Oct 8, 2014 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

The session focused on providing a detailed overview of the manner in which AdWords auctions actually function and a quick overview of the latest unannounced modifications and changes that have come about. This session was held at Salon F and the speaker also discussed the manner in which Quality Score can be calculated. Finally, he also discussed how to move on and why a low CTR strategy is useless plus how to handle keywords with low CTRs that just refuse to rise.


Michael Bonfils (@michaelbonfils) – Managing Partner, International Media Management, Corp.


Larry Kim (@larrykim) – Founder & CTO, WordStream, Inc.

Larry described himself as the “commander of the quality score rebellion” and taught the PPC audience to hack AdWords during the session. He also shed light on the top 10 hacks PPC marketers need to use in PPC verticals.

Top 10 Hacks

Larry provided direction for hacking AdWords and spoke of the top 10 ways in which only the best can be found.

Hack #10: Quality Score in AdWords

Quality Score Quality score is an integral part of AdWords, Larry emphasized. He also said that it is different from the EBay highest bidder gets it all norm prevalent on the web.

Larry shared how CPCs are impacted by quality scores and reward or penalty by price is based on quality score.

Why Quality Scores Are Important

Larry also shared why quality scores were vital, saying that:

  • Quality score influence ad rankings
  • Quality score also impacts cost per click
  • Quality score impacts impression share which is 2 times more competitive on mobile
  • Quality Score impacts cost per conversion

The Hack: Larry suggested that budget allocation should be towards branded searchers and move budget from the bottom one-third performing keywords towards remarketing.

Hack #9: Unicorn Ads

Marketers should expect as much from their ads as Google, said Larry. He also stressed that unicorn ads are the top one percent of online marketing currently.

Moreover, he said the top 1% of advertisers also have 6 times higher CTRs or click through rates than those expected by Google.

For those trying to make unicorn accounts, it is crucial to fine keywords which have high commercial intent, and Larry said that DKI or Dynamic Keyword Insertion is not used by the unicorn or top 1% of the ads. Ads should be like the unicorn-rare and special, Larry stressed.

Why Unicorn Ads Are Important

Larry said that the following with respect to this:

  • Google expects more of the ads
  • There are big performance inequalities

Hunting the Unicorn

Larry said to focus on acing the unicorn ad through high commercial intent keywords as well as not being too obsessed with ad extensions.

The Hack: Larry suggested creating ads which stimulate emotions and set them apart from the competition.

Hack#8: Conversion rates

Larry said that top 10% of the landing pages had 3 to 5 times better conversion rates than the rest of the lot. He urged the audience to aim high as well.

Landing Page Optimization Fairytale

Larry showed this fairytale to revolve around changing:

  • font
  • space
  • button color
  • image

The 5% increase in conversion is just not worth it. Larry also mentioned optimization or premature testing dilemma in this context.

He also said conventional landing page optimization is overrated.

The Hack: He also recommended changing the free offer if the conversion rate is 2% or less. He also asked marketers and website developers to radically change the flow of registration and let users opt for emotion.

Hack #7: Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Larry also spoke of sending email ads to people on Gmail which look like emails, but are image ads. These perform better than ads on the sidebars of Gmail, he said.

Things to watch out for here, Larry cautioned are:

  • Subject line and teaser
  • Email ads with HTML

The Hack: The way to go about it best, Larry said, was to target competitor emails or keywords for gaining an edge over the competition.

Hack#6: People Based Marketing

Larry also cautioned that the marketers need to focus on the audience and remember them while framing their strategy. The targeted demographic should be the focal point while coming across such strategies.

In this context, Larry discussed the following:

  • Custom audience on Facebook
  • Tailor made audience in Twitter

The Hack: Larry asked the marketers to see PPC marketing more like email marketing as it is people based and oriented marketing.

Hack#5: Crazy Mobile Marketing

Larry indicated that mobile had changed the flow of desktop searchers. He also mentioned how calls to businesses were 3 times more important than mere clicks on the website.

He also compared mobile conversion funnel to desktop conversion funnel, on various criteria such as ad viewing and lead capturing.

The Hack: Larry said to focus on capitalization of a higher conversion rate as the mobile conversion funnel is smaller. He also said not to focus too excessively on the landing page.

Hack# 4: Quality Score in Display

Larry said that a 0.1% increase or decrease in the click through rate can impact the display campaign in a huge way. He cautioned marketers to not overlook display as this is an important area which is currently being considered lesser than it deserves to be.

The Hack: Larry suggested a number of hacks for this one namely:

  • Creation of ads with higher CTR through conversion path analysis plus targeting pages for remarketing strategies


  • Pushing content pages in Google Display ads and work through targeting content that evokes emotions in titles or headlines.

Hack #3: Remarketing List for Search Ads

Larry also asked marketers to customize ads to users who had visited the site before as well. On an average, this doubles CTR, Larry said.

The Hack: Larry said that many agencies are not optimizing this, creating a “gap” market. Keywords can be targeted that will be less expensive because search remarketing ads cost less.

Hack #2: Remarket Segments

Larry suggested that the reach of the remarketing system should be increased using segments and lists.

The Hack: Larry indicated that specific lists should be created so that audiences are better served by ads which engage and interest them.

Hack #1: First Mover Advantage

Larry mentioned the importance of first mover advantage in the context of:

  • Google's introduction of over 1,000 new features each year
  • Acceleration in innovation
  • Increase in sites such as Bing Ads, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and so on

The Hack: Larry said that marketers should take advantage of social platforms they were previously not on such as True View Ads on YouTube and Google Plus Promoted Ads.

He also showed visibility before and after using Google Plus in this capacity.

Flywheel Effect

He also discussed the Flywheel Effect whereby organic engagement is generated by paid social promotion.

True View Ads

Larry mentioned how these ads on YouTube have “ridiculously powerful targeting options” and people spend close to 6 billion hours per month on YouTube.

He then concluded the presentation by summarizing the top ten hacks of all times for Keyword AdWords.

Hacking AdWords – Inside Tips and Tricks: #pubcon Las Vegas, 2014, Day 1!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal is the Editor-in-Chief of PageTraffic Buzz. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic Buzz as one of the well know digital marketing blog.
Navneet Kaushal
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