4 Quick Fixes to Outsmart Your PPC Competition

by Ron Hutchison October 30th, 2014

Depending on your industry, PPC can be a very competitive world.

You put in long hours & hard work into your campaigns and yet, your competitors seem to have a constant leg up on you. You’re asking yourself, how can I get my campaigns to stand out from the crowded PPC world? Well, here are 4 PPC tips that you can utilize to your advantage.

1. Pay Attention To Your Quality Scores

Why is this Important? Your Quality Score is a function of the keyword you are bidding on, your ad, and the landing page. These are the three items that you have control over which can influence your Quality Score. But a bigger question is: Why is Quality Score important? In short, your Quality Score is an indication of the relevancy of the aforementioned three items to a prospective consumer. You should strive to have a Quality Score – for all keywords except competitor brand names – of at least 7/10. The reason behind this has to do with CPCs, as the higher your Quality Score is the lower your CPC will be.


What Can I Do? Increase your Quality Score to get higher ad placement, lower minimum bids for keywords and potentially higher click-through rates (CTRs). Easier said than done you say? Follow these steps!

  • Structure your campaigns with smaller, tighter & more relevant ad groups. When you structure your campaigns into more targeted ad groups, you are elevating the relevancy between the search query and your ad copy.
  • Optimize your keywords & ad copy. It is imperative that your ad copy speaks to your keywords. This will increase the relevancy of your keywords and ad copy. Not only will this help increase Quality Scores, but will likely increase your CTR.
  • Landing page experience. Just as it’s imperative to have your ad copy speak to your keywords, it’s just as imperative to have your landing pages contain content with your targeted keywords. This again helps with relevancy. A highly relevant landing page likely means an increase in conversions.Remember, account organization is the key to effective Quality Scores as well as an increased click-through rate. 

    2. Review Auction Insights Reports

    Why is this Important? Auction Insights is an AdWords tool that allows you to see the other advertisers that are competing on the same keywords that you are. Reviewing this report will help provide insight into how you’re stacking up against your competitors.

    To view the Auction Insights report, on the Campaigns, Ad Groups or Ads tab, click on the ‘Details’ button, then under ‘Auction Insights’ select ‘All’ or check off certain Campaigns/Ad Groups/Keywords and choose ‘Selected’.


    There are 5 key metrics to review:


  • Average position
  • Impression share
  • Overlap rate – How often you & your competition had impressions simultaneously
  • Position above rate – How often your competition appeared above your ad
  • Top of page rate – How often your ad was above organic listings (in the top 3) and not along the right-hand sideclip_image006What Do I Make of it? Auction Insights reports are valuable to advertisers. Use it to keep an eye on out for up-and-coming competitors, or if you’re a start-up business, use it to gauge how you’re performing against existing advertisers.

    Remember, keep an eye on your competition, because your competition may be using this same data to gain an advantage on you.


    3. Take Advantage Of Ad Extensions:

    What are Ad Extensions? Ad Extensions are a critical component of PPC campaigns. They allow you to show extra information or to “extend” your text ads. They help increase visibility and appear only on ads that are above the search results, rather than along the sidebar.

    Common Ad Extensions


  • Sitelink Extensions: Allow you to promote additional landing pages below your standard ad text.
  • Call Extensions: Allow users to click directly on the phone number displayed in ad copy from their mobile device.
  • Location Extensions: Allow you to include location information below your standard text ads.
  • Callout Extensions: Allow you to include up to 3 additional points below your text ads. These can include detailed information about your business, your products and your services.clip_image008 

    4. Stay Up To Date With Ppc News, Trends & Strategies:

    How Do I Do That? Online advertising is constantly changing. So what are you doing to stay in the loop & keep up with these changes? Having a busy schedule can make it difficult to keep up with the latest PPC news, so even the best PPC specialists need a go-to source.

    Here is a list of my top blogs to help you stay on top of PPC news, trends & strategies.


  • Search Engine People
  • PPC Hero
  • White Shark Media
  • Search Engine Watch
  • Search Engine Land
  • Google Inside Adwords Google’s official blog for news, tips and information on AdWords


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4 Quick Fixes to Outsmart Your PPC Competition:

Written by Ron Hutchison,

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