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Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns can bring your business the success it needs to grow in this ever-evolving digital world, but it can also bring you a headache if you find that if you are actually losing money on your PPC investment. In order to ensure you won’t lose money on your next PPC campaign or turn around performance on your current one, you should go back to the drawing board and ensure that you have the three PPC basics down: Ad Copy, PPC Bids, and Landing Page. For any PPC campaign, having a basic understanding of these three basic elements down will allow for your campaign to stop losing money and start gaining conversions.


1.Your Ad Copy

Ad Copy is the message that attracts users to read and click your advertisement. Using terms that clearly describe your offering and drive a strong selling point are often the terms that see more clicks and conversions. The marketing message (e.g. “10% off”) must be consistent throughout the entire ad click-to-landing page process so as not to confuse users because they may be deterred by an inconsistent message. A consistent message throughout the click-to-landing page process will boost conversion rates.

In addition, the relevance between the specific keyword you bid for with the wording in the ads (and landing page) is extremely important. What this boils down to is to try your best to feature the whole keyword in the ad, if at all possible. This will only be possible if you have only the most tightly related keywords in the same ad group (keywords which share the same ad set). Commonly, this is 10 or fewer keywords and for the highest-spending keywords, just one keyword per ad group.

Not only will improving CTR through better ads increase your sales volumes but you will also pay less for each click (through Google’s Quality Score algorithm) and so make more profit on each conversion you get.


2. Your PPC Bid and Ad Position

An ad’s position on a Google search result page is based on the PPC campaign’s Ad Rank. The Ad Rank is a combination of the bid, the quality of the ad and landing page, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats (AdWordsHelp). In order to get a prominent search ad placement, the Ad Rank needs to meet a minimum threshold of qualifications, mentioned below.

Ads at the top of a page generally have the following qualities:
High relevance: The ad text and landing page are relevant to a user viewing your ad campaign.
Steady performance over time: The ad consistently generates clicks over the length of the campaign.
Competitive CPC bids: The ad’s bid is competitive with other advertisers.

However, some advertisers believe that one should never bid for the very top spot on a search result page. There are limited ad spaces on each search, with a maximum of 7 text ads on Google. Research shows that conversion rates do not radically change by position but CTR certainly does along with CPCs. Therefore, when bidding on keywords that do not incorporate your own brand, it is best to cater bids to a mixture of visibility and efficiency (i.e. if you are paying $0.80 for a click but the conversion rate means you lose money unless you spend $0.60 per click, you must either increase the conversion rate to make $0.80 clicks profitable or reduce your bids to ensure you do, in fact, pay no more than $0.60 per click).

If you are new to PPC and you have a limited budget that you consistently hit, increasing your bids will reduce your traffic. Therefore, if you are ranked above 3rd place (1 or 2) and you are hitting the budget, reducing bids (and, therefore, CPCs) should have the effect of increasing traffic simply because if clicks cost less, you get more clicks for the same budget. Simultaneously, of course, paying less for those clicks will make sales more profitable too.


3. Your Landing Pages

The landing pages on your website are the most important content a user views in their conversion process. These should be the main aspects you should consider when setting up pages for PPC purposes:

  • The message on the landing page has to exactly match the message on the ad as to not confuse or deter the user from furthering their purchasing process on your website.
  • Ensure the call to action on the page (buy, sign up, download, request a trial) is crystal clear and extremely prominent so a user knows exactly what the next step should be. Again, any user confusion in this matter can crush conversion rates.
  • Make the page engaging, pleasant and easy to understand and look at.
  • Provide enough information for the user to make a decision as to whether to buy.
  • Minimise distractions that could take a user away from the buying process, keep the page low on such “noise.”
  • Make the page load quickly and be compatible across browsers; a slow-loading page kills conversions.
  • Provide at least one engagement option short of buying for a user to choose. This can be signing up for a newsletter or reading reviews. These actions can be measured and having an email address, for instance, can be invaluable. These actions can be used for other remarketing projects down the line to make more use of the visitors you get through PPC.


