2020 PPC Guide


Google Ads should be a part of your lead generation strategy, and we’re going to review Search Engine Journal’s 2020 PPC Guide. I’d consider their document a “mega guide” because it’s over 360 pages! Luckily, you don’t have to read the whole thing as we pick out some of the best things to focus on. For the purpose of this blog, we’ll focus exclusively on Google Ads.

Starting a Google Ads campaign is easy, optimizing for maximum performance is another thing entirely! Let’s get started!

Make keywords your best friend!

“Keywords lie at the center of PPC, connecting advertisers to users’ search queries.

  • Queries are the actual words that users type into the search box of a search engine to find results.
  • Keywords, on the other hand, are what marketers use to target these users by matching their search queries.”

Pro tip – use Keyword Planner to review potential keywords for your campaigns! You can also see search volume, competition, and cost per click (all historical data). Even better, you can narrow down for your target radius!

Don’t overlook your landing page, ad relevance, or quality score!

The components of Quality Score are:

  • Historical click-through rate (CTR).
  • Relevance of the keyword to the ad.
  • Relevance of the keyword and ad to the search query.
  • Landing page quality.

“Ad relevance is absolutely essential; the higher Quality Score is, the lower the CPC will be.

Search engines penalize advertisers who bid on keywords with low Quality Scores by rarely showing their ads, even if they have high bids.

That’s why it’s very important to have an engaging and relevant ad copy that includes high-volume keywords.

But landing page quality shouldn’t be overlooked either; ads will show less often when they point to sites with poor user experience.

The web page must be relevant to the user, load quickly, and provide an overall smooth user experience.”

Want to improve your landing page? Check this out.

Click Fraud is real – but you can protect yourself

“Manual fraud prevention involves updating your IP exclusion list in your PPC platforms. The first step to this is determining which IPs are sending invalid traffic and represent the biggest threats. 

The easiest way is using a free tool, such as TrafficGuard’s free PPC Protection. In the TrafficGuard portal, you will be able to see the valid and invalid traffic sent by specific IPs, helping to inform your manual exclusion list maintenance.

Armed with your list of IPs to exclude, you can then log into Google Ads and update your exclusion list following these steps:

1. Sign in to Google Ads.

2. In the menu on the left, click Settings.

3. You will now see a list of all campaigns across your account.

Select the one you would like to exclude an IP address from.

4. Click Additional settings to see the IP address exclusions option.

5. Click to expand the IP exclusions section.

6. Enter the IP addresses that you want to exclude from your campaign.

7. Click Save.

8. Repeat across all campaigns.”

This can be very time consuming, but can also save you a lot of money and heartache.

We hope that this information can help improve your Google Ads campaigns! If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

RJ Huebert
RJ Huebert is the founder and managing principal of HBT Digital Consulting, a Pittsburgh-based business. A digital marketing professional, he specializes in search engine and social media marketing for B-to-C companies looking for lead generation and online optimization. He is also the co-race director for three Tampa Bay 5K events called The Great Mother’s Day Race, The Great Father’s Day Race, and The Great Gay 5K. The races have had over 12,000 participants and have raised over $7,000 for local charities since 2012. Previously, RJ was the marketing director for a world-wide market research firm, and has held management roles in verticals including healthcare, banking, and for-profit education. Helping local business succeed online is his daily passion, launching 5K events gives him joy, and contributing to the Pittsburgh business scene inspires him. RJ earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and Master of Arts from the University of South Florida, focusing on Strategic Communication Management. Currently, he sits on the American Marketing Association Board of Directors - Pittsburgh Chapter. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Taylor, chocolate Lab Coco, and a Jack Russel Terrier named Rosie.