Wicked Smart Paid Search Strategies

goodwilldamonThis is the part where the training wheels come off and I impart a little bit of higher level paid search strategy that you can try to use on your own campaigns. If you’re not quite here, then perhaps go back and check out my previous two blog posts in this series. However, moving forward, this post will provide you with some good strategies you can try if you’re looking to optimize your paid search account and maximize performance.

Campaign Organization

Organizing your campaign can be tough. However, if you’re looking to be slightly more targeted in your efforts, I’d recommend using a combination of exact match and BMM. To do this you just simply create two different campaigns - one that has only exact match keywords in it and one that only has BMM keywords in it. For example:

Campaign Ad Group Ad Group Ad Group
Running Shoes Exact General Running Shoes Men’s Running Shoes Women’s Running Shoes
Keyword(s) Keyword(s) Keyword(s)
[running shoes] [men’s running shoes] [women’s running shoes]
[ladies running shoes]
Campaign Ad Group Ad Group Ad Group
Running Shoes BMM General Running Shoes Men’s Running Shoes Women’s Running Shoes
Keyword(s) Keyword(s) Keyword(s)
+running +shoes +men’s +running
+women’s +running
+ladies +running +shoes

This two prong approach enables you to examine your campaign performance in more detail than you’d normally get if you combined everything into one campaign. It requires a bit more work, as well as keyword research and management, but having your broad and exact keywords separate will give you more insight into how the campaign and their respective keywords are performing. i.e. CTR, conversion rates, etc. Negative keyword management will also be crucial to implementing this successfully, but we’ll touch on that in a little bit.

If you elect to use the this setup, you should think of your BMM keywords as casting a net for fish and your exact match more as spear fishing.  Your exact match campaigns should be filled with your star performing keywords.  The BMM campaigns on-the-other hand are designed more to pick up the one-off searches that still convert. With your BMM campaigns, it’s important to periodically check that net and see if there are any top performers in there. If you see a keyword phrase that’s performing well, you may want to add it to your exact match campaign. Also if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure which keywords are your top performers yet, just using a BMM campaign can be a great place to begin.


Negatives are crucial to making sure you deliver the right messaging for the right keywords. What do I mean by this? e.g. Say you’re running ads in an exact match campaign for the keyword [women’s running shoes], well if you have a BMM keyword for +running +shoes in your General Running Shoes campaign, and you don’t have [women’s running shoes] in the negative list, you could end up showing your General Running Shoes BMM ad which will likely be less relevant to the searcher. Well organized and executed negatives are what ensure that your target audience is served up with the most relevant ads. So it’s important that you take the time to set your negatives up right.

Note: When using the two prong exact match and BMM campaign setup it’s important that you negative out your exact match keywords when you setup your BMM campaigns so they only show in your exact match campaign and not your BMM campaign.


Remarketing is an easy win if you have the ability to produce some display ads. Remarketing in AdWords is the same as retargeting is for display efforts, only instead of paying for the impressions, you only pay by the click. Remarketing works by dropping a cookie on a visitor’s computer so that when they visit another page that’s part of the Google Display Network it will show your Ad. At the very basic level you can remarket to any visitor that comes to your site, but if you want to get more advanced you can start to segment who you remarket to and serve them up with more specific display ads. e.g. People that bounce from the purchase funnel or who visit specific product pages on your site.

Conclusion – How do you like them Apples

Well that wraps up the paid search blog series. You should now be familiar with the basic and inner workings of paid search, as well as, some different strategies you can try to implement to optimize your campaigns. Realize as you move forward that paid search will allow you to be extremely agile in your messaging; so test everything. Also never become complacent with your account. You should strive to continue optimizing your campaigns to maximize your conversions to get the best return on your investment.