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Harnessing the Power of Your PPC Search Terms Report

Have you ever wondered how to scrub your Pay Per Click (PPC) account a little further than your negative keywords? Many people do not know but there is a section inside of Google AdWords called the search terms report that can help you refine your keywords.

Related Post: How Your Recruiting Firm Should Approach Competitor Negative Keywords ➢

How To Refine Your Keywords

Inside your AdWords account, go to the “Keywords” section in the grey panel on the left side of your screen. Click on “Keywords” and you will see three navigation sections. The default section highlighted when you click keywords is “Search Keywords” which contains the keywords you put into the system yourself. The next navigation section is “Negative Keywords” and to the right of that is “Search Terms”.

PPC Search Terms ReportPPC Search Terms Report

Click on the “Search Terms” section and you will see “Search Terms” and “Auction Insights.” We’ll focus on “Search Terms” for now and dive a little deeper into “Auction Insights” at another time.

The “Search Terms” section is where most of your keywords and their close variants are shown. When you’re inside the search terms report you will see similar column headers as your “Search Keywords” section. You can add and remove columns as you see fit.

The “Search Terms” section is where Google shows you what kind of help it has provided you regarding searcher intent and searches your pages showed up in that Google deemed relevant to one or more of your keywords. This sometimes can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you want Google to send you as much traffic as possible, but on the other hand, you don’t necessarily want to pay for traffic that will not amount to a phone call or lead.

Real Life Examples

I wanted to give you an example of an account Parqa Marketing recently took over on the recruiting side. When doing a keyword audit and examining historical search terms we noticed that the company did not realize they were coming up in searches for “recruiting” that they didn’t want.

The company was using Broad Match Modifier (BMM) which is a very common match type. When using BMM you must be careful and really look at your search terms. Some of the terms we saw inside the search terms report such as “top college recruiters” or “college recruiting employment services” were irrelevant to the client.

Another nice feature offered by Google allows you to look at the match types that a search query came up for; broad, phrase, phrase match (close variant), exact match or exact match (close variant). With this report, you can save time by adding a search query as a “keyword” or negatize a query right inside the search terms report. No need to write the query down or make a note to change it later.

Related Post: PPC Match Types For Recruiters ➢

Continuous Monitoring

You should monitor your search terms report often. Some accounts that have lots of traffic and high spend amounts should be looked at daily while accounts that have minimal spending and a low amount of clicks/traffic can be looked at every few weeks. There is no silver bullet in terms of monitoring, make sure to look over the search terms going back a certain time frame to make sure you are catching the terms/searches you want to make negative or avoid.

Just because you think the spend is minimal on some of the keywords you want to make negative, don’t think that it will not have an impact. Over time if you leave bad keywords inside your search terms report without negatizing them, it could spend hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars. For companies on a shoestring budget that is a huge dent in marketing dollars and potential good leads lost.

In closing, make sure you monitor and utilize the search terms report often. This report can save you a lot of money and help you create a refined and effective keyword list.

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Annoyed of Facebook Advertising? Here’s How Facebook Ad Targeting Works

Facebook: Some people love it, some people hate it. It allows you to stay in contact with people from all different phases of your life, while also being one of the fastest news outlets we’ve ever encountered. Thanks to Facebook ad targeting, being a business and needing to make money, your Newsfeed is also full of ads.

More often than not, we hear, “These ads are so annoying.” “They aren’t relevant to me.” “How does Facebook even think I’d be interested in something like this?” What I’m here to tell you is that YOU do have power to change what types of ads you see.

A Brief History of Targeted Online Advertising

Before we dive into how Facebook’s ad targeting works, let’s start with a brief history of targeted online advertising. Since the 1990’s, targeted advertising has been part of the internet experience. Many of us remember when surfing the web used to mean navigating through a torrent of unwelcome pop-up ads; when digital advertising meant flashing banners and random irrelevant sidebar ads.


Display ads started becoming increasingly targeted, as advertisers became more interested in targeting specific consumer demographics. In 1997, we witnessed the explosion of pop-up advertisements, which many consider the most hated advertising technique of all time. In fact, the original developers have apologized for creating the underlying code that made them possible.


Advertisers turned to paid search and pay-per-click, which are still widely used today. It wasn’t until around 2006 that digital ads became hyper-targeted in the way they are today. Social media platforms saw their user bases grow rapidly, giving marketers a new way to reach younger internet users who mostly ignored banner ads.

2006 – Present

Advertisers have continued targeting consumers with relevant social ads, rather than bombard them with large volumes of ad content. It is now the standard practice of online advertisers, particularly when it comes to Facebook and other social networks like Twitter, YouTube and Google+. The goal is to deliver an ad experience that feels personalized but not aggressive.

