Don’t Forget To Check These PPC Settings

PPC Settings Review.

Most day-to-day management tasks are about finding new keywords, monitoring CTR, bids and budgets. But don’t forget to check these AdWords PPC settings when setting up or managing a new campaign.

Related: AdWords Daily Tasks & Improve PPC Performance

Locations PPC Settings

The default AdWords setting will actually show your ads to outside your targeted area. If you just want people in a specific region, you need to change this in your campaign settings. This will avoid people from other areas triggering your ad when they type, for example, “PPC Company Manchester“.

Commonly missed PPC settings
PPC settings

Ad Schedule Bid Modifiers

It’s very easy to set up ad bid modifiers and forget about it. You could change the day, time or device and only months later notice that things have changed and you are losing budget.

PPC Conversion Settings

Whether you are using the AdWords tag, a Goal imported from Analytics, or an imported file – make sure conversion is correct and accurately set up.

Duplicate Keywords – PPC Settings

Often you’ll find treasure in the search query report that you add over time and they are search terms that seem relevant to how they were matched.

It is easy to add duplicate keywords across multiple groups

AdWords is getting pretty clever in how it automatically identified duplicates and offers a solution in the form of an ‘opportunity’. So keeping on top of a well organised PPC campaign has never been easier.

Keyword Sculpting

This is a term used to describe how you funnel a search query to a keyword that’s being bid on.

If you are using Broad match types, Google tends to pick the keyword a search term is matched to, and it won’t always do this consistently. You could end up having one search term matching multiple different ad groups with varying levels of performance.

To match the search term to the best-performing ad group, set as an exact match negative to the Ad Groups or Campaigns where we want it to stop getting matched to. This forces Google to match it the way you want.

Search Partners and Display Select

The default setting for AdWords is to include these in your campaign setup if you are not paying attention.

It’s true that Search Partners can do well, but it can also do horribly and gobble up a budget. Test it on a new (separate) campaign.
Display – in my opinion – is good for raising awareness and brand promotion, but not great at producing a quick return on investment. If a rapid ROI is what you, or your client – is after, leave this well alone. If they are playing a long game with decent budgets, then this could play a key role.

Missing or Disapproved Ad Extensions

In addition to expanding your Ads these extensions, extensions can also help to pre-qualify clicks better and give more information to encourage a click from a user.

In Conclusion

AdWords is rarely a quick win. Campaigns evolve and require optimisation. If you are struggling with your AdWords campaign, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form.


PPC Advertising for Small Business – Top 3 Tips

PPC advertising for small business enables you to connect with people searching for your products or services.

Don’t Over Spend

Start small, test lots, measure everything.

The only metric that really matters, in the end, is CPA – cost per acquisition. How much money are you getting back from your PPC campaign? But to improve this, you have to measure everything else. Visits, impressions, quality score, CTR etc.

Optimise your PPC campaigns using negative keywords, location, device and time of day settings. You need to know who your best visitors are and target them.

Select the Right Keywords

Consider keyword intent and select the right keywords.

Read more about customer intent here. You need to select keywords that are relevant to your services or products.

“Long-tail keywords” have a higher probability of conversions and lower cost/lower risk. These types of keywords are more descriptive than short-tail keywords – try and use the exact match as these will be assessed as being better more relevant to the search (better Ad position, lower cost).


Keywords, adverts and landing page all need to be about the same specific thing.

Your ads need to specify to the keyword and the landing page. Take what searchers are looking for and tie it to your unique value proposition. Keyword extensions increase your ad’s visibility and allow you to be more relevant. Fill in as many as you can without padding. Test at least 3 Ad variations with different headlines and descriptions.

PPC Advertising for Small Business: Further Reading

Read more about PPC for small business and how you can improve your ppc campaign performance.

If you’d like to get in touch, please fill out our contact form.

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Generate More Instructions with PPC For Estate Agents.

PPC for Estate agents – Optimising for New Instructions.

Generating new customer leads and instructions for people wanting an estate agent requires a holistic approach. PPC campaigns for Estate Agents should play a big part.


When people want to discuss selling their house, do they walk straight into a local estate agent? Or do they start their research online first? Even if it is to find out who the local agents are.

