Top 3 Things I’ve Learned About PPC in My First 3 Months at Fathom

It’s been about 3 months since I started working at Fathom, running PPC campaigns for a variety of clients on the healthcare team. I’ve learned a lot in that time period, and I wanted to share some of my learnings with you:

  1. Use Negative Matches to Direct Search Traffic

Using negative matches to block any unwanted queries from triggering your ad is obviously important, but they can also be used to steer search traffic to the correct ad group and keyword. Let’s say for example you have an ad group with a bunch of keywords plus your brand –we’ll call this the branded ad group – and another ad group with all of the same keywords without your brand, which we’ll call the unbranded ad group. You should negative match your brand to the unbranded ad group so that any query that includes the brand term gets matched to the branded ad group, where your cost per clicks (CPCs) and Quality Scores are probably much better.

If you’ve read The “Name that Tune” Approach to PPC blog post by Matt Brown, then you may already be familiar with this concept. If you haven’t,  I recommend you check it out.

  1. When Limited by Budget, Focus on Bottom of the Funnel Keywords

When building and managing a campaign, it can be tempting to try to rank for every keyword under the sun. Don’t. Consider what the goal of the campaign is. If it’s to get conversions, which it probably is, and you’re limited by budget, try pausing keywords that would capture any general or information queries – what I would call top of the funnel keywords. These keywords typically have much higher search traffic than bottom of the funnel keywords and are much less likely to convert. They can easily eat up all your budget without ever giving the bottom of the funnel keywords a chance to get a click.

  1. Ranking Number One Isn’t Always Best

Along the same lines as my point above, it can be tempting to want to increase all your keyword bids until you’re ranking in first position, because being number one is the best, right? Not necessarily. Competition for that first position can be fierce, and the average CPCs can double between position one and two, if not more. You may find that you get so many more clicks and conversions in position two that it will make up for a slightly lower conversion rate. You may even find that your ads have an even better conversion rate in position two.

If there’s one main takeaway I’ve learned from working with clients on their PPC campaigns, it’s this: as with anything in PPC, experiment, try different things, and see what works best for your campaigns. And if you need guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experienced PPC strategists.

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