How Facebook’s Ad Targeting Works

facebook advertising

It’s important to understand how Facebook’s ad targeting works. Facebook allows advertisers to target based on device, location, demographics, interests, behaviors, as well as different advanced targeting methods. At the click of a button, anyone can create Facebook ads to encourage users to ‘like’ posts, install apps, visit other websites or click on a call-to-action.

When you create a profile on Facebook, you’re required to enter information about your age, religion, education, political views and favorite movies, music and books. Building your profile helps your friends get to know you better, but what you might not be aware of is that Facebook uses that same data to deliver a personalized ad experience.facebook advertisingHere are some of the key metrics advertisers use to target you on Facebook and other social media:

  1. Locationcomes from the location stated on your timeline and verified by your IP address
  2. Demographicsbased on age, gender, relationship status, education, and job shared directly in Facebook profile
  3. Interestsidentified by keywords linked to pages you like, apps you use, information on your Timeline, and other ads you’ve clicked on
  4. Behaviors things you do directly on Facebook (i.e. – watch videos, click ads, pages visited, etc.) that show intent, travel preferences, etc. Behavior data for targeting is also compiled by offline activity provided to Facebook from trusted third-party partners.
  5. Custom Audiencetargets email lists that are tied directly to your Facebook login
  6. Re-targeting keeps the recent site(s) you visited in reach directly on Facebook

As you can see, there are a wide range of data metrics that businesses utilize to target an audience. With this information at their fingertips, businesses can determine the proper ways to target their audience without being “that annoying ad” that we’ve all come to resent.

Who Should Invest In Facebook Advertising?

What types of businesses are best suited for advertising on Facebook? Who should invest in Facebook Advertising? Facebook is a difficult channel to directly sell product without having any other type of nurturing campaign in place. According to Facebook, the businesses that have the most success in advertising on their platform are businesses looking to get people to sign up/fill out a form for something and those businesses trying to build brand awareness.

For example, a software company interested in generating demo requests or trials might use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a landing page with a form to fill out. We have found that Facebook generally offers a less expensive way to get impressions and traffic to a site when compared to other advertising channels such as Google or Bing.

Facebook Advertising Can Complement SEO Efforts

While SEO is more of a long-term effort, Facebook advertising can be complementary by driving results more quickly. There’s really no other medium like Facebook advertising where you can get quite as granular when it comes to how you’re targeting certain types of users to drive conversion. With the analytics capabilities of Facebook’s Ad Manager, you can gain insight into new content ideas, microsites to build and promotions to offer your customers.

Once a business verifies that Facebook advertising is the right channel for their campaign objectives, it is important for them to determine the best variables that will help them to get in front of their target audience with the appropriate messaging while also remembering that people interact differently on social media compared to other sites online.

When was the last time you updated your Facebook profile? For most people, the answer is “when I setup my profile….3, 5, 10 years ago.” Think about the quotes you put it, the music/artists you typed in, favorite movies you allowed the world to see. Since our tastes, styles, and lives change over time, it’s no wonder we aren’t getting relevant advertising coming our way.

Ready to Invest in Facebook Advertising? Parqa can help

If you’re ready to invest in Facebook advertising for your business, Parqa can help. Our social media marketing specialists can help develop a strategy to target the customers you want on Facebook and drive more leads and sales to your website.

We’ll help you maximize the efficiency of your social media marketing efforts so that you see results at minimum spend.

man reviewing his website analytics

Two Ways to Decrease Cost Per Acquisition in Google Ads

Cost per acquisition, sometimes referred to as cost per action or simply CPA, is a metric that measures how much a company spends in order to obtain a lead or conversion. In Google Ads, cost per acquisition (CPA), is calculated by dividing the total cost by the number of conversions.

CPA = Total Cost/Conversions

The goal is to keep the CPA as low as possible. At a consistent level of spend, two of the most effective ways to decrease your Google Ads CPA are:

1. Decrease Cost-per-Click (CPC)

One way to decrease cost-per-click (CPC) is by improving the Quality Scores of your keywords. Each keyword in your Google Ads account will have a Quality Score between 1 and 10. These scores are an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by those particular keywords. In general, the higher the Quality Score, the lower the cost-per-click. In fact, for each point a score is above the average Quality Score of 5, the CPA will drop about 16%.

Another way to decrease your account’s CPA is to look for new keywords to use with lower CPCs. By decreasing your account’s average CPC, your website will receive more visitors at the same total cost. More traffic, at the same conversion rate, means a larger number of conversions. Therefore, if you acquire a larger number of conversions at the same total cost, you will decrease you CPA.