Have a look at the below screenshot for results from searching “Estate Agent in Cheadle” (we are an Online Marketing Company in Cheadle!)

ppc for estate agents
estate agent ppc search

PPC for Estate Agents: Competition

Competition is fairly strong, there are 7 paid Ad slots and the top is won by a national chain with a local presence. This advert is very good and tells us a lot about what your estate agency PPC campaign ad should contain.

  • The Ad contains a price and they use their brand recognised URL in the copy.
  • Their review rating is prominent.
  • Extensions – The call extension will undoubtedly be populated but isn’t triggered.
  • Site Links – Services, free valuation etc
  • URL extension – targeting people looking to sell (possibly filtering people looking for a house) and the location is also covered.
  • Call to action (and offer) – Book a free valuation

Site extensions enhance the relevance of the ads, so make sure they are optimised to the search queries you want to appear for.

I think the only thing I’d like to see (which could be in their portfolio) is mentioning the location in the headline (that the second results – another larger company – does do).

The third place ad is another national estate agent that is spending a lot of money on not just PPC advertising, but TV and traditional print. Their ad looks to play things simple with no extensions, fairly generic URL and a straight forward offer and action in the text. I suspect that it is the “estate agent” or “estate agent in” that could be triggering the Ad (there could be some work done listing all the towns in the UK to customise these Ads.).

Below the first 4 Ads are the 3 business listings, then the 10 organic estate agency results followed by another 3 Ads.

Which Estate Agents Need to Use PPC?

Being on the front page of Google is great, but if you have to get past 7 listings, even being #1 in the search results really makes you position 8! Every estate agent needs to consider supporting their traditional marketing efforts with a PPC campaign.

The more times a business features on the first page of the search results, the more this will enhance credibility and develop additional brand recognition.

Interestingly, in our PPC for estate agents example, none of the local estate agents – that feature high in the organic results – have an active PPC campaign. But the top PPC result also features in the SERPS (position 5). This combined approach is going to drive a lot of traffic that the local businesses are going to be missing out on.

Selling a house has very much the same considerations as many other services. How much does it cost to sell a house? What are the payment terms/guarantees? Is the service going to be good? Preferences on working with local versus national businesses.

Positive online reviews are essential and need to feature on the ads. All these elements (plus any USPs) need to feature in the ad creation.

Estate Agency PPC Keywords and Negative Keywords

As with many PPC campaigns, you’re not going to be focusing on people that are looking to purchase a house. Obviously, this is important, but sites like Rightmove, Zoopla are going to be the main driver for purchasing traffic. You’ll also be getting direct traffic from advertising boards.

So, positive keywords need to include “estate agent” / “letting agent” etc, include the locations that you operate across (making sure to include ‘near me’ and ‘local’). Also include queries such as, “how much does it cost to sell a house”, “sell my house” and words such as “best” and “top”.

As you are not going to be focusing on buyers with your Adwords campaign, you can exclude “buy”, “free”, “houses for sale” and undoubtedly much more.

ppc keywords estate agent
estate agency keywords


Location settings are the priority here but don’t discount mobile and time of day tests.

Competitor Bidding

PPC competitor bidding for estate agency seems especially relevant. Make sure your advertisement is displayed for searches for local competitors. This could sway people in your direction. Especially if you have a better offer!

This is a little more tricky as business searches are likely to also bring up the business listing. Click through rates and quality scores are likely to be low. But it is certainly worthy of a test or two.

Conversely, competitors may be bidding on your business name! Ensure that you are top of these results!

In Conclusion

Estate agency PPC campaigns should be fairly straight forward. Make sure you get the most from your spend and don’t waste your budget.

If PPC is working for the national businesses, then it can certainly work for you. You won’t be able to compete with national budgets, but you can on a local level with more focused ads and offers. Generate more instructions with a PPC campaign.

Get in contact now to discuss your estate agents PPC requirements.

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AdWords Daily Tasks – Improve PPC Performance

AdWords daily tasks we do to monitor and improve campaign performance.

PPC optimisation is a never ending task. Here are a few Adwords daily tasks we do most days to improve performance for ourselves, and our clients.


Review the search terms triggering adverts.

On the keywords page, there are three tabs at the top: Keywords, Search Terms and Negative Keywords. The search terms tab will display the keywords triggering your ads and being clicked – hence costing you money.

AdWords daily tasks - search terms
Search terms – Adwords daily tasks

You can use this report to identify negative keywords that you may have missed. You can also refine the match types for your keywords. This can make your bidding more competitive.

