • Do the landing pages match the theme of the ads and keywords?
  • Are there keywords in the landing page copy?

Use Ad Groups to establish different themes and more accurately and precisely target your ideal customer.

Improve the Quality Score

Quality Score (QS) is used by both Bing and Google to determine ad rank. You get a QS for each keyword, each ad, each Ad Group, and the overall campaign. Quality Score has a direct effect on ad ranking and bid price. The QS measures:

  • Keyword relevance
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page relevance
  • Historical CTR
  • Secret Google Factors


QS Formula:
Ad Rank = Keyword Bid X Quality Score


Do not try to bid your way to the top spot. It won’t work because your quality score is part of the consideration and you will incur unnecessary costs and no ROI.

QS goes from 1-10 with 1 being the worst or lowest score. A QS of 7 and higher is above average, A QS of 3 and lower is below average. The higher the score, the better your ranking and the lower the bid goes for your selected keyword.

You can improve the Quality Score by:

  • Placing your keywords into smaller Ad Groups with higher relevancy.
  • Developing an extremely specific landing page with appropriate keywords for each Ad Group.
  • Create more highly relevant ads.
  • Put the keywords in the ad title, ad body, ad display URL, the landing page title, and the landing page content. Try different keyword densities.

Use Your Settings

You have several settings available to you for PPC. Use them to your advantage.

  • Keyword Match Types: use Phrase Match and Exact Match. Broad Match is much less useful.
  • Ad Placement: specify where ads should appear: Google Search Results, Google Search Network Partners, Google Content Network (be on alert here, and always, for click fraud).
  • Campaign Settings: Use the tools for campaign management --
    • Ad scheduling
    • Run date
    • Keyword bidding
    • Geo targeting
  • Negative Keyword Facility: specify keywords that shouldn’t appear in the SERP for your ad.

At the End of the Day

While you are dicing data and testing keywords, don’t forget the best way to find and attract qualified leads is to offer solutions, not products or brands. Solve people’s problems. They will get to know you along the way.


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