For Example:

Let’s say your Google Ads account has a set monthly spend of $5,000.00/month and a 7% conversion rate. The chart on the right shows the average cost-per-click you would receive based on the number of visits and conversions along with the estimated CPAs. Using this chart, we can see that if all other variables remain the same, decreasing your average cost-per-click causes your cost-per-acquisition to decrease as well.

2. Increase Conversion Rates

Another way to decrease your Google Ad account’s CPA is by improving the conversion rates of the landing pages used for you ads. By increasing the number of conversions and keeping the cost the same, you decrease the cost-per-acquisition.


For Example:

Let’s say you have a Google Ads account with a set monthly spend of $5,000.00/month and an average cost-per-click of $2.46. Using the chart on the right, you can see the conversion rates you would receive along with the number of conversions and the estimates CPA. If all other variables remain the same, increasing the conversion rate will decrease the cost-per-acquisition.

Client Case Study:

A local university that offers an online early college program for high school students approached us for help with increasing enrollment.

Our initiative with the university was to increase traffic to their Early College landing pages using paid search (PPC), improve their online conversion rate, and increase their Early College programs enrollment over the course of two months.

The Goal:

To drive awareness, generate leads, and gain a better understanding of market response in the defined geographic regions across the country in which they had no prior presence or brand awareness established. With our thorough research, well-thought-out strategy, methodical execution, and nimble response. We were able to meet all of these goals, resulting in an effective campaign delivered on time and on budget.

The Results:

Using Unbounce landing page testing software, we ran multiple conversion rate test and improved the campaigns conversion rate by 70% (7.58% to 10.75%) over the course of the two months.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_column_text]As you can see from the chart at the right, as we increased the campaign’s conversion rate we were able to reduce the CPA by nearly 10% ($46.01 to $41.61). Through our testing with Unbounce and diligent Google Ads account management we were able to achieve a CPA that is lower than the Education industry’s average of $42.13 – according to WordStream.

two people reviewing campaign

Exploring Google Ads Part 2: Display, Shopping, and Video

In our last blog, we explored the basics of Search Listing Ads and when they’re most effective. In addition to search listing ads, there are a number of other advertising options available in Google Ads.

Previous Post: Exploring Google Ads Part 1: Search Listing Ads ➢

Display Ads

Display Ads are one of the most popular forms of PPC advertising options in Google Ads. They appear on the Google Display Network, which is a collection of websites – including specific Google-owned websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube – that show Google ads.

The Google Display Network lets you place ads on news sites, blogs and other niche sites across the internet to reach more potential customers. They are very effective for attracting new customers with eye-catching ads. Great display ad campaigns start with great ads. You can create your own in minutes using the free display ad builder in Google Ads tools.

There is a variety of ad formats and sizes which I’ve detailed below:

  • Text Ads – Similar in appearance to search listing ads, but appear within a website instead of the search engine.
  • Image Ads – Frequently referred to as banner ads; they can be used in a variety of sizes.
  • Rich Media Ads – Ads with animation or other types of motion (.GIFs)
  • Video Ads

There are a variety of targeting options available for display ads that can be used in combinations or separately. The most effective ads and targeting are dependent on the goals of your display ad campaign. Some common targeting tactics include:

  • Contextual targeting – Matches relevant site content
    • Keywords (based on keywords used in a site’s content that is part of the Google display network)
    • Topics
  • Audiences – Reaches specific groups of people
    • Audiences (affinity audiences & in-market audiences)
    • Interest categories
    • Re-marketing
    • Demographics (age, gender, and marital status)
  • Managed placement targeting – Selects specific websites and apps
    • Placements (target and bid on specific websites)

We find that clients are most interested in image re-marketing display advertising. While this may be the most common type of display ad used, they all are viable options. The “best” type and targeting for display advertising is dependent on your messaging and goals.

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads or PLAs (Product Listing Ads), drive traffic and sales to your website or store by showing online shoppers rich images of and details about your product. They appear in their own box on Google search results above or to the right of organic search results. Google shows the customer a picture of your item, its price, and your store name. Customers who click on the ad are directed to your website.

With Product Listing Ads, you’re charged only if someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website. In other words, you only pay when Google directs a customer to your store. Product Listing Ads are created by submitting product data feed in a Google Merchant Center account. Once the data feed is submitted and approved, the PLA campaign can be managed within your Google Ads account.

Shopping Ads are very effective for companies with e-commerce website who have a large product offering. If you sell under 500 products, you may have trouble getting visibility on Google Shopping. However, if you sell products in categories like automotive supplies, clothing, tools, or furniture and you’re not listing on Google Shopping, you’re likely missing out on significant revenue. Google Shopping Ads dominate for online merchants and tend to generate the most traffic and profit for e-commerce sites.

If you sell products in categories such as automotive supplies, clothing, tools, or furniture and you’re not utilizing Google Shopping ads, you’re likely missing out on significant revenue.