Review Ad performance

Keep an eye on your ad performance. Each group should be focussed on exactly what it is your landing page delivers. As a minimum, each group should have 3 adverts.

Review budget

If you are running out of budget you’ll be missing opportunities to reach new customers. If you are generating a good return on investment – based on your goal conversion reporting (!) – Then there should be no reason not to increase your budgets.

PPC Bidding

Being an auction, your competitors are constantly reviewing and altering how much a click is going to be worth to them. Although subjective, you don’t want to be outbid on a keyword that is generating your profit. Keep an eye out on position and bidding reporting to ensure you are getting the most out of your PPC budget. Similarly, if conversion drops off for any reason, you may want to reduce the amount you are bidding on some keywords.

Opportunities –  AdWords Daily Tasks.

Google has a nice feature that occasionally makes recommendations to improve your campaign performance. This usually takes the form of suggesting new keywords. Make sure you don’t just accept these without review. However good Googles AI is at identifying opportunities, their idea of customer intent is based on probability and past click through rate, and may not be suited to your campaign.

AdWords daily tasks: Scheduling/devices review

This isn’t an every day one, but every so often check-up on your scheduling and device split report. If one segment is converting better than another, you may want to weight your bidding to improve overall campaign performance.

Organic traffic report:  AdWords daily tasks

Use search console to identify search terms that are being used to find your website. If you don’t currently rank well for these terms, it could well be worth your time adding them into the AdWords campaign.

Conversion Stats / Trends

Conversion is king when it comes to AdWords PPC. Set up your goals and monitor everything that happens. Get to know which keyword, Ad, device, time of day, landing page etc convert your clicks into customers – and do more of it !

In Conclusion

Constantly keep updating your campaign with these AdWords daily tasks to get the most of you PPC budget.

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PPC Campaign Optimisation

Optimising up a PPC Campaign to Grow Your Business.

Manchester based, Google Certified Partner Rob Wilkinson, outlines some areas to concentrate on for PPC campaign optimisation.

Read more: Search Engine Marketing and Adwords – Manchester

Online marketing has given smaller businesses a chance to compete in previously unreachable markets. SMEs can now promote their products or services with more limited budgets, scaling as they see results.

Online advertising – especially PPC – provides a clearer return on investment analysis. We can know if our PPC or display ads are working based on conversion data. We can also know how many people see our ads with impressions and even know how many of those people clicked (click-through rate or CTR).

PPC campaign optimisation is not “set up and leave” it marketing, and hiring a PPC management company is often expensive so business owners may think PPC is not ideal for their business – especially if they have tried a couple of techniques and failed.

PPC Campaign Optimisation
Optimising PPC Campaigns


PPC campaign optimisation: Keyword Selection

A keyword is a word or a phrase used by people searching online for information. Google have algorithms that constantly learn from searches to improve their results and deliver the most relevant results or Ads.

It is important to note that Google considered my intent to retrieve relevant results.

Related: Understanding Customer Intent is Crucial to Online Marketing

Considering keyword intent and selecting the right keywords (and negative keywords) is vital to successful PPC campaign optimisation. Select keywords that are relevant to your business.

Keywords selection is also influenced by search volume and competition. Select keywords that have high search volume and low competition by using tools such as the Google Keyword Planner. It will help you see what keywords people are using for related searches, the volume of searches per month, suggested bids and competition.

Long-tail keywords get a higher probability of conversions and lower cost/lower risk. These types of keywords are more descriptive than short-tail keywords and help with PPC campaign optimisation.

For example, if your keyword is “Recruitment Company”, then a longer tail keyword could be “Office Recruitment Company in Hitchin“. Include location and more specific words – this might lead to lower impressions, but clicks will be much more relevant, so increase your bids!

Ad Copy: PPC campaign optimisation

Ads drive clicks and conversion. Avoid being too generic, take what searchers are looking for and tie it to your unique value proposition. For example, if you’re creating an ad for “Recruitment Agency” you may want to create an ad that highlights your 90-day replacement guarantee or your introductory pricing.

Watch your competition, not just your direct competitors, have a look at a what people are doing in other countries and try to offer something better. Remember to use numbers as much as possible. Ads that include them have higher click-through rates.

Keyword extensions are essential. They increase your ad’s size and allow you to add more specific benefits to your offering – enhancing the relevance. There are different types of extensions, such as site extensions (links to specific parts of your site), callout extensions, or call extensions (usually used for mobile devices).

