How to Bid Effectively on Google Ads


Choosing the bid rule that maximizes your KPI

With so many features and settings available in Google Ads, you may be tempted to just fiddle with stuff. Don’t! The efficient PPC minimalist will never do anything in an account without a clear reason.

Our job as specialists is to improve the quality of our ads and the relevancy of our audience and then set the right bids. There are many situations where an algorithm is a poor substitute for the instincts of an experienced professional, but optimizing bids is not one of them. That is one job that should be automated.

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By Kevin Frei at April 19, 2019

The More You Spend on Paid Ads, the Worse it Gets

Declining ROI is the mark of a successful ad campaign

Sometimes our digital marketing efforts fail. Despite our best efforts, we just can’t get a positive ROI. All too often when that happens I hear that same pernicious claim: it failed because the client wasn’t willing to spend enough money.

That is the kind of marketing myth that can only persist because most marketers actually believe it. You may even believe it yourself. If so, my goal is to convince you to never again tell a client they have to spend more money in order to see results.

But before exposing the lie, let me acknowledge the limited ways in which it can be true.

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By Kevin Frei at April 19, 2019

Sell the Search Terms Report

Show your client the qualified traffic you send to their website.

It’s far better than selling BS

In an ideal world, the marketing team can optimize the customer journey all the way from discovery to sale. In most cases outside of ecommerce, however, we can only get them partway there and must leave it to the client to close the sale.

Our product is therefore usually qualified leads in the form of phone calls, form fills, sign-ups, or foot traffic. But what if we don’t even control that?

Sometimes we are asked to send traffic to a client site with poor conversion value. If the website looks ugly or confusing and lacks a clear call to action, even the most qualified visitors will bounce.

We can’t be held accountable for sending traffic to a page that doesn’t convert any more than we can be held accountable for sending leads to a salesperson who doesn’t close.

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By Kevin Frei at April 18, 2019

Stop Writing Compelling Ad Copy

Does this image attract the audience I want to pay for?

You don’t want to pay for irrelevant clicks

The fact that you are reading this now means you found this blog title compelling enough to click on. It’s provocative, it’s coy, it may even be clever.

But it would make a terrible PPC headline.

The key distinction between paid search and organic search is marginal cost. Every additional visitor to my blog comes at zero additional cost, so I can afford to be cute with my blog headlines if I think it will increase my clickthrough rate. I want as much traffic as possible.

The incentive to lure in visitors with sexy or even misleading headlines is so great that there’s even a name for it: clickbait. How many of us have fallen prey to those headlines promising to tell us why Hollywood won’t hire that celebrity anymore, only to find ourselves clicking “next” through a series one-sentence breadcrumbs only to discover that we do not, in fact, care?

When the marginal cost per additional eyeball is zero, by all means be as compelling as possible. But when you have to pay for each click, you want to be very selective about who is compelled to click – and who is discouraged.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

How to Spot a PPC Loser

When to call it quits with your paid media campaign

As I discuss in my post on declining ROI in a PPC campaign, a well-run campaign should experience diminishing marginal returns. But this post is not about squeezing every last drop out of a successful campaign. This post is about how to know when your campaign is a dud.

My rule of thumb is if the client has spent three times the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) without a single qualified lead, that means further optimizations are unlikely to improve things enough to make the campaign profitable.

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By Kevin Frei at April 10, 2019

How To Pay Only For Leads With Google Local Services Ads

Are you a home service business?

Local Services ads puts trustworthy local electricians, locksmiths, plumbers, and other professionals in front of people who are looking to find and book quickly.

And yes, you’ll only pay for leads that you get.


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By Kevin Frei at August 1, 2018