YouTube Advertising

With YouTube ad placements your ads either appear before videos play, beside videos playing, or in search results. The two types of ad placements offered on YouTube are:

  • In-stream – TrueView in-stream ads run on videos on YouTube watch pages or within Google Display Network videos, games, and apps. After five seconds, the viewer has an option to skip the ad.
  • In-display – TrueView in-display video ads appear only on YouTube Watch pages and on the Watch pages of video publishers on the Google Display Network. The appearance of the ad will vary, depending on which ad sizes and ad formats that content publishers support. For example, YouTube is a key content publisher within the network, and these ads will function and appear in the same way across the YouTube site.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]YouTube Ads Formats:

  • Display – Appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list. For larger players, this ad may appear below the player. (300×250 and 300×60 Desktop Only)
  • Overlay – Semi-transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower 20% portion of your video. 480×70 (Flash) or text (Desktop Only)
  • Skippable Video – Skippable video ads allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds, if they choose. Inserted before, during, or after the main video.
  • Non-Skippable Video – Non-skippable video ads must be watched before your video can be viewed. Long non-skippable video ads may be up to 30 seconds long. These ads can appear before, during, or after the main video.

YouTube Ads allow you to get your message in front of individuals searching for, or viewing, specific YouTube videos. They are a good option for most companies because the CPC (cost-per-click) is lower than search and the ads are very effective when used correctly.

Related Post: PPC vs. SEO: Which One Should I Focus On? ➢

At the end of the day, the right targeting, ad formats, and network are dependent on your ad’s messaging and your campaign’s objectives.

–> For instant access to Parqa’s blogs, follow us on Twitter at @ParqaMarketing and on LinkedIn!

man typing in Google on his laptop

Exploring Google AdWords Part 1: Search Listing Ads

Throughout its colorful history, paid advertising has proven to be a legitimate source of lead generation, sales, and revenue for businesses. Now, online paid advertising (more specifically pay-per-click PPC advertising) has demonstrated its utility as an excellent channel of marketing for any company.

So why does PPC advertising often become soiled, solely focused on search marketing advertising, and even more so, on Google Ads search listing ads?

Most often, this happens when businesses start investing in PPC advertising with little or no knowledge of all that Google Ads has to offer. There is a lot more to Google Ads than just your basic search listing ads. So let’s take a look at an overview of the different types of paid advertising that are available through Google Ads.

  • Search Listing Ads (SLAs)These ads appear next to or above relevant search results and allow you to reach customers on all the devices they use to search for information.
  • Dynamic Search Listing Ads (DSLAs)These ads use the content found in your website to target searches, rather than using keywords. They include headlines that are dynamically generated from the both the search and your site’s content. They then lead to a dynamically selected landing page on your site.
  • Remarketing Search Listing Ads (RSLAs)This is a feature that allows you to customize your search ads for people who have already visited your website.

Search Listing Ads

Google Ads’ basic search listing ads are the foundation of many of our online advertising campaigns. Google continues to improve standard  search listing ads and they have evolved over the course of the last few years with ad extensions. I use the ad call extensions, ad sitelinks extensions, and the ad call-out ad extensions the most frequently, but we’ll look at those further another time.

In addition to the basic search listing ads there are two other types of search marketing campaigns that can be created in Google Ads, dynamic search listing ads and re-marketing search listing ads.

Dynamic Search Listing Ads

These ads are extremely useful for companies with websites that have a large number of products or services. Businesses with websites that contain a lot of content or well-structured URLs will typically see the best results with dynamic search listing ads.

With these ads, Google writes your ad headline and sets the destination URL based on your website’s content. This sometimes limits how specific the description lines in the ad copy can be.

Also, negative keywords and exclusions are important in narrowing the targeting of your dynamic search campaigns. Left unmonitored and unfiltered (or incorrectly configured) dynamic search listing ad campaigns can run wild and be expensive. However, they are extremely successful when they are correctly configured, managed, and optimized.

Re-marketing Search Listing Ads

These provide companies with a method of targeting previous visitors to their websites with tailored search listing ads. We find RSLA campaigns are most effective when used to target past buyers as they search for other products you sell on Google. They are also helpful in targeting people when they leave your site without buying anything and continue looking for what they need on Google’s search engine. Both the methods above are very effective for large e-commerce websites.

There are many other forms of advertising available in Google Ads. In our next blog, we’ll discuss Display, Shopping Campaigns (Product Listing Ads), and YouTube.

Next Post: Exploring Google Ads Part 2: Display, Shopping, and Video ➢

–> For instant access to Parqa’s blogs, follow us on Twitter at @ParqaMarketing and on LinkedIn!

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