Test and Tweak

Once your ad campaign has touched on the 3 basics mentioned above, it is important to constantly test and tweak page content, bids, keyword lists and ad copy. However, in order to understand the success of a change, features of an ad campaign should only be changed one at a time.

Medium or large enterprise and need help defining your PPC campaign goals? Send us an email at


In the last few days, Google has announced they have united the ad layouts for text ads on Google search results pages across devices. This means that there will now normally be 3 ads above the organic results but none to the side other than Google Shopping ads plus some knowledge graph ads.

For “highly commercial” searches, there will be a 4th ad shown above the organic results. There will also be 3 further ads shown below the organic results. These ads at the bottom are unlikely to get a lot of traffic, however.

In addition, the number of sitelinks will be reduced to 2 per ad but they will more often be extended (which is a sitelink title with 2 description lines).

The main advantage to advertisers is that the average rank metric will be more representative of rank across devices because all devices will show the same number of ad positions.

There are challenges presented here too, however, in that the total number of ad positions is being shrunk dramatically from 11 to 3 or 4 in effect. This ramps up competition for the auction – in a supply and demand sense – and so logic would dictate that CPCs will rise. However, we don’t know if there are other algorithmic changes that are taking place which may temper these rises.

The other factor is that a greater emphasis will be given to Shopping results in commercial searches because there’ll be so many fewer non-shopping ads.

As a result, we will have to keep a close eye on client accounts over the next few days and assess the impact. If you are responsible for running Google AdWords ads, you should also do the same.

As the fallout from this becomes clearer, we’ll blog more about this.


Tracking web data, such as clicks and conversions, is important to the success of any company with a digital presence. It’s most common for agencies and advertisers to choose just to use Google’s own conversion tracking to determine how their PPC efforts are performing. However, this option (particularly when not also using Bing and Yahoo tracking) is limited in effectiveness and is less flexible than you might realise.

Since Google has a large market share over the digital advertising world, some advertisers do not see the value in using Bing Ads or Yahoo Tracking, and instead often use the shortcut of duplicating any changes they make on Google over to the other search engines. The advertisers who use only one Search Engine tracking platform are missing out on the real behaviour patterns of users and, in some cases, mis-counting conversions. But even if you do use tracking from all three major search engines, much user behaviour is obscured or misreported. For example, for any ad campaign there can be a lot of cross-search-engine traffic and, if an advertiser only uses Google tracking, they will find that someone who clicks on a Bing Ad will register as converting on a Google ad if they have also clicked a Google ad recently. Or, for the same reason, if you have both Bing and Google tracking, both search engines could register a conversion for one user if that user had clicked on ads for both search engines. This is where 3rd party tracking (like ours) comes in to save the day and help advertisers make sense of their mounds of web/search engine generated user data.


Tracking your data + ESV Digital = maximising your ROI


We at ESV Digital, have always had our own 3rd party tracking system but in recent years we’ve evolved it into the EasyTrack system. This tracking solution not only functions on all websites and browsers, because it uses 1st party cookies instead of the often blocked 3rd party cookies, but it allows us to change tracking behaviour without changing website code and to track user actions beyond purely a click on a search ad should a client wish to add our cross-channel Analytics platform solution.

We, at ESV Digital, understand campaign data at a granular level because it is something we specialise in:

  • We offer an end-to-end customer acquisition, conversion and retention service tailored to your exact needs – and all designed to help you turn your digital marketing budget into sales, and your sales into profits.
  • Our team of Google AdWords and Bing Ads qualified analysts are experts at optimizing PPC campaigns. Our Account Management team has excellent analytical skills and can dive into the conversion funnel to get full insight into the true value of each of your marketing efforts.
  • We have a single tracking solution for multiple search engines and channels.
  • Tracking and understanding web data is often the bread and butter of 3rd party tracking solutions providers similar to ours, however, we set ourselves apart from the rest of the pack by owning our own cutting-edge PPC platform.
  • Our proprietary Platform is one of the most efficient, and powerful automated bidding platforms in the SEM industry. We are constantly investing in the research and development that provides us with an edge over our competitors. Thanks to the platform’s built-in revenue attribution across SEM campaigns, our Account Managers can analyse conversion/revenue performance and implement optimizations based on this data in a unique and streamlined way.