Your ads should have a number of variations. Test different descriptions, headlines and calls to action to discover which one yields the best results. Keep testing! Google AdWords often recommends changes to improve your campaign.

Campaign Structure

Campaign structure is another factor that will help you optimise your PPC campaign. How you organise them is up to you, often location is a good idea, or by service or product. Group similar keywords together with variants and create specific focused Ads.

Landing Pages for PPC campaign optimisation.

The URL your Ad, that is triggered by the keyword, must point to a relevant landing page. If a customer searched for “Recruitment Consultant” and the landing page displays a list of jobs, then this is not going to be relevant for people wanting to use a company to find employees. Again, it is all about understanding customer intent and evidencing that you can deliver the service they are looking for.

PPC campaign optimisation: Quality Score

Quality score is a system used by AdWords to determine the relevance and quality of your campaigns. Low-quality scores increase the cost per click (CPC) and reduce the number of times your advert is displayed. Ad copy and landing page relevance can dramatically affect your quality score, so make sure you also spend time on your landing pages.

Negative Keywords

Negative keyword lists can be used to optimise your AdWords PPC Campaign. These keywords are filters for your campaigns – your ads won’t show for such keywords. This can save you a lot of money in irrelevant clicks that cause bad-quality traffic. For example, if you are targeting businesses for your recruitment company, you might want to use “jobs” as a negative keyword, as these searches are likely to be from job seekers. (Although you may want a separate campaign targeting these visitors!).

Another useful optimisation practice is to create new ads with the new copy. Make sure to create new ads and not edit old ones; otherwise, your performance history will be deleted from your campaigns. In addition, it is always a good idea to take a look at your keyword match types and look at the keyword planner to add more keywords to your campaigns.

In Conclusion

There are a lot more elements involved with running a successful PPC campaign than mentioned in this article.

PPC campaigns are always a work in progress. Make sure you stay on top of any changes and keep testing new ideas! Avoid wasting money, test often and create organised, optimised campaigns. Finally, remember, to continually monitor your results.

See Measuring your Conversion With Google Analytics

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Example Negative Keywords for Pay Per Click Campaigns

Implementing these example negative keywords on your PPC campaigns could help reduce wasted clicks.

For many online businesses, including B2B, B2C either e-commerce or not, there are some keywords that are just a waste money.

In order to avoid your ads triggering for the wrong reasons, I’ve put together a list of the more common keywords that I exclude from my campaigns.


These will not be applicable for everyone. Many companies want people that are doing research, are interested in recruiting or are giving away something for free. But for others, these searches are so far away from entering the ‘customer journey’ that they should be classed as negative keywords.

As mentioned, in every situation the objectives are different, this list is not exhaustive and just happens to apply to our present scenario. Hopefully, it will give you ideas to prevent wasting your advertising spend.

Negative Keyword Examples


The first group come under the heading of research. These people may or may not eventually turn into customers, but even if they do, they are a long way off:

  • “what is”
  • what’s
  • definition
  • meaning
  • define
  • advantages
  • definition
  • disadvantages
  • examples
  • advantages
  • meaning

Free Negative Keywords

These searches are fine, everyone does it, but unless you are actually giving something away, or include a free trial, then these are not for you.

  • Free
  • gratis
  • simple

Location based negative keywords

You should be using specific location targeting, but still worth including some of the main areas that you don’t serve:

  • London
  • Wales
  • Isle of Mann

People often search simply for quick research, the rise of voice search will certainly increase this. Below are a few terms that can be added to the negative list (unless you are a selling research).

  • news
  • awards
  • trends
  • statistics

The DIYers.

These searches alongside your search terms can often indicate people are looking for ways to do something themselves.

  • ideas
  • templates
  • inspiration
  • blog
  • themes
  • list
  • make
  • “how to”
  • wp

Recruitment and Training Negative Keywords.

People looking for work, recruitment agencies or people looking for training.

  • jobs
  • careers
  • vacancies
  • university
  • courses
  • opportunities
  • recruitment
  • positions available

Specific Research Negative Keywords

Some search terms indicate more in-depth research. Specific keywords like the below will only need not be triggered unless your business deals in such services.

  • technology
  • security
  • law
  • framework
  • logistics
  • design
  • designer

If your website ranks high in the search engines, you might even want to add your company name as an exact match negative keyword (the exception to this is if you have competitors competing on your company name!).

