Back to Basics – PPC Search Targeting

With 40,000 searches made on Google every second, PPC Marketers want to filter down these searches to be as relevant as possible. With CPC (Cost-Per-Click) and competition on the rise, marketers can’t afford to be wasting valuable clicks on irrelevant searches.


The foundation to any PPC campaign is the keywords. It is important to be able to capture searches to be able to funnel them towards ads. However, the importance of keyword match type is often overlooked. ‘Exact Match’ shows your ads only to search queries which are exactly the same as your keywords. Phrase match keywords show your ad to search queries which have the same string of keywords in the query. Example the phrase match keyword “Blue Dress” will show for the search query “Where to buy a blue dress”. Broad match will show your ads if the search query is related to your broad match keyword. You can decide which match types to use depending on your strategy, but it is important to consider which type to use. Too broad – irrelevant traffic, too narrow – missing out on opportunities. Funneling down traffic using keyword match types is an important part in controlling search and cost. With this funneled down traffic marketers can add a filter in order to cut out the waste spend.

Negative keywords are used to do the opposite of keywords. If the negative keyword is in the search query, the ad will not show. This tool is useful to reduce waste spend on irrelevant searches and increased the overall quality of your traffic. At this point there is relevant, filtered traffic which can trigger ads. Going a step further, you can funnel the traffic to a specific ad, or increase the bid to achieve a better ad rank. This is where Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) comes in.

The marketer can choose to either ‘Target and Bid’ or ‘Bid Only’. Choosing ‘Target and Bid’ will allow you to bid on keywords like standard search but only to people within the audience list, while choosing to ‘Bid Only’ will allow you to apply a bid adjustment to the selected audience whilst still displaying ads to people outside of your audience.

With so many different ways to target customers, it’s important to take a step back and consider what you are actually doing and what you can do better.

Source: ©BenFarrar
Image: ©competepulse

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