At the end of the day, money is made through understanding the power of behaviour tracking and revenue attribution. Using our 3rd party tracking in concert with our management technology enables us to improve our clients’ conversion rates. While billions are spent each year in customer acquisition, all steps of the customer journey are often forgotten and the last click is given too much weight. Our EasyTrack solution provides the capability to optimise the effectiveness and quality of the traffic on your site and therefore, drive your conversion rate. By understanding where your visitors come from and how they behave, you can learn how to improve your website and user experience and focus your acquisition budget on the most profitable visitor sources.

Bottom line, the more informed your bidding and budgeting decisions are, the better the performance you will see. Want to know more about how 3rd party tracking like ours can help? Send us an email at



Adapting to a new format launch on Google AdWords is always a tricky task to approach. At first, you are suspicious: do I have to use this new format to see a better ROI? Or am I better off sticking with what I know? The risk of setting up a non-functional or irrelevant format often deters advertisers from trying new formats in the first place. As well, getting new AdWords formats to run is often a time-consuming process that involves intelligence!

Now a format has come along that is terrific for advertisers with real physical stores as well as e-commerce channels and we recommend, if you fit into this category of advertiser, to try it out.


What is LIA?

The LIA, short for Local Inventory Ads, is a set of sponsored links that are delivered on search engine result pages. They show an image of a product and have product sale descriptions attached. When clicked, this link takes you to the product page in a Google environment, rather than your website, which indicates the nearest store, how to get there along with a link to the product’s website.


Why LIA?

Utilising the Local Inventory Ads of Google Adwords is simply one of the best advertising tools because it redirects users to participate in in-store shopping. It has an advantage over conventional advertising because the image of a product is attached with actionable directions that allow for the customer to access information about in-store shopping in a clear and concise way. Google performed a study that showed that CTR increased 81% from a PC and 99% from mobile LIA when an ad is shown using LIA instead of a classic Shopping Ad. In addition, as is often the case with the arrival of a new format, the LIA presents great opportunities in terms of price with low CPC.


Is LIA the shopping of the future?

With the development of mobile and location-based research, the LIA is an innovative format that bridges the gap between your online acquisition strategies and the arrival of in-store up-to-date inventory. Google created this format to better serve consumers and its importance will gradually increase, because:

  • The LIA will be automatically be promoted on smartphones.
  • The LIA ads are favoured on local searches like “…near me…”.
  • Geolocation detection was added to these ads for more visibility.

Local Ads Inventory offers consumers and advertisers alike a richer online product searching experience. Offering the consumer a tangible and actionable shopping solution allows them to feel less inhibited by the absence of information they may be seeking in order to commit to a purchase. Setting up an LIA campaign well requires you to take account of many metrics and data sources.

Interested in creating a Local Ads Inventory campaign? Send us an email to

Google’s AdWords Customer Match lets advertisers upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords. This feature has been available since September of last year; however, few have realised the untapped potential this tool provides. This AdWords enhancement comes from Google’s push to cater to advertiser first-party data in order to drive clicks through search ads rather than organic results.

First, the advertiser uploads an email list to their AdWords campaign and once the campaign is launched, Google matches the email addresses against those of signed-in users. The individual addresses are hashed and anonymized because Customer Match was designed around user privacy. This advertising method presents the advertiser with a unique opportunity to set bids and create ads specifically geared to audiences built from their in-house email lists. Additionally, Similar Audiences for Customer Match lists can be targeted on YouTube and Gmail.

Another product that has been available for a little while, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), allows users to bid on and serve ads tailored to custom audiences of previous visitors to their site when they search on Google. These remarketing lists are built with cookies, which users can delete or block, and aren’t suited for mobile, and so, advertisers can miss a proportion of site users. However, email addresses and user sign-ins are more reliable and can be tracked across devices, making AdWords Customer Match so valuable.