In Conclusion

Negative keyword selection is almost more important than positive ones. Remember there are different types of keyword matching, including a phrase, broad and exact. This also applies to negative keywords. You might want to exclude exact phrases, but not the words within that phrase.

PPC strategy and management can get complicated, but keeping a close eye on performance and measuring conversions will help drive up your ROI.

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Negative Keyword Considerations

Negative Keywords are an essential part of PPC (pay per click) advertising campaigns. These are words or phrases that, when included in a search term, do not trigger your adverts to display.


Negative keywords are completely subjective, what might be obvious for one campaign might actually be a keyword trigger in another. For example, negative keywords could include: “free”, “definition” and “instructions”. These would tend to indicate that the person searching these words are not interested in purchasing. But instead only looking for information. In some instances, however, this could be exactly they type of people you want to find.

As with normal keywords, negative keywords can take the form of broad match, exact and phrase. These can also be combined to completely lock a campaign down and ensure you aren’t wasting your PPC budget.

You may not want to show your adverts if a search is too broad. For example “Advertising”. The person searching this could be looking for almost anything. In this example, you may want to trigger adverts for “TV Advertising” but not for [Advertising]. You don’t want to block the word “advertising”, just when the search query matches [advertising] exactly.

Normally this problem wouldn’t crop up if your campaign was made up of just phrase match keywords, but this could be limiting your audience.

Depending on your company name, SEO position of your home page and competition, you might also want to block searches for your company. It’s just wasting budget and people will find you anyway (assuming you are number 1!).

Optimise your PPC Budget with Negative Keywords

One (slow and expensive) way of identifying negative keywords is to run a broad keyword campaign and constantly check the search terms that are triggering your adverts. It will very quickly become obvious how varied search queries can be, and how quickly they drain your budget.

There is little more irritating than have someone click your advert when, at least to you, it was completely obvious they were not going to find what they wanted on your website. It is exactly this that you need to predict and prevent. Not only will your conversions increase (hopefully you have setup conversion tracking!) you will probably notice that your quality scores rise too.

Make your keyword advertising campaign specific and focused to your landing page. Make sure if people are searching for exercise equipment, they don’t trigger your adverts for advertising classes!

Find out more

Online marketing company in Cheadle : Online Customer Solutions, provide websites, SEO and online services to help businesses grow. We work worldwide with businesses small and largeContact us today.

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Search Engine Marketing and Adwords – Manchester

SEM, SEO, Websites and Google Adwords. Manchester Based Online Marketing Consultancy

Search Engine Marketing can be used as an umbrella term to encompass both SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and paid search activities. For example Google Adwords. Although some in the industry have adopted the SEM acronym to refer solely to paid search.

Related: Manchester Adwords Certified Partner

The below activities all form part of Search Engine Marketing:

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. Appearing high up in the results for searches related to your company, services or product.
PPC (pay-per-click) – Advertising your company / product and paying when someone clicks on your advert. Ad Words being the most popular.
CPC (cost-per-click).
CPM – The cost you pay for your advert to be displayed to 1000 people.

Google Adwords – Paid Search Marketing

Google AdWords is by most measures the most popular paid search platform used by search marketers. Using Ad words and Analytics together provides insight and analysis. Measure your web traffic and marketing campaigns.

Online Marketing for Small or Home Based Companies.

In addition to Search Engine Marketing, the below are also otions for small and micro-businesses:

Social Media Marketing – if suitable, get on Facebook and recruit followers. Then start promoting your services.
Content Marketing – start a blog and create great content for people to find. (also helps SEO!)
Local Marketing – get reviews on your site, or (and this is essential) register your business with Google Business. Ask for reviews and remember to update it with images. Google+ also helps with SEO

Manchester based Search Engine Marketing company, Online Customer Solutions, help small businesses establish a web presence; refresh their current website and manage the digital marketing, including Google Adwords and other paid search.

Online Customer Solutions also support small and micro businesses in the Manchester area with Local Search advice, Social Media and Content Marketing.

OCS also provide generic IT advice and support, from purchasing to outsourcing and finance.

Find out more

Based in SK8, just south of Manchester in the UK, Online Customer Solutions provide Google Adwords and SEO solutions to a range of business, but specialise in helping small businesses grow.

Contact us today, we can advise and provide a range of services, from setting up a website, to improving online marketing and conversions.

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