The PPC Snobs Playbook

Module 4.1: Targeting

Location: Where our ads show. Time: When our ads show. Keyword: What people are searching. Audience: Who we want to target. Ads: How we promote ourselves. Website: How people engage with us. Tracking - How much can we understand. Bidding - What are we willing to pay.

Table of Contents

A. Keywords

The keyword is the core targeting mechanism of search advertising campaigns. 

The beautiful thing about search is that our customers are literally typing what they want in a little box. Keywords are great because they tend to explicitly highlight intent. 

Two tools that I recommend for keyword research are Google Trends and the Google Keyword Planner. I use this to track the popularity and growth of a keyword over time. I also use these tools to brainstorm keyword ideas.

For the last few years in PPC, there’s been a heavy focus on controlling keyword match types, which advertisers use to effectively target specific types of search intent. 

We’re heading towards an era of PPC where millions of signals drive every auction.

Our goal is to help our PPC engine’s explore as many ‘relevant’ signals as possible (through tracking, targeting and optimization).

We don’t have to get too specific about keywords anymore, just a few general themes about our industry. Then let the smart bidding do the rest of the heavy lifting for us.

7 Tips for Keyword Research

  1. Do a Google search for your keywords to better understand the intent behind that search. 
  2. Research all types of keywords as they relate to your industry: services, products, events, people, companies, questions. 
  3. Generally, if there are ads on the search engine results page, then that keyword query has loads of commercial intent.
  4. Look at trends for the last few years to get an idea of how keywords have increased/decreased over time. 
  5. Think about how language may have evolved during that time frame for your industry. 
  6. It’s also interesting to see how trends are impact by major global events, like the World Cup for example.
  7. Look at the mobile traffic vs. desktop traffic split. Certain industries are heavily desktop driven, such as B2B. Others are mobile-first, like apps. 

B. Audiences

PPC already forces us to consider the who, what, where, when, why and how of the audiences the we serve.

The Google Find Your Audience Tool also helps you to discover the type of audiences that might be interested in your product or service. 

Audiences also provide the targeting for several PPC campaign types (Display, Video, and Social), so this research has to be done eventually.

We can design our PPC content to address specific audiences personally by segmenting our audiences by interest, demographics, location and intent. 

Doing this exercise regularly will help us reach new communities and continue to grow our brand.

Lastly, think about all of the stakeholders that we need engage with for our organization to function: Our employees, customers, partners, vendors and communities. 

We need to be conscious of ALL of the audiences that we can impact with our PPC Engine.

Levels of Audience Segmentation

  1. 1st Party – People who’ve subscribed or purchased from us before.
  2. Remarketing – People who’ve interacted with our website and ad channels.
  3. In-Market/Purchase Intent – People who are in the market for our services and product.
  4. Affinity/Interest Categories – People who are interested in certain topics, for example sports lovers or techies.
  5. Lifestage – People who are going through a significant change in life: Pregnant, graduated, moved, etc..
  6. Demographics – Age, Gender, Parental Status, Martial Status, etc…

The PPC Snobs Playbook

Module 4: Optimize

Launch your PPC rocketship to the stars!

Module 4.2: Content

Module 4.3: Bidding

Module 4.4: Sales