AdWords Similar Audiences already exist for retargeting lists on the Google Display Network. The audience lists built this way are based on user browsing patterns on sites in the Display Network as well as contextual comparisons to users in the advertiser’s traditional remarketing lists. This data is used to find new users with shared interests and characteristics. Now, those Similar Audiences lists can also be built based on the activity of CRM audiences.

To get started with AdWords Customer Match, advertisers perform the upload of their email lists to audiences within AdWords. There is no limit to the number of lists you can upload, however, you have to be careful when using it, as there are rules that prevent you being able to use this feature with impunity.

The core benefit of AdWords Customer Match is the enablement of utilizing an advertiser’s wealth of first-party data they have accumulated. You, as an advertiser, can make these lists as large as you want, and segment them in any way you want – the possibilities are endless. Since you have a suite of information for each email address (shipping address, name, website behaviour), you can peg patterns (or value) to each Customer Match audience that you construct which allows you to refine ad messaging and bidding.

Our platform (ESV Digital) supports Customer Match lists, along with other forms of remarketing audiences, so that we can scale up remarketing efforts and enhance granularity of structure. Interested in using your first-party data? Send us an email to

Search Engine Marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves the promotion of websites through increasing their visibility in various search engine results pages. As you may know, the most popular search engines are Google and Bing. SEM, as part of the glamorous world of online marketing, is a terrific tool and our core business, but it is a tool, like any other, with strengths and weaknesses.

SEM can’t stimulate searches, its strength is (if done right, of course) in collecting traffic available through the searches made. Display Ads, however, can raise awareness for a product/website and from this awareness, searches are stimulated. The Search ad, seen in search engine results pages, is click-bait; however, this metric isn’t an all-encompassing panacea because it does not necessarily directly lead to an uptick in sales. SEM can gather all the clicks in the world but if the website is not a good experience, the sales won’t come.

SEM is at its best when it is capturing the demand for the offering from the advertiser, matching the users’ expressed demand for the offering to an ad catered to advocate the advertiser’s offering to them. But SEM cannot be used to generate the demand in the first place. So how do you get a user who has never heard of you to visit your site even before they search? You can use the myriad of display ad options:

  • Real-Time Bidding (RTB) is best suited to direct response aims combined with stimulating searches and raising awareness with the right audiences.
  • Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) are great at reaching out to users who are mentioning relevant terms in their emails.
  • Native ads do a good job at inserting your brand into the browsing life of user populations relevant to your target customer.

Once you have all these kinds of display ads running, you can track their contribution to sales (and whether or not they cause SEM or Organic Search clicks) using a multi-channel tracking tool. This is a step up from basic analytics and gives you a much truer sense of how your investment is performing.

Conversely, whilst SEM can’t generate searches, Display is not terrific at closing sales – traditional Display ads normally lead to further actions like direct visits, researching review sites or searches for the brand. RTB can close sales but the combined use of RTB display and SEM will produce results greater than the sum of the parts. Even beyond being the last click before a sale, SEM can play a significant part in earlier stages of the sales cycle. The multi-channel analysis will reveal how these complementary marketing efforts work together best for you.

It doesn’t stop with online efforts, you can also generate demand offline – TV, Radio, Print, Billboards, etc. Even these can be factored into the online performance when carefully tracking the timing of the delivery of the offline ads and seeing if sales and search performance fluctuations correlate to them. Tactics like using custom URLs in offline ads (e.g. can help narrow down offline-stimulated visits better whilst recommending search terms (e.g. “Search ‘Beattie’s kitchen offer’ today”) against which you ensure SEM ads show will help you monitor offline ad response too.

Whether it’s SEM, SEO, RTB, or GSPs, it is important to incorporate all facets of a digital marketing campaign to drive sales and conversions in an online environment. To maximize potential, this takes a unified global view of performance, budgeting and a fully joined-up, cross-channel messaging strategy. Tracking the user paths to those sales can be the most difficult part of a campaign. Fortunately, we offer a tailored analytics overview of your brand and website. Have any questions? Send us an email at